30 June 2008


i didn't expect the end of the month so soon. i've still got posts waiting to be written. i guess that's a good sign. there were certainly days when the posts here were a bit slim. so i'm not an advocate of posting for habit's sake. if there is something to say, then by all means pound it out. but there's no harm in sitting quiet for a few days either.

M has inherited a play structure from our neighbors. (i tried all day to upload a video of her going down the slide with no luck.) i really can't imagine a more perfect gift at the beginning of this season. she is ripe for it! it's plastic. but not bright and awful. earth colors with moss growing on it. the climbing walls are a bit too big for her (next year!), but the stairs and slide were getting a workout at 7:30 this morning.

i can't tell you how nice it is to have a green place to sit. our new fence keeps the girl in, but she's got plenty of room to roam. the garden, the pool, the play structure. and we have a baby scrub jay too. she hops along behind her mama, crying out little calls. her gray head gives her away. and the plaintive way she opens her mouth when she calls. such richness. what were you doing this morning?

29 June 2008


our strawberry patch in the front yard is producing so much fruit. we eat alot, share alot with our neighbors, let the scrub jays eat their share. and still our fridge is full of berries.

so i smashed a couple cups, mixed it with cream and sugar and an egg, and gave it a couple of turns in the ice cream maker.

home made strawberry ice cream. so good. look how fast the girl can get a taste! i'm going to whip up a little cream to eat with this morning's berries and watch tennis. strawberries and cream...breakfast at Wimbledon. it sort of counts as church!

twenty nine

so it happened. i didn't make it to the computer yesterday. my streak is broken. i did not blog every day. oh well. i did think of it as the little one was nursing herself back to sleep. it was 11:54 pm. and i could have popped in. but i stayed in bed and rested my bones. the right choice i think.

27 June 2008

twenty seven

this is just amazing. you can read a bit about these two beauties on the video's Youtube site. there is also video of her birth.

it's no surprise that M is already learning the differences between mammals and other animals. she knows that whales live in the water like fish, but give their babies milk to drink. and that's one of the first questions she asks about new animals. she cradles an imaginary baby to her breast and asks, milk? do these mamas feed their babies milk?

i was very newly pregnant with M when we went to the Lighthouse in San Diego to watch the whales migrating down to Baja to birth their babies. that's when i first learned how baby whales drink milk, that the milk is the consistency of cottage cheese and the mama squirts it into the water! this is a crazy, amazing world we live in!

26 June 2008

twenty six

word on the street is i'm thinking of moving this blog over to Wordpress. i know, i know! big news. i've never really liked Blogger. just the name sounds silly to me. i hated the address: onedeepdrawer.blogspot.com. those two short "o" sounds right next to each other. yuck! Wordpress sounds much more dignified to my ears.

so the plan is to stay here through the end of the month, and then move here.

and another link for those who don't like change:


it's not that big of a deal is it? if it is, just let me know. nothing's final. and i might find that Blogger really is more my speed. we'll see.

25 June 2008

twenty five

ladies and gentlemen, may i direct your attention to our Flickr page. many, many pictures have been uploaded in the last few days, so let me get you up to speed on our comings and goings...
  1. our trip to Yakima...i can't decide if going down the water slide was the most fun part of the trip or eating shave ice. my favorite was green apple with a squirt of sour zinger. yum! and don't you just love the sense of style that Jess has? by the by, the pictures from Hood River are from the trip home. we stopped for a Big Dinger Dog and Cokes. more yum!
  2. swim lessons...i've already mentioned those, but here are a few more pictures. Maisy Layton has almost the exact same suit as our Mamie.
  3. picking strawberries in the front yard. such bounty. i'm going to make home made ice cream with this morning's pick.
  4. Nicki + Kev...are moving to town from Bellingham. M is quite fond of them and the sweet dog Zion.
  5. the garden and the girl in the bonnet...what a harvest already.
  6. Jude...came for a visit. Marg and Thad went out for her birthday to a yummy dinner. and we got to spend the evening with Jude painting and playing.
that's what's up with us. and you?

