Friday, June 28, 2013

The Heat Is On

The heat is on... could be hotter; last year we were hitting 110 and above by the end of June. is cooler in the garden.

...somethings need the heat to show up at the party.

...there is always a favorite chair waiting for a cool escape.

...and when you haven't selected your next book,

...a stack of interesting magazines to peruse.

Today's high shouldn't exceed 94.
We'll see!

How are you escaping summer's heat?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday's Book Talk

Sometimes you pick up a book on a whim and
find a new favorite author.

Sometimes, while searching for a title on your to-read
list, you find a book that takes your breath away.

I found Gail Godwin by accident so many years ago.  I packed one too few books
for a spring beach trip and was forced (my arm was being twisted;) to visit Seaside's local bookstore, Sun Dog Books, for added reading material.  While browsing the shelves, I picked up a book totally based on the title,  A Southern Family.
I couldn't put it down, and have been a fan of Ms. Godwin since.

via Goodreads

A few weeks ago packing for a trip I began searching all of my different book lists for a book to take with me.  I have a list on my phone, pictures of books on my phone, a list in the back of my book journal, and an ever growing list on Goodreads.

While browsing the list, a book suggestion popped up on the sidebar.  I focused in on the author's name, Gail Godwin.  Without a second thought, I knew Flora was going to be my next book.

Helen tells the story of the summer of her tenth year.  The grandmother who has cared for her since her mother's death has recently passed.   Helen's father, off to do secret war work in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, leaves her in the temporary care of Flora, her mother's cousin, from Alabama.   There is fear of a polio outbreak, and the two are forced into isolation at the family's rundown home.  Their only connection to the outside community is the maid who comes in once a week, the grocery deliveryman, an occasional visit from the local Priest and the mail.  The outcome of this story is the tale of a child's life altering decisions and the regret that stays with her a lifetime.

When I read Gail Godwin I am left feeling as if she births her characters, and
like the good mother, allows them to take on a life of their own.
This may be my best read of the summer.

We'll See!

Happy Reading!


I am a bit concerned over all the talk of goggle reader's demise in a few days.  I have joined bloglovin (would love for you to continue to follow me), but have yet to learn how to comment on your posts.  I write and it disappears.  I have yet to "claim my blog", for whatever that means, so not for sure if that is the problem.  To my surprise there are a wad of "Living Life"'s out there.  Oh what to do!  Share your plans.  It may help me figure out this aggravating dilemma.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Moon Watcher

    I am a moon watcher.
As a child I believed there was a
"the man in the moon".

I love the idea that when
separated from those you love,
you need only look up into
 the gentle glow of the moon and
their absence seems a little less distant.

I remember watching the moon landing, and
thinking one day we might all have the chance
to visit this far away place.

Now I am content just knowing
there is an anchor in the sky holding us all together.

I hope you had a chance to look up
and see the super moon,
it was amazing.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Reading into the Night

via Pinterest
If you have been waiting for the official beginning of summer, it is upon us.  For those in North America who live west of  the Central Time Zone your summer begins around 10:04 tonight.   The season change will arrive for the rest of us beginning around 12:04 a.m. tomorrow.   For those who aren't feeling the need to be so exact?  The powers that be have set a universal time of 5:04 a.m. on the twenty-first.  So it seems we are given options.  And isn't that what summer is all about?

A summer's evening is the perfect time for relaxing outside with a good book.
 I thought I was doing a great job collecting books for my summer break, but alas
I am an impatient one.  The books called my name and I could not resist.  I am afraid I finished the small stack I had set aside and a few more long before the end of spring.

"If the river has a soul, it's a peaceful one.  If it has a lesson to part, that lesson is patience.  There will be drought, it says; there will be floods; the ice will form, the ice will melt; the water will flow and blend into river's brackish mouth, then join the ocean between Lewes and Cape May, endlessly, forever, amen."

Several weeks ago in anticipation of the release of the movie, everything was about "The Great Gatsby".  Having a long infatuation with the writers of the first half of the twentieth century and not wanting to be left out of all the "Gatsby" todo,  I found
  Z a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald.  Using journals and correspondence of both Fitzgeralds, Therese Anne Fowler's fictional memoir takes us into the ebb and flow of the Fitzgerald's world through the eyes of Zelda.  

"Marry me, Zelda.  We'll make it all up as we go."

After immersing myself into Zelda's life I felt obligated to to give F. Scott equal time.  Needing to finish end of the year school projects I downloaded  This Side of Paradise, donned the earbuds and listened to the novel Fitzgerald hoped would prove him a successful author and convince Zelda to marry him, all the while painting, cutting and gluing.  It is believed much of Fitzgerald's debut novel is autobiographical. 

