Found Friday #26: Daffodils

Remember these guys?

They’ve grown.

I’ve always loved daffodils. They make me think of sunshine and brighter days. I’ve caught these little beauties slightly past their prime, but I still think they’re lovely. And it makes me happy, knowing I’ll see them again next year.

Found Friday #25: More Fruit Trees, More Pottery Fragments

I mentioned in a previous post that almost every time we plant something new, we find little bits of this house’s story. Well, it’s happened again.

This week, Graham bought three new fruit trees for our mini-orchard (one sweet cherry, one sour cherry, and a Stayman-Winesap apple, if you’re interested). He planted them over the course of a couple of days, and turned up a new shard of pottery.

It’s sort of hard to tell if this one’s new or old, but it’s cool, either way.

I feel a little like a magpie at this point. I have quite the collection of small, shiny objects – little gifts from the universe, I think. We’ll see what we find in the next few weeks, as we work our way through the garden before the summer.

Found Friday #24: My friend wrote a book!

Y’all! I am so excited to share this! A friend of mine published his first book, Thomas Creeper and the Gloomsbury Secret.

The official release date is Sunday, March 21st, but I preordered several copies (one for me, one for Graham, one for the cat, one for the dog, a bunch for friends and family…), and they arrived today.

Yes, I have already read it cover to cover.

This book was so delightful and fun and just absolutely the perfect read for kids (and adults!) who like mysteries, spies, secret codes, ghost stories, pirates and submarines, history, magic, and unlikely teenage heroes. Yeah, J.R. Potter managed it all of that stuff into one fantastic little book. And he created all of the illustrations, as well.

Here’s the jacket summary:

Thirteen-year-old Thomas Creeper hasn’t been dealt the best hand. He lives in the seaside town of Gloomsbury—a damp and miserable place overrun by scabber weed, where the sun shines for only a few days each year. With the inexplicable death of his older brother, David, Thomas becomes heir to Creeper & Sons, the family’s funeral business, and his place as a mortician’s apprentice seems set. Thomas, however, dreams of a different kind of life (as a code-cracking spy) in a different kind of place (anywhere but Gloomsbury!).

When a body arrives on the doorstep of Creeper & Sons Funeral Home with signs of foul play, Thomas and his smart-as-a-whip sidekick, Jeni Myers, are thrust into the middle of a terrifying mystery, one which will reveal the link between Thomas’s family and the dark secret of his hometown. Joining forces with the motley crew of the Conch Whistle, a high-tech submarine that hides in offshore waters, Thomas and Jeni must rely upon their wits (and a few magical devices!) to defeat a powerful and horrifying foe.

I’m so proud of my friend and so happy for him! And the book is really, really, really good. It’s even won an award already – the 2019 Kraken Book Prize for Middle-Grade Fiction.

So, if you’d like to learn more and maybe purchase it and see for yourself, check out his website: https://www.jamesrobertpotter.com/

And for those of us still plugging away at our own great works, onward!

Found Friday #23: The First Flower

I spent most of yesterday staring at my computer screen, absolutely distracted by the gorgeous weather outside. Sunshine, a light breeze, warm air – the kind of gentle reawakening you expect after a long winter.

I try to be pretty disciplined in my work day. It’s crucial to me, actually, since I work for myself, that I set deadlines and stick to them, that I schedule my time and take that schedule seriously, and that I hold myself accountable to getting tasks done. Otherwise, I WILL just read books, take naps, daydream, and spend time with friends. (All good things, to be clear. But the writing still has to get done.)

Yesterday, though, I just had to get outside and play. An impromptu visit from a friend got me out of my pajamas and into the outside, and I’m not mad about it.

We walked around the back garden for a bit as the sun was just starting to set behind the willow tree.

Everywhere, there are little signs of spring.

It’s exhilarating to see the earth coming alive again.

And just as we were about to head out for a quick drink and a bite to eat (outdoors, of course), we spotted it:

This lovely little crocus is the first flower to bloom in our yard this season. More will follow, but I’m glad we happened upon this little beauty leading the way for them.

