Friday, January 17, 2014

Count Your Blessings



Hi guys! Remember me? Your friendly neighborhood blogger? Believe it or not, I've been working on some fairly heavy duty blog posts, of late. In fact, they're so heavy duty that in my push to publish the first one I kept not posting anything else. Everyday for the last week, I've "almost been ready".

Turns out though that they're also rather labour intensive. In fact there seems to be no end to the research and writing them. I'm getting a little lost in them, figuring out angles and editing and quizzing C. about the history of feminism. What the poor buy has to go through for this blog...

Actual writing and editing work is also taking precedence right now, so as always, have patience with me.

How's the beginning of 2014 been for you? Because it's been pretty amazing here. Not only is there a ton of creative energy available, but since starting to read this book, mostly at bedtime, I've been having many really intense, fascinating dreams. A couple nights I've actually woken up with some real insight carried over from the subconscious night-worlds.

Connections and opportunities and collaborations keep appearing and I'm keeping and open heart, all the while adhering to my new focus on things I really want to do.

Also, quite undeservedly it seems, presents keep appearing on my doorstep. I don't know what to say except, wow and thank you.

In the last week I have done and experienced some utterly ordinary, yet happy-making things.

I have decided that I might start collecting something after all: old mugs with herbs on them. Finding mug number two really pushed my resolve in creating this collection. Don't tell C.


A new old friend (as in someone I just met, but who seems like I've known them a long time) gave me the first year of Taproot back issues and this amazing book. I'm savoring it, trying to read slowly, even though it's tiny. Unfortunately, it's just strengthening my resolve to do a solo retreat in the next two months. This is less-than-fortunate, because I don't really have the time right now.

However, when things call you out of the wild blue yonder and demand your attention it's usually best to listen.

In addition to food for thought she also gifted me a sewing machine and a totally rad cranberry cardigan. And best of all: advice, support and her time. The most priceless of gifts.

I've been in such a good mood I actually had coffee today. I'm usually a tea drinker, because as it turns out I'm pretty sensitive to caffeine and function better without a lot of it. When I drink it though, I like it to be a treat. Like, say Cafe Au Lait with fresh goat milk.

Two new thermoses appeared from someone generous. I put out a call for a new thermos, sense our old Stanley broke and also because I need one for one of my movie projects. A friend's mom brought these two vintage guys to my baby-sitting gig and was so sweetly excited that they made me happy. She's getting her name in the credits for sure...

My friend actually had a really good tip for cleaning out the old coffee/other smells from thermoses: Denture cleaner from the pharmacy. Genius Homestead Hack.

Speaking of which, here's our favorite lunch-time trick. Lunch is kind of the achilles heel of my cooking. I never see it coming. Which is why I always keep a jar of miso handy and make extra rice if I'm cooking it for dinner anyway. Sautéing some veggies and herbs makes this snack extra delicious. The brand of miso we use is a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way.

Another new, lovely friend from the desert lands sent me a total surprise package containing a new book, her favorite salve, a recommendation for dish soap (the company also makes this bar shampoo), an amazing blank Moomin-themed notebook and best of all: a handwritten note.



I've been obsessively wearing this-little-red-riding-hood of dreams that Sara sent me. I mean, damn girl! I swear its got powers...


My husband used to be a star athlete in junior high. Well, apparently, he was just pretty small, which made him a good fit for a coxswain. He's had the jacket for about twenty years, but re-discovered it during moving shenanigans. Just don't tell him letterman jackets are in fashion.                   
Little cat was ill this week, but hopefully she's on the mend. Apparently she got into some sort of near-death-match. Her tail was all swollen and sore and she slept for days on end and had a fever.
"But mama, you should see the other cat."
                          
I've worked at putting more vintage stuff up on my etsy, but it seems to be selling as fast as I can add it. Which is a total blessing, don't get me wrong, but it just makes me feel like I'm never quite keeping up. I'm still on this huge kick about 90s red polkadot dresses and had a heck of a time deciding to let go of this one.


To taunt me at my desk, the weather has been beautiful, foggy in the morning, sunny during the day, cold and clear at night. Yesterday I biked my nine miles from work in moonlight so bright I barely needed my flashlight to see ahead. Just as I was turning to our road the swans that sometimes winter in the marsh below us, began honking loudly at the moon.

