Hot and Bright

comments: 91

























It's been kind of a challenging week, and I don't even know why. I feel like I have a million things to say but no time to say them, here or in real life. I'm whirling and scattered, and trying to keep track. To simplify, I apparently started to do the same things over again — same clothes, same dinner, same places. I like that. Eliminate the variables when possible. The heat last week was ravaging. I felt like I was in survival mode. Yesterday it broke with beautiful rain, beautiful thunder, beautiful lightning, more beautiful rain, beautiful gray clouds, beautiful purple clouds, and me, sitting on the back porch sobbing with relief. But today the sun is back, bright and flashing, and I, though rejuvenated, am wary: 99 degrees forecasted for tomorrow. We've been meeting friends in the park in the morning, or heading back down to farmer's market on Saturday mornings to sit in the shade of the big trees, or spending a lot of time at the pool and the fountain (water water water. I love you water).

The knitting project above is my little Artichaut, and she has given me fits, as well. I'm almost finished with her and I'll be glad. I knit her while watching this other cool British show I found on YouTube (I think it was recommended because I liked Restoration Home) called Turn Back Time: The Family. It's one of those shows where they re-create historical environments and the put people in them to "live" within history; this one follows three families through the Edwardian era, the Interwar years, the Second World War, the 1960s, and the 1970s (I haven't seen the last one yet). It was really good. In one of the episodes they mentioned the book Swallows and Amazons, which I realized with a jolt I've still never read (so I promptly got it). And that reminded me of the Summer Reading Booklist for kids that you and I put together four summers ago now. This list was made entirely out of Posie Gets Cozy reader suggestions. Do you remember it?


(Just click on the illustration to download the list.)

I'd completely forgotten about this list. I found it and printed it out the other day and was so delighted that Amelia is the perfect age for me to start keeping it for her. We already read several of the little-kid books on the list together every single night. But I'm going to start collecting and reading all of the older-kid classics on the list, and creating a special shelf to hold all of these for her for when she gets older. I am so excited. I also pulled out my dear friend Jane's book, Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer: A Golden Treasury of Classic Treats, and thought I would try to read the list of titles she includes, as well (and of course we'll have to make some treats, too!). I've kind of needed a project like this, honestly. Something to focus me! And maybe I'll be done by the time she starts reading.

I also finished Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath. This book blew me away. I don't even really know how to tell you about it. The last fifty pages or so of this book are some of the best I've ever read in my life. It reminded me of James Joyce's The Dead (though it's completely different, but if anyone's read both of these, do you know what I mean?). My heart was in my throat as I finished this book. It was very intense. I picked up the second book of the trilogy but haven't started it yet. You'd think I had a lot of time to read or something?!? I don't.

Do you like fish tacos? I used the baked fish parcel method from Apples for Jam: Cover some cod filets in panko and a bit of Mexican seasoning (you can slice a few limes and place on top, too), drizzle with a bit of olive oil, then wrap in parchment and bake at 400 degrees (either with indirect heat on the grill or in the oven) for 20 minutes. I added some of my dad's coleslaw, a little bit of sour cream with chipotle sauce stirred in, and some big chunks of avocado, and these were just perfect for a hot summer night. Andy made a really nice Mexican bean salad (but he used fresh corn, and I would definitely recommend that!).

Thank you very, very much for all of your kind comments on my last post. You are so good to me. Thank you. Xoxo


I laughed out loud at the photograph of the dear girl putting the doll's head in the water. Such loving instincts but how can you not laugh? Between that and the photograph of her in her Liberty Suzanne....honestly, Alicia, she has just changed so much and becomes more beautiful every day. But, the most wonderful thing is you can see this great big personality shining through!

It's easy to tell who has air conditioning, isn't it? Saturday afternoon I made a little pool for just my feet. Heaven!

I've printed this fabulous list off (for the second time) to work through with my 2 yr old, and I'm planning to work my way through the whole Swallows and Amazons series this summer.

yes the trilogy is amazing. I read excerpts to my ART150 students when we study stained glass It helps them comprehend what it would be like to see a stained glass window for the first time. The description of the light on her body is wonderful. A different time with beauty that is eternal. I need to read these all over again! They do drain me in a good way

Great visual blog - I could look at story-pictures all day! Thanks!

I'll share my best tip for encouraging a love of reading with your daughter as she grows. Check out audio books from the library and keep one going in your car. No matter how long the trip - 20 minutes running errands to a real road trip, audio books kept my kids happy in the car, expanded their vocabularies and instilled the love of a good book! We did sweet stories when they were younger and then lots of action and adventure as they grew through the elementary school years. It is a great way to read a book in what can otherwise be a tedious time of the day! I know first hand that a lot of books on your 5-9 list are absolutely wonderful in their audio editions. :)

Oh I could recognize little artichaud, as I knitted it twice for my baby girl, I love it so much ;-) Her liverty Suzanne is alos perfect, I must sew one... I love to come here and read your words and see our your beautiful daughter is growing...

This summer I've slowly been reading The Borrowers for the first time as an adult and just a few days ago, I remembered this list. I was just about to go back through your posts to see if The Borrowers books were listed. And they are!

The Clock family reminds me so much of your you work so hard to make your home cozy like Homily and how much Amelia loves to be outside, just like little Arrietty. I think she will like the second book a lot! I so hope you read these to your Amelia when she's older, just like my mom read them to me. They are one of my treasured childhood memories.

