calendars

hello, dear august…

…you always make me think of the sea. If I haven’t spent enough time by or in the water come August, I know it is time to make more of an effort. This August is special, because in twelve days I am flying to Seattle, then taking a ferry to an island nearby, so I know that the sea and I shall greet each other soon! Tho’ there is so much to be accomplished between now and then, my mermaid times in the meantime may be few.

Here are the wallpapers for phone and desktop for August. It has worked for me to click the image to open in a new window, then either drag it off or right-click to download, then add to your desktop/screensaver photo folder. I hope the watery blues will refresh you. I took this photo when I was last in the PNW, in 2014.

In my most recent newsletter, I mentioned that I would share about what I’ve been reading and watching this summer. I haven’t found as much to watch as I would like…no long British mysteries to savor, no sweet dramas. So I’ve watched a bit of this and that…Queer Eye, Comedians in Cars with Coffee, lots of movies I begin and give up after 10 minutes. It’s been difficult to find much that is satisfying. Even The Great British Baking Show took several episodes to get me to care, but then I did very much. Really, if there could be a new one every season, that would be wonderful.

Sometime in June, I began hoping about Anne with an E again. I wove a little fantasy that the creators would realize how far astray they’d gone and would pull back from the cliff-hanger they left us with last season and turn a new leaf. My hopes rose when the new season started with the so familiar picture of Anne leaning out of her window, taking in her beautiful world. It went quickly downhill from there, tho’ and when that first episode ended, I reflected that nary a single scene from the books seemed to have made it into the show. But the next episode was starting and I am ever optimistic, so…

Then Gilbert Blythe stepped off a boat and on to a dock in a very badly green-screened Trinidad and my finger happily pressed the off-button. I remember seeing a sort of headline in my mind…

Gilbert Blythe in Trinidad!

And the ludicrousness of that woke me up. My hopes evaporated. I continue to be on the watch for something good and long to escape with. Do share if you have found anything, and in the meantime, it is books for me…

I’ve been trying Madeline L’Engle again this summer. A novel (The Small Rain) and a memoir (Two-part Invention.) And again, like the other times, I don’t love them. There were certainly passages in her memoir that moved me…many…but I still remain less touched than I would wish to be. I don’t quite understand it.

There have been a few novels that I picked by their covers when wandering the library aisles, including The Nest, which I heard was quite popular. But nothing memorable so far. Currently, I am turning to Rosamunde Pilcher again and believe I feel a Dorothy Sayers season coming. Lord Peter (and his Harriet) will be just the ticket, I think.

Most of all, I’ve been deeply enjoying Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Against Wind & Tide. It’s a collection of her writings-diaries and letters-when she was older, beginning in her forties. It is so interesting to watch as her nest empties, to read her thoughts as she wrote and then observed the reception of¬† A Gift from the Sea, to learn more of the reality behind what she shared in that book, and to be gently amazed at how well she could describe the ordinary/miraculous experiences of life.

Oh yes, and I’ve got the newest Flavia de Luce on hold at the library. How about you?

P.S. I have been turning to Escape to the Country when I need to rest my hands even from holding a book. Looking at old houses in the countryside of Britain, usually many glimpses of river or sea, with informative in-betweens about local businesses or history or adventures in nature…it is often just right.

welcoming july

 

July here is beginning as June ended…with a lull in the dependable rain and the heat settling in. I am in my summer home-rhythms of early morning enjoyment of the outside and the hour or two of open doors and windows, before it is time to close them, draw the curtains (never entirely) and take the hours unhurriedly…

I’m spending most of my waking hours in the studio, working on the new printables and the school year Daybook collection. There is, of course, much more to learn and figure out than I imagined, so the work goes slowly, but steadily.

It feels like a gift that my work is seasonally-oriented, keeping me focused on the cyclical, rooted bits of life. That feels especially important when so much around us, even when we try to be careful with what we take in, feels untethered and often troubling.

So the daylilies blooming against the old white fence, as they always do, and the first monarch butterfly emerging from the first chrysalis adorning our house are where I center my attention…if only for brief, appreciative moments. Those moments fill something inside me that I draw from when I need to. Those sorts of moments are what I will focus on when I create the desktop (and phone) wallpapers I plan to create for you going forward.

A lovely reason to visit on the first of each month (ah…a new rhythm!) with something useful and beautiful for you to find. There will be a calendar on the desktop one…much prettier to reference than usual computer calendar when you need a glance at the month. And I am finding since I made this for myself a few days ago that it makes me want to tidy up my desktop more often than usual to experience more peace when I see flowers, field and sky.

free Wild Simplicity desktop calendar at www.lesleyaustin.com :: queen anne's lace

free wild simplicity phone wallpaper from lesleyaustin.com

Since I’m new to all of this, do let me know if the downloads don’t work for you. It has worked for me to click the image to open in a new window, then either drag it off or right-click to download, then add to your desktop/screensaver photo folder.

Wishing you a July full of pleasure and rest,