Monday, February 17, 2014

Turmeric Dream

Sometimes, I have a really hard time finding the time to say what I really want to say.

I mentioned before that I have tons of ideas for posts and am genuinely excited to work on those pieces.   There are "literally" dozens of posts in various stages of (in)completion waiting in my draft-folder. And, I also mentioned that I was really busy working on other things that took priority over this hobby.

Which everyone, of course, was very understanding of. The trouble, it turns out, is what to post between those more substantial, but as of yet, intangible pieces?


A while back, I asked you what kind of content you guys would like from this blog, because, let's not kid ourselves, I no longer write it just for myself. Just as dear Maria predicted, you guys left a lot of really kind comments encouraging me not to change nothing and a few lovely suggestions for topics you enjoy.

While the unanimous love was very sweet and even flattering, it left me with less direction than I had hoped.

From what I've been able to gather from your comments, is that you guys enjoy, knowing what books I read, cats, clothes posts, serious posts, seeing how we live, our surroundings, what we do, even our zany family antics, bless your hearts. You're a easy bunch to please.

Still, I can tell that my relationship with this space continues to be in flux. And its not just this space. It's blogging as a medium. A few years ago I would not have hesitated for a moment to post just a few shots of what a cooked and wore, a sunrise, or a sunset; now I feel like I need to have something to say, to provide content. When there's too many posts in a row that I are just about me, I start worrying about being narcissistic and boring.

This in spite the fact, that for myself I'm always simply delighted when bloggers I read post, regardless of length or amount of insight.

While I enjoy recipes and tips, I'm sometimes hesitant to post them myself, thinking, sometimes even unconsciously, that if I know something, most other people must know it too, therefor making it redundant for me to explain it further. (Hence the whole hair powder thing.) And while I love and miss proper outfit shots being a big part of blogging content, I've started to feel more and more self-conscious about posting them myself. Hence the first picture. I believe the instruction was "Look cute." There's only so many pictures of myself against a wooden wall that I can handle.

Similarly, simple descriptions of the lives and loves of others delight me to no end, yet I suddenly feel self-conscious about posting ten pictures of meals I made.

Before anyone goes "Lighten up and don't take it so seriously." know that it's not like I spend sleepless nights over whether it's okay to post pictures of my food all over the interwebs. I've more or less made my peace with it. I suppose it's just that by nature, I sometimes think hard about the connotations and connections of things in my world.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way: here's a whole post about food. Without any recipes or anything. Because save for a few walks, a drunken karaoke night at the bar, kayaking in the bay in a calm before a storm, that's the only concrete thing I've done all week, and certainly the one with the most pictorial evidence.

A pleasant side effect of writing/ working from home is often that I end up spending a lot of time in my kitchen. In fact, I think that in the last few days, I've shook those cooking doldrums I was complaining about. For one thing, I invented a new oatmeal. Other than oats, it has ten ingredients. Some would say it's less wild than my standard oatmeal with the soft boiled eggs.

For about a month now, I've been obsessed with fresh turmeric. I put it in everything. Tomorrow I think I'm gonna try it in oatmeal. In Ayurveda the turmeric root is considered a great balancer, prized for its cleansing effect on the body. It's considered to be tri-doshic, meaning that it fits all three body types/ temperaments.

One night I had a dream in which I was looking for something. I was walking around in a place full of people I knew asking them if they had seen the something I was looking for. We were digging up flower bulbs, as you do in dreams, randomly. Suddenly in my hands was a huge turmeric root. The next day I went to the health food store and they had just ordered a whole little basket of it. Yes. I am claiming to have had a prophetic dream about food arriving at the grocery store.

And since I'm on the topic of alternative medicine, I might as well reveal that C. is currently completing his second round of antibiotics, because he has staph infection on his foot. After months of trying to treat an ever-worsening bout of contact dermatitis with natural remedies, we finally decided that he needed to have it cultured to make sure that it wasn't fungal. Well, it turns out that medical science hasn't yet figured it out, but the samples did reveal the afore-mentioned infection. The fact that his immune system was able to keep it fairly staple for a long time, is encouraging, but now that he's taking antibiotics he's managed to catch a cold (antibiotics suppress the immune system). It's such a balance to keep, health.

