May 5th, 2017
I could say my obsession with vintage camper vans, travel trailers, and shiny silver AirStreams absolutely started while researching the piece I currently have titled The Death of Mungo Blackwell. I began pinning the colorful pull behind abodes for descriptions, sizes, and interiors. I needed to know how many people could comfortably live in one–that’s when I had to up my game to AirStreams. Then, I found myself wondering what it would be like . . . to live in such simplicity with the end game a tour of the world–just me, my family and my camper van. As a Christian, I don’t believe I was created for this world, but while I’m here, I want to see as much of it as I can! I have always had a mild case of wanderlust–that strong desire to travel . . . to go.
I used to wonder if there was something wrong with me! Why was I always content to go, to see what was next in life? Why was moving away from family and friends so easy? Why did the thought of packing up my house and moving somewhere new evoke such a sense of excitement? Why did I entertain the thought of selling everything and living in a camper van? But then, amidst those thoughts, I would wonder about my home–where was home? I was born and raised in Kentucky (
and will always bleed blue), married right out of college and moved north to Cincinnati where we lived for twelve years, and then to Nashville where we currently reside. Where should this girl call home?
In my ponderings, I felt the Father pressing on my heart. I created you this way. I gave you that nomadic spirit, and I plan to use it. Embrace it! And by the way, you will never feel at home in any one place, because you were created to dwell with Me.
Well, that explained a lot! So now I find an amazing sense of the lovely in all those colorful camper vans (I had learned in my research that’s what the British call them–the anglophile in me let the term stick) because like me, camper vans were created to go, to house the nomadic spirit, and transport this wondering soul on my journey to dwell with the Father here among His creation until the day when I return home . . . A Lovely Place to Dwell.
April 13th, 2017
I adore macarons! Let’s make sure I clarify . . . not the coconutty double “o” macaroons, but the single “o”, colorful, tasty and all around lovely, macaron! I have a Pinterest board full of them, and in January, I dove headfirst into baking the little treats. You should know, I don’t bake . . . or . . . um . . for that matter branch outside of our daily dinners in the cooking realm. I had heard they were tricky, super difficult, and quite expensive to make, but I was on a quest: A quest to make a macaron!
I ordered my almond flour, a sifter (No, I didn’t already own one!), and some of those plastic icing bag things from Amazon, and started researching recipes.
My first attempt: Red Velvet (Oh, how I love Red Velvet), especially on my birthday! The first lesson I
learned–I had no idea how to use the icing bag, so I later opted for my cookie gun (I know! I didn’
t own a sifter, but I owned a cookie gun!) I felt like a contest on The Great British Baking Show as I knelt down in front of the oven watching my little treats develop their signature crumpled feet and dome top.
I loved every minute of the process–the triple sifting, the careful counter-clockwise blending of the dry ingredients to the wet. However, the first lesson I learned wasI had no idea how to use the icing bag, so I later opted for my cookie gun (I know! I didn’t own a sifter, but I owned a cookie gun!) I had Red Velvet batter everywhere, but still, I felt like a contest on The Great British Baking Show as I knelt down in front of the oven watching my little treats develop their signature crumpled feet and dome top.
The first batch, not perfect, but incredibly tasty. I learned by turning down the heat the foot wouldn’t spread so much. I kept at it for the next two months, experimenting with fillings and creating a few ideas of my own.
My goal: the absolutely Christmasy macaron on my home page!
I’m not there yet, but I’m going to keep on trying because for me, the process, the patients, the colors, and the sense of accomplishments makes macaron baking . . . A Lovely Place to Dwell.
April 6, 2017
The Ringmaster’s Wife
I have been on a quest . . . a quest for a good book. You know, one of those that you can’t put down, one that won’t make you cringe over choice words or all of the touchy-feely stuff. I wanted something lovely, a great story, not too preachy, with a sense of wonder. I’ve read, put down, returned, regretted downloading, and sighed . . . a lot! I was beginning to think I was just too picky–no romance, not in the mood for sci-fi or fantasy, mystery maybe . . . Oh, where oh where had all of the lovely stories gone?
Then, I found it. As an author, I follow a lot of authors on social media, so it’s no surprise that I found Kristy Cambron’s The Ringmaster’s Wife in a Facebook group. I’ve always loved the circus (and have my own bit of history with The Greatest Show on Earth), and knowing that Cambron and I share a mutual faith, I purchased the book for a weekend trip.
I was instantly captivated and drawn into the luxury and inner workings of the circus. What a joy to read a piece of writing that is “clean”, well-researched, and a pure delight. It was without hesitation that I could even pass The Ringmaster’s Wife on to one of my teen writers with full confidence that it would not only be safe and enjoyable but also . . . A Lovely Place to Dwell.