Pause. Exhale. Ahhh…

I have to say I spent a delightful weekend. What made it delightful? I don’t know. I felt a certain freedom from obligation. I had no social events scheduled and I had managed to get some things done that had been hanging around on my to do list for too long.

Did I feel free as a bird?  Not quite, but still ...

Did I feel free as a bird? Not quite, but still …

Saturday morning I gave in to the urge to rearrange the bedroom and after 45 minutes of moving things about, realized that it had been best the way it was before. Rather than be aggravated at the waste of time, as I put everything back in place I felt relieved of having to think about rearranging it. And of course, I had dusted floors and furniture as I moved things, so everything sparkled.

In the gardens, the larkspur and poppies, lavender, and sweet peas are making themselves known.  Yes, I cut some!

In the gardens, the larkspur and poppies, lavender, and sweet peas are making themselves known. Yes, I cut some!

Of course, I was in the garden weeding and watering and checking out what might be ready for harvest soon. In the Plot Against Hunger gardens, there is lettuce (again!) some stealth turnips, beets, and peas, which will be quite a haul come the weekend. In my own garden, the beets are not ready, but the peas will be, and this week’s harvest included kale, radishes, and garlic scapes, which means the garlic will be ready for harvest in a couple weeks or so.

I have so missed my fresh garlic that these scales will be a treat--I'm not sure yet how I'll use them.

I have so missed my fresh garlic that these scapes will be a treat–I’m not sure yet how I’ll use them.

I saw some very endearing baby rabbits in the courtyard and in the garden, minus little blue jackets, of course, since they aren’t going back to dens and being served chamomile tea, I’m sure. Some young doves launched from a neighbor’s window ledge a week ago and everywhere I’m seeing young birds following their elders through the dangerous grass.

These little geese, larger than quail, smaller than a Cornish hen, had oddly luminous yellow coloring, but it does look like spring leaves, doesn't it?

These goslings, larger than quail, smaller than a Cornish hen, had oddly luminous yellow coloring, but it does look like spring leaves, doesn’t it?

Today, I indulged in some book buying. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and have gone off the e-book, I think because I’m not traveling. I bought Anne Tyler, Kent Haruf, and Kate Atkinson, because I had known they were coming out and saw them on the first table. Had I been wise, I would have headed straight for the cash register, but I had an inkling there would be a new Andrea Camilleri out and there was!!! So I bought it. Goodness, it’s a good thing I get a discount. I just finished The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro and am in the middle of An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine. Something the Contented Crafter said recently also has me dipping back into Seamus Heaney…and if you never enjoyed Beowulf, I recommend you dip into his translation, which is utterly riveting. Meanwhile, I’m detouring into an adventure by Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple, just for the lovely light distraction.

I lead a simple life, which enables certain indulgences...

I lead a simple life, which enables certain indulgences…

So. What a weekend. Inhale. Exhale. Into the new week!

This morning I made these muffins with fresh berries. they turned out crunchy on the outside and almost pudding-like on the inside, just the way I like...

This morning I made these muffins with fresh berries. they turned out crunchy on the outside and almost pudding-like on the inside, just the way I like…

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31 Responses to Pause. Exhale. Ahhh…

  1. This looks like a perfect weekend to me Lisa! I love the photo of the goslings in the grass – was this around your apartment? I saw a delightful apartment for sale last week and am day dreaming …. I thought of you at the time in your gorgeous enclave!

    I am so far behind in my book pile it is threatening to swamp me! I have a daughter in the industry who delights in sending me books by authors she knows I enjoy, authors she thinks I might enjoy and authors others recommend for my enjoyment. Meanwhile I knit, crochet, create things with beads and blingy bits, sketch and paint and read blog posts and take in the odd documentary and movie………. No time for reading! I did read Beowulf some – several – many – years ago but have no idea who did the translation now. I have been reading some of Heaney’s poems online since you sent me that snippet. He has a way with words!

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Oh, goodness. Sounds like an embarrassment of riches! I go through phases where I read a book a week and then I slow down. At the beach, I can go through several in a week. I had been wanting three of these books for some time, having heard they were out and liking the authors. Heaney should be in any respectable library, where I recommend The Spirit Level and Seeing Things. Have you read The Rain Stick? Not sure how much is on line, but that one is lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My library is deliberately being down-sized. Once I had a whole room would you believe? Now I have four little cubby cubes. I did find The Rain Stick on line and it made me smile because of course, once I had one of them too. I used it when I was teaching and kept it until recently. A little bit of magic leaning in a corner! I rarely immerse myself in a book any more – you make me realise how much I miss that – retirement was supposed to offer more opportunities for this kind of thing but I got a puppy instead……

        Liked by 2 people

      • arlingwoman says:

        But surely the puppy sleeps!!! (Probably when you do) 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is correct 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Anne Wheaton says:

    Pretty larkspur. I switch allegience between e-reader and books and have decided it’s good to have both. Does the new Kate Atkinson book pick up some of the threads from Ursula’s story?
    Sounds like a pretty good weekend to me.

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      Apparently is’t about Ursula’s brother, so I can’t imagine she doesn’t appear. I’m looking forward to it. I think I’m going to have both types of books as well. The e-books help with space, but I do like curling up with a physical book.