I made him about a million cups of medicinal coldtea with orange peels, rose hips, mint, rose petals, lemon and ginger.

I baked a loaf of Demetria's apple & molasses dutch over bread, and it was both educational and delicious.

This was the first time I've ever baked bread in my dutch oven. Aside from a few mistakes (forgetting to bring the dough upstairs at night to keep it warm), not checking what kind of molasses to use (I used blackstrap 'cos for some reason that's what we always have), it turned out great.

I often talk about "not being a baker", mostly because the strictness of the rules annoy me, but lately it's been much more on my mind. Still, winging it is more my style and that just doesn't really work with baking.  Inge asked for the recipe of the heart crackers in the last post, and maybe next time I make them I can actually come up with one that is official enough to share. With measurement and all.

Honestly I'm rather proud of myself for being able to be in the same room with bread for hours on end and not eating all of it.


This cat eats bread and yogurt. The other cat eats oats. Go figure.

I think my eyeballs are gonna fall off my head, from all this time on a computer. I'm going to bed to dream of food. But answer me, if you would, are you guys down with short and sweet posts with pictures of outfits, or food or cats, or would I be wasting our time?

Goodnight, day.

33 comments:

  1. tuoretta kurkumaa en ole koskaan käyttänyt,mutta ihan saletisti sitä saisi näistä Hakiksen etnisistä. Ehkä voisi kokeilla joskus. Intiassa mä kävin kyllä ayerveda "tohtorilla",ihan hyviä juttuja,jotkut vähän suomen oloihin sopimattomia.
    Ruoka postaus oli hauska vaihteeksi ja tuo leipä näyttää hyvältä!
    Mun on pitänyt kysyä,että mikä mystinen pipettipullo sulla pyörii siellä monen ruokakuvan taustalla? (en ole ollenkaan utelias tai mitään;-P )
    Hauskaa viikkoa!

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    1. Kurkuma! Mikä ihana sana! Just noita vähän käytettyjä sanoja kuullessani makustelen oikein Suomea. Niin kaunis. Siinä on kiva, mieto maku, joka sopii mainiosti esim. inviäärin kanssa komppaamaan. Usein, kun oon noita Ayurveda teoksia lukenut niin juu, etenkin niissä vanhoissa ja perinteisissä tuppaa olemaan semmonen o-ou onpas eksoottista-fiilis, mutta itse käymien luentojen ja uudempien kirjojen perusteella se mistä siinä ite tykkään on soveltaminen. Semmonen ihan aika perus-miltäs-nyt-tuntuu-syötäiskö kevyttä, painavaa, mausteista vai nynnyä ruokaa? Ja se että ruualla hoidetaan ennakoivasti ja akuutistikin. Luulen että se on täällä länsimaissa ehkä se ydin minkä siitä voi ottaa.

      Pipetitkin liittyvät terveyteen (saa ja kannattaa kysyä) eli siellä on meidän lääkkeet ("Lääkkeet!"-Pasila-huumori). Tossa on (ja nyt en osaa suomeksi niitäkään vähiä mitkä on suomeksi-apua!) nokkosuutetta allergioihin ja vitamiineiksi ja mun nivelille, macah (ei mitään hajua) hormoonien tasapainottamiseen ja (kiitos translate) mäkikuismaa (kuukautis-hitto näitä hormooneja!)masennukseen. Pidetään tossa pöydällä että muistettais ottaa.
      Iloista viikkoa! Meenkin heti tsekkaaman oisitko päivittänyt sun lokia, koska, sain vissiin sen saman hiton taudin mikä tolla ukollakin on.

