Archive | July, 2015

Love Poems to Summer by Blaze Lazarony

Ah Summertime, where everything around me turns into beautiful inspiration: basking in the sunshine, riding my bicycle, holding hands, s’mores roasted over a campfire, chasing lightning bugs, reading chic-lit, frolicking in the warm waves, getting my nails dirty in damp earth, wearing sandals, eating fresh fruits, singing songs, long sloppy kisses, and watching fireworks.

I can’t go an hour without scratching a few phrases into my journal, words that give me pause, remind me of my youth and easier living, or help me embrace my life…all over again.

It is my honor to share with you two such “scratches” that turned into poems of intimate love, joyous celebration, and a brilliant life well lived. Enjoy!

In a Blue Dress

by Blaze Lazarony

Oh, sea, kind sea, upon your likeness I gaze.

rough colored ocean wave falling down at sunset timeAre you aware of your unexplainable beauty?
Turning heads and receiving admiration just for being,
Allowing many creatures to make their home in your layers of crinoline skirts,
Some with teeth larger than mine, and others just small celled organisms, not even in possession of a heart,
And you, spinning and twirling effortlessly,
In an endless rhythm, and yet a uniqueness to your every movement.

You are perfectly attired for every occasion; your wish to reflect your partner seems paramount,
But it is you, through no desire of your own, who take center stage.

All become enraptured—a momentary sigh.

Your frock not any blue dress,
But woven of aquamarine,
cobalt,
prussian,
and maybe a Crayola color or two.

That invoke a feeling of:
Vastness without weight;
Stature without airs,
Emotion without tears.

slice watermelon with a hole in the shape of heart on a wooden tableYank the curly-queue pigs’ tail free
Smash green waves across your hip
Gaze down at the watery pink fruit
Exposed

Bite letting the air escape
Swallow the sugar dripping down your throat
Wonder upon the mystery of its creation
Revealed

Spit black seeds into the ground
Mixing your salvia with its hope
Sowing a new life
Divine

 

 

About the Author – Blaze Lazarony

blazelazaronybioBlaze Lazarony is a Transformational Business Strategist, Founder of Blaze A Brilliant Path, Best-Selling Author & Speaker. For 20 years, Blaze held high-level positions in Fortune 500 companies, including Macy’s, Inc. She thought she was her job title until she was diagnosed with cancer, she chose to leave that world behind.
Today her passion is leading the charge for conscious women entrepreneurs to stand in their brilliant value by helping them design custom-fit businesses and live soul-based lives that light them up!

She is also a sought after speaker, and a co-author of four books, including 25 Brilliant Business Mentors and Their Top Tips to Catapult You to Success.

To learn more about Blaze & her work in the world, visit her website: BlazeABrilliantPath.com – and connect with Blaze on Social Media (links below)

Are you a conscious women entrepreneur who is ready to transform your challenges into golden light, tap into a heat source that empowers you (not scares you), and take inspired action to stand in your value, then you’re ready for… Lightning: A Stroke of Brilliance, a new offering for Summer 2015.

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Summer Love Notes Challenge #4

I have to be honest. By the time August rolled around, I couldn’t wait for school to begin again. Not only did I love school, but in my child’s mind, all the good parts of summer were over.

Classic SandwichThe visit to my grandmother and vacation were both complete by the time August rolled around. I had long ago finished the Library’s summer reading program.

And I was bored.

B-O-R-E-D.

I had watched every episode of Gilligan’s Island. I was played out with my Barbies. I was even tiring of Nancy, Cherry and Trixie and was looking forward to a Social Studies text book.

Of course, it seems as if I got in trouble more those pesky weeks. I was restless and my mom was ready for school to begin so that she could have nice bouts of solitude.

And all I did each day had become a drag. I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and then would be ushered outside to play until it got too hot (which was 10 AM in Texas!) I’d eat a bologna and cheese sandwich (with Miracle Whip) on Mrs. Baird’s white bread with a handful of Frito’s for lunch. Entertain myself with my books or dolls (and not bug my mom) and  waited for my Dad to come home. Then, we’d continue in the same BORING routines: dinner, a little TV (re-runs – yawn) and bed.

