Saturday, August 26, 2023

Five on Friday: Flowers, Books, and Fun Stuff

"There are few pleasures like really
burrowing one's nose into sweet peas.
ANGELA THIRKELL, quote found on A-Z

I have to agree, burrowing my nose in a fistful of sweet peas is one of life's best pleasures. I still recall one memory, from a handful of early childhood remembrances, of the time I went with my mom to visit our neighbour on the next farm. The woman had masses of sweet peas growing on the side of her garage; we didn't have sweet peas at our house. I was invited to smell them. Oh, the sweet fragrance. I have but to catch the scent on the breeze, and I'm right back in that lovely moment. Sweet peas carry on the tradition, and today they climb my garage wall and fill my vases with sweet memories.

It's been mostly cool and rainy this week - with a decided nip in the air that makes one nearly forget it's still summer. There's still so much to take pleasure in. Despite the lateness of the season, the sweet peas are going strong, and now the late blooming Rudbeckia is coming into its own. This perennial beauty inspires me for I consider myself a late bloomer - I wrote about it HERE.

Beautiful friends, I hope you enjoy today's edition of Five on Friday!

One - Outside my window

We moved the tall Rudbeckia two summers ago from the front garden to the back yard. This season it has once again reached its stunning height of nine or ten feet. My heart takes sheer pleasure in catching sight of these yellow petalled beauties with their cute 'hats' in the centre.

Two - An old car and a faded old memory

Here I am standing in front of this vintage car, a 1956-57 Ford Meteor (or so I'm told). This past weekend we had a family reunion on the homestead farm where my mom grew up. My cousin said the car had been my granddad's. Oh my! I popped straight into an old memory—I'm about four or five years old, my grandparents are in the front seat of their car, I'm standing in the back (no seatbelts in those days); I think we're going into town. As we sorted out the approximate year of the car and how old I probably was at the time, I do believe this is the very car of that old memory. I joke with my cousins that maybe there's some of my DNA remaining on that backseat. Haha. I'm tickled to have matched up the car with that flash memory.

Three - My book pile this week

In my new reading pile this week, there are a couple of books from the library and three I purchased. I've browsed but haven't yet delved into any of them. Guess what I'm doing this weekend!

A Cotswold Ordeal by Rebecca Tope. A new-to-me British crime novelist. This book is the second in the series, as I couldn't find the first at the library. From my quick scan, the author has a couple of bestselling series: one set in Cotswold, one in the Lake District. She is also the ghost writer of the novels based on the television series Rosemary and Thyme, a series I liked very much. Do you remember it?

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Everyone surely knows this classic brooding novel set in Cornwall. I read it as a teen and have never forgotten the opening line: "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." I'd given away my copy some years ago, thinking I wouldn't revisit the story. But I thought of that opening line, and it made me want to read it all over again. I now have a copy back on my shelf.

Write It All Down, How to put your life on the page by Cathy Rentzenbrink. This book came out a couple of years ago, and I always wanted a copy for myself. When I learnt that it took Cathy twenty years to wrestle her own life story onto the page, I knew I had to read the book. She reminds me of myself about the wrestling. In it, she shares what she's learnt about "writing the self in the service of others, no matter their experience, education, background or story."   

Forgiven, A Gift from my Grandparents by Mark Sakamoto. The 2018 Winner of CBC Canada Reads. I was drawn to both the title and cover with its black spine and fiery burnt orange Oriental-like painting overlaid with Japanese characters. This historical biography tells the story of the author's family's story, 'set against one of the darkest periods in Canada's history' during World War II.

Matrix by Lauren Groff is a novel set in 1158 AD. The opening lines set me up: "She rides out of the forest alone. Seventeen years old, in the cold March drizzle, Marie who comes from France." What is this young woman doing alone in the middle of a forest? Where is she? Why has she come from France? 

Four - Funny things happen

Yes, it's true. I went out in public like that! Which reminds me of something that happened 30 years or so ago. My housemate and I were off to the landfill site to discard a worn out mattress. Till we wrangled that thing into our hatchback, I completely forgot to change my shoes. The site when we got there was grubby and muddy, and that's when I realized my feet were still shod in my bedroom slippers! Eww... thankfully the young man working that day offered to retrieve the mattress and take it away. I didn't have to get out, or the slippers would have been tossed right alongside it.

