Summer Wanes

comments: 99




















Some days dawn chilly and cloudy and cold, only to heat up; by mid-afternoon the sun blares and glares, glinting and golden at its low, desperate-seeming angle. On the river, where we lounged with neighbors and kids all Sunday afternoon, it blazed straight along the path the river took, no shade, no blue. All the blues are greens. Even water feels shallow and warm and cloudy, rocks dry and dull. There's a promise in it, somehow; our picnic is lazy. There's nowhere else to be right now. School is starting, leaves are falling. Eagles and hawks circle high above, and I close my eyes and make this memory for later, when it's raining: Tall trees rising up the side of the ravine; a tiny house high on the hill; the shade flickering, flashing; our babies babbling in the sand, and our great luck, to have our neighbors as friends.

The day before had been our annual neighborhood block party. Our other neighbor Barbara took that darling picture of Amelia, head in her plum bits. Isn't that the cutest picture??? Holding her chin. Be still, heart. After I put her to bed, I went back out and sat talking until late with the ladies. I never go out at night; that night I didn't want to go in. It got dark so early I was surprised. Above us, oak trees towered, starting to drop their acorns in the dark. Around us, our houses sat, starting to glow with evening lamps and flickering shapes of the husbands at home, watching the game, the kids. I talked and talked, saying my things. These ladies are so nice. How kind they've been to me, all these thirteen years we've lived here. How generous with themselves, and their hopes for us, and their love, now given so joyfully to Mimi. So blessed I am.

Yesterday Amelia and I walked all over the place, then down to the cafe for some gelato. She sat on my lap, pressed her cheek to my face, placed with my necklace, touched her nose and forehead to mine, watched the trucks and dogs go by outside, ate mango gelato, pointed at every light on the ceiling (there were many), and snuggled shyly on my chest whenever anyone spoke to her. At home, Greta (dear Greta) assembled Christmas ornament kits in preparation for the Big Release, a date for which we haven't yet set (but I'm really hoping we'll be ready to put them on sale by the end of September). This year — oh lawd — we're going big. Three thousand kits — five hundred of each one we've done for the past five years, and a new one for this year — are in progress. We had the felt cut by National Nonwovens. Over thirty thousand individual pieces of felt. I just broke out in hives, writing that. Piles and piles and piles of felt are taking up every possible inch of space in our offices. We had to do those quantities if we wanted them to cut the felt, and we did. Please buy our kits or I'll probably have a nervous breakdown. That's my sales pitch.

More on them later!

I very, very much like to make chicken stew with sweet-potato biscuits when in need of reliable, terribly yummy stuff.

I'm beyond ready to be finished with the yoke of my Chanterelle sweater. I have four more little sections to go and then I'll scream with glee. Taking too much of my already-sucky concentration. I'm teaching Andy how to crochet today. He wants to make an acorn rattle for Mimi for her birthday. He seems to be better at crochet than at embroidery. So it could all work out just fine.


Beautiful pictures as always. Your family seems so sweet. And I've been enjoying peeking at the blogs on your blogroll, which, though I've been popping by Posie Gets Cozy for 5-ish years (really?!), I've never done. The Finnish photographer? Wow. So glad to get news on the ornament kits! Been eagerly awaiting a word on those.

Your smocking is still breathtaking. There is something about the brightness of the photos on the beach, the angle of the sun, a glare as it were, the leaves shifting, the hops photo, stew and dumplings/biscuits, the whole thing is as if we are suspended in time. Waiting, breathe holding. Such a lovely time. Thank you for your evocative photos and words.

PattiRNinMI says: September 10, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Magic. Thats all i can say.

I know better than to look at your site when I'm hungry. I have no kitchen right now so I can't make that chicken stew and I want it so bad! It will be the first thing I make in my new kitchen.

Your pictures also always make me want to run out and buy all kinds of ambient lighting. You have such a good eye for lighting.

