It’s not often a song makes me shoot elderflower lemonade through my nose. When I am driving, my brain goes a million miles a minute and sometimes, quite bored by my own company I will turn on the radio, and so when I heard, “…if you don’t jump to put your jeans on, baby, you don’t feel my pain.” I literally coated my steering wheel in said beverage, and proceeded to crack up while cleaning up the mess and still maintaining safe and graceful backroads driving. It has completely changed my mind about getting dressed. Now I am in a much cooler club than I was before, so thanks for that Madame Beyonce’!
I blame the jeans struggle on pancakes, mainly. I adore pancakes and rarely get to eat them in restaurants (well, plus curbside pancakes who wants THAT?) because they are 99% of the time made from a mix heavily laced with S500, to give the batter more staying power -that chemical aftertaste is awful. So I make them at home and then eat them! One of my favorite pancake books, “Pancakes in Paris ” just came out with ANOTHER book, “Let them Eat Pancakes!” SHOP HERE And since I am not getting to Paris anytime soon, this will suffice!
I love his writing and I love that he is Polish, which makes us almost family! AND the coolest thing happened! One of my friends who had just finished Monsieur Carlson’s first book, QUIT HER JOB, on the strength of being inspired by his book and a healthy dose of pandemic fatigue and THEN SHE TOLD HIM SHE DID THAT!!! It was incredibly inspiring to see, hear and watch and she is a brave and courageous gal who will do great things! Talk about a validation for sticking your neck out and writing a book! It’s funny because the very day before, one of my favorite people told me this anecdote about a bucket of water (click the link if you want the full anecdote) and initially it annoyed me immensely, the notion that everyone was dispensable. But the more I chewed on it, I finally understood that it is the only way of thinking that would ever give anyone the freedom to move about in such a manner that makes them beholden to NOBODY, and man, isn’t THAT a breath of fresh air?
“Pancakes for Breakfast” by Tomie de Paola is another favorite. I wrote him a fan letter this year, right after Christmas and sadly he passed away this year, so I am super happy I took the time to write. (You should check out his website. He was wonderful.) More people should write legitimate fan letters. What’s better than getting a random note of praise? Twitter and IG messages don’t cut it! Did you know Roald Dahl WROTE to Claudia when she was little?? How magical is THAT?
I finished reading “Prairie Fires” last week and WHOA. It sat heavy. Fascinating, illuminating, disturbing and it sent me into 50,000 research holes, pursuing other papers and books from the time period. For instance, “On the night of October 30, 1968, she baked some bread, then went to bed. She never woke up.”
Why is that so chilling? This is referring to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter, Rose, whom after reading the book it was absolutely impossible to like. I do share a house obsession with her, but other than that she seems a maniac, despite her prolific writing and she certainly let the money and legacy behind the Little House books be destroyed by a loathsome politician of all things. I was inclined to read the book because I so enjoyed the Little House books (I mean, we had a Little House store, for pig’s sake) and one of the glowing recommendations was written by one of my favorite Beatrix Potter scholars, Linda Lear. Did you know Beatrix Potter’s birthday is Tuesday? Make sure to make yourself a proper tea on Tuesday and peruse her website and then donate to her trust. I myself am a member of the Beatrix Potter Society, ahem.
As much as I blather on about Susan Branch and her blog and her books, her book about her Hilltop visit is especially cunning and DEFINITELY worth a read. Somehow Mom just NOW read that book, though I have been beating her about the head with it for years!
I do find it odd, that Susan Branch doesn’t talk about Anne of Green Gables more but perhaps that is just not as much her thing. I reread them yearly, “Jane of Lantern Hill” being my absolute favorite and every time I read it I can be 9 again, and it’s a very pleasant exercise in escaping the world of instant information, texting, masks and being an adult in a world of jerks. Somehow, my dear friend Donna intuited I was at the end of my being-an-adult-tether and surprised me with a clutch of vintage cookbooks and the MOST DARLING TOTE that I have threatened my children’s lives over ever touching!
Recently I learned that when a kite shows up, their appearance indicates a need to develop flexibility and adaptability. Swallow-tailed kites drink in air, in a swallowing pattern. They can teach us how to develop unique breathing techniques to open our intuitive abilities to recognize and communicate with spirit. Why did I learn this? Being Cherokee, I assumed there was some reason the birds were here living in the buffalo pasture! They look like dinosaurs when they fly, it’s a little creepy. So between the white kites dropping hints and Donna’s bag, I am attempting to calm down, be more flexible, and stop throwing things at the kitchen door when people stand there and stare at me. Plus, I just finished reading Jessica Simpson’s book and it is also a great exercise in calming down, realistic denim crises and being a girl in the world. (On a hilarious note, when I met Shawn his roommates had a Jessica Simpson poster IN THE KITCHEN. Share your thoughts, PUH-LEEZ.) But truly, her book was enjoyable, I grew up in that age so it was interesting to see and hear plus you HAVE to pull for someone who is a billionaire on the strength of a GED. MY COMPLAINT THOUGH-no. pictures. What on earth? In the “Prairie Fires” book there were some incredible photos. I LOVE PHOTOS. Susan Branch lards her books gorgeously with photos. COME ON PEOPLE.
This week I made the boys attempt to write with a quill, just to give them a sense of how much more laborious writing was long before the age of, say, PENS. They were exhausted by the effort. Should you want your own goose feather sent home with your curbside pickup this week, let me know! We have gobs-turns out geese shed as bad as German Shepherds! Thank goodness they don’t live inside, too-and it is quite a trick thinking of writing long documents, much less a book in this manner. The scritching of the quill on the paper sounds a lot like Dr. Pepsi and his morning ablutions, though!
This week is also Harry Potter’s birthday, so I do hope you have some sort of homespun magical plans for Friday! I am reading a book by Dodie Smith (a J.K Rowling beloved author), “I Capture the Castle“, and keep putting it down because it is so great I don’t want to finish reading it! I was destined to love it since Dodie and I share an adoration of dogs, castles and we have the same last name but the writing! I am now setting about acquiring everything she has ever written and mourning the fact I never got to meet her!
I hope you had a Merry Christmas in July! We put up a tree, had a feast, listened to Christmas carols and exchanged tiny gifts of candy. Twinkle lights always help! Sadly, of all the Christmas goodies people ordered through the shop this month NOBODY ordered the fruitcake cookies and so I didn’t get to make them, which is probably just as well given the pancake+pants dilemma.
Oddly, the Dodie book materialized (and I mean that because it was a box of books given to me by a friend!) about the same time as I was going through a box of old photos I had bought at an estate sale last year and had not gotten to go through just yet. I love old photos. This box was packed full and most of them are dated. I had kept them tucked in my Vietri camel until I had time. Here’s the crazy thing, they are dated the same year as “I Capture the Castle” book was written. And so many of the photos are things I would have photographed NOW but these are from 1948! I have always felt like the 40’s was the era I was supposed to have been born during. Recently Granny sent me some clippings from old date books of hers where she kept notes of how wildly obnoxious I was when I was 4 going on 5. The computer comment still holds true as to the extent of my technology prowess.
Enjoy your week! August is almost here and I am hoping that Sylvia Plath is right and there will be some rain! “August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath