I’ve arrived to New Zealand! I’m on an extended “working” vacation for a couple months—actually spending day 1 in Auckland finishing up a book indexing project for the Center for Basque Studies before heading north to Whangarei Heads. Follow my New Zealand photo updates as I travel around the North and South Islands, and then hop up to Australia for a few weeks too.
A sampling of some of my crafted gifts this Christmas: (above) pine cone made out of shaved almonds and marzipan for Grandma Daisy; blooming cactus stationery for my mom; embroidered llamas as a gift to myself (he he); and block printed mountain goat towel for Grandma Daisy. (below) Christmas sugar cookies for everyone; embroidered panda bandanna for Alanna; block printed cow, mountain goat, and llama kitchen towels for friends; mountain goat bib for Grandma Daisy; and embroidered bandanna for Max.
I also made some little herb packs from sage, rosemary, thyme, and oregano that I picked from the Udsen garden and neighborhood streets in Templeton and then dried—forgot to take a picture though! Max made an epic craft gift for his friends, old books turned into succulent planters. Mine, pictured below, is in an old Reader’s Digest anthology.
My essay “Lost on Migration?” is out in the book Tahoe Blues, published this June by Bona Fide Books. I’m very proud of its inclusion in this collection, which I also copyedited and proofread before it hit the press. It’s such a treat to get an early read on Bona Fide’s material, to help shape it into book form. The essay is of a personal nature, about my migration from Georgia to California. It’s about fitting in, being different, feeling at home. I talk about brown thrashers in California, and the lone wolverine who’s made a home here. I think animals make such interesting parallels for our lives. I just bought the book Califauna and can’t wait to read more about regional animals and our connection to them.
A big thanks to Will Richardson of Tahoe Institute for Natural Science, the “biologist friend” in my essay who discussed animals and migration with me as I was writing this essay. Will is a valuable resource in our community. Just the other day, he pulled out his telescopic lens after an ultimate game in Truckee so we could view this red-tail hawk. I snapped this photo through the lens with my iPhone.