Being bored and restless was the signal that it was time to go Back to School Shopping.

We’d head to Cox’s, Striplings, and Sanger Harris (all department stores which no longer exist these days) and though my mom loved shopping in her later years, her goal of Back to School shopping was to get as much done in one trip as possible. Then, it was time to go to crayola_rainbowEckerd’s to stock up on notebook paper, folders, and fresh boxes of crayons.

I still love the smell of a fresh box of crayons.

Getting ready for school quelled the boredom of those last few weeks.

Though I didn’t get it then, now I get the twofold reason getting my ducks in a row shifted brain from BORED to ENGAGED.

  • One – I was preparing myself for the future. Knowing that school was around the corner is different from actually preparing for it. Buying new clothes for school as well as paper and crayons was a concrete way to move into the next phase of my life.
  • Two – I changed my routine. I got out of the rut of being home and equating it with being bored. After shifting from the ordinary day-to-day, I was happy to reengage in days spent doing the same thing. Even that cereal and the bologna and cheese on Mrs. Bairds.

Because you can enjoy every moment of your life just like you enjoy every drop of summer, but sometimes, you need to shake things up.

summer_love_challenge4

And that’s my final Summer Love Notes Challenge to you: shake up your routine.

Take a new route home. Try a new restaurant. Go to a different grocery store. Play hooky. Do something out of the norm. Try a new Starbucks on your way to work.

Instead of having coffee in the morning, have tea. Or, instead of having black coffee, have a latte.

Trade cars with your spouse. Get up early and watch the sun rise. Go for an evening walk.

Do something out of your norm.

Shaking up your routine will allow you to savor all the moments of your life – even the ones you thought were BORING.

While you’re shaking things up, snap a photo and share a glimpse of your shift it in your Social Media Streams (Facebook, Instagram) and tag it: #SummerLoveNotes – That way, we can all share in your personal quest for adventure.

Note: This Summer Love Notes Challenge #4 runs until August 15th.

About the Author – Debra Smouse

debrasmouse200x300 I’m Debra Smouse, a self-admitted Tarnished Southern Belle. I can help you detangle all your clutter, fall in love with yourself and your life, and unleash your inner sex kitten.

My truth? In order to live life the way you were meant to, you must fall in love with the day-to-day activity of living.

I spend my days writing and working with people who want to change the world, beginning with themselves.

Want to bring your dreams into your reality? Snag my FREE EBook You Can Achieve Your Dreams: There’s Still Time in 2015

A life coach and writer, me and my Gypsy Soul have stopped their constant roaming and have settled down in Dayton, OH where I share life’s adventures with the Man of My Dreams.

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Because Tomatoes and Corn Say “Summer”

“I have a love affair with tomatoes and corn. I remember them from my childhood. I only had them in the summer. They were extraordinary.”
–Alice Waters

This is my favorite part of the summer: both the Amish Tomatoes and the corn from Brentlinger’s farm are both in season. I know that thanks to modern imports and farming, we can have these any time, but there is nothing to cornsaladcompare to having these quintessential summer veggies at the peak of their season.

We’re eating tomatoes in salads and with cucumbers and tossing them in the skillet with chicken and rise…and corn is finding it’s way to our plates in various ways as well.

But combining them together has become one of my favorite dishes to serve when the local farmers are harvesting both.  Serve as a side dish, take to a party, or eat as an afternoon snack, this is my favorite Summer Tomato and Corn Salad.

Take three ears of corn and pull the kernels off of the cobs. In a large skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil and gently toss for five minutes.

Alternatively, if you have the grill going, wrap three ears of corn – with husks on – in aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Then, cut the kernels off.

Get out a large bowl and add corn kernels. Then, roughly chop 2 large beefsteak tomatoes  – or two cups of your favorite local tomatoes (even cherry). Dice 1/3 of a red onion and toss it into the corn and tomatoes.

