Monday, May 2, 2016


At this time of year, Las Vegas smells of jasmine. Its syrupy sweetness is in the air everywhere I go. It is also open-window-weather, which means I love being at home with the windows open. Open windows always inspire me to do things around the house...laundry, baking, writing, reading....well, anything really. When the weather is mild, I just feel inspired in general.

This weekend I sat on our back patio and finished reading Tessa Hadley's new novel,
The Past. And it was perfect for this weather. In it, a family goes back to the house where their grandparents lived - an old quirky house in the remote English countryside surrounded by nature. My reason for liking the book was her descriptions of the nature around the house, and her detail about what it felt like to actually be there. Reading the book made me pay attention to our house and the nature around the birds sing so loudly every morning, (By the way, a hummingbird is two feet away from me as I type this, checking me out through the window!) the way the jasmine has started climbing across the top of our patio, (Oh, the mama hummingbird is back - now she's feeding her babies on the nest outside my window! They're so small I can't even see their beaks yet!) ...

Okay, I guess the mama hummingbird is forcing me to write about her. She just snuggled down on her nest after feeding the babies. Have you ever seen a hummingbird feed her babies? It's quite violent. She shoves the food down their throats with her long beak. Now that the babies have hatched, we can look forward to watching them grow...slowly their beaks will get longer and longer, sticking up from the top of their nest.

I've lost track of how many hummingbird babies have been grown in our courtyard. To me, what makes them special is that they make our house feel like a home. They choose to come live with us every summer. Our house has been honored by their choice.

Mama Hummingbird, in her nest outside our courtyard window