Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Garden Dog went out last night at 2:20 for a potty break. This is part of my disrupted sleeping problem...Anyway, it was 25.4 degrees. I waited up for him for a little while and then after 20 minutes, I went to bed to wait. This happens sometimes, but usually on a warmer night. He makes his rounds looking for any skunks, raccoons, deer, or? he can chase off. There was no barking last night. I fell asleep and at 4:45, I heard his knock at the door. He was shivering and disorientated a bit. I hugged him and rubbed him a bit until he shook off the last of his chill, and then I went to bed. He came in my room and just stood there even after I told him to "go lie down!"
Garden Dog last Spring eating some grass...
lie down!" So eventually, I brought his bed in next to mine and he finally went to it, but not immediately. Not sure if he fell down which he has been doing more and more, or if something else was going on out there, or he found a tasty snack somewhere. Hoping I don't have to start escorting him each night, but maybe be more proactive about the pre-bed pottying for all our sakes. It is now 19.8 and the sun is just coming over the ridge to warm us all up.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Diary 12/29/14

Woke up to slushy snow plopping off the roof. The snow level is just above us and coming down with arctic blast due in tonight. Have faucets to cover and water lines to drain before temperatures hit teens tonight. Good day to hunker down, do some writing, and start to put away the Santas :(. Think of New Year's resolutions and hoping for resolution on some matters in 2015 as well as new adventures yet to be thought of!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Diary 12/25/14

Hope your Christmas was as full of fun, frolic, and family as mine was~

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Diary 12/24/14

Yep, the night before Christmas. Grandkids in bed at last. Our tree is beautiful. It is a Grand Fir this year. Tomorrow will be busy, but we are going to take it slow and steady with breaks for food and Mimosas...I leave you with lyrics for a song contest I wrote. Well they are coming up incomplete, but no big deal.
Glad I get to spend Christmastime with good friends and family.

Happy Holiday

I’ll celebrate the season,
I’ll count down the days.
Children will wonder in so many ways.
But if you’re not here for Christmas,
It won’t be a Happy Holiday

I’ll go window shopping,
But all I will see.
Is a lonely reflection
Looking right back at me.
‘Cause if you’re not here for Christmas,
It can’t be a Happy Holiday.

I’ll deck up the halls,
And I’ll trim a tree.
I wrap all my presents,
And sing songs with glee.
But if you’re not here for Christmas,
It won’t be a Happy Holiday.

I’ll eat Christmas pudding,
And drink some eggnog.
I’ll watch Christmas movies,
And burn the Yule log.
But if you’re not home for Christmas,
It won’t be a Happy Holiday.

I’ll wait by the mistletoe,
I’ll imagine a kiss.
But all the time thinking
Of your arms I miss.
‘Cause if you’re not home for Christmas,
It won’t be a Happy Holiday.

Merry Christmas to all~

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Diary 12/23/14

Beautiful day and sunset. After what seemed like a month of rain, we had a sunny day and warm temps. Hoping for snow tomorrow night...

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Ah, the shortest day is over. Now we can get going on more daylight from here on out! Crazy flood waters happening around here. Not as bad as some areas. No damage to us, but our neighbor's home was surrounded when we went by this morning. They spent some time making the creek pretty by the edge of their property and I think they didn't realize they were making it easier for the water to hop up on the bank and get them. This is the time of year they had the devastating 1964 flood. That time it melted a foot of snow pack along with several inches of rain. No snow pack yet, but the ski areas opened a bit this weekend. They will get more snow by mid-week even though it is raining to 9000 feet now.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Diary 12/20/14

Garden Girl asked me how many days until Christmas yesterday. I told her, "Six more days," excitedly. She answered, "It is taking FOREVER!"

This is Dolores. She is friendlier than any chicken I have ever owned. I think perhaps she was a pet when she was little. I am sending her picture to her previous owner with a Christmas greeting. She thinks the door decorations might make a wonderful nesting spot...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Diary 12/18/14

Poem time. For those of you who don't care about my poetry, this is your chance to bow out~ Ha-ha. This poem won second place. Better than fourth, but still not the winner...The prompt was the seven deadly sins, and I chose wrath. This is not a free verse, but has a abcb rhyming scheme where the second and fourth lines rhyme. I seem to be attracted to this pattern. Hope you like it~

The Meeting

We met in the dark of the forest,
The dairyman’s son and I.
We spoke our words in whispers,
And watched the evening sky.

Our fear caused us to listen.
We knew we were in danger.
We only had these moments
Away from my father’s anger.