Next, take a dozen fresh basil leaves and tear them into rough pieces and add them to the mixture.

Heavily season with: one tablespoon of kosher salt, one tablespoon of celery seeds, and a dozen grinds from your pepper mill.

Finish with a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and 3 pours of extra-virgin olive oil around the bowl.

Toss together…you can serve right away or store this perfection of summer for snacking.

About the Author – Debra Smouse

debrasmouse200x300 I’m Debra Smouse, a self-admitted Tarnished Southern Belle. I can help you detangle all your clutter, fall in love with yourself and your life, and unleash your inner sex kitten.

My truth? In order to live life the way you were meant to, you must fall in love with the day-to-day activity of living.

I spend my days writing and working with people who want to change the world, beginning with themselves.

Want to bring your dreams into your reality? Snag my FREE EBook You Can Achieve Your Dreams: There’s Still Time in 2015

A life coach and writer, me and my Gypsy Soul have stopped their constant roaming and have settled down in Dayton, OH where I share life’s adventures with the Man of My Dreams.

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For the Love of Gardening by Reese Ryan

Summer has never really been my season.

Sure, as a kid I played jump rope and hop scotch. Blazed a trail down the street on my Big Wheel. Had a fling with a playground swing or two. Rarely were such outdoor summer adventures my idea. Either a well-meaning adult sent me outside or a neighbor kid asked me to come out and play.

I preferred to stay inside to engage in the activity I loved most–reading. In my experience, reading and the great outdoors didn’t mix very well. A conclusion I arrived at after getting bonked on top of the head by a stray kickball while sitting on the sidelines with my face buried in a Judy Blume book.

Of course my kickball disaster wasn’t my only hang-up with spending summer days outdoors. There was the dirt that made its way into every crevice; the “fresh” smell I reeked with after venturing outdoors; the blood-sucking insects that considered me something akin to prime rib; and the unwanted, long-lasting tan.

Needless to say, my idea of a perfect summer day was a day spent at my local library checking out the maximum books allowed.

Had I married a fellow book nerd, by now I’d probably require a portable IV drip of Vitamin D and melt like the Wicked Witch of the West when forced to encounter the sun. Fortunately, I married someone who loves summer and the great outdoors. For the past twenty-six years he’s been coaxing me out to play in the summer sun.

Slowly I’ve learned to enjoy the outdoors.

Hiking, biking, swimming and kayaking have all become favorite activities. Still, l prefer to do most of those things in spring or fall. My true appreciation for summer didn’t come until this year, when I ventured into gardening.

I love farmers markets and the taste of fresh-picked fruit and vegetables during the summer. I expressed my wish to grow my own veggies to a gardening enthusiast friend. She encouraged me to give gardening a try. After all, she reminded me, we’re in the age of YouTube, where you can learn just about anything you need to know.

So, I went for it.

I watched videos on creating a raised bed garden, and my husband was kind enough to build me one. Then I went about purchasing plants. Lots of them. More than I should have planted in the space. Creeping plants that, unchecked, will happily take over your garden.

In a few short weeks my tiny plants grew considerably. After several weeks the tomato and cucumber plants produced flowers. The basil and thyme grew like crazy. I had plenty of parsley, thyme and rosemary.

Before long, several of my plants began to produce fruit. A fact that amazed this indoor-loving, city slicker. Soon I was sipping mint tea and munching on organic cherry tomatoes grown in my own backyard. I was the summer-lovin’ queen of my own little world. I even considered getting a tiara and sipping my peppermint tea in tiny teacups with my pinkies raised.

Then the bottom dropped out.

Or rather it rotted out. My lovely beefsteak tomatoes grew big, but then the bottoms suddenly rotted. I took to the all-knowing interwebs and discovered that it was a physiological disorder called blossom end rot, caused by a calcium imbalance in the plant. The emergency treatment was a cup of milk around the base of the afflicted plant. A later addition of crushed eggshells gave the plant needed calcium, rectifying the problem.

