A random babbling on creative spirits-

Random babbling on the creative spirit~painting, sewing, baking, boys, an irresistable God and the next 200 feet~

Sunday, June 28, 2009

voluntary solitary confinment

or maybe I should call it house arrest. Hmmm. Both sound so final; so definitive and closed. But that's not what it is at all. I am closing doors in order to open new ones. Seeking voices and words to carry me to the next place-by standing alone: walking in a solitary state and listening.

I have found that I enjoy being in a relationship. I thrive in it on one level, but also lose a bit of myself. That's where in lies the work-in finding a way to not lose oneself in the passion and enthusiasm of sharing bits of life with a partner.

I can even say I crave it sometimes. The surety of a kiss coming your way. A guarantee of companionship through the next DVD rental. Company for a walk along the sunset strewn beach. But I thrive on my independence as well. Drinking my first cup of coffee in bed without concern of disturbing some one's slumber. Eating dinner when my stomach growls rather than awaiting a table-with-a-view reservation. Not putting makeup on until noon. Boxers and tank top at the dinner table. One towel drying on the towel rack.

I'm on hiatus. I'm pulling back from all the extra that surrounds my days and simply engaging in listening. Doing and acting from my instincts and intuition and following where it leads. Now is the time. My guys are away: My house is purged of testosterone. Let's see where it takes me.

And, let me simply live and wait for the somebody who will come along and love me without requiring instructions. in love. trish. girly girl

Friday, June 26, 2009


As I awaken today, filled with anticipation of all that I want to do, all that needs me to do, and all that just feels good to do, I realize it's all about edges! Living on the edge is living close to the action; fully engaged and right there with goosebump creating wonder. So, these are my edges today as I return from my trip to Oregon to an empty house and ideas flowing!
edges of baking edges of reading edges of dusting edges of entries edges of laudry edges of natural
edges of projects
edges of sleep
in love. trish

Monday, June 22, 2009

diversifying my medium

Hugging the boys goodbye as they set off for their time in Michigan and keeping the car pointed south at a consistent 75mph I begin my five plus hour drive to the Oregon coast. I adore Oregon. I spent the better part of motherhood in the southwest quadrant of Portland and left behind a lifelong friend; ensuring frequent returns to the area! This trip takes me further south, and west, to Otis; a mini town just inland from Lincoln City. Sitka Center for Art and Ecology has been a landing point for my workshops for the past few years: Encaustic as well as the last of my Watermedia Extravaganzas have tripped a few breakers at Sitka. Nestled into the evergreened foothills of the coastal range, Sitka bodes an amazing backdrop for concentrated, engaging art experiences. As a bonus you can walk down the winding entry road to the trail head and your feet take you to one of the most beautiful vistas overlooking the Pacific Ocean I have ever seen.
For this trip I am here to take-not just give~ :)
I believe and advocate that encaustic supports the inclusion and companionship of every other medium out there. It’s the ‘No one left behind’ theory of encaustic! I intend to continue to prove this summation by adding bindery to my repertoire. I have had a lifelong fascination with books, paper and the written word. It is about time I investigate creating them myself and discover the possibilities in their marriage to my encaustic work! So I divert my attention from the stretching of my heart strings to accommodate Brian’s move to Michigan and delve into book binding and the lush love of paper, book board and waxed linen thread. I can already feel the beeswax playing with the pages…. in love. trish

Friday, June 19, 2009

change is a comin'

S is for Sad......and for the mysterious appetite that often surges in us when our hearts seem to be breaking and our lives appear too bleakly empty. Like every other physical phenomenon, there is good reason for this hunger, if we will be blunt enough to recognize it."
--M. F. K. Fisher, An Alphabet for Gourmets

