from the ground up

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Bear Noel.

“He is coming,” whispers Hare.

“Who is coming?” Wolf asks.

“Bear Noel!” Hare cries.

from Bear Noel by Olivier Dunrea

Merry laughter.

Joyful singing.

Nuts and seeds.

Berries and sugar.

Heavy footfalls.

Across the snow.

Jingling bells.


Wait and hope.

Gather round.

In Peace.

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For the birds.

Four kids, running through the house, can sometimes lead to a bit of extra creativity on the parenting front.  During the recent Thanksgiving visit with our cousins, we decided a little bit of care for the birds was in order.

Simple, easy, and of course messy!

Three ingredients:

Paper towel or toilet paper rolls.

Peanut butter.


Spread, smear, roll and hang!

And now, as the snow begins to fall again and the temperatures dip lower, we rest easy, knowing our little feathered friends have a bit of extra seed in their bellys when they sing up at the winter sky.


Waiting for the show.

I gifted a small treasure to my son this summer.  A small plant that enchanted me as my own love for plants was budding.  A rock plant (Lithop spp.).  It was a hit!  How could a plant that looks like a stone, not be fascinating to a 6 year old boy?!

Then suddenly, in late October, we noticed it changing.  Possibly from the southern sun, sitting lower on the horizon, reaching its warm rays into our sunroom.  Over several weeks, a tender flower bud emerged.  The waiting continued.  Would it open soon?  What color?  It looks pink!  How long will it stay open?  Will it send out seeds?

Then last week, I casually glanced as I walked by.  I saw the sunburst and shouted for all to come see!

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We’ve had a long stretch of clear, blue, sunny days here. With accompanying cold temperatures, it is work to make our way outdoors. But each day when we do we are abundantly rewarded.

A natural rink, frosted glass, frozen windows to life below. And shadows and crunching and sliding and sparkling.

And the miracles of water and freezing and sunshine all at once.


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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.

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The most magnificent giants inhabit our garden this year.  We have watched in sheer amazement as they grew from seeds to transplants to SOARING towers in our “kinder garden”.

Last year we were thrilled with the robust growth of our towering sunflowers, but this season, it is our broom corn.

Seed Source: Nichols Garden Nursery, Albany, Oregon.

Oh, just think of all the fun we’ll have with our homemade “brooms”.  My guess is we won’t be doing much sweeping!



In case you were wondering…the place to be is in the garden!

That is where all the ACTION is!

Airplanes, rivers, oceans, robbers, swat teams, jails. They are all here. In the garden.

My heart can almost be heard bursting with happiness, when the garden is made into another “room” to play.  A space of freedom and wonder, aside from all the magical growth that happens there already.

Our garden really is full of action. The best kind, imagination.

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This year, the impulse to create our garden map came suddenly and without planning. “Mama, we need to do our garden map”, I heard shortly after we returned from purchasing a few seed packets. I was summoned to get the paper, and this year the medium of choice was paint. “No”, not watercolor, “they are too dim, I need bright colors for the Indian corn”.

We’ll be growing tomatoes, peppers, Indian corn, peas, rainbow carrots, cherries, blue cherries, and more carrots!

And I fully expect our actual garden planning and planting to be just as abstract, just as bright, just as unique, and just as beautiful.