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    2. Kipeisiin niveliin samainen tohtori antoi sellaista melko pahan hajuista öljyä,joka oli pakattu sellaiseen ruskeaan lasipulloon ja sitä kun hieroi niin kyllähän se auttoi,mutta koko kylppärikin haisi sitten aika hauskalta. Naureskelin,että mitähän finskillä tykkäisivät jos koettaisin kuljettaa suomeen. Sisälsi ainakin kamferiöljyä. No niin,nyt nukkumaan. Iltasatukin jo luettu ja meikällä älypuhelin käytössä. Paranemisia:)

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  2. You write that your "relationship with this space continues to be in flux" as it's a bad thing, but what I'm trying to get through my thick skull right now is that everything is always in flux. As a Virgo (if that means anything to anyone) I'd love to find a problem, think it through, find a Perfect Solution, file it and consider the matter settled but everything depends on everything else and the world is way too complex to develop a constant unchanging procedures to deal with it. Which is the biggest discovery of my life so far but also incredibly annoying. It turns out I need to think, like, all the time. Gah!
    ;)
    But, anyway. I think what people meant when they told you that they like all kinds of your posts (and certainly what I meant) was that they simply like YOU. I mean, it's like having a friend. Sometimes they have something deeper, more important to talk about and it can lead to a great discussion and lots of learning and I always love when it happens. But with friends I mostly just... hang out. Actually, the best friends I have are the ones that just come by sometimes and both of us just do whatever we have to do. Like I cook a dinner and they do something on their computer and we talk a little or listen to music, but mostly just do what we do but together, in the same room. Sort of like a family? So that's what I want from you, on this blog. I want to hang out. No matter if you're in a mood to discuss something or share your thoughts on some serious matter or just want to show your new dress or tell that you eat oatmeal with soft boiled eggs (what?! how?! in Poland oatmeal is _always_ sweet!). Just, you know, do your thing, whatever strikes your fancy. I'm here because I like you and I like you the same in all kinds of posts you write. Maybe except the ones about bees, but that's only because I'm deathly scared of those little devious, plotting-my-death rascals.

    Also, I had no idea what turmeric root really looks like and now I know! :)

    a.

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    1. Thank you. And thanks for stopping by. I've missed your lovely insights. And not to pressure you, but when are going to start that blog of yours that I too could read ;) I would be so stoked. I'd love to learn about life in Poland, sadly I know only the very basics of history and politics and almost nothing of people's daily lives.

      You are right about the constant flux of everything. And I mean, I know it…I guess I'm just annoyed when things continue to take up thought-space, when I had felt like I already thought them through.

      I seem to remember that you're allergic to bees, is that true? Or are you afraid of them for more esoteric reasons? My husband is actually scared of insects, particularly ones that crawl on you and I'm really impressed that he's been able to do bee work as much as he has been.

      Hahaha! In Finland oatmeal is a mix of sweet and savory, at its plainest just a speck of butter in the middle, where as cream of wheat is sweet with sugar and cinnamon. I was already crazed with putting stuff in and heard about a friend who puts in a soft-boiled egg. Tried it and was sold. It's nice too, because sometimes mere oatmeal is not a big enough meal. That's my two more cents about oatmeal. Like my hair it's apparently the topic that keeps on giving ;D

      Anyways I just wanted to thank you for visiting. As they say here in the States "it's nice to visit with you". Stay warm.

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    2. Turns out that starting a blog is a complicated matter. Sometimes I think I don't need one, sometimes I think I need five. I always think about starting a blog when I'm thinking through some problem, like right now, when I'm struggling (yet again) with matters of faith and religion and I just need to write stuff down to maybe organize my thoughts. But that would be incredibly boring to everyone, I'm afraid, and noone would read it, so what's the point? And that's how it goes. I always just go back to writing my silly stories.

      As to oatmeal - it IS an important topic! Oatmeal is a basis of my existence! I start every day with oatmeal and it is incredibly important part of my everyday morning ritual. And it's cheap. Yay for oatmeal!

      I am mildly allergic to bees (nothing very dangerous happens, it just hurts like hell) but mostly I'm just scared of insects, I have no idea why. I can deal with most of them but anything stripey like bees, wasps etc sends me out of a room. Which is a shame, really. Some time ago I wrote an article about bees and honey and part of it was about the cultural meaning of both (I just love topics like that!) and I was actually very fascinated with bees and all the meanings people gave them, all the symbols they are associated with. I would really like them if they weren't evil stripey insects.

      a.

