ramblingtart » sharing stories and art with the world from Australia

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Books, Creativity, and Late Summer Salad

It is a gorgeous Summer morning, clear, bright, fresh as a daisy. Just the sort of morning to rejuvenate flagging spirits and put the vim back into life.

I’m Celebrating Good Things today: new winter boots from Germany, a homemade fruit mince tart, the impending arrival of baby goats, great visits with friends over the weekend, leftovers to eat, and the healing power of creativity.

I’ve begun researching and interviewing for my next book, the story of a Hungarian Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust and the Hungarian Revolution, then escaped to start a new life in Australia, all by herself with only one change of clothes to her name.

It is a deeply emotional story, one filled with tales both heart-rending and laugh-out-loud hilarious. Above all it is inspiring, a gripping reminder that no matter how dark life gets, we can always choose love.

Researching such things can be draining, and the subject of the book and I have to take regular breaks from the darkness to reconnect with beauty and happiness. It’s such a gift to get to share all these moments with her, to cry and laugh together, then emerge to cook delicious things and potter in our gardens and create beauty through handicrafts. She bakes and brews and knits. I can’t knit worth a hoot, but I can wood-burn, so that’s what I’ve been doing.

It’s therapeutic for me to curl up in my chair burning designs or hang out in Bear’s wood shop cutting, drilling, shaping, and sanding, basking in the scent of freshly cut wood. I’ve added a few things to my Etsy shoppe, and hope to add more this week.

As the Summer winds to a close, there are still a few late Summer treasures to be found in my gardens. My favorites are the bushes of fragrant basil and rambling vines laden with gorgeous heirloom tomatoes that taste like sunshine. Picked while still warm from the sun, the tomatoes are delicious mixed with fresh buffalo mozzarella, torn basil leaves, and a simple dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.

What is your favorite creative outlet? xo

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Krista - Yes, @joanneeatswellwithothers:disqus, I both love it and need regular breaks to restore. xo

Krista - I got up early and baked this morning, GG, it was so relaxing, just like you said. 🙂

Krista - 60 cm of snow is sure a humdinger of a storm, @coffeeandcrumpets:disqus 🙂 I used to love snowstorms when I lived in the north. 🙂 I know what you mean about sadness over humanity not learning from the past. It makes me so sick at heart. And then I meet lovely people like you and others and it gives me hope that even in so much darkness, there are pockets of light shining brightly. xo

Krista - Oh you made me laugh, @OrgasmicChef:disqus! You have such a busy and diverse life – such interesting people and places and all the gorgeous food you make. 🙂

Krista - It sure is, @budgetjan:disqus 🙂 It feels good to be getting a better balance in my life. 🙂

Krista - Knitting and sewing on a winter evening sounds SO cozy and wonderful, @katyabroad:disqus 🙂

Krista - Thank you, @lizposmyk:disqus 🙂 I think you will resonate with a lot of the stories. XO

Joanne (eats well with others) - I’m sure getting to know all of these people who you write about is such a moving experience, but draining!

Glamorous Glutton - How wonderful to hear the stories first hand, even when they are hard to listen to. Cooking is my relaxation, the thing I do to chill out and to share love. GG

Coffee and Crumpets - First of all, I LOVE your boots!! They are beautiful!
I really can’t imagine the stories you have heard from your friend. I can imagine it being draining and very dark. What saddens me is that we haven’t learned anything from the past and the hate continues, from all sides. I can only guess that this is a test in our humanity.
Your salad looks gorgeous and reading your beautiful words actually makes me yearn for summer, which is rare, since I love winter! We’ve had snow storm after snow storm, last one dumping close to 60 cm of snow for us. It’s beautiful though!!

budgetjan - Being creative is inspiring and peaceful. Keep the mix right 🙂

Maureen - What an interesting and I’m sure inspiring tale. Good luck with it. I used to do crafts when my kids were still at home but lately all I do is cook and entertain. I need to get a life.

katyabroad - How wonderful! Can’t wait how to see this new book develops! It must be a hard story to tell and to write but it sounds like you’re doing it in a beautiful way. I can’t woodburn for toffee, but I knit and sew on these cold, winter evenings!

Lizzy (Good Things) - Looking forward to your new book and the Hungarian tale!

Krista - It is impacting me deeply, @taniamykitchenstoriescomau:disqus. Her courage enables me to talk about my own dark places and experiences, and realize that in the talking, there is healing. She is so brave.

Krista - What a gift the interviewer gave you, @Katja_dlam:disqus No wonder you treasure it, even though it’s gutting to know what someone you loved endured. You’re right, these stories need to be remembered. XO

Krista - Cooking and decorating are both wonderful creative outlets, @tandysinclair:disqus. 🙂 Yes, there is much sunshine, even in the sad stories. Love shines very bright in the darkest places.

My Kitchen Stories - What a journey you are on. One that will stay with you forever. I love the sound of your beautiful salad and of course cooking is my creative outlet

Kate Bailward - What a privilege to be able to hear her stories, even if it is hard for you both in the recalling. Hopefully it’s something that is therapeutic as well as tough. I have a friend who was a journalist for British Forces radio, and for the VE day celebrations she interviewed various army war survivors – including my paternal grandfather, who was a Japanese prisoner of war. She gave us a raw copy of the interview after she’d recorded it, and it’s horribly tough listening in places, but I’m so glad that she did. There are some stories that just need to be retold and remembered. I shall look forward to your book very much.

Tandy Sinclair - I used to do a lot of art and crafts, but my time now is consumed with cooking and decorating. I hope you find sunshine amongst all the sad things about the book!

Krista - Yes, she has incredible, gutting, beautiful stories, @breannemosher:disqus. I’m so glad she doesn’t mind when I cry right along with her. She gives me such courage. “Freshening up a space” – I like that phrase very much indeed. 🙂

Breanne @ This Vintage Moment - I can only imagine the stories that brave soul has to tell, what an incredible undertaking for you both. The picture of the pictures with the gold star is deeply moving. Cooking or writing or freshening up a space are my favourite creative outlets right now. =) XO

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