Best Weather Ever

comments: 129
















Mid-70s, sunny, gentle breezes. Perfect, rare, delicious weekend days. Best weekend weather I can ever remember in my entire life. We harvested beets and potatoes from our wee garden plot on Friday afternoon. It was silly exciting — you stick your hand in the ground and come up with a bunch of gorgeous Yukon Gold potatoes. Cube them up, add a couple of the tender onions you also pulled out of the ground, add one of the teensy heads of garlic you also pulled out of the ground, splash on some olive oil, shower with pepper and sea salt, bake at 375 degrees F for 40 minutes, add some butter when they come out and you have the best dinner ever. Oh, and do the same thing (without the butter — or are they good with butter?) to the beets. That you pulled out of the ground. The best dinner to go with the best weather. I almost cried. To think there are probably twenty-plus more potatoes still out there? Oh my stars. Next year I may just grow potatoes, onions, garlic, and beets.

The wee sidewalk garden has been such a good experience. I have loved it all so much this summer. I was sitting out there on the stairs last night, watching the beautiful twilight come on after such gorgeous weekend weather. I thought about how the butternut squash and the cucumbers are now trailing up the teepee where the peas grew last month. I thought about the day we put the peas in, months ago. Having a vegetable garden makes the summer seems different, somehow. I've never noticed all of it, or appreciated all of it — the ground and the water and the sun and the season — quite so much as I have this summer. Cliched but true. I like sitting out there every morning and every evening, watching it all change. I like fussing over the tidy little squares of rows. I don't really know what I'm doing at all but the stuff still grows. It's much different and a lot more satisfying to me than growing flowers and shrubs. I love the flowers and the shrubs, but the vegetables are different. Maybe because it's just a smaller area, with defined boundaries, and it feels like the right size for me when the rest of the yard feels too big and like too much (even though it's really not all that big). The vegetables also appeal to my utilitarian nature. I have always liked to make things that get used.

Also, it's just still so bewildering to me that it all worked. We put it in the ground and then it just worked out. I'm not used to that.

Something's blooming in the woods right now that makes allergic people go crazy but makes me happy. It's some kind of weed that I like the smell of but I don't know exactly what it is. I'd like to bottle the scent. Speaking of, I was thinking of buying some perfume. I haven't bought any in years and years. I want something that smells like the summer woods. Any recommendations?

On Thursday night we went to Edgefield with friends. I sat on the quilt and knit while listening to Steven Martin and his bluegrass band. He was hilariously funny. Our friend's eleven-year-old niece was visiting from Texas. She sat next to me and watched my hands while I knit. She asked me questions: Is it hard? How many things have you made? What's your favorite thing that you've made? Who taught you? We talked through the night and I won't deny that I hoped she might go back to Fort Worth with the spark of an idea about little sticks and string.


Just beautiful. We harvested some snow peas we grew and it just is SO MAGICAL -- we grew these things! And they turned into veggies! from seeds!

tracy rose says: July 30, 2012 at 10:14 AM

what a beautiful, perfect weekend you had!

Sounds like a lovely time at the concert with the little girl...I'm sure you planted many wonderful crafting seeds for her. I completely identify with your thoughts on vegetable gardening....they somehow seem much more useful than flowers and sometimes just as beautiful :)

I agree with growing your own veg. It's nice to just run outside and pick some cucumbers or herbs for dinner. I never liked peas until I grew some--so sweet.

As for perfumes--I don't really always wear perfume, but I really like the ones that Fresh puts out. My favorite is Hesperides--it's very citrus-y, but maybe some of the others might be up your alley.

Courtney S. says: July 30, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Amen, Alicia! This may have been the perfect summer weekend. I picked raspberries on Sauvie Island, had two potlucks out in the yard, kept the windows open all day, hung laundry out in the line, read a book in the hammock with a kitty in my lap. Heaven.

Isn't gardening fantastic? It's like magic, really. Just think of all the people who never try because it seems intimidating. So glad you took the plunge.

For perfume, you may want to take a look at Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs. Lots of people are obsessed and you can find all kinds of reviews and even trade the tiny sample vials. They have a overall sort of "goth" aesthetic, but where else can you find a Last Unicorn blend? Or Fraggle Rock? Or perfume based on Neil Gaiman's characters?

Love your veggies!

Dana Laviano says: July 30, 2012 at 10:31 AM

For perfume, I highly recommend "du Soleil" by a German organic perfume company called Aqua Colonia. It's techniically a men's fragrance but it is all hot sun and wild herbs and I wore it down in Argentina and it always makes me think of summer. You can find Aqua Colonia's scents at
Thank you for sharing the lovely photos.

