Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Reading List

For me summer has always meant books upon books. When I was young, my mom and I used to bring our red, radio flyer wagon to the library and fill it up with books. It always felt so magical to me; a place full of books where I could get as many as I wanted for free and a season that felt like an endless amount of time to read them all. Most summers my family would travel to Lake Tahoe and to the Sierra Nevadas to go backpacking or camping, this is where the majority of my summer reading was done. Either on the dock by the beautiful and big Lake Tahoe, or in the tent in some amazing mountains filled with peaks and meadows. Summer has always been for books and mountains, and even though now I have the freedom to read all year long (perks of graduating from college!), the summer is still the most inspiring time to delve into the pages of a book. Here is a list on what I plan on reading this summer:

(Left) Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. This is my favorite book of all time. I read this book every summer and it always changes me. Summer is not summer without Jem, Scout, Boo Radley, and Atticus. (Right) Paula Coelho's The Alchemist. I am a little late on reading this book, I believe it was very popular in the 90's. I am currently reading this right now and it is helping me find direction during a season of having no clue what my "Personal Legend" is. 
 (Left) Jack Kerouac's On the Road. This has been on my list for a while and I hope to finally get around to reading it this summer (Right) Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being. My mom recommended this book to me. It is a story of two women connected from Japan and the San Juan Islands here in Washington. I am always a sucker for books set in the Pacific Northwest. 
 (Left) Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette. Once again, I am a sucker for books set in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Seattle. (Right) The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I just finished this book. It is about a old man who walks across England, it was so beautiful!
 (Left) Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins. I don't know much about this book except that everyone seems to love it. So I guess I better read it. (Right) Anita Diamant's The Red Tent. A fictional take on the life of women during biblical times. I have always been curious what it must have been like to be "unclean" for 12 weeks out of the year, and what the red tent was really like.

(Left) Alys Fowler's Garden Anywhere. I picked up this book from the library last week and I am learning all about container gardening, how to make your own compost, and thrifty foraging. We plan on starting our own little garden this summer. (Right) Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. Ah! A book on how to write from one of my favorite writers! 

 (Left) Poems by Wendell Berry. I have never read Wendell Berry before but I have heard wonderful things. I need more poetry in my life. (Right) Sheldon Vanauken's A Severe Mercy. I read this book about three years ago and it taught me so much about love, loss, and Christ. I first read this book when Mike and I started dating and it was so beautiful. Please ditch the cheesy dating books and read this. I will never forget the quote "Love is like a glass of water in the middle of the night." I want to reread this one before our wedding this summer. 
 (Left) Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art. I am currently trying to understand what art means to me in my life. I have always felt that I had some sort of "artist" heart in me, but not in any sort of traditional way. I guess I believe life is a blank canvas and how we live is our art. Plus Madeleine L'Engle knows her stuff. (Right) Lauren Winner's Girl Meets God. I read her book Still two summer ago and it shaped my faith in many ways. I am excited to read more of her work. 

Well there you go, I better get to reading!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Weekend Away

This past week was an unpredictable and heartbreaking one. I lost one of my jobs (which was a bittersweet situation) and then there was the horrible tragedy that happened at Mike and I's alma mater, SPU. I won't say much on the subject because right now words are failing me. Perhaps another time I will write about it, but for now the event is a little too fresh. Mike and I had been planning to visit friends in Port Townsend, WA and it was perfect timing; the trip was so refreshing and rejuvenating. 
 We stopped at an awesome nursery on the way and got some seedlings for our future garden!
Downtown Port Townsend. This place is amazing!
 Mike and his friend Sam. They are a pair of goons, in the best way possible. 
 They took us to what they called "The Ends of the Earth"
 We climbed down the cliff side on a rope and walked along the beach hunting for sea glass
 Capturing light during golden hour
 Sam and Aubrey live in the most amazing little spot. They rent a portion of the house on the right and it is surrounded by a community garden and an amazing yurt. Their landlords are gracious enough to share the yurt with Sam and Aubrey.
 The moment I walked into their yard I was in heaven
 Our little home for the weekend. Mike and I now have dreams of building one of our own. 
Exploring Fort Warden State Park.
I was such a lovely weekend full of exploring, friends, laughter, good food, games, and relaxation. Mike and I are going to keep Port Townsend on our list of places we could live in the future. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Around this house

Living in this little house has been such a joy. I have been spending a lot of time at home because my employment is pretty minimum right now (not ideal, but enjoying it while I can). My favorite spot is the dining room table, probably because it is one of the only "finished" rooms in the place. My morning routine on days I don't work has been wake up, make oatmeal and coffee, and then read and stare out the window for as long as possible; it's kind of great. The house still needs some key things, but I am content with what have and learning to make due. We are looking forward to making garden boxes, getting a couch, thrifting a few more chairs, building a bench and a desk, and purchasing a few rugs. 
Enjoying our couchless living room
I loved watching the rhododendron tree bloom, but I am not looking forward to picking up all the flowers off the ground.
The cottage was filled for the first time with friends to put our new grill to the test. We had pulled pork, grilled corn, watermelon, and cobbler. It was fantastic. 
I started working on the gallery wall. Our staircase is amazing and I am excited to add to this space as time goes on.
I've been devouring fresh berries and I finally put my goodwill pot to good use
Finds from our neighborhood's little free library 
I've been having way too much fun at the thrift store lately.