Buds and Birds

comments: 55

19Garden2

19Bunnies1

19GArden1

19Garden3

19Garden5

19Garden6

19Garden4

19Garden8

19Salad1

19Garden14

19Garden15

19Garden16

19Garden17

23CornSalad1

19Granola1

19Yard1

19Porch1

19Porch2

19Garden10

19Garden12

19Walk1

23Roses1

23Clover1

23Paint1

23Roses2

23Cherries1

23Lovey1

23Cherries2

23Cherries3

23Roses3

23Cherries4

23Cherries5

23Cherries7

23Roses4

Grandma Paulson was visiting all last week, and Mimi had an absolutely wonderful time playing with her grandma pretty much non-stop. She also had her last day of her lovely, wonderful playschool, wrapping up two years of this perfect experience that fills me with emotion. She has grown and changed and thrived there in every way. For an only child (in our family at least; thankfully she has three birthsiblings that she knows and loves and sees often, but obviously they don't live with her), having friends to play with, talk to, learn with, walk with, fight with, make up with, laugh with, and share her days among is invaluable. I'm so grateful for our time there. I'm excited for next year (she's going to a pre-school in the neighborhood, and her friends, only one of which is a close neighbor, are going elsewhere), but I will miss these sweet days. (I will also miss the free eight hours a week they afforded me when I don't have them this summer, but that's another story.)

The weather has alternated cold and rainy with only mildly cold and rainy. I haven't spent too much time reading in my Adirondack chairs, but when I have been out there I've been nothing short of enchanted by all the little birds that are coming to our new bird feeder — a suet feeder that keeps squirrels and bigger birds out. Black-oil sunflower seed got spilled on the porch recently and not cleaned up; the squirrels went absolutely mental after they ate it all, and attacked the plastic milk jug we've used for years to fill the feeders, and destroyed the cap to the jug, and threw the jug across the yard and down the stairs to the sidewalk, and then threw the two empty feeders off of the trees, and completely destroyed the squirrel-proof one (I have two seed feeders — one is squirrel-proof, and one is just for the squirrels) by shredding the plastic tube inside and losing half of the parts. ANNOYING. Anyway, when I went to the store to get a new squirrel-proof seed feeder, I also got the new squirrel-proof suet feeder for the smaller birds. And now we have the sweetest little bushtits and chickadees. We've always had a lot of very friendly hummingbirds. Andy told me my red feeder (not squirrel-proof) was down on the sidewalk again this morning. Hrmmmm. Obnoxious. One squirrel sits on the fence and stares at me and thwacks his tail with fury the whole time I'm out there reading. He's quite annoyed that I'm in his yard, apparently.

My roses, good lord. Too bad I can't remember what they're called. I have two different bushes and they have been nothing short of fairy-tale quality this year, I do say.

I made a barbecue-chicken chopped salad like California Pizza Kitchen's from this recipe, but I used this chili-lime chicken that I've been making about once a week since I discovered the recipe. The salad tasted EXACTLY like CPK's. Exactly. It was awesome. Andy ate it (standing, still in scrubs, watching ESPN) when he came home from work.

Him, shouting from kitchen: "This is good!"
Me, shouting from living room: "I know, it's the jicama."
Him, mouth full: "The WHAT?!?!?"

Pfffft. I used the chicken on another night to make chicken tacos with this Mexican street corn salad, a vaguely unappetizing picture of which is up there, but I assure you, oh man, it was crazy good. So, chili-lime chicken, soft tortillas, corn salad, Spanish rice (from a box, I think it was Zatarain's). Boom.

Up there as well, Molly's Granola #5, the only one I'll eat anymore, originally gifted to me by the lovely Andrea for Christmas and which I've made several times since. I use cashews, sometimes almonds, and sweetened coconut. Very, very excellent granola. Simple and plain and toasty.

And then, magic custard cake. When I made this last summer, it occurred to me that it is exactly what I always want a clafoutis to be, but never is. So yesterday morning I pitted a bunch of cherries and added them to the bottom of the pan before I poured the batter in. It worked perfectly, though next time I would use more cherries, and actually more sugar. The cherries were seriously tart, and the cake just needs to be sweeter. Maybe a pinch of salt, too. This cake is really cool. It's a little bit of work, with beating the egg whites and all, but I've never seen anything like this before, and it is really delicate and delicious.

This week, ah . . . this week. I have a whole day — today — to myself. I'm sending the 'Night, Neighborhood cross stitch pattern off to the printer. Stacey's going to start pulling the floss tomorrow. The fabric should be arriving any day. This one has taken a while because I just have so many things going on at home right now. It's almost done, we just have to get it together around here. Things are a little rough around the edges. I could use a whole day to start smoothing them out. I'll be back soon.

***It's shaving-cream paint, to play with in the bath tub :).

***The upholstered dollhouse furniture was a long-ago sweet gift from Leigh. Thank you for that, Leigh. Meems set up this Calico Critter phalanx herself. Xox

55 comments

Oh, my goodness! I just finished picking up little furniture pieces just like the ones in your photo. I bought our set, complete with a fabric dollhouse (the sides and roof unzipped so that it all could lay out flat) and two bunny residents about 30 years ago. For the life of me, I can't remember where I got it. At a craft show, I think. The bunny house is now a favorite of granddaughter #3. I have had to mend the bunny clothes, but the rest has been so durable. I've never seen anything like ours. Until now.

PS Love your flower photos.

this is all so beautiful and inspiring. i LOVE that cake you did with the roses on top. i pinned it so i can remember it when my daughters birthday arrives in july.

Donna Leone says: June 04, 2016 at 10:01 PM

Beautiful!! All of it!

Jane Mathis-Hopson says: June 22, 2016 at 04:40 PM

I somehow found your blog a couple of weeks ago and have been happily lost in your world just about every spare moment since then. I lived in Portland at ages 3 and 4, and your photos have brought back so many memories of that time. Sidewalks with steps up to tiny front yards. Hilly streets in the rain. Bushes filled with big puffy flowers (hydrangeas?). And the parks with the green, green grass and the tall (huge, to a small girl) trees. Mount Hood off in the distance, as much a part of our homescape as was the rain. Thank you for your photos and for the glimpses of your lives (and part of mine, as well).

If you make your own suet, the birds will really go crazy. Most of the recipes are really easy and involve a mixture of lard, peanut butter, cornmeal, oats, and bird seed. I used to make my own suet, but we have too many cats in our backyard now and I can't bear the thought of them catching a bird (although I love cats too :) happy birdwatching!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

post a comment

About Alicia Paulson

About

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

Archives

Photography

Photography

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.