folded grocery list.

"Will you whisper softly into my ear, 
all of the words that I need to hear, 
and I will love you even in your darkest hour, 
my dear.
And when the music begins to fade, 
taper, drift away, 
will you still dance with me anyway?
For our time together will surely 
slip from our hands, 
quietly, strand by strand, 
but my memories will be as many as the sand.
Then I will sit by the old oak tree, 
just as I promised you I would be, 
and I won't cry for you, 
but for me, 
because it is you that is finally free."
© Katie Daughtry 2013

...written on a folded grocery list.


card playing: a photo essay

Do you have a favorite card game?


You know that thing you're sure you'd suck at? Try it.

So often, we don't allow ourselves to even try something because we're sure we'll fail. Maybe once upon a time when we were small, we took one lesson or twenty lessons and then we stopped. Or maybe we just never let ourselves try it at all.

For years I've been afraid to even try to learn to play an instrument. I told myself music was not my thing. I had no sense of timing, no idea of pitch. I'd be awful; I was sure of it. I used to play piano, and trumpet, and characteristically, I'd quit both.

Even when I tried to learn the ukulele last year, it didn't stick. An uke is meant to be sung along to, and I can't carry a tune. So I didn't love it; I couldn't play well besides some pretty rad Hawaiian strums.

My school has a graduation requirement of at least one music class (among other classes). I'd have to take either chorus (that was definitely a no; I've got an awful voice), beginning orchestra, or beginning band. I took band, and chose the trumpet, and honestly, what's happened is the last thing that I expected. I fell in love with music.

I fell in love with harmonies and the way notes form sounds that fill my chest with a wonderful sort of ache. And best of all I discovered that I'm not even half bad, that I enjoyed playing and counting and exploring notes.

So, moral of the story, cliched as this may sound: don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Try something new you'd never imagined yourself doing. Don't tell yourself you'll be bad at something before you even consider it.
And, as spring begins - this season that we like to associate with new beginnings, hope, freshness - there's no better time to step up and do those things you've been afraid to try. Who knows? You may even find a new passion.


Good Bread

“‘A loaf of bread,’ the Walrus said, ‘is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides are very good indeed.’” - Lewis Caroll

LOAF OF BREAD: a recipe

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 T. granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 T. course salt
6 1/2 cups flour 

I always thought that bread was a ridiculously long, difficult process, but I was wrong.  this was my first time making bread, and it was really simple, and totally worth it.  

+  warm the water slightly, pour in a 5-quart dish(if mixing by hand, or a mixing bowl for your mixer), and add in the packets of yeast. 
+  don't bother to stir, add in the rest of the ingredients (flour, salt)
+  mix with a big spoon, or the bread hook on your mixer until completely incorporated, but you don't need to knead. 
+  cover with a cheesecloth or loose lid and let rise for 2 or more hours.
+  spray your dish or baking sheet and preheat your oven to 425 F.
+  cover your working surface with flour, and coat your hands.  
+  create four loaves of bread from your dough, simply forming a ball, pinching the dough together to form a smooth surface.  
+  place loaves in or on your baking surface, and let rise for another 40 min. 
+  when done rising, pat surfaces with flour again and cut cross-hatches on the tops of the loaves.
+  place a dish with 1 cup of boiling water in the bottom of the oven, and then put your sheet of loaves on the middle rack.
+  bake your bread for about 30 minutes, until the crust is nice and golden, and firm to the touch.  
+  break it open and slather it in butter or jam or honey or vinegar.  

Share with friends, family, and eat a lot of it yourself.  there's something about homemade bread that is spectacular.  



women are rad.

Today is international women’s day. I’ve been really lucky that for most, if not all of my life, I’ve been surrounded by strong, incredibly intelligent women, and without them, I wouldn’t be the same person I am now. 

A lot of the dialogue surrounding international women’s day includes conversations about feminism, and traditional gender roles, and the way women fit into society. I don’t want to talk about that though. I want to talk about my mom. 

“Her grandkids are friends with the Kardaaayshians,” she said last night, and I started laughing so hard that tears traced tracks down my cheeks. I can’t count how many times things like that have happened, like when she said something funny and followed it up with, “don’t you dare tweeter that!” Or the time she told me that she’d rather look at Adam Levine than listen to him sing. My friends would talk to me about fights they had with their moms, the tears, the screaming, and I couldn’t comprehend having a mom who wasn’t also my best friend. 

I remember the first time my mom made me cry. It was eighth grade, and I was going to be late for school because I hadn’t printed a paper the night before. She started talking to me about responsibility, about procrastination. My over-tiredness combined with her scolding pushed me over the edge and I walked to the car that morning, five minutes late, still crying. Looking back on that now, what amazes me most is that I was fourteen before an interaction with my mother made me cry. 

She told me a story once. We were at coffee with my best friend, and I don’t remember how this came up, but my mom looked at me nervously before she started talking to my best friend. “I know I’ve never told you this, Katie, but when I was in high school, I used to fight with my mom all the time. We would have these long, drawn out screaming matches until our throats were sore, and because of that, I never ever wanted to have daughters.” Here we are though, almost eighteen years after she gave birth to her first daughter, and she’s one of the people I trust most. 

When I think back to my childhood, all my memories have her in them. Maybe not as the main character, but she’s in all the memories. Like when I was seven and we had spent a long, exhausting morning shopping for shoes, and she took my siblings and I to Febo to get ice cream for lunch. We sat outside Febo and ate ice cream and fed french fries to the pigeons and that memory is clouded with happiness. Or another time, when I was eight, and I learned to say panda in Dutch. I came home from school that day, excited to tell her, and all I remember is the look of pride on her face. Or when we were moving back to America from England, and three of my siblings went home early with my grandparents, but I was the one who she trusted to help take care of the baby. I was only ten or eleven and it wasn’t even that big of a deal, but I felt so honored and mature that she picked me. Or when I was fifteen, standing in the airport at a gate to a plane that would take me to the Atlanta airport where another plane would take me to the Paris airport and another plane would take me to the Middle East for three months. I didn’t make eye contact with her while I waited to board my plane, because I knew that if I did, I would see her start crying and I would start crying myself. 

I remember a few months ago. I slept in the loft that night. Right before she went to bed, she came out of her room and saw me curled up in the bed. “What’s wrong? Why are you sleeping out here?” she asked, and I started crying, and she held me while I explained that I didn’t know how to be happy here, so far from home, and there wasn’t anything she could say to make me feel better, but she held me and she comforted me and that was enough. 

My mom has always been an example of the kind of woman I want to be. The kind of woman who says, “I bet I could fix that,” instead of asking for help. The kind of woman who knows she’s right, but has the grace to admit it when she’s wrong. My mother is the reason I learned how to change a tire, how to check the oil in my car, how to do so many other things so that I’m not dependent on anyone to do them for me. She makes me want to be a better person, and I love her with all of my heart. 

Happy international women’s day. 

What women in your life do you look up to? 


what do you desire?

There's a recurring trend in today's society- we think too much and do too little. We think about what we'll go to college for and base our decision on success, we think about what we could do but we never do it; and I'm tired of all this thinking and wondering and worrying. I just want to write books and make things and live in the mountains in a little white house with hard wood floors and lots of light and is this too much to ask for? But really, there's so much emphasis on sustaining our $4 coffee miserable lives and less emphasis on doing what we're passionate about, what we desire. Alan Watts said it best:


What do you desire?
What makes you itch? What sort of a situation would you like?
Let’s suppose – I do this often in vocational guidance of students. They come to me and say, “Well, uh, we’re getting out of college, and we haven’t the faintest idea of what we want to do.”
So I always ask the question, “What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?”
Well, it’s so amazing. As a result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say, “Well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers. But as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way.”
Or another person says, “I’d like to live an out-of-doors life and ride horses.”
I said, “Do you want to teach at a riding school? Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do?”
When we finally got down to something which the individual says he really wants to do. I will say to him, “you do that, and forget the money.
Because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You will be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing. Which is STUPID!
Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.
And after all, if you do really like what your’e doing, it doesn't matter what it is, you can eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way to become a master of something, to be really with it. And then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is.
So don’t worry too much. Somebody’s interested in everything. And anything you can be interested in, you’ll find others who are.
But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like in order to go on doing things you don’t like and to teach your children to follow in the same track. See, what we’re doing is we’re bringing up children, and educating them to live the same sort of lives we’re living in order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing. It’s all wretch and no vomit. It never gets there!
And so therefore it’s so important to consider this question. “What do I desire?”


It's time we stop thinking too much and start doing more. So, what do you desire? 



a challenge

Don't think I don't notice it: the rushing; the planner filled to bursting with todos, half of them unnecessary; the sorry I've just been so busy excuses. I mean, I get it. I've been there, done that. But what is life if it's just an endless cycle of hurrying to finish one thing so you can rush to the next? Learn to say no. Schedule time to do nothing, to just sit. Who will notice the grass growing and flowers budding and clouds moving if you don't? The blurry mass of people watching their feet hurry on the sidewalk certainly won't. Will it harm to you to slow down, to eliminate some of the harmless busyness? No, not in the slightest. Leisure after work is nothing to be afraid of; narrow your schedule down to only the necessary tasks, do them well, and leave it at that. Quit talking about how busy you are and meet that friend for coffee, take a walk around the neighborhood with no distractions, spend an evening on the couch with a book and some chocolate, or heck, take that trip to Europe. I dare you.