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Submitted Monday, November 2-- wait is it still Monday?? I swear it's been dark since noon. #notreally

Last week we had a windstorm. The worst in something like 200 years. 70mph wind gusts, branches in the windows (not ours, thankfully), cardboard strewn all over the yard (yep, that one's us). It was big and it was sometimes-scary and the power went out for four hours, then it came back on for about three minutes (yayy!), then it went back out for another . . . forever (arghhg). Once the power was finally back on for good things seemed promising, but somehow the power forgot to bring with it the rest of modern life as we know it, so that was inconvenient. My phone wouldn't send or receive text messages at will and Gmail decided to stop delivering my mail to me, like, all together. No emails! For a week! But lots of phone calls from people being like, I'm EMAILING you what's the DEAL! Talking on the phone isn't fun but it turns out it's not THAT bad. Though trying to binge watch Netflix while the wifi isn't sure it remembers how to work . . . I mean, we have important business to attend to, people! 

And then the Jeep up and stopped working. Soooooo . . . WHY??

Speaking of Netflix.

Did I mention it got dark at 9AM today?

Picture it: You've got B watching Mad Men on the iPad, me watching The West Wing on the laptop, Huck watching Disney Junior on the TV . . . all in the same room upstairs, all on the same futon, empty string cheese wrappers EVERYWHERE, needlepoint stuff off to one side. Sad translation of the term "Netflix and Chill," am I right?

Well. The West Wing? My new coping strategy for the worst parts of the Clomid (day 9 through ALL OF IT) is thinking about the Buddha (oh, the Clomid rage!) and watching lots of Netflix. 

I'm just kidding about the Buddha. 

So I finally finished The West Wing today (lots of fast forwarding through Jimmy Smits scenes, sorry dude, I just want Josh and Donna to kiss already). I cried like a blubbering baby (BARTLET FOR AMERICA!) (SAM SEABORN!!), as you do, and now that that's accomplished I am now prepared to engage in the all-important next step in The Great Netflix Experience (which mirrors The Great Reading Harry Potter Experience), which is the Rough Re-Entry Into Real Life experience. And how inadequate does it make me feel that I'm looking around me and I'm like,"This isn't the White House! I don't work at the White House! Nobody is racing around me with witty banter! I have nothing important to do! How did this house get so messy?!!" 

And how cute is Josh Lyman? He's kind of a creep but also, mostly pretty cute. #redheads 

Then you walk around collecting empty Diet Coke cans and fishing that pillow out from between the couch cushions and clearing all your abandoned socks and blankets and sweatshirts from your Netflix nest of garbage all the while you're like, "I'm pretty sure I have something I should be doing right now . . . what was it?"

It takes you a minute! You know.

Luckily my email finally decided to get its act together this morning. I woke up this morning to 300 not-junk unread emails after going to bed with zero. THREE HUNDRED!?!?

(Soooo, if you emailed me this week . . . I AM SO SORRY!)

Anyway, that's the update from the sticks. Post-storm clean up. Clomid storms, Netflix storms, windstorms, car trouble storms, ramping-up-to-the-holidays-needlepoint-gifts storms. We are in storm repair mode. 

(Though I might already be ready for another Netflix binge instead. Let's just say I've been operatically singing "Cloooo-miiiiid" a lot these days. Any series recommendations?) 

The end.



If you like . . . I now present an ode unto soup weather. 

Oh, soup weather! Soup weather is my favorite weather. It's also Brandon's favorite food. After spaghetti. He likes to order the soup of the day whenever we go out to eat. I think that's funny. Who orders soup? Well, Brandon orders soup and I'll tell you why I think that's weird. Because soup is an at-home food. You know what I mean?

Soup is an "at home with you and cold toes and a blanket and a 'this will cure everything'" attitude food. Soup is a determination food! Soup is a "here, let this help you" food.

It's also a pantry busting food, when you're like, I also have this can of beans? . . . Whatever, throw it in.

(We once got a curry carrot soup once from a restaurant over on 6th that nearly blew my mind, so don't take this as gospel or anything.)

I like soup because I like making soup. And eating it, but making it is the best. It simmers on the stove and everything just feels good. I think I may have rambled on about this in the past. But it's too much vegetables and herb bits for the small guy, at least the way I like to make it, and so soup right now is a just-me and B thing and Huck just gets to play third string with his peanut butter sandwich. You say "soup" and Huck gets this look on his face like maybe I've just suggested worms. But let's knock that off! Yeah?

