Big Sur

hello delicious friends...
i am feeling the inwardness upon returning from a 10 day retreat to san francisco, esalen, and santa cruz.  bare with me as i regain my footing in reality...i am a bit dizzy as of now.

i am holding space for myself in near silence and darkness, in order to do the work needed before my new ideas, visions and dreams burst through the earth.
much wants to be birthed but we are still in incubation with just the tippy tops of succulent new tendrils pushing through.
it's almost time. 
for now i will leave you with impressions of Big Sur and the california coast.  be still my heart.

missing the warming heat and wild brightness of the sun

Herb Shops

here are some photos of the herb shops within the super mercado in san jose, costa rica.  what's labeled is in spanish but most of it is not labeled.  you just have to trust that what you ask for is what you get.  i read the book sastun: my apprenticeship with a maya healer in the first few days of our trip and i wanted to see if i could find some of the herbs mentioned in the book.  also, being a community-centered pnw herbalist myself, i had a small list of items i wanted to see in this setting, like copal, palo santo, wild yam, linden, and so on.
these shops were amazing with all manner of flower, leaf, root, bark, seed, tinctures, potions, dried, fresh, concoctions galore.  i could spend a whole day, especially with a translator, asking questions and stocking up.  that would be a good business for someone to do there: bilingual herbalist guide to white herbalist tourists eager to spend dollars in the herb shops!
i came home with some crazy looking hairy twigs that don't match anything on my list.  everyone thinks they look like nasty dreadlocks but they don't smell like nasty dreadlocks.  believe me.  i would know.  chad had them. not nasty ones. but some big fatties that could get a little ripe, let's say.
the second to last photo up there of chad and jasper came about when i asked one of the herb shop keepers, who i bought copal and hibiscus from, if it was ok to take a photo of the shop. he grabbed chad and jasper and shoved them inside and said "yes yes, take photo" all jolly and friendly like.  chad and jasper were a bit stunned i think but we all thought it was really funny.
the last photo is one of the nutmeg/mace we found on the property we were staying on in puerto viejo on the caribbean coast.  we rode our bikes back and forth through a jungle garden several times a day and there was a nutmeg tree, apparently.  if you stood where we found the nutmegs and looked up, you couldn't see anything that look liked nutmegs.  i couldn't tell what tree they were coming from.  but there were a few during our time there that we found on the ground with the mace still intact.  they smell amazing and are stunning to behold.  the first time i saw one on our path i thought i'd won the lottery!  i was fascinated.

the new year is in full swing around these parts.  i am hosting a weekend retreat in february for 15 women at my house.  that will be a blast.  half are flying in from out of state.  we are gathering for imbolc and to share creativity and entrepreneurial insights in support of one another and to simply commune and fill up on each others wild woman love. a few weeks after that i will head to san francisco, big sur (for matrilumina) and the santa cruz mountains for a week of 40th birthday bliss (it was january 1 but this is THE gift!). so it's busy, as usual.  life is full.  and life is grand.  2013 is going to be amazeballs.  i can feel it, and i have systems in place to ensure it!

what do you have planned for 2013?  in what ways are you looking to expand?  do you set goals?  resolutions?

i am currently exploring and researching the intersection of post traumatic stress from adverse childhood experiences and the healing of it that can emerge from a daily creative practice of hand-making. this is my "new" work in the world and i will have a lot more to share about as i birth it.  watch for a due date near you.

escaping with the family fang,

Doors & Paint

if you've been around here a while,
you know i have a thing for doors.

last week jasper and i went to visit our dear loves in port townsend and they took us to visit fort worden state park...
where i discovered all these neat doors and cool old paint.

i am such a sucker for a good ol' vintage patina!

i wish every surface of my house looked like this:
aged, worn, old, historical, like it has a story of it's own to tell.
i've checked out all the paint technique books from our local library.  it doesn't seem like you could get it to look this good.
this old.
i'm fascinated with doorways.
always have been.
for me they have a myriad of meaning:
access, exploration, discovery,
opportunity, opening, transition,
transcendence, a veil between the worlds, mystery,
the unknown, surprise, enlightenment.

and colors!
oh how i love these random bits,
not meant to be art but to patch and spackle, here and there
again, i would adore having any of the walls in my house look like any of these old, rusty, random and patched up walls.
i like the touch of pink
could these curious spatters simply be there to cover up unwanted graffiti...
perhaps so, but thank goodness they used random colors, and every one under the rainbow, never any two cover up jobs looking twinish.
love the drab colors too.
does anyone else besides me want the outside of their house to look like this?!  look this good?!

