when a blogger loses her voice

I think somewhere in the hurry and scurry and the dos and the don’ts of modern blogging, I lost something. I’ve said it before, but I miss the good old days. When we blogged to make connections, not money. Friends, not followers. I miss the stories, and the reality of it all.  So much has changed in a decade.

And then, there’s this crazy life. A life that is full. Good things happen. Sad things happen. Life happens. Sometimes putting fingers onto keyboard doesn’t happen as often as it use to.  That’s okay.

After all you can’t write what you haven’t lived.

And one day, this blogger looks up and can’t remember the last time she really blogged. And when she does, it feels like dry words crumbling out. The poetry and music of words don’t flow like they use to.

So, she wonders (and maybe panics just a little): am I out of practice or have I lost my voice? And if I have, where on earth do I find it again?

It’s a good question. One I don’t know the answer to, because right now? I am that blogger.

I’m still in love with words. I have so many that tumble around in my head. But they feel choked and strange when I try to pull them out. I’m not sure if I’m so out of practice or if I’ve just lost my voice.

But I want to find it again. I know it has to be here somewhere…tangled into the weavings of life and seasons. I don’t aim to be a giant in the blogging world. But I just want my voice back.

Because you know, I miss this.  A lot.

Quick & Easy: Garbanzo Salad

I ate a bowl of garbanzo salad for lunch. For supper we had our version of fresh spring rolls. (for the third time in two weeks, I might add. Yum!)

What do these two meals have in common?

Both of them are simple, fast, and require minimal or no cooking. Those are the kinds of meals that I like to keep ingredients handy for on busy, summer days. When it is too hot to think of turning on the oven, and I’m too busy to spend much time on supper, it feels good to have some simple options that are delicious, cool, and quick!

Today I want to tell you about the first recipe in a mini series I’m starting that will tell you some of our favorite summer time menu items. Not all of them are cold, but they are all quick & easy! Some of them are simple enough that there’s no real recipe. Just a few ingredients mixed together and served!

Here’s the “recipe” for what I ate for lunch: Summer Garbanzo Salad

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What You Need

  • Cooked Garbanzos
  • Fresh Tomato, diced
  • Fresh Cucumber, diced
  • Dollop of Mayo (or dressing of choice)
  • Mustard (just a tiny sneeze)
  • Fresh Parsley, minced (optional)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt

What You Do

Put everything into a bowl, season to taste. Mix and serve with lettuce or just buy itself. Yum!

Variations

Here’s another way I like serving this salad!  Before I add the veggies, I’ll sometimes lightly mash a few of the beans. Mix it up, and serve it with a little extra dressing and some finely shredded lettuce inside of a whole grain pita pocket. It’s perfect for a summer picnic!

What do some of your Quick & Easy Summertime meals consist of? I’d love to hear!

P.S Don’t miss out on this amazing Homemaking eBundle that’s on sale for just a few days. 97 eBooks for $29.97. There’s even some simple summer recipe eBooks in there!

linked up today with One Project At a Time

the most wonderful time of the year

I wait for it every year. As soon as the air turns warm at night, I know it won’t be long. And after the sun goes down, and dusk starts to settle, I go out on the porch to sit and watch and wait for that looked for moment of magic.

Monday night, it happened.

I crawled under the covers and took one more look out the window into the darkness. And then I saw a tiny sparkle in the night air. And then another, and another. The fireflies are back!

And for me, it’s the happiest season of all.

Fireflies. Dogwood blossoms. Leaves of bright green. I can’t think of any happier season.

(The fireflies right here aren’t synchronized. But a few hours from here, they do. It books up so fast, but one day…I hope I can see that in person.)

Oh glorious spring!

 

Last night, Scott and I made our way out of walmart at 9:30 pm with our weekly groceries. I subconsciously cringed as I stepped out of the doors, waiting for that cold blast of air to hit me. Instead warm, humid wonderful spring was what I felt.

A week ago, I bundled up in a jacket and long shirt, socks and tennis shoes to brave a miserable rainstorm in pursuit of weekly produce. I was cold all day! This week couldn’t have been more different.

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I’m not going to say it too loud, but I think Spring is finally here. It is a month later than usual. My soil is still much too soggy to even think about tilling for our garden. But the leaves are finally popping out. The dogwoods are starting to bloom. There are violets everywhere. And I hung laundry on the line. It was glorious.

If you’re up for more Spring-talk, head over to Kindred Grace and read about five reasons why I love spring so much.

