Hi friends! I hope this Sunday Letter finds you happy and healthy and ready for a new week. June has been a blur, and can you believe, another month is nearly over? What a great month it has been for me. As in-person events have geared back up, I’ve finally been able to get out and share my books with anyone who will listen to me, at art/writer festivals and other book related events.
In between all the June book fun, I’ve been gardening.
If you received my Grace Grits Summer Newsletter last week, you know how excited I am about the mini-summer courses offered by Florets Flower Farm. I seriously don’t know when I’ve learned so much in less than 45 minutes!
Take a look at the first arrangement I made, putting what I learned to practice about the how, when, and where of cutting flower stems.
The gladiolas stems came from my neighbor’s garden. I snipped everything else from our small yard—purple coneflower, hydrangea, liatris, fern, ozark coneflower, Mexican hat, Thai basil, purple meadow rue, yarrow, and Russian sage.
Seriously, if you like to grow flowers and display them in your home, the Floret Flower Farm summer mini-course might change your life a little bit.
I Have a New PenPal
I’m happy to report I have a new penpal. (I say new because I had an Australian penpal for several years in the 1970s, but alas, we lost contact.)
Here’s how my new penpal came about…
A couple of weeks ago, I received the sweetest letter from an 88-year-old lady named Mary. She wrote to tell me how much she loved The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee. I probably don’t have to tell you, but hearing from this lady completely made my day. Mary doesn’t “do” the internet, but she loves to write letters using regular notebook paper and a number 2 pencil. And how cool that she sealed her letter with a bicycle sticker, just like the one Gracie rode!
Of course, I wrote her back. And I suggested that we become penpals. I’ve not heard back from her yet, but I’m sure I will. She is a farm girl too, originally from Louisiana.
I believe the world would be a better place if people went back to writing letters and having penpals. Don’t you?
Lightning Bug Days
Seeing lightning bugs at dusk brings back a world of childhood memories. But seeing them during daylight hours? This year, I’ve spotted so many in our garden. (Of course, any time you see them at night, they must be around during the day as well. Mostly, they stay hidden among tall grasses and flowers.) Maybe I’ve noticed an abundance of them because I am always outside inspecting the insects on my flowers. Trying to determine if an insect is good or bad for the garden has become one of my new hobbies. But this year in particular, I see lightning bugs everywhere!
There are over 2,000 species of lightning bugs. Some species in the western part of the United States don’t light up. That’s odd, right?
Lightning bug larvae is carnivorous; some eat small snails. Most adults nectar on flowers, but many don’t eat at all. With such a short life cycle—a month or so—they sure bring happiness to my back yard.
If you want to attract more lightning bugs, plant native flowers and shrubs, add a water feature, let your grass grow a little taller, and keep your back yard dark at night. Also, obviously, avoid pesticides.
It really is true, so many things I loved as a child have stayed with me into adulthood—like going to the library. While Momma got her hair fixed at Lucille’s Beauty Shop, Staci and I walked down to the Osceola Public Library and spent the time pouring over books. I recall exactly where the set of Peter Rabbit books were shelved, and I would sit on the floor, reading them over and over right there in the silent room so cool with air-conditioning. Momma picked us up when she was finished, and we checked out a stack of books (lots of Nancy Drew) and took them home for the week, returning them the next week on beauty shop day.
Now, I have a stack of books at any given time on my desk from the Fayetteville Public Library, and I love everything about it, putting books on hold if there’s a waitlist, going to get them, reading each book one by one. Sometimes I can’t get through the entire stack before they are due back, and when they can’t be renewed, I reluctantly return them unread. I always wonder what incredible adventure I missed. (Sometimes, I place my name back on the waitlist for that particular book, and the process begins again.)
Yay for the joy of summer reading.
Things Momma Says:
(at the bookstore)
What I need you don’t sell at the bookstore.
Cheers to a good week ahead, and thanks for reading another Sunday Letter, friends. Now, let’s go do something fun on this summer day!
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Barbara Tate says
Loved your Sunday Letter. I had a pen pal from Japan in the 1950s. I wonder where he is now. I did make a trip to That Book Store in Blytheville (different name now) this past week. I always think of Mary Gay and The Book Rack when I’m there. I miss Lucille’s Beauty Shop.
Talya Tate Boerner says
The Book Rack was fun!
Great letter this morning. I just had to renew my library stack yesterday. So much time, so little reading last week.
Talya Tate Boerner says
Jenny Young says
I’ve been saving the links to the mini-flower course & hope to sit down & watch some today. I usually bring cut flowers in from my garden at least once a week but this year I can’t find the motivation for some reason.
I just finished up a penpal letter last night. I’ve had a penpal off & on much of my life & just got back into it a few yrs ago. I love my pen friends….they’ve become so dear to me. I have 7 steady writers at the moment plus a few children I enjoy writing to. Have you heard of The Victorian Letter Writer’s Guild? They’re based in Bella Vista & I’ve found most of my pen friends through them.
My mother had a penpal she wrote to for over 40 yrs. They met when mom saw her notice in a needlework magaine & realized they were birthday twins, even the same year. She started writing around 1965 just around the time I was born. They wrote to each other even after my mother moved to NW AR in 2000, until her death. The only baby pictures of myself were taken by her as well….she came to visit my mother twice when I was a child.
I rescued a lightning but from inside my house last night. As soon as I let him go out the door into the dark he was lighting up. They’re one of my favorite things about summer.
Carol Murry says
Great Sunday Letter! I am afraid letter writing is becoming a lost art – I hope I am wrong. I have great memories of going to the library as a child and having so many books to choose from. It was always so hard to narrow down my choice for which books to check out that week and which ones to save for the next visit. LOVED the music video at the end! Reminds me of the Razorback band playing for the different sections of the stadium – can’t wait for that to start again!!!
Lou Perry says
Great letter today as usual.I enjoy keeping up on all your activities. You are some talented young lady. I still think of you as that little girl at Keiser School.
Sissy Abbott says
Great Sunday Letter! I also love reading and am looking forward to your newest book!