from the ground up

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From The Flowers by Robert Louis Stevenson

Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames—
These must all be fairy names!

Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!

Fair are grown-up people’s trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all.


With Love, From Grandma

In small, glazed pots, my Grandma always kept a few houseplants on her windowsills.  After her passing, my mom gifted us some of these plants.  My mom also worked diligently to keep a long-time favorite alive.  A rose style, pink impatiens.

She had one small cutting.  It was the last piece.  Only a few inches tall.  She kept the water clean, checking it daily.  She even brought it with her in her travels to see my family, to ensure it would not be without water or care.

Almost four years later, this heirloom impatiens has flourished into a stunning houseplant.  And is now plentiful enough to be placed in many outdoor summer plantings.

 Thank you, Grandma.  It is beautiful.

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Orchard day.

Slanty sun.

Leaves falling.

Horses munching.

Apple barrels.

Crisp, bright.

Juicy, sweet.

Warm breeze.

Plum picking.

Family chatter.

Plum Butter:

In the evening, fill slow cooker with tiny plums.

Add water to 3/4 full.

Set at low overnight.

In the morning, remove pits with a food mill.

Return pulp to slow cooker.

Add some sugar if desired.

Add steeping bags with cinnamon, cardamon pods, and cloves.

Cook on low until desired consistency reached.

Remove spices. Add splash of vanilla.

Can in jars.



During my visit home, my parents garden brought continual amazement.  Many of the plants that grow and thrive are quite different than those I can grow, with our  harsh, windy winters.  Many of the plants that adorn their vegetable garden and decorative pots are lovingly brought, from many miles north each spring- from my greenhouse.  It is always a treat to see how things flourish through the growing season.  This year, Wow.  The coleus have come out on top!

They were breathtaking- almost electric. And at least twice as large as my own.

Isnt’ my Mom’s artistry lovely?   It made the whole yard smile.

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We have just two apple trees in our yard.  This year, when our main tree gave us this spring display, we knew a BIG apple year was on the way:

Four months later, we’ve harvested over a dozen bushels of apples from this tree.  We managed to get another two bushels off and older, diminishing tree.

Wonderful friends, whose garden we shared with you earlier this summer, kindly loaned us their cider press.  And we got to work!

Our pantry is now stocked with many quarts of beautiful apple juice. It will be a joy to drink warm, on a snowy January day!