I encountered a few other problems along the way: splitting and cracking tomatoes, leaf spot and plants growing so wild I felt like Indiana Jones hacking my way through the jungle. Each problem was quickly identified and resolved via a few mouse clicks and the generosity of experienced gardeners who happily share their knowledge and wisdom with fledgling gardeners like me.

Despite doing just about everything wrong, I’ve managed to reap a steady harvest of fresh fruit and veggies. Several nights a week I cook something that features tomato, basil, rosemary, cucumbers, peppers or some of our other garden fare.

Cooking and eating food that I’ve grown makes me giddy with delight. I presented my first cucumber (the odd-shaped, creepy-looking, but delicious one pictured) to my husband with the same pride I displayed when I made a misshapen ashtray of clay in grade school.

Maybe it didn’t look so pretty, but it got the job done.

Through the experience of gardening I’ve developed a deeper appreciation for the earth, nature, the myriad of bugs that still find me utterly delicious. And for summer. The lovely season that made my garden possible.

For me, gardening is no longer a hobby. It’s an essential part of my daily life. Like cooking or going grocery shopping. It’s a part I just happen to enjoy very much.

Okay, maybe summer is my season, after all.

 

About the Author – Reese Ryan

ReeseRyanBioReese Ryan is an author of multicultural romance novels and women’s fiction. She serves as the current president of her local Romance Writers of America chapter.

Reese writes sexy, contemporary fiction filled with colorful characters and sinfully-sweet romance. She secretly enjoys torturing her heroines with family and career drama, reformed bad boys, revealed secrets, and the occasional identity crisis, but always rewards them with a happily ever after.

When she isn’t writing or working in her garden, Reese designs handmade jewelry and creates handmade and hand-embellished journals for her shop, Sinfully Sweet Handmade.

 

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Forever Changed

From the moment I learned that words created sentences which led to paragraphs which led to stories, I was hooked reading_little_womenon books. Thanks to my mother’s love of books as well, new books always made their way into my hands.

The tales of Dick and Jane soon led to Little Golden Books and it wasn’t long before I graduated from I Can Read to the mysteries of Nancy Drew and the adventures of Cherry Ames.

My reading world shifted when my thirst for more propelled me back in time to four young ladies coming of age during the Civil War. For the first time, a book made me shed tears upon the typewritten pages.

Yes, I’m talking about the unfolding of the lives of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March and Louisa May Alcott’s classic story Little Women.

Before I explored the world of the March sisters, books told me stories. Little Women transported me to another place and time. I wanted to be friends with Laurie and find a way to make Beth healthy. I understood Meg’s desires to be seen as a real lady. Though I knew I should have disliked Amy, I really wanted to sit beside her and comfort her when other girls made fun of her.

louisamayalcottAnd, of course, I wanted to create like Jo March.

Little Women opened my eyes to bigger stories and complex characters that longed for – and created – different ways of existence. Upon reading Little Women, I learned the books didn’t just entertain me; they moved me emotionally and allowed me to see the world through the eyes of the characters.

From that point forward, when I opened a book I wasn’t a little girl in her room in Mansfield, Texas; I was transported to other places and times. I wasn’t limited to being an unsophisticated girl in a small Southern town, I could be anything…anywhere.

I had forgotten about the world of the March sisters until I began researching places to visit in and around Boston.

As I looked at the details for visiting Minute Man National Park and seeing the place where the Revolutionary War began, I discovered that I could visit the place where Louisa May Alcott wrote the book that shifted how I saw the written word.

Visiting Orchard House became my top priority for exploration for my solo explorations.

Standing in the bedroom of Louisa May Alcott and looking out the window next to her desk, again I am forever changed.

orchardhouse_arrivalI fall in love with May Alcott for her desire to bring beauty to her family and believe that Amy is a mere shadow of her namesake.