yes, please.  i'll take a random wall niche.

some graffiti that hadn't been covered yet,


this is one of my favorite photos in this set:
doorways and stairways...
don't get me started!

i want hallway walls like this.

fort worden is only one of a million cool places in port townsend to visit.  there are the beaches, the farms, the shops, the food, the friends!  we hope to spend a lot more time exploring PT this summer
and if you ever find my current house deserted upon arrival, come search for me in PT, where you'll likely find me setting up home and splattering paint every which way!

in the spirit of adventure,

PDX with the Boys

on our way to Portland

waiting in the train station

a nice person saw us trying to take a group photo of ourselves so she offered to help!

on the train

havin a good time

in his own world



chillin on our room

August's plate after breakfast at Kenny and Zukes

contemplating his next move

drawing a jasper portrait

getting new boots at Johnny Sole


jasper with camera

the sign in Cargo

goofin off

being silly

Gus and his carp

you just saw a photo montage of our weekend in Portland, Oregon.
we took the boys, for the first time, on the train, to see a concert and stay at the Ace Hotel.
we saw The Head and The Heart on sunday night.
and chad and i slipped away saturday night to see The Hackensaw Boys.
we went to Cargo, ate good food, got chad new boots at Johhny Sole and wandered the warm sunny streets. 
will show you my pdx finds in another post soon :)


Spring Break 2011

self portrait near the pool at the Copper Queen in Bisbee

the kids and i are back in Arizona for spring break again, staying in my dad's condo.  and we are so excited to be here because our dear friends Jeremy, Kirsten and Clary are visiting Tucson too.  so we get to explore together in other cities besides Seattle!  Kirsten's dad also has a condo here and although we have both been coming to Tucson, to our dads' condos, for many spring breaks now, it has never fallen on the same week.  but this time it did, so yeah for us!

here are jeremy, kirsten and clary as we prepare to leave an incredible outdoor antique show/flea market that i found.  Jer, Kirsten and i live for stuff like this!  this sale happens the first sunday of every month except may-sept since its TOO HOT.  more on the market later.  it was near 90 degrees by the time we left.  jeremy stayed behind and the five of us: kirsten, clary, gus, jasper and i headed to Bisbee and Tombstone.

It's easy to hang out with friends you've known for close to 20 years.  Clary and August have grown up together, and now goof-off like polite cousins or annoying siblings, thanks to Jeremy and Chad being good friends since high school.  Kirsten and i were instant friends when we met 16 years ago, young moms with an artistic bent and a passion for interesting junk!

k and i with big toothy grins.  when i get home i will scan our western outlaw photo we had done.  good times!

Kirsten is super talented and i am honored to be BFF with her.  she is an amazing actress.  she has her own theatre/production company.  he is a fantastic photographer.  she's a genius with writing.  she's the calm, cool, collected mom of a teenage girl.  and she's authentic and inspiring.  yeah, basically she rocks!  So i am always happy and thrilled to spend time with her.

kirsten and i both love odd, unusual, peculiar, strange, different, weird, interesting "things" so it was a no-brainer that we would want to explore an old mining town and stay in a haunted hotel
it's not everyones cup of tea but we were wishing and hoping for ghosts and spirits, at the Copper Queen in Bisbee, in a major way. 

Jasper swears we were visited by Billy the 8 year old ghost on floor 4.  well.  how else do you explain the room door opening up, over and over again, and his dimes and nickles being spread out on the bedside table in a different configuration than how he had left it before passing out the night before?  huh?!  how do you?! 

after shopping, eating, wandering and sleeping in Bisbee, we headed to tombstone.  yes.  THE Tombstone.  it was hot, dry and dusty, just like you'd expect.  it was for real!  the real deal!

it's a trough silly, not a coffin

love the peel-y-ness

the horses looked too hot.  and so were we.

ok.  who does this to a baby girl?

or this?  well.  kinda funny


enter at your own risk

inside bird cage theatre

dusty old books.  the best kind.

teenagers swingin in the desert

love old font and typography

and some more

and more

plumb tuckered out

the southwest is pretty rad!  if you ever get a chance to check it out, go for it!  there is so much to do and see.  i still have plenty on my list to get to and we have been coming down here for a while now.  have fun friends!  explore.  travel.  be well and live adventurously!


1961 Fireball

We bought our 1961 Fireball Travel Trailer back from my brother!

