December 31, 2009 Candace Morris 3 Comments

So what's everyone up to tonight?  Sitting at home with a book and a bottle?  Fancing yourself in some sexy shoes and sparkles?  Well, I'm spending the majority of the day cooking up some yummy desserts for a small dinner party tonight...I hope this eve treats you well.

New Year's Chocolate

This is a bit of the chocolate cayenne cake I'm preparing....




December 28, 2009 Candace Morris 5 Comments

I've been kind of waiting for it to go away but since it's lingering, I suppose I shall extract it thus.  This aforementioned it is this gnawing, annoyingly cold-sore-like discontent that keeps distracting me from enjoying my life.  The little bits, the big bits, they both seem to be growing and swirling in the balloon-sized wine glass of my psyche...and the sulfites are giving me a headache.  Ensue rant:

  1. I miss being busy.  Though everyone seems to be quite jealous of this in me, I must admit that I enjoy  being busy and thriving upon tasks.  However, if these tasks are meaningless and invented solely to keep me busy, I rebel and cannot complete them.  I've said it before, but I've quite married myself to the idea that I might be addicted to meaning and have an overdose in my life.

  2. I am quite discontent at the adjustment in lifestyle.  How I miss the bustling energy of Capitol Hill - the subconscious knowledge that SOMETHING was going on somewhere, SOMEONE was having the time of their life, and if not...were at least in existential crisis over it and hardly complacently adapted to their less than ideal jobs, etc, etc.  When you live with the young, you live with mercenaries.  When you  live with no one, you've only yourself to glean inspiration from.  I feel uninspiring to me this ordinary night in late December.

  3. I feel bored with the things I usually love...writing, photography, art, fashion, cooking, etc.

  4. I've absolutely NOTHING to wear, ever.

  5. Due to No. 2, I do not walk anymore.  I've therefore espoused a new weighty 5 lbs that I cannot seem to divorce from my nether regions.  On top of this, I need a hair cut, eye-brow attention, and mani/pedi.  These things may seem trivial to some, but they are truly integral to me feeling like me...put together, taken care of, lovely.

  6. I've gotten to thinking about my goals for 2010...the goals aside from the financial and fitness.  I've wondered if I should go back to work to find some sort of structure to my day; I've seriously pondered going back to school online; perhaps this is the year I start marketing myself and producing myself as a professional blogger/writer.  I stand at this many-pronged fork (YOU KNOW, LIKE THE ONES THEY SERVE WITH A 20-COURSE MEAL THAT YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHEN TO USE), and I feel nothing.  I feel no passion or inclination towards anything.  
In my soul, I feel big and blue.

I think the only remedy is lots and lots of dancing.
Know any hot clubs in Hobart, Wa?

It must be the Monday after Christmas.

Herein lies the question for you, tell me.  What do you do for inspiration?

~Back to the tequila,


ON TO THE NEW...An Invitation to January's Photo Assignment

December 27, 2009 Candace Morris 11 Comments

Happiest of evenings to you, fellow survivors of the yule-log cheer:

I write to you fireside this quiet eventide.  The saint and I both recline with hot tea and our feet sharing a stool, laptopping to our heart's gluttonous content.  I feel a snack inclination and I imagine we'll head into the media room to continue 30-Rocking here soon, but I wanted to share my greetings.  I truly must have the most blessed life, for my advent seasons are not very stressful (I'm gathering it's because we are very much still the children in our family and don't do a whole lot of work to pull of Christmas).  Joel and I always do our own thing on some random day, and it's full of tradition all our own.   I feel proud to have our family firmly established in these joys before we actually procreate.  

By the way, there is no procreating on the agenda for 2010, I must regret to inform all of those nosy enough to ask and all those polite enough not to.  

Ah, I digress.
Let's move on, shall we?

So, January is just around the corner, and after my post-champagne coma to come, I would like to propose  January's 12-month challenge, which is to say, I will be hosting another photo community gathering on Flickr!  So get ready.

For the entire month of January, I would like to invite you to participate with me as I take photographs and share them.  The theme will be "Daily Bread"...that which brings us it bread, beer, or bologna...I want you to take a picture of any meal or food or drink or snack with the intention of honoring that which nourishes your physical body throughout the day.  This group shall be silly and serious, meaningful and light-hearted, professional and casual.  

Please go HERE if you would like to join...

Rules for "DAILY BREAD"

  1. YOU MAKE YOUR OWN RULES (but if you need external rules (like MEeeeeE), here are a few suggestions:)
  2. Take 1 photograph per day - No need to set up photo shoots, the goal here is to get a glimpse into our everyday lives, our everyday souls, even if it's plain grilled cheese every single day.
  3. Upload it to your Flickr account.
  4. Add the photo to the group pool here.
  5. Comment on the other pictures as you see fit.
And that's pretty much it!

Also, in case you are curious, the blog community I follow
has been doing these photo gatherings for quite some time...
you can see them HERE, HERE, and HERE.




December 24, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

 Hey you bumpy ol' yule logs,
Have a fine fine holiday.

I shall be sipping and tipping and putting together puzzles between naps and sacks of toys, all the while gazing at wonderfully tacky christmas decor.

I guess nothing much really changes.




December 21, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

we've managed to scrape some pennies together and afford a few more branches.

Happy Christmas, buggers.



December 20, 2009 Candace Morris 5 Comments

From Clara Blake Goodrich

Four weeks ago today, my niece made me love her.

From Clara Blake Goodrich

Those damn robot-made babies are addicting.


p.s. in 8 weeks, joel's sister will have a baby.  it's like niece-explosion around these parts.
i'm just glad it's not my parts.



December 18, 2009 Candace Morris 1 Comments

  • Clove-stuck oranges
  • LifeSaver Books (esp. the buttered rum)
  • Bumbles
  • Dishes of antique glass holding M&Ms
  • Steak and Stolen at midnight
  • Mickey's "A Christmas Carol"
  • New pajamas



December 17, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

  • peppermint ice cream
  • eggnog
  • crappy plastic wreaths with candles set in the middle
  • handmade red towels that adorn surfaces
  • pandora's jazzy christmas station
  • a crock pot full of cider or mulled wine, accompanied by corny mugs all around
  • ornaments found at the dollar store
  • this horrible fake garland i always put up
  • the smell of the tree all throughout the house
  • watching:
    • white christmas
    • rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (claymation)
    • christmas vacation
    • the nightmare before christmas
    • miracle on 34th street (always watched with joel's dad)
    • it's a wonderful life

to be continued...



December 16, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments


This year, our sense of humor is driving the sleigh.  I feel kitchy, a bit irrevrant, and festive as hell.  So festive that I might just blow off my annual Christmas Card entirely...because breaking my own rules feels so right.

Merry Friggen Christ-Birth.



December 15, 2009 Candace Morris 3 Comments

Clara, my new niece

Delaney, my favorite 9month old

My sister and my sister's dog

Mekenzie and Gavin, my bff's kids

In case you needed a cute fix today.




December 14, 2009 Candace Morris 6 Comments

I spent yesterday catching up on my life and one way I did that was reading all the final posts that came in from November's Month of Mail!  It was soo vastly satisfying to hold the entire month's mail in my hands and fondle it greedily.  It was wonderful to see people responding with such appreciation for not only the mail, but also for the idea itself. I cannot say enough about what a wonderful month it was. 

If mail isn't enough magic to bask in (can one bask in magic?), the heavens opened up and poured down its glorious white love upon my country home.

And snow reminds me...
(Warning: long-winded diatribe to follow)

I don't think we have enough magic in our lives as adults.  I've encounterd countless people who feel that getting into Christmas (ie, buying a tree!!!) is unecessary if there are no children around to enjoy it.  I know everyone loves watching children's faces as they marvel at the magic of lights and mangers of Jesus, but I can't help but feel a small loss when adults cannot register a similar magic.  Joelio and I become children around this time of year, putting on music all the time, opening squares in advent calendars, ooohing and aaahing over our tacky Christmas decorations.  We have no small children in this household, but we have plenty of magic.

Fall of 2008 brought with it a deep depression, and one of the major symptoms of this depression was the loss of magic in life.  Nothing interested me...trees were just trees, not living souls.  Stars were just burning things in the sky, not a map of ancient perspectives.  Christmas was obligation and debt, not candlelight and conversation.  For whatever reason, the magic has returned and I couldn't feel more grateful for it.

This season, I truly hope the advent brings you magic, and if not, at least HOPE for magic to come.   I hope this magic is for YOU and not just the little souls in your life...




December 13, 2009 Candace Morris 3 Comments

Well, I've returned to snowy  Maple Valley after a 3 week hiatus wherein I gallivanted all along the West Coast.  After spending two glorious weeks with my niece Clara (and her parents, they're pretty great too, I guess), the saint flew down to join me in driving our new car back to Seattle from San Diego.   We expected horrible snow showers and icy conditions, but the weather couldn't have been better.  A peaceful trip indeed.

Thankfully we have friends and family all along the way so we didn't have to make the 23-hour drive in one straight shot.  We had such enjoyable times visiting people; I'm counting right now and we visited 7 homes and 30 people (12 of them kids) 6 dogs, and 4 cats.

So you can imagine that this introverted lady is soaking up the quiet familiarity of her home like the solitude-sponge she is.

After the 10-hour stint from Redding to Seattle yesterday, I arrived home sleepy and thankful.  I rested in the hottest of scalding baths, lighted a candle, and ate a tortilla with butter (I often eat while in the tub, it's so luxurious!).  I noticed that I was indeed spent in word count and thought-process, full well knowing that when required to extrovert myself, the fatigue manifests itself both in cerebral function and physical fatigue.  It feels like I've just ran a 10-mile race.

Now I've returned and am eager to catch up with those here in my home; also knowing that I will need some time to recapture my social stamina and here's the great part about all of this that hit me while I was in the bath...

I was hit with my limits and let down into rest, knowing that I could not call or see a single soul for a few days and two good feelings took over where before those feelings would have been self-deprecating and full of toxic bile.  I used to berate myself for my own limits, but in the last few years of care and growth, I noticed that I liked myself not only in spite of these frustrating limitations, but even because of them.  No one can be Candace like I can.  The other wonderful feeling is receiving words from friends that remind me to take my time settling in, to call only when I am ready, to reemerge on my own time.  So, I shall. 

And the magic keeps coming in the form of flurrying snow falling upon my country home.  What perfect timing.

Perhaps tonight I shall decorate the house with my Christmas baubles...



December 04, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

To celebrate the simple, ordinary, every-day beauty of the sunset, my sister and I took the baby to walk around the lake.

It was simple.




December 02, 2009 Candace Morris 5 Comments

Well, in the 12-month challenge, November was BY FAR my favorite month - perhaps because people joined me in it.  And yet again, I am humbly reminded that I am not an island; community is an integral part to inspiration and self-care.   It was cool not only to form new friendships, but to both give and receive written mail.  All of the challenges represented in the 12-month challenge are selected because I want to increase these things in my daily I do hope that I'll be able to continue writing mail two or three times per week.

It's fun to be in a house where my mail has been's like MAGIC!

So far, the months have gone a little something like this:

  • August: Stick to a budget
  • September: Claim the space for my new country home
  • October: 25 photographs per day
  • November: The month of mail - write a piece of mail each day.

So now the question remains, what to do with December?  We are already TWO WHOLE days into it, and I think perhaps this month will continue the writing theme.  Last December, I hosted a photography collaboration on Flickr called A Shot in the Dark: December was so fun.  I miss those collaborations, and in the name of that, might do one in January.

So December, you busy little month, about this.  Every day for December I shall commit to journaling.  Journaling is something I do regularly, though not regularly enough for my taste, and since most of what I read are other artists' journals, I am inspired to do the same.  Shall you join me?

I did not bring my journal on my trip, and I won't return to it until December 11, so I think I might just have to type it...bah humbug.  I like pens and scratchy sounds on paper.

Maybe my saint will bring it with him when he joins me this weekend for our trek home.

Or maybe this month should be a commitment to finish my now WAY TOO LONG read of The Brothers Karamazov.  I am losing quite a bit of continuity prolonging the read over so many months.  Russians do not like to be put on hold like this, and I can feel myself loosing grip on Fyodor's message.  Perhaps I shall drink vodka, eat caviar, and read every night?  Hmmm.

As you can see, I am still a bit undecided.  Perhaps then December should be the month of indecision.  That should be fun.

Wishing you lots of hot coffee and chocolate cupcakes, trust me, it makes a grand breakfast,



November 26, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

Dear Universe, Cosmo, God, Divinity, Other,

To you I say: Thank you for deep breaths, wordless communion with Clara's soul, clear night skys, cleansing tears, and 1200 miles of fresh perspective.

Oh, and chocolate cupcakes.



November 23, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

I was driving in the dark late last week thinking of my upcoming anniversary and was quite suddenly taken with Orion in the night sky.  This is an appropriate correlation, for it was the saint who introduced me to the stars.  When we attended college in Redding (for all its faults, it has a fabulous night sky because of no city lights nearby), Joel and I used to stand in the parking lot of my apartment complex trying to tear ourselves away from each others' embrace to say goodnight, and he would teach me about the universe.

A while back, I asked my family to answer a question.  I asked them to say one thing they would not have otherwise been interested in or knowledgeable about had they married someone else.  At the time I said beer and science, but I think more specifically, I would never have thought to look up without my dearest friend lifting my sad chin towards the hope of vast possibility, of all that has been and could be, of the universal perspective.

I have been loved by good men in my life.  I always chose wisely with men (save a small year of lapsed judgment in college where I worried the holy jesus out of my best friend, jackie), and have been thinking of them lately.  I had one first love, he loved me from 6th grade to 11th grade, and was my first kiss and first intimate connection.  He taught me to see myself as worthy of love.  I can see his dark almond eyes wet with admiration for me, and I realize that I've had an amazing and enviable romantic journey.

I think of the few others and find love and admiration for them inside of me still.  "Love does not with the remover remove," after all.  Although they were all with their desperation and heartache at some point, and I do not pretend that I would have done several things differently, but I realized driving home under the stars with an eagerness to get home and show Joel how brightly Orion was beaming, that I am the only person in existence to travel this specific path...a path either destined or chosen, or both.  Either way, I realized that I am unique, lovable, and incredibly happily married.

My first love...I believe he would be proud of me if he knew me now.  I believe joel has picked up a mantel of great honor, to love a woman better than she's ever been loved AND to be loved in return.

Which is, after all, "the greatest thing you'll ever learn."

Happy Anniversary, Saint.
~your weeping willow



November 22, 2009 Candace Morris 6 Comments

Didn't I just get through telling you all that we Whitney's don't like waking up?
She's so my blood...

Welcome (9 days early!!!) Clara Blake Goodrich.
5lbs, 11 oz.
Born 11/22/09 at 7:49am.

I'm headed to San Diego tomorrow for what was supposed to be a week getting ready for Clara with my sister...but alas, I guess I have to kiss her cheeks instead.

See here for more pics from Daddy's phone...
And let me just take this opportunity to apologize in advance for the inevitable picture fest that shall ensue for, well...the rest of my life.




November 21, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

Is it really approaching 2 AM?  Sheesh.  This week has been a blur for me here at Booklings Manor...and my normal blogging has fallen to the wayside for more pressing projects.  I'm working on a Christmas project that was sent to the printer TODAY finally.  I'm looking forward to having it in my hands and then perhaps putting it into yours!

I'm preparing for a trip to San Diego for 2 or so weeks to meet my new (as yet, unborn) niece.  I'll be kicking it with my prego sister for Thanksgiving, helping her get ready for the baby, and soaking up some sunshine.  I'll also be purchasing her VW Golf and taking a road trip from San Diego to Seattle!  I'm excited about that because I surely do love road trips, but I'll also be stopping all along the way to visit friends and family. 

This Monday is the saint and mine 7-year wedding anniversary, and though we are hoping to take a trip to Florida in January or February, we'll still be doing something fun this weekend.  We are toying with going to the Major League Soccer championship game and eating hot dogs and drinking beer!  I know it doesn't sound like our typical posh-like outings, but I seriously love soccer (futbol) and the saint loves anything European (including the beer!). 

Okay, I have to go get sleepy now.
I'm guessing that joining joel while he watches old Dr. Who* episodes will do the trick.
Joel's addicted to BBC.

I hope you have a deliciously naughty weekend.
Except for Sunday, of being the LORD's day and all.  Sheesh.


*The Tom Baker ones, he says with his cute elitist brow turned down.



November 18, 2009 Candace Morris 6 Comments

I hate getting up.  I might be a bit notorious among my friends for waking up cranky...but I tell you my whole family is like this.  I am not sure what kind of happy annoying family you were raised in, but we Whitney's, we are late sleeping, non morning people S.O.B's.

Well, I married one of those happy annoying people, and he wakes up with a grin every.SINGLE.morning.  He has accommodated to my morning ritual of "please don't talk to me unless you have a cup of coffee in your hand for me," so he usually doesn't bother me.

You can therefore imagine my surprise when I awoke today to the saint pulling back our curtain window to shine the sun directly in my face.  Now, I have been getting up later than usual (which is already way later than the average person anyway), so I thought this was his sneaky way of waking me up to make him breakfast.  Alas!  It was not the case.

The goodly saint was waking his bride to reveal to her the season's first SNOW! I did not pop right out of bed, but I did snuggle back in with thoughts of snow and warm fuzzies.  After about 15 minutes, I got up, threw on my boots and toque, and headed outside for a few shots.

This is not a serious snow, but it certainly counts as snow and by god...I'll honor it because it got me out of bed before 10 a.m.  This is no small feat.

PS: Totally random and disgusting confession.  I made  a pot of coffee yesterday and didn't finish it.  So today I noticed it still sitting there.  Don't tell the saintly coffee and beverage snob, but I totally microwaved it and am now sipping on it.  It's gross, in a really good diner way.  Happy Wednesday!



November 16, 2009 Candace Morris 15 Comments

I am rather flushed with excitement.  Find me here...

It feels so much better than I thought it would.
Though it's a simple book review and by no means my best work,
No small thing shall go uncelebrated.
Corking a Malbec now.

Here's to a dream just beginning to unfold.



November 15, 2009 Candace Morris 0 Comments

Go HERE to vote on this very serious matter.




November 13, 2009 Candace Morris 6 Comments

Turn left out of driveway,
 Follow the road forever.

My husband said, "Grab your camera and boots.  Let's go explore."
I had no idea he meant explore my very own backyard.

Talk about space to stretch your wings...



November 12, 2009 Candace Morris 5 Comments

I've been spending my week doing a lot of writing, and not all for myself!  I can't say anything about it, but I hope to have an article published in Antler Magazine come November 15th.

It's also the MONTH OF MAIL - and even if you didn't join in to write a snail mail post every day, you can take advantage of the reminder to write your mother, daughter, friend, husband (post it?!) or cat and let their mailbox get a break from bills and junk.  I wrote my grandpa a small postcard, and he left a voicemail gushing about how it was so meaningful to him.  Seriously, mail can be profound. 

So all of this writing! Sheesh...

Not a bad problem to have.