Aren't veggie gardens the best? We've been steaming a lot of our potatoes this year (to avoid the heat of the oven for roasting). Potatoes from the garden are like a brand new vegetable -- so different than what you buy in the store. Love your photos (as always). I prefer "clean" scents for perfumes. One I recently discovered is "Pure Grace" by Philosophy. I also like #21 (I think it's called Age of Aquarius -- citrus-like) by Tokyo Milk.

I was never a gardener until I purchased my home last year and now I can't get enough! I have to agree something about the vegtable garden is really gratifying! For purfume I recommend Trish McEvoy, she uses essential oils to make the scents and they can be layerd. Most Nordstrom retail stores or Neiman Marcus or Bloomingdale's should have the counter.

Heather Bond says: July 30, 2012 at 10:44 AM

For perfume I highly recommend CB I Hate Perfume ( Not perfumey smelling (I can't abide department store perfumes, too much alcohol) and there's something for everyone. In the summer I wear To Smell a Flower (#308) because smells like wet dirt and then like summer flowers and in the winter I wear M3 November (#403) because it smells like burning leaves and apples and, well, November. So glad the garden is doing well!

You make it all look so easy.
I long to live somewhere i could sit and watch a garden day, one day ;)

i couldn't agree more with your comment about growing veggies versus having flowers - there's something so rewarding about having a beautiful garden that also feeds you! Now I just need to move out of an apartment and get myself a plot of land myself :)

Prada Infusion d'Iris - it's a lemony but with an earthiness to it perfume. Reminds me of woods and rainy day anyway.

Gosh, you really do make me want to enjoy summer.It's simply not a season that I care for , but your photos and words make me WANT to like it more.

Your beetroot looks amazing! I've had very little luck with my veggies this year. The weather has been against me, but very definitely for the slugs!

oh how I'd love to grab a waffle on the way out!

I have had great luck finding perfumes with Rebecca and Naz are both amazingly helpful and would jump at the chance to help you find THE summer woods scent. Because they are that awesome. :) I try to buy all my perfumes from them whenever possible.

My heart takes small little leaps anytime I get to see someone grow their own food. I cannot WAIT to have that chance again. Your potato dinner sounds divine!

... reading the woodsy perfume suggestions... I go back and forth about fragrance, and lately I enjoy *good smells.*
Roasted beets? Must try. We have been mad for roasted tomatoes, and thank goodness for success in the garden!
Love Steve Martin, love good weather, your pictures, and an inspired child. Wishing you more goodness... lots more.

Oops. forgot to mention, calling for help at The Perfume Shoppe is usually faster than e-mailing. Or you could fill out the perfume profile on the left side of the page, but that is usually more useful if you don't have a particular scent in mind.

It was you that inspired me to learn to crochet. Now I have to carve some letters in driftwood too. Thank you. :)

My garden died a hideous death this year. Too little light where it was and too much shade, but my strawberries were fine though small. We're planning on ripping all of the grass from that section of yard and putting in just strawberries and mint. Things that grow even in less than stellar conditions. How was it to grow potatoes? They are on my list of things to grow.

Mid to upper 90's, wind, trying to keep what little has survived alive.
Planting a seed and watching it grow is such a nurturing experience, and you are a nurturer :)
I am always so pleasantly surprised at how much better homegrown food tastes, especially potatoes, and tomatoes, and anything else.

Oh yes, beets require butter! Boiled beets and then butter which melts on the warm precious lovelies... mmm... You make me want to knit, plant, write, go out in the woods, take pics and the whole shabang! Such luck to come across you and a piece of your world.

I'm enjoying seeing your produce.. we planned to make raised beds, but instead our efforts have gone to making a very secure chicken run and getting new chickens after losing our last ones to coyotes last January. We're enjoying the summer out here in Corbett, too. Heading off to our 10 day camping trip in a week! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

In case you haven't had enough perfume recommendations, I LOVE Thymes products. Their olive leaf fragrance may hit the chord you want, but personally, I find the Lavender intoxicating.

And yes, beets are best with butter!!

Sounds (and looks) just wonderful! I stayed at Edgefield a couple of summers ago during Portland's record heat wave -- it was a lovely setting, but wow, did I swelter and melt without air-conditioning. We vowed to return in the spring or autumn.

wat a lovely day!
thanks for sharing

Claudia Horner says: July 30, 2012 at 11:56 AM

The beet greens are delish too -- like spinach in flavor and cooking time, etc. Sometimes I save mine in a ziplock in the freezer, pre-chopped and ready to toss into a pan with a little olive oil, garlic and lemon zest, or into the soup pot, or in with some fresh pasta and a bit of parmesan cheese. Yum!

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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.