24 June 2008

twenty four

it's Papa's birthday!

a little cake. a few presents. this is not quite half of AP's presents. looks like it's going to be a good year! he's gone just now doing work stuff. he was supposed to take the day off, but something came up. so he'll be home soon. already this morning we went out to breakfast with our friends, Nicki and Kevin. they'll be moving down from Washington in a few weeks. so we took a look at their new place and ate at Petite Provence. we hadn't been back since last spring when we came for a visit. such yummy pastry. cheese croissant! happy birthday indeed. i don't know what the rest of the day holds for us. it's going to be warmer today. maybe we'll make some homemade strawberry ice cream if we have enough ripe berries. we've been giving so many away! home grown Oregon strawberries make for happy neighbors.

here's to a great year for Andy and our family and many happy returns of the day!

23 June 2008

twenty three

not many of you click on through to the links that i include. can i blame you? i know that i often choose to skip the click. but i'm including another one. an important one.


this is a link to about 6 minutes of an interview with Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff. she's the real deal. she's one of my wise women, one i aspire to be like. she is mama to 11 kids, she lived off the land on very little money, she survived abuse and scandal with her faith intact. she homeschooled her kids when it was illegal. she has always loved women and their bodies and the children they birth.

she is a writer who for many years published an amazing magazine called Gentle Spirit. one afternoon i was at Jessica's house, newly married and starting a new job. i would be working full time. i was looking for meal planning tips, nervous about having to work a second shift of housework and cooking when i got home. Jess let me borrow a few issues. they were already 8 years old. she had inherited them from Cindy Porter. i was absolutely taken with the women in the pages of the magazine, Cheryl most of all. they were women who were crafting lives of simplicity, teaching their children, growing their food, making their own clothes, doing it for themselves. yes, it was all mixed in with the conservative christian craziness that Cheryl talks about in the interview. but that wasn't the whole story. GS was a place where women were taken seriously. and that is still mind blowing today. places like that just don't exist in this world.

22 June 2008

twenty two

we are freshly home from a trip to see our dear friends in the Yakima valley. it's a lovely trip from here through the Gorge and then over the Columbia to Washington. farm land and mountain views, desert and rainforest. for a while the little one was asleep in the back seat and we could quietly enjoy the view. we found surprises along our route too.

like the town of Toppenish. it's the city of murals, the town's history is recorded in beautiful paintings there on the side of the Napa Auto Parts store! i love the different story lines and perspectives all in one piece. we drove without knowing where we were going or what we would see, and it was certainly worth turning off of the highway.

further on toward home we found an orthodox monastery. in the middle of no place at all, 18 women live together. lives devoted to prayer and coffee roasting and pastry making. let me tell you, after a weekend when our girl was out of sorts, grumpy and not really sleeping much, their life is very intriguing.

21 June 2008

twenty one

there's a sort of folk wisdom among midwives and families who homebirth that babies born in the water always have an affinity for it. i've been at more than one gathering where there's a kid playing in a fountain and someone will walk by and say, yep! he's a water baby. and our water baby is no different.

we've been doing swim lessons this week. there's an indoor pool quite close to our house and this week was FREE swim lesson week. so last Saturday i woke up early and stood in line to sign us up for a week of Starfish lessons. really it's just an excuse to be in the water with the little one. we sing some splashy songs and play with water toys. Mabel loves it. alot. she wakes up ready to go. she talks about it all the way there (bus! pool! kick kick kick!). last night i think she must have been practicing here swimming in her sleep. i was getting kicked so much i had to take a blanket and go sleep on the couch.

she's always a little disappointed that Uncle Dave and Trev aren't going to be at the pool. the last time she swam was when they came for a visit, so the two are tied in her mind. but on our way to the pool, we do pass a KFC. she's started calling the Colonel "Chicken Papa." and because Dave's always up for some chicken, she talks about eating some chicken with Dave and Trev. and we will in just over a month!

20 June 2008


look what came in the mail today! a neat pen pouch from Amy at the Creative Mom Podcast.

the package came hand stamped...

but the best surprise was the lovely stitching outlining the bird. i just love it! and i've got a new journal. just in time for the first day of summer to begin a season of nature journaling.

19 June 2008


remembering Edwina Froehlich...

and the simple, but revolutionary, idea that seven women could meet together to talk and support each other in the decision to breastfeed.

only 11% of babies born in our country are breastfed for 6 months. there's still work for La Leche League. so get busy! go to a LLL meeting, smile at a mama breastfeeding in public, pick up your kid and nurse her!

