get thee to a marketplace

... Because the blood oranges are here! They're a late-winter/early-spring obsession of mine for so many reasons!

I admit, I first started buying them because of the name. I've never been interested in the huge vampire trend, but I do like saying I'm eating a blood orange. So dramatic! Suddenly lemons sound bland.

And then they're just so gosh darn pretty. Like stained glass you can eat.

They don't taste plain orange; they taste more like orange-raspberry. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

They convince me that spring is on its way.


these things i keep

I am a notorious pack rat.

When I was little, this showed up in several collections I would keep running at all times: I would always save popsicle sticks and yogurt containers. (Rinsed. Usually.) As well as any bits of string, scraps of fabric, interesting paper, or stickers I could find.

I haven't grown out of this urge to save things, even when I don't know what I'm saving them for. From what horrible circumstance would a glass bottle collection save me? I have no idea.

Even in the reading of books, I squirrel things away, lining the literary nest of my brain. With what?

Quotes. I've filled two decently large blank books with quotations! The second of these I finished recently, and flipping through it is like flipping through the years of my post-college reading.

I love quotes. Love them. I save them because they're clever or intriguing. Ironic or lovely. Or because they are stunning mini-poems, and reading them takes my breath away. (Leif Enger and Peter S. Beagle got their own, separate, miniature quotebooks--there were too many astonishing lines for my main book!)

Reading them over is a wonderfully luxurious feast of brilliance.

I mean, how could I ever let go of these?

Thou dost snore distinctly; / There's meaning in thy snores. -- Shakespeare

For every life situation there is a fitting quote from the hand of Shakespeare. -- J.V. Hart

The world is not a prison house, but a kind of spiritual kindergarten where bewildered infants are trying to spell God with the wrong blocks. -- E.A. Robinson

Some mornings, when you get up, the day is so narrow you can hardly squeeze in. -- Charles Schulz

I am a product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under the tiles. Also, of endless books. -- C.S. Lewis

She wrestled with her better self, and finally succeeded in bringing it to the surface by the scruff of its neck. -- P.G. Wodehouse

My idea of hell is a very large party in a cold room. -- Stella Gibbons

Balloon travel is best, particularly between home and school. -- William Pene du Bois

A large nose betokens a large heart. -- Edmond Rostand

As long as there are postman, life will have zest. -- William James

Ah... just rereading them! I could do it for hours, browsing this collection, poking at different phrases... And maybe if I read them often enough, some of their cleverness will spill over to me.


a handful of photos...

... from my recent trip to Florida. Road trips = yay.

Bonus, there is sunlight in these pictures, a winter rarity.

Felt soooo gorgeous to have the windows down and that warm Florida breeze slapping at my hair. Weather like that could convert a die-hard winter fan like myself... am I finally thawing?

It was so wonderful, of course, to be down there again. Mom and I had so much to chat about on the drive, with our respective book projects, our writing lives...
And then amazing to see how fast my little niece is growing. She is just an incredible little person, and our time there flew by!
(That was *not* meant to be a photographic pun on the word fly... I'm just surprisingly clever, that's all...)
Fantastic, too, talking with my sister and brother-in-law, catching up on all our lives. (This, too, should be known: my little sister makes a mean batch of guacamole. Just so you know.)

Now we're counting down the days till we get to see each other again... Visits with sisters don't stick, they don't last. Leaving always comes too soon; arriving is never soon enough.


the way i think

So many things to say, here at the beginning of February! But if I settle in for a real blog update, do you know what you would hear?

This afternoon's debate: do I spend these wonderfully sunny hours writing, as I certainly should? Or knitting, to catch up with some important Etsy orders, and to squeeze out an important pre-Valentine's post?

Or... reading the gluttonous stack of library books I just brought home. On the couch, with winter sunlight pouring in. And tea. And warm socks. And the phone silenced.

(Guess what I really, really want to do.)

So we'll see. I'm off to do more tail-chasing and coin-flipping. And probably waste the sunshine with indecision. (I'm not actually as disciplined as a lot of people suppose I am.)

What would you do with a wonderful sunny afternoon? You would read, right? Of course you would. I should listen to you. You sound wise and confident.