love transcends criticism

A small church a few miles from our farm uses their roadside marquee to keep passersby encouraged. They display an unpredictable mix of scripture, wit, political commentary, and undemanding inspirational messages. You know the drill. It’s always sweet and well intentioned, sometimes funny. The messages are never preachy, not really. Sometimes they spell words wrong, but this only starts great conversations.

This week one side of the brick and mortar marquee offers a message that resonates with me as a woman, a mother, a friend, a wife, and just the person living inside my own head and body. 

Love accomplishes what criticism can only wish for.

I believe so firmly that Love is an actual power, that it is much more than an emotion or idea, even more than the actions we manage to take. Love is a sovereign, pulsing, ocean-crossing, universe-binding power that we cannot diminish, no matter what we do or fail to do.




I don’t have a lot more to say except that this was a message well timed for me. 

Happy end of the weekend, friends! However you spend it I hope it’s exactly what you need. And whatever you are doing to participate in Love, I hope you trust that your efforts and intentions matter. Trust that every little seed we cast in the right direction will find purchase. Love is infinitely more powerful than criticism. It is nourishing and constructive. It is trans-formative.

I’ll take a cue from our neighborhood church and resist the urge to be (any more) preachy. 

Your task is not to seek for love
but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself 

that you have built against it.


all these octobers

One of Mama Kat’s writing prompts this week intrigued me for a reason that was difficult to articulate even to myself, until I did the work. She asked us to share what we had blogged about this time last year, and the year before, etcetera. After taking a look I realized that this month of seasonal transition has historically delivered quite a punch. Just when Oklahoma’s weather is mellowing out and the gardens are slowing to an easy pace, I get my own personal little hurricane season. It’s not all been bad or painful, of course; sometimes change is exactly what we need. And even pain can be fruitful. 


October last year was like emotional excavation. I remember loving the outdoors daily and feeling aware of my age but happy. Klaus was growing fast and Jocelyn was settling into a new chapter in Colorado, and I was all about the slow decay of nature, the passage of time. I was dreaming heavily about Jessica, just as I am this October. This post called Lovelier Than Perfection was short and sweet. But then a strong wave of nostalgia and empty-nest pain crashed into me and I wrote this. A month before some stuff had happened in our marriage that caused such deep and lasting hurt between us that I can hardly believe it was a full year ago. Remember the Super Moon? It more or less coincided with those events that are still a tender bruise to us. Or at least to me. And October was when I started releasing it all. Whew.

joc sunset dusty


October two years ago was when our tomcat Geoffrey got stuck. It was also when Jocelyn was visiting the farm and we made some pretty gorgeous memories like the ones shared here. As happens when the weather changes, I also had to claw my way out of the pit of deep despair and back into the light. But I was also baking these cookies and reminiscing about early motherhood and my Grandpa. See? HURRICANE.

flourless peanut butter cookie recipe


October 2013 was when we lost my husband’s mother. Hers was a sudden death, though she had not been well or happy (stress-free) for a long time. The years and months and days and hours since have been a mix of pain and healing, anxious awareness of stress levels and heart health (my husband’s in particular), and filling the many holes left by grief that big. That same month, of course, we tried to rally our spirits to help my parents celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary, and my goodness how life has tested them in the few years since. October 2013 was hard. Beautiful in the ways that helped us survive, but hard.


The October before that, we hosted a really fun family dinner here at the farm to celebrate my Dad’s 55th birthday! We all laughed hard with each other and ate lasagna with all the trimmings followed by a butter-pecan layer cake with cream cheese frosting. I love my Dad so much and hope we get to celebrate his birthday again this year! Fingers crossed that he just cannot live without this cake again.


Also in 2012 was a pretty memorable book club event that included an out of town guest author, Jen Luitweiler She drove all the way from Tulsa to the farm to meet most of our group at that time and answer a thousand-hundred-million questions about her book Run With Me. We ate and talked and listened and ate and smiled until it hurt. (I feel like pointing out that this was a several months before I started training for my first half marathon! Long time ago. Ancient history.)


