A new blog post:
Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
A new blog post:
Those of you who read my Heritage View books know I love to garden. I've been mucking around in our real gardens today, which are never as tidy, beautiful or well planned as Gen's in my first book. A gal can dream.
Nothing particularly fun on the agenda today, to be honest, though a bad day in the garden . . . still better than a good day doing, well, many other less gratifying labors.
I have too much grass growing into my beds due to a lack of disciplined edge work last fall. You gardeners know that a good sharp edging tool and a four-inch deep wedge-shaped little trench is all it takes. But it is hard work and needs to be refreshed more than once a season to maintain it.
I slacked in this respect last fall and now I am bemoaning it and paying the price. Nobody to blame but myself, so out I went early this morning. Got enough done to feel I'm on my way to reclamation, so now I take a break.
The pink hydrangea is the 'Endless Summer' variety that is really my only option up north. It doesn't get as much acid as my others, so it stays a lovely clear pink. My blue ones stay blue by putting juniper clippings at their base after I prune our junipers. The clippings add acid to the soil as they decompose. Once a year, I'll dump some Holly-Tone on them when I feed my other acid-loving plants, but I'm not diligent about it.
I'm really going to date myself when I talk about the second picture above. My Chuckle Patch. Magic Garden reference, anyone? I know the Chuckle Patch looked more like daisies, but honestly, if you can get sun-loving daisies to grow at the base of a big shade-tree like they pretended to do in that show, then you really DO have a magic garden.
Anyway, my Chuckle Patch is Coreopsis. This variety, 'Zagreb,' does better in my garden than 'Moonbeam' so I grow it even though I'd truly prefer the lemony calm of the latter if I could get it to thrive.
Okay, this last one has our hummingbirds in raptures. It is Mondarda, a.k.a. bee balm, or (great piece of trivia) the ingredient for "Oswego tea" (look it up). It smells herbal and the color of mine is between red and fuschia. I believe it is 'Raspberry Wine' but I can't swear to it. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds adore it, they really do. Easy as pie to grow.
Engaged in Heritage View will be live on Amazon May 24th.
After a mellow first half of winter in our neck of the woods, we have gotten "the real thing" this past week. More snow coming, too.
Snow blowers whirring, snow shovels scraping, snow brushes . . . well, making whatever sound they make as people brush of their cars.
In any event, I am pleased. Pleased? Yes, pleased. I can point to all the coziness of winter while others complain about the cold and the mess, and they are probably right. But I remain . . . pleased.
There is something about having this period of proper winter that makes me feel somehow that spring and summer will be all the sweeter for having had it. My very nature craves the change of seasons, the sense that different activities celebrate the different times of year. I enjoy it. It sets me right. I feel a part of the natural rhythm and pulse of everything.
I don't ski (well, not since high school), and I don't have any particular winter sport that I engage in or activity that is distinctly snow dependent.
But, I have the birds. Oh, to tromp around in the snow filling feeders and scattering bread, and filling baths with warm water from the tap to break and melt the ice, if only for 20 minutes' time.
Lovely. Rosy cheeks, snowy cuffs, and some deep satisfaction that comes with basic, good, well-done chores. I could have picked a fancier adjective no doubt, but "good" feels most appropriate. It is solid. It is unpretentious. Unfussy.
And the birds react so merrily, with pure enthusiasm. Bird lovers know the flitting and chirping that accompanies an unhurried bird meal. They know us after all these years. They are assured that we will come again and again.
They peer at us from junipers and rose bushes and rhododendrons with leaves curled in frigid air. They peep to each other as they watch us trudge about in the snow and only skitter away a cursory distance. We are the puffy-jacket clad upright animals that bring them their daily bread.
That's good. They say we can't live on bread alone, but bread and the chirping of birds might just about do it.
Be well, be healthy. Be happy.
Happy Monday, friends.
Grab your coffee and visit with me here:
C.D. Hersh's "Wednesday Special Spotlight"
And mosey on over to Goodreads after that:
Annie Stiles writes warm romance novels that will touch your heart and be the perfect armchair escape from the cares of your day. Real life...the way you wish it could be.