30 August 2014


I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God's great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else.
 - Colossians 2.2

Work is important. We go through our workdays busy tackling tasks and solving problems. We stay focused on those things that need or demand our attention. We skip lunch breaks and rush to get something important done.

But now it's the weekend. And a long weekend. The only thing on your agenda should be:
- Rest

As important as work is, rest is just as important. We were not made to go-go-go endlessly. We were made with a built-in day of rest, the Sabbath, in which God commands us to rest.

If you find yourself thinking about work, or reading emails for work -- stop it. Don't make lists in your mind. Don't fret about something you forgot to do. Don't worry about what tasks you have to do in the coming week.

Instead, if you think about work, divert yourself right away and go pick up a book to read. Or go take a walk. Take a nap. Play a game. Write a letter. Make some tea.

Let your mind wander and your imagination run free. Let the colours of possibility dance in your head. All the dreams that sat idle during your busy week need some air to breathe. Consciously relax your muscles to release the tension from the week. Say prayers of thanksgiving. Let the creative thoughts burst from you without restraint.

This is your mission this weekend. Rest.

29 August 2014

Oh Bother

I found this daring little cross-stitch piece at a thrift store at the Covered Market in Oxford, England. I love it because Pooh Bear brings back many childhood memories of the books, the television show, and all the stuffed animals I had, not to mention my nickname given to me by my parents when I was a baby. Pooh Bear was created by A. A. Milne, a British writer who wrote the Pooh stories for his son, Christopher Robin, who was the boy in all the books. Milne wrote more than just the stories about Pooh. He wrote some other delightful books for adults with charming wit and humour. I found a few of those books while in England, on other trips.
I also love this little piece because, well, Pooh is writing.

Oh bother!
(That's something Pooh says a lot)

I think part of the essence of being a writer is learning to see beyond oneself and to pay attention to details around. As much as it is essential to listen inside and pay attention to the inner voice (especially for poetry), when we forget that there is so much beyond ourselves we are slipping down a slope of ego that can easily be detected in the tone of the writing.

Something I always loved about Pooh in the stories is how he enjoys the little things. Of course, he is a bear of little brain, and he craves honey and sometimes has a one-track mind to food, but he is perfectly satisfied by spending time in his humble abode, talking with his friends, and taking walks through the hundred acre wood. For taking a walk outside among the trees and bees is the best place to think.

By opening ourselves up to the grand story that is bigger than us, we open up our eyes and begin to see the beauty in all the little things. We live more simply and some of the most enjoyable things are the most simple. We don't see these things as our own, but as a gift from above, where there is an eternal sense of story that can show glimpses while we are here. So when we think about things, we should think in the direction of thanksgiving.

Or as Pooh would say -
Think - Think - Think

28 August 2014

Light Prayer

Lord -
You are gracious, loving, and full of grace that You bestow upon me, lest I forget.
Forgive me, for how easily I falter and forget.

Let not these sour memories stay in my heart.
Allow them to diminish like the sun setting outside my window.
With the new day, let the light bring a fresh perspective. As if it were all new to me.
Worries, stress, and doubt are road blocks to Your grace.
Help me knock them down and fear not.
Help me listen to Your word, long sitting on my heart with a forlorn cry for me to really listen.
Words -- sink in.
Love -- sink in.
Melt my cold heart and soften my serious face into a gentle smile.
Your words are the light of my life.

27 August 2014

Lemon Sugar Cookie

Creativity is contagious
Pass it on.

- Albert Einstein 

Sometimes you just need to make a cup of coffee, eat a big lemon sugar cookie, and partake in reading something delightful that offers some inspiration. In this case, the early afternoon was growing very stormy and unsettled outside. So, here I was with a lonely lemon sugar cookie.

The only logical addition to the party was a cup of coffee, and then after that something to refresh the mind in the way of Trouvé
, a magazine about the creative lifestyle. I just got this magazine and started reading it. My thoughts were then filled with some lovely words and photography and I wondered to myself what life would be like if I didn't enjoy this kind of thing. You know - reading, writing, drinking coffee, thinking. What on earth would I do with my time?

Perhaps I would dislike being alone so I might venture out into the community a lot to try to meet people. Maybe I would be involved in many organizations. Maybe I would be a different person, seeking social situations. Maybe I would have a ton of friends, with activities planned for everyday. Maybe I'd be married.

