I have discovered, being in a place where everything is strange, that being able to do something familiar is very soothing. I bought a bushel of organic sweet corn from the farm down the road. They are Mennonite, and a full measure, pounded down and shaken is their way of doing things. A dozen is thirteen, half a dozen is seven - a bushel is 72, not 66.
Yesterday morning bright and early, before the heat of the summer sun, I sat myself in my blue rocker on the porch, which is where I always shuck corn, or beans or peas, and prepped the corn while I watched the hummers zooming in for breakfast, the little titmice enjoying the feeders, and Mama and Papa cardinal busy with their business in the big lilac bush at the edge of the garden.
I got out my familiar steamer pots, and my huge old pottery bowl that has served me for decades, and while I thanked the Creator Spirit for homely things, I blanched the corn, stripped it from the cobs, and tucked it into the freezer.
If you wonder why I chose to make the most powerful planet in the Seventh Galactic Alliance an agricultural powerhouse? That's why. As swatting a pesky fly translates to bloody murder in the fertile imagination, so the deep satisfaction of collecting sun-warmed corn, sitting on the porch to shuck it, and the security, the self-awareness of tucking it away for later use - speaks to the ultimate intelligence of knowing where food comes from, how to handle it, and how to put it to best use to care for our bodies. Food is intelligence. Food is knowledge, food is power. It's summer. Put down the processed food and stop at a farm stand! Enjoy! Ahimsa, I wish thee peace. SST ... See MoreSee Less
Joy of joys, I have found a paddle puddle! We moved here to retire - or, to be more accurate, to try retiring once again. Pennsylvania has scads of golf courses - you can hardly swing a cat between golf courses - which is what my husband most desired, but our early visits to lakes for me to paddle, were less than stellar.
Don't get me wrong, there are lakes everywhere. Big ones, small ones, shallow and deep. Unfortunately, the first few we visited that were within a reasonable distance, were absolutely surrounded by houses. Two of them had no horsepower limitations. One of them had no access. One of them had no water.
I was on the verge of sulking when we found Woodcock. Army Corps of Engineers. No houses. Very pretty. Lots of possibilities. About twelve miles away. Then yesterday we went for a drive down one of our area's myriad dirt roads and just five miles from the house, out in the game lands, there was this beautiful little jewel of a lake. Lots of lily pads, fish, frogs, birds and beaver dams. This morning we loaded the yaks and made for the water! Water is one of my passions, calm water a joy. As I was trying a new technique for getting out of my boat, I did dump myself with my yak on top of me. Water was warm. Technique wasn't so hot. Sometimes tried and true is best. Ha!
For all of you who have bought CONSCIENCE OF THE KING, thank you! And do bear in mind that it is the fourth book, not the first. If you really want to be up on what's happening and how Ardenai got to the place where we join him in CONSCIENCE, then you need to get on the Dragonhorse Rising website, and read the other books. Two of them are there, and the third will be appearing a chapter at a time starting this week. To read them in order: THE DAY THE CITY SHOOK, THE WIND WARRIOR, and, coming soon to a website near you, HOME IS WHERE THE HEART ACHES. Enjoy! And enjoy the rest of your summer. It's gorgeous here in NW Pennsylvania! Ahimsa, I wish thee peace. SST ... See MoreSee Less
I have discovered that, while I love an adventure, I thrive on a routine. These last few weeks have been an adventure devoid of routine, and I humbly beg your forgiveness for being out of touch. For awhile the computer was packed, then it was disconnected, then it was back online but I was not. I was unpacking boxes, trying to set up a kitchen - trying not to start yelling when the expensive, high-tech stove still didn't work after two visits from the gas man and three visits from the plumber - trying to arrange a strangely shaped living room so that it looked familiar - aching to see a familiar face, enter a familiar store, feel in any way connected to the world in which I find myself.
Don't get me wrong; I volunteered for the expedition. It is beautiful here. There are cardinals and titmice and big, fluffy squirrels. My front yard is an overgrown sea of perennials - cone flowers, Gloriosa daisies, Shasta daisies, perennial geraniums and a few things I've never seen before. But I am a vegetable gardener. I am into edibles. I pulled a trailer behind my Outback, clear across the United States, packed with my gardening "stuff" and some of my most beloved plants. I got the living hell scared out of me a time or two during those twelve, fourteen, sixteen hour days following that huge U-haul, and I feel that I earned every single item I crammed into that 6X8 covered utility trailer.
In that load were nine of those half-barrels from Costco that bear a passing resemblance to wine barrels. I bought a couple of tomato plants, and then a cucumber, a basil, a Swiss chard. They sat on the back deck for a few days and then my hero, who must have noticed that I was getting a little wall-eyed, ran down to the hardware store in Townville and came home with twenty bags of medium - ten of topsoil, ten of a mix of compost and manure. He backed up to the deck and I lined up eight of those barrels. Into each of them I dumped one bag of each kind, and then I planted, and it smelled good, and I got dirt under my fingernails, and life was good. I planted summer squash, and green beans, and yellow beans, and up they came.
This morning I took my glass of tea and my Kashi bar out onto the deck, and I plopped my butt into a lawn chair and gazed out over my garden and sighed, "Ah, familiarity." Many things are strange, but that is not, and my writing is not, and the brilliant music of Georges Cziffra and Sergei Rachmaninoff while I write is not. And of course he who makes home, home, is here, so I guess I am, as well. I can't really say welcome home, just yet, but I can say, welcome back. Ahimsa, I wish thee peace. SST ... See MoreSee Less
Our review of Conscience of the King went live DarkestGoth Magazine with a 5/5 Moon rating (and the Brilliant Moon Award) day and date with your ability to buy the book in hardcover & digital!
Check it out (and the 30% discount that Barnes & Noble is offering on the book) at: www.facebook.com/308048732571101/posts/2812698702106079?sfns=moNEW: Conscience of the King [BOOK REVIEW] Reviewed by Jo Ann Safranik Excerpt: “Imagine being a young man—yes, on the planet, Equus, 100 is young— content with your role as a quantum computational genius and teacher of kindergartners, and suddenly, on that 100th natal day, being declared, without warning or recourse, the absolute ruler of a sprawling galactic alliance faced with a deadly threat. Ah’Krill Ardenai Morningstar—until that fateful morning Ah’rane Ardenai Krush—has, following 700 years of rule by the priestesses of the Great House—risen to become the Thirteenth Dragonhorse, the only secular ruler the Affined Equi Worlds and the Seventh Galactic Alliance will know for 150 years.“ Score: 5 Moons (out of 5) Check it out at: is.gd/SVfSHy #Alien, #Horses, #Intrigue, #Leader, #Legend, #Mystery, #Prophecy, #BrilliantMoonAward, #Telepathic ... See MoreSee Less