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  3. I don't comment often here, but I have been reading your words for a few years now and I think you have a great balance in this space! I always learn something from you, even if it's just that you wore a yellow scarf today or ate oatmeal. I'm someone who is fascinated by the minutiae of people's lives so these things don't seem boring to me. Your post on feminism was one of the best posts I've ever read, anywhere - I learned so much and was finally able to put a finger on my struggle with defining my own opinions on feminism. So, thank you. But that post was huge and thoughtful and so well researched - and took some time for me to digest. That's why having the posts like this to break it up seems like a great idea to me.

    Also, what msh said above. All of that. Except for the bees. I like the bees :)

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  4. Short posts on cats, clothes and food are perfect and I too agree with msg - it's nice just to pop in and see what's happening in your world. Love your words Milla wether they're short and sweet or long and involved.

    Sarah

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  5. I think that as long as your writing a blog you would enjoy reading, you're doing the right thing, right? I love the fact that you offer so much substance here. I can't skim your posts. I really puzzle over things you write about for a long time (still thinking over your feminism post). And I love that blogs give you/ us so much freedom to experiment. Flux it up! And keep making me think about new things and old things I've forgotten to think about.

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  6. I love these pictures of food! And your prophetic dream of turmeric!

    M.

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  7. Vilijonkka: "Aiotko sinä aina olla samanlainen?"
    Mymmeli: "Sitä minä todellakin toivon!"
    (Muumilaakson marraskuu)

    Kyllä, me hengaillaan sun kanssa. Sanoissa, kuvissa, bittiavaruuteen luomassasi pikku universumissa. Me pohditaan, samaistutaan, katsellaan kauniita kuvia. Nauretaan (hieno irvistyskuva!), otetaan vakavasti ja joskus myös varsin heppoisesti. Mitä muuta vois edes toivoa <3.

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  8. Absolutely I enjoy posts like this. Also, I love tapatio. It's my favorite hot sauce.

    I also enjoy your long researched post. The combination is one of the things that makes your blog so good. Keep on, lady.

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  9. i saw that bread post on demetria's blog last week, it still looks really good! i might have to make it. of course i enjoy these posts a lot. i just like reading what you have to say, period.

    i had a dream i came and visited you last night. all i remember is getting there and having to leave again the next day and i was super bummed that i didn't plan to stay longer. oh and there were lots of trees and huge rushing river that looked as if it was on the verge of flooding everything. it was good to see you, even if it wasn't IRL :)

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  10. i would love short posts! it's kind of like sex - sometimes you want to have long, luxurious, sex that takes lots of time and energy. but sometimes you just want to do it real quick and get one with your day....maybe without even taking all your clothes off!! both are of equal value, depending on the moment, you know? sorry for the crass metaphor. but we love you for you, not for any particular formula that you create. XO

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  11. I appreciate short posts as much as long ones! Sometimes inspiration can come from short and sweet, too! Of course, I enjoy your words. You are such a thoughtful person (and I mean that in both senses: full of thought, and considerate of others). Also, that bread looks amazing!!!

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  12. Dear Girl Who Married a Bear. I am someone who discovered your blog when a friend posted a link to your 'Radical Feminist' post. I have been hooked ever since. You should keep writing whatever it is you feel like, at the end of the day people keep coming back because it is the unpredictability (at least for me) that is so fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and keep em' coming :)

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  13. Well, I fully agree with every comment above! And I'm not surprised you had a prophetic dream about fresh turmeric root arriving soon at the store. Seeing it in person (so to speak) makes me realize it's obviously a cousin of fresh ginger, which I use in everything - from yogurt to cocoa to soup, and of course in all my hot teas. So I'll start looking for this fresh turmeric cousin right now :o) ... It's funny because I was hesitating about including a recipe or two in my next post, for the very reason you mention. So I might, after all :o)

    Also, I am unable to remain in the same room as (gluten-free) bread without eating it all by the end of the day. Which is why I can't bake any, or even buy some (fortunately the price is a good barrier). This shows how discipline is a weird thing, since I am perfectly able to leave a loaf of bread untouched if it does contain gluten, though its wonderful scent appeals to me as much as ever.

    Last but not least, this turmeric-coloured scarf is such a beauty, and what a great match for your blue outfit! I do believe colours participate in our happy, healthy energy level each day. This picture makes me smile big!

