Gather ’round

Hello, all.

It’s time to gather ’round.

Last week’s theme for Approach the Light‘s Project: Draw with Light was Gatherings. I’m a couple weeks behind, but I am happy to say it’s because I’ve been focused on just that: gathering around people who make me glad and giddy.

And it’s been grand. Last weekend we hopped the rocks at Rock Island State Park until we finally made it to the swimming hole–and look what we found: This was happening on a rock, here:

see there, beneath the tennis shoes? magic is happening!

That suave curly-haired fellow is also known as the “River Messiah,” not least because he lugged a grill to this rustic location and made fresh chicken tacos! See the messiah at work:

Thank you, Matt T, for excellent tacos! Cheers to all you lovely friends in attendance; I adore our good times. This has surely been the coolest gathering I’ve made it to recently!

…And Hippie Jack’s was not too long ago–I sure do love all the music and camping and creek-ing and sandwiches and “banquets” and dancing (especially with those two cats below).

Rallies around food are most certainly my favorite gatherings. This brunch comes to mind. And this Autumn pumpkin party. Oh and these were served at this wine-tasting ‘Pinot’ party:

This post is getting rather long…but Gatherings! I love them! They look like this:

and this,this,

Sunset cocktail hour.

and this:

I’m lucky for so many sunny times and darling friends. Gather with yours and make a delicious summer!

Sips and Bits of Gratitude

Approach the Light‘s Project: Draw with Light theme this week is gratitude. Let me share with you a few things I’ve been grateful for in recent days:
(1) One of my favorite kindred spirits: a brother who shares my infatuation with bubble tea…

…and (2) these roses we admired on our sunny afternoon promenade through the park. I am extremely happy with the Dogwood Park expansion–Cookeville, you know what I mean–such a nice new place to meet and lounge and stroll!

(3) An unexpected evening full of chats and catch-ups–featuring a signature Carly cocktail, the Scurvy Squid–that would be equal parts spiced rum and coconut water (coconut juice) over ice. It’s a perfect summer beverage–light and sweet, but not saccharine. Try it!

I’m grateful for people who are bright, open, and focused on the pleasure of the present moment. Thanks, Carly!

(4) Every morning I am welcomed in my (parents’) kitchen by a fresh, hot pot of coffee that I never have to make. And that cake is this cake–which tastes its best exactly 2 days after baking! (I’m grateful for the glorious phenomenon that is pound cake!)

And there they are, (5) the parents who make the coffee, buy the groceries, eat my experiments, and let me run wild in the kitchen. Thanks, you two!