      Like

  3. It looks as if you were free to be joyfully busy Lisa. In truth, I am unlikely to buy another book. I have more than I will have time to read. But hooray for the real book, with its pages, its texture, and its smell. Are they your goslings? We too, have baby birds everywhere being fed by apparently smaller parents.

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  4. Those muffins look and sound delicious… as does your weekend. Ah, the simple pleasures!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. arlingwoman says:

    Yes, it was very relaxing!

    Like

  6. KerryCan says:

    This DOES sound like a wonderful weekend! I love a stretch of days when I have no specific commitments and can just do as I choose. I’d like to hear some of what you do with the garlic scapes–I think they are about the prettiest things at the farmer’s market but I never really know how to use them.

    Like

  7. Oh what contentment and joy for life this post radiates!!! It is all lovely, thank you for sharing!! xo Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

  8. pamsyarns says:

    Oh yes – sounds an idyllic weekend. What I call a ‘pottering’ weekend. I was interested in your book choices. I like Anne Tyler and Kate Atkinson myself so have jotted some of your other authors down to have a look at. Thanks for the ideas, Lisa.

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      Haruf’s writing is very pared and subtle, quietly getting at emotional truths. If you like a good mystery with humor and atmosphere, Camilleri is excellent. The other two are completely fun–modernday wild west sheriff (the earlier books were small and quite good; later ones are bigger and not as good) and 1920’s period mystery, like eating a bon-bon. Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

      • pamsyarns says:

        Thanks – in need of some fresh authors as my reading list has become a little stale. I also had a phase of ebooks but have returned to real books. Just so much more comforting.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Robin says:

    It sounds like a wonderful weekend to me. I’ve rearranged furniture only to find it was best the way I had it. Sometimes moving things around and then putting them back gives you a whole new perspective on the room. Interesting book choices. I have a few of them on my (ever growing) reading list. Your flowers are so pretty, and the veggies look delicious.

    Like

  10. I really enjoyed this post, and your ‘conversation’ with Pauline as well. I used to be an avid book reader, but find a lot of my reading is online these days: blogs, mostly and the occasional article. I’m in a book club that meets once a month. We read ten books a year. I almost always read the book, but have missed the last three months: once in DC, and now this month swamped with life.

    Those muffins look incredible. I too like a crispy outer covering with a warm center.

    I’ve never heard of garlic scapes. What do you do with them? I’m intrigued. Great job on the shared garden plot as well as your own. Summer is almost in full swing.

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      When you grow garlic, you need to cut the blossoms off. The scape is the blossom and its stem. It has a light garlic flavor and is good with eggs, pasta, sautéed veggies–and las night I cut one of them up in a pilaf. So you can use them in anything you might put an onion in as well as something you might like to impart a light garlic flavor to. Give them a try. If I’m right, you’re not far from Gilroy, where the very air can smell of garlic in June and July. I was at a garlic festival there once!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for explaining, Lisa. I had no idea. It sounds delicious. You are supposed to remove the flowers from basil as well, otherwise all the energy goes to flower production and the leaves lose their flavor.

        I’m also amazed that you’ve been to the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Wow, what a small world.

        I have friends that go, and I know an artist who sells her wares there, too, but it is always at the hottest time of the year with major traffic congestion and parking headaches so I never go.

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      • arlingwoman says:

        I used to have a friend in San Luis Obispo and we went there one year. It WAS hot and crowded, but I was younger and didn’t mind so much!

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      • Ah yes, I remember younger well. 😉

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  11. Idyllic weekend, Lisa! Reading is such a joy. Once engaged in a book, I can sit for hours until I finish it and the world just melts away. Lately, I find myself reading more how-to’s and technical articles about photography, post-processing, and cameras than I do the stories I love so much. But that’s okay. I do enjoy this too. And the bulk of my reading is on my e-reader. So much easier to carry around and I can highlight and take notes or simply copy and then paste into my note application. Not the same as turning pages, but I’m okay with that.

    Delicious-looking muffins! Now I want to go into the kitchen and find a snack 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. reocochran says:

    I love the goslings, the red cardinal, the flowers and the vegetables. I love the carefree country feeling I am taking a breath, inhaling… then, allowing a big ‘whoosh’ out of air. Yes, feeling so much better after a long and stressful day! Smiles, Robin

    Like

  13. Good heavens, Lisa, can I just be you for one week? In particular, this one you just wrote about? Garlic scapes–you lucky duck. I haven’t had those in a bazillion years. My dad used to harvest them from the back garden, saute them up in butter, then toss them with pasta, an egg and crumbled bacon for a delectable easy meal. I’m drooling.
    The books are wonderfully enticing. I’ve got two of them on my bedside table too.
    And the muffins. Okay, I just have to stop and hope that after you’ve eaten one you’ll be whistling a merry tune of spring happiness like the gorgeous cardinal on the fence post.
    I wish you just as blissful a week as this one seemed to be. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Oh, my! People have beens asking how to use them and Ive said, oh, eggs, sautéed, veggies, pasta. You just gave me a full recipe. I’ve got more of the little things this week–I’d send you some if I could!!!

      Like

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