Life Right Now (Flowers, Books, and a Few Good Links)

May 29, 2015

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Is just so full.

The peonies are heavy, and ruffled, and scented. I have a jar tumbling with pale pink beauties right at my elbow, and I keep stopping to take deep, deep breaths. Like I’m dying of thirst, and this smell is cool water.

The strawberries in the vegetable garden are ripening so quickly I find at least a few mushy fruit no matter how often I pick. I keep keep them netted against the birds, and I try to gather most of them before the kids come home from school. It’s the only way I can guarantee at least a few berries for myself.

The blueberry bushes are small but loaded with fruit, and I’m ashamed now to remember just how angry I became when I caught the two-year-old stripping green berries off the branches. Now when we walk past, she looks at those bushes, shakes her little head, and says, “Mommy so sad.”

Spring allergies are wrecking me, most of us have had pink-eye, our dishwasher finally died (after a long, not-very-valiant struggle), and we’ve already had so many warm, humid days that I’m starting to get very nervous about the summer.

I read Kate Atkinson’s beautiful, mind-bending, heart-wrenching new book called A God in Ruins: A Novel (Todd Family). I’ll have a bit more to say about that in an upcoming installment of These Farmhouse Bookshelves, but I’ll tell you now that Atkinson, already one of my favorite writers, just keeps getting better and better.

Probably, I’ll also be recommending Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest: The Buried Giant: A novel. Only a third of the way in, I’m already stunned. Ishiguro is a master, an exquisite stylist and a compelling storyteller. I’m afraid my family is in for a weekend of being ignored, because I can’t stop reading this book.

All winter I sipped tea while I read, but I’ve switched to cold-brew iced coffee. I was once a pro with a mason jar and a fine-mesh sieve, but I am loving an early birthday gift from my mom. The Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker With 2 Extra Filters makes the cold-brew process – already easy – even easier, and the lidded carafe keeps the concentrate fresh longer. You certainly don’t need a gadget like this for cold-brew, but, let’s be honest, sometimes a messy bit of cheesecloth or a sieve that isn’t quite fine enough are all it takes to send you to the pros at the coffee shop.

Tonight is pizza night in our house, but for the first Friday in weeks we won’t be putting asparagus on our pizzas. Our backyard harvest has ended for the year, but if you still have asparagus around I highly recommend sauteing a few spears in extra-virgin olive oil before laying them right on top of fresh mozzarella (I recently shared our quick-and-easy crust recipe at Grace Table).

On instagram, I’m sharing flowers, flowers, flowers, plus the occasional cute kid. I’m also taking time to step out into the last of the golden light even though it means changing the mud-streaked pajamas of the two little bedtime-avoiders who always follow me outside.




It really is too much. I can’t handle it all, but I suppose that isn’t the goal, is it? Not to handle it. Not to manage it. But to live it.

Which means, I think, to keep your eyes open, your heart broken, and the words thank you always on the edge of your tongue.



  1. Danielle

    Never thought about putting asparagus on pizza. Yum!

    A keep seeing/hearing about A God in Ruins. Would love to hear more about it. It seems to be part of a series though? Can you read it as a stand alone? I’ve never read anything by this author before.

    • Christie Purifoy

      Danielle, We’ll have to talk more about Atkinson. I have lots to say! A God In Ruins isn’t exactly a sequel to Life After Life. Atkinson calls it a “companion” novel. The main characters are the same, but the second is from the brother’s perspective rather than the sister’s. I do think it makes the most sense to read them in order, but if Life After Life feels too daunting (the premise of that first novel is intense) it is perfectly fine to read only A God In Ruins. I’ll have more to say about both in These Farmhouse Bookshelves soon!

  2. Diana Trautwein

    Love reading about your life and your good mind and heart. Thanks, Christie.

    • Christie Purifoy

      Thank you, Diana! I am always so pleased to see you here.

  3. amy

    keep your eyes open, your heart broken, and the words thank you always on the edge of your tongue.

    Love this. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of what that looks like for you.

    • Christie Purifoy

      You are welcome, Amy. Always so glad to have you here.


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