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And so with Evie, as she stood talking to the cook. Thought she could take up her mother’s work inside the house, just as the men could take it up without, she felt that something unique had fallen out of her life. Their grief, though less poignant than their father’s, grew from deeper roots, for a wife may be replaced: a mother never.

— E. M. Forster, Howards End

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Saturday morning was breakfast at the café with the Red Bean: a proper capp for me, Darjeeling for her, peach scones. Then Mister and I headed out to do some birthday shopping for the Poulette and enjoy a late lunch. This heading out without kids in tow is a new thing for us, one we’re settling into quite nicely. It feels new and different, a bit shiny. A reminder that these days are iridescent, changing colour as my viewpoint shifts or the light passes just so. And so I do what I do: eyes wide, observing, making notes, doling out hugs and kisses as frequently as possible, and giving thanks.

PS: There is a new course offering up over here, one near and dear to my heart. I would love for you to join us!

Weekending with Karen and weaving words along with everyone else inspired by August prompt-a-day. join us and link up over here, on the ALM Writes fb page, or on twitter or instagram using the hashtag #writealm.


  • What a delish breakfast with wonderful company.
    Now that the kids will be in school maybe there will be a little time in the day for me for this course- jumping over there now.
    Happy Sunday.ReplyCancel

  • A lovely Saturday : )) So nice to have time with your Mister! Me and mine celebrated our 18th anniversary this weekend with a night out alone and then one with our wonderful boy and friends : )) Looking forward to the course very much!!ReplyCancel

  • Sweet catching up here, friend.
    I hope all is well in your world and your pregnancy is going easy!

  • My heart took a little leap when I linked to your lovely offering of Wholly Ordinary. Just enrolled and couldn’t be more excited Amanda! This school year marks a major turning point in my life…in the way of having 3 whole hours all to myself early in the day (my favorite and most inspired part of the day). With my littlest beginning 1/2 day kindergarten, I am welcoming this time as a gift to myself…I’m just a little thrilled, just a little ;o). Your offering of this journaling class will provide me with the perfect jump start to diving deeper in my journaling and writing, thank you again for sharing your amazing gift of writing with others.

    ~ AprilReplyCancel

  • Mike and I were both commenting on the shift of light in our home this morning, gives me a ray of hope that there really will be cooler temperatures in my future because right now it is unbearable!
    Enjoy a beautiful day with your birthday girl and her wonderful siblings!ReplyCancel

  • I love how you can leave the kids and be out, that newfound freedom :) happy birthday to your girl! I love your weekend and am happy you shared it with us. I’m so excited about my course!ReplyCancel

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This was the scene late yesterday afternoon. I’d been reading too long, so the Red Bean gave me a gentle nudge by beginning to set the table around me. I love evenfall; it’s one of my favorite words, it’s easily my favorite time of day. And sitting at my dining room table looking out the windows, I love watching the sun sink in the sky and do amazing things in the treetops across the street then sink a smidge lower to make that sweet little yellow cottage glow. I wonder what it would be like to be in that cottage, in those front rooms, bathed in golden light. I wonder if my neighbors appreciate it, if they’ve even noticed it.

“The book was in her lap; she had read no further. The power to change one’s life comes from a paragraph, a lone remark. The lines that penetrate us are slender, like the flukes that live in river water and enter the bodies of swimmers. She was excited, filled with strength. The polished sentences had arrived, it seemed, like so many other things, at just the right time. How can we imagine what our lives should be without the illumination of the lives of others?”
― James Salter, Light Years

I’m reading this again. Again. I’ve read it several times and have yet to be disappointed. Each reading is a new reading, gleaning new gems from the pages, new insight into Viri and Nedra. It’s the very best kind of book because I feel that flaws and all, Viri and Nedra would be ideal friends, neighbors. If Viri and Nedra lived in the yellow cottage across the street, I imagine they would make a practice of having their afternoon cocktail there in the front room bathed in golden light.
PS: Have you signed up for the ALM Writes monthly newsletter yet? One email a month with writing/photography prompts, news, and other tasty morsels. Next one is hitting inboxes Friday with news about a new course offering. Sign up here.

Weaving words along with everyone else inspired by August prompt-a-day. join us and link up over here, on the ALM Writes fb page, or on twitter or instagram using the hashtag #writealm.


  • Okay, I signed up. I promised to challenge myself more and I need to get to it, writing will accomplish that challenge since it is something I struggle to do.

    I find great comfort in visiting old friends in books, like old friends knocking on the front door that you haven’t seen in ages.

    Evenfall is a great word!ReplyCancel

  • Oh, that quote….I get a little shiver reading it. Well, this novel has been added to my list…I always appreciate the little snippets of what you’re reading.

    Evenfall, a word I love. I follow the evening light around the house, always with appreciation for the subtle changes in the way the light falls across the room. These last few weeks of August seem rich with promise of what’s to come, a slight hint of Autumn in the evening light. And, I’m ready for it :o)ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful imagery. I want to see that light and sense that feeling of home. <3ReplyCancel

  • Such a magical time of day : ) I love how you describe it Amanda. This sounds like a book I should perhaps purchase! Have a lovely evening : )ReplyCancel

  • I just requested Light Years from the library…ReplyCancel

  • jenny tackett

    What a happy place the world would be if everyone took notice of the elegant beauty mother nature bestows on us daily. I’m lucky enough to receive this gift every evening in my kitchen just about time to start dinner. The light transforms the room into a warm cocoon. Thank you Amanda for letting me think of this moment through your eyes as well.ReplyCancel

  • my absolute favorite time is mornings however when the dishes are done and I sit and knit in the evening, I love the settledness of the day.ReplyCancel

  • Evenfall I love this .. I love the quiet contentment that comes with this time of day I have added the light years to my ever growing to read list .ReplyCancel

  • I’m thinking of evenfall, your neighbor’s yellow cottage, and reading Light Years. Time for bed. I hope these good thoughts bring good dreams.ReplyCancel

the habit of being | the interestings

…Then, softer, he told her, “You’re the one.”

