Life as I know It

My photo
San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Spoonful of Bitter, A Spoonful of Sweet

A parade of birds visit the feeder just outside my bedroom window. Look at the brilliant colors of the male House Finch and the gorgeous Black-headed Grosbeak.

And my little house-shaped feeder from my new My First Bird Book and Bird Feeder allows the birds to watch me!

Can you see the male Anna's hummingbird to the left above the hanging feeder? Two finches are in the blue bird feeder. Orioles visit the one on the lower left. 

I don't think that this flashy finch realizes that the bird he is cozying up to is actually a hundred year old piece of carved folk art. Sorry to dash his hopes.

About 30 tall hollyhocks have forested my backyard. The bumblebees and hummers are ecstatic about this turn of events.

And because I've been off my game, I didn't harvest all the artichokes, which makes the bumblebees even happier and makes the artichokes look like 8 foot sculptures.

I can't remember who said that a lazy gardener is wildlife's best friend, but I think it's true! 

Look closely and you'll see a bee nuzzling into the nectar. When it opens fully, the bumblebees roll around and dance the bumblebee rhumba. 

And because I've been a lazy gardener, the butterflies, flower flies, and bees are happy.

A bit of a hot shot, but you can see some of the honeybees in the Provence lavender and the Tulbaghia blooms. What would I (and they) do without my herbs?

Dear Friends,

Thank you for all your e-mails, Facebook comments, and notes. Yes, I am still suffering from the shingles, but I am grateful for the time to enjoy the garden and birds through my bedroom window, and to continue on with my new children's middle grade novel, which is set in Maine. 

Today I wrote a kitchen scene and realized that what makes food tasty, what makes life zesty, is a mixture of the bitter and the sweet. This is how I wrote it for the children:

“To taste the sweet, you must taste the bitter,” Gram said. “Life is all about dark and light, good and bad, bitter and sweet. You can’t choose how it’ll be dished up for you, but you can choose how you dish it up for yourself.” 

So I am dishing up gratitude for friends who have stopped by and left food and love, and gratitude for family and a great husband. It all helps.

This is short, but long overdue. Next posting I will be giving away a $60.00 Amazon gift card compliments of Fantastic.

Sending love and a jam jar full of good wishes across the miles,


P.S. Just to let you know what has really helped the skin pain, deep burning, and beloved and trusty Aloe Vera. I cut the leaves at the base of the plant and store them in the refrigerator. Then, as needed, I slice into a leaf and rub the cool, healing, and antibacterial leaves across the shingles. It is AMAZING how quickly the relief comes.