18 June 2008


a late response to Living More with Less and the chapter called "Nurturing People." thanks again to Mrs. Pivec for keeping the conversation going. even when i'm not writing here, her words are on my mind and that's a nice thing.

this chapter reminded me of two seemingly small decisions that we made early on in our life as Mabel's parents. not big philosophical choices, not hard choices. quiet choices that have made such a difference.

we chose not to get the popular baby carseat that snaps out and becomes a carrier. mostly it was an aesthetic decision--people look so silly all bent over to balance the weight of the poorly designed carrier. but that meant when we were out, we had to hold Mabel. there was no place to put her. we couldn't put her down and get on with dinner or whatever else was calling for our attention. we had to make space for her too. we had to keep her in mind. we had to care for her. so we held her in our arms or she slept snuggled in a sling. and just being mindful of her and her needs, her rightful place in our family life, opened me up. from the beginning she wasn't an intrusion on my better plans. she was a part of us.

the other choice was to not use a pacifier. partly because i was breastfeeding and wanted her to breast as often as possible in the early days to establish my milk supply. but again, pacifiers just look silly. then we read something about babies finding comfort through nursing or sucking on a little finger instead of a pacifier, in part because we want our children to find comfort in people, not things. and that resounded so deeply with me. it was a way to hold a larger intention for the kind of person i want to be, the kind of child i want to raise in this world, in the midst of my mundane life with a small baby. it reminded me of what was important.

17 June 2008


last night she found the lopsided, coming-full moon in the late evening sky.

she said, Egg! Crack, crack!

ah, a poet.

keep your eyes open.

16 June 2008


it's (almost) summer. and that means it's time for the summer reading program! are your little ones signed up yet? we were at the library on the first day. and we weren't the only ones either! i've done summer reading with Jordan and Morgan and Taylor, with Garrett and Gracie, and now with Trev and Mabel. i just love it.

as the librarian was explaining the rules to us, she said that any time with a book counted for a child Mabel's age--she mentioned chewing on the book or scooting it around on the floor. M has been known to chew her some book, but she also spends considerable time on her own looking at pictures, turning pages, telling herself the story. we found her a few nights ago laying on her belly with her chin in her hand, reading. she looked just like what a kid is supposed to look like! we have books around and we read a fair amount ourselves, but she has a love for books that is her own.

of course, the summer reading program, with its trips to Disneyland and free school supplies, raises the whole issue of rewarding children for doing things that really are rewards in themselves. reading easily falls into that category. but i really don't think that the rewards are going to stop up her own drive to read. i think it's a fun little extra. it's an external way for me to see just how much time we're spending in the books. it spurs me on to be more conscious about sharing books with the little. last year i remember some long summer afternoons spent reading with Trevor and Mabel expressly because we were trying to finish up a level on their reading logs. but it was a good way to spend time none the less. (on a somewhat related parenting note...how old does a child need to be before she is on the computer? how much screen time should a child have? what's your experience?)

libraries are such wonderful places to share with our children. i hope that this summer is full of memorable books for each of you. i for one could use a good novel!

15 June 2008


these two!

last week i told Mabel that we would be celebrating Father's Day soon and we needed to get AP a surprise. all week long at odd times she's been saying, Papa? prise? and then she'll get a big smile on her face as we talk about Father's Day again.

this man is amazing.

he is gentle and silly. when she requests Bird (Little Bird) or Spider (Itsy Bitsy Spider) he plays the same songs over and over on the guitar. he tends our garden and fills our yard debris bin with so many weeds. he teaches kids who are right on the verge of success or failure. he's a steady, reliable influence in their lives, a man of integrity.

he held me in his arms as i birthed Mabel. when she was still connected to me, he reached around and rubbed her back and whispered hello. as i was getting stitched up, he held Mabel. and i knew that she was safe, she was right where she needed to be.

i am so honored to be walking the path of parenting with Andy. he makes me a better mama just by being himself.

happy father's day!

14 June 2008


the internet is a crazy place.

a note showed up in my flickr mail a few weeks ago about using one of my pictures for an online guide to the Northwest. sure, be my guest. the picture of Kelley Point that they wanted wasn't my most inspired shot, but there you go. i think you'll have to scroll down to find the Kelley Point entry.

the funny thing is that the local paper just published an article about how much gay men love Kelley Point! oh my! there was no one but us there on the very cold day in January when the picture was taken.

