Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. Jim Davis

Mediation on a Pumpkin


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Thanks to @NancyVanReece for sharing the images, above, from her time with the Amqui Station Farmer’s Market.

Today is Closing Day at the market, and our Nashville friends have a final opportunity to stock up on the heirloom pumpkins and other goodies between noon and 3pm.

The Coleman Brothers, pictured above, have been growing heirloom pumpkins for three generations. According to the University of Illinois, over 90% of the pumpkins grown in the U.S. are raised within 90 miles of Peoria, IL. So, we’re particularly fortunate to have growers in the SouthEast, and expert cultivators, no less. Lucky us.


Mama Said Best Reads September 14th – 20th

Mama said there’d be days like this.

When those days turn into a week…I like to have some resources ready.

James Maxwell’s Everman series was a great trip to another place. The link is for Enchantress, Book 1, but I dove right into #’s 2 & 3, as well. The lead characters are an orphaned brother and sister who we grow up with through the series.  Both characters are learning and developing magical, or magic-aided abilities, while learning about their family’s past and growing more savvy to the challenges of their kingdom’s future.

For those who like a little more realistic dreaming, Arcadia Falls: A Novel, by Carol Goodman is full of modern topics and historical side trips to explore. The novel is set in a fictitious, small college town, surrounded by a beautiful, but threatening wilderness. The college founders are two tangled lovers, female partners, who also share an art patron and artisan relationship. They lay the tangled groundwork for a mystery for a new, modern-day professor to unravel. If you’re fascinated by the Arts & Crafts Movement, academia, or art history, you’ll a plethora of engaging material here.

BTW, if you’re a Kindle Unlimited Account holder, both of these titles are included.

The illustration above is from YUKO SHIMIZU. I’ve flipped it sideways for the purposes of sharing. SHIMIZU is one of Japan’s most renown artists. If you can’t get to a book this week, give yourself a few moments to look at her work. She’s a world-builder, too. She has prints for sale, here. Plus, an open, honest, and insightful blog, right here. Shares through Creative Commons, and all along the way, she includes advice, instruction, and examples for aspiring artists…because that builds this world.

Finally, lest we forget–The Shirelles are here for us, too, honey.


The Stockholm Octavo

Best Reads of the Week from September 8th-13th

The clear winner last week was…

The Stockholm OctavoIt was a quick moving plot. A smart combo of math, spirituality, a great daub of Swedish and French history, as well as nicely integrated graphics (the Kindle edition, anyway). Highly recommend if you’re seeking a smart, fast read this week.

An honorable mention: Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen. There’s a lovely introduction from the divine Lee Smith, and the reading just gets better from there.

SouthernKitchenA simple buttermilk biscuit recipe has me making my own, again. The digital version is well indexed! (I hate it when I can’t get in & out of a book with ease). I checked this out from The Nashville Public Library (@NOWatNPL), and having used 7 recipes, will be running out to Parnassus Books for a hard copy.  It’s that good.



Malcolm Gladwell Notes 2

A few quick notes for my friends who couldn’t make Malcolm Gladwell’s talk at Belmont this morning (ages ago–didn’t intend to publish these notes; oh, well). It’s Friday night, and I’m lagging. Thus, highnotes.

Malcolm Gladwell is no slouch. Hint: I’m not talking about his outfit.

Smart moves

#1: he explicitly told the audience, “what I’m about to discuss isn’t in the book. I want you to read* the book.”

#2: “I’m in the South…where you’re allowed to tell long stories.” Also, part of his lead-in, and really, with that sort of sweet-talking, he could be a southerner.

#3: I won’t go through, verbatim, his talk, as a) I kinda dig this world where authors/thinkers/wonderers have rock star-size audiences. b) also, not my story to tell.


1. Respect: at least to the extent that when one when feels wronged, there is an outlet–a someone–that will listen

2. Fairness: rules, guidelines, regulations general apply to our neighbors as well as ourselves

3. Trust: a system, power, institution, or authority offers general consistence

#5: Aw, look how neatly those 3 make a list. This is putting some positive mojo out in the world, or at least, a fairly good case to consider it.

#6: wrapping several stories together:

 Alma Vanderbilt (also Alva Belmont) and that of her daughter Consuelo Vanderbilt. How two of the wealthiest, not to mention prestigious women in the western world at the turn of the century came to be drivers of suffrage in the 20th century.

Story of the Northern Ireland Rebellion at Lower Falls


Last, but not least– blessings on the house of the human being who creates an efficient and kind name badge, registration, and SWAG distro process. Which is a grouchy was of saying, “I was late and have a hyphenated last name.”

(He never recited the lyrics, “I fought the law and the law won.”)

*notice he didn’t say “buy,” which might have been gauche.

Rabbit Holes. Tangents. And Other Trips Off the Beaten Path.