Sunday, January 3, 2016

A book review, and a little news.

 Quote: Better things to come along.
I'm kicking off the year with a review: The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd.
 A classic read. 4 stars.

I found the Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, to be an intriguing, insightful and enjoyable read, written in a unique style. As we focused up close, I got a glimpse into those lazy, Southern ways with life in South Carolina. It had transported me back to the 60’s era, to an important and interesting time in American history, concerning the change that came among the desegregation period.

Lily, brought up on a peach-farm, neglected by her father, believes she has killed her mother by accident. However, she remains unsure about what actually happened on that day, being only four years old. Throughout the story, she yearns for her mother, and subconsciously she is in search to know more about her. We also hear the story through Lily’s POV, as a fourteen year old. She decides to run away to escape her cold hearted father. She takes nothing with her but a tiny box, with items of her mother. Among the items is a photo of a Black Madonna. On the back of the photo are the words, Tiburon, South Carolina. The black servant, Rosaleen, hired to look after Lily, decides to go with her. When they pass through town, Rosaleen, attempts to place in her right to vote for the first time, with the passing of the civil rights act, but finds herself in conflict with some boys she spits at, who are racist. Trouble stirs, and Rosaleen faces jail. Lily finds a way to have her set free, and they make a run for it.

They both end up on a beekeepers sanctuary, managed by these black sisters, who each have interesting characters. They take Lily, a white girl, and Rosaleen in. Through the wise, nurturing qualities of the sister’s, Lily, in time, feels like family and opens up to tell the sisters what happened to her mother. To Lily’s surprise, it is here at the beekeepers sanctuary, she also uncovers those secrets about her mother’s life, and her death.
If you are looking to feel the sticky, heat of the South, you will find it perfectly, described in this classic read, along with the sound of bees and honey.

To those interested in more information on the book and this author, here's the USA Amazon link:

Jacqueline Howett's studio desk Copyright 2016

               I have been painting some still life, for a change.

Still Life painting of a green pepper and onion, by (C) Jacqueline Howett 2016
Still Life painting of apples By (C) Jacqueline Howett 2016

For my art lovers, more updates to my art blog, later. 

These art images are copyright images of Jacqueline Howett, and cannot be used without first obtaining permission.


Photo by Jacqueline Howett (C) 2016

 I'm hoping to use my new blender  throughout 2016 to create some healthy smoothies.  So far, I'm keeping up the pace at least four times a week.

Here's a smoothie recipe.

1 Banana, chopped up,
One cup of Blueberries,
One apple chopped up,

A good handful of greens,
Two tablespoons flax (grounded),
sunflower seeds,
handful of walnuts, crumbled up a little.
Organic Coconut flakes, or cup of coconut milk,
3 tablespoons of Greek yogurt,
tsp of chia,
Any frozen fruit place in last.

Next, I shall try carrots with ginger and apple.

I hope in future blogs to tell you more of their nutritional values. Or I might come back later and add that note in to this present smoothie.

Photo copyright, Jacqueline Howett  2016

Hope some of you got what you wanted for Christmas! I had a pleasant Christmas. I wanted to make it personal, so I knitted scarves for loved ones in England, who I haven't seen in years. Yes, I know; what me - knit? I tell you, it was fun. I finished a scarf in two days, and so I ended up knitting three. I hadn't knitted since I was in my teens. I liked the instant gratification it gave me, to see a project completed in that short time. It was a nice feeling knowing my family might wear them through the winter and feel the love while they were out and about in the cold. I think I actually felt quite different in this process of knitting. It gave me some distance from my usual self for a change, to realize how precious is time. It made me think of early childhood too. And I  remembered my English Grandma who use to knit. However, I think my fad for knitting has now passed.

In the reflection with slowing the wheels down in my brain, it did give me a new perspective.

                                 Works in progress

I 'm also excited to have given birth to some new writings in the works, while editing other major works.

I haven't put any inspirational, writing tip links up this time for writers, but for those of you interested in editing, and staying in touch with the process of writing, my previous two blogs down have a nice list I find to be helpful.  Here's the link to that blog.

I've been trying to spend a little more time outside when its sunny, for my daily dose of vitamin D. I just started growing broccoli, collard greens, and strawberries, and herbs like mint, basil, and lemon thyme. And some tomatoes from seeds. I find it so relaxing sitting among all that goodness. Sometimes I'll read a book, or catch up on blogs on my cell. However, the weather has suddenly turned cold, but it's not that bad here in Florida, and well, I can't complain with what's going on up North, and the crazy floods in the Mid West. Poor souls.

Here's wishing you all, a blessed and creative 2016, and thanks for stopping by.