Today I walked for miles around the marsh, following deer tracks, then rode my bike all over the neighborhood. The sun made it feel like spring, light as air and sweet.

Yeah. So far it's been a grand year. How is yours?

42 comments:

  1. You seem to live in a magical place! But I'm sure it's also you that sees and then shows us that magic...
    Hi! (found you via cupofjo)

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    1. Hey Alla, I love that name! Sounds Scandahuvian! As a dear blogger (Life and Times of The Plume) said a while back when I said the same thing about where she lives "Every place is magical.", or something to that effect. How on earth did you find me via acupofjo? Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by to say hi ♡

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  2. hey, i collect mugs with herbs and wildflowers too! maybe jeff and c can commiserate on women who refuse frugality when it comes to drinkware.

    loving all the richness in this post. blessed indeed! also, next time we see each other, we are totally doing a photo set of the hood twins and their adventures in the forest...or How The Hood Twins Took Down the Corporations and Looked Dazzling at the Same Time. xo

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    1. YOU KNOW that this is my favorite thing ever. Hood Twins to the rescue! Also, you should do a post about your mugs. For my sake. With outfit shots. LOVE YOU.

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  3. I want the courage to go on a solo retreat at some point- with three kids, I feel like if I leave them it should be to spend time with my husband or mom or sisters or faraway friends, but I really, really, like a little time to myself would be magical.

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    1. I don't have kids but I totally get that and have major anxiety over it. If I'm not working I should see a friend/ spend quality time with hub/ etc. etc...Yet I've really come to know, that being alone is the most me part of me. I've loved extended alone time fiercely in my life, but I've only ever done one real solo retreat. I'm sure yours will be so special and I really encourage you to do it. Just go even for a night and a day. That alone is plenty if have a focus. And then write about it. Hugs

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  4. You, in the handmade hood hat, are one blessed being! Gifts like that, as well as Stanley's and thoughtful books and sewing machines! Who loves ya baby?!
    That little book sparked my interest. I've been wanting to plan a solo retreat as well. I'm taking this as a sign. I shall.
    I'm happy to hear the cat is back in action. I know how that is, when kitty's are hurting.
    Your zest for life is refreshing, bursting at the seams of this post.
    Go pour yourself another cup of coffee & goats milk, Milla!

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    1. Let's you and me do it! And write about it. Get this book. It's a gem. It's also really tiny and delicious to read. And sweetly funny. I am really excited to plan for it. I'm thinking I might even do a three day solo as a camp out. I'm sure it would be lovely in the spring where you are. Hugs!

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  5. What an uplifting post! You look so happy twirling in your red polka-dot dress :)
    I, too, am finding the start to this year to be exciting and full of promise...

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    1. Tilda (also love that name), I really think it's going to be a magical year. I'm so happy to be in it and excited for all of us to see what other goods it brings. Thanks for stopping by and blessings on the rest of your January.

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  6. Every detail of your photos makes my heart rise with warmth. This is so beautiful. You have a real gift for photography. Thanks for sharing your words and images. I open your posts like a present.

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    1. Blush...Those are really nice things to say. I'm trying to work on my photography more this year and hopefully will continue to get better. Hope this winter and spring is a magical for you and hope I can keep making little presents for you ;)

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  7. I'm glad it has been a good start to 2014! Mine has too - I'm being a lot more mindful of a lot of things. Love the herb cup - you would love the crown lynn cups that were made here in NZ.

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    1. You are such a dynamic person Andrea! I really love how many projects you seem to have and complete and just the almost visible swirl of ideas around your head. How is the summer in the NZ anyways, sounds like it's pretty hot really. Big Hugs and lots of inspiration.

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  8. Your photo of the thermoses with the branch in the jar made me smile because it reminded me to look away from my laptop, at the vase I have with a sprig of a redwood tree in it. I picked it up from a bed of redwood needles on Hampstead Heath on Christmas eve (my birthday) and it fills me with so much joy because there is a real Californian redwood tree in London and it's within walking distance of my house and hardly anyone knows it's there. I must go and say hello to it soon, lovely tree. :)

    Also I'm kind of envying the thermoses as well because I really want one of those old school ones that come with a *proper* cup.

