When Your Town is Ugly

The perfect example of the beauty and ugliness that makes up my neighborhood.

I remember I asked this once before, but I’d like to pose the question again: what do you love or hate about where you live? (and) Do you find yourself ever editing your neighborhood to show the best of it, or do you share the nitty gritty no matter what?

Ruins in Lake Como

While hiking, I had the most beautiful, open conversation with Claudio, both of us struggling to converse in the other’s native tongues, but nevertheless trying our best. Between my broken Italian, his (fabulous imo) English, and both our expressive gestures, we talked about politics, life, future goals, and the environment. To this day I can’t quite remember every word that passed between us, but I can remember the fulfilling, entirely uplifting weight in my heart and soul. It was unlike any conversation I ever had, and probably will ever have. There was no way to try and bullshit each other; we didn’t have the ability to even try.

What I do also remember, though again more the feeling then the physical words, was learning about a site of ruins we came across on our hike. Hearing Claudio speak so deeply about the history of these hills, a place where he grew up as a young boy and later worked to bring supplies to other likeminded people, was an experience in and of itself. 

My Grandfather's Garden — The Zinnia Edition

Though it’s October (almost November) in the Pacific Northwest, my grandfather continues to cultivate the loveliest garden. Currently, his zinnias are in bloom and they’re splashed about the backyard like a wild watercoloring of summer. No rain or grey clouds can take away from their vibrant colored petals.

Just like him, my mother also has a touch of the gardening witchcraft in her veins. She attempted to pass these skills down to me, but let’s just say I work best with wildflowers (aka, minimum workload) species.

Going Home

Looking at posts and photos from a year ago, I was reminded of our wonderfully magical drive home form last summer’s road trip.

Road tripping is always a bittersweet thing; you start with so much hope and excitement for what is ahead of you and as the days progresses, that excitement never dwindles, but instead, your heart begins to long for home. 

By this point, even though I would've loved nothing more than to take a month and drive around, I think my body knew it was ready for home; for a familiar bed and familiar faces. As we left Conner Prairie, all that was between us and our driveway was a stretch of highway longer than we could see. Passing through central Indiana, we were blessed with the most beautiful and surreal sunset. If you look, you can see individual "fingers" stretch out as the sun bid us adieu.

Why Everyone Should have a Literary Heroine

Have you ever imagined your favorite literary heroine and suddenly felt a surge in your blood as if their hands are on your shoulders, their power and strength and compassion pooling through every part of your body, lighting you up from within?

Perhaps you're on the cusp of something great like a new adventure or passionate love. Maybe you're preparing for something you've dreaded like finals or a new job. It's in these moments that we dig deep and think of women we've idolized in literature, both fiction and non. 

The Season for Slowing Down

Can you believe we’re already in the 10th month of the year? It feels like just last week that I was waiting for summer blossoms to open themselves to warm sunshine and now the clouds are settling in. Gone are the afternoons of basking in the sun, swimming in crystalline waters, and walking hand-in-hand in the heady embrace of a sultry evening. Fret not! While I love a good lazy day in the sun, there are so many wonderful things to look forward to as my favorite month of the year begins.

Cozy sweaters? Absolutely. Warm drinks under thick blankets? Check. The warm, brassy colors of the surrounding woods? Need I say more? Countless, splendid lists have been growing on my desk of experiences and recipes and ideas for the coming weeks. Pinterest is a bottomless trove of treasures for your “Top 10 Must Autumnal Dos” and I wholeheartedly recommend checking out some of these lists to plan yourself the most fantastic autumnal time.

Review: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

I'll be honest: when I first saw the cover for The Women in the Castle, I thought it  was a fictional tale, perhaps set in medieval times or in a fantastical land, where a queen or princess was being held against her will. How far off was I?

The female protagonists are anything but helpless.

The novel by Jessica Shattuck opens to a grand party set in 1938 Germany, the country on the cusp of a new and dangerous time.