Even Earlier…

Going back much further would plunge us into pre-blogging Octobers and a family life that was filled with a mix of volleyball and homework, suddenly vacant little girl bedrooms, an abundance of friendships to distract us, newborn babies, road trips, fledgling gardens, rent houses and used car purchases, art projects, slumber parties, and terrifying hospital stays. Not in that order. I kind of wish I had been blogging all along, just to digest again the best and worst parts of life.

As much as I crave and relish the details of any big season change, clearly it tends to be a mixed blessing. And that’s okay. For all its difficulties, life continues to look and feel more beautiful every October.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Kat! See you on Snap-Chat. You are so cute as the deer. 

“We write to taste life twice,
In the moment and in retrospect.”
~Anais Nin

pleasure list from tuesday

Nothing fancy. Just lots and lots of every day pleasures with remembering.

A clean, light-filled house with silly-scary Halloween decorations. Which is extra funny, knowing that we actually do have ghosts here.

Yawning, snuffly horses. Smooth-bellied boys eager to snuggle.

My favorite hen with almost no feathers left. Her name is Shoulder Chicken. She is highly optimistic.

Winds of change mid-morning and again in the afternoon. Shady running trail with broken twigs in the grass and sand. Eight miles of pure bliss.

Lantana blossoms changing from mostly yellow to mostly red, but the leaves are still green.

Freshly shampooed hair, sore thighs, abundant energy.

Carving a pumpkin I grew myself and (for the first time in years) not crying over Halloweens long gone. This empty nest is filling up with contentment about today and peace with the past.


Roasting those pumpkin seeds, pureeing that pumpkin meat, and then randomly baking banana bread with chocolate chips because I couldn’t stand to do something ordinary with that gorgeous bowl of orange. Yes to Greek yogurt and sea salt in the banana bread.

Making beef enchiladas from scratch while listening to Awolnation loud. Remembering brilliant hikes at Gem Lake. Loving all the fresh air right here in Oklahoma.

Roasting Anaheim peppers until the vapors sting my eyes.

Finding two of my favorite necklaces on my dresser, untangled.

Seeing new happy photos of my girl in Colorado, horseback, loving her pup, living her life.

Scooping dry manure into the empty herb garden, dreaming of what will grow there next.

Hydrangea soft and perky again after being watered.

Denim blue skies streaked with grey. Black clouds and bursts of metallic sun.

Satisfying belly laughs watching the SNL rerun about the Presidential debates. They basically said all the best things. All hail.

Reading weird little paragraphs that leave me wondering how much can actually be lost in translation only to land on a sentence that resonates. Ah there it is.

Friends, happy Tuesday night. I hope you are having such a delicious, interesting, soul-nurturing day. Around here I am physically and emotionally overwhelmed to stop and count all the pleasures. All the answered prayers too, although that’s not what I’m talking about today. Ok maybe a little.

“While it does embrace spirit,
it is most accurately described as a way of life,
distinguished by the ready accessibility
of happiness and love.”
~Don Miguel Ruiz








a week’s worth of links worth sharing

Before we read, let’s laugh:

If that doesn’t work, let’s try apple cider vinegar. Or maybe some essential oils.

How to be a Morning Person by Marisa Mohi. Marisa is another member of Oklahoma Women Bloggers, and she and I are becoming fast friends. At least in my mind. She might be reading this and weaving her head slowly left and right in a freaked-out, hey back off lady kind of way. Whatever. We are both quite good at Snapchat and she writes smart, interesting stuff weekly. This is just one example. 

Farro-Apple-Mozzarella Salad by Sandy the Reluctant Entertainer. As always, Sandy offers a mouth-watering recipe right alongside some deep, relatable emotions and a healthy dose of wisdom. I love her spirit. Sandy and her husband have recently moved to a small mountain cabin (remind you of anyone?) and are focusing on downsizing their material world so they can maximize their life. This has been a huge motivation for me here at the farm. Beautiful stuff.