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    1. You live in HH!??!?! Do they still have the Women's Pond for naked bathing? I love HH when I lived in London.
      Happy belated birthday, dear. I love arboretums, places where you can see trees from other environments, they seem so connected to their place of origins.
      I hope you find a very good beverage container, it's key. I should know- I've been sans thermos for over a year now! Thanks for popping in.

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    2. I don't live *in* Hampstead Heath (wouldn't that be amazing though) but pretty nearby so I go up there a lot (and blog about it a lot http://mondoagogo.wordpress.com/tag/hampstead-heath/ ) -- in fact I'm going out there right now when I finish my cup of tea!

      And yeah, the women's pond is still there.

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  9. I've always heard we should pay extra attention to our dreams in January and July. Seeing as it's January, and you have such amazing direction in your life, I expect big things are going to happen for you. You're definitely in for a great year!
    Meanwhile, the new year in the southwest is warm and dry. I find myself out on mini-retreats often. Walking, photographing nature, collecting goodies. Medicine for the soul!

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    1. That is such an interesting fact m'dear. I'm thrilled to hear it. I love the idea of mini-retreats too, or thinking of outings more intentionally that way. Rock on! As Heather says below, you've given new meaning to dreams this months. Big hugs and thank you!

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  10. Milla, your thoughts and images seem to wander effortlessly between the inside and the outside, linking the two in a milla-ish way that makes me feel, every time I read a post of yours, as if I was leaning out from a window, breathing more deeply, taking things in. Which is probably why I come back to them many times after the first reading :o)

    This particular one inspired me to drop my writing plans for the day and, instead, celebrate the glorious weather (sunny and 36 F!) - by biking to the hill and walking among the trees.

    You know, I read Jane Dobisz's book Zen Retreat in the Woods several years ago, and these lines (quoted from Ikkyu: Crow With No Mouth) softly exploded in my mind :

    nobody knows I'm a storm I'm
    dawn on the mountain
    twilight on the town

    Somehow, it was a description of my soul.

    Happy dreams my dear,

    Emmanuelle
    xx

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    1. I know! It totally made me want to delve into that poem. I have a feeling I'll be re-reading and re-reading that book until it's dog-eared. I'm about to do the same, just hop on my bike and go for ride. I always so appreciate your comments and really hope you get a blog of your own running soon, so that I can read more and more of your thoughts. Thank you, as always.

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    2. Thank you sweet Milla, it makes me happy that we are on the same poem vibes :o)

      Also, I sent you an email yesterday to say that I have just published my first post! Apparently you haven't received it :o/

      Here is my blog :o)

      http://emmariviereillustration.blogspot.ca

      xx

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  11. I've been feeling the creative energy of 2014 as well. Love this light-filled post.

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    1. Yes to creative, wild times! Hope your days this winter are full of light as well.

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  12. hi hunny hunny. thank you for this post. thank you for all your posts! and thank you for your comments! i do hope we get to see each other in the spring. and i hope your 2014 is the wonderful.

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    1. Hey girl! 100 Days of happiness. Next time I'm in the city, let's try to have tea or something (karaoke). Huge hugs. Keep writing, and when you can share some music.

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  13. 2014 hopefully got the bad stuff over with first thing so the rest can go smoothly. The husbeast and I were sick with the flu and are still trying to get back to normal!

    Love that red hood. I might need to knit one up for myself. Have been feeling like breaking the sewing machine out to make some skirts. Soon.

    Also loved the picture of your boots in the mud. I've been wearing my boots a lot lately - they are warm, waterproof, and always make me feel like there's a remote possibility that an epic quest could be laid before me and I would be ready to go. There's nothing like a good pair of boots and a sturdy bag for the possibility of adventure.

