Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A List For a Hot July

A List For A Hot July

They say it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement. I’ll take their word for it. To actually conduct the experiment myself seems to require too much effort for too small a return. Besides, the air feels like chicken broth and no doubt I would falter just carrying my sacrificial egg down the drive to conduct the experiment. No, I planned to just stay inside counting the days until fall. But then I looked at poor Edward’s sad furry face - too long had he been bored by the heat, too long trapped inside the cool house.
So I grabbed one Songwriter and two furry dogs, two large sun hats and one ukulele and we all headed off to more salubrious climes.
Here I shall stay for awhile, working my way through this stack of new books.
Perhaps I’ll pour myself another glass of cold Pellegrino with lime.
Perhaps I’ll eat a peach.
Or two.
Perhaps I’ll write a fairy tale.
Or whip up a new fun list for this hot, hot month.
Yes, a list. That’s what I’ll do!


1. Dog Nose Necklace
As I sit here writing this list, the wind is playing through trees dressed in tattered grey dresses of moss. A ceiling fan slowly twirls overhead, its mahogany blades listlessly chasing each other round and round and round, stirring up a soft breeze that ruffles the fur of the big white dog asleep at my side. Edward is such a good traveler - always up for an adventure, always happy to have a new experience - we like to take him with us whenever we can. But sometimes I have to be away and when I am I wear a lovely locket around my neck that holds photos of those dear to me. Of course Edward’s photo is safely inside. But I recently discovered a delightful new bauble that might just be even better. Handmade by Florida artist Jackie Kaufman, these pet nose pendants are created from actual molds taken of your pet’s nose. Made in solid sterling silver, they can be engraved on the back with your pet’s name. Can you imagine?
See them HERE.


2. Beach Toys
He doesn’t know it yet, but Edward will be running on the beach this evening.
Summer just isn’t summer without being barefoot on beach sand at least once.
These little guys seem to capture that happy beach experience just perfectly.
Handmade by Pogoshop, you can find them HERE.


3. Jo Rowling
I possess an innate distrust of anything wildly popular, a personality quirk that usually serves me well but, occasionally, just occasionally, causes me to miss something truly wonderful. This was the path I was on when the first Harry Potter books came on the scene.
I’m not really interested”, was my reply each time a friend encouraged me to read one. Finally The Songwriter, who had already succumbed to Harry’s considerable charms, brought home the first book, put it into my hands and said, “Sit down. Read. Just the first chapter. I know without a doubt you’ll love it and who knows you better than I do?”.
He was right of course, and I merrily joined the throngs around the globe who impatiently waited for each new book and saw each new film on its opening day. With the recent release of the very last movie, I find myself rather wistful. I will miss them terribly, but am so grateful they were written in the first place. What Jo Rowling accomplished was monumental. Clinically depressed, practically destitute, with a baby daughter to care for and support - any one of these could strip a writer of creative vision and motivation. The fact that Ms. Rowling was able to hold fast to her story and write her book in spite of her problems is more than remarkable. I cheer her success - each pound that she earns makes me smile. Her books have given so much to so many. I rather envy those who’ve not yet read them. What a treat they have in store.


4. Movie Lullaby
Last month, when I was ill with bronchitis, there were several nights when I simply could not sleep. This, as we all know, is a most uncomfortable state to be in. I flipped and I flopped for a long while, coughing all the while. I punched my pillow and turned it over to the cool side. I straightened my sheets, folding my hands across my chest just so. I took a deep, cleansing breath. Then flipped and flopped some more. Finally, I remembered that my good friend was on holiday in Hawaii, and although it was two in the morning here in my miserable bed, it was only eight in the evening on the shores of the 50th state. So I grabbed my iPhone from the bedside table and texted her.
Are you there”, I asked.
“Of course!”, came the reply.
And for the next few nights, from her spot by the ocean, she would film a movie of the sunset to help me get to sleep. I would lie there in bed watching her view, listening to the waves lapping outside her door, grateful for the magic of friendship. And of the magic of technology.
Here’s one of my lullaby movies.
Divine, isn’t it?


