What I'm reading: Henry James disparaged Jane Austen (most probably because she was a woman). Many critics have disparaged the genre of romance writing and Georgette Heyer as a simple historical romance writer. I think she’s fabulous. Read Fredricka and see if you don’t agree.
What I'm writing: I am still writing the skinny draft of the third book.
What I'm cooking: Lots of quick easy meals with fresh ingredients. Last night we had grilled shrimp tacos topped with garlic cole slaw.
What's happening in the garden: I haven’t put in a vegetable garden this year as I’ve been working on planting everything from Nellie Stevens to Beardtongue pristine blue penstemon and weeding. I am trying to enjoy weeding as an exercise in…persistence, as in how to be more persistent than the weeds
My dallies are blooming, much later than last year but they form a gorgeous border along the back fence in front of my red-tipped photinias.
The quote I'm loving: But if our sex would but well consider and rationally ponder, they will perceive and find that it is neither words nor place that can advance them, but worth and merit. --Margaret Cavendish
What I'm reading: I’m reading a book called The Last Best Cure by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. It’s about using her brain to heal childhood trauma. Nakazawa is a science writer so this book has loads of good science behind the story.
What I'm writing: I am writing the skinny draft of the third book. I’m about at the half way point—granted this is a very skinny draft.
What I'm cooking: It’s warming up outside so I’ve been making some interesting salads with dates, goat cheese, walnuts and a homemade balsamic fig dressing. I even tried a new recipe with pea shoots that I stir-fried in avocado oil and garlic with a dash of low sodium soy sauce. Very nice!
What's happening in the garden: Azaleas are still blooming, but their blooms are waning. If you aren’t in the part of the country that can grow azaleas, it’s a shame. They are so lovely against the newly emerged fescue. Mine aren’t as pretty as usual because of the subzero temperatures we had this year when the poor things dropped their leaves from the extreme cold but still, the fuchsia is gorgeous and cheering.
What I'm reading: Unoffendable by Brant Hansen. Even if you’re not a Christian, this book offers a choice of freedom from anger, the freedom from being offended.
What I'm writing: I’ve finally gotten the third book plot started (eyeroll). The plot will change as it always does as I go along.
What I'm cooking: I’m on a scallops kick right now. The trick to getting that nice crust on them is to make certain they are completely dry before you put them in the oil of your choice (I used ghee).
What's happening in the garden: I lost an azalea or at least part of an azalea. There are blossoms at the bottom but the top three feet appears to be dead. The leaves are sparse and some have buds others are rather sulky and the leaves remain rather dark. Those are my wait and sees. Hard winter but we’re coming back!
The quote I'm thinking about: To hold a pen is to be at war. –Voltaire Interested to hear what you all think about that one. Comment below!
What I'm reading: The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. This was a lovely book set in India in the 1950’s. Henna artist to the wealthy women of the upper class, Lakshmi is on a journey of self-discovery but must carefully guard her reputation and that of her younger sister as she tries to advance her career.
What I'm writing: I’ve rewritten The Standard of a Man and feel satisfied with it…for now.
What I'm watching: We are still watching the Poirot Series on Amazon Prime. We are on season ten right now.
What's happening in the garden: My bulbs are coming up. That’s the good news. The severe snow storm we had unfortunately killed many of my nandinas and probably some of my broadleaf evergreens. I hope my azaleas made it. They’ve dropped a great many leaves. I've hired a new lawn and landscape team. So far so good. Just getting some of the shrubs trimmed makes things look so much better.
The quote I'm thinking about: Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized. – Allan Armitag
What I'm reading: I am reading News of the World by Paulette Jiles. Once in a while a book comes along that is so good, I read or listen to it again with my husband. This one is so good it is worth a second read. Highly recommended.