I remember when I was in college and there was always some social event going on and the buzz around the dorm would be about it. Rarely would I go to such things. The social events made me uncomfortable. Being forced to mingle with people and come up with things to say was exhausting to me. I usually planned my escape from the moment I got there.

I might be someone good with words, but it is the written word that I am good with. Not the spoken word. That is more of a challenge for me. But I also think I am who I am for a reason. I realized later in college that I didn't have to like those events and I didn't have to go. I grew to like who I was. I got an inkling that I was someone who valued a few close friends, and would much rather partake in a small outing than a big social event. That is part of what molds me, and it wasn't something that I needed to try to change.

So on days like this, where I contemplated going out to try to be more social, it was a fluttering thought like a butterfly that pauses around some blades of grass for a moment, and then darts off. It is fleeting. I don't have to wonder what it would be like if things were different because I am so blessed that I can spend time doing these things I enjoy just as I am.

26 August 2014

The Wind in the Trees

Sometimes I sit in my quiet home and just listen. My gaze wanders past the curtains and outside where heat and sun swirl. I let the loud silence wash over me. It is usually when I am trying to collect my thoughts into something coherent that I do this. Or when being alone feels lonely.

Because sometimes being alone doesn't feel lonely, but sometimes it really does.

It is when the air feels constricting and full of emptiness. The birds seem to have relocated for no songs can be heard. Thoughts in my own mind wander but don't dive into anything deep. The kind of meandering that falls off the trail and loses the path.

Not having information and losing the path in my thoughts makes me wonder what I am doing wrong. I need information.

Truths dwell in my heart and my focus is affixed suddenly. A gusty wind moves the branches of trees and I watch them toss about. What is the power that moves such large branches? Not one of us can control the wind. It is invisible and yet we see it through other things, like the rustling of trees. A long skirt tugging around your legs. The invisible air grazing past your neck.

In my life there are times where I feel like I am not moving forward. I sometimes doubt myself and my abilities. A standstill is something I fear, but I feel deep inside that a wind is moving me. God is in the wind.

It can be a gentle nudge, or a gusty-wind-tossed push, but since God wants what is best for me, in all situations I have to trust. Let go. And trust.

25 August 2014

Book Spree

For the past several days I am been on a book spree. When I get on a reading kick, there is no time for anything else. I finished reading a book last night. And then I read a whole book this morning. Later, I finished another book. And then I started a new one.

It is my solution to the problem of the heat outside. What else is there to do? It's simply too hot to be out there where it feels like 102 degrees and the humidity drains you. The errands I run make me hot and exhausted.

So my eyes race across the pages of books, gobbling up the words and turning pages quickly. Some books just don't need a lot of time dedicated to them. They can be read quickly and their usefulness is then retired. On the other hand there are some books that need to be savoured like a rare dish that is full of flavour.

Some books just require a taste and you get it. The rest you can fly through.
The books that need some thoughtful musings are the ones to chew on. No quick taste can fully immerse you in the wisdom and depth of the book. It needs time and thought.

I have room for both in my reading regime. When I am feeling flighty and my attention span short, I pick up an easy-read. When I crave depth I open the book that requires my brain to be wide awake. That is why I am always reading at least a few books at the same time.

Can you value one over the other?
I sure can, and yet even a quick read is better than watching television. Books bring you into an imaginary world that your mind populates with your own interpretations as you turn the pages. Your imagination gets to run through open fields and isn't shown what it has to see. You get to imagine it.

21 August 2014

Tea Brings Us Together

After my first trip to England in September 2009, I started my evening tea ritual. I began trying different teas and scouring antique shops to grow a collection of teacups. Bone china as delicate as tissue paper sits in my china cabinet and gets pulled out when I feel like being fancy. Porcelain teacups are more handy for everyday. 

I really enjoy serving tea. It is something so simple - leaves, herbs, or roots and hot water. But it is a gesture of hospitality.

While in England I had the best tea I've ever tasted. The English know the art of making tea. How to pour the water over the tea, and steep the tea for different amounts of time (depending on the type of tea). So, I followed this process and imitated until it became my second nature. You will never convince me that it is proper to drop a tea bag into a cup of hot water. You can call me a tea snob, I know.

I read about tea and tried many kinds to discover what I like and what I don't. And collected more teacups. I soaked in all the knowledge about tea that I could. I learned about the differences among black tea, white tea, green tea, and red tea. I discovered which teas are best when you drink them straight, and which teas taste best with a touch of milk or honey.

Then, I started having people over for tea. Family and friends. I would carefully set out the delicate teacups with a tiny teaspoon for stirring (if milk, honey, or sugar was needed). I would get out a teapot if I would be making one kind of tea. And tea would be served, with the accompaniment of good conversation.

Fast forward to the present and I have various long standing traditions with some friends to have them over for tea. It has become part of my way of being hospitable. It is my way of inviting people into my life in a deeper way. To have them come to my little home and sit together gathering good talks as the tea steeps. Sometimes there is food involved first, but not always. There is something special about slowing down and taking tea together. As the steam rises the conversation lingers. I love the intentional nature of the whole process.

Unless you are Alice in Wonderland, you don't stumble upon a mad tea party with a hare and a hatter. But a tea party is such an inviting situation, so it is no wonder Alice wandered to their table. 

20 August 2014

The Story Goes On

On solid rock
I stand;
All other ground
is sinking sand.
Trusting in the Lord
with all that I am.
The Lord is my solid

Our future hope is a story that goes on and on.

Joyous in comfort of our own, we miss out on the potential of the grand story continuing if we stay cuddled up in our own brokenness that we hold onto for whatever reason we tell ourselves.

We were made for more than this.

God doesn't mean for us to stay sheltered in this cosy spot that be have made for ourselves. How can we help others from here? How can we grow from here?

Get out there and take that chance. Challenge yourself with something that has been put on your heart. Something you know will be good for you. To take yourself out of your box of comfort, you are letting yourself face and conquer something that will help you grow your character. It will give you the chance to let your light shine for God, as others notice you stepping up to the challenge.

Take it on, and don't worry. God is right there with you, every difficult step of the way. You have solid rock under your feet.

19 August 2014

On Prayer

For infinite wisdom does not need telling what is best, and infinite goodness needs no urging to do it.
- C.S. Lewis

If we pray for something to happen, and then it does happen, how do we know if it wasn't going to happen anyway, whether we prayed for it or not?

Isn't it interesting how God gives us a way of talking with Him, through prayer, to ask, to request, to put our worries on Him, and yet in His infinite wisdom, He certainly doesn't need us telling Him what we need or what should be done. God sees all. God knows all. Surely our requests are obsolete in some sense because they are like one tiny drop of water in a grand waterfall. And yet, even though we are tiny, God wants to make it personal with you, and me.

The point is not that we are able to change God's mind or tell Him what is best, but that in our prayers we submit to Him and let go of ourselves. In recognizing God as omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent we draw ourselves to His presence and know that whatever may befall, He is the God of it all.

18 August 2014

Breakfast Date


I am on a breakfast date with myself this morning. I woke up knowing I needed to get out of my tiny home to let my thoughts wander, and a good way to do that on a very hot Summer day is to go downtown to Mitchell's Coffee Shop. It is Saturday morning but there is no farmer's market today, as August is just too hot, they take the month off.

The coffee shop isn't too busy. I order a coffee with soy milk and order biscuits and gravy because this breakfast date needs something special that I don't normally do. As I sit here taking my time, more people come in and I pick up on some strange conversations that fall to the background of my mind as I write.

It could be that I am invisible here, sitting at this round table by the wall toward the back. It could be that not one person sees me as I sip on coffee and scribble away on these blank pages. I sink into these thoughts and the time to do this is soothing like ointment on my soul that longs for more time to indulge. The shadows that have been lingering are cast away and my heart is opening.

The coffee sitting before me on this table is really good. With soy milk swirled in, it has a perfect blend of coffee and soy milk. The sunlight brightly illuminates the big front windows, and the heat outside stays outside. The coolness of this cosy place melts into me, allowing me to enjoy hot coffee and warm food.

I used to come here every week for lunch when I worked downtown, and in those days (which seem like ages ago) coming here was my escape from my day. It was a short hour of reprieve that was the thing I looked forward to the most. I had serious contemplations of hiding there for the rest of the day rather than walking back to work. Thankfulness wells up inside me now because I have a very different way of thinking about my work day these days. And I still love coming here when I have the chance, but my mood is not to escape from my day, but an indulgence in something sweet that I enjoy and take time to do.

15 August 2014

Unfinished Tales

Good books and stories that I love dearly hold so much hope and glimpses of things that are eternally real. And this book, Unfinished Tales, has me dreaming about Middle-earth and all the history, stories, and people of the lands. The centuries of kings and rulers and the stories of their kin.

I know that many people roll their eyes when someone (quite possibly, me) mentions Middle-earth as they think about the crazy weirdos who dressed up as elves and represent the sci-fi or fantasy genre gone wrong. Well, there are crazies among all tales, but that is truly not a good representation of the stories and what they mean. That is one reason why I cringe when movies are made of books that are so good, the movies sometimes bring out the worst, thanks to the media and the consumerism that is so embraced here. Regarding The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, they are enjoyable, though I do have many thoughts on the new Hobbit movies and some grievances concerning them, but that's all a moot point here.

Tolkien was a super-detailed writer, with an imagination to match that attention to detail. He spent years (more than 30 at least) writing 
The Lord of the Rings and other tales of Middle-earth, creating the languages, creating the lands, the people, the histories and genealogies of the families. He drew the maps. He spent so much time perfecting, re-writing, and re-working the stories that there are so many of them that are unfinished. In fact, much of the credit goes to C.S. Lewis for pushing his friend Tolkien to finish the stories to get them published, otherwise, they might all be unfinished due to his tendency to re-write everything and never feel like it is complete.

It's amazing, really. The more I read the more I am amazed at the intertwined stories and the depth of his histories. How could one person sub-create so much history and tales that all have their own traditions, culture, and language? It is hard to explain without reading the stories to see the enormity of it.

Reading this book bring me back to my senior year of college when I took a Tolkien class that I enjoyed immensely. We didn't read this book, but we read almost every other book published by Tolkien. It was the perfect class for me to contrast my accounting and business classes that took up my schedule. I was craving English, writing, and reading, but didn't know how deep that longing really was at the time. Engaging in this class awakened that love from where it had slumbered for many years. If I could take that class again today, I know I would get so much more out of it than I did then. My understanding of my love for words and literature is so much deeper than it was. Looking back at myself when I thought I knew so much, when in fact I knew so little. Ah, the wisdom of hindsight.

14 August 2014

Unfinished Days

I don't know how but days pass by
without clanging or a sound.
They pass unnoticed, shallow pools,
like puddles on the ground.
No depth, no substance, they dry up
quickly, cracks forms on the dirt;
a quick replenish leads to more need
as it drains away, masquerading hurt;
with flaunts and flatters, no genuine
truth shared, leaving everything dry.
Without water. Without growth.
Just with speculation as to why.

One of my biggest fears has always been complacency. Not moving forward. Remaining stagnant. Not learning. Not growing.

When there is a day that I feel like I don't accomplish something, I struggle with that. I feel like a failure. Whispers like lies rise in my mind telling me things I shouldn't believe. I have always been this way.

It's at this point I should instead be listening to some different words. And these are the words I want to keep on my heart for such a time. To defeat the lies. From an old Irish hymn -- Be Thou My Vision:

You're my inheritance
now and always

You and you only 
The first in my heart
High King of heaven
my treasure You are

Heart of my own heart

Whatever befall
Still be my Vision
O Ruler of all!

13 August 2014

About Tomorrow

Last weekend I was sitting in my home writing in my journal when a wild gust of wind came like lightning through the neighborhood. It drew my attention as I could see and hear it, and it was a lot stronger than a normal gust. Suddenly, I heard a crack and a loud thud. I jumped up, not knowing what that was, and saw a huge tree limb (probably weighing 1,000 pounds by my landlord's estimate) that fell and hit my neighbor's garage, going through the roof. It landed about two feet from his jeep, parked in the grass, not too far from my car.

Thankfully, nobody was injured. I mean any of us could have been outside at that moment. I was going back and forth through the yard doing laundry, and my neighbor is always outside doing things. You just cannot predict what's going to happen in the next moment, or the next day.

It is just a reminder that life is fragile. Sometimes the trees around us are fragile. Things are not guaranteed. I certainly wasn't expecting a huge part of a tree to fall and cause havoc for a while. Just like we don't expect a certain gust of wind to come along to cause that. And we don't expect to hear bad news, or lose a job, or be hurt by someone. But these things do happen, and while we live everyday in hope, we also cannot brag or get a big ego about what we think will happen. We are humans tied to time, so we really don't know. Thankfully, our God is not, and He sees everything all at once, above time and circumstance. That is what I will brag about.

And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest,tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”
James 4.13-15

12 August 2014

Sweltering Summer

How many of you are over the heat? Has Summer become droll yet?
If you are asking me, then, yes. It has become risible and long.

