Highly Recommended Reading: New books by Michael Brantley & Paula Lansford

I am fortunate to have good friends who are also talented artists.

Glenda and I met Paula Lansford in Bay Village, Ohio, many moons ago. Her painting is exquisite as you will see in her new children’s book – LOLA, The Garden Center Cat – available on Amazon.

Paula has also contributed a painting of a Monarch Butterfly for my Poetry Book-in-Progress, but you’ll have to wait to see that one!

I had the good fortune to get to know Michael Brantley during our time together at Queens University of Charlotte. We were vastly outnumbered by our talented women classmates, and had to stick together! Michael has several books to his credit that can also be found on Amazon – or visit Michael’s website: michaelbrantley.com.

His latest release – “It’s a Time in the Land, The Best of the Soap Box” – is a collection of columns that Michael has written over the years for the Nashville Graphic. Michael’s understated, wry sense of humor carries throughout these essays.

I read the first essay yesterday upon receipt and found it so entertaining, I initially thought to read the essays straight through. After further consideration, I said to myself, “Why rush a good thing?” My plan is to enjoy these pearls of lyric wisdom and humor once each morning, to get a positive start on the day!

Here’s hoping you enjoy these works as well as I did!


Harvest Bounty

Here at Blackcreek Farm, we have been fortunate to enjoy a bountiful harvest following a year with much rain, certainly more than usual.

The wine begins fermentation.
Glenda creates a new “Chameleon Vessel”

Two dozen packets of fresh sweet corn in the freezer await the reminding of taste buds when weather turns cold.

Eight quarts of a new project – “Pinot Jam” – shortly I’ll be tasting on fresh cinnamon bread.

Applesauce shares the freezer with frozen juice from the Concord and Catawba vines.

Off now to walk the farm with Sweet Betty and Muddy Waters the 2nd at my side.

A glorious summer has come and gone, an autumn begins in earnest, and we give thanks for the simple things, here at Blackcreek Farm.

September Dawns…

Sweet Betty greets the new month.

As if called by the leaves desiring to turn, cooling air creates low-lying clouds in the distant highland hill of Northern Michigan.

The sweet corn has been picked and put up for another year. Vinifera gently begins to turn to rich purple. Soon the grapes will be turned to must for another year’s vintage.

And in the meantime, we enjoy this sweetest of of seasons, as fresh tomatoes from the vine burst with each flavorful bite.

March remains Unpredictable

In the month of March, we choose our projects only as nature allows…

A few warm days early in the month allowed an opportunity to prune the Pinot vines. Such a joy to form and train and watch when the buds appear, and they will, but not in March.

A bit of snow before another break in the weather and the turning of the garden begins. The almanac favors planting sweet corn in my environs with a favorable moon – May 15th until the 24th – so nearly two months to prep the soil. Never too early!

Hatch on the Jordan

As the northern Michigan weather turns cold, we can bask in moments gone by.

I am honored to preview a poem that will appear in Michigan Trout Magazine – a publication of Michigan Trout Unlimited.

The poem is accompanied by a photograph taken by my friend and neighbor Bill Dietrich.