The most beautiful sound caused me to catch my breath as I scraped warm wax from a board this evening. A magical, simple pleasure that made my mind and heart travel back fifteen years to a time when that sound belonged to a much smaller incantation of the one I'd just heard. Back to the easy days of holding small hands crossing the street, catching 40 pound bodies as they plummet down the park slide and cutting crusts from peanut butter sandwiches. To a time when the tugs at the heart were associated with fleeting desires to have them stay this way forever-to never grow up and to continue to delight in the innocent pleasure of the sway of a lazy sprinkler on a hot summer day. The sound was so familiar to me that on many another day, with different tasks filling my minutes and engaging my brain, it has gone unnoticed-simply continuing its bounce off the wall and up the stairs to dissolve in the beeswax fumed air of my studio. But this evening it captured me. Grabbed my heart and filled my thoughts with smiles. A laugh: The free flowing, still innocent laugh of a child. Deeply resonating in its post-pubescent growth and full of presumed-self knowing that would daily be challenged by this worlds rough edges; the laugh was still mine- still his. Still held the timber of the three foot tall, chipmunk-cheeked youth slipping through spring-mud filled grass. It captured me now for the bittersweet warmth of its existence-soon to be gone. Soon to exist in the vacuous silence of my reminiscing alone. Exist only in the memory of its once innocent flutter from the sofa, up the stairs and to my concentrating ears and mommy heart. feed the hunger. in love. trish
Brian's favorite rhubarb berry crisp
1 c flour
1c brown sugar
1 c quick oats
1 t cinnamon
2 sticks butter, melted and cooled

Mix the crisp ingredients until crumbly. Press 1/2 the mixture into a greased baking dish. Spread 4-5 c chopped rhubarb and assorted seasonal berries over this base. In a saucepan blend
1 c sugar
3 T flour
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c water
Cook this mixture until it thickens (about 5 minutes) then pour over the fruit. Spread the remaining 1/2 of the crisp over this layer and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Allow to cool and dig in. It only gets better with time~and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!
I make this for Brian, exclusively. He can eat a 10x14 dish of it in three days easy; that's if he's pacing himself.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

more burn!

I've gone ahead and begun to burn in the garage and driveway! I'm finding I set the smoke alarm off a lot less frequently this way :) in love. trish

Monday, June 15, 2009

my daniel

I have been learning a lot about myself over the past few years. Discovering where my heart's passion truly lies, unearthing my personal voice, redefining love and what it means for me in my life. It has been an amazing journey, and one I recognize I am on for the duration! These lessons learned open to new experiences that create new lessons and thus new learning to be done~

This is my Daniel. He is 17 1/2 and grabbed me-heart and soul at birth. He has a tender gentle countenance and the person he is, the soul he possesses, speaks to me poignantly. Each of my children holds an exalted, unique place in my heart and I can not do this living without each and every one of them: There's just something about Daniel.

He is the second baby. Where Conner reeled back, screaming at the stars for the first few months of his life, Daniel gently cuddled, latched on and peacefully connected. He was an 'oops' baby; growing the family wasn't the plan just yet. Daniel can be 'blamed' as the catalyst to my big family~he made me want more.

The day after his 16th birthday he moved to Michigan to live with his father. We'd lived there for five years until moving to Washington in 2004. My boys developed a connection to the midwest that I did not. Where they want to call Okemos, Michigan their home, I connect to it angst, struggle, heartache and falling away. I can get a sense of their emotional connection to the area, but I still have a bubble of disappointed quandary in the trying to understand it. Their experiences there are so very different than mine; we simple can not emotionally identify on the same level. It pains me that I could not give them my love of the west coast, but I have to let that go and know that they are finding their own way.

I struggle with Daniel's absence from my daily rounds. It is so very odd to have a child not living under your roof. Even if, as living under this roof, we simply said good morning, have a great day, and ate dinner together before rushing off to our own activities, he was still here in my sites. I see him three times a year now. I play a game with myself when the pain of this is too strong. I imagine him a brilliant savant who was whisked off to Yale at an early age. Silly mom.

