Relaxed, Elegant, and Slightly Dilapidated

This is my new mantra for my life. Gardens, interiors… myself – all could benefit from striving for this without going beyond. I discovered the phrase will looking about for inspiration for my entry way and browsing French interiors online as a possibility. While I thought I had borrowed the phrase directly it turns out that my brain did some mental adjusting to the original “relaxed, luxurious, and often ramshackle” found in a Telegraph article (the video section). So I guess this is my very…

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Toxic to Touch will launch Aug 1

Ten years after the pandemic, island survivors search the wreckage of civilization and help each other find food, lost loved ones, or even heirloom tomatoes… except someone may have helped a disliked member of the community to an early death. Garden enthusiast Jane suspects the dead woman’s secrets may be the cause—and may be still threatening the tiny community from beyond the grave. Potentially the world’s first post-apocalyptic cozy mystery is about to hit the virtual shelves!  At just over 8,000 words you’ll soon be…

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cherries

The first year

The first year of Short Meadow as a house, a project, and a way of life is officially complete. A lot got done and a lot didn’t!  Some projects, like the raised garden beds have informed on new projects – it’s simply too windy here and a hoop greenhouse is going to be required for any real vegetable production.  There is an unbounded lack of constraint that is perhaps even more challenging than trying to garden a city lot. How do you plant a windbreak…

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Everything Old is New Again

I have vague memories of a particular Christmas that involved endless silk screening of a cedar twig onto heavy red paper for Christmas cards – back when volume was socially necessary AND crafting was big. I was too young at the time to do more than beg to have a turn and the equipment got buried in a move not long after.  If you remember this era at all you’ll probably recall similar leaves and things screen printed onto bags and tea towels and endless…

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The Coyotes sing in the Flower Moon

On Wednesday, just as it was getting dark, two family groups of coyotes gathered on either side of Short Meadow. They were probably at least a mile in either direction but when their voices rose in song they raised the roof. It was eerie and beautiful and I could have happily gone to sleep with the romance of it all. Ella had a different opinion. By the time I got her to settle down and my ears had stopped ringing from her vocal attempts to…

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watercolor cyclamen

The Merry Month of May

I’ve given in and ordered more tomato seeds – the first seedlings succumbed to wind and cold temperatures. The second batch may not do any better but at least I’ll have tried. Meanwhile the chickens are awaiting their new (and expensive) run. I was going to build one but then I threw my back out so in the interest of time, predator prevention, and getting other things done I got out my credit card. A rhubarb crisp is in the oven as I write, technically…

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rushing water

The advent of the Post-Apocalyptic Cozy

I was challenged – but I was right, it is surprising easy to write a post-apocalyptic cozy mystery. I’m not saying it’s good, just that it’s easy. It will be coming to some venue, still to be determined, soon. The premise of the Apocalypse is that the big one (earthquake) has finally hit. That’s locally significant, but hardly an apocalypse. But then… some petri dishes in a lab have collided during the tremblor, causing a ravaging flu variation – handily spread by foreign first responders…

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americauna chick

It’s still all about the chickens

Despite taking virtually no time – maybe 30 minutes a day total, the week at Short Meadow has been all about the new chicks. The power going out  when nobody was home, official portrait day, and putting together the new nest box set has kept things busy. In between, the seeds continue to germinate and there’s no place to put them until the cold frames get built. There’s been 50 degree weather and frost. In short, it’s Spring. It’s time to get the pots on…

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The delights of ‘forest bathing’

I can’t say whether this is synchronicity at work or signs of the next emerging “thing”.  The Japanese call it Shinrin-Yoku which translates as forest bathing or more accurately forest therapy. The concept is that time spent in the forest is healing – from the phytochemicals  released by the trees to the soothingly calm atmosphere. I am wholeheartedly behind the concept even though I prefer a more casual approach. In just the last few weeks I’ve come across this relatively new term (the Japanese formalized…

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