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    1. Yeah boots! I hope your sicknesses are DONE with now and you get into an amazing, healthy space in the coming months. I've been sewing up a storm since my friend gave me that machine, in fact, tonight I'm gonna make a cute short red skirt happen from a cute long red skirt. Excited. Hope your projects are plenty and I'm still processing your post about clothes. XOXO

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  14. Oh yeah, you know, new baby girl...I'd say 2014 is pretty sweet so far. I love this little blessing of a post from magical millaland. It was fun to read the uplifting comments too, love the January and July dreams tidbit...the months of my two babes' births! Dreamtime of creation. So glad you're reaping the universe's bounty, and sending you ethereal waves of love :)

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    1. Yeah, could it be any sweeter for you really. Your VBAC was such a gift, a power. I'm in awe with your strength and joy, girl. I can't wait to see Lucy and Polly grow and learn trough this year. Perhaps finally I'll even get to meet them. SO much love to you and them.

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  15. Mmmm mmmm, this post was a dreamy walk with you through some sweet moments. 2014, restful, organising and plentiful...those are my thoughts so far. love you. xo

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    1. Teeny, plentiful is a really good word for. In fact just a really good word all in all. I hope this month augurs the same for this whole year. I'm so excited for it. I keep saying that, but it's true. I love you much.

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  16. i do so look forward to your posts. they remind me of how beautiful a simple life can be.

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    1. Oh hon, that's such a sweet thing to say, though I feel like my life is anything but simple. Still, I guess our pleasures are rather simple. I hope to see another post from you soon as well. I really like your blog.

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  17. My year's been not too bad so far... I'm back in college again for a 2nd semester and I'm plowing through all my assignments and work ASAP so I can avoid silly last minute stress. It feels a lot like this year is going to hold a lot of changes and new experiences for me though, and that has me excited. I didn't even know miso came in jars, that's news to me. I always make extra rice when I make supper too, it's so great for breakfast, quickly fried up with some scrambled eggs, ham and corn :)

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    1. Oh wow! Color me thoroughly impressed by this technique, I was always the kind to leave the assignments to the last minute. I'm excited to hear more about these changes you've got going. Minus the ham, this could be a dream breakfast. What about frozen peas? I have a serious weakness for those. I almost never get them, but when I do it's like weird christmas! Happy New Year Dear! Big hugs.

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  18. Hi Milla, I'm so glad you found my blog so I could find yours! I've been enjoying reading through your posts and photos with my tea this morning... fellow island girl!

    Truth be told, my year started a bit shaky. My Dad ended up in the hospital very, very sick and there was a point we weren't sure which way it would go. I took a hike up the mountain one day when my thoughts were especially stuck in worry and for some reason asked for a sign. I thought to myself, if I find a feather my Dad will be okay. A few minutes later I found not a feather, but a nest! Indeed, he is now recovering and getting stronger each day. I am hopeful that the tough part of this year is now past, and that I continue to see the signs that are always there, reassuring, reminding me that life is unfolding as it should.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, dear. But so happy he's gonna be alright. How intense and stressful. Looking for signs is exactly what I do in an ambiguous, uncertain situations too! I've gotten some weird ones over the years...
      Thanks you for your kind words, I'm glad you enjoy my little log. It's so fun how people in similar places lead their lives, similar and dissimilar. Have you seen my friend Lissa's blog? It's another look at Island life: http://barnaclebags.com/blog

      Hope your New Year keeps getting better forom a crappy start.

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    2. Yes, I have seen Lissa's blog... I love her bags! I also recently made a connection with Eleanor (of Wild Beloved) through my blog, who I think is also over there on your fair island. Seems the wind is blowing us Salish Sea women together!

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  19. I think for me 2014 is going to be the year of getting back to work. Like having an actual job! That's been my focus of late and there has finally started to be some movement in that direction. It's both scary and exciting :)

    I hope I get a chance to see you at some point this year! I'm missa-ing you <3

    Also, I LOVE that C. is always so unknowingly on point with the days trends! Haha, Letterman jacket, too perfect.

    Love you!!!

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    1. I know right, my hub is such an unintentional hipster, right? And I'm excited to hear more about this job business. I miss-a you too. I think we've gotta make pretty damn sure that we see each other every year from here on out, okay? It's an annual American tradition, like the superbowl (which I until about five years ago thought was called the superball), or Cheesecake day. LOVE YOU!!!!

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  20. What a great blog you have here :) and Im happy to follow.

    Check out my blog today...my decor crush on a Fab. Swedish appartment :)

    Have a great day dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - inredning it's, Swedish for decor :)

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