Lakeshore flowers.

Lake Isle of Innisfree
by William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
– W.B. Yeats

The White lake

“Blanca lake trail…you broke my spirit on the way up, and broke my heart on the way down, but we had one hour of bliss in between,” Random Instagrammer.img_9909 Ha! Yesterday Beau and I hiked to Blanca Lake. It’s the most aqua lake in Washington State.  To get there you have to go up steep grueling switchbacks 3 and a half miles up a steep mountain. There was a sign before we started detailing some of the hike and it said it was HARD in capital letters.  It was. Beau hardly seemed to get tired at all but I felt like I might pass out every few minutes. I’ve been running a couple times a week so I thought I was more in shape! By the time we were done I could barely walk. But it was so worth it!  The woods were so lovely. They were covered in fall mushrooms and turning leaves.  Then once we came up out of the treeline the ridge was covered in blueberry bushes and bright green meadow where the snow had melted. Butterflies kept landing on me and little Pikas were peeking out of the rocks.IMG_9908.JPGThe lake is like something out of a sci fi.  I kept having to remind myself that there wasn’t something wrong with my eyes.  Beau called it murky emerald. I called it double mint gum. My phone couldn’t capture it, but the waves were an electric green. It looks like it should be warm, but it’s freezing.  That didn’t stop people from jumping in though! Girls were laying out on the rocks in their bikinis and dudes had their go pros out. It was a pretty popular spot!  But I didn’t mind the company.  Everyone was so friendly.  It felt like we were all in this crazy hike together.  We made friends with the people we kept passing back and forth with on the switchbacks.  They had a shiba inu so I felt like I was doing the hike with a fox! Also of note…I counted 10 natural red heads on the hike.  10! 11 including the shiba inu. I’m dying my hair today!

6a00e54fcf738588340167694acd17970b-580wiBeau said the lake reminded him of something like The Lady of the Lake or Avalon.  It really is something magical to behold! (painting by Arthur Rackham)

blush and honey and ruffle and plaid.

Well, it’s happening again.  I’ve got that Anne in Windy Poplars feel and I’ve got an itch to wear a plaid cape and shoes with buttons. Collages38Today I perused Mod Cloth for the latest trends…which I cannot afford right now (because I want to eventually go to Ireland and Prague and Disneyland with all the non-money I have), but love looking at and trying to emulate nonetheless!  I love making collages.  Holing up by a fire, drinking a big mug of tea with butter cookies, and searching through my favorite shop websites to make silly albums of clothes I’ll never wear is a favorite fall pastime.   Anyhoo… Everything in this collage is from Mod Cloth, except for the cape…that’s from Ireland on Amazon. WANT. But maybe I could find some plaid fabric and just sort of drape it…huh. Oh and the servewear is from Anthro. Collages33The other thing I do EVERY SINGLE FALL is swoon over red heads.  See that top right picture?  That’s the picture that came with the henna I just ordered. I want to be strawberry blond and as natural red as I can muster. I’m so excited! Many of the red haired lovelies I know dye their hair brown or blonde and it is a shame, I tell you.  Natural red hair is like magic. I think they have fairy or mermaid ancestry. Desktop13


I love September.  It snuck up on me a few years ago. It used to make me cringe and worry about dark days and school, but now it’s one of my favorite months.  It’s still warm, yet the air changes into a golden, spicy, tangible hue. September feels like the hues of an Edmund Dulac painting to me:edmund dulacThere’s something in the shadows.  They’re longer and crisper, and the difference between golden leaves and dark hollows is more pronounced. I went for a run in the woods today and the valley smelled strongly of cedar and a sweet fruity smell like ripening apples. The earth gave a crunch and dust motes swirled. Autumn is making her way through the wood. I stood on the bridge looking over the canopy and little yellow birds flew from branch to branch.  A bright golden bug swirled far away in a shadow.  It caught the light and sparkled at me. I imagined it was a fairy.  The spirit of fall waiting, perhaps.   Collages28

The Green Isle calling.

You know what’s been whispering to me lately?  Ireland.  I’m not really sure why.  I follow some British folks on Instagram and see their meanderings in the isles, so that made me long for far off sandy coves and green glens, but it’s more than that.

Yesterday I was walking with the boys from the doughnut shop to the library and a little gentleman with orange hair and a plaid coat walked past, then turned, looked me in the eyes, and said, “top of the morning to you.”

This was after the Collins siblings had taken us to an irish pub in Cannon Beach and the place we stayed just happened to have mossy green rocks straight out of a stone circle. I kept imagining I was there as we toured little sea caves and I picked flowers in the green banks along the river.

Then my mother in law pulled a beautiful floral book off the shelf and said, “This book looks like you.” it was a book about a small sea village in Ireland. (I wish I’d written down the name of it…oops).

I have Irish heritage.  I have the freckles and green eyes and a red headed mother with Irish citizenship to prove it… but I’ve never been. My family has all been a few times but it’s never been a very large draw for me.  But now it feels as though it wants me.

Can that happen?  Can a place call to you to come to it? Are the rocks remembering my ancestor’s home and seeking to find her children? Should I go?  Or is there still some other meaning yet to be discovered?

Maybe I just need to dye my hair red.

In the meantime I’ll bask in the beauty I got to be in this past week. (All the collage pictures are from Arch Cape and Hug Point on the Oregon Coast) Can you see why I kept thinking of the green isle?Desktop10West coast, best coast!



My Family.

Oliver Finn Harry 2014 2-001The-Collins-2014-188The-Collins-2014-203-1The-Collins-2014-190The-Collins-2014-196oliver finn harry laughingThe-Collins-2014-205This weekend we stayed with the Collins family in Arch Cape on the Oregon Coast. The extended family had some photos taken by Portland based Kristine Ridley. We took the opportunity to have some romantic pictures of Beau and I taken. I never think to plan for this type of thing so it was lovely to have it land in my lap!  (We haven’t had any of just the two of us since our wedding!) I LOVE how they turned out.  The boys were being complete crazies that day so I opted out of photos with  them, but when we got home they were all in such a happy mood, tan, and sparkling I sat them down on Finn’s bed and promised them pop corn if we took a good one.  (I also went cross eyed and said “fart” a few times). I am so over the moon delighted with the shining souls I get to be with every day. All of my boys are treasures, each their own shade of gem.

Happy September!


Sun Prints

img_7188img_7183img_7186 img_7176img_7176-002When I was a kid we made sun prints simply by putting leaves on construction paper and leaving them in the sun all day.  Now you can buy special paper that works in five minutes.  The kit we got had a bunch of photo sensitive sheets in a blackout envelope, and a piece of plexiglass to hold the flowers down.  After five minutes in the sun the sheet turns white, while the shadows remain dark, then you wet the sheet and wait for everything to develop. It was so fun to pick out all the different fronds and fuzz from our garden with the boys. And they were so giddy waiting to see what kind of shadows they made, and delighted when the paper changed color! I think I may have had more fun than the kids with these…I even tried to get a spider web on one, but all I got was a squished spider.  Ha!img_7157

You can find sun prints on Amazon.