“I’m not the one.”

“You are.”

She couldn’t continue the volley, and she thought: Okay, I am the one. I am the one and I have always been the one. This life was here for me, pulsing, waiting, and I didn’t take it.

But, she knew, you didn’t have to marry your soulmate, and you didn’t even have to marry an Interesting. You didn’t always need to be the dazzler, the firecracker, the one who cracked everyone up, or made everyone want to sleep with you, or be the one who wrote and starred in the play that got the standing ovation. You could cease to obsessed with the idea of being interesting. Anyway, she knew, the definition could change; it had changed, for her.

—Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings

  • Swoon…sounds really good.ReplyCancel

  • Compelling quite. I like the idea that one could “cease to obsessed with the idea of being interesting.”ReplyCancel

  • I seeing this book pop up everywhere, I really need to read it!

    Hope you are feeling well Amanda and you enjoy a great weekend.ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten

    Oooooh, sounds good!ReplyCancel

  • Felicia Jones

    Oh, I know a couple people who could benefit from this read. They’re so caught up in playing a part, acting out a role instead of just being themselves. It must be so tiring…ReplyCancel

  • Just finished Chapter One!ReplyCancel

  • Lyssa

    I love reading quotes that you post from books! It makes me fall in love with the book already.

    I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award because I love visiting your blog : ) You can check it out here: Don’t know if you have time or inclination for this, but I would love to read the answers to the questions I’ve written!ReplyCancel

  • Is it good?? What a wonderful quote.

    I have a beautiful hardbound copy a friend gave me for my birthday and have yet to open it. I long to read this book!!ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Rebecca, It took a while to get into it but I enjoyed it. There were some really beautiful/thought provoking passages that made it worth reading.ReplyCancel

the habit of being_home
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the habit of being_home2

Home has been good a place to be lately. Cold brew coffee and a bowl of sliced watermelon at the ready in the fridge. Little people playing Legos and hosting tea parties. Eavesdropping at the bathroom door while the Nacho took a bubble bath and kept up a running dialogue which had me laughing in the hall. Dinners have been drawn out and we find ourselves still around the table in the fading light.

The Mister is prepping for a trip to Munich and London, one we had originally meant to take as a family but contracts and such delayed our plans. He’s torn, excited to go but sad to leave us, home, the feeling in the air right now because he knows it’ll be changed when he returns. The evening light will have shifted just so, our day-to-day changed as we enter the school year. I promised him it’ll still be good, so very good.

PS: What should I ask him to bring me from his travels?
PPS: Have you seen this movie? It is so very delightful.

Weaving words along with everyone else inspired by August prompt-a-day. join us and link up over here, on the ALM Writes fb page, or on twitter or instagram using the hashtag #writealm.


  • Oh, yes, I too found The Lunchbox delightful. Auntie!ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Denise, after watching it, I wanted an Auntie to call out the window to!ReplyCancel

  • Home has been my haven and one I was glad to walk back into after running errands all morning. I honestly think I could become a hermit, no problem.
    I’m sorry about the trip Amanda, that must be so disappointing for all of you. How about a pretty scarf or a lovely piece of art work to hang on the wall?ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Tracey, I’m used to it by now but am sad that this one didn’t include us as it was supposed to. Guessing at this stage of pregnancy international travel wouldn’t be fun anyway ;-) But! I’m making a list of goodies I’d like so that will make up for it!ReplyCancel

  • Haven’t seen the lunchbox yet (have seen the trailer a bunch). Ask for Crunchies from London. Yum.
    How’s mama doin? Feeling ok?

  • I am a homebody and even though I love the thought of travel I am quite happy at home. What to bring back…well an ornament for the tree, anything that he thinks you will like. Maybe a special journal? or maybe a print to frame. Can’t wait to see what you get!ReplyCancel

  • The lego landscape looks pretty much like my house! And that movie does look delightful.ReplyCancel

  • you have a knack of making the everyday magical. thanks for the reminder that there’s so much good in these every day moments.ReplyCancel

  • Felicia Jones

    Ah, the joys of family and home! Ask the Mister to bring you back some Cadbury chocolate and some of the lovely jams, jellies and chutneys that they have in England. and Germany has the most wonderful handmade wooden toys and Christmas decorations.ReplyCancel

  • You know, Amanda, I dropped by on a mission, after too long away, which was this: to thank you, voraciously, for recommending Eleanor and Park. You recommended it, what, a full year ago? And I took instant note. But just got to it last week. Life. But, oh. I stayed up late, and woke early, and stole innumerable moments, and devoured the thing whole in 24 hours. Indelible. Astonishing. Thank you.

    But then I laughed, as I saw Wolitzer’s book at the outset, since that’s next in my stack.

    And then I laughed again, when I spotted this post, as I am wearing that exact blue striped skirt, as I type. Roll top? Stripes running the other way? If not the exact same, a shocking dead-ringer.

    And so, to close, two things: 1) I am so deep-down glad that July’s seen fit to treat you a touch more kindly. And 2) I think I’d do just fine to compile my reading lists from yours. Clearly, a Venn diagram of tastes would have a decent overlap.

    Happy August to you,


    • whoops! just noted that that last comment included the wrong (read: spouse’s work!) e-mail. attached, the correct one :)


    • admin

      So glad to hear you enjoyed E&P, Molly! It really struck a chord with me and I still find myself (a year later) thinking about E&P.

      The skirt is a roll top but grey and white stripes. Clearly we are kindred spirits!