Already Mid-May!

comments: 42


I'm sitting in the living room listening to traffic, lawn mowers, and birds outside. Andy's at work. Amelia just logged into math, and she'll be in Zoom school for at least another hour. Clover is asleep on her pillow and not stalking me to feed her. I've got old episodes of Real Housewives of NYC on in the background. I love Bethenny and I think she's hilarious. "The only person who got the memo was Dorinda, who showed up wasted. She understands. Where we are." Ha! Silly and funny. I find this show so silly it's relaxing. I love all the Bravo shows. My favorite is Shahs of Sunset, but I also like a few of the Housewives, and I love Million Dollar Listing New York and Los Angeles. Agatha is creeping around on the mantle chewing on stuff and chasing flies through the house like she's on fire. She will mow down anything in her way to get to her fly. I still haven't let her outside and I'm not sure I will. We've never had an indoor cat before. She seems to like it okay. The biggest change is that we never have our back door open like we used to. It opens out so there's no screen door. How do you put a screen door on an outward-opening door? Is that a thing?

Porch 1

I've been trying to work on my gardening. There are a bunch of little calendula and cornflower and strawflower volunteers down in the parkway (parking strip) that I've been nurturing. I water down there almost every single day, and that is unusual for me. I am typically a very unreliable waterer. But now I've figured out how to do it with the small hose (it's one of those fabric hoses) and I can sit on the front stairs instead of standing. Its best done in the early morning when it's all in shade. I was down there this morning at like 8:00. I saw everybody. A neighbor across the street. A lady riding her bike with two kids ("Hey! I got the same bike helmet! It looks so cute on you!"). Two ladies who looked like twins walking down the middle of the street who complemented my sprinkler system (me with a hose on a stair). Then another lady stopped by with a birthday gift for my other neighbor because she wasn't home. So many people! That's more people in one morning than I've seen in a week!

I'm late with my summer cross stitch design and my summer hoop design. I am almost finished with the cross stitch sample. We have made five different types of soap that we will be launching soon, along with restocking lotion bars and making new bubble scoops and bath soaks. Making body care stuff has been bringing me happiness lately. Who knew! I am trying to make some videos about the process and I will post those on IG.

I get my second shot next week and I can't wait. My electric bicycle will be shipping out from California on June 4. I absolutely cannot wait for the bike to get here. We have a long multi-use trail called the Springwater Corridor that Andy and I used to ride our bikes on all the time. It's a 20+-mile-long trail that runs from Southeast Portland to Boring, Oregon. You can hop on it all over the place. I am going to ride all over it with my electric bike. I could not be more excited about it. I'm just going to ride and ride and ride. I just can't stop thinking about it and I can't wait until it gets here. It can't come soon enough.


I was just heartbroken to hear about the passing of one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever known in the blogosphere, Teresa Kasner. She was so joyful, always so encouraging, so curious about things, so filled with delight, and always, always had something nice to say and took the time to say it. God, it just breaks my heart. Andy and I both (Andy still reads every comment on this blog, and he knew exactly who Teresa was from all of her many years of generous commenting here) are thinking of her and Dayle and their sweet family. Rest in peace, dear Teresa. You set such a beautiful example. Thank you.


That trail sounds brilliant. Just now, riding and riding and riding would be just the ticket!
So many bloggers are stunned and grieving over the sudden passing of Teresa Kasner. I feel both amazed at how wonderful she made blogging feel by how much she gave and connected, and also like a light went out. I miss her already. And I feel extra care about the blogging neighborhood, and friends here.. I’m glad you posted today.

Jennifer s says: May 11, 2021 at 03:49 PM

There is that retractable screen you could choose. One that slides into itself - may not be best for little fingers in terms of the interest - (i.e. open close repeat repeat) not because it would hurt her. also wouldn't the cat just climb it, or any screen for that matter?? I know ours would. hmmm, maybe not a good suggestion!
thanks for the update. lots of love

I didn't know Teresa but I'm awfully sad to hear about her passing. Love and light to her family.

Andy reads comments on your blog?!? THAT'S SO AWESOME! Off to go look up info on electric bikes....

Your biking plans sound wonderful in the midst of all your many projects and chores.

Alicia, I appreciate so much what you shared about dear Teresa, and pray for the Lord's comfort for her family and friends and blog readers who are stunned by her sudden passing. ((hugs))

Lucille says: May 12, 2021 at 01:45 AM

Thank you for letting us know about Teresa. I have been aware of her cheerful presence in the blogosphere for years. What a sad loss.
The bike sounds very liberating. We see a lot of e-scooters round here. Pretty unpredictable riders on and off the pavements. Both illegal.
Please may I ask how to find you on Instagram? I have looked but found all the wrong people!

I so enjoy every post you write, but rarely comment. I've watched Mimi grow, I admire your fabulous photographs and art-filled life. And, the house! I just went to Teresa's page and read a few blog posts and I felt so sad for her husband and family. I saw her bell-bottoms and long hair from the 60s or 70s and I am thinking how quickly life goes by. You and Andy are young, but you seem like two people who are wise beyond your years. I get the impression that you understand things about life. I guess it is the best way to pass on to the next great adventure doing some normal task. But for some reason, it makes me kind of teary when I think of people I loved leaving the planet just as they were in the middle of doing something else. My aunt was dividing an African violet. Another was painting a dresser yellow. A dear aunt bent down to pick up a bougainvillea blossom on the lawn. If it is true that everyone is around 27-30 years old in Heaven, I hope Teresa gets her bell-bottom jeans back. She looked fabulous in them. Thank you, Alissa, for taking your readers along on your life's journey. It brings us joy. Your blog is the only one I still read. I just love it. ~Ginene

Sharon Kindall says: May 12, 2021 at 06:03 AM

I didn't know Teresa, but I just visited her blog and she looks like she was a special person. I'm sorry for her family and your loss as well. I've been following your beautiful blog since before Amelia was born. I don't comment often but I just wanted to let you know how much I love your posts, your pictures and being included in your life. Amelia is beautiful and precious and Clover is adorable. I get my second vaccine next week and I can't wait either! Enjoy your bike and know that you are awesome with all your creative pursuits! Sharon K.

An electric bicycle, how exciting, you’ll be able to have such fun, I’m looking forward to hearing about it. You are so busy, always something going on.
I found your blog years ago through Teresa’s blog, she was indeed a lovely lady who will be much missed.

We have retractable screens on the inside of the frame. We only have indoor cats as there are plenty of bald eagles, hawks and owls here hunting for little snacks and can easily take a 10# cat!

Ann Collins says: May 12, 2021 at 07:03 AM

Looking forward to your electric bike adventures and seeing photos of your beautiful flowers. I too am stunned by Theresa's passing and think about her everyday since I read Dayle's post. She made the best of everyday and shared it with us and I will miss seeing photos of her beautiful home, garden, camping trips, crochet and most of all her.

It really was so very sad about Teresa, she was a genuinely lovely person, such a good online friend and so very kind and generous. I have been thinking about her and her family such a lot these past few days. CJ xx

I always noticed Teresa's blog comments. She had warm words of encouragement, enthusiasm and appreciation that she left for many bloggers over the years. I am so glad that she is being spoken of so well (and often very movingly) by so many people.

My condolences to the family Teresa loved so much, I hope that there is some comfort to know how much others thought of her. She was a real believer in community. She will be remembered.

Stephanie says: May 12, 2021 at 02:18 PM

Could you please post the process for making lotion bars? My 7 year old and I tried some this week as end of the year teach gifts, using the recipe from Simply Living Well by Julia Watkins. They turned out so cute but I did not like the overpowering smell of cocoa butter (could not even smell the rosemary and lemon eucalyptus essential oils we used, plus I thought the lemon-eucalyptus smelled like Pledge going in). Also, they were very soft. I knew they would be soft, but these were so soft that I'm afraid they will be smashed by the time we gift them. Do you have any recommendations for tweaking the oils/butters or for scent combinations (preferably using only a small selection of essential oils - I have the basics like lavender, tea tree, peppermint, rosemary, geranium and bergamot)

Thanks much!!!