I read "Kristin" last year, all the books rolled into one huge volume, that would cause some serious pain if you dropped it on your foot.
I spent the whole summer reading it slowly,schlepping it around, savoring every bite.
Probably one of the most memorable books I ever read, next to Black Beauty when I was a kid. Now that's high praise.
Glad you posted the fish tacos. I know what I'm making for dinner tonight :)


My girls and I have enjoyed watching Amelia grow and one comment we make almost every time we see a picture of her is, " She looks exactly like the little girls in the books We Help Mommy and We Help Daddy by Eloise Wilkin!"

I've never commented before but your booklist sparked me to tell you. If you can find these two books (they are out of print Little Golden Books)you will see just what I mean! :O)

We enjoy your blog and watching Amelia grow up....thanks for sharing her.


jenn in GA says: July 14, 2014 at 02:51 PM

i have a friend who is in your fair city on business, and when he told me it was going to be triple digits there, i thought of you immediately!

i'm glad there was a slight respite over the weekend. drink lots of cold drinks, and do as little as possible. everyone will understand, as we have all experienced the energy-sapping heat at some point or another.

Whew! That heat!
We leave for Oregon at the end of the month, and I keep watching the temperatures... in dismay!
I'm glad at least you have plenty of water, and the storm to enjoy, but I will be hoping with you for cool, cool, cooler weather. We have been feasting merrily on fish tacos, but I have a shameful admission... I've been relying on prepared fish from Trader Joe's. You've brought fresh baked bread and brownies from scratch into our lives, and with your recipe in hand, I may be ready to upgrade our fish tacos! Thank you! How do you feel about mango salsa? I make a mild one that adds a marvelous zing to the tacos.

Nancy Nussbaum says: July 14, 2014 at 03:15 PM

I LOVE your blog. Your photos are amazing and I find that your blog lowers my blood pressure! (Maybe not literally, but it sure feels like it!) I was receiving your posts by email and it occurred to me that I have not received any emails in quite some time. (about a month). When I went to re-sign up to receive via email, there was a lot of code and gobbledy. Please, please,please,may I start receiving your posts via email again?? Many thanks!!

Again my day is lifted by your blog. Simple life expressed in simple beauty, joy at watching Amelia grow and knowing you are living so fully and happily.

Jennifer B says: July 14, 2014 at 03:40 PM

Love, Love, Love the Swallows and Amazons series. One of the best, really. We took our daughter to England when she was four and spent a week or so in the Lakes District, sailed Coniston Water right past "Wildcat Island". I just might have to get those down off the bookshelf and re-read them myself this summer....

Lisa in Seattle says: July 14, 2014 at 04:25 PM

Oh, my heart always goes out to you neighbors to the south when this heat rolls in! It's a fair bit cooler here on the shores of Puget Sound. But Portland does have so much glorious, clean, public water available. I miss wading in the Parks. By the way, I think that your "survival mode" for dealing with the heat is quite sensible. As long as all the creatures in our house and yard are fed and watered, and we are reasonably clean and presentable (fsvo presentable), that's a win in my book.

Yummm...I think that will be my menu for tomorrow evening. I have been reading the Agatha Raisin series since your suggestion awhile back, I'm on book 11 or 12 I believe, totally addicted.

I just got Swallows and Amazons today!! I actually have the book and the audible version as it was longer than I expected it to be. Looking forward to listening to it with my boys in the afternoons.

meredith says: July 14, 2014 at 04:49 PM

oh my gosh your little mimi grows more darling each day!

So glad for your rejuvenation. Perhaps it had something to do with that big full moon. Our local library has 'The Wreath.' I'm off to borrow it after your recommendation. Love to all, Katie.

I am amazed at the wonderful flower selection at your Saturday Market... Wow!!

Alicia, have you seen all of the PBS House series? (1900 House, Texas Ranch House, Frontier House, Colonial House) If you love Turn Back Time: The Family, you'll like those, too. Many of the full episodes are on youtube. I grew up in Oregon City, and although I live in Minneapolis now, I love that I can turn to your blog for a sorely missed dose of home. Thank you!

Swallows and Amazons!! Such a great classic. I hope you enjoy it. Yes, we love fish tacos here too. Happy Summer!

Thank you for the fish taco method. I bake salmon in parchment in the toaster oven at least twice a week during the hot months. Have never with tried with a milder taco type of fish but now I will! Thank you! Fish tacos are a favorite!

I cook parchment fish 15 minutes at 400- degrees then let it sit on the counter for 5 before opening the paper....Chef John of Food Wishes method. Sometimes I'll add sliced precooked, buttered red skinned potatoes or matchstick carrots in the parchment. Or China peas and salmon and then serve over brown rice with some soy sauce. Such easy clean up.

I cannot abide the heat either, Alicia. I wither. I hibernate. I only come out when absolutely necessary. I live northwest of Indianapolis now where the summers are fairly mild compared to where I used to live in Miami and before that Memphis. I honestly don't know how I survived that. There is no going back there for me now. I no complain when it gets upwards of 80.

I'm wondering, do you just daily want to pinch yourself when you look at Amelia? She is just the dearest, most darling girl.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.