Slight subject change? I've been trying to take advantage of our porch this autumn whenever possible. It's crappy and it leaks, but it's there! And it often has views of chicken rumps, so, what on earth could be better than that. So most days when the sun is out we try to take our lunch to the picnic table to get some fresh air. Tomato was our menu. Tomato Soup with some grilled cheese? Forget it. We got some goals. 

Buuuuuut it was a tiny bit freezing that day.

Right, Huck? So we brought it indoors. 

Hey kid, don't spill. ;)



Over the weekend, after what was I think a tough, stupid week for all of us (understatement), I got to throw a little dinner party for some of our friends with our new sponsor, Mouth

It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Also I got to set the table with all my fancy fixins I never get to use!

All I'm saying here is that a dinner party with friends you love is a cure for whatever ails you. Big heartaches and little alike. 

Alexis brought over Chicken Tarragon Soup and we served it in bread bowls. And then we busted out the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack on Spotify and, look. HYGGE, SON!

One of the best parts of the night was when my friend Nate stood up with the bowl of chocolate covered Cheerios in his hands and said, "OH. MY. GOSH. EVERYBODY. HAS. TO TRY. THIS NOW." It about made me glow with cheesy happiness. I used to buy the not-Jacque Torres version IN BULK at the Trader Joe's in Brooklyn whenever they were in stock, and yeeeeeeees son. I was so excited when I saw Mouth carried them that I had actual exclamation marks hovering over my  head. !!!!!  

A few more photos from our night now, as is blog custom.

I'm a lucky girl to have these friends. They all brought all their kids, too, because a party should be a party for everybody, that's my general theory. So Huck and all his buddies had themselves a pizza and a movie party upstairs, and we hardly heard a peep from them all evening. 

(Cupcakes make excellent babysitters.) 

Friends with fat babies.

And a quick Chicken Tarragon Soup recipe . . . now!

1 roasted chicken taken off the bone
5 tlbs butter
3 cups sliced leeks
3 tlbs flour
4 c chicken stock
4 c heavy cream heated (Alexis says she throws some goat cheese in here too, just for funsies)
1 tlb tarragon, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 lemon, juiced and zested

Sautee leeks in melted butter in a large soup pot. Add salt and cook till translucent. Add flour slowly until mixture has thickened, then add heavy cream, a half cup at a time, while stirring, and then the stock, same method. Add tarragon, lemon juice + zest, pulled chicken, mix it all up, let it simmer 10 minutes. Enjoy!



Well hiiiiiiiii.

And now for an assortment of completely off-topic topics for your pleasure. It's probably going to be hideously long because it's been five millennia since I've been up in this joint. 


Item one. Clomid boobs. Are not to be trusted. 

Item two. So I have these chickens?

Look at them colluding on something all cute like. I'm onto you, ladies! 

So we've taken to calling them The Ladies and The Babies. Well, *I've* taken to calling them The Ladies + Babies. Those're my girls. Gosh I love those turkeys. I look forward to letting them out in the morning and surmising their evening activities (today I walked in on five individual circles in the straw, each the perfect size of a chicken butt, like mysterious crop circles--were they trying to send me a message?; the other morning I came in to find all eight of them battling for space on the coop window ledge, poor Cuddles front + center getting smooshed all to heck, her little face pressed against the chicken wire, all of them packed in there tight with one Cuddles eyeball sending me an acute expression of alarm mingled a knowing understanding that that spot in the front means she's boss, and that's worth something, so she'll take it like a champ), and I look forward to ushering them up the hill and tucking them into bed at night. 

Somebody always has an attitude about something

I find it delightful!

Huck only likes The Babies because he has decided he is their mom, but me and Cuddles, man. 

Tiny Cuddles. She's kind of like my assistant manager. 

She'd be the one to stage a mutiny, I'd bet.

Speaking of the Huckleberry Hero (his chosen alter ego), well, these days we are into buttered noodles. It's buttered noodles all day errday. I like mine with salt and pepper, sometimes thawed peas from the freezer, but really it's just about the butter and the noodles, if you're a Huck. He's a noodle purist. All day. Every. Day.

I used up the last of the carrots from the farmer's market in a SPECTACULAR failure of a supper. 

No, I can call it that now because I live in the sticks. Don't even argue with it.

But the good news is, my Getting Off the Brooklyn Eat-Out Wagon has been successful! (We eat a lot of cereal.)