5. Bicycle Basket
It seems to me that the best mode of transportation in summer is the same one we used when we were little. A bicycle. Mine was always was equipped with a basket that usually contained a book, a banana, dog biscuits and lemonade. I was here by the marshes in May and took a bike down through an old maritime forest to a secluded little sun-drenched cove where I gathered armloads of oyster shells - enough to line my new flower garden back at home. How did I carry all those shells back? A bicycle basket, of course.
A must have for summer.
I am in love with this one.
Find it HERE.


6. Ship Chess Set
I have always thought that Maine would be the best place to spend the summer months. Those bright blue skies and rocky coves seem to retain just enough of winter’s chill to make the summer oh, so comfortable. I love a summer’s day that requires a shawl round one’s shoulders after the sun dips down. Imagine an old beach house in Maine, lit by candlelight that dances on the weathered wooden walls. A summer storm is brewing out to sea and you’ve just sat down at a round table by the window where, in the center sits a chess set.
What would it look like?
Why, just like this one, of course.
Find it HERE.


7. Fox Coat
Of course, if you are like me and find yourself a bit tired of summer's heat already... if you long for the first brisk wind of autumn - the gold's of September, October's burnt orange.... well.... take heart.
It won't be too long now till we'll be wearing clothes like this.
If we're lucky.
Find it HERE.


7. Dr. Crusher and the Poem
Some years ago, I was standing in the concession line at a Loreena McKennitt concert when I felt someone staring at me. I cautiously turned to see a young man studying my profile with intensity.
Oh, my gosh! I thought you were her!! I’m sorry”, he said.
But has anyone ever told you that you look exactly like Dr. Crusher on Star Trek?
Well, gee. No woman minds being told they look like a star, I suppose, but I don’t know of many women whose egos would back flip with joy at the mention of their resemblance to a Star Trek character, and as I’d never seen the show, my mind immediately filled up with images of aliens and monsters rendering me decidedly less than flattered. Dr. Crusher? The name did not sound promising. I paid for my Diet Coke and slunk back to my seat. I did later see the lady in question and, sigh, I do rather look like her. The Songwriter even found a candy bar with her image emblazoned on the side and brought it home to me. It still resides in my kitchen and never fails to bring a smile.

I don’t suppose we ever see ourselves the way others do. Even our mirrored reflection isn’t capable of showing us our true visage, the way we are seen by others. And maybe that’s a good thing. Although occasionally, when we get a glimpse of ourselves in another’s eye, it can be an interesting sight. For example, just last week I received a phone call from an old, good friend from childhood, one of those few treasured people who has known me since I was twelve. He phoned from the car where he’d just heard a poem read aloud on the radio. “It reminded me of you! So I called to see what you’re up to.” We had a fun chat, as we always do, making plans to get together soon and catch up. Later in the day, I remembered about that poem and went online to hear it for myself, to perhaps decipher what about it reminded him of me.
I listened.
And I smiled.

On the 747

As soon as I sat down
the seven year old girl
offered me gum
and showed me a postcard
of the airplane we were in.
She was writing her mother
whom she had left at the gate,
smearing her love
in blue magic marker.
Then she pulled out a drawing
she had made of the wind
and one of a cloud
and a man who had ladders
for legs and eight arms
extending eight hands.
After the heavy body of the plane
lifted off the ground,
she held my hand and talked
about her flute teacher's birds
and the eels she had bought
in a bait store and let loose
on the beach, each one
slithering into the dark
of the green waves,
returning to what she said
she could not imagine.

by Malena Morling


I wonder.
What poem might remind someone of you?


Oh, and this just in.....
A heartfelt thanks to artist Tina Steele Lindsey for the
wonderful mention last week!
I am incredibly honored!
See it HERE


  1. Hotter than is necessary in my opinion. none the less, I went out to Central park to see "Pink Martini" live and it was fine. Although it might seem counter-intuitive, like hot tea and a hot bath on a blistering day, it will cool you down to see The fabulous "Brasil" at the original blog post here-

  2. Dear Pamela; A wonderful post today. Love your lists.

    Not sure what poem would remind someone of me, but for reasons unknown, Mr. Lear's very charming "The Owl and the Pussycat" has been rattling around in my brain for days and days. Perhaps because of that wonderful night sky out there this month! Go figure.

