Friday | Almost May

This week has been another cold one. Cloudy, windy, a few rain showers. I’m trying not to complain because the weather isn’t anything worth complaining about. AND – I’d be really grateful for a day full of sunshine. Just putting it out there to the universe. But despite the gray and chill, we’ve got some beautiful tulips blooming. How about a cup of coffee and a chat with me this morning?

This clump of tulips is looking gorgeous. Some of the flowers have opened this week, but it’s been hard to catch them while the sun is shining. This week we managed to put peas, carrots, and radishes into the ground. We fertilized all of our fruit trees, roses, and the strawberry patch. I’m carefully checking the asparagus bed every day, admiring the lilacs that are making their way, and am joyous over the fact that the peony we planted last year seems to be coming back. Fingers crossed that we get at least one bloom from it.

Matthew has started some seeds in the basement. We’re a little late this year, but it’s something. I can’t remember everything he started, but I know that tomatoes are on the list and I’m very happy about that.

You’d think these two had been living together forever and not just 4 months. And I can’t believe it’s been 4 months since Agnes came into our house and disappeared into our basement for a week! She’s still mostly nocturnal – the sounds we hear at night are quite amusing – but I get lots of good Agnes cuddles which makes me happy. And August has been a much kinder cat since her arrival. I think he’s taking his hunting instincts out on her and not on me anymore, which I’m very thankful for. (Sorry Agnes!)

Rosamunde Pilcher update!

I was excited to read that a few of you are interested in reading some Pilcher this fall. Based on your comments, I’ve tweaked my plan a tiny bit.

  • August – The Shell Seekers.
  • September – September (ha!). Tina described this as a sequel to The Shell Seekers and Mary mentioned that she was interested in reading this then. I’m not sure if I’ll be up for another Pilcher so quickly, but I’ll see how I feel in September.
  • December – Winter Solstice. I’d originally planned on reading this in November, but decided to shift it to December after adding September into the mix.

So if you’re looking for some cozy reading as the season begins to shift, I’d love it if you helped me along with these books. No pressure, no deadlines, drop in and out depending on what works for you. It’s taken me a while to appreciate how much better reading is with friends. The encouragement that I get from all of you is amazing and I know my reading life wouldn’t be as dynamic or as varied without you all. So thank you!

And in other reading news, I’ve hit a good stride with Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I was really struggling to find my feet earlier this week, but once I hit the 100-page mark I found that I was settling in with the language and was quite interested in what was happening. Plus, thanks to a Fiction Matters buddy read, I now know that she mentions Piranesi later in the book and there are some interesting tie-ins. And apparently the ending is amazing? I cannot wait. My edition is one of the smaller mass paperback editions and is over 1000 pages. But I know I can do it!

I also started The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse on Wednesday afternoon. I’m just about 60 pages in and this might be my favorite Louise Erdrich ever. I’m trying to figure out how to split my reading time between JS&MN and this one in a way that feels right. Because when I’m reading one, I only want to read that one until it’s finished! And vice versa. I’ll probably end up focusing on one soon… we’ll see which ones wins out!


In honor of Poem in Your Pocket Day and National Poetry Month, I’m going to end with this poem from Mary Oliver. I’ve come across it in several of my poetry collections and have it on an index card taped up next to my desk. I think it’s my favorite by her. I hope it strikes you in some way.

Praying

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
– Mary Oliver

24 thoughts on “Friday | Almost May

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  1. Beautiful poem to end this lovely post. It always surprises me how quickly your Spring catches up with ours in England, and then totally overtakes us. My tulips are still in full flower, they are so over the top as flowers I think. Wow that’s a lot of reading . I may try the Shell seekers,, one of those books I always meant to read.. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Cathy! I’m glad your tulips are still blooming – they’re such a lovely greeting every day! I’d love if it if you tried The Shell Seekers with me. I always get nervous starting big books, but it’s much easier with friends!

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  2. I do love that poem. Such good advice to any writer. Even closed, those tulips are a joy. Made a note to myself to read “The Shell Seekers” in July. Such a sweet picture of your cats. Wonderful how they’ve taken to each other. So glad you found your groove with “Jonathan Strange.” It’s somewhat of a challenge to read, and I must confess that I skipped many of the footnotes. Nevertheless, I loved the main story of the two magicians, and, yes, the ending is amazing. Once you’re done with “Jonathan Strange,” you need to put “Piranesi” on your list. Very, very different from “Jonathan Strange” but just as arresting and brilliant in its own way.