And I understand Louisa in a way I never could as a girl. Her love of words and the desire to bring her family out of poverty by using her innate talent is incredibly admirable. Could it allow me to see the work I did during my gypsy years to keep my family afloat in a different way?

I am reminded that the words we read have impact upon us now, thirty years from now and a hundred years from now. And that the pursuit of our desires is beyond what the moment gives us; it clings to us for all the days of our life.

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
–Louisa May Alcott

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A Single Summer Day from Cami Flake

We begin the day…

CamiFlake_loveWM-1

We share a smile…(and a Coke)

CamiFlake_fair-1WM

We share a little laughter and a lot of fun…

CamiFlake_fair-2WM

We fall in love…and marry our best friend…

CamiFlake_loveWM-2

 

“Like we could be a thousand miles apart and I’d still know you were there.”
–Pete Hautman

About the Artist – Cami Flake

Cami_Flake_BioI’m Cami Lenox Flake: open-minded, openhearted lover of beauty in all forms and proud mama to my sweet little boy who fills me up every day with his curiosity, his humor, and his unbridled enthusiasm.

I am a freelance videographer, a lifestyle photographer, and a visual storyteller. My work is about movement, light, color… and heart felt connections.  I believe photography is about letting go of the rules and being open to the beauty in front of you.

You can find me online at www.camiflakephotography.com and in Mill Valley November 7th-8th, 2015, co-hosting Eat, Play, Sleep, a delicious weekend of pampering and play, with the lovely Sue Ann Gleason of Chocolate for Breakfast and Conscious Bites Nutrition.

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Sliding Into Joy by Christine Mason Miller

When I was in the fourth grade, I wanted a Slip & Slide so bad I could taste it.

It was such a simple concept – a bright yellow piece of plastic, a few feet wide and three times as long, that attached to a garden hose and sent steady ChristineMasonMiller_photostreams of water along its length, enabling kids my age to run, leap and – swoosh! – slide all the way down to the end.

Commercials showed boys careening by on their stomachs with arms stretched out in front of them and girls twirling around like the teacups at Disney World, all framed by the misty haze of sunny, sparkling water.

Most of my outdoor water play around that time involved running through our sprinkler. Don’t get me wrong, I loved running through our sprinkler. I could be entertained for an entire afternoon leaping back and forth across the fanned-out sprays, doing cartwheels, trying somersaults, and even turning the sprinkler upside down over my head. Give me a bathing suit and a sprinkler and I’d be set – as happy as a kid who’d just been given a bathtub full of puppies. (Well, maybe not that happy, but close!)

But when I saw that Slip & Slide commercial, it was all I could think about.

I imagined the kind of fun and frolic that would take my sprinkler gymnastics to a whole new level, and, if the commercials were any indication, would also lure all of my friends to my own front yard, where we’d all be jumping and leaping and spinning all day long.

Sadly, my coveted Slip & Slide never materialized, which meant it was still on my mind when I headed to Oklahoma to visit my grandparents that summer. My visits with them were always long enough that I’d manage to befriend some of the kids in their neighborhood, and that year was no exception. On one particularly hot afternoon, I was telling my grandma and grandpa about the Slip & Slide, and somehow the three of us came up with an idea which had us immediately rifling through various drawers in their kitchen in search of every available plastic table cloth they had.

I don’t remember why we didn’t simply go buy one – maybe we tried to find them but they were sold out, or maybe I was just too impatient and wanted to get the party started as soon as humanly possible. Or maybe – and I like to think it was this most of all – it was because when I was in the company of my grandma and grandpa, I felt like anything was possible.

And if anything was possible, then why on earth would I have been interested in having the same Slip & Slide everyone else had when I could make my own out of my grandparents’ perfectly good plastic table cloths?

Today I have a small stack of photos taken by my grandparents that day of me and my summertime friends careening down our own private water slide (thereby mildly flooding their front yard in the process.) They are some of my favorite pictures of those summers, a reminder of all the ways my grandparents allowed my creative imagination to run wild. I have a special fondness for the Slip & Slide, but not because I actually had one. I had my grandparents’ table cloths. And their love. Both were awesome.

