summer in full swing

there is something about the 4th of july that announces that summer is in full swing. maybe it’s the red and white checkered table cloths with slices of watermelon laying upon them that is so ironically summer to me.

talk of fireworks never seem to excite me and i always think that im not much for liking them and then i see them and it’s a whole other ball game. i grip k’s arm like a little four year old child and point with wide eyes and repeatedly ask him if he just saw it. we had walked out of the restaurant we dinner at with perfect timing for it was dusk and the rain had stopped. logan square residence had  been patient enough and could contain themselves no longer. logan erupted at all its seems and on our walk home we were surrounded on all sides with shimmering displays. we sat a while on the stoop and watched three different displays for a few, relaxed, and agreed that this was much better then trying to watch the city fireworks and dealing with all those people!

summer was very much so in the air at azalea ruby’s first birthday party which was held at bemis woods. flowers from be joy’s mothers garden were lovingly arranged on all the picnic tables. babies in dippers were slashing in the kiddy pool and doggies were running around. i can not believe azalea is one already. it feels as if we were all just gathered in the woods for her baby shower. it has been a joy to watch her grow and change over the past year. she is an amazing child filled with joy.

summer can be smelled and tasted in the organic locally grown veggies i got at the dill pickle food co-op and lightly steamed for our lunches. as i was slicing the carrots i walked over to k shoved it under his nose and proclaimed “this is what food should smell like!” i made a very light sauce from tapioca flower, water, braggs, and honey (from the greenhouse B&B) let it thicken and toped the veggies with it. light, crisp, clean flavors.  we had quite a nice lunch as we discussed why i could not keep a blueberry bush in a pot because it needed to be mulched over the winter and you could not do that if it was in a pot so therefore i could not have one. one day i will live somewhere where i have a yard and can grow food, till then it’s the farmers markets and the dickle.

summer finds me happy and health although will a little to much free time on my hands and being a little to lazy with it. i need to good creative out little right now and possibly have some interesting photo shoots in the works. i need to be doing more yoga. time to get back to my five day a week yoga routine.


b&b and r&r

city life is demanding and overwhelming and once in a while you just need to put the break on. away from friends, phones, internet, tv, and jobs. away form the 100 some odd things we feel compelled to do every day and if we don’t we feel unproductive. getting away is far more then a breath of fresh air, it’s good for the sole.

k and i made a break for it to celebrate our three year anniversary. just a quick two day break and then back to work. i did the planning this year and as we sat in bumper to bumper traffic trying to get out of the city on a holiday weekend, my best friend of three years was unaware of where the day would take us. now im bad at surprises, i get to excited and want to spill the beans and i was bouncing with anticipation.

now i must thank my amazing parents for letting us barrow a car. unlike the first time our car was stole then found, this time around it is yet to be found.

soon the city was far behind us (well not sooo soon with all the traffic) and when we took our exit off of 57 i felt as if i had arrived in another world. farm land of corn and soy as far as the eye can see. yes sadly i am sure that most of it was gmo’s of monsanto or something or other (90% of soy grown in the illinois are) but that did not stop me from enjoying the view and feeling a sense of calmness.

our destination for the evening was the greenhouse bed and breakfast in kempton, il. now i had never been a guest at a b&b and did not quite now what to expect and if you know me you would know that i always need to make things interesting. the green house is not your average b&b but an organic permaculture b&b. lots of people that come to stay come and learn about permaculture from mark who for a long time was involved with csa and is an organic farmer and bee keeper. i found him to be extremely knowledgeable, open, sharing, and very hospitable. in fact guia and mark are remarkable people and a joy to be around. both talented gardeners and guia is trained in culinary arts.    

i came to know about the greenhouse through mama be joy. she gets her beeswax for her organic skin care business from them. 

the day found us pulling into the drive way at about four pm. we were greeted by some very cute and happy doggies and some squawking chickens. i must say again that these dogs were so happy. they had the life, not a care in the world! i became very attached to the 8 month old puppy pixie. she had spent most the time we were there fallowing me around and wanting to play and be petted. in fact when we were leaving guia asked me jokingly if i wanted to take her with!

the next thing we did was ask mark for a tour of the house, garden, orchard, chickens (and 1 month old babies), well everything. did i mention they have guineas? i had never seen one before!

then k and i proceeded to lay lazily in a hammock with books but not really reading. the sun was shining in our faces and the trees were filed with singing birds and i relaxed and was at peace. when was the last time i laid in the sun and read? i need to do it more often!

around seven guia called us in for a amazing home cooked meal with veggies grown in their yard. for desert we had berries, most from their yard, with vegan sour cream. the flavors were fresh and it tasted like summer. after dinner k and i sat on the front porch and watched the sunset over the farm land through the flower garden. next we laid in bed with our books and waited for the stars to come out.

come out and shine that night they did. mark armed us with cups of tea and a bowl of popcorn and we sat on the back porch wrapped in a blanket. it was nearly a new moon and not a cloud in the sky. the stars were bright and crisp each constellation could be made out and we could even clearly see the milky way. you don’t get stars like this in chicago. the fireflies came out and did a little dance like they were from the nutcracker and pixie could be heard running through the tall grass and barking a cows.

we slept well that night.

in the morning guia fixed us a amazing breakfast and packed up our lunches for us. i purchased some honey from mark and k laid in the hammock for one last time. sadly it was time to go.

the next part of your anniversary adventure was about to start. after a forty five min drive we pulled up to reed’s canon rentals  where we were loaded into a van with the two kayaks we had rented and were dropped off at the kankakee river. our twelve mile trip would take us through kankakee state park on the river. this so happened to be some of the cleanest water in il!

we took our time and starched our trip out to be about five hours on the water. we made frequent stops and explored Indian caves, picnicked and ate the amazing lunches guia had prepared for us, and most importantly spent time with each other. the kankakee for most part is a very clam river and at points we stopped peddling healed hands and gently floated. it was peaceful and dragonflies and butterflies danced on our kayaks.

this trip made thankful for my life and the people in it. it made me thankful for my relationship with k and the three beautiful years we have shared together. he is my best friend. we work hard and we may not make a lot of money but we have a lot of love and know how to have a good time.