Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Day in New England

Today was a perfect summer day here in New England. The sun was shining, the humidity was low and the bugs were lying low!!

Pebbles, my best dog buddy, and I took a walk and got a glimpse of Nature hard at work.

We walked along the path of the Sheep Pasture in Easton, MA. Pebbles was definitely wanting to play with the ducks who had managed an escape from their pen to the pond nearby, but I spotted another frolicking creature in the pond and I was fascinated/a little bit terrified by the sight.
That is a snake and a few minutes later, it jumped a green frog who was not paying attention!

No, I did not stick around to see what happened.

Further on down the walk, we found the split rock. I have lived in this town for 18 years, visited the Sheep Pasture at least once a year and I have never seen this rock before.

It looks to me like the tree is sitting there reading something but that could be the pollen talking!

Check out the wildlife on the right side of the picture. This little chippitymunk wanted to be in the picture and kept hanging out no latter how close I got. Ham!

Have I lost you yet or can you stand one more picture??

The turtles are out and about and mowing each other down. Here is a go-gettem turtle who was not gonna let a napping turtle on a log slow him down.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blooming Beautiful

These hydrangea bushes have been in my front yard for the last ten years and have bloomed once in all that time. This year my hydrangeas, along with every other one in the neighborhood, have gone wild with blooms. While some are the usual blue and pink, mine have decided to lean towards the purple. I am not complaining. I love them! Even though the weather here in the northeast has been the hottest ever, I make the trip daily to my bushes to admire the blooms.
While in the backyard...
I don't even remember buying these lilies! I love the Stargazer lily and I am sure that I did buy this plant but I can't for the life of me remember when or where. All the blooms have opened now but I prefer this picture where the fresh new flowers have emerged and the promise of more beauty is a bud away.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sweet Summer Reading

Well, I have waited long enough to post!
I was waiting for something to talk about that I felt would be worthy of a first post. I found it on vacation in Florida last month. I have a book recommendation.
It is The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister.

There is a small bookstore called SunDog Books in Seaside Florida, a small resort town that we have been going to since 1992. The books in the store seem to be in no real order there. There are sections like biography, travel, cooking and such but that is about as far as it goes in organization. It is not the kind of a bookstore where you walk in to find the book you are looking for and walk straight to it. It is the sort of bookstore that you wander around for a while and look at all the different selections as you would at a really great farmers market and then hone in on the one that catches your eye. I have to say that I have always found something unique and totally wonderful to read from that bookstore. It is as though the store knows what I want and patiently waits for me to find it .

I found the book The School of Essential Ingredients while spending the week in Seaside last month. I was on my annual shopping excursion through town looking in each shop for a take home treasure that would remind me of how much I love Seaside or maybe a gift for someone that would reduce my Christmas list. Many stores were gone, perhaps due to the economy, and I stopped into SunDog Books to while away some time. I was not wild about the book I had brought from home to read. I was ready to ditch it if something better came my way. I have had a lot of luck with the employee favorites section of the store. In this section, you can find Lee's favorites or Dan's favorites books. I have never met any of the employees that recommend these books and the ones working don't wear name tags or tell you their name. But I have found that I drift toward the one person who seems to have read books that I have liked...quirky books. I found my book in Celia's favorites section.
The School of Essential Ingredients is about many things, food and relationships being the primary ingredients if you will. The book is perfect beach reading but I warn you to apply extra sunscreen because it will captivate and keep you at the beach for much longer that you plan. The book is set around a cooking class held at a restaurant. Each chapter explores a different student with glimpses into their life both in and out of class. While there are predictable portions of the book, the story is heartwarming and tender. The interweaving of food into our lives is beautifully crafted in this story and foodies will love the rich attention given to the culinary lessons.
The book is easily read in a couple of days although some people have told me that they read straight through because they could not put it down.
I usually give my books away to friends after I have read them. I am a "one time read" only girl. I wanted to share this book with my friends but I somehow cannot let go of it, wanting to keep it within view to remind me that I love to cook and I cook with love.