I love winter and snow, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not excited for spring.

Found Friday #21: Where’s Gatsby?

I had a whole post written and ready to go for today, and it was not about Gatsby (my wonderful Maine Coon, in case you missed the post about him). But then, this afternoon, he disappeared.

Seriously, I went upstairs to brush my teeth and I couldn’t find him anywhere.

Now, Gatsby’s been known to pull the occasional vanishing act. When he was a kitten, his favorite hiding spot was tucked into the box spring under the mattress. Now that he’s older, he favors the little cubbies and crannies in our master closet.

So, I checked all the usual spots. He just wasn’t there.

And then, I heard a meow. Just a quiet one, from the vicinity of the bed.

So, where was Gatsby, then? Well…

And he’s still there. Hasn’t moved. Sleeping and purring away.

For reference, he has, for the very first time in his fifteen years of life, snuggled in under the blanket I drape over the duvet every morning so that it doesn’t get covered in fur.

I guess he got wise to my game. Cats, y’all…

Found Friday #20: A new camera lens and an alien creature on a strange planet…

My husband got a new camera lens a couple of weeks ago, and he’s been getting used to it. Graham is a wonderful photographer, though he won’t say so, and he’s captured some really amazing images in the last several years.

I really like this one from Iceland. I just love the quality of the evening light.

And this one, from Bath.

This one’s an old favorite, taken from our balcony on an Alaskan cruise.

And I love this one, which he took while we were sitting with some friends on the beach one day. I don’t even know how he spotted this kid, since it was a really crowded day in the ocean.

The movement, the sunshine, the joy – he just nailed it.

Graham doesn’t often spend money on himself, and so when he said he wanted to buy a macro lens, I told him he should go for it. We should all feel empowered to pursue the things we love, and that includes setting ourselves up with the proper tools.

He’s not quite happy with the quality of the images he’s gotten so far, but he’s enjoying learning his way around the new lens. He spotted a good opportunity a few nights ago to get some practice.

It’s a Japanese beetle (they invade our house every winter) on a piece of volcanic rock, but it looks like an alien creature on a different planet.

I mean, sure, these images are a little blurry, but I still think they’re really cool. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’ll do once he’s a little more familiar and comfortable with shooting with a macro lens.

And in the meantime, I’ll keep encouraging him, and reminding him that perfection doesn’t exist in this universe. 😊

Found Friday #19: 2021’s First Snow

And it was a good one! It snowed for almost two days. I’m very pleased.

I don’t remember exactly why or when I decided to love winter best. I suspect I was just born that way. I love a winter landscape. I love the feel of cold air. I love how the world looks covered in a blanket of snow.

This time, I didn’t even mind that we got just a tiny bit of ice.

And I was surprised to find that the mill race had frozen over.

The world just feels a little more quiet, a little more slow, and a little more bright when it snows.

We’re expecting more wintry weather over the weekend, and I’m ready. I’ve got hot cocoa in the cabinet, cider and wine in the fridge, firewood by the hearth, and a list of books I’ve been meaning to read.

I feel like spring is just around the corner, but it’s not here yet. To everything there is a season, and this is the season for snow.

Found Friday #18: Bridal Brooch (…and a just for fun picture that will probably make you laugh…)

I pulled a picture from my wedding album for my last post. And then I got to thinking about something sort of random.

On my wedding day, I wore a brooch in my hair that belonged to my great grandmother. As I was flipping through pictures on Wednesday, I realized I couldn’t quite remember where I’d put it. So, a search ensued. I couldn’t get it out of my head until I found it. Nothing else mattered.

It was, of course, in the most logical but least likely place – not with my keepsakes, but with my jewelry.

It’s just a costume piece, but I love it nonetheless. And I’m glad I wore it, and carried my family with me, on such an important day.

It’s safely tucked away now.

Bonus photo! This one’s in the wedding album, too. I have no idea what’s happening or why my face looks the way it looks, but I’m pretty happy that someone captured this moment.