2013 Wrapped Up

Last year I decided to find a few things that represented my life over the past 12 months. Needless to say, 2012 was wonderful and mildly insane. 2013 found me on new adventures, much more insular but still brilliant. At last I am settling back into myself again. For now.

Here are my words, photos and songs that remind me of my year, ala Clint Eastwood.

12 Words

Unprepared, excited, anxious, frustrated, hopeful, dreamy, adventure, broke, tired, full, blessed, furry.

!2 Songs

LCD Soundsystem

Angus and Julia Stone

Live Oak Review

Dr Dog

John Prine

Todd Snider

Lou Reed RIP


Arcade Fire and Bowie

Yo La Tengo

Flaming Lips

Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer

So many more moments could be added but i had to edit somewhere! It was a very blessed year.


New Year in Norway with my beautiful family


Butchering Pigs in Ireland


Late winter hike in Cork


Visiting Milleen

Photo on 2013-01-26 at 22.14 #3

Beautiful Cheese Muscles!


Working the Farmer’s Market in Skibereen


Having a nip with the locals at a pub with Phe and Douglas




New Orleans in May..Alligator bra?


New Orleans at its finest


Elderflower Syrup. SPRING!


My new housemates arrive. I’m in love


I become an auntie and a godmother to my beautiful Josephine


The wonder and awe of the Flaming Lips with a dear friend.


Turning 40 in Spokane, Washington with great friends!


Beautiful dinner at Nedd Ludd with healthy pours of Bourbon.


Lucas Elliott Jeray arrives in all his perfection!


Getting to know my snow peas, Bianca and Rowey


Returning to my roots never felt better. Tokeland, Washington.


keeping me sane


two new additions to my family. Fingal and Clemens


Moving to Cheney, Washington for a spell!


Being family in B.C.




Snow day equals LOTR’s day!


Wring It In ~ 2012 ~

2012 – you took me for one hell of a ride. Each year I collect my sound track and all of the good things I am most grateful. This year is no different. I am still most grateful for the relationships that taught me about myself,  the massive amounts of love I receive from near and far,  and that I am still capable of change.

I have never been one to make a resolution.  2012 was about transition, adaption and movement. 2013 will be about decision and progression. Right now I am in one of the most ambiguous points of my life. I have enormous decisions to make about rather significant subjects, specifically me. Where, when, what…the big ones. However I am going to remain relatively calm – I am going to study grace. I am going to believe that my nose is pointed in the general direction of my fate.

So this being said, I have decided to compile my year of contemplation with 12 songs, 12 words and 12(ish) photos. Not as easy as one might imagine…

Many old, some new. Some reared their heads through heart-break…All have had an impact on my day to day, and in no particular order…




Empire of the Sun

Flaming Lips

The Band RIP Levon

The Black Keys

The XX

Bright Eyes


The Morning Benders

The Beastie Boys RIP MCA

~ Finding 12 words that encapsulate my year…

Transition, Contemplation, Wisdom, Sun-warmed, Succulent, Blessed, Boozy, Heart-ache, Adventure, Strong, Side-splitting, Challenging, Cauliflower.

~ Narrowing down 5722 photos…

IMG_1770IMG_1916IMG_2025IMG_2157grouptorinoP1060437P1060782IMG_4232IMG_4372IMG_0224IMG_0333IMG_1201IMG_1502IMG_1903IMG_2195IMG_2649IMG_2953IMG_3445IMG_4020IMG_4482Yeah..I was never very good at math…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  2013! Kick my ass in all the best ways! I am ready.

Bosnia or Bust

I find that as my time in Italy races forward, the more I live in the moments presented and spend less time writing about them. I know I am going to regret this if I don’t get my thoughts down for future reference.

A few weeks ago I went on my fourth stage and my first stage outside of Italy.  I traveled to Bosnia and Croatia to study how ethnobiology in these regions was affected  by war. As we loaded onto our small gold bus, no one really knew quite what to expect, including our professor.  We covered 4500 kilometers in 6 days, crossed 5 borders, acquired a stigmata, stayed in a Croatian campground, 2 Bosnian homes and on a remote island about a three hour boat ride from the mainland. It was mind-bending. I never would have taken this trip on my own. I was barely becoming an adult when the war in Bosnia began. I remember thinking that it sounded horrible but seemed out of my sphere. I knew nothing about Bosnia really. And years later, I was here.

