06 July 2010

aspen grove

I was lying in bed reading a good book yesterday when I suddenly got the itch to paint a mural on the wall behind the bed. I went downstairs and asked Jonathan, very sweetly, to help me move our bed.

"Uh-oh," he said, getting up to come help. "What's going on?"

He is such a good sport! He moved the bed and then he took the kids on a long bikeride and then to the park while I listened to The Beach Boys and slapped some paint on the wall.

I love it! It's not terribly original. Many similar murals and decals of birch trees have been featured on design*sponge and Apartment Therapy, but I like it anyway. There are so many aspens out here. It seems very "Colorado" to me to have a grove of them on my wall...

I had planned to do more detail, paint "notches" and such on the trunks using the wall color to represent the bark, but I liked it as it is, more simple and graphic, so I made myself stop.

Jonathan loves it. (Thank goodness!) Now I just need to find some new bedding and lamps. Jonathan says "What's wrong with the lamps?" but I have never liked them. It's just that lamps cost money. At least this mural was free!

star studded blueberry pie

I made this pie for the fourth of July. I got the recipe from Family Fun magazine. It turned out so delicious! I like that you could really taste the lemon--maybe I went a little overboard with the lemon, but that's because I love lemon! I will definitely make this again. I cheated and bought premade, refrigerated pie crusts. Much easier. Anyway, didn't it turn out cute?

Star Studded Blueberry Pie
  • 6 cups blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 unbaked piecrust (recipe below) plus extra dough
  • CRUST:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
  • 4 or 5 tablespoons cold milk
  • Extra flour, as needed, for rolling the dough
  1. For the crust: Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Cut the butter into slices with a dinner knife and scatter the pieces on top of the flour.

  2. Pulse the flour and butter until they are combined and the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the dough sticks to itself when gently squeezed.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to shape it into two balls, one twice as large as the other. Using extra flour as needed to prevent sticking, roll the larger ball to fit a 9- or 10-inch pie pan. Wrap the smaller piece of dough tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes a 9- or 10-inch piecrust, plus extra for a decorative top crust.

  4. Creating the filling and assembling the pie: Heat the oven to 375ยบ F. Place the blueberries in a large bowl, and sprinkle with the lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, and sugar. Toss gently until the berries are evenly coated.

  5. Line a 9- or 10-inch pie pan with the rolled piecrust dough and crimp the edges. Pour the filling into the crust. Let your kids cut the extra dough into shapes with cookie cutters. Lay the shapes, touching one another, on top of the filling. Press any pieces that meet the sides of the crust into the edges.

  6. Place the pie pan on a foil-lined tray (to catch any spills) and bake in the lower third of the oven for 45 minutes or until the filling is bubbly around the edges and the crust is lightly browned. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Serves 8.

02 July 2010

Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield

too darn hot

It is so hot out -- and in. We have no air-conditioning. It is bearable, but only just bearable. So tonight, rather than heating up our house even more than it already is, I think we'll have a cold dinner. I am going to make up a chopped caprese salad for dinner using some of the basil from our garden. And I bought some gorgeous bread and bruschetta at Target.

I cannot wait until Jonathan gets home from work, so we can all sit out on the patio and eat dinner! I filled the kids' baby pool and it is out on the patio, too, so they can splash around in there after we eat.

01 July 2010

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver