Last week I made my annual trek through Chicago and out to Indiana where I got to be with all the amazing Ancient Faith Ministries people. We talked about books and podcasts and ate salads--and I ran down the dunes by the lake. Plus, my room had a balcony and there were a thousand frogs outside in the creek who serenaded me endlessly! Glory. THEN--I drove to Michigan, where I spent the weekend with a friend who was my jumelle, my twin, when we lived in France back in the 80's. We ate croissants back then, but this time we mostly ate soup and drank tea--cause we aren't 19 any more. Friends. Friends! I wrote this in another place, but I wasn't the best friend to her. I've learned over the years how to respect a human. God, I pray I've learned! Oh, Lord, help me keep learning! Our time together, scootering through Manistee, and dancing with her two daughters, was all about renewed friendship, and reconnecting once again.
We finally had some summer heat, which means our giant pine is letting go of spent needles. With the pine needles dropping like rain, I collect about 1000th of what falls and weave with them most evenings. I'm looking forward to working through the fall and winter and making all shapes and sizes of baskets.
Marinated carrots! We love Mexican marinated carrots and have purchased them for years. By making them ourselves we can assure that the ingredients are good quality, plus I'm weird about my love for canning things. I'm now processing canned jars in the instant pot, since it uses way less water. Email me if you'd like the recipe at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our beautiful cedar tree has died despite my repeated hymns and hugs and prayers... It's the third cedar that has succombed to the long drought in our neighborhood, and we are putting off a lot of work in our front yard since we know so much is going to be destroyed when the tree is pulled down. Feel free to grieve with me! We may try to have it milled, and save some of the wood... we'll see. In other news, fall hasn't reached Santa Barbara yet. Blackberries are still ripening, figs are on the trees, and the herbs are giving it their all!
Finished. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene, and Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy to gear up for the new Ancient Faith Book Club podcast starting on October 7th. Oh my goodness, they are strange books! In other news, I've been doing some reading on the natural world. I loved The Hidden Life of Trees, learning more about how trees communicate with one another and even how they help each other out when things get tough... I finished Sepp Holzer's book on Permaculture in the Dallas/FW airport during a long delay, which makes me want to sow sunflower seeds and grow mushrooms in a corner of my yard, and I also read Braiding Sweetgrass, a memoir of sorts, which inspired me to think more deeply about the idea of taking/buying/using only what one needs and always sharing not only the surplus, but even the necessities. Lastly, I'm in the middle of Apostle to the Plains, a fascinating look at an immigrant-turned-priest who faithfully served the growing Syrian community in the mid-west back in the early 1900's.
I just became a tea master! There is an online learning platform called Udemy that I discovered a few years ago. Basically you pay a few dollars and then you watch videos made by people who are passionate about a certain subject. I found a couple of courses on tea, and now I'm a (lowercase!!!) tea master. (Also, did you know that most tea comes from farms that are giant monocultures and that use an extensive amount of pesticides? More on this another time, but if you can find and purchase organic tea, please do.)
Published: October 3, 2019 | Filed under: Me