Oooooh- electric bikes! I have been researching them for 6 months now- am saving up for a Story Bike because for every electric bike purchased, they give a regular bike to a student in a needy country who has to get to school somehow. Great cause, and fine looking bikes on their site.

Sorry to hear about Teresa. I read your blog and the comments all the time- she seemed like someone who people would want as a friend.

School is out for me in 5 weeks. My students are ready to be done with all these masks and Zooming and so am I. Hoping for a peaceful, healing summer for all.

Valerie says: May 13, 2021 at 03:29 AM

Your garden looks great. I’m very excited for your bike to arrive - can you tell us all about it and how you chose the one you did? I would love to get one and haven’t begun the research - was hoping you could share your knowledge and thoughts - you usually investigate pretty thoroughly! Thank you. 😀

My brother and sister-in-law have a screen that covers the opening of their back door, and all around the edges of the screen are little magnets so that you can easily push it open on the sides, and then it clicks back into place after you walk through. I’m not sure how kitten-proof it would be (they actually trained their dog to know how to push through it) but might be something to look at?

Thank you for your writing and for your presence here in the blogosphere <3

Love how you describe your surrounding letting us know what you hear and see. Marvelous writer!! I am so glad you're getting your second vaccine. We got both awhile ago. I have been to Teresa's blog a few times. She was a positive and kind person. It's sad to lose someone like her. I am grieving her loss! Very sad!

I just got my spring wreath embroidery kit in the mail and my breath actually caught when I saw the bundle of thread. Such a gorgeous, pleasing palette! Just the thread part makes me happy and I haven't started the needlework. Thanks!

Melissa says: May 14, 2021 at 08:25 AM

Oh I'm so sorry to hear about Teresa! I found her blog through yours as well and if I ever needed a bit of cheering up that was definitely the place to go. She had such a positive outlook, taking pleasure in her home, garden, family and friends, creative and engaged in what everyone was doing. She will be missed!

Deb Jurgensen says: May 14, 2021 at 12:12 PM

As always, coming to your blog just makes my whole body relax. I don't always comment, but when I do, it usually goes a little something like this " I wish we could be friends ". :) Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that awhile back, I bought your Scarborough Skirt pattern for my mother-in-law to make for me. I ended up finding 5 different fabrics that I loved and thought would look just darling with the pattern. She has made me one so far. It's a black background with green leaves and has yellow lemons all over it. SO summery and makes me feel like I should be walking around in Tuscany with my wicker basket full of bread and cheese and figs and salami and produce. I wish I could post a pic of it. I'm DYING over the giant pockets and the length. I am old fashioned and love my skirts below the knee. So classy. Thank you so much for making this patteren available. I can't wait until the other 4 are done. HOW cute am I going to look this summer ? All thanks to you <3 Sending best wishes to you from Coeur d'Alene

Can't believe I've found somebody else who loves the same Real Housewives as I do, though I think the new episodes of RHOBH are becoming rather nasty,I might give up on them. Did you know that Bethanny and Frederik have their own show now? It's hilarious. So sad to hear of sweet Teresa's passing but amazing how the whole world has been talking about her this week. Hope she can hear the collective tributes to her remarkable life.

ps the website link on my previous comment has nothing to do with me and clearly leads you to somewhere that I have no knowledge of. I shall investigate and try and fix it.

Sounds like a great morning. It is nice to see the city wake up after the last year. Hasn’t the weather been amazing? An electric bike sounds about my speed. Be careful on the Springwater trail and don’t ride alone, it has become very crowded with campers and litter.
I look forward to seeing your soap. Some of the fragrances you have been making sound yummy.

Sounds like a wonderful trail to ride. Hoping your bike arrives on the quick side of things.

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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