Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanks, and Thanks, and Ever Thanks

In no particular order, I give thanks for:
  • Health
  • Wealth (relative to the rest of the world, we're rolling in it)
  • Love
  • Faith
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Food every day. An excess of it.
  • Books, music, hobbies, and the time to enjoy them
  • Education
  • Hope

I am thankful that:

  • I am a woman.
  • I am educated.
  • I have resources and support and know how to access them.

My life is full and rich and important in all the ways that matter to me. What other response is there, but thanksgiving?

I can no other answer make, but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks.... Shakespeare

May you be blessed in all the ways that matter to you. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Reviews

The latest good books from my bookbasket:

1. Broken for You, by Stephanie Kallos. Luminous, sentimental without being maudlin, and a beautiful story about losing and finding, breaking and mending. Margaret Hughes has just been diagnosed with brain cancer and decides to open her Seattle mansion to boarders. Her first, Wanda Schultz, is nursing a broken heart. The two women come to know each other with help from breaking the pilfered antique ceramic treasures that fill Margaret's house. Wonderful characters and deeper meaning if you want it but doesn't beat you over the head.

2. A Reliable Wife, by Robert Goolrick. Gothic and dark and redemptive. Suspenseful and chilling and surprisingly warm. Ralph Truitt, magnate and the most important man in the small town of Truitt, Wisconsin, has sent away for a wife. Catherine Land, an enigmatic and calculating drifter, has answered his ad. Each with their own reasons, each with their own attempts to manipulate the other into the life they think they want, the two tell each other their stories. Set during a cold, bleak winter, this is a powerful story. I enjoyed Goolrick's unique writing style.

3. The Distant Hours, by Kate Morton. My current favorite author's newest tome. Morton's books are layered and thick and secretive and satisfying. This story weaves together publisher Edie Burchill, her mother's history as a WWII evacuee from London, a crumbling castle in Kent, the three daughters of a famed author, the famed author's most popular work, and all of the secrets, heartbreaks, and tragedies carried by each of them. A slow start and multiple story strands keep this from being a quick read, but the end result is stunning.

4. A Vintage Affair, by Isabel Wolff. This book tries really hard to be Important, but it's just a well-written story, and that's just fine. Phoebe Swift leaves her Sotheby's job to open a vintage clothing shop. In the course of collecting beautiful clothing for the store, she meets the ill Mrs. Bell and learns the story behind the fashion and the woman. Side plots are filled with loving and yummy details about beautiful couture, a splash of romantic "should she or shouldn't she" choice between men, and many likable characters. This book will not challenge your worldview but certainly redeems itself from being just another fluffy chick lit selection.

5. Annie's Ghosts, by Steve Luxenberg. In the 1990's, Luxenberg, a journalist, discovers the existence of a mentally ill and physically disabled aunt whom he never knew and who died in 1972. Learning this shocking news just before his mother dies, he and his siblings wrestle with whether or not to investigate. It took several years before he decided to look into the story. This memoir covers family secrets, a sobering look into mental health institutions and treatments, and continually asks (often poignantly) why? Fascinating read.

What have you been reading lately?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Late Bloomer

After an unusually long and mild Indian Summer, Fall has finally fallen here in my valley.

A golden tunnel of ginkgo trees lines one walkway on campus. It is so gloriously exquisite that I want to soak in it so I can feel it on my skin. I want to bite into it so I can taste it. I want to be a part of it, to twist my branches and watch the air glow with my color, watch the sultry tango of my leaves from stem to ground.

I have a crick in my neck and the goofiest expression from leaning back and goggling. Simply stunning, this late bloomer of an Autumn.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Beautiful words, from the book Grange House, by Sarah Blake (2000).


She thought a minute, then leaned forward. "Tell me, Maisie. What is it that you wish?"

"I wish-" Again sounded the foghorn's soft remonstrance to the incoming weather. "For someone to point me toward a place where I may go, where I might put down all this yearning in me."

"Toward what?" Her eyes were fixed on me.

I looked at her. What? What indeed? "I do not know. I cannot say. Papa might have told me."

"I doubt your papa ever would have told you what to do."

"No, but he taught me, introduced me to other minds....He would have shown me how to grow to be like them, to fit into the shapes they held open."

"What shapes?"

"Shapes, shapes, Miss Grange. Shapes of possibility. For a life."

She sat back. "Your father could never have shown you that. Never," she finished softly.

"Because he died?"

"Because he could not show you what to be - only your longing, that precious longing can show you."


What is your longing showing you?

Monday, November 8, 2010

The world won't fall apart if I...

Fill in the blank:

The world won't fall apart if I....

.....cancel appointments when I am sick.

.....spend the afternoon on the couch instead of dusting and mending and cleaning and sorting. instant mashed potatoes, if that's all that sounds good to my upset tummy.

.....don't practice piano for a few days. not perfect.

Feel free to add to the list.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Kismet of Leeks

As I wandered the farmer's market Saturday, I found myself craving leeks. Introduced last fall to these lovely mild cousins to onions and garlic, I found I loved them and enjoyed cooking with them. They're so delicious and versatile.

Leeks of Destiny

So I was sad that I didn't see any in the market. But I just checked our farmshare box ingredients for this week, and on the list? LEEKS!!

Kismet, I tell you.