The not-her-family family cemetery in Amanda's backyard, surprisingly beautiful
If I could sum May up in one word it would be unexpected. Or maybe yo-yo. I thought it would look one way and it turns out I'm OK with how it's gone instead. All kinds of fun surprises were tucked in between and, yes, even in unexpected places.
Read and Reading:
I've been looking forward to Barbara Brown Taylor's next book for a while and Learning to Walk in the Dark did not disappoint. I loved her insights about darkness and light. It deeply resonated from start to finish, especially considering lunar and solar spirituality. This makes for a deeper faith, if we will allow ourselves to go there.
I loved the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy from the start and to see how masterfully it ended with Dreams of Gods and Monsters makes me love and recommend it that much more. Taylor created such a fascinating and unique world the trilogy defies description. I never could have guessed I'd want to read about angels and monsters but I was mesmerized by Karou, Akiva, and their friends. I was hopeful they would find a way to wage peace between their two sides. And of course I hoped that Karou and Akiva would be together at long last! Taylor took us on quite the journey with the conclusion and it ended on a hopeful note, while also leaving room for a major spin-off. She's only getting started.
Jeff Chu may have been the perfect person to write Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America. His story blends well with his journalistic approach as he traveled across the country hearing stories and perspectives about the intersection of faith and homosexuality. Well written and filled with grace.
(I read 11 books this month.)
Must-see TV: Reign, Once Upon A Time, The Real Housewives of New York, The Real Housewives of Orange County
The OUAT finale gave us a number of delicious morsels. Will Hook and Emma finally become a thing? Will Regina return to being evil? Is it too soon to delve in to a Frozen storyline? I'm looking forward to finding out.
I watched the first two seasons of Scandal and all I can say is HOLY BUCKETS. That is one well written, suck you in, sitting on the edge of your seat shows. I really don't care for the whole Fitz and Olivia storyline, which is what kept me from watching it in the first place, but I can't get enough of the rest. Huck is one of the most fascinating TV characters I've encountered in some time.
Good news and glad tidings of great joy: So You Think You Can Dance is back!!!! I can never get enough of this show.
Musicians Corner returned at the beginning of the month, including headliners Jars of Clay. They recently celebrated their 20th anniversary, which is about right since I was 14 the first time I saw them in concert. They opened for PFR at a small youth conference up in MN and blew me away. I haven't listened much since college but their new stuff is pretty good. It was a nice blast from the past at the very least. (If you live in Nashville, make it a point to go to Musicians Corner at least a few times this year. Always worth it.)
Listen to the What I'm Into 2014 playlist.
On May 2, Amanda and I spent the evening with author Wendell Berry and about 498 other people for a fundraiser for Siloam Family Health Center. Firstly, I would like Wendell to adopt me as his granddaughter. Secondly, I love his perspective and the way he delivers hard truth with grace and humility. Thirdly, Siloam Center does AMAZING work.
The next morning Wendell joined Norman Wirzba and Ellen Davis at St. George for a conversation about food and faith. It was absolutely fascinating. I have several pages worth of notes I'm still mulling over. I especially enjoyed Wirzba's musing over what distinguishes a flower from a weed from a vegetable/fruit. Plus, it was a small world coincidence to hear from Davis the same month The Red Couch discussed her book Getting Involved With God.
Parnassus Books hosted Michael Pollan at the Blair School of Music. He's touring in support of the paperback release of Cooked. I've planned on reading it since the hardback came out but hadn't gotten around to it yet. The parts he read, as well as his commentary, made me move it higher up on the priority list. He is such an engaging speaker and hilarious to boot.
My friend Val had an extra ticket to see Seth Meyers at TPAC during the Wild West Comedy Festival. I have long admired his work on SNL and while I haven't tuned in to his Late Night show yet, I was pretty excited to see him. I didn't expect him to have so many political bits (a risky move in this state) but he was spot on for most of his act. I'll never hear "ou est le bibliotheque" the same way again.
Things I Love:
- Breakfast at Fido with Sarah
- Enneagram typing session with the winner of my giveaway- I was flying high afterward, such an affirmation of my new venture
- Catching up with my former coworker Lesley Ann. It had been ages since we'd seen each other but I am resolved to stay in better touch.
- Making $21 at a friend's garage sale, which is better than making no dollars
- Visiting Amanda's farmhouse and hanging out with her wonderful family. I love those people.
- Getting $91 in store credit at McKay Used Books. I am so treating myself once this move is over.
- Coffee with Julie- I love when Twitter friends become real life friends, especially when you live in the same town. Even if they root for the wrong baseball team.
- Breakfast at Marche with Abby and Emily. YUM.
- Stripping wallpaper with Jessica and Robin. I'd never stripped wallpaper before but it turns out I'm pretty good at it and it's all the more enjoyable when friends are involved.
- Unexpected days off
- My friend Val (same Val who took me to see Seth Meyers) started Poor Kids Supper Club and my name was finally picked! We went to Epice, a Lebanese restaurant in 12South. The food was phenomenal. I especially loved the lamb shank. It was fun getting to know co-diners Lauren and Jen, too. If you live in Nashville, check out PKSC.
- I headed to Birmingham for a quick visit over Memorial Day weekend. Saturday Jamie and Katherine took me to Saw's, where I indulged in sweet tea fried chicken and, of course, fried pickles. Let me say: those are some good fried pickles. Also, Internet friends are the best.
- Katherine invited Jamie and me to her neighborhood cookout, which was fun. Also fun: whipping up cocktails before we went. I'm pretty proud of my white rum, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup concoction.
- To cap off the evening, Jamie demonstrated how to make cake pops. She is my cake pop hero and while I appreciated learning the process, I'll probably just order cake pops from her. Yes, those are baseballs and White Sox logos.
- Sunday I headed over to see Lora Lynn and her crew. I love hanging out at their house. She and Andrew are so warm and welcoming. I always feel special when I'm there, which does this Four good. We didn't get nearly enough time chatting on the porch swing but we sure made the best of it.
- It's CSA (community-supported agriculture) season again! I've signed up with Delvin Farms for the third year and look forward to the ways their produce will inspire me in the kitchen.
- I'm in love with the Paloma Collection from Popbasic! I can't get enough of their tees, never turn down a good scarf, and I'm pretty pumped about the clutch. I got a light brown clutch from a previous collections and get compliments on it all the time. If you use my referral link, you'll get $15 off your purchase.
In the Blogosphere:
(If you want to follow me on Instagram, my user name is leighkramer.)
On The Blog:
I was thrilled when Tsh asked me to talk Enneagram on The Art of Simple podcast. If you haven't listened to it yet, here's how to Confront Your Junk.
Things were a little quieter on the blog front as I gear up to launch my Enneagram consulting business. (Did you see the logo yet?) Newsletter subscribers will be the first to know when it's ready (and have first dibs at a spot!) You can sign up for the Enneagram-specific newsletter here.
On the Leigh Kramer FB page, I might have shared my go-to karaoke song and the amazing card my niece-in-love gave me. Plus, lots of Enneagram and Wendell Berry talk.
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What have you been into this month?
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