Good morning, Sunday Letter friends and HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!
E x h a l e.
We survived Old Man Winter again. I gotta be honest—there were days I thought winter would never end. I’m exaggerating a bit, (but not really).
Nature teaches us so many lessons if only we would listen and see and learn.
All the daffodil and crocus bulbs buried in our flower beds, all the tree roots reaching deep into the soil, the robins and chickadees and Carolina wrens, the squirrels that are busy unburying walnuts hidden away during fall—they never doubted spring would come.
Do you have an Instagram account?
I’ve been having fun on Instagram creating and posting Bookstacks. I don’t know who came up with the idea of themed bookstacks, but I have wholly embraced it!
The idea is simple. Create a stack of books following a theme of some sort. So far, I’ve created these three using books from my collection. (I apologize if you have already seen my bookstacks on Facebook/Instagram.)
This first one (above) answers the following questions about me (reading the book titles top to bottom):
My second bookstack raises awareness and $$$ for Ukraine. Instagrammer Mississippi Mom Reads is making a donation to Unicef Ukraine for every blue and yellow bookstack posted and tagged on Instagram.
My third Bookstack is for March and St. Patrick’s Day. Many are classics, and yes, the pages are yellowed and filled with that old book smell.
For someone like me who may be a book hoarder, this is a fun thing to do and a way to promote authors and literacy too.
Confession: Instagram is my favorite of all the social media platforms because there is way less drama there. Tomorrow I’ll be posting my new S P R I N G bookstack on Instagram HERE. I’m sure you can hardly wait – ha.
When I gathered all the green-covered books and stacked them together, I noticed a buckle in the middle of the pages of Silas Mariner.
Lo and behold, it held a treasure.
I’m not sure what type of flower this is, nor do I know who pressed it between the pages of the book or how long it has been there. But finding a preserved flower was an unexpected surprise.
The history of pressing flowers dates back to ancient civilizations when Egyptians used dried flowers for perfume. According to National Geographic, archeologists found pressed flower garlands inside the 3,000 year old sarcophagus of King Tut’s mother.
Oshibana, the art of pressing flowers, became a finely honed creative skill in Japan in the 16th century. In the early 1900s, Victorian ladies combined dried flowers with ribbons. Special moments were preserved by slipping a fresh flower between the pages of a book.
I did the same thing with mother’s day rosebuds and prom corsages. And four-leaf clovers, of course.
For this particular pressed flower, I left it between the pages of Silas Mariner. We readers already know books contain magic, and in the case of this old volume, there’s a story of a flower within the story. 🌸
It’s the little things, y’all. If we learn to notice and appreciate the little things, the big things will likely fall into place with less effort.
Arkansas Pie Festival
Just when I think I can’t get any luckier, I am invited to judge the Arkansas Pie Festival coming up in Cherokee Village. Mark your calendar for April 16, 2022 and get ready for an overload of delicious fun!
Kat Robinson (Arkansas’ pie queen) is the co-chair of this event, and who better to coordinate? She has written multiple books on pie in Arkansas, as well as a collection of books on must-visit eateries across the state.
Kat knows all the best Arkansas diners, drive-ins, and dairy bars.
Do you bake the most delicious pie ever? If so, there’s still time to enter the pie-baking contest! Categories include professional baker, home chef, and youth. Awards will be given to best fruit, cream, meringue, nut, chocolate, fried, savory, and more!
Click HERE for all the tasty festival details, and let me know if you plan to attend. I would love to see you (although I might be in a sugar coma).
Here Comes the Sun
Our corner of the world is waking up at a dizzying speed. This past week, John and I spread about 35 bags of cedar mulch (and we have much more to spread). Here’s a tip: add mulch on top of all the dried leaves—this will protect the insects that are still enjoying their winter snooze. Not only will the leaves continue breaking down, but you’ll have more lightning bugs this summer.
I’m happy to report the Allium giganteum bulbs I planted this winter are beginning to sprout. The leaves on this variety of allium are tipped in fuchsia. Aren’t they pretty?
Every day, no, multiple times a day, I walk around looking to see what’s beginning to show itself. Each tiny change, each sprout pushing its way from winter into spring, gives me a thrill.
Things Momma Says:
I’m about to get tired of basketball.
Seems I’ve found lots to ramble on about in this wordy Sunday Letter. The most exciting thing about this week? After two flight cancellations on two different occasions, my daughter and son-in-law are FINALLY here for the weekend. Sometimes, the third time really is a charm.
The weather has been ideal for meals enjoyed outside, walks to farmers’ market, and today, a hike to TeaKettle Falls. We’ve been working in lots of March Madness fun too.
I hope your weekend has been a good one so far. Cheers to a fabulous and productive week ahead.
Now tell me, Sunday Letter friends, what are you looking forward to in these earliest days of spring?
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.