Sunday, May 24, 2009

Reading A Good Book

I recently read "The Good Earth" for the third time over the course of the last 20 or so years. The book was on the reader's club book list at our local library so I was inclined to read it again as it is one of my all time favorite books. I thought I would share a little about the "The Good Earth" with you.

The Good Earth was written in 1931 by Pearl Buck and was the bestseller book in the US in 1931 and 1932. It was reviewed by all the major newspapers and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932.

In many ways the book is a study of culture, character, values, roots and hard work. The author has the ability to draw you in and allows you know the two main characters within the first page or two. She writes with such raw imagery that captures you and causes you to feel a connection to the characters and their lives. Pearl Buck enlightens the reader to the ancient traditions of China and in some ways emphasizes the injustice of these traditions.
The Good Earth is a portrayal of a poor farmer's life and his bond with the land which is as relevant to our own ancestral roots as it is to rural China. Wang Lung is a very complex man which is depicted in his relationships with his wife, children and village. He, along with his wife O-lan, work very hard to earn enough many to buy land. O-lan is a very unique character. She was a slave in a wealthy household until she comes to share her life with Wang Lung. O-lan is a very hard worker and Wang Lung thinks of her as a strong and competent woman to raise his children and maintain the home. Her relationship with her husband, as with all women and husbands of rural China, was in a subservient fashion. Again, the author empathizes the injustice of the culture and tradition.

Through the years, Wang Lung's family suffer poverty and famine but their strength of character sustains them through stark conditions that most would think inconceivable. At one time they were reduced to begging on the streets, Wang Lung refusing to sell his land. Things turn around as China begins to prosper and Wang Lung continues to buy land. He eventually becomes a wealthy landowner. What Pearl Buck shows here with the evolution of a proud hardworking peasant to a wealthy landowner is very disheartening. The disintegration of this man and his family as they become alienated from the land and its noble values is sad and is portrayed so eloquently by Pearl Buck.

Have you read The Good Earth? If you haven't read the book I encourage you to do so;The Good Earth should be on everyone's reading list. Here is a link with a summary of the book and actually h
as a review of each chapter.

What books are on your reading list this summer? Let me know, I am looking for some good books to read.

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb

Monday, May 11, 2009

This, That and The Other

I always look forward to fresh herbs, produce and fresh cut flowers for the house. Since we have a newbie to the household, a 10 month old golden retriever, my gardening techniques have changed. If you remember from a previous post, Beau loves the smell of freshly turned soil and enjoys snapping flower blooms off the stem. He seems to think he is helping me by "fertilizing" the perennial bed!
The window boxes have been planted and are so pretty. I am concerned about the box at the breakfast room window. Just hope Beau doesn't find the plants interesting to him, after all, they are within his reach. It has been a week and a half and so far, so good, the plants are still there.

To combat the problem of the "plant removal" by Beau I have planted annual herbs in pots instead of the herb garden and have done the same with the tomato plants and other veggies. It is so exciting to see them growing and doing well! I sprinkled some seeds in the beds and they are little weaklings right now so we shall see if that make it.
Do you have a favorite herb? I have two favorites, basil and rosemary. They are so pungent and add a lot of flavor to most any dish. Don't you enjoy walking outside to gather herbs for a meal? I love it!

I have planted lots of parsley, basil, cilantro, thyme (oh yea, that's a favorite too!), dill and then some squash, ocra, tomatoes, cucumbers, arugula (favorite green!), eggplant and swiss chard. Yum, yum, just love all the flavor.

Just have to share a little about our photography business. Things are going well! We are exhibiting at a solo show at the local library in Thomasville for the month of May. The response already has been great. Rodney is presenting a slide show of nature work this Tuesday evening. The music that will accompany the slide show was written for us (Autumn Song) by a very good and talented friend, Ray Fredette. Ray has a heart for God and has been blessed with a talent for music.
After our presentation this week I plan to post a link so you can view the slide show, I think you will like it.

In the meantime, check out our blog at to see the latest in photo shoots, workshops and happenings at Autumn Song Photography.
Leave us a comment, we would love to hear from you!
We are hitting the prime season and wow, it is so much fun meeting so many new people as well as catching up with returning clients. We also have some exciting stuff happening with Black Daffodil Films.
Black Daffodil Films is our daughter's business creating vintage-like movies with Super 8 film and still photography. Lindsey is very talented and the artistry in her work is obvious with the film she has recently released. Check it out at . We also have a post on our site about the marriage of still photography and Super 8 film which is so emotionally charged!

So, I am meeting up my friend Carol this week. I am sure I will learn something new, I always do AND we always have such a good time. I love her heart and her spirit plus she is a born again Christian too. God is so good and I know He reunited us at this time in our lives for a reason and know He has so much more in store for us!

I said this post is about this, that and the other and boy was I right! Sorry for the long post, just had a lot to say and could keep on writing (typing) but I am sure you are ready to move on so I will close now. God Bless!

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Sorry I did not post a pic of Layla in her newly knitted sun top. Stay tuned, hope to post a pic soon!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Gift of Friendship

I recently reconnected with a friend from 30 years ago and it has been great catching up. Honestly, it is like we picked right up where we left off and haven't missed a beat! It has been so much fun talking, knitting, sharing plants and laughing; speaking of which, my friend makes me laugh more than anyone else I know or have ever known! My friend's name is Carol.

One of the things we have in common is a love for knitting, though she is way far more advanced than I am. She has been knitting since she was nine years old and me, only for five years; still such a beginner!
Carol showed me a little sun top and a teddy bear with a matching sun top she knitted for one of her grands. Both were so adorable and, of course, I wanted to knit the same for Layla. (I will, hopefully, share a photo of the sun top on my next blog post). The yarn Carol used was yarn recycled from a nice sweater she purchased from a local thrift store. I expressed to her my interest in using recycled yarn, especially with the economy and my need to restrain from spending.
This past week Carol brought over two great sweater finds from the thrift shop for the cost of a whopping $1.00. We took the sweaters apart and wound the yarn, not wasting very much at all. We had so much fun! I learned how to recycle yarn and now have "new" yarn for another project for a small investment of $1.00

The next project I would like to learn is how to dye yarns with kool-aid. She dyed some yarn that looks so cool and knitted a pair of socks with it. Check out her blog at to see her recycled, dyed yarn AND her, way too cool pair of socks!

Friendship is a blessing and I look forward to sharing more special times with my friend Carol.

"God never loved me in so
sweet a way before.
'Tis He alone who can
such blessings send.
And when His love would
new expressions find,
He brought thee to me
and said.....
Behold a friend"