Friday, June 8, 2018

for today ~ june edition

Looking out my window ~
I have a beautiful view of clematis out my bedroom window.

I am thinking ~
about Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, Chester Bennington ~ and several people I personally knew who took their own lives. Depression is a horrible mental and systemic disease. PLEASE - if you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to Speaking of Suicide - Resources for more resources.

I am thankful ~
for my yoga instructor and the class itself. After my meniscus surgery last year, I couldn't fully do yoga for a long time because of the limitations on my knee. Once my knee healed, I started going to a class in a wellness center right up the road from my house. But the instructor was just not a good fit for me. So, a couple of months ago, I tried a couple of classes at a yoga studio in a neighboring town. I loved the instructor and the vibe of the studio, so I bought a 10-class package so that I would stay committed. I go every Wednesday morning and I am hooked! I look so forward to this class every week. It's a gentle class with a lot of stretching and strengthening exercises. The instructor is friendly, compassionate, professional, knows how to teach and accommodate those poses where one might need a block or strap, has that beautiful, mellow "yoga voice", and incorporates different breathing techniques and some meditation into the class, too. In just four weeks, my chronic lower back pain is so much better.

One of my favorite things ~
fresh flowers to grace the kitchen table.

I am creating ~
pretty garden spaces.

I am wearing ~
a lime green (but not bright) cotton top and Levis capris.

I am reading ~
I'm a big fan of Ruth Reichl, the food writer. Two of her novels, Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me With Apples, were two of my favorite reads. Garlic and Sapphires is a little disappointing. I get that she uses disguises to get herself into restaurants so that no one recognizes her, but you can only read so much about this until it gets boring. She gives little hints about her husband and son that make the reader want more of that personal touch.

I'm also a huge fan of Susan Branch ~ her writings and illustrations are cheerful, homey, and comforting. Martha's Vineyard - Isle of Dreams is an illustrated memoir. It's actually part of a trilogy, with The Fairy Tale Girl being the first book, this one - Martha's Vineyard being the second, and A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside being the third. However, they don't have to be read in order - or even as a trilogy. I read A Fine Romance last year. I just happened to come across Martha's Vineyard in my library. I'll be starting this book as soon as I'm done with Ruth Reichl's book.

From amazon:

  I"n the winter of 1982, long before she became the watercolor artist and author we know today, Susan Branch, 34-years-old and heartbroken from the sudden and unexpected end of her marriage in California, "ran away from home" to the Island of Martha's Vineyard hoping to gain perspective.
      Based on the diaries she has kept all her life, Susan Branch relates her inspirational tale of lost love and self discovery, her search for roots, purpose, and destiny with laugh-out-loud honesty. A road map for overcoming loss, following your heart, and making dreams come true, charmingly hand-lettered and watercolored in Susan's inimitable style, there are diary excerpts, recipes, and hundreds of photographs."

I am listening to ~

I am hoping ~
for a lot of things...that Brian's leg injury heals in good time with PT; for the roofing fix to go smoothly (still waiting on two more bids); for my father-in-law to receive good care in the nursing home he was placed in; for my friend's healing from breast cancer surgery. And on and on...

In my kitchen ~
garlic naan bread pizzas with fresh mozzarella last night for dinner; chicken fajitas with homemade guacamole for tonight's dinner; gluten-free pasta salad with tons of cut up veggies and diced, cooked chicken kept in the fridge for lunches. This weekend I'm making a favorite vegetarian dish - Golden Red Lentil Dal with Cilantro Rice.

Post Script ~
(Add a favorite link that you would like to pass along. It can be someone else's website, etsy shop, Instagram feed, Facebook link, OR it can be your own.)

My new go-to potato salad that I actually like even better than traditional mayo-laden potato salad. I first had this potato salad at my aunt's house and knew it had to be in my repertoire. Just make sure whenever you buy potatoes, to buy organic. Conventional potatoes are sprayed with 37 different pesticides (see here for a good article on this subject - you can find out much more by a simple Google search). Needless to say, potatoes are also on the Dirty Dozen Produce List.

Shared quote ~
"We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more are we capable of seeing.
(Maria Mitchell - 1878)

A moment from my day ~
making guacamole.

If you're interested in doing a post for The Simple Woman's Daybook, see the guidelines here.


  1. I always enjoy learning more about you!!

  2. I miss yoga, Melanie. I need to sign up for a class. And you have so many pretty flowers blooming in your world. It must make you smile. :)

  3. Oh my goodness I leave for a bit and come back to find bad calf muscles, broken roofs but lots of beautiful flowers to make it all feel better.

  4. I appreciate that you began with thinking about these recent suicides that have shocked us all.

    All of these Daybook entries you wrote about are the things that are beautiful, from your yoga class to the flowers in the old milk bottle carrier on that vintage cloth. I really must read the Susan Branch books, can't imagine how I've never found them before. I hope that Brian's leg is improving.

    I have never made chicken fajitas and yet that is what RH orders whenever we eat Mexican food out, must learn how!

  5. The books sound pretty good for summer reads. Thanks for the information and your read on these.
    I am loving all the little spots I am making in my outdoors too. Love love love summer.
    Have a great weekend.

  6. I really enjoyed your daybook and Susan's book sounds good!

  7. I enjoyed seeing your garden spaces. I may steal some ideas.

    I have a couple of Susan Branch's illustrated recipe books, but didn't know she's written other books, nor do I know her story. They sound like great summer reads.

    We can't spread the word enough about the suicide prevention line. You never know how or who it can help. We have the information out at work, and one day a young woman stopped to thank us. A colleague was in crisis, and she said she was so grateful to have one of the cards we put out to refer her to the hotline. She was convinced it saved her friend's life.

  8. Hi Melanie, Your posts are always filled with love and interest. If we lived closer to one another I would try and pick a place where we could meet. I know that we would hit it off, you truly enjoy life and stretch yourself to always be learning new things, finding new places to tour in your area and just plain getting out and living life to the fullest. I love that and your husband seems like he is the same way. You are blessed to have each other.
    To answer the question you asked on my post: no I didn't paint it, it came that way . . . it's the cutest little pig ever and only cost me $1.
    Have a sweet week.
    Connie :)

  9. Melanie - I made the Golden Red Lentil Dal with Cilantro Rice this week, it's awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipe - the only addition I made, as I'm not vegan, was a dash of heavy cream at the end to make it a little smoother and richer. Wow, so delicious.

    Great clematis - lucky you.

    Mary -

    P.S. Appreciate the notes on potatoes - who knew!
    Loving Leon (as I loved Sam Cooke) and see he'll be appearing here in August - but I'll be away!

  10. So many great things on your Daybook. (I am new here and a little late). Everything looks so pretty. I tried Yoga once and I kept falling over. My oldest daughter is traveling to India in December to learn Yoga from the source. She loves all kinds. Maybe once she teaches it.. she will help me. lol.
    Thanks for sharing the suicide hotline. I lost my mom to suicide, depression and mental illness are a terrible thing, and sadly in a lot of cases, I think that they are over prescribed the wrong medications.

    The same "Yoga" daughter works at an organic market and is always giving me grief when I buy produce that are not organic. I wouldn't dare bring a basic potato inside of this house. : )

    Have a great weekend.


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