Bzzzz September 25th, 2014

Well, hello there! Did you notice I was gone? Did you miss me? I missed you.

Truly, I didn’t set out to take nearly a full year off from blogging here at Bumblebee. Sometimes, life just gets in the way. Sometimes you have to make a choice between living life or writing about it. Not that living and writing are mutually exclusive, of course. I recognize that. Heck, all those Mount Everest climbers, round-the-world sailors, Appalachian Trail hikers, North Pole explorers and English Channel swimmers are certainly prolific about cranking out the books. I bet some of them even blog more than once a year.

It’s just that I was writing other things, particularly for work. But I did write also write a book. Yes, it’s finally out! Wisdom for Home Preservers was released at the beginning of this month.

I sneaked into Barnes & Noble the other day and took a selfie with the only copy they had on their store shelf. I suppose they had sold the dozens of other copies they had stocked because they really did have only one copy. Just one!

wisdom in Barnes and Noble

Let that be a lesson to you. You must run right out and buy a copy before they are all gone!

The book includes 500 (500!) tips about canning, freezing, curing, smoking, root cellaring and more. It’s an easy read and the specially commissioned linocut prints by printmaker Melvyn Evans provide a nice retro vibe to this tidy little hardback book.

I’ll be back soon writing about the life I’m living. It’s not Channel swimming or polar exploration though. Just more country life.


Posted In: Blogging, Books, Canning and Preserving


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Bzzzz October 27th, 2013

I went out this morning for my daily run/walk. I say “run/walk.” I used to say “run.” Now I say “run/walk.” It’s really “walk.” I am still in denial about the whole knee pain situation.

Anyway, I digress.

I went out this morning for my daily run/walk. Most days I listen to books via Audible on my iPhone while I run/walk because a good book with a compelling storyline and a talented reader who keeps me hanging on every word makes me want to keep run/walking so I don’t have to go inside and work/work. It’s a fabulous way to procrastinate/procrastinate and still feel a wee bit virtuous. I’m reading and exercising! In fact, I am pretty much on track to finish 100 Kindle, traditional and audiobooks this year as part of my Goodreads goal.

fall in the potager

Lemon grass and pineapple sage salvia in the potager – October

This morning I had to fumble a bit before getting Audible up and running. (Thank you iOS 7 for making me add a password.) While I was mashing virtual buttons on the minuscule screen without benefit of my reading glasses, I ran/walked several yards, not looking at the first thing except that tiny screen.

Suddenly it hit me. Smoke. Specifically, wood smoke from someone’s fireplace.

Now, I’m not big into fireplaces with smoke because of sensitive sinuses and a strong tendency to get painful sinus infections when exposed to smoke of any sort. But small doses of outside smoke from someone else’s fireplace a half mile away is rather nice. It says, “Fall!” It says, “Time to reflect and slow down.” It says, “Drink some hot chocolate and take a nap!”

It’s a smell with dozens of associations from childhood and from the happiest (and a few sad) times of my life. That smell was accompanied by the nature music of my feet brushing aside the fallen leaves as I walked up the driveway.

“Slow down!” I said to myself. (But don’t stop running/walking!)

I put away the iPhone and looked at the mosaic of colors—red, yellow, brown, green and every color of fall, punctuated by the occasional, fearless rose, salvia and celosia.

celosia cock's comb

Celosia–commonly called cock’s comb–in the potager

If I could bottle up that fantastical combination of smell, sound, fresh air, color—and the rush of the run/walk—I would be richer than Oprah.

Alas, no one has figured out how to capture the magic of Mother Nature, although artists, photographers, musicians and perfumers still try.

But I am still rich. I am rich because I can appreciate the gifts Mother Nature hands out for free to anyone willing to pause in their run/walk through life and appreciate it.




Posted In: Gardening, Gardening Life

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