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.


your backyard is so heavenly! (haha, i think i've made this comment multiple times before on your blog but i can't get over - living in an apartment building in a city is making me crave SPACE!)

actually i do have a perfume recommendation. i'm not normally a perfume girl, but this stuff i just bought because i couldn't resist it. it smells like... fresh laundry sort of. and its name does speak to its nature. called "cotton tee shirt" by a company called CLEAN. more info here: might be worth checking out if a "not very perfume-y perfume" is what you are thinking of. xx

Mary-Margaret Wheeler-Weber says: July 31, 2012 at 10:51 AM

I was researching perfume a few years ago for an exhibit on scent that was going to be at a botanical garden, and learned that right here in Portland we have a world-class perfume shop, the Perfume House It's a really interesting place to visit. I'd collect suggestions here (I'm going to look for them, too!) and then visit to try things. You can also go to good old Essential Oils on Hawthorne - make a day of it. I wear Premier Figuier (fig) by L'Artisan when I'm feeling fancy and White Tea from Essential Oils on a more daily basis.

The answer is yes. Everything is better with butter. ;)

Chanel No. 5
plain and simple the best smell ever!

Those look so fresh and delicious! Nowadays theres so many hormones and sodium in our foods, its hard to eat healthy and organic.

Honestly, some of your photos just took my breath away. So beautiful and peaceful of spirit. Loved them.

I've been wanting to check out The Perfume House, on
SE Hawthorne Blvd. It sounds like a great place to try a bunch of perfumes. Looks like it could get expensive though!

Alicia, I AM from Texas and you inspired me to learn to knit as soon as I could find someone to teach me. Now I also have a sweet corgi-mix rescue who prefers to lay on a fluffy blanket and have her own pillow if possible. Her name is Lucy Pevensie. Thank you for showing us your magic.

I immediately thought of this perfume when you said summer woods,
It is the signature scent at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, which is a truly lovely place. Love reading your blog!

Edgefield! I love Edgefield!
The veggies from your garden look delicious!

Mmmm! Your meal is my heaven.
My fav foods all grown in your own garden!
I don't know a thing about gardening, either and live in an upstairs apartment.
But onion, gold potatoes, garlic, and beets! wowie!

karen on bainbridge island says: August 01, 2012 at 11:38 AM

What exactly are those daisy looking flowers in your photo? So very pretty. I am anxious to see your ornaments.

I love your description of gardening! So true. I feel the same way about my sweet peas and nasturtiums, planted from seed.

My favorite scent: I just discovered "Orange Sanguine" by Atelier Cologne. It's delightfully orange-ish, but light. I hate being overpowered by my own perfume all day (ick).

Please let us know what frangrance discoveries you make!

My husband and I and some friends went to see Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers earlier this summer at the Interlochen Arts Academy (Interlochen, MI). They were awesome! So talented and so funny. I love your blog. My goal is to take photos as well as you do.

I enjoy Happ & Stahns Rose Alba from Anthropologie. In the bottle it smells a bit of quaint elderly lady-who-crotchets-doilies, but it really is fresh and springy when worn. Roses + tea + peppercorns + grapefruit, with a bit of musk. (note: I think the parfum is much better than the eau de parfum.)

Michael by Michael Kors smells mossy and warm like the woods.

Katy O'Neal Killingsworth says: August 02, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Hi Alicia. I love that you and Andy are enjoying the garden. My husband and I just bought our first house and not much of my garden is growing- it has just been too hot here, but I have hopes and dreams of gardens to come. I perfume suggestion is one that my mother-in-law, who also reads and loves your blog, gave me
I can't call it woodsy, but it is light and summery and smells good enough to eat.

One of my favorite things from this past year is I have pet chickens, six sweet hens, in my backyard. I'm not sure if you like birds, or if they allow them in your neighborhood (I was shocked at the number of neighborhoods here that ban almost everything but cats and dogs) and I'm not sure if your current pets (dear, sweet ones!) would like them, but I highly recommend them. Their eggs are wonderful, they are curious and gentle, eat the bugs, their waste provide nutrients for the compost, and are so entertaining! Anyway, I could imagine you liking them.

Annie Hall says: August 02, 2012 at 01:01 PM

Try Fracas by Robert Piguet...Gena Rowlands' favorite perfume....

I love White Linen by Estee Lauder. My great-aunt wore it when I was a child and now it is all I will wear.

Also, your sweet young friend must go to JenningStreet Yarns in Fort Worth to enable her knitting! I don't knit, but I have a knitting friend who would love to live in that store!

oops...forgot the website.

"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"

*sigh* so insirping :)

Well, wow. I wanted to read all the perfume recommendations because I LOVE my favorite scents so
much...making sure somebody said them as well!
L'Occitaine's Verbena makes me happy...also Juicy Couture!!! I guess most people think it is for teenagers or else I am one and don't know it? Target has a small bottle.

Oh I love your blog!

For perfumes, what smells delicious to one person is often "meh" to others, but two smells I love right now that are also loved by many others are Thymes "Eucalyptus" (like green + soap) and Tocca's "Cleopatra" (just YUM - so feminine). My "signature" scent is Tiffany "Pure" (it's quite lovely and sophisticated) and given your love of things soft and feminine, I would also be inclined to steer you in the direction of Lollia perfumes, especially "Cabbage Rose" and "Mille Fleurs" if you can find them. Best of luck!

Dinner looks delicious. Beets are good for your blood. I've been looking for a good rose scented perfume but have found any that you don't have to pay a lot for.

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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.