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.


Yes, butter, and yes to the beet greens, too. Makes me wish I still had a garden. Thanks for sharing.

Cindy Pittman says: July 30, 2012 at 02:49 PM

Just returned home from an anniversary trip to Portland and it was indeed a perfect time and place. A couple of day trips soaking up the region and then just basking in the cool and refreshing air was truly rejuvenating. The flowers were over-the-top beautiful as we walked a few neighborhoods where we stayed. Thanks for the way you've shown Portland in your many beautiful photos- I now get it!!

This is my favorite. No. 2 by Tokyo Milk - Le Petit.

But you should see if anyone nearby carries them, because *all* of their stuff is wonderful. You'll have to find your favorite. (although mine is quite nice!) ;o)

My daughter. who is 15, asked me to teach her to knit a few years back and she picked it up very quickly. She lost interest just as quickly but last year she decided she fancied it again and once I cast her on a few stitches she remembered what to do. I taught her to crochet recently and she liked that too. I like the thought of teaching that generation to do these things the way we were taught by out mums and grandmothers. It's good to pass these skills on.
Enjoy your weather, it's still pretty changeable (read awful) in England!

I do agree with you about growing veggies.
The first year we grew tomatoes, I told my husband "Look, we grew food!"
So satisfying.
Thank you for the beautiful pictures.

There are days when I could spend the whole day just staring at your beautiful photographs. (Admittedly this actually does happen from time to time.) My favorites today are the one of your wall and lavender tablecloth with the beautiful antique daisy plate.

I am glad the garden is bringing you so much joy.

Looks like the perfect weekend! Just lovely photos!

we've had such a bad drought this summer. it's painful to watch the poor little plants suffering. i suffer along with them. in its way, it's also beautiful; it connects you as much as when the growing season is perfect.

whenever i wonder if we should pull up from the mid-west and come back to Portland, I just look at your pictures.

yes. yes we should.

Planting seeds in the ground and planting seeds of encouragement in children will always have results.

Try bush beans next year. There easy and so tasty.

We will (I am praying really) be moving soon, and our ten year old wants, wants, wants a dog, a cat, and a vegetable patch... (And she hasn't even seen your blog!)
I am getting so much inspiration here that I think I will soon stop being an armchair gardener and actually try it out and make her happy.(or maybe it's because I love food, and homegrown veg. seem to taste so much better!)
Wishing you more such lovely summer weekends.

Hi Alicia, when I was in my teens, my best friend introduced me to Eau de Rochas. I have never changed fragrance since.. I still love it and reminds me of my summers growing up in Italy and my best friend. (We are still in touch even after I moved to the States in 1979).
Amazon sells a mini for $ 15.
This is their description:
"Launched by the design house of Rochas in 1970, EAU DE ROCHAS is a women's fragrance that possesses a blend of fresh and fruity woods, flowers and moss"

Congratulations on your veggies! We just saw Steve Martin and his band last week when they were through Calgary. What a fantastic show!! For the past 2 years I have been teaching grade 4 girls to knit - every Wednesday during lunch. It's so wonderful to plant the seed, even if they don't pick it up again for years. To be able to make something is magical, and they get that. The fun of choosing the project, the materials, the pleasure and pride of using it once it's complete. One year we even taught them to sew (actual garments): how to choose a pattern, cut the pieces, pin, sew on a machine. Given the large number of girls and the time constraints, it was perhaps a little ambitious, but I don't regret it because many didn't know such things were possible, and again the seed was planted. Best wishes! (Sweet Bee, staring out windows.)

Please, please post a tour of your small garden!! I am totally impressed with your success.

OH! I'm so glad at least one other person has suggested "CB I Hate Perfume" ( So many amazing scents - and you can order teeny tiny samplers to see what ones you like!

PS - CB I Hate Perfume has a scent called "In The Library" and it smells like exactly that.

have you ever smelled new zealand by demeter fragrance library?

I loved this whole post! I too, have a small but mighty garden, and I love checking on it. I love when the temp is how you described! I love when it is cool enough to wear long sleeves in the evening. Perfection!

Check out some of the scents at LUSH (there is one on NW 23rd and another in the Washington Square Mall). They have some really unique scents and a lot of them are very nature-based smelling. I love "the smell of weather turning" and "dear john" which are both more unisex scents. You can check them out online as well (

Julie Silcock says: July 30, 2012 at 07:04 PM

Lovely photos again - just wondering if you could tell me the name of the purpley cone shaped flower growing in a pot on the table by the dahlia?

As I was scrolling through the photos, when I came to the beets, I thought "Oh, no, where are the greens?" I love them. Here's a link to a great recipe.

Thank you for your blog, I enjoy it so much.


Wrennette says: July 30, 2012 at 08:02 PM

All of your contribution regarding your weekend hit me in the heart...all of it. I hope you enjoy everything that is harvested from your garden this summer. I love Yukon Golds and am crazy for beets. I have never cooked beet greens even though I've been told they are delicious. When I lived in Denmark I fell in love with beets and potatoes..I had eaten beets as a child out of our large garden on my Grandparents farm...but it had been awhile and I had never 'cooked' them myself..til Denmark. Now, beets are a much enjoyed vegetable that is eaten at least once a week. My Aunt canned pickled beets and you could easily sit down and eat an entire jar. But I like them anyway at all. The butter is a good idea but there are so many ways to prepare beets. I have several cookbooks from Kentucky that date back to early in the 1940s and there were wonderful recipes for beets. I used to introduce a new recipe every time we had company for dinner. I know there is a rule against that but....these people were afterall my family or friends. smile Enjoy your.....Happy Days.

It was a perfect summer weekend here on Whidbey, too. We had pasta with fresh pesto made with basil harvested just moments before from my garden. There is just something so deeply rich about harvesting and preparing such deliciousness from one's own little plot. : )

You are such an inspiration!

If you can, try Quercus by Penhaligon. Absolutely woodst and wonderful. It is my summertime fragrance.

Perfume: Pampelune from Guerlain, Eau du Sud from Annick Goutal (love her Eau d'Hadrien), Terre d'Homme from Hermes is wood/earth although for men I wear it. Nectarine Blossom from Jo Malone...

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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.