It’s been a while since I’ve posted book reviews, so I thought it was about time to share three wonderful books I have recently enjoyed…
Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity & Loss is an excellent anthology of engaging short stories from eight accomplished authors that I finished in one evening. The stories are inspired from a personal event and touch on identity and loss in their own unique way and setting, and all are well written with characters who seem as real as you and me. It is easy to get lost in their struggles, ascertaining how they will cope and heal. Each character is found at a crossroads where a life-changing decision is vital. Following each piece is a biography of the author which provides a little insight into the inspiration for writing the story. I found this to be very interesting.
This entire collection is five-star worthy, but a few stories that stand out are “Where Secrets Go to Hide” by Keith Madsen. The style in which Keith writes about a young boy who begins to collect secrets just like his sister collects baseball cards is filled with clever nuances of humor and suspense. Collecting secrets, doesn’t that grab you already? “Two Boys” by Carol LaHines tells of a mother’s loss, an emotional and moving tale, and an incomprehensible event that made my heart ache, being a mother myself. “Diary Omissions: The House on Edgewood Road” by Elizabeth Gauffreau is tenderly written about a mother who is unhappy in her role in life, and how her behavior affects her husband and two children.
I recommend this anthology to anyone who enjoys a little drama, loves short stories that are character-driven and based on real-life events.
Avian Friends: Encouraging Poems Inspired by Backyard Birdsby Yvette Priorwas inspired by the author’s family planting several trees in their backyard for the purpose of creating shade and privacy. What they didn’t expect was the arrival of a whole host of feathered friends that would entertain. Yvette began observing the birds, their behavior, sounds, and daily activities, jotting down her thoughts along the way.
This collection is divided into five sections, and following each poem, the author includes her inspiration behind her poetic words…delivering personal reflections of relating her aviary findings to the lives of human emotions and well-being. Yvette inserts tidbits of wisdom for living a balanced life. These snippets into Yvette’s mind are as entertaining and evocative as her poetry.
Some of my favorite poems are “What Matters” which speaks about materialism and how some people use possessions as their barometer for success. “Summer Sun” is a cute poem that tells us it is quite okay to simply be. In these times of living busy lives, carving out some quiet time for relaxation is a healthy choice for finding that balance. “Fall Crunch” paints a beautiful image of a new autumnal season, as well as showing the simple beauty of a cardinal. I recommend this lovely book to not only bird lovers, but to those who would enjoy grasping the deeper meaning behind Yvette’s poems.
Last weekend, after attending The Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel, CA (previous post), we drove the iconic 17-mile drive in Pebble Beach which was absolutely beautiful. Any view of the ocean is one where taking a zillion photos comes effortlessly. I didn’t take a zillion, but came close, so I’m including only a few here. I hope you enjoy part of Nature’s photo album.
And below is a poem I posted last year. Life is all about the beauty surrounding us, not giving those negative thoughts rent space, and breathing in the peace wherever you may find it…
Ever So Gently
Sometimes we get lost in our thoughts… losing focus of stars shimmering above us, the sky turning heavenly blue for our pleasure, raindrops falling for our essential cleansing. We tumble too deeply into the frontal lobe allowing negative thoughts to awaken, permitting them to throw a tantrum.
So we must remember the wind will carry worries and doubts across rivers and oceans, majestic trees will sway with joy, sheltering from shadows, and light will continue to shine, even if only a slight glimmer peeks through. Its glow will grow ever so gently into a bright beacon of hope rising with the golden sun bringing the most beautiful clarity to our vision.
First of all, our little finch family has flown for good. It wasn’t long after the babies had hatched that the whole family had soon left. In our minds, it happened so fast, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to say good-bye. Well, it was fun watching the process – first time for everything, and now that Mr. & Mrs. Finch know our house is a safe haven, they just might return if they decide to grow their family. 🙂
Secondly, my husband and I are leaving this weekend for a camping adventure. It’ll be fun to get away, to immerse in some relaxation, hiking, and swimming. We both love time spent in the mountains, among the freshwater lakes and majestic pines. There’s just something special about that mountain air! Needless to say, I won’t be blogging, but I’ll return later next week. And for fun, I’m sharing some photos that may bring a smile…
Copper’s having fun, but who’s winning?
What a beautiful, fluffy, summer sky!
Finally, a sunflower bud, so we’re still eager for the blooms.
On a walk with Copper, look who we saw prancing!
And these flowers popped out, too. Just lovely and friendly, don’t you think?
I plan to do some blog-reading until we leave; otherwise, I’ll see you when I return to city life and technology. Until then, take care and stay safe. Lauren 🌼❤🌻
As I mentioned in my previous posts, Sweet & Cute Factor and Houseguests, we’ve had a finch mama and papa living in our gazebo for over a month and have been awaiting the arrival of their little chicks. At one time, we used a mirror to look inside the nest, and as you can see, it was exciting to find four eggs.
Yesterday, we saw two babies, so if there are two more, they’re not visual just yet. The little babies are so cute with their tiny heads popping up, and at one time, their little beaks were open. The second photo shows the (left) chick’s hair illuminated by the sunlight. It’s hard to see, but try to look closely.
Then while we watched the babies, Mama and Papa sat on nearby wires not far from the nest. Papa soon decided to join Mama, so together they sat, but keeping a close eye on us, too. We’ve been on the patio ever since they moved in, so they must not have felt threatened by us.
Anyway, it’s been wonderful entertainment to watch this cute little couple prepare for their babies to arrive, and now, to see the adorable little chicks. Someday soon, this amazing family will move on, but until then, we’ll continue to enjoy their company. ❤
This post ties into the one prior, Sweet & Cute Factor, from yesterday (June 2nd). If you haven’t already seen it, please check it out. I think you’ll enjoy. In this photo is the finch nest that ‘our’ adorable little pair created on the gazebo, tucked in and too high for us to take a peek, though.
And just a few moments ago, to our delight, the daddy eyed the bowl of water we placed on the bar. He sat on the back of the bar chair, contemplating his next move. Surprisingly, he hopped onto the side of the bowl, perched himself comfortably, and indulged in a cool sip. I’m sure it felt heavenly, since the temperature today is in the low nineties. Sadly, the photo I took didn’t turn out, so you’ll have to use your imaginations. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this addition to the finch tale, and to be continued…
For the past week, we’ve had some unexpected guests, a mama and daddy finch. They’ve given us the pleasure of watching their home-building process inside our gazebo, and sometime soon, cute little baby chicks will complete their feathered family.
Yesterday’s entertainment came when daddy began playing on my car side mirror. Actually, it appeared that he was fighting for his territory. Little did he know that what he saw was his own reflection, and the third photo, you see a glimpse of his tail only. So, I grabbed my cell, zoomed in, and took these photos before he took flight. If you also look closely enough, you’ll see that I have some cleaning up to do. 🙂
It was fun to watch this little guy, as long as he didn’t hurt himself, which wasn’t the case. When it was time for me to leave and I was nearer with Copper in tow, he took flight without hesitation. I was happy to catch his wings all a flutter, though, before he went on his merry way. I’ll keep you posted with their growing family…
The last photo is the homemade carrot cake I baked for a dinner we went to last night with friends. It was a potluck, and all the food was delicious, not to mention, the company was great. Do you like carrot cake? It’s my ultimate favorite…always…forever and ever…
If only that ‘share’ button was literal; I’d offer you a taste. 🙂