I don’t like vacations, folks. I don’t like the preparation, the car ride, herding the kids, and, overall, not being at home. We took a big, long road-trip with all three kids last summer, and I don’t think I’ll be doing that again soon ....more

Poplar Coulee Ridge

Welcome to Poplar Coulee Ridge – my husband’s home farm and my own first home in America. I first arrived here on a clear, starry night in May and loved it right away. An empty silo is an amazing place to sing ....more

Virgin Margaritas From Scratch

I’m in love with these virgin margaritas. The combination of saltiness, sourness, and sweetness is perfect, and there are no consequences at all the following morning. Best of all, they don’t require any boughten limeade or other mix, and they are cheap to make ....more

The Laundry Day

Most of the time – about 90% of the time – I have my kids fold and put away their own laundry (my oldest one also knows how to operate the washer, add the detergent, load the dryer, etc). Not to get all preachy on you, but I think it’s important that the kids don’t grow up with their parents waiting on them hand and foot, like, the entire time. Naturally, there will always be things that aren’t age-appropriate and require mommy and daddy’s help, but folding and putting away the laundry ain’t one of them ....more

Russian Fruit Compote: A Summer Drink

Here in America a “compote” is a dessert of fruit cooked lightly in syrup and spooned over things like ice-cream or shortcake or something like that. Meanwhile, the Russian word “kompot” refers to a summer drink where fruit is boiled in water (often with the addition of sugar) until the water’s been infused. It is then allowed to cool and is served cold ....more

Mc Elligot’s Pool

Our neighbors had a kid birthday party last weekend, and these nose glasses were among the party favors. Because we are next door, pairs of these glasses kept on coming and coming for the past two days. I thought they made for a great photo op ....more

A Day in Life

Do you ever wonder what another person’s day is like? You know, from they moment they roll out of bed to the moment they retire? So here’s mine: July 13, 2013 ....more

Curious Cyrus

Here’s what Cyrus said after getting into something I didn’t like him getting into: “Mommy, we are just kids, you know. We are curious of things, of how they work.” ...more

Meat-and-Potato Tacos

I stumbled upon this delightful, quick recipe while browsing one of my favorite books, The Commonsense Kitchen, where it was titled “Rico’s Tacos.” I think I may have flipped seeing meat and potatoes – a heart-and-soul of Russian cooking – browned together simply and wrapped in tortillas. I fell in love right away. Tom, the author of the book (and my husband’s cooking mentor back at the Deep Springs College), suggests to...more

The Big Remodel: The Screen-Porch Anatomy

This is our new screen porch – not quite yet completed. It’s on the side of the house facing east. I love the professionally-installed features (which Jacob and I would not have been able to DIY): Car-siding ceiling and recessed can lights (the covers are not yet on)… The decking (they used a composite material)… The overall quality and elegance of the whole thing ....more