13 June 2008


we've been out and about more this spring. in part because the weather is nicer. in part because Mabel is older and can walk pretty good and is just so interested in everything. twice during this season, we've been out in the community, and i've heard mamas speak about their children and it's just really impressed me.

at the zine writing workshop, i shared a table with a boy who was maybe 12. his mom sat next to him. as we went around the room introducing ourselves, he said who we was and hat he was interested in writing and drawing. ah! the zine workshop was the best place for him to be then. and then it was his mom's turn. she said, i'm Joe's mom and i'm here to support him in his writing. really? moms really do that? i had read homeschooling stories about parents who support their children's interests by helping to find internships and other ways for children to connect with people who are already doing what they're interested in. but here it was, happening right in front of me. i was sharing a table with part of a family that actively looked for ways to support each other's creative work. amazing.

and then last night at a Volunteer Social at the International Center for Traditional Childbearing, a girl who was 15 stood up and said that she was interested in becoming a midwife. then her mom stood and said, i'm Brooke's mom and i'm here to support her. i was just floored.

part of the reason i take Mabel to volunteer with me is because i think it's so important for her to be around women who are passionate about their work, passionate about babies and children. strong women who are working to make a space in this world that is safe for mamas and babies. and i can't imagine how wonderful it will be when she asks for my help in discovering and exploring something that makes her excited.

i think there might have been a time when the fact that the women introduced themselves only as mothers would have bothered me. and i might have phrased it differently myself. but it's not a bad thing to be the support, the catalyst, the one who makes things happen. our life is going to be used up and spent in some way. each day flows through our hands and is gone. i can't think of a better way to be of use.

12 June 2008


alot can happen in two years. that's how long we lived in the jungle, how long we lived with the BBC on shortwave radio and back issues of Newsweek as our only media sources. i knew my cricket scores and how Manchester United was doing. i also knew more about current pop music than at any other time in my life. on the BBC there was a countdown show called "Top of the Pops" and a new release show called "White Label." Beyonce and Black Eyed Peas were very big. where is the love?

ipods came on the market in the two years we were gone. there had been other MP3 players. but not an ipod. podcasts happened too. i remember listening to a BBC reporter tell about these homemade radio shows that anyone could make. the topics were wide-ranging and unique. it sounded to me alot like zines. but it didn't sound like they would be very popular or would last very long. definitely a fast moving trend. i didn't think anyone in America would use camera phones either!

well these few years later, podcasts still exist. they are still often homemade. though there are plenty that are quite slick. i listen and love The Creative Mom Podcast. i love Amy's stories about her boys and her art. i love her voice. i especially like all of her book recommendations. for the record, i'm not crazy about the music, but it still surprises me and has me in tears every once in a while. most of all i like the community of (mostly) women, mostly mamas, that has grown up around the show. they post pictures of their sketchbooks on flickr. they have blogs of their own. i regularly read Handmade Homeschool and Golightly Place. it does me good to see other women who love their children and create. just what i want.

11 June 2008


this blog is becoming the new Wild Kingdom!

this is how i woke up this morning. at 5 am. on the video, i'm talking at a normal volume. and the crows just about drown me out. they are that loud! i couldn't figure out if they were happy or sad.

what do you think?

10 June 2008


last night our cat was acting strange. but we have sort of a strange cat. something about being rescued from a dumpster when you are tiny makes a cat not quite right. anyhow, she was jumpy and even hissed a few times at the window. but we couldn't see anything. and then we saw this:

there he stood at the door like our long lost pet. there was no fear in this animal. i think he really was waiting for me to open the door so that he could come in. he played on the porch for a good bit. he was real fond of the Nerf basketball.

at one point he had the ball, the black cat purse, and one of Mabel's Dora shoes in his hands. there was no way he was leaving with that shoe. i would make sure of it. thankfully, he decided to leave the loot and find somewhere else to play.

09 June 2008


Amanda at Soulemama recommended The Tassajara Bread Book , and we've been enjoying the three-layer cornbread and the whole wheat muffins with raspberry jam. i've also moved on to another book by the same author called Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings: Recipes and Reflections. it mixes advice and stories about cooking with observation from the author's experience with Zen. quite nice. these lines have been on my mind for a few days. please pardon my addenda.