 A couple years ago we got some crazy wild hair up our hiney and decided to sell our sweet little travel trailer to my brother.  Why we did, I am still not sure!  But he got some use out of it after hauling it all the way back to Jackson Hole and then back here to Leavenworth where he lives now.  He is getting ready to be a dad for the first time and is selling everything he doesn't absolutely need.  Lucky us because I had been telling him for a while that I wasn't sure why I ever gave the Fireball up in the first place and that I wanted first dibs on buying it back.  Low and behold a few weeks later he found out he was going to be a dad by next spring and we were on our way to buying our "baby" back!  
We bought this sweet little vintage trailer way back in 2001 or so.  It has served us so well as an extra room for guests!  When we bought it we didn't even have a way to haul it to our house.  No truck, no trailer hitch.  My dad moved it to our house for us.  And that's when I went hog wild with paint and fabric!  Now when I look inside, I ask myself, what was I thinking?!  It looks like a carnival exploded in there!  Every surface is a different color.  I think I just went and bought all the miss matched $1 paint colors from the hardware store and went to town!  Also, I used some really great vintage fabric to recover all the cushions and make curtains, back then.  On this front too, I wonder what the heck I was thinking.  More the merrier, maybe?  Every surface is a different pattern, colorway and design.  Way to busy for my taste now! 
Anyhow, this time around will be a little more civilized!  I am repainting and recovering every surface and hanging new curtains.  This time I will take a cue from the sweet vintage table top pattern and the color of the original tiles and oven, to create a nice, calming, blissful, little vintage travel trailer to call our home away from home.  I bet it still mostly gets used as a guest room but it will be nice to have just perfectly cute when we do get to haul it across state lines, to the beach, or near a river.  I will share some photos below of its current condition and then as I begin to work on it, I will post more of its progress.  Onward Ho!

Yellow stove top and oven.  One of my favorite features.  Jasper said, "Yes!  Now we can make scones in the middle of the woods when we are camping!"  You said it son!

The pattern on the table top and counters.  Love me some spirals!

I was so happy to see that the turquoise dish drain was still with it!  The couch slides out to make a double bed and the over head bunk slides out to make a single.  Also, the table breaks down into a bed as well.

Original paperwork in the cabinet.

State of California, Division of Housing!  Did they sell these for people to live in?!

So I have a lot to do!  As if all my sewing, crafting, antique mall space, Etsy set-up, and busy life were not enough already!  Now I've added this little project in the mix!  I cant wait to show you a photo with the banner canopy I made for it a few years ago.  I didn't give that piece to my brother and just found it the other day!  I will have more photos soon and until then, enjoy the rest of your summer!
Happy trails and travels,


We have returned from the ocean, our family reunion and general whirlwind of travel. 
I am happy to be home for a few weeks.
And I will be catching up on house chores, blog posts, and sewing soon.
Thanks for continuing to check in on my little corner of blogland.
Off to commune with my piles of laundry, xo, Jennette


This is what I woke up to in our hotel room on Mother's Day.  Just LOVE it!

Best little surf shop in Westport!

Feet at the beach!

Me: getting up

Me: trying to stay up

Me: happy and pooped

Jasper: learning to respect the power

Jasper, instant pro

August on one of many waves caught

Family photo at the beach after Gus' 15th Birthday dinner.

Loving the Ocean

Celebrate, be with the ones you love, and love the ones your with!

Clever Nettles

Jasper near the top of our nettle patch!

This post is about Nettles!  The super food kind and the fashionista kind!  I think I finally figured out how to get my photos to load correctly so here it goes!

                                                    Jasper at the nettle patch helping pick!

I have been harvesting, eating and drinking nettles for about 8 years now.  Before I had Jasper I started an herbal apprenticeship at RavenCroft Gardens.  At RavenCroft I was able to study for 3 years and I earned my certificate as a Community Centered Herbalist (CCH). During my time at RavenCroft I learned so much about connecting people, plants and the earth and I have been able to share some of my tiny bit of knowledge with my community.  In my first year at Ravencroft, in the Healing from the Ground Up program, I was able to develop a personal Materia Medica beginning with Nettle, Dandelion, Red Clover, Comfrey, Oatstraw, Burdock, Plantain, Calendula, Kelp and Chickweed.  The majority of our work was based on Susan Weed's book Healing Wise and all of our work was centered on the Wise Woman Tradition.  I cherish my years and time at RavenCroft.  I made such deep connections to women, ideas, theories and practices that changed my life forever.

Nettle Tops

One way that RavenCroft "grew" me was in my learning about Nourishing Herbal infusions and how to wild craft, gather, harvest and use all sorts of weeds, foods, medicines, plants, roots etc.  One of my favorite "weeds" has been Nettle.  I harvest nettle every early spring and hang it by the bunches in my garage to dry.  I used the dry nettle to make nourishing herbal nettle infusion for myself and my family.  Jasper calls it nettle juice and has been drinking it since he was a baby.  I like to drink it cold and especially in the summer when my allergies are acting up.  I use the leftover leaves in soups, quiches, pastas, etc and if I have left over infusion after a few days, I feed it to my plants. 