About the Author – Christine Mason Miller

ChristineMasonMiller_bioChristine Mason Miller is a writer and artist who lives in Santa Barbara, California.

A second, revised edition of her 2008 self-published book Ordinary Sparkling Moments is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

The latest offering from Wild Roots, Sacred Wings is right around the corner…

You can follow her adventures right here: christinemasonmiller.com

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Mermaid Child by Melissa Bartell

“We all come from the sea, but we are not all of the sea. Those of us who are, we children of the tides, must return to it again and again, until the day we don’t come back, leaving only that which was touched along the way.”
– from the movie Chasing Mavericks

My first memories are of sea and sand and salt.

lighthouse_james_butler_flckrcreativecommonsWhen I was a baby, foghorns sang me lullabies and my nightlight was provided by a 60,000 candlepower fixed-white light beamed from a tower, and visible 15 miles out to sea.

I could swim before I could walk, and before I was seven I was an expert in swimming out just far enough to find the warm current, sweeping my arm to make jellyfish float away, and body surfing into shore without ending up rolling in white water.

I flew in the water.

I believed in mermaids.

(I’m pretty sure I was one.)

When I was five, I was ripped away from seagulls and sand castles, and relocated to the middle of the country, where I traded my tail for feet and learned to walk on land.

I learned that I could almost fly on a sled or bicycle, and I fell in love with ice skating on frozen ponds, and watching Dracula-style lightning send its electric fingers to tickle the mountain tops.

But every summer, I would go back to the beach, to the lunches that included chilled paper napkins wrapped around tuna sandwiches. To the old merfolk who had helped to raise me. To sweet corn and luscious tomatoes and ‘put a hat on so your scalp doesn’t burn.’ To sun and sand and salt water.

My moisturizer was Sea & Ski.

The scent of Noxzema was my perfume.

I would spend my days going from the beach to the pool to the cooling arc of the sprinklers keeping the lawn green, to the beige bathtub in the pink-tiled bathroom that always smelled like Nina Ricci bath powder, and the water that was always deep enough to cover my toes.

I’m an August baby, born in the heat of summer. A fire sign who gravitates to water.

(Well, they do say that opposites attract)

I am most creative, most musical, most interesting, most free, most open, most me, when I’m immersed.

Eventually, I began to shed my childhood.

My mermaid tail disappeared, not all at once, but in bits and bobs. A scale here, a seashell there.

I grew older. I started developing. I stopped arguing with gravity and flirting with surface tension.

I lost the knack of riding waves.

I stayed on solid ground.

I was happy, but pieces of my heart and soul were…parched.

Fast forward a couple – few – decades.

I’m still landlocked, but I’ve reclaimed my fins and shiny fish-scales.

lake_mermaid_flckrcreativecommons_by_soozwhiteI spend summer afternoons in the pool, and winter evenings in a soaking tub full of aquatic-scented bubbles.

I leave my hair in braids for days on end, and unwrap them to find a riot of curls – no perm required.

I visit Mexico, and learn to shuffle my feet beneath the water.

(I step on a ray, even so. Both of us are startled. Neither of us is injured.)

I take a boat out to see grey whales, and when I touch their suede-wrapped gelatin bodies, they blink their heavy-lashed eyes at me, and we recognize each other as kin.

The foghorns sing their lullabies only in my imagination, now.

I walk on land, I sing in the shower, and I buy Noxzema just so I can open the blue glass jar and breathe in the scent of menthol and camphor.

I still believe in mermaids.

(I’m pretty sure I am one.)

My tail is only visible when I’m in the bathtub.

But my mermaid child-self swims on.

Images Via Flckr Creative Commons: Lighthouse by James Butler | Mermaid of the Lake by Sooz White

About the Author – Melissa Bartellmelissabatellbiophoto

 

Writer, book reviewer, voice actor, dog-lover, and bathtub mermaid, Melissa can be found at her her website (MissMeliss.com) or her book blog (Bibliotica).