Some of my companions complained about missing meditation or lectures
in order to prepare meals or clean up after them.
they seemed to think that Zen [life] was happening somewhere else
and that the kitchen workers [mamas] were missing out.
i would remind myself what our teacher said,
that work [mothering] is also spiritual practice,
another opportunity to see into the nature of things.
i decided that i would prove it was true,
that i would work as though it was indeed spiritual work.
i didn't know any better.

p.s. i don't put those links to Amazon in these postings because i think you should buy the books. i just want to give you an idea of what it is i'm talking about. i certainly don't buy the books. go to the library! make interlibrary loan your friend!

08 June 2008


blessed are the list makers...

the opening line from Virginia Heffernan's article about lists in this morning's New York Times Magazine. and then this sentence closer to the end:

like students of Japanese culture and religious seekers of every variety, people who teach their children at home, it turns out, make lists and swap them and focus on what works with their own families...

and so a list.

good morning things
  • coffee already waiting when you wake up
  • singing "Colours"
  • our girl saying goodbye to the bus driver
  • walking a new neighborhood
  • cats napping in sunny spots
  • people on bikes
  • poached eggs like fluffy pillows
  • breakfast outside
  • more coffee and the paper and the sun coming out
  • drinking milk on the bus

07 June 2008


the bad news is that M woke at 5 am to nurse. the good news is that she went back to sleep till after 7. which means that AP and i got to spend a good bit of time in the morning reading and talking and drinking coffee. and there's just not too many things that i like better.

we were talking about the work of Alfie Kohn. AP has been reading Unconditional Parenting, and we've both also read Punished by Rewards. as interested as i am, as much as i want to like his ideas, something just isn't right.

there is plenty that he does get right. he focuses on respecting your child, remembering just how old they are and what they are capable of doing, and not being rigid. these are such important, powerful ideas. it does me so much good to remember to not be consistent, to make room for exceptions to the rules, to eat ice cream in the morning on occasion.

but sometimes it seems like more of a program. like i need to be not quite myself in order to parent effectively. and that feeling centers on his insistence that praise as such is damaging to children. there are limits of course. praise isn't always the right choice. sometimes we can ask questions and find out so much more about our children and the way they see the world. but sometimes i'm just happy or thankful and i want to express it. and maybe it points to the places where my love is conditional. but lots of times i just scoop her up and kiss on her and tell her how proud i am to know her, to have her in my life, to be her mama.

and you? what roll does praise play in your relationship with your children?

06 June 2008


do you have any idea how much i like this video?

05 June 2008


Mrs. Pivec asked and answered some very interesting questions from the chapter called "Learning from the World Community" in Living More with Less. i really appreciate how honest she is...ready to say which practices are challenging in her life.
  1. Do you find that you own unnecessary kitchen gadgets? well, now this is (one of) my pet peeves! i hate to buy any gadgets that only do one thing. i have exceptions of course...we have a coffee grinder, a pizza cutter, potato masher! i'm sure there are others. but for the most part i want a new tool to do more than one thing. when we moved to the jungle, i took my good chef's knife and a good hand can opener. those were both good choices. the one electric appliance i would pine for--besides a fridge to keep the Parbo cold--was my hand blender. i got it for our wedding, and use it for making smoothies and hummus and soup. so handy!
  2. Could you imagine planning ahead and cooking just once a day? again, in the jungle this was just how things were. and for the most part that's how we eat still. for lunch we have left overs or sandwich type stuff. and the only meal i really plan or cook is dinner. i am looking toward some better planning and cooking for a couple of weeks and freezing each dish. i really like the cookbook called Frozen Assets. still haven't tried it. except for when i was pregnant. i had almost 20 meals cooked and waiting for us in our freezer. and it was such a blessing.
  3. Does your town have or are you able to use public transportation? yes! we love TriMet! Mabel knows how to wave the bus down and hold our fare ticket. she's a bus pro. it's her favorite place to nurse i think. she loves all the action, crazy people and big windows to look out of. but then she also loves to snuggle in my lap and shut out all the distractions. she even falls asleep.
  4. Do you often choose to walk or ride your bike instead of driving? no bike riding for this girl! though i think M might push us to ride bikes.; she sure like to look at them. but we do walk lots. St Johns is supremely walkable. the grocery store and post office are a block away. the library is four blocks away. parks and cafes and even a book store all within a few handsome blocks. and the river! such beauty and even a taste of the wild. our local ducks even had babies! it's just amazing that we have all of this at our doorstep.