We held our hands together,
Though woolen gloves we wore,
Too cold to touch each other,
Our devotion there we swore.

We stood as still as snowfall,
Then our warm lips met in rapture.
Our hearts were joined forever.
I shirked my fear of capture.

If I were caught, I’d be sent away,
For to marry my intended,
We promised we would meet again,
And for just a moment pretended.

That I was not born to riches,
And he, less common stock.
How we’d meet in a warmer sun,
And where we’d take a walk.

Then my father’s call came through the trees,
And the baying of the dogs.
We ran until we were breathless,
And hid among the logs.

But my father found us quickly.
I was frightened by his wrath.
They tied the boy and beat him.
They pummeled him to death.

I was married to my intended,
But I’ll remember ‘til I die,
The meeting in the dark woods,
Of the dairyman’s son and I.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Diary 12/17/14

Busy with Garden Girl today. She has been making some glue and paper montages(I guess you might call them), about 1/4 inch thick layered with something "pretty" on top. Meanwhile, the top of the tree needs to be finished, painting to do in the bathroom, and cobwebs upstairs to take a swipe at tomorrow, that is, after a quick trip to town for chicken feed and straw, recycle, and grab milk. Look what I found in the greenhouse...Carnations! Even the mums have finished. There were some straggler snapdragons and still lots of calendulas. It has been wet for a week, so may not last long indoors.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Diary 12/14/14

Fun time at 30th annual Christmas party with my homeys.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Diary 12/11/14

Woke up early as Garden Dog was having an anxiety attack. Must be ready to accept that he will not be with us forever. Then we had a power outage and boy was it dark! Of course most of the LED lanterns needed new batteries, so after fumbling around for a few minutes, we had lights here and there just in time for the power to come back on. Ah well, we are ready for the next time! Time for another poem...
Full Moon Walk

I walked to the creek
One clear, full-moon night.
I called to the owl,
And he answered.
His silhouette precise
Against the bright disk of the rising moon.
The shadows of trees
Striped grey across the white meadow.
As I entered,
The moon spread
A diamond-studded blanket.
My footsteps the only mar.
The shoulders of the creek bank
Held a thick frosting of snow,
And icicles dripped at the edges.
The bubbling water was trapped
Beneath a window of ice.
It soon would seize to flow.
The path grew much more slippery,
As I joined my tracks again.
The owl flew off and I turned home.
The steam of my breath puffing out into the light,
as I headed back up the hill.

23 lines

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Diary 12/9/14

I went Christmas shopping today. I had a good time. There were crowds at times, but I received plenty of help in stores when I needed it. Everyone seemed pleasant and stress free at two weeks plus out, so that was what made it so nice.

Even an old cat can't help himself when it comes to a piece of ribbon going by slowly~

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Diary 12/7/14

Wreath making fun with friends today. I think there was over twenty of us making wreaths, swags, whatnot and chatting, eating, and laughing as action photos show... Great start to the Christmas season~

Friday, December 5, 2014

Diary 12/5/14

Christmas spirit is stirred up around here with helping local kid event down at the Shady Cove School put on by the District 4 Fire Department Support group. They have a pancake breakfast and get grants from the likes of WalMart to put on a free Christmas event for local kids. My first year, but donated via my neighbor(Linda Sue) 6 (7?) trees and decorated a few of them. As Linda said, "don't need to decorate a tree this year, good on that." Meanwhile it continues to be mild with morning and evening fog. The garden looks like the perfect place to film a Sherlock Holmes movie. I date myself, I guess. I should say a zombie or vampire movie. Weather changing back to rain tonight with no snow in sight. Saving my snow coupons for Christmas when my family is here. Remember how successful the rain dance was? Wait til I get to the snow dance...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Diary 12/4/14

Spooky moon last night with surrounding fog that made it even brighter.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Diary 12/3/14

Time for another poem. This one is another free verse in that it doesn't have rhyme and it doesn't have official meter, though I think I am having trouble breaking free from traditional phrasing. It can be much more broken up almost like a haiku with lots of lines. Anyway, not to explain too far, this one was for a contest with a picture prompt. The painting was an Native American chief, he had lots of eagle feathers on his head dress and crooked staff, and he looks down trodden as does his horse.

In His Search For The Buffalo  (25 lines)

Once proud, the chief rides in a circle,
Much wider than ever before.
He watches for dust in the distance.
In his search for the buffalo.

His staff grows heavy in his hand.
His arm aches and quivers.
He questions his power, his importance.
In his search for the buffalo.