Deep down I recognize the rightness of his choice and the good it is for his life. I just struggle with the changing form of this love, the loss of connection, and the building of a new relationship description. How do parents let go and let live? Or, how do you get to where the letting go is not married to pain and angst? I have never been a gripping, controlling mother, I believe I've created very independent, self sufficient children for the world, but I still cry as he gets on the plane alone. I still baulk at photos taken of myself with three boys, not four. Perhaps there just is no letting go. The belly button is a testament to this: The cord has been cut physically, but emotionally it is wrought in steel to never be cleaved. in love. trish

I make these and think of Daniel every time Krispie Treats
6 cups rice krispies
1 c corn syrup
1c sugar
1 c creamy peanut butter
1 c chocolate chips
1c butterscotch chips
In a small saucepan heat the corn syrup and sugar until bubbling. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Pour this mixture over the krispies in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Press into a greased 9x13 casserole dish. Melt both chips together in the microwave; 30 second bursts with stirring in between. Spread over krispies. Cool and cut! super sweet yumminess.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

a goldilocks day

not perfect. not extraordinary. everything isn't going according to plan and things are not happening just as I would have them. But, it is just right.
good things are happening. okay things are going on. difficult issues are being worked through. together these snips of life create a day that is just so very much just right.

a goldilocks day.
in love. trish

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

cardamom apple baked french toast and conner

Conner will be 19 on July 17th but we celebrated early. A small celebration, mind you, done with controlled anxiousness and heightened anticipation.

Conner is my oldest. My most vivid memory from his first days on earth are of clutching his tiny frame tightly to my chest as he threw his head back howling at the sky... all. night. long.....One could ponder my choice to continue to give birth after the months of sleeplessness and deep angst that comprised his first year.

Conner has managed to hold onto the status of my most difficult child throughout his entire tenure here on earth. Don't get me wrong, each child has given me their own version of heartache, difficulty and challenged patients. But Conner's version has come with a depth and breadth unlike anything I was familiar with and unlike any I could've prepared for. Somewhere in the mix that became the who that he is, he picked up a lust for making choices that put him on the edge of 'normal' life. Perhaps being branded 'first born' placed him in a position to test the edges of living so his brothers could take a more controlled and learned path in his wake. And, as first born Conner has been first to test my patience, first to push the limits, first to create undue angst and first to earn my undying love.

Yet, each day of his young adult life Conner claims another bit of my trust and admiration; reinforcing my already steadfast faith in his ability to find a path true to his heart. This faith has always been present and well seated in my soul, but I have not always been resolved to believe it would take him into a future beyond the day in which he was currently walking! Conner has lived days and made choices so far outside of my comfort zone that I sometimes wonder from who's womb he sprung! Yet, he is here. Nearly 19, talking on the phone with the dispatch coordinator, preparing for lift off to Alaska. He passed his drug tests, prep work and is getting on an airplane to King Cove, Alaska to work in a cannery for the summer season.

Wow. Another step down a path my catholic, middle class sensibility can't quite wrap itself around. And yet, I am so proud of his fortitude and resolve to make this happen for himself. This is his path. Right now he alone is taking these steps and heading down this road to a place that will be his story. Bravo my baby. Bravo my blessed, tender loving 7 lb 11 oz redheaded bundle. Take off. in love. mom.
Conner's 19th birthday breakfast
Cardamom Apple Baked French Toast with Cider Syrup
(adapted from Chefs on the Farm, shannon borg/lora lea misterly)

4 apples, cored and cut to 1/4" slices
4T sugar or sucanat
2 t fresh ground cardamom (buy the green pods, crack open, crush seeds with a mortar/pestle-you'll thank me!)
2 T butter
4 eggs
1/2 c half and half or milk
1 t vanilla
pinch of salt
unsliced bread-I used homemade sourdough, but any quality, dense bread will work beautifully

Heat the butter in a skillet while you are mixing the apples, sugar and cardamom in a bowl. Once the butter is hot, add the apple mixture. Stir frequently to keep from sticking, and cook until softened and a bit caramelized (10-15 minutes)
Butter an 8x8 Pyrex dish. Cut the bread loaf lengthwise to create 4, 1/2" thick slices of bread. Lay two of these into the bottom of the dish (you want them to ultimately cover the bottom of the Pyrex). Spread the apples over this bread layer and place the remaining two slices on top. In the bowl used to mix the apples, crack eggs and whisk. All half and half, vanilla and salt. Pour this mixture over the bread/apples. Cover with saran wrap, weight with a plate and jug of milk and place in refrigerator over night.
Remove weight and saran then bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Prepare syrup while baking:
1 c apple cider
1c sugar or sucanat
Bring these to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer and stirring frequently, reduce to 1 cup.

