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…

Read More »

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,…

Read More »

cows

Healthy Hedonism coming your way

Coziness is the new trend. And it doesn’t even require any new equipment. Lately I’ve been seeing the word Hygge everywhere. I won’t even try to tell you how to pronounce it. Youtube has lots of native-speaking Danes who can help you! I’ve heard it described as healthy hedonism or the ultimate cozy factor – cats and cake are hygge as are fluffy throws and candlelight. Coming on the heels of the Magic of Tidying Up you might wonder if it’s going in a different…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

Cozy (and busy) January

The deep freeze still has Short Meadow in its clutches. The weatherman promises that warmer weather and rain are coming in a day or two. Meanwhile Ella and I took a walk in the woods crunching on frozen sphagnum moss, still a brilliant chartreuse green in the sunlight. Things are poised. The hellebore buds are showing color and the daffodils are testing the waters but not going any further until things warm up. It’s almost time to start seeds! And where to begin? Without a…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

frosted heather

The dawn of a sparkly New Year

Short Meadow welcomed 2017 with a  light dusting of snow and thick decorative fog. The heather mounds are at their most beautiful when the small blossoms glow through snow and frost.  As the sun burned off the fog, melting snow and frost turned into brilliant jewels on the old, dead grass in the pasture – one more reason not to mow it too close. At the edge of the wood, the narcissus and daffodils are poking their noses out of the earth. Perhaps headed for…

Read More »

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!…

Read More »

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…

Read More »