Nettle bunch hanging to dry.

I make my infusions by weighing out an ounce of dried nettle leaves and stalks and shoving that in a half gallon canning jar.  I fill the jar to the top with hot boiling water and put a plastic cap on it for at least 6 hours.  If I make it at bedtime, I let it sit on the counter all night and put it in the fridge in the morning.  I like to drink it cold so as soon as its good and cold, I just pour the infusion off the top of the nettles and drink away.  Nettles makes my skin, hair and nails so much more healthy and it is LOADED with tons of minerals and vitamins.  No other green vegetable excels nettles in mineral and vitamin content and it is one of the worlds most chlorophyll rich plants.  Recently I have heard nettle lauded as a Super Food and I totally understand why.  There is over 1000mg of calcium in 8oz. of nettle.  Wow!

Close up nettle top.  These are just about to bloom and then Nettle harvest time will be over til next year.

With the fresh nettle I always make a quiche the same night of the first harvest.  This year I made  bacon, shitake and nettle quiches, one with regular pie crust, one with spelt crust.  Jasper ate most of the spelt crust quiche in his lunch the next few days and he loves all things rich and green.  The kid eats seaweed and Nori like its going out of style. 

Close up detail of nettle leaf top.

When we pick nettle, we wear tough gloves so we don't get lots of stings.  We make sure to wear long pants and long sleeves and be mindful of our surroundings.  Jasper has become a pro and can now pick nettle with bare hands without getting stung.  He knows how to pick a leaf, fold and wrap it up, and stick it in his mouth and eat it without a single sting.  Pro! 

Close up detail of nettle leaf bottom.

To me nettle smells peppery.  As a standard brew it is gentle yet powerful.  It nourishes and changes energy.  It is excellent for pregnant and lactating women.  All parts of the plant are useful and both of my boys still make nettle cordage like our northwest native american forebearers did.  No part of nettle is poisonous and you might try locating it under big leaf maples. You would do well to make nettle one of your allys in healing.  I did and its high iron, protein and calcium content have served me so well, especially in my bouts of low blood sugar madness.  I will never be without you nettle.  You are a friend for life!

Bowl full of nettle leaves waiting to be chopped.

Recipe for Nettle, Shitake, Bacon Quiche:
1 premade pie crust ( I buy organic ones at Whole Foods)
4 eggs
1 cup cream or half -n- half
cheese (enough to cover the bottom)
chopped onions, sliced shitake mushrooms, and chopped and cooked bacon
several handfulls (with gloves on!) of fresh nettle leaves chopped
Preheat over to 350.  Line the bottom of your crust with cheese.  This creates an oil barrier layer so the crust shouldn't get too soggy.  Next, fry your onions in olive oil and/or some of the bacon fat. I like to almost carmelize mine and then throw in the mushrooms.  Cook a few minutes and then add in all the chopped nettle.  I did this in a big soup pot that I had cooked the bacon in so with the high sides everything fits before it wilts down.  Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the cream and set aside.  When nettle, mushrooms and onions are almost done, toss the bacon bits back in and give it a good stir.  Now take all that and pour it in the pie shell, over the cheese.  Then pour the egg/cream mixture over that.  Season and voila!  You are ready to put it on the middle rack in the over and cook for at least 45 minutes.  Watch the crust.  Also, you can place a cooking sheet under the quiche if its very full so the boiled over spills dont get stuck on your oven floor.  Let it cool for ten minutes or so before slicing and then dig in!  Its good cold the next day for lunch too.  Yum!

Please also check out my friends Kimberly and John's website, Learning Herbs, to learn more about herbalism, plants, and how to use them.  Their website is SO FULL of information and I highly recommend it!  You will even see a picture of Jasper and I if you click on Cold and Flu Care!

Anja's spring banner from her awesome blog Clever Nettle.

On a different note, completely, I love fashion!  One of my favorite blogs to visit and scour is Clever Nettle. I almost named my own blog something-something-nettle.  Anja, the blogs proprietress, lives in Portland and I am fairly obsessed with her, on many levels.  Her work is to thrift for awesome vintage and modern-but-cool clothes and she sells them on her Etsy sight, and then she blogs about it.  Dream job.  And she is so cute.  And she very often posts about food in Portland and those of you who know me well do know that I am obsessed with Portland, food, vintage, thrifting, clothes, etc.  Even though I am mostly a t-shirt and jeans kinda gal, I do love fashion and clothes and I have many a packed closet full of cool vintage clothes that I never get to wear around in my daily life.  Sigh. 