Summer drags on and on in these Southeast parts. Six to Seven months of it just doesn't strike my fancy. I can handle a few months. I get it. But not more than that. So, this cold drink is a welcomed friends on hot afternoons. Other than staying inside or swimming, it is the only way to feel refreshed for a little bit.

When it gets to be around this time in August, I start to grow weary of day after day of the sort of humidity that soaks you in minutes. As I scoffed at the heat, I wondered why the longing for Autumn seems to strike me at the same time every year.

Then it hit me that it coincides with school starting again. It is when I start to see the new Autumn colours, clothes, scarves, boots, and accessories that I am jolted out of my endless-Summer mind-set and remember that there is another season! And maybe one day it will come!

I walk down aisles at the store with journals, pencils, pens, and desk accessories and I think about the excitement I used to feel when school was about to start again. I'd have some new notebooks, pens, and pencils, and that fresh start was such a wonderful feeling. The hope of a new season rises along with the excitement of starting school.

Even though I am not a student, I still have that hope that comes along with the back-to-school reminders I see all over the place. I might just indulge in a new outfit, a new journal, and maybe a pen. Hey, Autumn is coming! I wait in anticipation. 

11 August 2014


For as long as I can remember, I have been a reader. Always toting a book around with me. Lover of words, I would gobble them up every day. It's not something I forced myself to learn to enjoy. It's not something I tried and sort of liked and just kept going until I loved it. It's not something I saw someone else doing and thought to be cool I would need to have my nose in a book. It came natural to me to love reading.

Growing up it was always the cool kids who shunned reading. Well, I never claimed to be cool. And I was always okay with that, with being who I was. One who loved going to the school library. One who knew each book on the "borrow" shelf in English class. Always the reader. Even though I have the tendency to be introverted, I actually enjoyed reading out loud in class, too. Whenever the teacher would have us all take turns reading passages or through a whole book, I enjoyed that. It brought the book to life by speaking the words. And I liked hearing other people read, whether they paused at the right moments, read too quickly, or stumbled over certain words. It created a unity among all of us. We were all on the same page.

With the love of reading, comes the territory of trying to share the love of reading with those who don't like to read much or don't enjoy it. Like a sort of goal of mine, I want to get people to like reading. They don't have to love it like I do, but I get excited when someone tells me they are reading something and really enjoying it. I always have the challenge before me to try to get others to read by giving them books, by encouraging them to read, and asking them questions about what they are reading. I think I might be an un-paid advocate for all the good books out there (there are some really bad books that I would discourage people from reading).

So, what are you reading right now? Do you think it would be considered a good book? Are you enjoying what you are reading or is it something you have to read for some reason (class, work, etc)? What kind of book do you enjoy the most?

08 August 2014

End-of-the-Week Delights

After this very busy week at work, my brain feels utterly spent. So, I greet Friday and the weekend with a few delightful things in photos rather than words because it is all I can do. I have a feeling this weekend is going to be full of coffee, books, and writing. Things to engage my imagination and creativity. Until then, I give you these photos and no more words. I hope you weren't expecting me to wax poetics today, or write a dissertation on the book I am currently reading (though that may come later!). 

07 August 2014

C.S. Lewis and Imagination

On November 21, 2013, a special event was held at Westminster Abbey in London for C.S. Lewis, to commemorate the dedication of him in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey. This is the video of the talk given by Malcolm Guite.

Listen and learn more about truth and beauty through imaginative fiction. And how the imagination is deeply important in expanding our knowledge of truth and gaining wisdom through the words and deeds of Christ.  Malcolm Guite is a leading expert on C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, the Inklings, and many of my favourite English poets. I am always scouring the internet for talks given by Malcolm.

My imagination was in a sense baptized. The rest of me took a bit longer. (C.S. Lewis in Surprised by Joy)

The truth of imagination is part of the message in his writings. He uses reason but pairs it with the imagination to help explore those sometimes difficult concepts. Lewis' writings are a shaft of light in this dark world, and Malcolm Guite brings the depths of the meanings to light in such an enjoyable way. Direct your attention to your imagination.

06 August 2014

On Yearning for Travel

Let's talk about how every few months I yearn for travel My heart aches for it. I am getting to that point now where my heart, soul, and imagination need to travel.

It's funny because more than a year and a half ago when I was in my old job, I lived for the vacation days. I only worked so that I could get off to go away and forget all about it. My work situation was pretty grim. It's not like that now. I am extremely blessed because I never mind going into work. There's no such thing as dreaded Mondays anymore. It is really amazing to me, still, that I feel that way.

