Friday, July 30, 2010

garlic naan

I headed out to pick up the children at their Grandmother's apartment in Williamsburg today, but last night John and I took Ruby out to dinner. We were ordering some spicy Indian food, so I ordered her a garlic naan. She seems love garlic and onions these days. It arrived on a lace doily with a small bowl of cucumber raita in the center, and Ruby was thrilled. She tried the raita with a spoon and then picked up the whole bowl and drank it. She pronounced the bread delicious, as well as some salmon tikka. The okra was too "picy".

I like that my children eat and enjoy real food.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


circle, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

look for a while at the china cat sunflower

sunflower, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

pensive pirate

pensive pirate, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

We are still cleaning the Patrick County dust out of our tents and camping equipment, but our four days under the trees was a welcome respite from our usual routine. John and Ella camped for the first two nights and then went home to Granny. John wanted to spend most of his time in the Children's Universe, and Ella enjoyed getting her hair braided and her face painted. She did a yoga class and a hooping workshop and is contemplating wearing a bindi on her forehead every day of the third grade. The kids have a tendency to forget that this is a music festival, so I drove them home so that John and I could get out to some shows. Ruby loved Old Crow Medicine Show and finally feel asleep during Levon Helm on Saturday night. I didn't get enough time on the Porch this year but did catch Tift Merritt there and a few minutes of Martha Spencer's impromptu flat footing workshop.

We did catch the Wiyos and the Hackensaw Boys, old favorites, as well as Appalachia Rising and Cristabel and the Jons. John discovered even more Swedish bluegrass, but I'm yet to be convinced. We saw Kat Mills, a mama from our library story hour, open for Levon. Big time stuff there.

We returned home and bought tickets for Bristol Rhythm and Roots,and we are contemplating Shakori Hills. School starts four weeks from yesterday, but I keep reminding myself that summer seems to last well into November here.
We loved fire breathing dragons, fire dancing, and the ever nourishing Veggie Thing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ruby and daddy

ruby and daddy, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

blue and red

blue and red, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


ponies, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


Tonight I made pickles, hummus, roasted red pepper spread, salsa, and brown rice. I've packed five bags of groceries and we are off to a music festival in Floyd. Back sunday.


adventures, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

It is amazing what you can do just two hours from home. We are home from a few days of camping at Grayson Highlands State Park, and we want to go back and camp there for a week. Little John said, "A week? I want to stay here for the rest of my life."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

grayson highlands state park

grayson highlands state park, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

wild ponies

wild ponies, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

up the mountain

We've gone camping on top of a mountain. I am somehow drawn to the idea of a boulder field and wild ponies. I'm taking beading supplies, and the kids are taking painting and drawing supplies. John is taking his big diggers and dumptrucks. Books. Tents. Bikes. Stars.

We'll be back just in time to repack our gear, make the hummus, and head back out to the woods for four days at Floydfest. I'm looking forward to taking the littles to Radiant Yoga.

Friday, July 16, 2010

high summer

corn, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

I still haven't found my balance, but I did make peach ice cream with four children today. I think we have to push back our camping trip a day and take little John to the doctor. He is heading into his fourth day of a fever, and I don't think he is up for climbing any mountains.

My little people have been stuffing their bellies with fresh corn that they picked at a friend's house on monday. Last night we cut if off the cob and put it in burritos with refried black beans, cheddar cheese, red cabbage, fresh tomatoes, onions, sour cream, and chipotle peppers.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


john, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

I feel like I've lost my balance around here.

I'm very tired, and this little guy is sick. I feel like I never have any time to make anything anymore, no time to myself at all. I always have to make sure no one is drowning or putting electronics in the sink. If I'm not doing that I'm making meals and snacks, washing dishes, or picking food up off the floor.

I think I'm ready for school to start.

J is for John

J is for John, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

We are back from the country with squash the size of small children.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

more fresh wasabi

fresh wasabi, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

I thought I was going to show you more fresh wasabi paint, but then I had to laugh at the stack of laundry in the rocking chair. Here's to keeping it real.

fresh wasabi

fresh wasabi, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Over the fourth of July weekend we finished painting the dining room. It is Sherwin Williams Wasabi, and I love it.

summer ice cream

hugging ice cream, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Blackberry Lemon Ice Cream

In a bowl stir together 2 1/2 cups of buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 1 tablespoon top shelf vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. (I bet agave nectar would be delicious, maybe a half cup)
Pour into your ice cream maker. When the ice cream is set, add a half a pint of chopped fresh blackberries and the zest of one lemon and continue to process until well mixed. Serve topped with fresh blackberries.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


With big sister out of town for the week, John has taught his baby sister how to say "at your service". Ella went home with her Grandmother for a week, and she has been enjoying all of her meals al fresco, riding her bike, playing with baby turkeys and rabbits, and making some new friends.

Friday, July 02, 2010

horse girl

horse girl, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

She can trot!


farmall, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


farm, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

ella miranda

ella miranda, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

We picked Ella up from her last day of farm camp today. I think she has a new respect for the amount of hard labor it takes to care for animals. She rode horses every day, learned about sheep shearing, washed and dyed wool and then spun a bit with a drop spindle. She mucked out a stall, made mosaic out of beans, and learned some Spanish in a cabin out in the woods.


I know I just posted about our friends who are traveling around the world, but Chrislyn's post from Italy is just inspiring. They are gluten free, dairy free, and mama is a vegetarian, so I love to hear about what they are eating along the way. Imagine an eight year old weeping over pasta and devouring "meat from heaven covered in melted cheese'. The moon. The beans. The olives. The adventure.