coelho embrace quoteSending you medicinal rib cracking bear hugs today.  Your assignment is to pass ’em on.

xxoo Becky

The Bench

lake wa bench

a bench

Do you have time to sit with me on this beautiful bench, on this beautiful day?  The sun warms our faces and the breeze from the lake throws our hair every which way.  We talk about whatever comes to mind with no agenda.  Generous with our time and words.  Listening with our ears and hearts. Afterwards we leave feeling refreshed, renewed, satisfied, heard.

Photograph-  Lake Washington Bench




Hello friends!

It’s been three years and 18 days since my last post here at The Clever Fig.  That sounds a bit like I’m in a twelve step recovery program.  Those are usually for help stopping and I need help starting or actually restarting.

Every year around the birthday of this site  I get a bill for web hosting and domain name registration.  It’s not a lot of money, but it’s enough to make me wonder if it’s really necessary to keep this baby going. For some reason, I just haven’t had the heart to say goodbye or throw in the towel.

Last month I decided to shut it down.  My thoughts were – I don’t cook or bake like I used to, how am I ever going to post even once a week and frankly I just don’t have it in me.  My focus has changed.  That’s putting a positive spin on it.  Honestly I have been without focus. Thing’s have been a little blurry as of late.

So why the heck are you posting today?  You may ask.  Thankfully, the universe dropped a rock(more like a boulder) on my head to remind me that I can make this website anything I want.  Forest, trees, blurry you get the picture.

I want to make this a place you can stop by for some food for your soul – inspiration, quotes, pictures, something to make you smile, helpful stuff – along those lines. It’s going to be a slow transformation, a work in progress.  Creative therapy for me which I hope is helpful to you.

Love ya,


P.S. I’m a little (ok a lot) rusty at Word press. Evidently, after three plus years it falls out of your brain like it never happened.

Start where you are

Use what you have.

Do what you can.

       -Arthur Ashe



chili in april


Chili doesn’t necessarily scream, murmur or even whisper spring.  I know it’s April and I should be posting something light and fluffy covered in strawberries or maybe something green like asparagus.  But because it’s been VERY spring-like (or semi wintery) here in the Pacific Northwest this weekend, which means constant rain.  I don’t mean sprinkles, showers, drizzle or mist, I mean capital   R-A-I-N.  A couple inches in an hour kind of rain.  I should be happy it’s not snow, right?  Soooo, chili sounded perfect.chili ingredients

I made this a couple of weekends ago for Moose’s birthday celebration at the barn.  It received ton’s of complements and is super delicious served with condiments (get it… complements/condiments).  Sadly or happily the gang snarfed it all up, so no leftovers.  I’ve had a hankering for another bowl ever since.

The original recipe calls for 5 pounds of cubed beef brisket which I’m sure is delicious.  I substituted 3 pounds ground turkey and it turned out divine.  Last time I used organic canned kidney beans, this time all I had in the cupboard were organic black and pinto beans (delish with any kinda bean).  It’s a very tweak-able recipe, so tweak away.  I also adjusted the spice down a hair because I was feeding a crowd.  This time I upped the ante with a touch more cayenne and red pepper flakes, I still did not use the maximum suggested quantities.  I love a nice slow rolling heat… but if you and yours like it smokin’ hot you go right on ahead.

That’s all for now my darlings…  I have missed you and it feels so very good and right to be cooking, taking pics and writing again.  Thanks for all your words of encouragement and support!

Love ya,



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