Thursday, April 14, 2016


I've been reading rather a lot lately.

I love our library here.  It's so filled with treasures just waiting to be unearthed.  We are there at least once a week, even if it's just a "quick trip" to pick up our holds and maybe just grab a few books for the next couple of days.  Ha!

Since we do so much of our schooling with regular books instead of textbooks (thank you Charlotte Mason!) we are always searching out our next topic of study.  We make extensive use of the inter-library loan system as well. Nearly every book published is at our fingertips thanks to the library and the Gutenberg Project.

As much as I love all my old books, I also have a great appreciation for my Kindle.   All the classics for free is just perfect for me.  Plus, carrying Dickens in my purse can really weigh a girl down.  Add to the fact that I'm usually reading five books at once and my purse can get really heavy.

I also love the feature that allows me to adjust how much light the screen gives off and how large I can make the font for middle of the night reading.  I think Sweetheart appreciates that as well.

I found a fiction series a few months ago that I've enjoyed.  I finished all that has been written so far (24 books) in the series and so I'll just be waiting for the last two to be written.  Apparently, it takes longer to write a book than it does for me to read it.  ;)

In between all that fiction I have been reading a lot of non-fiction as well.  It's been so good for me.  I've been studying permaculture pretty intensively for the last year, or so and look forward to applying so many of the principles in the next few months as I am planning on two garden areas this year.

I loved a book I found at the library from a local author on edible weeds entitled, The Wild Wisdom of Weeds.  I've got several edible plants books, but this one was knowledgeable, easy to read and fun because it was relates directly to this area.  I love seeing how someone else lives here.  These mountains and valleys are some of the most amazing in the world. 

I was struck with awe this morning when I looked out the window at the intense beauty of this place.  We've had our spring showers and everything is greening up.  I love all the different shades of green I can see just out the bathroom window.  ;)  It's also a perfectly clear morning and there is nothing like that blue Colorado sky.  We also back up to some stunning red cliffs that have the last little bits of snow up high.  The contrasts and vividness of it all remind me again how truly blessed I am to be right here.

Back to the weed book, not only is this place so exquisitely beautiful, it's full of edible weeds.  Now, I'll be the first to admit that edible and delicious aren't the same thing.  :)  The author takes a hike each summer from Durango to Telluride surviving only on the food she finds along the way.  That's more than a little impressive.  The hike alone has got to be intense as those are some serious mountains to cover.  Being fueled by weeds and wild fruit alone is quite a feat.

Last summer when Sweetheart and I were out hiking around Ouray, I made a list of all the edible plants we found.  It was extensive.  It's amazing all you can find when you're tuned into looking.  I personally was looking at worst case scenarios for eating for survival in an emergency, not just because.  So reading her story was eye opening in a new way.

I've been adding the weeds from the dirt patch in front that's to become a different kind of garden to our salads and tucking piles into the lunch platters, but it's not something I do each day.  Guess I should.  The kids don't mind, but we each have our own favorites.  I like mallow leaves in my water and clover best in my salads. 

The kids love the dandelion flowers and Dumpling will just go grab a handful and chow down whenever.  He's our little Mountain Man/Adventure Guy/Treasure Hunter so he really loves it.  It did freak out the neighbor kids at first.  I did a quick lesson because I don't want them going off and poisoning themselves saying we said it was ok to eat weeds. ;)

Speaking of wild, I've also been keeping up on my classics.  I'm ready both Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey.  I'm on a Bronte kick.  I read Elizabeth Gaskell's biography on Charlotte which was really neat.  I do think I like Gaskell's fiction better.  I had found a book on Charlotte that was a modern fiction story that I liked more than I would have thought.  It really gave a depth to the Bronte sisters that even the biography couldn't do. 

And we're still working our way through David Copperfield for our school read aloud.  Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined when we started it in September that I'd still be reading it in April.  It takes a lot more time to read aloud and to explain things than it does for me to just read it to myself.  We read it four days a week and the kids love it, but it's a lot.  We're down to the last couple hundred pages though and I think we'll be done by the time we end school in June.

What else?  There's been poetry, a great book called Botany for the Artist which is an amazing guide for both art and science, Homeward Bound:  Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity which is its own blog post, Rising Strong and Big Magic, and a whole lot more, including a few regrets.  But I am out of time now and this is a rather long post.  In the interest of time, I'm going to ignore that run on sentence and sign off now.  Have a great day!

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