I went on a lot of rides with you in that old chore truck. It smelled like dust and oil and old hay. The seats were black and worn completely slick. My legs always stuck to them in summer and I could feel the springs just beneath the vinyl every time we hit a bump. And we hit bumps a lot, driving through deep ruts cut into the ground by cattle who roamed the fields in long lazy lines.
Everything was a little lazy in July. I know I moved slower. But you didn’t. You couldn’t. We’d go out early while the sun was still low in the sky. After I hopped out and opened the gate, you’d pull into pasture after pasture, tapping the truck horn to call the cattle to breakfast. They’d come up and eat, sometimes pausing to breathe at me through the open window, their shiny noses bigger than my hand. While they ate, you’d count them, every single one important. Hundreds and hundreds of them, all written down in the notebook you kept in the pocket of your shirt.
When we finished counting cattle, we’d go to that little town close by, the one that really wasn’t more than a gas station and a handful of old, pretty little houses. We’d go in and you’d nod at the farmers standing around the coffee pot. Sometimes you knew their names and they often knew yours. Sometimes they used words I wasn’t supposed to hear. But they always meant the very best.
They’d ask me if I was helping Dad, I’d nod at them, and they’d wink at me before they turned back to their friends and slurped down more coffee.
You’d buy me a Pepsi with ice in a Styrofoam cup. But we called it a Coke. And then we’d drive back to the house with the windows down, the smell of just-cut hay fields coming in through the windows and the sound of the highway keeping time to the AM country radio crackling through the speakers.
(The photo at the top is one I took of my dad in all his rancher glory.)
I love this little bags/boxes. And I thought they always looked so familiar but couldn’t figure out where I’d seen them…
And then my friend Danielle said they looked like the popsicle / frozen juice things we used to get with school lunch. Hahaha, yes! Good times, good times.
These are super easy to make and so much cuter than regular store bought treat bags. (Less expensive, too!) Here’s what you need:
-squares of paper. This can be wrapping paper, comic book pages, old book pages, construction paper, whatever you like and have lying around
-tape. Scotch tape and, if you want to go the extra mile, Washi
Cut your paper into squares. I made mine 4×5 inches but you can make them any size you want. (Gratuitous Washi tape photo below. Can we just talk about Washi tape for a sec? I love you so much, Washi tape. You’re so beautiful.)
Roll your paper square into a cylinder and tape it in place leaving both ends open. Read more
There is so much inspiration in winter. The soft, muted palette, often lined in white. Sunrises and sunsets in vibrant strokes of gold and purple and red and indigo. Pale blue skies that match the shadows in the snow.
And then there’s the snow. When, at times, you feel like you’re sitting inside a snow globe, all cozy with your coffee and your book while the wind and the white rages about you. When you step outside in the quiet and hear the whisper of snowflakes falling on their brothers. When you walk at night and see the moonlight make the earth glow. There is nothing else like it. Read more
These little pom poms are perfect to accessorize your hair, to add to a bookmark, or to tie on top of a practically perfect Christmas gift. And they’re so easy! You’ll need a little bit of yarn, a fork, and scissors.
Start by cutting a small length of yarn and threading it between the center tines of the fork. Push it towards the base of the fork. Read more
OK, which are you: chewy chocolate chip cookie lover or crispy? Cause if you’re chewy I automatically like you extra.
Cookies were some of the first things I learned how to make in the kitchen and there’s nothing more classic than chocolate chip. We were a chewy cookie family so I’ve experimented over the years until I’ve got this down, people.
There is very little I like more than roasted vegetables, especially slightly charred. And they are so easy to make! I’ve learned a few tricks to make them extra perfect. Here’s the breakdown. Read more
She loved the things I made.
It didn’t matter what it was. Macaroni glued to a paper plate. A play my brother and I performed for her and Dad. A painting. An outfit. A song.
She’s why I keep making, keep creating. Because she told me the world needs to hear what I have to say.
She’s the only one to have ever read the first half of my unfinished and decidedly terrible first novel. The only one to lament my never finishing it.
Many years, countless creations, and three novels later, I have something new to give her. A story. And a song.
A story that feels as though it were harvested from my own body, untangled from my sinew and cut away from my bone.
So, here is the beginning. The first chapter of 13. It’s written and ready. All that’s left is for me to speak it into being.
For you, Mama.
Clashwood Ep 1
This is the first draft of the narration track to my upcoming podcast. Feel free to subscribe if you’d like to stay in the know.
Marble bars and middle school. The two are forever connected in my mind. Two for a quarter at the cafeteria snack bar, wrapped up in plastic wrap, and you always, always, always ask for the squishiest ones. Marble bars could start wars, repair friendships, and bring us dramatic little middle schoolers together like nothing else.
If you’re unfamiliar with them, marble bars are kind of like chocolate chip cookies in bar form. But different. Buttery, gooey, and oh so good. Here’s the recipe. Do yourself a big, giant favor and give them a whirl.
There is something to be said for routine. It keeps me on task, keeps me focused, helps me feel settled. I know what to expect and there’s a certain comfort in that. But sometimes, I just crave different.
I’ve always been like this. I love purging stuff that’s been hanging around too long. I’d rather see empty spaces on my shelves than the same old stuff that’s always been there. I like to eat things I’ve never tasted, try and invent new colors (I know, I know, not really possible, haha), and use old cameras I’ve never used before. One of my favorite things in the world is hitting the open road and going somewhere I’ve never been, with or without a plan in mind. Even as a kid, Read more