Monday, November 28

until the sunlight, then

from the ferris wheel
view from the santa monica ferris wheel

the teacup tree

all shot with my canon, kodak gold 200, from my visit to jen's house

I really like being let loose in someone else's house to take photos. I see all kinds of inspiring details and get to bring them home with me, on film. I've been trying to photograph my own house lately, because we've made some changes (and put the tree up!) but the sunlight hasn't been cooperating.

Perhaps soon.

xo brooke


Thursday, November 24

40 items of gratefulness

1. sushi
2. that orange morning light when I wake up then fall back asleep
3. the scent of a good paperback
4. writing checks
5. melty chocolate doggy eyes
6. nasturtiums
7. scrabble
8. coupons
9. apple crisp
10. stripes
11. japanese paper lanterns
12. woodfire smoke smell
13. early bedtime
14. orange juice
15. earth smell
16. wax paper
17. smartwool socks
18. cloth napkins
19. wooden cutting boards
20. yellow rugs
21. tiny framed things
22. toe polish
23. composting
24. handknits (not by me though: I don't know how)
25. twinings tea
26. good recipes
27. geraniums at the library
28. easypass
29. real maple syrup
30. velvet, flannel, corduroy
31. postcards
32. woodpeckers
33. taking off the dogs' collars so they stop jingling
34. sandpaper
35. buckwheat pillows
36. consignment
37. haiku
38. vitamins
39. rocks with holes in them
40. sculpey

Hope you have lots to be thankful for today ~ happy thanksgiving!

xo brooke


Tuesday, November 22

a bit of inward

Rainy here, and the words haven't been forming in my mind lately to share anything much of interest. I wish they were flowing, but...

They aren't. The rain is. We looked at another house today, on some acreage, with a pond. There were willows, and I found a praying mantis egg case. I don't know how we find these places, but we go and look and one of these days we'll find our spot. The spot we want to be living on for a long time to come ~ private, with lots of wildlife just out the door, and room to grow, room to be simple. It's hard to wait.

It's really hard to wait for the things you want, you know?


photo by tim

Sunday, November 20

the darkness of the delicate days

Tim and I went for a hike for his birthday through woods whistling with a stiff breeze. All the leaves are down and the quiet forest floor hid the sound of plume-tailed deer who watched us warily, curiously. Somehow the transition into winter is a bit bewildering. I just don't think I'm quite ready for all this darkness yet. But I know the solstice is in view and soon the days will be growing longer again.

Anyone have any fun thanksgiving plans? I don't usually decorate for christmas very early at all, but this weekend I might start putting some of my favorite vintage holiday things up, just for the cheer and sparkle.

xo brooke


Thursday, November 17

a very merry birthday

it's his birthday

It's his birthday today. True to form, he has not yet decided what he wants to do. Last evening was a large family party and I made a big cake and tried my hand at spelling 'happy birthday' across it in homeade white icing, only I spelled 'happy birtday' instead.

But he got the point.

Happy birthday, tim! Welcome to 32.


Sunday, November 13

bookshelves are better than diamonds

bookshelves are better than diamonds

bookshelves are better than diamonds

someone found the new blue velvet chair

We built new bookshelves this week, in the alcoves. I can't stop looking at them, sitting by them, picking out old favorites.

And someone has been building a friendship with the blue velvet chair.


Saturday, November 12

the spider

the spider

taken in canada this summer, at the cabin

I waited for her for hours, camera in hand, sitting on the stone step in the hill which was covered in pine needles. She sat mostly in her tiny tunnel, legs folded forward like umbrella spokes, waiting for that tell-tale jiggle with a heartbeat in tow which could not be tempted by pine needles gently tossed onto her web. When a moth finally appeared she was out in the center of her wheel quicker than a gasp.


Friday, November 11

the sunset has been toasting itself into evening all week long

This week, there was a morning when I woke up suddenly, very early, and the sunrise was streaming into the room and throwing patches of orange-rose squares on the walls. Everything looked different with long blue-gray shadows. It was startling to think that this happens every day and I sleep through it.

There was that moment when I found the tiny bird's skull in the garden.

There was a night when I went for a walk and the sunset slowly toasted itself into evening above the blush, and that sort of wonderful taupe tinted with pink ~ the trees heavy with foliage, torn edges frittering themselves away and down to the ground. The moon was so white, so round against the colors, bobbing along on my walk with me, hiding and reappearing from between branches and above houses, moving at a terrific pace; I could hardly keep up with it. Then it found itself softly over a field, soaring as slow as the day is long.

The afternoon my parents came for lunch, sharing bear and moose and eagles stories from their trip to Glacier this summer, my mom with feathers and shed rattlesnakeskin and thrifted books for me.

And a day just after breakfast when tim and I went to the park, at my request, and hiked up on the flood-bared trails, a rustling smooth path of leaves leading into yellow tunnels of fall sunshine. The weather was warm for november, and we sat by the creek on our different rocks, in sight of each other but not within talking distance, and I looked at driftwood and watched the shadows underwater shift, the green water carrying its load of yellow leaves. The empty hummingbird nest was gone, swept away by last month's hurricane. I could see tim sipping his coffee, through the trees, perched on his rock, and I could feel the chill of winter in mine under me.

It's been a good few days here.


Monday, November 7

a day with the olde family photos

My uncle, nailing his siblings (quite efficiently) with the hose.

Old family photos. Been scanning boxes of them this afternoon. Sometimes there are special little mistakes or objects ~ a feather, an old camera, the shadow of the photographer. I look and marvel and inspect, trying to recognize myself in those people.

An unknown relative, yet one of my favorite photos. Ocean city, new jersey. A classic shot.

PopPop holding, I think, my mother. It's so hard to tell at that age, especially when they're bald.

And to the right, my mother for sure, saucy yet stylish at 15 months.

lillian feeding the birds

Someone, I'm not sure who, peeking and taking a photo of my great-grandmother Lillian, who is feeding birds from her hand.

The ubiquitous 'farm dog on a chair' snapshot. There were more than one of these, and in fact most of the photos with my grandmom or her mom have at least one dog in them. If you look closely, this dog is wearing some kind of bow tie.

elly loved the chickens

Grandmom Elly with her pet chicken, of course.

One of the farm horses. This photo is why digital will never be better than real film. (I say boldly.)

Look at that snowy field. It looks just like mashed potatoes.

PopPop (to the right) sawing wood when he was a mailman in alaska during WWII. Oh, the icicles on that tent, and he without gloves.

bear, alaska, WWII

PopPop apparently allowed bears to get foolishly close to him while serving in alaska.

I go crazy for pictures like the one on the left. The poetic trees almost transparent in the sunshine, the crisp arctic shadows, the cool taste of the well water in his cup, the classic white tee, the wooden planks.

That's my PopPop while he was a single man in alaska, wooing my grandmom long-distance with letters. To the right is him playing horsey later with my mom (the letters worked, smart man.)

On his wedding day, with a friend and their cameras! He's taking a photo of my grandmom, his new bride. She wore yellow. A wartime wedding in the country.

And later on, my cheeky uncle (or again, it might be my's so hard to tell at that age...) in a wonderful old stroller, in front of the Nicholson Bridge, iconic to my family.

And grandmom Elly with her son, my uncle, strong little lad. She sewed her own shorts and halter tops.


Elly. I love finding photos of her I haven't seen. She's been gone almost a year.

A big box full of photos of animals, places, shrubbery, gardens, fields, homes that no longer exist, people without any names. But at the time it was all as fresh as things are now. Life is funny.


Sunday, November 6

sweet sweet home





Don't be fooled ~ my home is an absolute mess right now. Yesterday I found a blue velvet chair at the thrift shop and put it into the back of my car ~ trunk open, tied in with twine ~ for the ride home. It fit in like it was always here, and I keep nestling into it for a chapter or two. That seems more important than putting away 26 half-finished projects.

This morning we rolled out of bed, threw on our warm and woollies and went to our favorite spot for brunch. Tim tried the pumpkin french toast, I, the quiche lorraine. Then the dog got walked.

The sunlight is already fading, and that was our day.

I think I'll make a cup of tea, and tidy a bit. Although if blue velvet calls to me again, nothing much might get done.

xo brooke


Saturday, November 5

fall is a heady draught


The last vestiges of summer are glorifying themselves into pure sunshine these days. Tim and I went for a hike this week, crunching through bracken and spotting white deer tails bounding away from our noise. We followed the horse hooftracks through the woods and the mud from all the recent rain was prodigious. At one point I looked down and there at my feet was a huge hawk feather. A kingfisher flew chattering down the river, and more than once we caught sight of the unexpected blood red of the woodpeckers. We spent a long time just tossing pebbles into the creek, listening to the different sproink!s they made.

The nights are cold and jupiter floats above. I go out each night to look for a moment at her, and her four moons, through my binoculars. It seems rather amazing that she's right there, real, with moons, just for the looking.


Friday, November 4

yesterday was a little anniversary

pentax, fuji 200 film

The anniversary of my first cappuchino. I tend to pay attention to firsts. Exactly 5 years ago yesterday, I drank this cappuccino. I was in Italy. I had been engaged for 7 days. Tim and I were at a little cafe which hung out over the sea on the rocky northern coast, and the sea breeze blew salt into my mouth and my hair into my face. The drink was both bitter and sweet and I had a paperback tucked full of postcards in my bag, and I brought one out and drew a little picture of the cappuccino, with a little drop of the coffee in the center.

I never did end up sending that postcard to my friend and have it still, sewn into my journal, with that drop.


Tuesday, November 1

the summer of water and sunshine

holga, kodak gold 200 film

holga, kodak gold 200 film

canon, 50mm lens, kodak gold 200 film

holga, kodak gold 200 film, harvesting hops

canon, 50mm lens, kodak gold 200 film

holga, kodak gold 200 film

holga, kodak gold 200 film

canon, 50mm lens, kodak gold 200 film

All film shots from this summer, at the ocean, at the cabin, at home. Outdoors. And as you can see, mostly with tim as my model. I shall pursue the habit of turning the camera on myself more.

I am so happy to be using film again, although I feel a bit wobbly still from the long hiatus. Wobbly is good though, I think ~ keeps me on my toes.

Now there is snow outside, a load of wood stacked out back and a roaring fire at my back as I type, a warm and sleepy dog at my feet, potato-leek soup a-boil. I keep checking on the swallowtail caterpillars and so far, they seem to be doing fine out there. I hope they make their chrysalis' soon, because this is no type of weather to be frolicking about in without winter clothes.

xo brooke