Tea Time | Gardening, Writing Groups, & Poetry Blogs

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Hello Everyone,

I am writing this as I sit outside on our back patio. It isn’t necessarily warm, but it’s not cold out either.

I started thinking about how it’s almost been a year since I graduated from college. That is a strange feeling, as I wish that I had done a little bit more or had a more accomplished job by now. It started feeling like things were exactly the same as they were a year ago.

But, I got a new job, I’ve been published twice, and I’ve given my first official talk at a bookstore, so I am feeling slightly productive at this current moment in time.

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Some of my ventures for the summer to keep me moving forward are:

  1. Start and maintain a successful garden
  2. Go to more writing groups in my area
  3. Start my own poetry blog

Let me know what your summer resolutions are, and I will be back here soon!

-Heather

Today I Felt Anxious, So I Took Photos of Donuts

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Photography can be an ailment. With lots of things going on like allergies, taxes, and bloating (oh my!) I needed an outlet. So I took some pictures of this delicious chocolate glazed donut.

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Did this magical donut take away any of your anxiety? Well, I hope so. If anything, maybe you feel more hungry.

If you want to see what else I’m up to, you can check out my Instagram and Tumblr!

-Heather

We Are Okay

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Hello Everyone,

I had the pleasure of reading one of the most beautiful books this past week. I’d been in a reading rut, and I couldn’t seem myself getting out of it. I kept seeing stellar reviews of this book by Nina Lacour, and I finally went off to the bookstore to buy it. I read it in two days (and I was trying to pace myself).

Here’s what I have to say about this book: I could not put it down. It was tragic and excruciatingly beautiful. There is a quote on the back that says something along the lines of “This book is so beautiful I could barely breathe.” That is 100% how I felt about it, and I would pick it up and read it again right now. If you are needing an emotional read about friendship, love, and loss, I suggest getting emerged into this book.

My one warning is that this is very sad, possibly the saddest thing that I’ve read in the last six months. But it was really relatable from an anxiety-ridden person’s standpoint, and the journeys that the characters go through in a matter of 3 days is astonishing. These characters, themes, and symbolism was hands-down perfect.

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Book Description:

You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

Obviously, this is a teen book, so it’s easy and pretty simple. But that does not mean it lacks any substance, and I truly mean it when I say I cried my way through the end.

Talk to you very soon!

-Heather

On the Grounds of Edith Wharton

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Today the sun was finally shining on us strong enough to warm up the air, and we took advantage of it with a little day trip.

Lenox, MA is home to many talented individuals, famous and not, and being in the area is exciting. The appeal is apparent. The woods are lush but not too dense, and the rolling hills are beautiful, even without any leaves on the trees. I was itching to get to The Mount, which is the enormous estate that the talented Edith Wharton built and lived in. The house is closed up and won’t open again until it gets warmer, but the grounds were all ours to roam.

I had been here once before, but I didn’t know who lived here, and even if I had, I doubt I would have understood the significance. The walk to the mansion was beautiful and sunny, and I imagined if Edith strolled along those roads while she pondered her latest writings. I like to think so.

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The estate is impressive, but the gardens are what interest me. And even though nothing is in bloom right now, the skeletons of all the dormant plants are beautiful. The way the gardens are laid out give the feeling of some sort of labyrinth, and the mysterious vines hang eerily over the old stone. I tip-toed under the arches and pondered what a hot summer night must be like here. I’m guessing it must be some sort of heaven.

I can’t imagine living in a place like this, but I’m sure a well-off famous author could. You might get yourself turned around, thinking you are really in some scene from Harry Potter, but a glance up at the home will remind you that you’re in the heart of New England. I felt suddenly very lucky that I get to live in this great state.

One can only imagine what this place must look like in the fall. Both times I’ve come have been off season, but they were still extremely pleasing experiences.

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Something I’ve noticed from visiting great mansions like this is that the grandness of it sometimes leads you to miss the details of things. I tried to really take in the grounds, as the next time I come here will probably in the summer when we can do a home tour. Today, I took my time and roamed amongst the large shrubs and trees. I tried to hone in on those little details, the things that we sometimes look over. Some of these little buds were stretching off the vines and I couldn’t help but reach out and touch them with the very tips of my fingers.

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Let me know if any of you frequently go to Lenox, or if you’ve been to Edith Wharton’s home. I thought it was incredibly breathtaking. I truly did not want to leave.

 

“Set wide the window. 

Let me drink the day.”

-Edith Wharton

 

Spring Poetry

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It is the breath of fresh air

Like the first warm April breeze

 

It is the sweet perfume of newness

Like flowers that have pushed out of the dirt

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It is the anticipation an empty glass feels

Before it is finally filled

 

It is the itching a wick experiences

Waiting for its first burn of fire

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It is the comfort of knowing

There will always be a tomorrow to wake to

 

It is the thing I have been looking for in all my digging

A glimpse of hope

A clean slate.

Positivity

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Hello Everyone,

Something that has become very important to me over the years (and especially over the course of this month) has been positivity in the middle of everyday life. It can be hard to remember that being positive is possible, especially when we are faced with little challenges from the moment we wake up until we are falling asleep. Going through life and through the processes of our tasks can turn into being on auto-pilot, which maybe isn’t negative as much as it is neutral. But something woke me up recently, and I remembered that I am very much alive, not a robot, and I’d like to be fully awake for it. Part of that meant looking at things more positively.

Here’s the thing, when I am more present and aware of what is happening currently, it’s much easier for me to let go of the other stuff. That tends to be the stuff that clogs my brain and makes me second guess things. Being too much in my own head doesn’t allow me to appreciate the idea of anything, let alone appreciate things that are currently happening. Part of that is worrying. I think that if comparison is the thief of joy, than worrying is the thief of positivity. Worrying feels like it is getting so much accomplished, but it only feels that way because it’s hard work, and nothing positive ever comes of it.

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Here’s my small and humble tidbit of advice: Create your own positivity and allow it to help you see things for how they really are 

In other news, I have been binge watching The Great British Baking Show, so I have been lusting over cakes and biscuits and pastries. The result is late nights eating lots of key lime pie. I also just finally finished my bedroom, and I am so incredibly pleased with it. I’m hoping to take some more pictures in it now. Waking up to freshly painted walls and clean surfaces is just the thing I needed. Maybe it’s only natural that I am feeling more positive after a room remodel?

“When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents. And those moments weren’t in vain. You are not the same, you are grown and you are growing. You are breathing, you are living. You are wrapped in endless boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday.”

-Morgan Harper Nichols

Navigating a Personal Crisis

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Hello Everyone,

I haven’t undergone a major life crisis, but over the past few weeks, I’ve had many small personal ones. It’s funny, sometimes little situations or changes can make me feel icky and unsettled, like I need a new layer of skin to shield me from everyone else. These things came up for various areas of my life, and I had to learn how to persevere, the way we all do from one time to another.

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Here is some advice if you have felt abandoned or lonely or out-of-sorts: Life goes on as long as you are deciding that it does. Buy yourself some flowers, make yourself some coffee, put on your favorite records, light your candles at night, go to sleep early, go to sleep late, watch all your favorite shows, buy ice cream in the middle of winter, kiss your dog, hug your friend, draw something, write something, play the piano (poorly), buy a book you may never read, and be happy. There are things changing in my life and I don’t always have control over that, but I realized that while sadness may always come in life, so can happiness. Sometimes they exist at exactly the same time.

“I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an 

open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when

I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should 

reach out and touch someone.”

-Maya Angelou