    "And hand and hand, by the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon; they danced by the light of the moon."

  3. This was a wonderful post in many ways. I disagree with you about shunning the latest fads. On the weather front, though, it's chilly here today in western Oregon. Having lived in Mississippi for 36 years, I revel in times such as this.

  4. What a lovely post Pamela. I am going to re-read the H.P. books. Might even be better the second time around. I’m having a giveaway at my etsy shop. Stop by ...Cynthia

  5. I would like to think a song might remind someone of me. Songs remind me of others.

    I love the movie lullaby. What a great idea!

  6. The hilarious first illustration is exactly how I feel these hot days!
    Sorry, can't imagine wearing a doggie's nose around my neck!
    The fox coat - fabulous - that Etsy shop has the cutest kids' clothes.
    Have never read Harry Potter books - saw only the first movie - perhaps not for me, but maybe I'll read someday. You know how it is, so many books, so little time!
    Lovely movie lullaby - what a sweet idea.

    ...,,,,and that poem, I love that poem - the child did all the wonderful things today's don't......thanks to technology, grrrrrrrr!!!

    Another fabulous list Pamela, thanks so much.
    Fondly, Mary

  7. I think exactly as you do, I am counting the days until Fall! It is my favorite time of the year, that is why I named my blog Pine Cones and Acorns...the two nuts and sees of Fall and winter. The scortching summer heat is too much somedays.

    I love Laurenna McKennit! How lucky to see her live.

    I am a late bloomer to reading the Harry Potter books, I always loved the movies, and have just now finished the books. I started reading them last week and finished the last one yesterday! There is nothing like a good book on a hot day.

    Enjoy your holiday!

  8. Oh Pamela,
    Could you send some of your weather over here.....we started off with the most glorious Spring but have now succumbed to rain over the past few days !!!! Typical English summer !! Not to worry though as I know that the sun will be back. I know how it works over here !!
    What a wonderful pot pourri you have shown us. A dog nose necklace....why do I never think of these things ? JK is a legend and looked so beautiful at the UK Premiere and, I love the fox coat.
    I hope that you, The Songwriter and Edward and Apple keep cool .... I can't think of a better way to do it than a cold glass of Pellegrino with lime and the odd peach or two !! XXXX

  9. How did you get that illustration of me? :-)
    Lovely post and I love the lime green bicycle basket!
    Wonderful thoughts.

  10. I love your list posts! Thank you for researching a world of things I would very much like to have - especially that beautiful chess set.

  11. Pamela,
    Everytime you do a lists posts, I feel like I stumbled into the most wonderful shop! The dogs nose necklaces made me snort...almost!

  12. Love your prose, love your dog and love the illustrations you come up with to accompany your posts....where do you find them!.....all tolled, your blog is incomparable.....(today's illustration is hilarious!) and dear Edward.....pure heaven!

    Kay @

  13. Where do you find all those lovely things Pamela? I adore those dog nose pendants!

  14. Love your list! I agree with you about J.K. Rowling. There are so many things that are inspirational about her accomplishments. And the fact that she wrote the books, created the stories and characters, and got kids reading all over the world. Just amazing. Fall will be here soon!

  15. Yes, yes, and yes!!! I heartily agree with all!

  16. Great List! Thank You all.


  17. Hello Pamela

    I love eveything on your list! The video is very peaceful and thank you for sharing.

    Have a good day!

    Tracy :)

  18. That fox coat is the cutest!
    By the way, send a little of that heat my way. It has been raining and cold enough to wear a coat here.

  19. Poor shaggy Edward! We used to clip our golden retriever, Stella, short for summer. We also took her swimming with us in the ocean instead of on walks. When I swim now, I miss her. Her ashes are scattered in the sea.

    I’m a big fan of JK Rowling too. I’ve read all the books and seen the movies with my kids. She’s part of the reason I’ve started writing fiction for teens myself.

