Author: janet

packing tips + pickled beans | a raisin & a porpoise

how we bean

Today’s theme is HARD TO GET THE STUFF IN THE PLACE. Not too long ago we traipsed into the wilderness for our annual camping trip. Then we traipsed back out again, little bits of soot and ash and pine needles stuck to our selves and to the mountain of gear that continues to lurk around the house, in need of shaking and rinsing and hanging and—most arduous of all—folding back up into the little origami pellets that the corresponding stuffsacks demand. My wilderness travel tip remains unchanged from last time: travel with Greek persons, or, if those elude you, travel with anyone who only feels comfortable heading into the wilderness for two days with a minimum of 7 heads of garlic, 8 eggplants, 14 lemons and a pontoon (metric measure) of olive oil. Some of our travel Greeks (we are lucky enough to have a whole set) had to leave early, and as my friend packed up her share of the goods, she offered me her bottle of oregano. I declined. Are you SURE? she …

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grilling peaches and some other good stuff for dinner | a raisin + a porpoise


What a weird summer we’re having. If I were writing a six-word memoir of this season, that sentence above would have to make the short list, along with ‘What Is Up With The Dog?’ and ‘Try Starting Dryer Before Clothes Rot’ and possibly ‘Let’s Put Kombucha In That Hat.’  It’s a weird-weather summer, dry and yet humid, and the plants (and the people) are showing the strain. It’s a weird summer of keeping a watchful, helpless-feeling eye on politics and on various relatives and on an increasingly senile house pet, a weird-in-general, hodgy-podgy summer of things both coming together and falling apart, of things being limp and drippy, yet parched. It’s still summer, though. Which means popsicles and more popsicles, as many as possible, and being certain, late at night, that as summer wanes (didn’t it just begin?!), there is more fun to be had than I am making time for. And it means enjoying unscheduled stretches of minutes and hours with my three kiddos, all home under one roof by dint of a miracle …

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radish butter and yoga| a raisin & a porpoise

body of work

There was this one time I was leading a horse into a field. I was maybe 12 years old and well-acquainted with horses, especially this one. Though he knew me, this horse did not know the field or the other horses in it and he did not feel super relaxed about going through the gate. He communicated his hesitation to me pretty effectively through his body language, a special skill of horses. I tried to relay his message verbally, as I understood it (“No”), to the person who had asked me to lead the horse into the field. She maintained that he had to go in there, and that I should insist. I insisted. He resisted. He planted his feet firmly. He tossed his head around mightily. And when this failed to overcome my continued attempts to urge him forward, he did some impressive snorting and whinnying, thrashed his head pretty hard, and then he reared up. In order to prevent him from running away at the high speeds I knew him to be capable …

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