To reach my first residence in Martin Brod, we had to cross a bridge that had been blown up and replaced…sort of. Bosnia is beautiful with forested mountains and rivers crossing and falling down sides of wild landscape. It was hard to imagine how brutal the war was here. We were forbidden to wander off the roads because there are still several minefields, yet in many places, I would watch young children running across fields to school. I hoped they knew more than I did.

While being hosted by a group of women in Bosnia, we learned about what it meant to survive.  Of the 80 women in this support group, 30 of them had lost children. The majority of them lost their husbands. They fled from their homes and foraged for sustenance to feed their families.

After the war, there was nothing left but to pick up the pieces and move forward. Many people didn’t know how to do this. How do you come home to a land that has been violently turned upside down? Without the support of each other, many of the women we met returned alone and broken. To create a community, these women gathered and began working on tactile projects; they began preserving and weaving and cooking. They also began to heal, slowly. I had to honor of looking into their eyes while they told me their stories. How could I not be moved?

The bus was small and we had lots of rain and mud. However, I am here to learn what I can and have been given these moments to take what I want. I am choosing to take  a little bit of humble grace and gratitude.  I am also the happy owner of a small hand woven rug, knit from old clothing.

What’s In My Belly?

proscuitto, onion, olive and mozzarella...

Once again it is late and I can’t sleep…I am living on 4 hours of sleep a night and at some point, I have to believe this will catch up with me. However, until that day, i am going to devour my waking hours…maybe literally.

Wonderful bites of fresh crema and pastries

Today is my second day in Bra and my third day in Italy. I have settled into my new home with ease, although it is strange starting over again. Where are all light bulbs and the plastic wrap and who doesn’t have 1 mirror in their entire house? (my classmate put on her mascara with her ichat camera this morning!) I am back to taping maps and postcards and inspiration to the wall above my desk in anticipation for late nights of studying. I have stocked the kitchen with olive oil, cured meats, cheeses, pasta and fresh produce from the market. Life is good…now if only i could get this sleeping thing down.

fresh veal with shaved Parmesan and greens

So, what have I been eating for the past 72 hours? yeah, i knew you wanted to know…and of course I want to share.

First off, I was delivered to Bra by my wonderful friends Fede and Alice and their dear friend Ricardo (he is very tall). We piled into “the big blue car” (by Italian standards) with all of my luggage, my classmate and friend Jess, and her stuff…we should have taken a photo of that!

sausage ravioli with tomato and basil

After dropping off Jess at her flat and dumping my bags, we headed into Pollenzo for lunch. We were starving! When Fede stopped at this massive target-looking store, I was highly skeptical but they reassured me there was a great place to eat inside called Eataly (cute huh?!) The food was fresh and all locally produced as was the beer!

local Belgian style ale


After lunch, my room-mate, Lee-Ann, and I headed into our new town to explore and get some staples for the flat. Fresh Fava Beans! Fresh Ricotta! Baby Artichokes! I had to slow down…I have a year, after all.

Lee-Ann cooked us a meal that night that was so simple, I must share. Fresh ricotta, milk, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix with pasta…serious…that is it… Try it, you will swoon too. We washed that down with a delicious $5 bottle of local Nebiolo.

dairy goodness

Today we were up early and headed out to get massive amounts of paperwork completed at various agencies all over the city… I deserve to eat as much pasta as I want!

fresh fish! think of all the goodness

We were invited to Shona, Jess and Jacqueline’s for lunch….two are chefs, one trained at Chez Panisse and the third is a sommelier…needless to say, it was simple, perfect and delicious.

lunch with Jess, Shona and Jacqeuline

Tonight, I got to cook! I made  pasta with pesto, steamed artichokes and more wine, always more wine.

spring artichokes for dinner

I think I will like it here just fine!