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  14. So okay with the short and sweet posts, Milla! This is definitely not an all-or-nothing type deal ("omg, this is so short, this word count is ridiculous, she should have just not posted anything"). Whether or not I have a chance to write out a thoughtful comment (I try, aahhh), I always love seeing a new post from you on my feed. And I wish I had access to that draft folder, I want to see what you're working on >:)

    On the turmeric note, I recently discovered the most delicious tea concoction: turmeric, lemon, ginger, honey, coconut oil and hot water. Easily my new favorite. Also just another example to prove that you can put coconut oil in *everything*.

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  15. Yes! We love any and all Milla posts. Short outfits ones are so fun too :) This brings to mind something I've been thinking about- Instagram. I didn't understand what hash tagging even was about a month ago. I still don't understand why people do it on facebook. But, anyway, I've gotten much more into it for the fact that it is a quick pic and a few words. It's making me wonder what sort of person I've become..., but alas perhaps that is a post for another day.

    Also sorry to hear about C.. but great to know he is in such good hands!

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  16. i am down with whatever you post, which i know is general and not very helpful, but it's the truth. i'm interested in you as a whole person so the big and little details are all important, in my opinion.
    i looooove tumeric. it's amazing. i make myself a drink every night with rice or almond milk, raw honey, tumeric, ginger, cayenne, and cinnamon. i have a boatload of physical issues, and tumeric seems to help ease them immensely.

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    1. Thanks hon, I'm so sorry to hear about your boatload. It does sound like turmeric would be good for any kind of bodily imbalance, just balancing out is really helpful. That's what I like about Ayurveda-illness=imbalance. Then you just figure out what kind and how to help balance it. I know it's not that simple, but I do love the whole food-as-medicine, work-at-it-everyday-aspect. Sounds like you're creating your own balance. Hugs to you.

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  17. I can't remember how I found your blog (last year sometime) but what first drew me in were the pictures. I enjoy your longer posts because they often make me think about stuff -- I don't always agree with you, but I like that too! Sometimes you need your notions challenged. But even with the longer posts I like the images you choose. And I like your short posts too, because sometimes we don't have enough brain power to process all the dense information! Well, I don't anyway, but I'm sure I'm not the only one... Also you live in a completely different environment to me, so I find it interesting when you talk about the day-to-day stuff too.

    I also like how you break up your posts, no matter what length, with images, rather than sticking all the images together at the top of the post like many bloggers do --I find it's quite tiring to read when you have to scroll up and down the page to see the images that go with the text, so thank you for not doing that :) (although it bugs me a bit that you don't always credit sources, but hey)

    My thing at the moment is fennel seeds. If you heat them in oil they have a more intense flavour (like garlic) which brings out the inherent sweetness in things, or else nicely complements more savoury/umami things.

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    1. Fennel seeds! I put those into my little crackers because I didn't have cumin seeds. What all do you use them for? Do you break them up in a mortar, or put them in whole?

      I love it when people don't agree with me, especially in a written format. In real life it way too often devolves into super juvenile "I'm right, you're wrong, because…"-type of posturing, especially in this culture (no offense US, but your debate culture leaves somethings to be desired...) but in type, I really enjoy a lively debate, because the arguments are so thoughtful, even if we have to agree to disagree. Which is a fine solution by me.

      I also didn't want to come off whiny, or fish for complements, it's just that I have these genuinely well(ish)-organized thoughts on this subject and right now it just seems overwhelming to even think about writing them down, yet I'm excited to. White. People. Problems. ;)

      Oh hey did you mean image sources, or research sources? I don't really use as many images by other folks as I use to and I usually try credit them, or you get to them by clicking the original image (I feel like on the internet that's plenty of credit) and I use commons way more often now, which I still sometimes like to credit 'cos it's great resource, but also like to not, because that's the point of commons as well. I have a lot of thoughts about images online, actually and maybe they'll be a part of a bigger post sometime in the not too distant future, who knows? As for crediting sources on research, since so much of my information is previously acquired and this is not a research paper, I usually just provide links to more info rather than try to figure out sources. But again I don't know what credit you meant, so…

      Thanks for reading and being kind and inspiring and YES argue back whenever you feel like it ;) Stay warm and don't get rained on too much m'dear. Are the magnolias blooming yet? That was always my favorite time there...