Then, of course, I had to re-read The Great Gatsby
Taking two years to write  Fitzgerald believed it to be his masterpiece.
Upon publication critics were harsh and the book was for the most part rejected by the public.
F. Scott died believing himself to be a failure.  It wasn't until World War II the book found it's place in the literary history.  It is now on most high school reading lists.  I found a copy in my daughter's bookshelf.  I had forgotten the beauty of the writing.

And, there have been others taking me well past the rising of the moon.

The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes.   Winner of the Man Booker Prize, Barnes explores the boundaries of memory and how our history is developed through the constant revision of memory.  It is a book you will want to discuss after finishing the last page.  I must add there was one part I "just didn't get"; obviously the narrator didn't either.

"History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation."

Blue Asylum, Kathy Hepinstall, is a perfect summer read.  Set during the Civil War, Iris Dunleavy is sent to a mental asylum for having her own thoughts and disobeying her husband.  The story begins with her arrival at the asylum on Sanibel Island.  It is through her meeting other residents and patients we learn the story of her past and allowed to make the judgement, if there is a question, of her sanity.  How can you pass up a book described as a "lusty southern gothic".    I didn't.

I have more to tell you about, but for today I'll finish with...

via pinterest
Yes, I am looking for my next book.

I'll let you know when I decide.

whatever time you choose to celebrate...
grab your tambourine,
sing and
let's bring in a new reading season.

I'm sorry,
I got caught up in the moment.

Enjoy your evening, and
let me know what you are staying up nights reading.

Monday, June 10, 2013

It's Time

Yes, it's time...

The gardens are flourishing

The last container planted

 The table is open

and friends are waiting

Yes, it's time for a cool beverage

and a good book.

Bring on summer!

I'll meet you on the terrace in five....

May you find time to enjoy the fruits of your labor this week.

Friday, June 7, 2013

National Doughnut Day

via Pinterest
Today is National Doughnut Day! 

Do you love doughnuts?

via Pinterest
I love doughnuts.

They bring back memories of going "downtown" with my mother visiting the local bakery for one of these soft, sugary, melt in your mouth treats before our library visits.   She would order her cup of coffee,  a glass of cold, out of the fountain, bubbly chocolate milk for me and two doughnuts.  
Sitting across from each other we would have our "big girl" chats.
These were the best mornings.

via Pinterest
Mother made these trips to the bakery not because she liked doughnuts.  
Actually I'm not for sure she liked them at all.  She did it for me.  It was certainly a chance for us to have girl time, mostly, I think, she wanted me to enjoy some of the things not allowed at home.  My brother was a juvenile diabetic; sugary treats were seldom brought into our home.

I still love doughnuts, 
although I seldom treat myself, as I know one small indulgence
 will move that blasted dial on the scales upward, 
and I am trying my darnest to keep it moving downward.
Not an easy task with all the luscious desserts some of my
favorite blogs are known for posting....
yes, you know who you are.
Oh, please don't stop...
I am happy living vicariously.

via Pinterest
 If I were going to have a doughnut today, it would be the one
in the center of the top row.  My favorite!

Do you love doughnuts?
What is your favorite?

Go out and treat yourself today...
It's Friday!

(All photographs are from Pinterest.  I was not able to find the original link, however
you may search doughnuts and you will link to these photos.  Thank you!)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Brand New Crayon Box

June has planted her feet solidly on the ground
here at Living Life.

Things are beginning to show up for this year's garden party.

I'm still feeling a bit behind, but I have a good idea of where it is headed.

We have been blessed with plenty of rain

followed by the warmth of the warm southern sun

bursting open summer's crayon box.

Opening a brand new box of crayons is always the best!

I hope June is coloring you with a smile.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Plans Derailed

I had plans today.
 After storms passed through the state Thursday evening, we had a beautiful albeit humid day yesterday.  We sat outside into the night planning our saturday strategy.  The meteorologists were predicting rain and possible storms moving in during the afternoon. 

Our plan was to go to the Farmer's Markets early early to allow time to work in the garden before the weather changed.  I have  a garden border needing attention and containers pleading to be filled.  Roger had his own plans.   I woke up at 5:45 to the sound of rain against the windows.

"Best laid plans!"  

Checking the radar we decided we probably had time before the really bad stuff hit to make it to the Farmer's Market.   We stopped for our usual coffee and headed across the bridge to our favorite group of farmers.   The weather kept a few away, but we were still quite successful.

Squash, beets, purple hull peas

farm fresh eggs, and my favorite

one of the few things I like about summer.

We had just put the last purchase in the market bag when both cell phones went off simultaneously; severe thunderstorms were in the area of our home.  We headed home knowing Willie was probably hiding upstairs scared.  The severe storms didn't develop, but we have had a day of rain with a few rumbles here and there keeping us inside.

A perfect day for opening a book!

My thoughts and prayers are with all those in Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas who have lost so much during the past few weeks due to severe weather.

Stay safe everyone!