I've been crocheting dish rags for Christmas presents. It's soothing as all get out. 
(Sorry for spoiling the surprise, sissies!)

(The water filter is a Soma and I love it.)

Dressing in blankets nearly 100% of the time. (Hat is from Aporta!)

Crunching in leaves that are still hanging on. Though they're starting to get smooshy. 

Points to Idaho for having this policy of nobody raking their leaves, ever

By February it's going to be sliiiiiiiiime. 

Nobody asked me for a picture of a cute red house but here I am, just the same!

In my next life I want to be a red house. 

Get it, Huck!

Okay this is old school out the yin yang and happened a million years ago, but. The other . . . month? . . . Huck met a snow owl.

Is that a snow owl? I don't even remember. BUT LOOK AT HIM, will you? He is perfection. 

As is this dude. The other month I met a pony! 

And then we fell in love. 

A photo from a sunny day in September . . .

And this! From last week.

Good grief. So we are attempting the Danish art of hygge.



on huck: wellies, jeans zara (similar), luvmother sweater, plaid coat old navy (similar)

Not to alarm you or whatever but we haven't seen the upside of 40 degrees since the beginning of last week and I'm not expecting to see it again until half past the second coming, so. 

Pull out your woolens, kids, and hold onto your butts. This is it. 

This is also the first winter in Huck's life wherein a car is involved. Hooray! It has a heater! We're moving up in the world! It also has a stereo, too, but that up and stopped working just this morning, just in time for me to miss out on the all-Christmas radio station that started up finally, so I'm like--you know?? 

You know what else, I don't think having a car in the winter is all that and a bag of chips. Dressing for that dash from the front door to the car door and then surviving those excruciatingly arctic first five minutes before the heater starts pumping and then you're suddenly wearing too many layers is its own kind of torture. It's hard! I have to say, I almost prefer the forty-five layers of coats and walking quickly until your blood heats up method of winter survival. (Guys I miss having to walk.) (As do my skinny jeans.) (#idahospread)

So Huck + I are here today with Luvmother to remind you that wool is your best friend in these scenarios, because it maintains a temperature. It doesn't just heat up till kingdom come. This is especially good with kids, who have the worst temperature gauge of all of god's animals and would happily walk outside in a snowstorm in just their skivvies or else insist on wearing their coats fully buttoned after they've been home a few hours and you're watching their cheeks get redder and redder and you're like, KID. LET ME TAKE THAT OFF FOR YOU. Huck's been living in this gray sweater but we've also really loved this gray hoodie, this gorgeous sweater (elbow patches!), and these cozy sweats for nighttime.

Anyway, Huck has been wearing his Luvmother wool tees and sweaters near daily since the temperatures dipped. They're soft, they're lightweight, they wash + dry in the machine like a champ--they're really beautiful to look at, too. Like, I wish they made these in my size. 

I also like the idea of those old thermal union suits with the bum flaps that you wear while smoking a corn cob pipe and brewing moonshine in your bathtub? 

Idaho dreams.

The end. 



Something fun today from me + Martha Stewart

I love to play the "too early!" game whenever I spot Christmas decorations up in stores too soon after Halloween. Hello, Thanksgiving is to be appreciated. However! I also like to cozy my home up for the holidays as soon as humanly possible, especially once Daylight Savings Time ends and my home becomes a cave that could really use some extra cheer inside. It's a conundrum. And I do mean that sincerely, because look! You either take this kind of stuff seriously or you don't, and those that do, well, you know what I mean here.

So Martha + I (well, the Martha Stewart Living section at The Home Depot and I . . .) are teaming up today to show you a few early holiday decor ideas that are fully Christmas tested and Thanksgiving approved! It's exciting, I know! :)

My trick is wreaths. It is never too early for wreaths. 

I love a wreath sans door, just for the heck of it. 

In the kitchen, I love a more petite wreath, something a little less grand and a little more natural, plus cranberries.

(Bonus Diet Coke in the shot, whoops! :)

I don't have a mantel but I love this garland with it's soft blue-green pine. Don't you think Barry deserves a garland? The oversized lit kissing ball is also sweet. We'll pretend it's mistletoe ;). 

A little sparkle on the way to the commode . . . nothing wrong with that ;)

I'll admit to moving the garland around a bit to find just the right spot. Because that's FUN.

There's no bad place for a garland. 

Mission accomplished! Not too Christmassy, definitely full of cheer.