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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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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A Little Digital Gardening

The weather here at Short Meadow has been discouragingly cold recently. Even the houseplants are shivering in their pots. So not much is happening outside.  The ground is frozen and the partially built dining table waits to be assembled in the open air shop. The chores that could be done, like clearing blackberry brambles, are even less appealing than they were a month ago. It’s an ideal time of year though, to take to the computer and start creating colorful, happy images. The act of…

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