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Category Archives: simple pleasures


IMG_2393 IMG_2391 hot cocoa

It is not unheard of in Madison to get snow right after thanksgiving, and when I say snow I mean the kind that sticks and stays on the ground for at least a day. The kind  you can form into snow balls and throw at each other or at the side of your house to stick. Snow that’ll put a smile on your face because it’s the first snow of the season and you are still nostalgic from last year and haven’t grown tired from yet. That kind of snow made an appearance this very early morning, the morning of december 9th… late by Wisconsin’s standards, but hey we’ll take it, and we’ll play with it and make our muddiest, dirtiest snowmen yet, and it’ll make us rush to the kitchen to prepare a very special first sticky snow of the season breakfast with hot cocoa topped with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup. It will stop us from thinking about death until later tonight (right now) and make us remember witnessing three deaths that caused three clocks to stop working at the time of death. Google had no answers for the phenomenon but has lots of similar stories to share. 

I just watched Life of Pi, maybe that’s why I thought about death and things that baffle the mind.


On a shameless self promoting note, I started a new tumblr photo blog, you can follow me there as well.

Wishing you a wonderful start of your week!



Tonight, we are young…

Our street is getting a makeover.






garden (it got much bigger)



…car shows with flux capacitors!

…farmers markets, special appearance cows ’cause we like to embrace our roots.


Ah Summer!

Hope you’re enjoying yours at your end.


Middle Ground

My first born laid on her back with her knees propped up and took deep, heavy, rhythmic, breaths on our dining room floor tonight. It was almost six o’clock and she was completely out– it’s the rhythmic deep inhales and exhales that gave her away. A success! Our one night camping trip was a success. Our proof is currently snoring on her upper bunk.

Had my sister been with us, she would have declared otherwise. My sister is terrified of racoons. Ever since she moved to Canada, she’s had a raccoon-problem. I’m guessing if she witnessed our sneaking party last night she would have left tent and all and ran straight home, loony toons style. I, too was terrified, I am not claiming bravery.  They are not good at sneaking up on people at all by the way, whomever called them bandits, knows nothing about bandits. They are noisy (we can hear them moving in the plants) and slow. They’re also kind of funny, If you shine a flash light at them they arch their backs, look straight into your eyes and continue moving slowly–as if sneaking. “Dude, you’ve been caught, enough with the sneaking !”. Another one kept moving slowly then stopping to look back at us in disappointment. Like we offended him or something. There was the fat one with the cropped tail (what’s the story there buddy?) the skinny one with tail intact, and sizes in between. The freakiest thing was their reflective eyes in the darkness. Otherwise, I really wanted to console them for their poor stealing skills.

“Fire was created hungry and insatiable. We need to be careful around fire” Mama to Mei.Fire is more interesting than TV, you can sit and watch it for hours” Baba to Mei.

Other than that, as far as camps go, this one was a nice middle ground. Isolated enough from other campers, yet close enough to a bathroom with plumbing–Let my husband explain to you how much I love plumbing–And for Wisconsin, (or really any other state for that matter) NO BUGS! Another big deal.

For someone who likes to take pictures I am a disappointment. I forgot my Fancy camera at home, and arrived with a 20% charged phone. I did manage a surprising amount of phone photos with my 20% charge. Hot dogs on sticks and s’mores will have to be imagined. They were amongst the top five on the list. The very first one was when my three year old was strolling along a hill then spotted the beach and started sprinting towards the water, we were all behind trying to catch up, while cracking up from the sight. The second one has to go to the crazy racoons. The offended one in particular.

All photos edited by Instagram.


First Harvest

There is no need for any words for this post. What you’re about to witness is pure pride in our tiny garden and our very first Kale harvest. I’m thinking maybe buy a couple more Kale plants. They are officially my youngest only edible green vegetable, and the only form they’ll be consumed is disguised as a crunchy chip.

I made this delicious salad–which is becoming a staple in our household–with all the kale excepting maybe five to six young leaves. Instead of cutting them into squares like usual. I saved my hands and drizzled a little olive oil with sea salt, then baked them for 20 minutes in a 300 degree oven. They came out perfect and the spine did not bother the girls because it was pretty skinny.

Here is the small bounty from our first harvest.

Kale,cilantro, & baby arugula. Yay!

Peace. *smile*


Canada in full color

Remember this post? I know, I almost forgot, but then I remembered. Summer is upon us, and blogging becomes more challenging when the weather is actually nice. Why stay home? We have plenty of that comes winter.

Toronto it seems is a very colorful city, or at least this is what my eye got drawn to when I captured those images. A true feast for the eyes. The above are all street shots from our moving vehicle. We celebrated my niece and nephew’s birthday after that and then headed home the following day.

It was so crowded by the border, which was something we were not used to since we usually cross the border at night. At some point on the bridge between the American and the Canadian border we realized that our girls were still in Canada while both my husband and I were technically in America. Mei liked the idea of being in a different country than us. We get kicks from stuff like that.

We eventually made it into Madison. I foolishly tried to take a picture of the city’s modest skyline in the middle of the night and while the car was moving. It came out like scribbles of color. So in the spirit of today’s colorful post, I thought: Hey, why not?


Backyard (tiny) Garden

I– as of yesterday–am the proud owner of two Lacinato kale plants, an arugula plant, a cilantro plant  and three different kinds of tomato plants. I am hopeful.

I’ve been dreaming about a small backyard garden for many years now. Our constant move and my horrible plant-caring skills kept my dreaming tucked under the covers. But alas, I have no excuses now, my awesome man “lifted up the covers” and built me a raised bed as part of my many mother’s day gifts. It’s an 8×4 bed and I am told can house up to 6 different kinds of plants. We are still on the look out for rhubarb and sunflowers. Did I mention my high hopes?

I must admit it’s more satisfying to plant an already poking through plant as opposed to waiting for nature to take it’s course. I did however purchase cucumber seeds of the salad making variety, but we should wait until the soil is consistently 80 degrees or up, I’m thinking after memorial day should do it.

The girls are intrigued of course, and it’s part of my scheme to involve my youngest in as many watering and harvesting as her little hands could manage, maybe, just maybe she’ll open up to experimenting more greens. As for now: Kale chips, I thank thee!