“Courage my soul, and let us journey on, tho’ the night is dark. it won’t be very long.” ~Charles Albert Tindley’s “The Storm is Passing Over”
I’m sharing some of the things that have to been life giving to me this summer, because I want to keep a record of them, and because I think they are worth sharing. These blogs and books have had an impact on how I try to live my life and build my home over time, but in particular over this past summer, so while they do not change the grain of my being, they do change the fabric I weave.
For the first time, in a very long time, I feel like the change of season is upon me. We had hot and sunny days this week, but the next several look to be cold and rainy. So, before summer completely goes, I wanted to post these things here, for myself and for you. I hope you find something to be curious over.
The Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
I read this in two days on my phone, because zero waste. I found it very interesting, and inspiring. In fact, it’s led me to want to sew up some bulk bags, and the rebuilding of our home pantry. Our food waste had gotten seriously out of hand, and Bea’s book inspired me and taught me so many things that are compostable, recyclable, and refusable. Her blog/website is also a really interesting read, if you don’t want to commit to a book. But I found, once I read everything on her blog, I still wanted more.
City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing by Lorraine Johnson
Admittedly, I read this in late, late spring just about the time we planted our basil for the year. But I actually loved reading her stories about growing food in urban areas of Canada, her inspiring guerilla gardening ventures, and the information she shared. If you like to grow veggies in your backyard, this is a highly recommended read, as it helps you ask questions you didn’t even know you had about urban farming.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
I read this around 2009, when I was living in an apartment space of roughly 400 square feet. Nevertheless, it was just as impactful then as it is now that I have growing space. Kingsolver and her family’s commitment to eat local, and often only what they grow is a lesson in the realities of living off the land, rather than off the grocery store shelves. I could not love this book any more than I already do.
Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
There are so many little gems, and takeaways in this book, and I hope that I’ll share some of them as I write more. But, basically, and brilliantly, the answer to every question is love. I have to remind myself of this, all the time. And I have to ask this question all the time. Is that done in love? Does that feel of love? Is the undercurrent of that riptide love? And if not, why not? I’m looking forward to reading her Love Warrior. This is a simple, easy read, written with levity. It’s worth an afternoon or two, if they can be spared.
Practising Simplicity by Jodi Wilson
Homesong by Amanda Watters
Whole Family Rhythms by Meagan Wilson
This spring, we added in three more raised beds to our garden. We’re still getting the hang of planting, the issues of planting from seed as opposed to transplants, and garden pests. (Squash bugs, anyone?) Our summer has been bountiful to say the least. So, we anticipate more beds for next spring, and perhaps some trellises for vining squash and cucumbers. I mean, who knew those things required so much space. So much space. Or that they need to be sprayed with certain oils at certain times of day to prevent things like cucumber beetles, and aphids. I admit that I have so much to learn.
Last year, the squash bugs and drought, and triple digits really decimated most everything. And I quit watering, and squishing squash bugs, and trying, really. So, I’d say this year was definitely a step up. Next spring, I dream of adding flowers and melons to our crops. And that our back alley might be filled with six foot sunflowers instead of six foot weeds.