04 June 2008


today we were out at the Children's Parade in Hollywood till late. pictures will follow. but for now, some gleanings from the poetry workshop that i attended taught by Paulann Petersen.

it's almost the end of poetry month
and so many people want to get in on it.
to that i say, hosanna! let's dive in!

the poem--that which is made; the house that must be entered
living in the house of poetry

a paucity of take

thonic: of the underworld

the turn a poem makes...let it turn sweet

Wm Stafford didn't call them poems, rather "these things i write."

vivid language, compression, resonance with what is human
: what poems have

every time a poem touches the earth, it gains strength
: Wm Stafford

sough: what trees do

she passes out a sheet called "noun list"
and my heart races, feet go cold with excitement!

repetition--heart beat and breath--and then variation
that's how music works

your very flesh shall be a great poem
: Whitman

03 June 2008


our mornings have a predictable rhythm about them. we wake up and have coffee and watch Mister Rogers if it's early. then AP gets ready for school. i might take a shower too if there's time. goodbyes and kisses and waving from the window. then an hour or so when Mabel plays and i might do dishes or work on the computer. then she heads for a nap, nursing and then bouncing on the big red ball.

when she wakes up, she's ready to get dressed and really start her day. she wakes up silly and hungry and open to whatever i've got going. today she helped me peel tomatilloes for chili verde. once she saw what needed to be done, she jumped right in. she peeled; i cut. and the work didn't go faster. but it sure was sweeter. i love the plain happiness she gets from doing what there is to do. each morning she puts her hand to a task: watering, cooking, reading, drinking tea. and i get to share this time with her.

02 June 2008


we heard last week that Maria Chapman, Steven Curtis Chapman's youngest daughter, died. she was five years old. the family set up this space to remember her. there you'll find a silly video of her and her dad washing dishes. just what you would expect from a girl who had just turned five.

there is also a link to Maria's Miracle Fund and Shaohannah's Hope. after adopting three girls, Steven and his wife started a foundation to help other families with the overwhelming costs of adoption. i was breastfeeding Mabel and changing the channels, trying to find something to watch for a few minutes. i stumbled across an interview with Steven. he was talking about his family's experience of adoption and their desire to help other families. i was just amazed at his love. he overflowed with excitement as he talked about his children. it rekindled an interest in adoption for our family. i don't know what will come of it, but our hearts are open.

it reminded me of another time...19 years ago when i was searching for something to watch. only this time i was in high school and it was late. everyone else had gone to bed. i found a recording of one of Steven's concerts. i liked his songwriting. and he was cute. but then as now it was his excitement that caught me. he was excited about living in this world as a christian. and it made me want to read and think about it for myself. all through high school i listened to his music, went to his concerts, wore his t-shirts. his album "Great Adventure" was the soundtrack to the summer i spent in Mexico. and hearing him at the Del Mar Fair with my brother Steven was just about perfect. we had so much fun.

i am so grateful for Steven Curtis Chapman. at very different spots in my life, his life and work has intersected mine. and i am better for it. we cried and prayed all day when we heard about the loss of Maria. may god's peace keep them all.

01 June 2008


here's the first ever meme that i've completed: put the answer to the question in a search at flickr, then make a mosaic. AP told me that meme rhymes with seem. how do you find these things out? pretty and pretty fun...

1. your first name? Kortney (which makes a bunch of porn star pictures come up. and this sweet picture of me and my girl just 10 days old.)
2. favorite food? pastry
3. high school? it was called Gospel Light
4. favorite color? blue
5. celebrity crush? Michael Stipe
6. favorite drink? coffee
7. dream vacation? i said Africa. though these girls could live in Saramaka
8. favorite dessert? cake
9. what do you want to be when you grow up? wise
10. what do you love most in life? i said Mabel...and picked this picture of a long-legged girl reading because she could be my girl in 20 years. but i love reading in bed myself.
11. one word to describe me? crazy
12. my flickr name? one deep drawer

i'm going to post here each day this month. or try.