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Already the plum leaves are starting to fall. The weather this past week has been hot and dry, and next week promises (threatens) more of the same. At the farmer's market the bounty is overwhelming. There is so much, and it is so big and beautiful. In the early morning, Amelia and I go out and water the front. She eats her breakfast in her high chair in the shade and watches me walk around with the hose, soaking everything well, trying to moisturize my little plants even as the morning sun grows hot and bright. She reaches out to touch the water while I shower the impatiens on the porch. When we move to the back yard, she takes cups of water out of her little pool and waters the pots for me. Later, a couple of cups, more water, and some shade are all we really need to be happy in the afternoon, as long as I know that back across town my little house waits, dim and cool and clean, the air conditioner earnestly humming, plenty of chilled cantaloupe and watermelon and blueberries waiting for us in the fridge. Summer baths after the pool, the fountain, the yard, the park, the layers of sunscreen, the raspberry smears; I cover her in suds while she plays with her toy boats and plastic cups, cries a little when the water washes over her face as I rinse her hair, pats at the bubbles, draws on her own round belly with the bath crayons. In the late afternoon, clean and cool and smelling of honey, she naps and I watch TV, the sound turned low, both of us splayed on the chaise lounge, the light dappling and twisting as the hot wind picks up, dusty and buzzing outside but silent to us, behind our closed windows. I like the late afternoon, 4:00 p.m., when it feels so good to go in. When you feel like you've earned it, somehow. It reminds me of the delicious chill of our grandparents' white ranch house, its perfectly, wonderfully, deliciously temperature-controlled interior so beige and soft and soothing after so much flashing sunlight and swimming and cicadas. Summer afternoon: sitting on the soft beige carpet with sunburned legs, watching General Hospital, eating a coconut cookie before dinner, listening to the soft whistle of cold air come out of the floor.


You have a beautiful way with words and I would read any story you wrote. So get on that. ;) Really though, every word you wrote was so vivid that I could see it. I wish I saw the world as you do!! Sounds as though you are having a wonderful summer! <3

I literally sigh with pleasure when I scroll through your pictures and read your words. I always think, "What a beautiful family ... what a beautiful slice of American life." Thank you for sharing it with the world!

Missy Gorgeous is wearing very pretty frocks! I love that corgi. So sweet!

She is a little light of mine on the internet♥
Just like the light shining through your trees~

Judith Hogan says: July 08, 2014 at 01:37 PM

Love all your beautiful photos, isn't summer wonderful? I see a smocked dress in your future. I made a few for my girls when they were young. Very old fashioned I think. Just what you like. Will be watching to see how you finish it. Your sweet girl is looking very fashionable these days.

Beautiful little girl in beautiful little dresses!

Alexandra Kinga says: July 08, 2014 at 01:43 PM

I'm going to hop on the bandwagon singing your praises; you're a fantastic writer!! I love blogging as a medium for you because there are no snippy editors, no having to fit into a box (is it autobiography? no, poetry?), no need to appeal to anyone in particular..and yet, yet here we are, your ladies-in-waiting, droves of us hanging on every word.
On another note, air conditioning would be such a welcome treat here in Oakland! I too dream of Midwestern summers: sucking hosta flowers (were we alone in that?), sprinkler jumping, mom putting plantain leaves on scrapes, Lake Michigan dunes, and good deep dish at day's end ;-)

Michaelanne says: July 08, 2014 at 02:07 PM

I love that Alexandra said...here we are..your ladies in waiting:) I do look forward to your posts very much...You bring back memories to me that I have forgotten and would not know how to put those feelings into words! You are so right about the comfort of a cool, clean home after a hot day at the beach or the pool. When I was little until I was about 8, we always lived near the Ocean..when we got home, my Mom would immediately shower us and put us in these little flowery granny gowns! Our hair would be washed and put up in little buns on top of our heads:) You just made me remember that:) I am so glad you posted today! I was getting worried about you! Happy to see you are all happy and healthy! Love all of Mimi's darling little dresses..and that is a sweet little doll too!! Hugs to you all...

I don't have any other words to say except: beautiful & breathtaking.

P.S. Her dresses are so adorable it slays me.

Beautiful images, beautiful words, beautiful girl. Thank-you for sharing.
Shauna. x

I love your words, Alicia. It is lovely to read your writing.

Aww, the joys of summer. That wee girls gets more lovely each day.

I love a pretty little girl in a summer dress with berry juice on her cheeks. What a lovely picture. Love to you and yours. Bx xxx

How beautifully you write it all. I can see it all exactly, and feel precisely what you mean. You have such a gift my friend. I think that naptime is precious. A time for mama to recharge a little too. Glad your summer days are so full of joy. CJ xx

Vintagemarketplace says: July 08, 2014 at 02:31 PM

You put me right there with you. Its wonderful how your words make us all feel we are sitting next to you seeing it just as you have lived it. The throw back to those childhood memories of sitting outside all day soaking up sun and then the chill of the ac, makes me want to uproot our home and take it back to the midwest for my boy to grow up the same way.

A lovely post, as always. Spending a week with my grandparents when I was a kid was such a treat. I would wake up to the smell of bacon frying and biscuits in the oven (my grandma was from Arkansas). The hair on the little doll is fabulous!

Summertime and the living is easy.

Hot is an understatement - the temp inside our home is hotter than outside. Our air conditioner is due on Thursday and none to soon for our pups & us.

Love your photography, your words and the happy faces.

Are the wild flowers waning? So sad to see them go. The lavender is pretty - I almost bought a bundle at New Seasons. I think I will next time - if there's any left (fingers crossed X).

It all looks lovely. The dress with the red flowers and suffolk puffs is gorgeous, what is the fabric please?

I absolutely love the dresses that Mimi is wearing; you are so gifted, Alicia. Looking forward to seeing your smocked creation.

I love seeing all these beautiful handmade dresses you make. That Denyse Schmidt fabric line is still my favorite of hers and the pretty floral fuchsia one with the crossover bodice is gorgeous too!
I bought the wildflower seeds too and have been enjoying them.

"Smock and block"? What wonder is this?

Linda in Maryville says: July 08, 2014 at 03:31 PM

There is nothing so pleasing as looking at pictures of a happy home and a happy child. Everyday life so blissfully shown through your pictures and your handwork. I look forward to every post!

So lovely, beautiful pictures!

she is right you know....we ARE your ladies in waiting...waiting patiently for your next word painting, soaking up your simple yet not so simple descriptive beauty. you are a genius at taking the most simple of tasks and turning them into poetry. Amelia is such a little lady now...busy little bee. delightful, just delightful.

Julie Rosene says: July 08, 2014 at 03:43 PM

I could read your blog all day. You have a wonderful way of capturing summer with your words. And photos, of course.

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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 aliciapaulson.com