Don't worry, I'll buy your kit! I get to have Christmas in Oregon for the first time since I moved here 10 years ago and I'm beside myself with the decorating possibilities.

Kathy, FRANCE says: September 10, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Lovely,lovely post again!! I made the chicken stew with the sweet potato biscuits, on your recommendation, last year - it was delish!!! thanks for reminding me - I'll have to do it again now it's getting cooler here!
I've never had one of your ornament kits before - I might treat myself this year!!

Like always, such lovely photos. Can't wait to try out that pot pie!

Beautiful picture of Amelia with her head down. She is such a beauty. Your kits will sell. I have never ordered any of the ornament kits so I will be on the lookout for when they will be available. Your blog, as always, has put me in a much better place today. Thank you.

PattiRN in MI says: September 10, 2013 at 12:19 PM

BTW Alicia, been missing your sister's vegan blog...did she move to a new address or something? I keep looking but she's not there...she's partly responsible for a lot of changes I've made in the past year, would like to know how her journey is going...

Oh dang, I thought I was going to be the first one to comment......... Oh well........ I hope that you don't have a counter "thingie" on your blog that tells how many times that we all just check in to see if there is anything new....cause if you do...........ahem.
Moving on, I am soooo excited to hear Christmas ornament talk, and are you kidding? we all love your ornaments......
They will sell like crazy--even though I have all the past years ornaments I always feel tempted to
Buy another set along with the current ones just cause I love them.
That picture of Mimi on her high chair is just the sweetest, it makes me all soggy inside for all that is sweet and good. xox

Lovely post as usual! Your back yard is breathtaking!! Not sure if you answer questions but how big is the lot your house sits on? We are buying a property with a larger lot and your backyard is such an inspiration!

1. That picture that your neighbor took of Amelia -- ADORABLE! 2. Thank you for the link to the chicken stew. It looks yummy! And.......3. Seriously, I have been obsessing over buying your ornament kits and can hardly wait. Of course we will buy them! I've been entertaining myself before I fall asleep trying to guess this year's theme. Guess I'll just have to keep stalking your blog;). Although I really need no excuse to visit...I love it here. Your blog calms me and makes me smile. Thank you!

I can't wait to see these kits, they sound wonderful. The chicken stew sounds wonderful too and I have bookmarked the recipes. I love that picture of Mimi lying on her belly, what a beautiful face.

Amelia is beautiful, such a precious little girl . . . so happy you have shared your journey here. Sweet sweet family!

Oh how I look forward to your new posts! Your photos are so fantastic. I cannot wait to try the chicken stew recipe.

The photo of Mimi is so perfectly beautiful. Also, her stuffed friend in the stroller with her... Did you make or purchase that little piece of loveliness?

Be Still My Heart too of that pic of Amelia:) So beautiful♥
They all are always..but that's the one that was the ahhhh today:)

PS Cannot wait for the new patterns:)

Oh! goodness , gracious , Amelia is so beautiful! From her little heart shaped lips to her pretty eyes and then down to the little rolls on her arms! How precious! I so enjoy looking at your photos and reading what's going on in your lives. My husband teases me about how I don't even know you! But he's wrong! I know you like a friend :-)

I can't wait to see the ornamnent kits! This time of year is so exciting, getting ready for fall and the holidays.

Oh my
That picture of your sweet daughter
So great

That truly is the sweetest photo of Amelia. When you hold this time of year in your memory you know that next year you will be experiencing it with an older Amelia and she will want to paddle and splash and toddle over the stones even more. And then there will be the year after and the year after. What treasures you have in store :)

i look forward to andy's acorn rattle photo/s. all is beautiful and calm, as always, in your post. thank you.

Sounds like this will be the year I buy your ornament kits! Can't wait to see the newest :).

Beautiful pictures and I love the smocking.

That precious little Princess is growing up fast!
Thanks for sharing these special moments and love the smocking!

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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