10 birthday candles

Remarkably, I started this blog 10 years ago today. 10 years of blogging. Over a thousand posts (this one is 1333), over a million views (1,156,038 at the time I’m writing this), over 3000 photos shared. It has been a wonderful creative outlet for me. Additionally, through this blog and by connecting with others on their own blogs, I have made strong friendships (haven’t really counted how many). In the process, I have grown in my worldview (which I also can’t quantify).

Tonight, I am grateful for blogging. Both for this blog, and for connecting with others. I am so grateful to the friendships I have made through blogging. I am very glad that I have returned to blogging after largely neglecting it the last few years. I appreciate having the creative outlet once more, and the place to share my thoughts. As current affairs have been stirring me to take action, I hope to use this blog as a sounding board, and a way to hold myself accountable.

In case you are wondering, I didn’t light candles for the blog. Conveniently, I have a daughter who is just a few months older than this blog, and so had easy access to photos of 10 birthday candles. In case you were wondering what happens when you put 10 birthday candles into a mini cupcake and light them, you get a tower of flame that threatens to light your daughter’s hair on fire, and melts the candles down to stubs in seconds. Happily, this blog is mostly flame retardant.

Happy birthday, dear blog.

I can’t let the date slip by without acknowledging that today marks the anniversary of my starting this blog. Eight years in, and I still find that I have things I want to share (if not always the time to share them). I still enjoy the process of posting, as well as looking back and seeing what I’ve posted in the past. And as ever, I am thankful for the friends I have made along the way. If you are reading this, thank you for sharing the ride with me!


Waffle aftermath.

Life has been busy the last few days, full of lots of good things, but leaving me without much time to write much of substance here. In my commitment to posting daily this month, it feels a bit like I’ve been dropping crumbs.¹ I have several posts that are brewing in my head, but not yet ready.² One post that will be coming up soon is thanks to my friend Sarah, who has picked me as one to carry on a meme about the writing process. I entreat you to follow these crumbs to her blog³ and sample her words. Her writing is expertly prepared, rich with buttery layers, and baked to a golden perfection.⁴ If you are like me, you will find her blog to be at once satisfying and leaving you wanting more.⁵

¹ Or scraps and the occasional shard. I admit that I do enjoy the sequence.
² Though with my crumb metaphor, a baking metaphor would be a better one. The dough of several posts is rising in my head? Um…I don’t think so. My brain doesn’t like the sound of that at all.
³ And by that, I mean, click the link.
⁴ I totally just made myself want a croissant.
⁵ She also said some nice things about me.
⁶ This post has a very high footnote to sentence ratio. This footnote doesn’t go with anything, really. I just felt like it.

seven years in

When I started this blog, 7 years ago today, I had no idea where it would take me. Over a thousand posts later, I find that this blog has served its original purpose well: as a record of my life and as a creative outlet. What I didn’t expect from starting this blog was that blogging would become an important part of my life. I didn’t know that blogging would be the means by which I would learn and grow and forge lasting and important friendships. So, happy birthday to this blog, and thank you to the friends and visitors who have made blogging a more fun and rewarding experience than I ever would have imagined!


We are all connected;
To each other, biologically
To the earth, chemically
To the rest of the universe atomically
–deGrasse Tyson

I saw this video at Voix de Michèle. (I recently connected with Michèle through the Great Interview Experiment.)

There are times when I feel a bit overwhelmed by the connections.

Facebook has been great for tracking down friends my past lives, and I’ve reconnected with friends from many different phases in my life. But it’s too much all at once. I can’t keep up. There are friends that I’ve wondered about for years, tried to track them down on the web, and yet now that I’ve found them, I haven’t even managed to send a message.

I have other friends who live nearby, but we haven’t managed to stay in touch. Mostly it’s my fault. There are people I should just call.

I owe cards. Wedding cards. Sympathy cards. I owe thank you notes. Emails.

Don’t even get me started on being a just a tiny speck.

a chance for pants

    Every time I have the chance
    While some may think it’s whack
    I’ll write a post involving pants

    Let the kitchen swarm with ants
    Leave the laundry on the rack
    Every time I have the chance

    I give my work a sideways glance
    I may catch a lot of flak
    I’ll write a post involving pants

    Humming lines from Safety Dance
    I’ll type away upon my Mac
    Every time I have the chance

    I’ll not read a bad romance
    Nor journal papers in their stack
    I’ll write a post involving pants

    Though others look at me askance
    I swear I’m not on crack
    Every time I have the chance
    I’ll write a post involving pants


These pants are dedicated, in loving memory, to my friend Elizabeth, whose claim that pants was the funniest word in the English language first introduced me to the humorous powers of pants. Your pants will never be forgotten, dear friend.

The form of this post is a villanelle, a style of poetry, and the assignment of today’s Monday Mission. Please pay a visit to Painted Maypole to see who else has chosen to accept this mission. Painted herself has told me that she has a poem up, also with the theme of pants. (Painted penned a poem of pants.)

Today also marks the third anniversary of this blog. It seemed only fitting that it should wear plenty of pants today.


Sevilla Tapas tour

Three glasses of Manzanilla sherry being poured at El Riconcillo, the oldest bar in Sevilla.

I’ve been meaning to share some more stories and photos from our trip to Spain, which was (shockingly) now over a month ago. I have largely given up on sharing a detailed chronlogical account of the trip, so I’ll dive in here.

In Sevilla, my mother and I had the fantastic opportunity to go on a tapas tour with azahar, Sevilla blogger extraordinaire of casa az and Sevilla Tapas. (Yes, you should be jealous. It was an absolutely fantastic evening: the company, the sights and the food could not have been better.)

To make you even more jealous, I thought I’d share with some highlights of our evening. With photos.

We met up with az around 9:30 p.m. on a Friday, after I got Theo settled in for bed. (John was kind enough to be the one to stay home with Phoebe and Theo.) We arranged to meet at a little park near our apartment, which was bustling with folks heading out for dinner, and then walked through Sevilla’s maze of streets and alleys to our destinations. We went to 3 very different places for tapas, each with a distinct charm and menu.

Our first stop was El Rinconcillo, which az tells us is the oldest bar in Sevilla. I loved the decor of the place, which was dominated by dark woods, patterned tiles, and shelves well-stocked with bottles. (Not to mention hanging hams.) We stood at the bar.

Our second stop was Modesto, a more modern, bustling bar-restaurant with friendly waiters and lots of outside tables. (We sat inside at the bar, though.)

Our third and finally stop was La Sal, a charming and elegant small restaurant specializing in fresh seafood dishes. We sat inside at a table by the window.

Peering in through the wide open window of El Rinconcillo from the sidewalk.

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The bartenders wrote the tabs on the bar in chalk. They’d cross out the numbers once the tab was settled.

My glass of sparkling water at Modesto.

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Some olives and az’s beer, and a really big bowl of really big capers.

The Land Squid.

One of the waiters at Modesto gave us red carnations. Az put one in her hair.

Tuna tataki at La Sal. I think the stuff on top was something leeky. The sardines, which az cut in 3 for us to share, are in the background.

The very yummy goat cheese salad with carefully halved (not roasted) tomatoes.

I liked the way this wine rack glowed, but felt a bit awkward about taking a picture of it while there were people sitting at the table in front of it. Happily, we stayed so late (enjoying the food and conversation) that we were the last ones there!

Az also posted about this night, though in a more timely manner! In case you missed her post back in September, check it out: “girls night out.”

If you want to be tormented by photos and descriptions of delicious food about daily, you might want to follow Sevilla Tapas on twitter. (Or join the Facebook fan page.)

This post is trying to pass itself off as a Monday Mission. The assignment for this week was to write a post in the form of a menu. I actually did such a task once before about 2 years ago, and you should totally go read what I wrote before, because I re-read it, and I cracked myself up. (“cereal: it’s what’s for dinner“) Also, go check out the other Monday Missions at Painted Maypole. The illustrious Painted herself has a brilliantly creative menu posted that I would have liked to have written myself!