Holly’s Farmhouse Tour by Allison at Refunk My Junk. YOU GUYS. Love. Just when I abandon all the crazy colors here and dive deep into charcoal and gold. But still.

Secrets of People Who are Always Full of Energy by Apartment Therapy. As someone who is normally bursting with energy (not this week, it has been a sickly week for me) I wholly support each of the suggestions here. Seven great daily commitments to make to your own well-being. 

Six Month Novel Writing Plan Maybe one of the reasons I feel such joy with marathon training is that it teaches the power of a structured, long-term plan. It changes an impossible-seeming dream into a realistic, even an appetizing goal. Now to get this book out of my head and onto paper.

Lactate Threshold What it is and how it can make you faster. Yes, a running article. The author explains tempo runs in a way that really clicked for me, and she explains the science behind that deeply cleansing sensation of a long, slow run. Our bodies are amazing. 

Speaking of amazing, let’s try this soon! Coffee Granola Clusters. Okay.

This cute slide show 18 Lessons You Learn When Dating a Girl Who Loves Her Dog made me think of our beautiful baby in Colorado. She is devoted to her pup Bridget and Bridget is devoted to her, and dating boys never interferes with that, ha. 

best hiking buddies ever
best hiking buddies ever

Thank you for checking in, friends! What have you been reading?

“I get sad every time I hear a person say I don’t read.
It’s like saying I don’t learn or
I don’t laugh or
I don’t live.”

beekeepers’ blueberry- granola banana bread

I recently needed something delicious to share at our monthly beekeepers’ meeting but didn’t particularly have time to drive to the store for anything extra. A quick scan of refrigerator and pantry supplies inspired an adaptation of Martha Stewart’s classic banana bread, the same one I have been making happily and in a thousand different ways for about fourteen years.

You probably have your favorite banana bread style. You should! It’s so versatile, and the ingredients are pretty easy going.

Honestly, friends, this particular twist might be my new personal favorite banana bread, and everyone who tasted it seemed to agree. The plate I took to our beekeepers meeting was empty in a minute. Crumbs. Only crumbs remained. It’s extra juicy and so tangy thanks to fresh blueberries, and in my opinion crunchy granola is so much better than just nuts.

Thank you Sandy for tempting me with chocolate chip granola cookies! That gave me the idea.

blueberry banana bread


bb ingredients


All Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 cup of chopped nuts
  • 1 cup of quick oats
  • thick drizzle of honey (fresh Oklahoma honey!
  • cinnamon
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (sour cream is ok)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • up to a cup of fresh blueberries



Use about 3/4 cup of any granola you have or love. Here is what I whipped up with found ingredients. Since only about 3/4 cup of this finished granola went into the banana bread, the rest made a decadent bowl of cereal the next morning.

  • Stir together equal parts quick oats and chopped nuts with cinnamon and a heavy drizzle of fresh honey. Use fresh Oklahoma honey ok!!
  • Bake it all on a cookie sheet until fragrant and toasty.
  • Flip and stir it halfway through baking.
  • For sure go ahead and make it more interesting if you have, say, sunflower kernels or multiple kinds of nuts available. This is what I had on hand. And it was great. 
  • Or use packaged or bulk granola! Totally delish.



  • Using an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well.
  • Sift together dry ingredients and combine with the butter mixture. 
  • Fold in the granola and rinsed blueberries.
  • Pour into a buttered and flour-dusted loaf pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for at least an hour.
  • If the bread develops a brown crust but is still too moist in the center, you can leave the bread in the oven, still warm but turned OFF. 
  • Once you finally pull it out of the over, please trust me and let this pretty thing cool before you slice it. 

Okay I hope you try this recipe while you can still get nice blueberries in the produce section! And if you are out of honey, make a beeline for a local apiary. Local is so much better. 

Exciting side note: I might be extracting our own honey this week! Stay tuned. I will post the harvest process to Instagram or Snapchat before it lands here.

Over and out.