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    1. Yay! So glad you you’re going to try The Shell Seekers. The footnotes on Jonathan Strange are painful. I’ve been skimming them, but am nervous that I’m going to miss something important. I read Piranesi last year, but I have a feeling that I’m going to be rereading it after finishing this one!! Enjoy your weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I too am loving this Erdrich! I’m at about page 170, I think, and it just keeps getting better. I’m really enjoying how beautiful the language is and how she manages to make it both funny and heartbreaking. I would be interested in reading Winter Solstice later in the year; a lot of people I follow were reading it last year, but I never got around to it.

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  4. I love Mary Oliver, she’s my favourite. I also love those tulips! Our snow has melted so I am going to be busy busy busy in the yard, catching up on yardwork.

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    1. I resisted Mary Oliver for a long time because I thought she was the “obvious” choice for a favorite poet, but she’s “obvious” for a reason! I just love her. So glad your snow has finally melted and you get to put your hands in the dirt!

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  5. I love Tulips and Mary Oliver too! The Shell Seekers is one of my favorite books. I had a goal of reading all of Rosamunde Pilcher’s books and never accomplished it. I recently enjoyed watching the Coming Home series on ACORN TV. And I continue to be amazed at how you accomplish so much Katie. I wish I could read as fast as you do and could knit as well as you. Have a good weekend.

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    1. I am so excited to hear that there’s a series about Coming Home! I kept thinking that it’d be perfect on screen and was picturing Lily James as Judith Dunbar the whole time!! Maybe you could join us and read 1 or 2 of her books this fall/winter?

      Thanks for your kind words! I hope you have a great weekend!

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      1. There’s nothing special! I’m just planning to read the books and chat about them a lot on my blog and comment on others’ blogs about the books. It’s relaxed and easy with no real expectations ๐Ÿ™‚ My kind of book club!

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      2. Also – I requested to follow your blog! No worries if itโ€™s very private and youโ€™re not comfortable with adding me ๐Ÿ˜Š

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      3. That is a blog I started and never did anything with so it is inactive. I even forget I have it and need to figure out how to take it down. However, maybe, in the future I’ll seriously try blogging and then of course I’d love to have you follow. Thanks. I will let you know if and when I start blogging!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Such beautiful tulips Katie and that poem is perfection! I will be joining you for Winter Solstice as I just recently read the Shell Seekers and September ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  7. Those tulips are so beautiful! You’ve inspired me to plant some more next fall. My blooms are already gone.

    Those cats are TOO CUTE! I’m glad they’re becoming friends. I’m still working on my husband to get a cat. He and my son are both hesitant and I really want one!

    Hope you have a good weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Laila! We’re finding that we have to plant tulips and hyacinths every year to make sure they come back thick and beautiful each spring. The blooms are kinda sad when we don’t! And these cats. My goodness, they’re rascals. I hope a kitty falls into your lap soon. The right one will come along and no one in your family will be able to refuse!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The tulips are beautiful. I think I will get some bulbs this year and see how they do. I have never grown tulips before. I would like to join in on the reading. One of the things I miss from my book club is the different selections from everyone. I havenโ€™t read anything by Pilcher before so that will be a new for me. I only wish my inside kitties got along this well. We are still getting our new kitty Gus settled in itโ€™s only been a few weeks so fingers crossed that they will let be each other or even tolerate each other lol. The weather here has been cool in the mornings and almost hit by midday. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Good luck with Gus! It’s tough being the new kitty in town. I’d love it if you joined along with the Pilcher books! It’s a completely relaxed thing – no deadlines or anything. Just whatever feels right to the reader! Tulips are such beautiful flowers. I can’t wait to see your pictures next spring ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. oh my, Katie – those tulips!!!! and I’m excited about TWO Pilcher re-reads this fall/winter. Perfect timing (and thank you for adding in September). I did declare on Instagram today that Last Report is my 7th and favorite Erdrich – so far!

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    1. We’re still enjoying the tulips – they’re so beautiful! And I’m also excited about Pilcher later this year. I picked up The Shell Seekers on Indie Bookstore Day ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m so happy to hear that Last Report finishes strong because the beginning chapters are AMAZING! Can’t wait to dive in more!

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