Now I’m going back to looking at the pretty new leaves and those beautiful dogwoods. I’ve been waiting for this!

the magic

Summer days here can be ordinary. Hot, humid, sunny, bird-chirping and wonderfully ordinary. But when the sun begins to set, and the shadows start creeping out from the woods and under the trees, that’s when the magic begins.

It starts with just a sparkle or two. A flash here and a flash there, in unexpected places. And then, as if set off by some silent signal, the night seems to explode into sparkles and flickers. For as far as eye can see, there are magical little lights blinking in a show that lasts until the early hours of the morning.

And then, as the sun begins to creep towards the horizons, the sparkles begin to fade. The birds begin to sing again and the magic is over for another night.

I could live here fifty years and never get tired of these summer nights. And if I ever move away, the thing I’ll carry with me from the days I’ve spent here are the sparkles of the fireflies just after the sunsets.

 

This video was taken by someone who was privileged to watch the synchronized fireflies in the smoky mountains a few hours from here. While ours are more individual flickers, the magical feeling I get from watching them is the same as I get when I watch this video.

this is how the garden grows

 

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And every single day, I get to watch it grow and grow…and grow. It is an exciting adventure, and I am loving every moment of it.

Ignore the silly face (I just knelt on a bee! Ouch….) but here’s a few days of difference in the size of my first bell pepper, and today’s take on the biggest tomatoes.

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[five minute friday] loud

Spring is loud here.

Thunderstorms, lightning, hail and that eerie wail of the tornado sirens at all hours of the night.

Rain that pours like ever so many buckets from the sky.

Birds that sing all night, joined by the softer sounds of frogs and crickets.

But, oh is it ever beautiful.

Redbud, Tulip Trees, Cherry, peach and Dogwoods—all bursting into bloom in their turn.

Carpets of violets, and patches of sunshine in the faces of daffys and narcissus.

And that vivid green of new leaves that I can’t stop looking at.

 

I soak it all in—the quiet, the loud, like so many unexpected gifts. Because each new season reminds me of the promise that God fulfills time after time, year after year that seasons will always be. It fills me with hope to see new life, new beauty and reminds me that He can even use ordinary me to make life beautiful.

 

written for five minute friday

splash of color

It is rainy and cold and the sky is grey, but today my world is ablaze with color. I look out the window and can hardly believe that this is my world. My camera doesn’t cooperate, and the image is but a shadow of the brilliance I see.  If only you could see it as I do…

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I think I could live here a dozen years or more, and still get lost in the beauty each autumn. The reminder that change is but the promise of a new beginning. And that even in death, there is beauty and hope.

its cold outside

leafIt is no doubt that autumn is full swing in this corner of the world. The leaves are tinted gold and orange and vibrant red and every morning at first light, I am thrilled once again by the beauty of it all. It is truly one of the best things about living where I do.

For the most part, the weather has been mild, perfect for walking. Yesterday, it was 85, in fact! But, as a testimony that even Alaskan Grown bones can experience acclimatization, when it dropped to around 50 for a high today, and with temps cooling off even more for the night, I came home to our unheated house, rescued my violets, closed up all the windows, got a cup of tea and crawled straight under the blankets and have sat here ever since. I’m in no hurry to leave. At least, here it is warm again.

While I love summer and sunshine and heat, I am glad that at least now I can drink tea, and have a good excuse to make hot drinks for Scott and I on the evenings we have together. Plus, I kind of missed my fuzzy socks.

Tomorrow holds little promise of being warmer, but I’m counting on these cold days to intensify the colors of the season and to make these autumn days feel cozy.

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Tropical Storms and Hot Drinks

Tropical Rainstorm Lee blew in. It dumped almost 10 inches in 24 hours, (and broke a record, by the way) and changed us from drying up to floating away on flash floods quite literally overnight. The biggest change for us, however, has been the drastic drop in temperatures. Having skipped the AC entirely this summer, our home was often 93 + inside for the past few months. Within that 24 hour period it has instead been hovering closer to 68. While that isn’t really cold, it surely feels like it when you aren’t use to it!

So I’ve pulled out something warm and cozy, heated myself up a cup of herbal coffee, and am thinking that it is a good evening to find those fuzzy socks and wear them again.

The sun will no doubt be back, and I’ll be more than happy to put on my sandals again and enjoy warmer weather before winter sets in. But for now, it feels good to have a warm drink in my hands, and to feel a little cool.

And, at this rate, I wonder what it’ll be like tomorrow?