Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Listening to Basia Bulat and Sufjan Stevens in Emmy's car...

...makes me nostalgic beyond words. Nostalgic for what, exactly, you ask? For some youth I never lived, for the slightly younger me of five years ago when I was listening to these same songs? I don't really know, but driving around less familiar roads with her feels a little like a vacation from my reality.
One of the strange things about these Islands is that they're all so close and yet so separate. Emmy lives just a hop and a skip away, but with a ferry ride and a forty minute drive, it sometimes seems like she might as well live back in DC, or the Moon for all our visiting abilities...
You may ask whether I need a vacation from reality (and didn't I just get back from one?!?) and of course the answer is not really, but sometimes it's just good to sit down with some kindred spirits and talk about cultural dissonance, erosion of the working class and 200-year-old wallpaper, 'k?

These kids make me smile. They've got the wry senses of humor, righteous values,  a super-sweet new puppy Named Little Bear,  interesting things to say, oh and of course, great tattoos.
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Not to mention mad-chef-skills.
Other than a delicious fish sandwich with prawns cooked by Dillon, Doe Bay hot tubs, swimming after Little Bear's frisbee and hike to a local "arc" up the hill, the high point of my little visit included being taken to a sweet-ass farmstand, which since the Orcas version of The Dump burned down has featured a little vintage spot.


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I was so in awe of the owner's great taste that it suddenly dawned on me that it seemed a little familiar, and sure enough, it turns out that the owner is none other than my Barter Fair (As I write this, I'm realizing that I still haven't posted about last fall's fair. Drat.) friend Erika! What are the odds?
A sweet little  top and a very dear gift dress from Emmy later, I'm home again, home again, back to my own reality of garden fencing, sewing, ironing, painting, zine-making and wild-crafting.
I'm sure you're sick of my nettle-obsession by now, but I can't get enough of these wild goods. My current homestead project is re-establishing my garden after last year's fence-busting deer bonanza and while it is hard work, I'm making the most of it by gathering medicinal and edible "weed" roots along the way.
Not to mention dandelion leaves and blooms too, for this delicious use.
So here I go again, for another mother-load.  The eldest, tallest of these beauties are starting to bloom, after which they are no longer good eatin'.
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There are other springtime edibles emerging. I hadn't really seen them until my walk with Emmy and Dillon yesterday, but once we spotted them on Orcas, I knew I had to look back in my secret spots too and sure enough, they're here, the fiddleheads, the poor girl's asparagus. As I've posted before there's some controversy over their carcinogenic content, but due to wild-crafting ethics and their extreme seasonality, we eat them in such a small quantity that I don't really worry about it. Instead, I rejoice! Yay, fiddleheads!

I love their fuzzy, curled up heads, like fists or heads bent in prayer. We take them very sparingly.
As for other treasures in the woods, I had to immediately bust out the Young Edwardian dress Emmy gifted me. Not only was it generous, because you know, she could have held onto it, or sold it, but because it used to be her aunt's, a lil' family heirloom.  She told me that in fact, her auntie was one of those hippies who in the sixties wore genuine Victorian and Edwardian clothing, because that's what was at the thrift store. Imagine...
Not that I would trade this wearable flow-y beauty for anything.
Allright! Vacations are over, back to work!

How's your reality doing?


  1. I used to have that very dress! same brand and everything. of course, i sold it on etsy at some point. alas. will you post on your dandelion process? from harvest to medicine? i'd love to hear it. i know we are due for a phone date, though. there is much to catch up on.

    1. Whenever it happens I'll be so stoked! We're planning a get together in may, any chance you might be able to make it to Santa Rosa the week after Memorial Day? I'll email. Love ya. Yes process. Could be a while. You package needs to happen too. It's so ready ;)

  2. milla my dear, you islanders certainly know how to live. another beautiful abode full of delicious foods and clothes and books and animals, so fun to take a little meander. and that farmstand/vintage shop! we need this in placerville. we need any number of island inspired little tucked away spots of magical offerings.

    you know i have never tasted a fiddlehead, or listened to basia bulat for that matter. you are brimming with newness for me today. those fiddleheads are breathtakingly fantastical. as is your lovely new frock.

    my reality is doing well, more greenly hilled and less richly forested, but springtime fresh nevertheless!

  3. so good and lovely and I'M EXCITED!! I want to wander and gather things with you! I love all the green in this post. And young edwardian (& young innocent) is probably my favorite ever. xoxo m

  4. It's going to be a while before I'm doing any nettle harvesting here. Man, there is still a lot of snow here. You know, cars still driving on the lake and such. But I know that I will get my hands on an awesome stash of nettles eventually, they grow in abundance right next to our aitta. :) As for my reality right now... too much work, not enough play. But it will change at some point. It must! Oh, and I'm growing poppies for the garden. They are so tiny still, which is good. I probably can't plant them before June the way weather-related things are going!

  5. I love your knowledge of all such plants , I am quite horrible at detecting their medicinal purpose or if they are even edible! Keep posting, I might just learn such things through you. Thank you for the Lovely post, made great reading on a cold and rainy day. That's ,my reality today.

  6. all sorts of radness are going on in this post! i love your dress, that food looks incredible, the vintage shop tucked away in the woods... and i think i day away is just what one needs after a vacation. a post vacation vacation if you will :D

  7. i'm with anne...i keep coming here to comment and getting distracted by the radness. i have to admit too, my love, that i often get stopped by my own envy. yes, i've also met your in-person heart and i know blogs can be all smoke and mirrors, but none the less...i'm as green as your nettles everytime you post. it's good, because it helps me to remember true north. i like that you are able to be nostalgic for a moment as it is happening....this mini vacation of yours glows with that specialness...hot tubs, farm stands, teeny thrift stores, dress gifts that knock you off your feet with gratitude. and music playing as you wind around roads...for all the terribleness they have brought, cars and road trips have their own magic too. and fiddleheads! poison in small amounts is medicine, yes? eat away, i say. thank you for sharing this little respite from your reality...i felt like i took one with you. (and whenever i need a little vacay, i can come back and read it again. ;) love you.

  8. Lovely Milla, seing your flowered-clad self among these big trees always makes me happy. And this incredible dark chocolate dress is simply perfect for you. The fiddleheads actually share some of its warm hues :o)

    This little vacation also looks delightful - thank you for sharing it with us. It nourishes our Basia Bulat souls ;o)