Once the bread is baked, remove from oven, invert on a serving platter and pour the syrup over all. Oh it's so good! The more cardamom the better-just grind it by hand!!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

poppyseed cake and a great time

I had a party on friday night :)...
In honor of a dear friend visiting and in order to get to know my neighbors better!
fun women, great desserts, free flowing wine. Here's to a good time!
in love. trish
This cake harkens back to my high school days of babysitting. A family I used to sit for had this on the counter one night as I watched TV and listened to sleeping-baby-gurgles on the monitor. I indulged in a hefty piece and was hooked-I asked for the recipe. The original version was made with a yellow cake mix. I've modified it since!

poppyseed cake
1 3/4c cake flour
1/4 t baking soda
1 3/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 small pkg vanilla instant pudding
1/3 c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c sour cream
1 t vanilla
1/3 c poppyseeds
1/3 c cooking sherry

sift flour, soda, baking powder, pudding and salt into a medium bowl. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla, sherry, sr cream and eggs to butter mixure and blend well. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour wet mixture into it. Blend these well then add poppyseeds. Pour batter into a buttered bunte cake pan. Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool 30 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely then glaze with 1/4 c powdered sugar, 1T milk mixed glaze. Indulge!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June....

The chime of wind through the neighbors garden art in the early evening. An ice cream truck slowly singing its melody through the heat radiant streets. Succulent strawberries bursting their red aroma as cream is splashed. Roses and peonies spilling over in fragrant bloom. Sizzling hamburgers hitting crisp lettuce on a sturdy paper plate. Child song-the delicious cry of innocents in the neighborhood park.

Would that each day held the peaceful wonder, delight and fullness of the blessings of June.
in love. trish

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

what is one thing you think of that always makes you smile?

My 13 year old asked me this last week. Remember, I have all boys. That makes it my 13 year old SON asked me this last week. Is anyone else raising their eyebrows in amazement?! And, from a mother's point of view, how freakin' precious is this!!?

I have been told he has an old soul. He can ask things, and give his interpretation of situations, with more maturity and human understanding than the best of the 'grownups'. He has left me slack jawed in awe on many an occasion. Don't get me wrong; he'll leave the frig open and track mud through the house with the best of them!
Patrick is my fourth and youngest child; therefore the one to get my name, so to speak, since a girl was not in the mix. I never pined for one mind you-I haven't spent a day wishing for a girl since laying on the ultrasound table for the third time and hearing, yep there it is!~I adore the name Patrick and it was fun to name someone after me~

I answered his query with the first thing that came to mind; my boys. But it stuck in my head that that just isn't quite it. I mean, really, do your children make you smile all the time?! I think not! Children bring more blistering frustrations and sometimes even love testing dilemmas than any other relationship can even come close to. So I had to rethink his line of questioning...

A few days later a more appropriate response struck me, and an ironic one at that. What always makes me smile when I think of it is the time he and I spent eight days in Children's Hospital. Wow. See the irony?! And three of those days were in intensive care. While the time there was painful, scary, frustrating and all around gut wrenching, the memories I carry from it are of a connection. He and I spent eight days joined in the single biggest event of his life; eating, sleeping and even breathing just inches from each other every moment. But when there were minutes not filled with needles, tubes and tests, I would push him on his IV pole through the halls-take pictures standing next to all of the animal sculptures-and when he started building his strength, try to do wheelies through the vacant halls in his wheelchair. All this went down four years ago in May. He and I spent Mother's day looking out the window of his room and testing the wheel chair on a newly discovered hallway with an incline :)
That time at Children's matched that of giving birth to my third son and soon after being frantically wheeled to surgery for blood transfusions and strange lasers. Scary. Nay, terrifying. But when you come out on the other side of things like that, able to smile, reflect and be oh so grateful for the minutes that have come after, even the terrifying can make you smile. in love. trish

I wear my heart

on my sleeve. Right out there, exposed to the world; received, rejected, accepted or stomped upon. I wear my heart on my sleeve-in confidence, with humility, in honesty and with trust. Believing in the best, trusting in the truth and standing tall in faith-knowing this is the only honest and real way to connect with the world, my life and to truth. always! woohoo ;) in love. trish

I will find the right one when I am right~