Black Hole Brain

Did you know a black hole is not an area of nothingness located in the vast reaches of outer space?  On the contrary, it is a celestial entity so densely packed with matter that the resultant gravitational field doesn’t even allow light to escape it.  The pull can be so strong, in fact, that it devours other stars and can significantly impact its heavenly neighborhood.

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At the moment, my brain is a creative black hole; it has been soaking up information like a sponge, but the gravitational pull of all that swirling, spinning “matter” in my small skull won’t allow even one focused ray of an idea to escape.  The present lack of quality time available for writing only seems to intensify the severity of the condition.  It’s a maddening form of writer’s block and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

In other words: Too many nebulous ideas + no time to sort them out = black hole brain = ME!

While I recover from this debilitating disease, please enjoy the links below.  They are some of my favorite finds from the last few weeks of surfing the Internet waves.  Let me know what you think of them.  And please, if you have any suggestions I should check out, add them in the comments.  At the moment I may be incapable of writing anything worthwhile, but my brain sucks up thoughtful blog posts and fun websites like Cygnus X-1 devouring extraterrestrial real estate.

Links I’m loving right now:

1. Nectarine Skillet Cake – My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

2. Eleuthera, Bahamas – Dreaming of going here next summer…

3. How To Talk To Your Daughter About Her Body  and How To Talk To Your Son About His Body– Parenting wisdom I wish every parent understood and every child experienced.

4. The Impediment of Art – I love the quotes by Brooks Jensen.

5. When Words Fail (Steve McCurry) – For photography and music lovers.

6. What Miley Taught Me About Parenting – More parenting wisdom about raising teenagers.

7. What Is Your Design Style (Polished Casual here) – Why are these quizzes so addictive?

8. How to Pay Attention to the Beauty in Front of You – I read this just when the complete crazy of everyday life was starting to get to me.


9.  Summers Last Embers – Beautiful…

February’s Little Indulgences

February is usually a tough month for me.  For being the shortest month of the year, it seems overly long, rather dull, and much too grey.  In fact, the dreariness is so heavy that the occasional peek of sunshine is cause for heartfelt celebration.  This year, I’ve been weathering the month of gloomy purgatory pretty well.  How, you ask?  I’ve found a few small joys that shine a mellow light into the February darkness.  These gems are too wonderful to keep to myself, especially when I know there are others out there struggling with the February blahs or needing an infusion of beauty or inspiration.  Perhaps one of these little pleasures will be “a light to you in dark places” as well.

1.  Steve McCurry’s blog.  He doesn’t post often but when he does – WOW!  His latest post, Silent Language of Hands (click here), moved me to tears.  It is beautiful and powerful and profound.  Take a look.  Please.

2.  Broiled grapefruit for breakfast.  Sounds elegant, doesn’t it?  This is my favorite way to eat grapefruit and it is so easy to make.  Slice grapefruit in half and cut around each triangular section, leaving the fruit in the rind.  Sprinkle with a generous amount of brown sugar (about a teaspoon per half).  Place under the broiler in a tray with sides and broil until the sugar melts and bubbles and the grapefruit browns around the edges.  Cooking times will vary depending on distance from the broiler but it should take less than five minutes.  Don’t be surprised if excess brown sugar burns on the pan and smokes a little, setting off the fire alarm, and scaring the fur off the family cats.  It’s all worth the aggravation in the end.  Place grapefruit halves in bowls, grab spoons, and enjoy.  The best part of the whole experience is the warm sweetened grapefruit juice – sublime!  Even better – preparing and eating them with someone you love.

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3.  The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.  I’d read The Hobbit a few times when I was younger, but forgotten much of the story since then.  Seeing the recently released movie, with its artistic license and additions to the plot, prompted me to think about a reread.  When I was at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago, I found a hard cover, pocket-sized 75th Anniversary edition with a dust cover of Tolkien’s original  illustrations.  I couldn’t resist.

I am thoroughly enjoying this charming tale.  It is far more light-hearted than the movie and less dark and serious than the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Tolkien’s style of writing in The Hobbit is a pleasure to read.  I look forward to curling up in bed with my little book to check in on Bilbo Baggins and Company before I go to sleep.  After the long hours of work and responsibility, it is a delightful way to end the day.

4. Houzz.comI love home design and decoration.  For the last two years, my husband and I have been remodeling and upgrading our home. is my go-to source for inspiration, solutions to problems, and wishful dreaming.  I spend entirely too much time on this site reading the latest idea books and bookmarking favorite images for the current (or next) project.  For me, this is F-U-N.  And everyone needs to have some playtime in their lives, right?

5. Harney and Sons’ Blueberry green tea.  Several years ago, a physician recommended that I drink green tea regularly because of a certain family medical history.  At first, I really struggled with the taste of it but have since found several teas that I actually enjoy.  Blueberry green tea is my newest discovery.  It is so good I don’t even have to add sugar.  Getting out of bed is almost easy on these cold winter mornings when I know a hot cup of blueberry tea will be helping me start my day.

6. One Kings LaneOne King’s Lane is a website of curated short-term sales that are updated daily.  The offerings range from stationary to luggage to furniture to rugs.   My favorite sales are the vintage goods – everything from McCoy pottery to high-priced furniture and art.  I very rarely buy anything (Mr. Whimsey may disagree with this remark) but I love looking at all the unique pieces, especially the artwork and furniture, and spying on what other people are willing to pay for these treasures.  The daily 11am postings of new sales are a highlight of my day because I get to indulge in a half hour of high-class window shopping from the comfort of my cozy home.

And finally, I offer something enchanting to end this post.  I don’t know what it is about this video that I find so mesmerizing, but I could watch it for hours.  I have seen very small murmurations around my home but nothing like this.  It must have been awesome (and I don’t mean that in a surfer dude kind of way).  The girl’s facial expressions and laughter at the end says it all.

7.  Murmuration

Do you have any small indulgences that are helping you get by?  Please share…