I say all that because even though I love my job, I still yearn for travel, but it is not to escape my job or my place here. All that is good. Very good. So good that since I started this job a year and a half ago (crazy how time flies!) I have been able to listen to my heart so much more. I've been able to grow more confident in what I am good at and what I love, knowing that I have supporters who like me just the way I am and encourage me to always be true to that.

So, that allows me to let my imagination free to dream about places and things I want to do, knowing that I can do them. The best example of that would be how I dreamed (as I always do) about going to Oxford, England for a few weeks to indulge in my very favourite place, and I was able to do that back in April.

So where am I off to next? You'll just have to stay tuned to see!

05 August 2014

A Good List of Don'ts

- Don't forget that life is fragile and this moment will end and not come back
- Don't forget to tell those closest to you how much they mean to you
- Don't change who you are
- Don't let go of your dreams
- Don't lost sight of all the blessings in your life
- Don't let your head hit your pillow with an angry or bitter heart

- Don't regret taking time to talk with a friend over a cup of tea
- Don't ever become complacent with the knowledge you have. Always continue to learn and  grow
- Don't waste time on those who don't reciprocate your friendship

- Don't be afraid to say those kind words sitting on your heart
- Don't worry if you don't have 1,000 friends. Life is most enjoyed with a few good, close friends who know you well
- Don't pass up the opportunity to travel, even if you go solo
- Don't let a failure, mistake, or disappointment keep you down. Get right back up and remember it could be the best thing to happen but you just don't know why, yet
- Don't forget to relax and read good books
- Don't forget to be thankful. Always

04 August 2014

Quiet Summer

I headed to my hometown this weekend. Venice is quiet in the middle of the Summer. The tourists are mostly elsewhere. The beach is quiet. The heat is intense. The canals in Venice are lined with sail boats and little condos from the 1970's. But this time of year it all seems to be asleep. So I went for a little drive out to the jetty and it felt like the rocks, the water, the sky were all sleeping. Still and quiet in the heat. The gulf water was as smooth as glass.

This rocky spot holds good memories of Summer's past. I used to come sit on the rocks in the mornings of my Summers home from college, before going into work. The morning is when it is most quiet and peaceful here. With a book on my lap, I'd spend a little bit of time there on the rocks, switching gazes from my book to the waters of the gulf.

The only places that are crowded in the middle of Summer are the restaurants in the popular areas (and the shops), and even those spots are a lot less busy in the Summer. We celebrated birthdays this weekend for my brother and my Mum at the Columbia Restaurant at St. Armand's in Sarasota. It was pretty busy with tourists. But we enjoyed it because we rarely go to that area. The restaurant has a long history in Florida (with various locations) and has some delicious Cuban food. If you are in the area, it's a good choice.

01 August 2014

Around My Home

Here are a few things around my home that make me happy and bring good thoughts to the busy days I have been having. A book and my journal. I am loving this book Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien. I bought this in Oxford but am just now starting to read it. The words on these pages are so beautiful. They are stories Tolkien wrote that were not completed, but the way he was so detailed and thoughtful about the history of elves and men is inspiring. He truly took his craft seriously and I get swept up in these characters' journeys. These are unfinished, and yet they express his immense and deep love of writing more and more history of Middle-earth.
All my little cacti and succulents are doing so well in my home. I am not one who knows about gardening or plants, so I am pretty happy with these little guys. I leave them for weeks and they are good. They are probably the easiest plants to care for.
The photographs on the left were taken by my brother's friend with an old camera, and developed by that friend. My brother is the one in the photo, and he took these prints and framed them in shadowboxes for me some years ago. He knows I love photography and old things, so I treasure these square black & white prints. The wreath on the right was given to me by my brother and sister in law several years ago. They got it at an art & craft fair, and it's made from pages of books. Naturally, they thought of me, and I really like this little piece.
A mostly thrifted outfit. Dress and sweater - thrifted. New shoes, though I have been looking for these exact shoes for quite awhile. Necklace made by me.
My books. Oh my lovely books! Books make me so happy. Everything about them. The look. The colour. The feel of the pages. The scent of the pages and ink. The weight of them. The aesthetic. Oh yea, and the words inside, of course! My large bookshelf is a little bit messier than I like, but I am out of space!
A blank page on which I will write a letter. I am the old-fashioned kind who likes that sort of thing. Also, mustard yellow is my colour of the year. I cannot get enough of it. And this slanted afternoon light is lovely.