Sunday, June 30, 2013

around here

 I plant a lot of pink and blue flowers (mostly in pots) and am rarely drawn to yellow when I visit the nursery, but that yellow and blue combination in my garden is my absolute favorite--so fresh. One day I want to visit Monet's house at Giverny and see his blue kitchen and yellow dining room. (Pictures here and here.)  For ideas on how to replicate his dining room look here.

I've been reading Helen MacInnes's spy novels. The first one, Above Suspicion, was published in 1941. The third one, Assignment in Brittany, published in 1942 was (according to wikipedia) required reading for Allied intelligence agents working with the French resistance against the Nazis.

MacInnes, born in Scotland, was a librarian and amateur actor, and her husband was a classics scholar and MI6 British intelligence agent. Her novels are cool, smart, and witty with wonderful international settings. I bought the one pictured above at a second-hand store, got a couple more from the library and like them so much I just ordered 17 of her vintage paperbacks (love those old covers) on ebay.

They're a little old-fashioned, but a pleasure to read (and were very modern in their time). I don't think MacInnes gets the attention she deserves in discussions of the best espionage novelists.

They make great summer reading. What's on your summer reading wishlist?

p.s. You can follow my blog with Bloglovin. I'm not sure what google reader closing down means for the blogger reader, but just in case I transferred my list to bloglovin'--it's super easy to use.  Learn more here. p.p.s. looks like it was much ado about nothing.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

a clumsy country weekend

We're having a party in a couple weeks 
so much of the weekend was spent sprucing things up. 
I spray painted four chairs and my feet turned green.

I slipped on mossy rocks while wading in the brook and got soaked. 
It was a hot day, so it felt good to cool off, 
but my camera broke.

I stopped by a barn sale and bought these chairs from the woman who made them.
(Guess how much I paid for them.)

I love the delicate twigs on the back of the one on the right, and the contrast of red wood on the other.
Unfortunately I broke the top cross stick on that one when I put it in my car.

She also made this easel, which I think is clever and charming.

A friend with a truck picked up the pie safe for me. 
I'm glad it didn't fit into my car or I'm sure I would have damaged it.

Monday, June 24, 2013

flowers in the house

My garden is good to me--
better than I deserve, since I give it so little care.

From Shelley and Jane I've learned to be loose and easy with my posies,
not afraid to make unexpected choices.

A bit of green hydrangea nestles with a peony,
a couple of small roses for company.
Spiky salvia  makes it lively.

Or, just add a cat.

Wildflowers have busted out in the country. 
I love the sweet simplicity of daisies.

Visit  Jane's Flowers in the House--it  will make you happy to see flowers in houses 'round the world.

Friday, June 21, 2013

summer evenings

I'm off for a computer-free weekend in the country,
but I'll see you Monday at Jane's Flowers in the House.

Enjoy the long evenings of early summer--you'll find me outside with a book.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

charming houses, secret gardens

 Provincetown is filled with pretty gardens and houses.

See the bird at the birdhouse?

Houses on alleys and paths 

and behind other houses.

I'm sort of stunned at how much I loved Provincetown. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

peonies & rain

Around here, it's peonies and rain.

When I was in Provincetown I went on a whale watching boat--it was raining and windy, I was soaked and cold, but somehow that made the whole experience more fun, more real, and yes we saw whales which was awesome. Truly.

I love boats and spent a lot of time looking at the fishing boats. That's a hard life, and a dangerous one--commercial fishing is the deadliest job in the U.S. (more on that here) I am fascinated by it though. If you haven't read The Perfect Storm,  you should. It's a page-turner.

The kitties say this is the way to spend a rainy day.

Hope you are warm and dry.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

in Provincetown

Snapshots from my trip to Provincetown. A magical place--I've fallen under the spell...

Will write more about it soon.

Thanks to Steve from An Urban Cottage for tips on the many art galleries.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I always need a leaf or a flower,

For the past few weeks I've spent much less time at the computer.

My attention span was shredded, and it scared me. 

But it's coming back. 

I'm reading the hard copy of the newspaper again instead of skimming online.

I feel like I can breathe again.

There is so much that I don't need to know.

Last weekend I didn't go on the computer at all, 
and the only thing I missed was reading your blogs. 

Tomorrow I am heading off for a long weekend, with no computer,
somewhere with an ocean.

This poem:

           Of What Surrounds Me

Whatever it is I am saying, I always
     need a leaf or a flower, if not an
entire field. As for sky, I am so wildly
     in love with each day's inventions, cool blue
or cat gray or full
     of the ship of clouds, I simply can't
say whatever it is I am saying without
     at least one skyful. That leaves water, a
creek or a well, river or ocean, it has to be
     there. For the heart to be there. For the pen
to be poised. For the idea to come.

                                  ---Mary Oliver

See you in a few days...

xo,  Jen

Sunday, June 2, 2013

a tranquil country weekend

 Catnap in the hammock after the long drive Friday.

Staring contest with this woodchuck. (I blinked first.)


wading (and slipping on mossy rocks)


Also, lots of friends,
work around the house,
good food 
and reading