milestones and magazines…2014! featured in MOTHER EARTH living magazine JAN/FEB 2014! featured in MOTHER EARTH living magazine JAN/FEB 2014!

happy new year dear readers-

please join me in wishing my daughter domenica a VERY happy, healthy, memorable 20th birthday (12th january).  it will certainly be “memorable” this year since she is currently studying abroad in PAU, france.  she chose to stay with a host family and she’s been blessed with a lovely, charming, extremely helpful family.

rather than baking a favorite dessert together or sharing a special birthday dinner, her dad and i will be “skyping” our birthday wishes and enjoying her beautiful smile via the internet…with love.

other momentous news from is a feature article about domenica and me in MOTHER EARTH LIVING, natural home, healthy life, JAN/FEB. 2014 issue.  (see photo of cover above)

we are honored to be featured in this timely, inspirational, enlightening periodical about “genuine” people, their environments and their contributions to make the world a better place for all of us.  from the moment i read editor-in-chief jessica kellner’s first letter to readers, i was encouraged by her vision for the magazine, her choice to provide important information to the magazine’s subscribers and her desire to take on vital issues which affect many of us.

so, jump in your car (or on your bike) and pick up MOTHER EARTH LIVING at your local barnes & noble, wholefoods or sprouts market (or subscribe online at  this JAN/FEB. 2014 issue is packed with pertinent lifestyle articles, not to mention a six page story about a mom named elena, her daughter, her supportive husband, her garden, food passions and hope for future generations.  a special thank you to california based photographer raya carlisle for her beautiful images. it was an enjoyable and rewarding experience to work with jessica and raya and we feel that they portrayed our story and home with simple honesty.

it is my hope that you will all read the piece (and the rest of the magazine!) and pass it along to friends, neighbors and family.

may 2014 bring you many blessings,


p.s.  also a VERY happy birthday on 12th january to my baby brother, rob!

blackberries and beautiful daughters…

a favorite shot...domenica harvesting some blackberries!

a favorite shot…domenica harvesting some blackberries!

happy mother’s day to all you special women!

though my daughter is away at school and unable to celebrate the day with me (she did text first thing this morning!), today brought forth a powerful reminder of her presence in our lives.  this afternoon we harvested our first bowl of plump, juicy, sweet, perfectly ripened blackberries from our backyard vines.

domenica has grown up (see photo) harvesting the ready to eat blackberries since she was a toddler.  when she was born we planted three small vines which have mushroomed to maybe fifteen.  this isn’t counting the stray vines we’ve given away.  i have fond memories of her harvesting, eating as many as she put into the colander (the best part of picking!) and having deep purple stains on her hands, mouth and shirts.  when she was old enough to assist me with baking, we’d make muffins with blackberries as a focal point or cook up some refrigerator jam (for ice cream and yogurt).  recently, though, we’ve graduated to blackberry cobblers, claufoutis and galettes.  so easy, loaded with fresh fruit, colorful, flavorful and relatively healthy as desserts go.   we often add nectarines or tart apples to our dessert creations then bake until golden and bubbling.  yum…i can smell them now!  and don’t forget about adding them to your salads for a burst of sweet/tart goodness…more blackberry posts with recipes will be forthcoming, i suspect.

these simple pleasures and memories will remain in my heart/mind forever and remind me of the beautiful and fulfilling bliss it has been to have a child.

i hope your day has been filled with lovely memories as well.


p.s.  domenica planted the sweetpeas (from seed) in the above photo when she was here for her recent winter break.  there are literally hundreds of blooms now, bringing loads of bees and adding a sweet scent to our front yard garden.  i suspect one of these days domenica will enjoy a garden of her own…that would make a mother (and dad) proud.