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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crocus in snow

Nature’s Mad Dash to Spring

There’s something magical about the near last snow, right before Spring really hits. It’s almost like it’s intentionally done to decorate the hellebores and snowdrops that are bravely opening up. So despite the complaints, I find it rather cheerful, even when planting the fruit trees that just arrived in the mail and can’t wait another week. And that is where we are at- burgeoning tasks of planting new arrivals, getting the tomatoes started from seed and planning for the first foray into chicken ownership. Nursery…

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Let the Gardening Season Commence!

It’s still winter. I’m still choosing between the warm coat and the warmer coat when leaving in the morning. Outside, the plants are in stasis, ready to burst forth if it ever gets warm but not taking any chances. Inside though…  miraculously orchids are bursting into bloom. Today I will sow the first seeds of the season and anticipate the bounty to come. Technology is a wonderful thing. Despite the vision in my head I’m a haphazard gardener who has yet to acquire a greenhouse,…

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Favorite Italian Bread Recipe

There’s no getting around that January is pretty deary for most of the northern hemisphere. A hunk of really good bread, crunchy crust and chewy inside, with some amazing soup goes a long way to perk a body up. And did I mention it was easy? Italian Bread – this is best done by hand without a mixer and there is no kneading required! 3 cups warm water (you should be able to stick your finger in it without yelping) 3 teaspoons yeast 3 teaspoons…

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Snow over meadow

A Festive Weekend

It snowed this weekend. Beautifully soft, it decorated the evergreens just enough to highlight the branches. Ella and I declared a snow day – she snorfled with her jingle bell collar on and chased balls in the yard while I settled in on the couch to do ahem… ‘research’ with a silly romance novel involving hot were-dragons. If the kids can have a day off school on a weekday then surely adults deserve a day free from (most) chores when it snows on the weekend!…

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Romance inspiration on the Washington State Ferries

Story characters can come from anywhere but I have to say the Washington State Ferries are a particularly good source. First of all, there is a constantly changing crowd of strangers and there are always motorcycles, a mandatory starting point for bad boys (or girls). There are families, new adults, and invariably at least one smooching couple headed to an island getaway (Perhaps unfairly, I still blame Snow Falling on Cedars for most of these.) People move about on ferries: checking out the view, getting…

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romanescu

Glamour Farming

Yes, glarming is a thing. And to be clear it’s not a slam on traditional, unglamorous farming. Those folks work hard to feed the rest of us and rarely have time to decorate the cow barn. Glamour farming freely and openly acknowledges that there is another source of income and that to live the rural life in high style is well, a luxury. But a fun one! Pretty things bring me pleasure which is why my raised beds are now orchid and have finials on…

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Oh, How I Love Thee, Gardeners’ World

I am an addict. Starting on Friday night I start checking Youtube to see if anyone has posted the new episode of Gardeners’ World. Most of the time I end up watching it while eating breakfast on Saturday morning. But since I’m eight hours behind the UK,  there’s a chance, just a chance, that someone was feeling efficient and put it up early so I can’t resist checking.  Without those generous Youtube posters willing to skirt the legalities I would be desolate as I’ve yet…

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