    I’m sorry you were ill, but you are lucky to have such good friends to cheer you up. Maybe one day someone will approach that actress and ask if she is the beautiful blogger here.

  20. I am fanning myself like the Regency lady pictured, we are heading for record heat tomorrow. I bless the air conditioner, remembering the days when we managed without one.

    You put together such very engaging lists! I love the dog nose pendants, crazy as they are and yet lovable.

    The poem paints a picture of a happy, confident, creative child - what a treasure to rediscover your young self as seen through another's eyes.

  21. I love your lists Pamela and you have reminded me to get back to 'Harry Potter'....I have only read the first three so I need to get a move on.....xv

  22. I am big Star Trek fan and now that I look at Gates McFadden's picture (Dr. Crusher) I do see the resemblance. I always thought she was quite beautiful. I love your blog. You are such a gifted writer. I always look forward to reading what you have to say.

  23. Wishing we could share a little of your weather, i have grown so used to the rain! Delicious goodies, but especially the dog nose necklaces, and oh those fox coats, so sweet, thank you for sharing .

  24. Hello Pamela

    I share your distrust for anything wildly popular and have not read the Harry Potter series. Coming from one rebel to another, I will pick up the first book and give it a "go".
    I think Edward probably knows you have something planned, they seem to have the ability to mind read, our does!
    Wishing you gentle breezes

  25. Hm. I think we were all sold a bit of a fairy story about JK Rowling's humble background. Her childhood home was a Grade 11 listed pretty stone 'cottage' in Gloucestershire worth £400,000... that's quite a privileged start in life! A property like that in London would be, gosh, half mill, maybe more? Perhaps a lot of JK's back story was exaggerated to make a fantastic story even more fantastic (and media-friendly), who knows. It certainly worked, and doesn't detract from what she achieved, but I do think it's interesting that a sort of rags to riches background was needed when her stories are so good anyway.

    I do like the mix of what has taken your eye this week. I can see a resemblence with Dr. Crusher but it is very faint (and what a name for an alter-ego! Dr Crusher!)
    And I love the poem. How lovely someone thought of you in that way (and I can totally see why). I'd love to be thought of like that. :)

  26. What a sweet friend you have...the mini videos were such a touching way to reach across the miles and take care of you, warmed my heart.
    Believe it or not, I have NOT read the H.P books yet...I've had such a rollercoaster life these last few years I haven't had the proper kind of time to dive in and get hooked...but it is at the top of the list for fall and I can't wait. I want to immerse myself completely in the books while it's stormy and cold outside, and I'm tucked in with tea and crumpets...soon, soon!
    I think Miss. Ginger's tiny little nose would make a wonderful 'locket', I love this idea so much, so creatively sweet!
    Wishing you cool breezes and air dialed down to veggie broth instead of chicken...or better yet...lemonade!
    xo J~

  27. Lovely should come and visit the Hilltop dearest..We believe Autumn has soon!!!
    I'm wearing a sweater..we made a fire yesterday evening..and we sat there watching the dancing flames(not the fireflies) JULY..!

  28. Oh yes we are in heat warning stage here in Kansas City, it is like a sauna outside!!

    Love Edwards beach toys and we must wear our sun hats from Andrea, the French Basketeer!

    Art by Karena

    Be sure to Come and enter my Giveaway of a very Special Painting by Mary Maxam!

  29. After meeting you for the first time, I was raving about you to my husband and said, "Plus, she looks like Gates McFadden."

    From me, there is hardly a higher compliment. when I was a teenager and a die hard Trekker, she was my idol. I wanted to be a savvy, compassionate, powerful and terribly glamorous woman. When I discovered that she was also a choreographer and had choreographed the ball scene from one of my favorite movies, Labyrinth, I only loved her more.

    I was compared to Blossom and Sarah Jessica Parker for years... Argh.

    I have never been compared to a poem, but I love when people post on my facebook wall with "I saw this and thought of you..." This month alone I have had postings of embroidered book covers and fabric design. It always tickles me...


  30. Congratulations you! Gardeners and dog walkers, salt of the earth both.

  31. Where do you find all those lovely things Pamela? I adore those dog nose pendants!


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