Wednesday, May 15, 2013

around here

Lilacs, the flowers of my childhood.
 I inhale their fragrance like I'm dying for air 
and they are my oxygen.

 More big books about India:  A Suitable Boy, Shantaram and The Far Pavilions, and the non-fiction book, India, by Flora Annie Steel, pictured here, published in 1905. An excerpt:

"A quail calls from its hooded cage. A municipal sweeper, coming along with his broom, propels an evil black flood along the gutter; and that tall, spare, bronze-faced man in a white uniform who rides along at a foot's pace, his keen blue eyes everywhere, is the English police-officer.
He stops, says something to a yellow-legged orderly at his heels, then passes on.
Therein after, there are tears in some balcony or liquor shop, since order must be preserved in the bazaar."



Lilies of the valley, lemon tea bread, cherry blossoms, and those lilacs...

In May, everything seems possible.


  1. love the cats, love the painting, love the sample text!!!

  2. Hello Jen
    The scent from lilacs this year is better and stronger than ever.
    Your book looks fascinating. I will search for it. I love the painting it is fresh and strong brush strokes.

    Helen xx

  3. You seem to be interested in India. Actually last year, I welcomed a visitor from India I happened to get to know through blogging. It was a priceless opportunity and she was very courteous and faithful young lady.
    Cats look very peaceful and relaxed. I'm happy for them.
    I quite agree with helen on the comment about your painting.

  4. Our lilacs are blooming, too. The cats look happy. Your painting looks like the flowing quince near the creek. Very nice.

  5. beautiful artwork
    and always good books at your hands

    I like what you said Jen
    yes it does feel like everything is possible in May

    big hug from demie

  6. I love your painting Jen..a sense of free love and flowers in May
    The book sounds interesting.!
    I must look into wheather we can grow lilacs here. Its very hot for 7 months of the year..
    maybe in a pot.. will read up about them.

  7. I just finished reading 'the brief wondrous life of oscar wao' by junot diaz. I think you would like it. brilliantly written.

    and now I'm off to steal my neighbour's lilacs :)

    1. I did read it and really enjoyed it. His first book of stories is great too!

  8. loving the expressionism in your painting.

    the 1st cat photo is so funny. now that's relaxation.

    the nature scent of my childhood... hmmm... would have to be eucalyptus trees or sun-seared cut grass.

    1. I love how happy she is (the cat) especially because she was abandoned and now is comfortable enough here to thoroughly relax.

      Cut grass still gets me in a deep place. Eucalyptus reminds me of my California years.

  9. Flowers in your painting look like some passion just before flaming out.
    The bright rays in May and scent make me relax as your cats and feel very happy.

  10. Love your painting Jen. I love Lilacs too and the butterflies that adorn them when in flower. If you have any interest in India then 'Bobmbay Jules' is a great blog to follow.
    M x

  11. Hello Jen, The area in which I grew up for some reason did not feature lilacs. However, as I started exploring older houses and neighborhoods, I learned of their old-fashioned charm. If I had a garden, I still would prefer to plant them well away from the house though, because of their strong scent.

  12. What a perfect post, except for those poor stressed out cats!

    Our lilacs are in perfect bloom at this monment; I stop whatever I'm doing when the sweet smell wafts past me.

  13. Your lilacs look beautiful Jen. The books sounds interesting. I read The far pavilions years ago. Wasn't it made into a tv serial as well?

    Have a lovely evening!

    Madelief x

  14. Pretty lilacs, Jen. Your kitties are delightful...between you and Jane, I can always count on a dose of purring love! Bow street adds a much needed dose of cottontails... I am content to remain an empty nester without children and pets as long as y'all keep posting the photos. Your painting is wonderful...bold and beautiful! Read The Far Pavilions long ago and vaguely remember the mini series. It's available on Netflix....have to become reacquainted. Thanks for stretching my brain and supplying my kitty fix for the week. Happy Friday!

    1. Bow Street bunnies are the best!

      Before I got these cats I had almost a year without pets for the first time in my life and there are definitely benefits. But cats are pretty easy and these two keep each other company, which is such a pleasure.

  15. Our lilacs are but a faint memory. Though at the shop we get in bundles from Massachusetts. Glad none are from your yard!

    Your kittens looks so tender and loveable.At the moment mine are paroling the house,going door to door, looking for an escape hatch.

    Your painting is as lovely as the lilacs.

    xo Jane

  16. My lilacs are long gone, didn't last long this year thanks to this cold short Spring. In my next life I want to come back as a pet. Max, yours and Jane's cats are all living the life. Pretty painting.

  17. Love the smell of lilacs.There is nothing to beat a few lovely lilac flowers in a gorgeously simple vase.

  18. Wow those lilacs are just so beautiful, and perfect in that green vase. I have Shantaram beside my bed too. I confess that I keep picking it up and putting it down again, but I know that I'll eventually get through it! And those gorgeous cats enjoying the windowsill in the sun. What a life! x

  19. I love the way you describe lilacs. I feel the same way. It has been such an amazing year for them and the apple blossoms. Together, they make me want to live outside every moment until they fade.