As a writer I am always looking for inspiration. I observe the world around me and and am inspired by so many things. I am also opinionated and love to share my opinions about books, tv, magazines and issues related to global women’s rights and the protection of the world’s children. I love gardening and cruising farmer’s markets. One of my inspirations is Mireille Guiliano, the author of “French Women Don’t Get Fat” and her passion for freshness in food and enjoyment of life. Reading her book got me started on an obsession for reading books by authors who had moved from other countries to France, their experiences and what they loved about the country. It has created a huge desire in me to see France someday, starting with Paris of course! Which is kind of why I picked the new Chateau template for this, my first blog. It looks so French! Another author who inspires me (believe me I was more surprised than anyone…) is Tori Spelling. I honestly didn’t think I would like her beccause all I had known about her previously was the show 90210, but she hooked me with her reality show about her life and family and her energy has inspired me to try living my life more in the present moment. I’ve read all of her books, and find them surprisingly amusing and touching. She has a new website http://www.torispelling.com that she updates regulary with ideas about style, fashion, food and fun. She is like a refreshing, sparkling, cool drink on a hot summer day. Mostly my hobbies are reading (lots!) and watching tv (hello HGTV!) that gives me ideas about changes I want to make in my home and my life. I’ve got several home projects lined up so I’ll be writing about those too. With summer finally here in the upper Midwest I’ve actually gotten a start on my garden, including getting a compost pile started, and love to hear others tips on what works and what doesn’t while trying to grow things organically. I’m a big believer in trying to live with the creatures in my environment and except for the time that the squirrels tried to take over my garage I live an let live. I made my first foray to the farmer’s market today. I look forward to seeing all the fresh produce and handmade products that the vendors bring for all of us to buy. Today I wandered around getting the lay of the land because this was a new market that I hadn’t been to before-the South Milwaukee Farmer’s Market. I bought a huge bag of lavender because I just love the smell and my tiny pot hasn’t started producing any buds yet. I really enjoyed talking with the woman running the table, finding out that she gets her products from her husband’s family’s lavender fields in upstate New York. I bought a couple of muffins from the Puppy bakery for my dogs Maggie and Jake. I share fruits and vegetables and a little bit of eggs and meat with them but not sweets so this was a little treat for them. They definitely liked the muffin and I’ll check back with the woman running the booth when I go back next week, as she told me she changes things up pretty regularly. I forgot to go back to the lady with the local honey (I’m out of the stuff I bought last year), but there is another local market on Saturday morning the South Shore Farmer’s Market, and I’m hoping the guy I bought honey from last year will be there. I stopped to talk to the boys from the SM High School Robotics Club. They had a totally cool robot that they had designed and built and that got them all the way to the National competition in their very first year! They were clearly excited to share their accomplishment and answered all my questions. Rock on guys! Today was a good day for summer and I really enjoyed today’s Freshly Pressed post “104 degrees and ten great things about summer”. The writer Rachel (http://aspenandella.wordpress.com/) did such an awesome job of evoking the things of summer that I’m probably going to pick up a watermelon when I go out to get groceries later even though I don’t live in Texas and am very thankful that it isn’t 104 degrees in my not air conditioned house!