Saturday, June 30
BEGINNING OF SUMMER READING
Like a lot of people, I tend to want to read something a little more lightweight and breezy during the summer. The dark watches of February may lend themselves to heavy tomes detailing the history of the plague in Western Europe, but you sure don't want something like that with you by the pool!
I recently discovered three series that fit the summer reading bill: fast-paced and well-written, entertaining but with a little "meat" slipped in for some light brain fodder. I have not read all of the books in each series (that's something to be thankful for, as summer has just started) but I am going to go ahead and recommend them anyway.
The Shenandoah Album Series by Emilie Richards. The titles (Wedding Ring, Endless Chain, Lover's Knot) are based on quilt patterns, and these fast-moving mystery novels also give you a whopping dose of Virginia's Shenandoah mountains history, culture and folklore. Actually, I realize now that I HAVE read them all. Hurry up with the writing Ms. Richards!
The Margaret of Ashbury trilogy, by Judith Merkle Riley. I read the last one first by mistake, but I am looking forward to reading the first two in order. Set in late medieval Europe, and thoroughly researched (I believe Ms. Riley is a college history professor) the one I read was sort of a mystery/suspense/humor melange: hard to describe but very enjoyable.
The Barleybridge Novels by Rebecca Shaw. This series about a veterinary clinic situated in a small English town appears to be a sort of hybrid of James Herriott and Miss Read...perfect vacation reading!
Friday, June 29
Wednesday, June 20
This butterfly life-
spent plumbing the spiky depths
of roadside thistles
Written for One Deep Breath's prompt of Wildflowers. This patch of thistles was covered in a fluttering, ravening cloud of small white butterflies. I wonder if thistles taste delicious? I know people do eat a related plant called the cardoon. No matter, I don't think I'll be serving up ragoût des chardons aux papillons anytime soon!
Monday, June 18
ACTIVE and CONTEMPLATIVE
at the same time. That's woods walking for you. We took a Father's day hike in the local woods and the boys, a.k.a.mountain goats, found many a fallen tree that just had to be traversed. If it was there, it was attempted. There were a few iffy tree crossings that I can't show the photos for because I was nervous and my hands were shaking as I shot. Do parents ever grow out of this parental anxiety? Maybe not. I know my own parents will still call me if they know I am planning to drive somewhere on a bad weather day, trying to dissuade me from going. Of course, they don't follow behind taking photographs of my risky progress either...so I guess we are a little bit different!
Sunday, June 17
Wednesday, June 13
from my new garden. In a burst of spring mania I put in a new garden this year. I just picked these French Breakfast radishes this morning and ate some in a salad for lunch. Despite the name I do not want to eat radishes for breakfast, do you? Must be a French thing, although when I was there...pain au chocolat seemed the breakfast of choice. Mmmm.
Tuesday, June 12
My friend Shawna's little girl R agreed to pose for me for a few shots. Without any art direction at all she instantly struck this pose, and many others equally winsome and innocent. I guess that's just what some little girls are made of! Or maybe it comes from watching so many Barbie™ movies?
Wednesday, June 6
the other day, trying to get home from downtown. The police came roaring in and blockaded the road to town, because of a convoy of gigantic equipment trucks coming through. I was one of the unlucky dozens caught between the two avenues of escape. I started to fume, then realized how lucky I was...
I'm in an air-conditioned car, sitting on a soft cushiony seat, with a radio and CD player at my fingertips. I also have a cell phone, a bottle of water and a pack of gum in my bag. And then the piece de resistance...I happen to have my camera with me as well. Having the camera made it all better, somehow, as it often does. I guess I am self-medicating with digital images, but who am I hurting?
Friday, June 1
I belong to a Farm Share program, part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) scheme. I can't recommend it highly enough if you've never tried it. You pay a certain amount upfront and then partake of fresh, locally grown produce (and sometimes things like eggs) late spring to late Fall. It gets delivered to a convenient drop-off point in your neighborhood, and once or twice a season you take a turn as the farm pick-up person. It is wonderful to walk around the fields where your food is being grown, and meet the chickens that are producing the eggs you eat! As an added perk they let you pick a big bouquet from their cutting garden.
This is my third year with this particular farm, Vollmecke Orchards, which seems an extra good one (I was in another one once, so have some basis for comparison.) Today was the first delivery day and amongst a whole array of goodies Farmer Karen included strawberries and asparagus and watercress. What luxury! Pea tendrils, too, which were new to me and delicious. There always a few recipe sheets thrown in the box too, for the more esoteric items. It's a cookshop chef's dream come true!