Tuesday, May 28, 2013

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. -Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Sometimes it's just hard to be totally positive and see the silver lining in everything. Sometimes you just feel beat down, and anxious, and confused. There are so many choices to be made, and so many people to consider. One image that has always hit home for me was the fig tree described by Sylvia Plath. Here's the short of it..click here for the whole passage:

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked.  I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

I really can't think of a more accurate way to put the sensation of choosing a life path. Impressive. Unfortunately, she doesn't offer any advice on how to conquer the paralysis. Of course, we just have to take it day by day - a near impossible task. I can live like that for a few days at a time, but then the figs start winking at me again and I lose my zen attitude. I don't believe in a higher power, so I can't rely on that...I have to say I agree with the quip in Woody Allen's Match Point, "Faith is the path of least resistance."

More than anything, I like to collect quotes that remind me why life is beautiful and that it really isn't that hard. Max Ehrmann's Desiderata does a fabulous job of quieting the nervous buzz that sometimes overtakes my mind:

"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

And now, some images to serve as further reminders. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror we can barely endure, and we stand in awe of it because it coolly disdains to destroy us. Every angel is terrifying. -Rainer Maria Rilke

Every time I go looking for Rilke quotes, I am blown away anew. Every sentence is beautiful. Oh, to be so gifted. The title of this post is an excerpt from this. Give it a read, and if you like it, start browsing more writings. You won't be let down.

Reminiscent of the title quote is one from The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky: "The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.” 

Photo copyright Anna Morosini

The Girl is Ludivine Sagnier - not sure where this originally appeared

Photo copyright Kristin Manson

Photo by Douglas Crites-Moore, edited by Adeline Crites-Moore. Copyright me, Adeline Jessica

guinevere van seenus & craig mcdean

Alexis Bledel, again...not sure where it first appeared

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Swedish Dip to Die For

I just had this amazing Swedish dip/spread at my godmother's new house. It's avocados, hard boiled eggs, chopped red onion, and red caviar. OMG amazing...and so easy. Kind of like a sophisticated version of 7-layer dip.

Recipe on Chatelaine

Purple does something to me. -Charles Bukowski

Purple has always been a favorite color of mine. It's girly without being as girly as pink, and it suits my green eyes (vanity, I know). It has been historically associated with royalty because the best dyes came from tiny snail shells which were hard to find and process. Here's a more detailed history lesson courtesy of dear old wikipedia (a.k.a. "how most people pass college"): "Beginning in about 1500 BC, the citizens of Sidon and Tyre, the citizens of two cities on the coast of Ancient Phoenicia, (present day Lebanon), began to exploit a remarkable new source of purple; a sea snail called the spiny dye-murex. This deep, rich purple dye made from this snail became known as Tyrian purple, or imperial purple."

What a dress! I hate pinterest because I can't give proper credit. 
Photo by ME

So understated...and a lot of dirty bowls... recipe on Rummy Tum-Tum

Pieces of Dreams by Morna Crites-Moore

periwinkle hydrangeas - photo by ME

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oregon welcomed me like a beloved child, enfolded me in her cool arms, shushed my turbulent thoughts, and promised peace through her whispering pines. -Colleen Houck

Oregon is such an incredibly beautiful place. After it came to mind yesterday, I had to share the places that I believe are highlights of the state. Sometimes I think about moving there, but I know deep down I'm an East Coaster. But I'll always go to visit and reset my mind.
Crater Lake. Can you imagine being the men who discovered it? Photo by me, Adeline Crites-Moore

Multnomah Falls always makes my mind go quiet. (photo from pinterest, can't find the source)

Haystack Rock is a must-see destination. It just has an amazing aura. Photo from concierge.com

Rainforest Canyon- haven't made it there yet! Photo by Marc Adamus

Turquoise Dip Dye - Mildly Obsessed

I think these hairstyles are absolutely fabulous. I wish I could do them myself, but I know they wouldn't really fly at work. People just don't take you as seriously. I know it's wrong to subscribe to societal norms like that (or is it?) but you just get ahead in life if you present yourself well. People want to feel like they are dealing with a professional, not a wild child. Plus...if you stay neat and presentable, you appeal to all demographics. If you have hair like these ladies, you only appeal to a narrow slice of people. And I don't mean "appeal" in a sexual way, but just in a life way! Who would you hire in a job interview? Or as your lawyer? Or real estate agent? Yep..that's what I thought.
Magical mermaid hair! Keeping the color that rich requires a lot of re-dying though.

Now THAT's a commitment. I love how she makes it so high fashion!


Subtle yet bold. Seen in the Free People catalog

A touch of royal purple for good measure

Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? -Nora Roberts

I love rainbows, and I always have. They're fun and bright and depending on how you use them they can be very youthful or even sophisticated. I remember the shock of discovering, in 4th grade, that the rainbow was the symbol of the LGBT community. It was gay pride month, and I was at Barnes & Noble with my mom, and everything was rainbow - notebooks, pencils, book covers. I think that was the first time I realized that the LGBT community isn't always treated fairly; otherwise, why would they need an awareness month? It was a good learning experience for 4th grade me.

Moving on from politics, here are some rainbow and polka dotted foods. How great would it be to have a rainbow themed brunch? Make sure you play Rainbow Girl by Giana Factory while you eat...it's an awesome kinda techno-y song that I saw a burlesque dancer perform to in Denver, CO this past summer.

cake batter chocolate chip cookies - recipe on Sally's Addiction

omg trix rice krispy treats - recipe on tasty kitchen

Polka dots AND rainbow? My brain just exploded.

Very subtle and pastel - but still rainbow-ish. Recipe on A beautiful mess

Anyone who has the patience to make all those damn layers gets a prize, IMO

As for me, I'll stick with funfetti mix from the box. With CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings, saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry. -Robert Hass

Why are blackberries so charmingly delicious? I like them so much more than raspberries...perhaps because we have endless raspberry bushes in my woods, and while that sounds romantic, it's really quite annoying. They're prickly, they grown rampantly with no rhyme or reason, and cutting them does nothing - you have to pull them out of the ground. Blackberries, on the other hand, are a fabulous color, taste great, and don't grow in my yard. Plus, they remind me of marionberries, which remind me of my dad, because they're from Oregon and so is he. And he loves them. Hello, Blackberries? It's Raspberries....you win!

Blackberries, meet macaroons. Macaroons, meet tart. Recipe on Juls Kitchen

Ditch the usual lattice crust and let your stars shine! recipe on the kitchn

Blackberry Limeade bars, recipe at CosmoCookie

Blackberry custard pie, recipe on columbus foodie

Rather than flavored ice cream, try flavored topping! Blackberry red wine reduction, recipe on galley kitchen

I'm obsessed with caipirinhas - and they're great with the addition of blackberries. recipe on soups & souffles

Ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: "It is time to be drunk!"

Following the advice of Baudelaire, I offer you a selection of libations that go beyond the typical martini. There are so many options and combinations, from fresh herbs to home infused liquors. I think we all know it's hard to go wrong, so don't be afraid to experiment.

Blackberry Sage Mojito

Grapefruit and Thyme Fizz

Lavender Blueberry Mojito

Peaches, lemonade, vodka, and sprite

Don't forget the ice cubes!