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.


Try the Jo Malone fragrances A, I love lime, basil and mandarine and my fave is ginger and nutmeg.

that must have been a great concert!!! steve martin is so hilarious and is so great on the banjo. emmylou harris would have been great too!

Seconding the above recommendation for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab! I love their stuff! The website is a bit intimidating, but the scents are amazing. You might want to check out the Rappaccini's Garden and Wanderlust categories especially!

We didn't do a garden this year and I miss it!

My current favorite perfume is made by Roxana of Illuminated Perfume. It's called Sierra Solid Gold, and it smells of evergreens and honey. Absolutely perfect for summer.

Here's a link to Roxana's Etsy store:

I ordered one of the samplers so I could see if I liked it well enough to buy a bigger one. :)

kathleen says: July 31, 2012 at 02:11 AM

I got beets and green beans out of my garden this weekend and they were great. I have some of the Fresh line of fragrance, I have the Lychee and the Lemon Sugar. I just got a vial of Tom Ford's Tobacco and Vanille, wow, its more of a fall and winter scent, it would go well with tweed and wellies.

Love your photos! Thank you for sharing your amazing talent :)

"A + A" = wonderful!

Hey Alicia - For some really interesting scents, try this place: They have fragrances like Thunderstorm or Firefly. I've always loved their stuff!

Luanne Graham says: July 31, 2012 at 05:17 AM

You have the most incredible sense of style. I only read two blogs on a regular basis...yours is one of them.

Congrats on the success with your little garden :)
For perfumes: I have a feeling these will appeal to you.

Gardening is good for the soul.. Here is a book you might like by my college literature professor who loved gardening called 'Growing w/my Garden:Thoughts on Tending the Soil and the Soul.

Everything looks BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! I wish you were my neighbor:) You are so inspiring!!! I have no perfume choices for you to try..but I do have a GREAT recipe!! On the "SmittenKitchen" blog, listed on the sidebar for summer recipes is a potato and summer squash torte! It is HEAVEN!!:)))) Thank you for sharing your lovely corner of the world..XXOO

Enjoy your perfect weather! I didn't plant any veggies this year, for the first time in...I don't remember when. I feel a little lost, but it's been such a dry summer I certainly don't miss watering and watering and watering.

I love the woodsy, fresh, floraly perfection of a perfume I found when I was in Ireland. It's called "Frond" and it's from the Burren Perfumery. They also have one called "Winter Woods" that might do the trick for you.

Here's the link. Enjoy your scent search!

Oh I just can't quit staring at that last photo! Those little flowers are so lovely. :)

Susan Smith says: July 31, 2012 at 06:14 AM

Perfume, Bottega Veneta Parfum found at Nordstrom. Excellent !

It has been lovely ~ great cool mornings and not too hot days. I could have this weather forever!

I grew peas this year as well, didn't get too many, however, what I did get are delicious and the neighbor boy is fascinated! Lots of nasturtiums however and I am loving those! Yummy to eat to and so sweetly scented.
I love love love the perfume suggestions. Especially as many are organic. I don't wear perfume because of the chemicals, I wear organic solid scent in a wee little tin or oils. Can't wait to search through these sites more! Thank you every one!

Hello Alicia, for perfume please check the Burren Perfumery- made from alpine flowers that grow in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland. I visited the shop and thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Lovely veggies!

Johnnal Salyer says: July 31, 2012 at 07:47 AM

I have to say I have been a lurker at your blog for quite a while now. Sometimes I check in daily, sometimes here and there. I am always inspired! Your photographs and words are lovely, not rushed, not too fancy for words, but real! The light in your home is amazing. We have always wanted to move to the Pacific Northwest somewhere.... maybe someday. For now I will live vicariously through your blog. It is a peaceful respite in the squelching 100+ weather here in Florida. Thank you!

Alicia, gardeners are so lucky, aren't they? The other night when we cooked butter beans and potatoes from the garden, my husband and I agreed that we are very fortunate to be able to grow our own food. This morning we picked some purple hull peas (we live in Texas) and though the patch is wild with grass and some of the peas are less than perfect and I'd so much have preferred to be inside with some scrambled eggs and air conditioning, I thought about how glad I'll be in the winter when I can eat some home-grown peas. We did not have as much success with the Yukon Golds here. Red LaSodas are the best suited for our climate, it seems. So fun, isn't it?

Your veggies look so, so delicious! And, I think it's a little more than a "wee" garden plot, my dear. xoxo

Kathy - FRANCE says: July 31, 2012 at 08:04 AM

Oh Alicia, how I love your blog - it always gives me a lift!! Thanks!! Your veggies look gorgeous and so good for you straight out of the ground!

I had a little girl stand at the end of my sunbed next to the pool on holiday last week - she had cried about everything all afternoon and she just stood for a full five minutes watching me knit - how I longed to teach her!! I soooo feel it's a gift for life!! My Grandmother died many years ago - and I still miss her - but I've had the gift she gave me of crochet and knitting all my life to give me pleasure!!

How could she not be inspired by you?! Glad you have had happy success in the veg patch. I'm with you - I love flowers/shrubs but am utterly clueless and they scare me. Veg and fruit seem so easy in comparison. Have you read/watched Alys Fowler? I like her idea of an edible garden but I feel comforted by my neat little beds ;o)

YAY for the veggies! I like Portland's own Pacifica brand for perfumes. They make a variety of scents and are sold at Whole Foods. I love the Hawaiian Ruby Guava as it smells like vacation to me but they have one called Avalon Juniper that might be up your alley.

Jeane W. says: July 31, 2012 at 09:17 AM

Thank God for your weather and pray for us in OK. 112 yesterday with no chance of rain in sight. We are in a drought.

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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.