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    2. I usually just chuck the seeds into the oil when it's hot (I'm too lazy for crushing them as well!) -- they go in sauces, soups, stews, warm salads etc etc. I tried it with all sorts to see what they go with and it turns out they seem to go with everything I tried... :)

      re: images, I meant the pics that aren't by you. I know they're usually commons pics (and I love that! Commons is so excellent), but e.g. on the feminism post I wanted to see where they came from... So that was all. Not like "HEY you must provide a bibliography or it's meaningless!"

      I actually did spot a magnolia tree was starting to bud last week (I can't remember where) but it's early! They're not quite in bloom yet though. I'll try and get some pics when they are!

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  18. Outfits, food and cats. Three of my absolute favorite things. I'm off to look up some ways to use Tumeric!

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  19. You write it, I'll read it! I especially love the photos you add to your blog. You bring happiness to alot of readers, myself included! xx

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  20. I just noticed the other day that our grocery had turmeric roots----in fact, I mistook one briefly for ginger, in my rush to get the shopping done. I put it back, but I'll have to try it because I'm sure fresh turmeric tastes different from the powder.

    I like your longer, thoughtful posts---so much of the internet these days is just rudimentary text with an emphasis on the visual.
    But I think its good to break up the longer, more essay-like posts with some short, pictoral ones as well.

    Of course, it's your blog, your stream of consciousness, so let it flow how you will. Have enjoyed it all so far :)

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  21. Ok, I've been reading your blog for several years now but almost never comment. Today, as the top picture of you and your outfit slowly pixelated onto my old laptop screen, I shouted out, "Oh, I love it!" And then went on to read of your angst about what to post, how, etc. I'm giggling because no, usually I don't yell as I see the content appear on a blog I enjoy; clearly, you're doin something I like. Then I thought Turmeric Dream might refer to dying that amazing yellow scarf? Nope, all food and health, which I also appreciate. Which is to say: I love this blog because you, like I, enjoy a lot of different parts of life. You can talk about the intricacies of clothing with as fitting an intensity as you use to address environmental devastation and political disappointments. There is an element of "lifestyle envy" when I see your mushroom walks, your seaside hikes, and the sunlit wooden clutter in your little home. But more than envy I feel a welcome reminder to pay attention to my own life and the little marvels in it. So thank you for posting about each tiny or overwhelming thought you choose to give time to develop. I'd love to see more of your analytical writing about current events, just because I know you have it in you and I know it takes perhaps more gumption and time to get it out, and I like it. But yes, keep doing what you're doing. I love it. And thanks.

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  22. Ah Milla I'm glowing over here looking at a recipe of mine made in such a lovely place! It looks beautiful!
    And I understand your concerns about content and narcissism, I find myself thinking about that sort of thing an awful lot and then wondering why I spend so much brain energy and presence time worrying about such things.

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  23. I seem to remember discovering your blog about this time last year when I was searching for recipies for yummy things to make with nettles. I was instantly enthralled by the wide variety of topics you write about...including recipes and outfit posts (what a breath of fresh air from other blogs, even if your prairie dresses do make me a tad jealous!)

    Other things I've enjoyed reading about since (aside from the "heavy posts") are meditation, gardening experiments, insights into your Island community (I'm a nosy soul after all) and espeacially anything relating to plants/foraging/wild crafting and the suchlike.

    Like everyone else, I love what you do here - merci!

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  24. It's funny that you feel the need to communicate something of import in your posts whereas I am moving away from that. Some of my more recent posts had no words at all, just photos! Thing is though, even if all your posts are about you and you-things, it's not selfish, because you are sharing with us. You are taking the time to put that out in the world for those of us who follow you, which is pretty selfless, so far as I am concerned. And I would be more than happy to see short posts of the little things, I enjoy those because there's no pretentiousness involved.

    And your stove? Is that an old fashioned wood stove? Because if so, I now admire you a bizzilion times more, and am also a little bit jealous. Not to mention baking bread in a dutch oven! I've worked in two bakeries and had strict pastry instruction from top chefs and the idea of trying that intimidates even me. You are a wonder :)

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  25. "staph infection on his foot"...Coconut oil!!! :)

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