Celebrating Summer

CELEBRATING SUMMER… a special edition offering first & foremost  a “Happy Birthday” shout-out to the best daughter in the world (mine),  followed by the recipe for my favorite cold soup & a sneak preview of my webmaster Maya Bairey’s forthcoming novel, Painting Celia … women’s literature with a side of romance … plus a couple of extras.

So, here we go!

Happy 64th Birthday Christine Anne Moore Ketel best daughter ever! Also Sister to 4, Wife to 1, Mom to 2, Grandmother to 7 & ESL Teacher to hundreds !!!

Following her retirement, Chris (always an artist) and her husband Scott, in addition to practicing the fine art of grandparenting, began tinkering with wood and resin. Their sons had founded Beneath The Bark, a custom furniture business that featured both, and they kind of ‘got the itch’.  You can see their beautiful work on Etsy AtHomeInOregon. Proud Mom & Gramma bias showing? YOU BET!

So …. not able to round up the Ketel grandkids to make a birthday video, I settled for the adorable Clark Family’s rendition of “When I’m 64”.

Happy Birthday, Dearest Chris with much, much Love & Gratitude for the gift that you are! Mom

My third book, All In The Soup Together … Four Seasons of Recipes & Reflections, has popped up on Amazon, just in time for summer. It’s been popular in local circles since its launch last December, but hey, since 17 of its 23 recipes originated in other countries, it feels right to give it broader exposure … If indeed, people all over the world are made the same and only the soups are different, here is another way of drawing the circle wider. Again, be aware that while Amazon’s price is less than on the website and independent book shops, the paper and print is a slightly lesser quality as well.   If you’ve read it, and especially if you’ve tried some of the recipes, I would be truly grateful if you would leave a review.

As a way to start the summer off …. Maybe you’d like to try one of my absolute favorites, Cold Avocado Cucumber Soup with Buttermilk. And just for fun, here’s the ‘reflection’ that accompanies it.

While we’re on the subjects of summer and food, let’s take a look at Painting Celia. When Maya and I first started talking about putting a website together, we agreed on a barter arrangement.  Knowing that a website for me meant more than just an online shop for my books, but not knowing exactly what it might look like, we determined that Sulima herSelf would be a ‘work in progress’. I would provide the content and she would attend to the technology.  In exchange, we would meet regularly to discuss, dissect, and refine the ongoing creation of her as yet untitled “romance novel” featuring a nouveau riche female protagonist who happens to enjoy cooking as she struggles to find her true self, plus a very sexy artist who desperately wants to paint her, and a diverse group of interesting friends.  My friend Maya being a powerhouse of creative energy, the result is not only Painting Celia, but a delightful blog called The Group Chat.  I’m sure you will want to subscribe, especially for Celia’s recipes for Cabbage Slaw and Butternut Squash Curry.  I think you will find Maya’s lyrical writing style delightful.   Oh yes … and later this month she will be spending time visiting ‘some of the right people’ in New York  City which means we may miss a week or more of Words from Sulima herSelf.  We’ll manage.

Change of pace …  Anybody else love Summer Breeze by Seals & Croft as much as I do?  It’s been my favorite summer song for decades.  I’ve always loved the image of gauzy white curtains billowing in the breeze … and there’s just something magical about the jasmine in my mind. Here’s a 3-minute treat.

And almost last, but not least … Do you already have or know about Merlin, the app from Cornell Labs that let’s you record and identify the sounds of birds?  It has changed my life!  The cedar trees outside my condo are home to a variety of what Emily Dickinson called hope with feathers. They often wake me up in the very early morning, then visit my feeder providing delight in exchange for seeds as I drink my morning tea on the deck.  I click on the app, touch ‘record,’ and before I know it, I’m seeing images of anywhere from 6 to 16 (no kidding!) different birds. A great way to start my day.

And could we really celebrate summer without Mary Oliver?

The Summer Day

by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

Until next time, Beloved Rascals …  let’s take some time to kneel in the grass and learn more about being idle and blessed.


Published by Sulima Malzin

This 'Aging Rascal & Occasional Writer' invites you to embrace the world through her open window of poetry, art, activism, music, and humor.

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