I used to read.
Somewhere along the way, I ‘got busy’.
Life has a way of doing that.
So does blogging.
Or maybe the constant barrages of the internet made it all too easy to give it up. There’s Kindle, GoodReads and Ibooks, among others, and let’s not forget Pinterest and Facebook, which suck you in faster than a black hole vortex.
But there’s nothing like an actual book.
When we were away this past winter, we had limited internet and very little cable most of the time. I found myself drawn to the libraries at the various RV resorts. The books were free for the taking, and I took full advantage.
At first, I read what I like to call ‘summer beach reading books’…Danielle Steele, Barbara Taylor Bradford and Mary Higgins Clark, to name a few. Books that kept my interest but did little to stimulate my brain matter.
Slowly, I graduated to mysteries, and then semi-autobiographical novels of which ‘Girl in Translation’, by Gene Kwok, was a favorite. It was the story of a young girl who came to this country from Asia with her mother with zero English and worked in the sweat shops in Brooklyn. Through sheer determination, she rose to become a successful physician. I couldn’t help but cheer her on.
Next up was ‘Being Martha’ by Lloyd Allen, who was a long time good friend of Martha’s both before and after her incarceration. Martha is nothing if not controversial. Most people either love her or hate her. I guess I’m not most people because I’m on the fence, but this story shed light onto how she became the person she is today.
What do you make of the stories from people who have ‘died’ and come back to life? I read two different accounts…one from a person who saw Hell (23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese) and another from a person (Saved by the Light by Dannion Brinkley) who was medically dead not once, but twice, and had interesting stories from both experiences. Whether you believe in this sort of thing or not, both books make for interesting, thought-provoking reads.
I read James Paterson’s ‘Truth or Die’ while on the plane to Singapore, and finished it a few days after we arrived. Paterson is one of my favorite mystery writers, so I knew I’d like it, and I did. Few writers can draw you in and spin a story like Paterson.
I picked up Whiskey Tango Fox Trot and #GirlBoss a few weeks ago. Have you read either one? I started to read them both, but they’ve been laying beside my favorite recliner for a few days untouched so I guess I’m not really into either one. WTF (yup, that’s the acronym and it means exactly what you think it does) is based on a true story of a reporter (maybe you’ve heard about/seen the movie?) while in the Middle East and #GirlBoss is the story of a young woman who went from dumpster diving to running a super successful vintage clothing line which she started on eBay.
The Dog Who Saved Me by Susan Wilson was the last book I read, about an officer who lost his K-9 companion and his struggle to overcome his grief. The story could have easily slipped into an overly sentimental cliche, but the author kept it real.
Shifting gears, here’s a little herb garden I started using some antique mason jars I picked up last year at a barn sale.
If you’d like to do something similar, I would recommend placing some marbles or pebbles on the bottom of the jar for drainage. The herbs don’t need too much soil to flourish, but they do need to get watered almost every day. I planted marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary and parsley. Of those, I don’t recommend trying basil as it grows too fast, becomes leggy, and will quickly outgrow the jar, unless you use jars that are a lot larger than what I have.
In other news…
The driveway is done!! Yippeeeee!! Our main reason for doing the driveway was to address some drainage issues we have, but I have to say I love how it looks. So much cleaner and neater now. It’s raining today or I would have had a photo to show you but I will next time. Here’s a shot of the work in progress:
You know what my favorite part about Spring is? Peonies! I picked up a tree peony and I think I’m in love. They don’t need staking, and take a look at the size of this bloom.
Here’s a bouquet I put together yesterday of some white and pink peonies, one hydrangea and some mountain laurel for accents. I had some beauties last year too which you can see here, and you can pick up a few tips on how to care for them while you’re there.
These purple flowers are from a perennial called Heavenly Habit and they’re perfect for planting near Hostas and ferns. It’s always nice to find a perennial with color that can do well in shady areas, because they’re few and far between.
A week later we had this! Oh, and not only did we have healthy veggies, but many, many healthy caterpillars. There’s one on the bottom right.
Not bad for a rookie, huh? Since I’ve taken this pic we’ve eaten most of the chard and lettuce so it looks a lot skimpier, but I’ll be adding seeds throughout the summer so we’ll have a continuous supply of veggies.
If you’ve been following me for a while you might remember this bassinet I purchased a couple of years ago at a church rummage sale for $20. I noticed this year that there’s an inscription on the bottom that says when it was made (1973), who made it and for whom. I thought that was kinda cool.
Last year my deck planters were really pretty! I don’t know if I can top that this year but here’s what I’ve got so far.
Next up is the stairs, which I’m super anxious to get done. The condition of our current steps is beyond pathetic, and I think it will make a big difference to the overall look of the front of the house. I’m not sure if the contractor can get it done before July, but as soon as it’s finished I’ll share some before and afters.
Oh, and I have good news! I’m not sick anymore!! I’m still a little congested, but it’s nothing terrible and it’s not slowing me down anymore. I have to say I have NEVER been sick that long (over a month) in my life and guess what? I don’t like it one bit and it better not happen again. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.
Lastly, guess where I am today? I’m guest posting over at my friend Amy’s and talking about my favorite things. Hop on over and see if we like some of the same things. I have a feeling we do.