Back to the first story, a couple of days ago, we headed out to meet friends for coffee. I had my blue jeans on, so I slipped on my blue flats. Or, so I thought. Grabbing my bag, I hurried out the door. It wasn't until we were nearly home again till I noticed I'd been happily sporting about town in two different shoes. As they were both flat heeled, they felt similar. No one even noticed, or that's what I hoped. 

Five - Something delicious for lunch

The other day I needed something quick and simple for lunch. I made BLTs. Bacon, lettuce, and rather than plain slices of tomato, I used a few roasted tomatoes with olive oil and chopped basil left over from another meal. Whole-wheat sesame buns, mayo on the lettuce/tomato side and sweet chili sauce on the bacon side. Oh my, it was so delicious. The combo of flavours really jazzed it up. In this case, there are no crumbs remaining... and no pictures to show you.

On that note, I'm wishing you a beautiful weekend.

Photo credits:
All pics, except the sandwich graphic, are mine.


  1. Loved that post, Brenda. I read Rebecca early in life, too. It is time for a re-read. And how I love sweet peas. Can they be grown in a pot? Happy weekend, Brenda. Also, thanks for your visits to Writing Straight from the Heart. Susan

  2. A delightful 5 on Friday! I did giggle at the sight of your "mix and match" shoes--a most charming mistake:)

  3. The scent of flowers, or even other things can take you straight back to a time past.. I have just picked the last of my sweet peas and they still have a delicious scent even though it is a tiny bunch. With slippers today looking so like ballet flats I'm sure no one would notice if you wore them out.....but maybe if you wore two!

  4. LOVE your “Five on Fridays” Brenda and you began with that BEAUTIFUL photo of Rudbeckias which I SO want to grow “ next year!!” They are in FULL bloom here in Ohio and all I have to do is glance at them and I feel joy!! I have never seen any however that grow as tall as yours!!!!
    Always appreciate your “Book pile!” I appreciate having a small stack of suggestions and yours are always varied which I like!
    As for the car!!! Yes, memories That take us wayyy back to our childhoods are so special! When I was very small my parents had an olive green car. I can see it in our garage. I always, however, have had a memory of getting in the front seat between my Mom and Dad. I remember the orange , summer dress my Mother was wearing and even the scent of her skin as I leaned my head against her arm!!! Wow! Poignant memories from inside a car!!!πŸ˜‚ Bet you and your family had a great time reliving some of those memories together!!!☺️ Have a happy weekend ahead!!!!πŸ€—πŸŒΈ~ Ann from OhioπŸ’—

  5. I loved your Favorite Five. It makes me want to come and hang out with you! My mother often talked of her father's garden filled with sweet peas. I remember her planting them when I was a child. So pretty, and yes, such a lovely scent. Your book pile looks like fun too. I will have to see if I can find any of them at the library. I remember reading Rebecca as a teenager but I don't remember much about it now. Blessings to you!

  6. I want to thank you for your book suggestion in your August 6 post, Rules for Visiting. It was really wonderful! And your sandwich sounds delicious! I will have to have it this week. :-)

  7. Your flowers are fantastic. My sweet peas are all gone... maybe if I had a dedicated spot for them, and could pick them frequently they'd still be blooming. But I had to take them out. For a few years I had a rudbeckia just like that, and it seemed pretty fancy to me, but it didn't get as tall as yours!

    That is so funny about your shoes. At least once I wore mismatched earrings all day, but I don't *think* I have done that with my shoes. All of my shoes are so different, I think I would feel the difference. As to feeling our clothes, my daughter and I noticed that when we are wearing a cross body handbag, we forget to put on our seatbelt, because the feeling is similar.

    You reminded me that I haven't made a BLT yet this summer -- I need to scramble and assemble the ingredients while the tomatoes are still deliciously vine-ripened.

  8. Another post full of delightful things, Brenda, and I thank you. I had masses of sweet peas before we left on our trip and I hope someone is continuing to cut them. How funny about your shoes, and how easy to do something like that.
    Will take note of the mystery series and look for them at the library in a few weeks.
    Oh, a BLT! How delicious looking, and your adaptation sounds yummy. I haven't seen a vine-ripened tomato yet, but I'm hoping to once we leave Newfoundland and arrive in Nova Scotia next week.

  9. Brenda your post made me smile from ear to ear thinking of you running about with two different shoes on your feet. Had a girlfriend who wore two different ones to church one Sunday. We had such a great laugh together! Your books look wonderful - I read Rebecca many years ago... just may need to reread it too. Have a glorious weekend. Hugs!


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo