Thursday, June 18, 2020

Flannery, Gardening, and Art

The Strange Birds of Flannery O'Connor by Amy Alznauer and Ping Zhu arrived two days early! And below are my three favorite spreads!!! The writing, as I expected, is lyrical, and having read Flannery myself and visited her homes (it's funny that both Amy and I thought of it as taking pilgrimages!) I can say both the writer and illustrator have captured Flannery's sense of the strange. It's really a pity that she never wrote any children's stories because I believe children can and do appreciate honesty in stories. And Flannery could see the truth.  

Gardening update: I've been processing a lot of tomatoes--making a mild salsa, then a medium, but now that we have more peppers, I don't know...we might have to have those deadly ABTs--jalapeno peppers filled with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon :) As it is with gardening, the critters find the goodies. At first I saw only ants--they were nibbling cowpeas down to the nub but not the black beans. But a possum or raccoon is eating our tomatoes so now I pick them earlier and let them ripen on the counter. We always have a fresh salad and I love that Michael planted not just the plain greens but spicy ones like mustard and arugula. Boy do they give a zing, especially the mustard greens. I do have to check that I accidentally don't bring in a frog or a bee. The bees like to sip on the water from the rock wool. And I love our fresh okra, except every time I pick some, someone eats them before I get a chance to make bhindi bhaji. 

Here's my girl making art with the flowers from our garden. So pretty! But God's art is the most amazing! The camera doesn't do justice. Still I take pictures just to remember what a beautiful sunset I'm treated to every evening. 


Mirka Breen said...

Spectacular nature and garden. Be careful over using the peppers. At a certain point you won't taste anything is your salsa burns your taste-buds.

The art of Amy Alznauer and Ping Zhu is amazing.

Vijaya said...

Haha! I've already overused the peppers in a curry--Dagny thought it too hot. It's hard to judge their heat but I like to go for a medium where all the flavors blend. But there's something fantastic with hot-hot food that makes you sweat. Amy's book is a treasure!

Faith said...

Such amazing produce!! Our, um, weeds are doing wonderfully here. :)
I just got my copy of Strange Birds yesterday. I'm so impressed by the writing!! The art isn't really my cup of tea, but I agree that it works for this story.

Vijaya said...

lol Faith. Here it's poison ivy--that's why we moved to hydroponics because Michael is horribly allergic to it.

Yes, the writing captures Flannery so well. And although I really liked the child-like art, my biggest disappointment was the lack of any reference to her deep faith, which informed her very existence and her stories. From her crib, she could see the spires of the Cathedral and her room had a crucifix.

Jenni said...

I have yet to read Flannery O'Conner, but I know that needs to be remedied soon. I've heard such good things about her, and this picture book looks really interesting!
I'm impressed with all the beautiful produce you have. Inspiring! I tend to just grow enough to snack on, but my raspberries have really taken off this year, which we are all enjoying. :)

Vijaya said...

Jenni, Flannery's Mystery and Manners is a gem for writers. And her stories are unforgettable.

I love all the fresh goodies to eat. We miss our berries though--we grew them in WA but the deer come and eat everything here. Do have a bowl of raspberries with cream on my behalf!!!

Barbara Etlin said...

Love the decoupaged glass vase! And the book's illustrations look gorgeous.

Vijaya said...

Thank you Barb. I love having such an artistic kid at home. She's been teaching me so much!