Many of the restaurants I have been to in Portland are on Anja's recommendation.  Check out Olympic Provisions, Calderra Public House and Navarre to name a few.

Chad at Olympic Provisions with all the Charcuterie hanging behind him.

Because of Anja and her friend Rachel, that she often speaks of, I am currently obsessed with Swedish Hasbeen shoes.  I think I have to get a pair, pronto, and I think I will be going to Clementine's, in West Seattle, to try some on first.  Also, my obsession has become contagious and I think I pretty much have Erin talked into needing a pair too!  It'll be a girls afternoon on the town and it aint gonna be cheap!

Assorted colors of Swedish Hasbeens!

Anja is leaving for New Orleans in a couple days.  I feel like a stalker but she has been asking for suggestions of places to go see, where to eat, what to do and visit etc.  Again, those of you who know me, know I am profoundly in love with NOLA, its part of my email address, I just went back for the third time in the fall and I do plan to live or stay there for an extended amount of time in the future.  Fingers crossed!

A blurry photo of us in our hotel room at The Hotel Monteleone famous for being haunted and for its Carousel Bar in the lobby.  Also the rumored birthplace of Truman Capote!

So I have been desperately trying to piece together every little bit of what I would want to tell Anja about New Orleans and I am realizing that so much of the magic of the city is that you have some amazing thing to discover at every turn.  There is never a dull moment and I am not sure that you can ever have a bad meal there.  I wonder what it would have been like if I had gone there for the first time armed with a list of "must do" things.  I think it would have been a little different experience, and I would have been glad to have had some guidance, but I also had the luxury and delight of "self discovery" without the pressure or anxiety of "gotta go, gotta go, gotta go."  I would do that to myself with a list.  It would become my boss and I would feel compelled to "accomplish" every item on the list.  And I would not have as many deep, cool, in-the-moment experiences if I went by a list, because, like I said, being me, I would rush to do it all and not leave time for magic and happenstance.  I am beyond certain that Anja would never just do exactly what I suggest she do, but I think I will withhold my desire to rush to share every detail, of every place, of every taste, of every sound that I would want Anja to experience, so she can find her own experiences of the amazing city.  I gotta think of just a few key gems to share and let the rest stay in the magic little place in my brain where the rest of NOLA is perched on a pedestal forevermore!
Gem #1:
Me in front of Elizabeth's Restaurant in the bywater area.  Take a cab from the quarter.  So worth the drive. Best breakfast ever!

Gem #2 (&3)

This is David's Found Objects.  I would also highly recommend checking out Le Garage across the street on Decatur.  In fact, Decatur is where its at.  Next time, I will be staying on lower Decatur, FOR SURE!

Gem #4 and beyond
Walk around and take it all in!

Walk along the Mississippi on the Riverwalk.

Take the ferry to Gretna.  We went to the Gretna Heritage Festival and it was fantastic to get a real dose of local culture and arts!  Yes, we caught a glimpse of Kool and the Gang and saw the awesome New Orleans Bingo Show!

Just watch out for the BIG bugs!

We spent one day driving up to Baton Rouge and exploring there before seeing one of our favorite bands, The Avett Brothers perform.  It was exciting for us because we were in the 6th row or so and the venue was virtually empty.  Here is how excited we were and how empty the place was:

The lack of an audience should in no way reflect the awesomeness of this band!  We were just in the middle of nowhere!  They were originally scheduled to play at House of Blues in the Quarter but for whatever reason had to cancel and at the last minute rescheduled in Baton Rouge so I think people were just not so aware that they were in town.  Lucky us!

Look at some balconies:

Check out some neat houses:

Side note: Have you been watching Treme on HBO?!!  Ohmygawd, I love this show.  The music, the scenery, the vibe.  Love all of it.
This past October was the first time I had been back since Katrina and it was a very different feel in the quarter.  The sense of mysterious and ethereal things, intangible, laying right below the surface, is still there but the many little obscure shops, galleries and eateries are gone for the most part.  I missed that part of it.  There is no lack of people who are ready to share what happened to them during Katrina.  You can still see wrecked buildings and the high water marks on underpasses and structures.  It makes you wonder and leaves a tinge of sadness but I am just so darn happy that the essence of NOLA is still there.  Keep rebuilding NOLA!  I will be back! 

Do you know what it means, to miss New Orleans, when that's where you left your heart?