You can also listen to her podcast, “Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub” at Bathtub Mermaid or on iTunes.

 

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The Scent of Summer (and Basil Pesto) by Katrina Kittle

There is something about a July morning that takes me straight back to childhood summer vacations from school. I lime popsicle flckr creative commonsget flashes of my childhood self: scraped knees, skin “brown as a bear,” hair bleached from the sun, lips green from homemade lime popsicles, that glittering promise of every summer morning.

What triggers all these memories? The fact that summer smells so good. Truly—scent evokes more memory than any of our other senses…and the summer landscape is a poem of aroma.

Try this: go outside, early, when the dewiness of night helps intensify all good smell.

The fresh cut grass. Honeysuckle. The cloying old lady perfume of lilies. I touch the herbs in my garden—the tingly sparkle of mint, the bright breeziness of cilantro, the sneeze of dill. Brush up against a warm tomato plant and it releases a sharp perfume that should be bottled for First Aid in the grey month of February.

Peel a peach, warm from the sun, and try to decide which is more delicious: the smell or taste. Can you even differentiate between the two?

Move through your day and notice the uniquely summer smells. The hint of coconut in sunscreen. Pool chlorine. Even the touch of sun left in your glowing skin. A grill firing up. BBQ. Charcoal. Rain on garden dirt. Wet grass. Gardenia in the soft evenings when fireflies appear. Citronella. Campfires.

The more in touch we are with our senses, the more we are fully inhabiting our lives. Summer is the smell of promise and free time—when we remember simpler times, we’re more inspired to re-create those feelings in our present day.

One aroma rules over all the others in my opinion, however. The gorgeous, bright kelly green basil plant. Basil almost laughs with an aroma that is the epitome of summer to me. I always grow an abundance of basil, so much that I sometimes simply pick it as the most cheerful of filler (and aromatherapy mood lifter) in fresh cut bouquets.

My favorite thing to do with basil is of course to make pesto—to use on pasta, in omelets, in risotto, for grilling salmon and chicken, to spread on panini sandwiches, to dollop as a garnish on gazpacho…you name it. There are few things that can’t be made happier with some basil pesto. Here’s my favorite recipe. If you make it, promise to savor the scent of each fresh ingredient…and to breathe it in before you bite. Enjoy!

basil pesto in food processor creative commonsPESTO RECIPE

Blend the following in a food processor:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons walnuts (or pine nuts, or pistachios)*
  • clove garlic**
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan***
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup BASIL leaves packed tight

*Oh, come on, only 2 Tablespoons? I always put in a wee fistful.
**Seriously? One clove? There’s no such thing as too much garlic, in my opinion.
***There’s also no such thing as too much cheese. Ever. But save some to sprinkle on top, along with toasted pine nuts.

Images Via Flckr Creative Commons: Image One by Kayla Casey  | Image Two by Becky Stern

About the Author – Katrina Kittle

KatrinaKittleBioKatrina is a novelist, with four books for adults and one novel for tweens, her most recent titles being The Kindness of Strangers and The Blessings of the Animals—all redemptive stories that deal with issues of social justice.

Katrina teaches creative writing workshops from the third grade to retirement communities, focusing on craft and motivation (and is especially good at jumpstarting stalled writers).

In the Dayton-Cincinnati area, she teaches regularly for Word’s Worth Writing Connections and online through OnLiten (www.onliten.com ). She also offers manuscript consultations through Write Sisters Consulting. Katrina has always loved telling stories in any medium, and because of her extensive background in dance and theatre, she is a firm believer in both honoring an apprenticeship and caring about craft.

She lives near Dayton, Ohio with her wonderful fella, and their sweet beagle and odd cat; has a thing for goats, gardening, and going barefoot; and is totally addicted to coffee, pedicures, and movies. You can find out more at www.katrinakittle.com

 

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