Long, cold winters comes quickly.
He has no vision but fear.
So he prays, but no one has answered.
In his search for the buffalo.

The rivulet flows full from new rain.
Still no path of tracks to see.
He knows they have not come this far.
In his search for the buffalo.

How far ahead is the future?
What path should he follow now?
How can he ride any further?
In his search for the buffalo.

He looks out to the mountains.
He looks into the water’s edge.
He whistles for a soaring eagle,
But a crow replies instead.

In his search for the buffalo…

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Diary 12/2/14

This oak log had so much going on. I guess the yellow slime is called "Witches Butter" and is edible. Once again, I am going to pass based solely on the appearance of the possible food source no matter how good fungi are for your digestion~


Monday, December 1, 2014

Diary 12/1/14

Well, December is upon us but we still have trees with yellow leaves. There is even an apple at the bottom of the garden that still hasn't had a leaf turn or lost any. It is an heirloom and maybe very hardy, but it is December now. That's ridiculously mild! So, with that in mind and the fact that others are having a rough winter already, I will say it was a lovely day, 52 degrees, sunny, and very pleasant in a longjohn wearing kind of way~
Turkey soup and leftover turkey enchiladas for lunch and still a couple meals to go!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Diary 11/30/14

A very cold start to the day. We were rewarded with a clear, sunny day later on~
The Noble Beast and I...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Diary 11/29/14

One more day of November! That went by quickly. It is soggy out in the fields. There is standing water everywhere as we received another 1.7 inches of liquid sunshine yesterday. Still mild temperature with snow barely at the very top peaks only. Afraid it will be a repeat of last year if El Nino sets up a wet, but warm storm track. Nothing to do about it, but I do love the snow. Meanwhile more and more mushrooms showing up. Nothing I know to be edible, but still fun to spot them and take a picture. Never seen so many different kinds dotting the woods every step you take.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Diary 11/26/14

Getting ready for feasting. Hope you are, too. Best wishes. Time for another poem. This one won Honorable Mention(4th place) in a contest of 35 poems. OK, maybe I am a poet and don't know it~

Fog in the Garden

The fog sneaks into view out my window,
Easing its way between the trees and lawn chairs to the grass.
It covers the pond with gauze,
Hiding the water’s features and the surrounding ground.
Bushes turn to tissues and flowers disappear,
Merging void and mass into one continuous wall of nothingness.
Shapes no longer have edges,
Floating in a liquid suspension of mist, smeared by vapors.
The once defined space of the garden is now limitless,
Revealing no ceiling of sky, no floor of earth.
I watch the white veil close as the fog blends near and far,
Cloaking the familiar scene with invisibility.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Diary 11/25/14

Making some pottery for Christmas presents. Working on mugs today~ Bowls in the works. Nice to have a box of pots this time of year. Hopefully all goes well. So far, so good.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Diary 11/24/14

There is a dead carcass on the road below our house and eagles have been feeding on it every day.

 Yesterday the bald eagle was back in the foggy morning and later on a golden eagle came to sit in the same tree with his wings spread out to dry. We didn't get a very good picture before he took off. I can hear them whistling to each other this morning, but I can't see them anywhere.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Diary 11/21/14

My husband has been elk hunting. The elk have stayed elusive this year. He see this guy while out in the forest,  the somewhat rare Spotted Owl.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Diary 11/20/14

I cannot remember a fall with as many mushrooms as this one. Though we have had some frosts, they are still popping up everywhere and so many different kinds. I found these Boletes today on a walk. I know they are Boletes from the spongey gills they have. I think these ones are edible, but not choice.

This group was older anyway. I also found this weird one which may be a Fluted Helvetia which some people eat. I am going to pass just because of the way it looks!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Diary 11/19/14

The morning was cool and damp, not crisp and frosty as the last two. Before the real rain started this afternoon, it was pleasant, moist and full of fall smells. By afternoon, though, the wind came up, the rain fell in earnest and I stayed inside throwing pots on the potter's wheel for the first time in three years. Like riding a bicycle, well not exactly. The first ball of clay was meant to be a bowl, but collapsed when I pulled too hard on the last forming of the shape. After that, I had amazing luck. I made 4 bowls, 3 plates, 2 mugs, a small pitcher, and two candle holders! Tomorrow, I will trim them and add handles. I'll take some pictures, too...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Diary 11/18/14

The cold snap that has hit the middle of the country hard and north of us, as well,  finally arrived here. It has been 21 degrees the last two mornings after barely getting 32 so far this fall. I have covered a couple things to see if I can protect them for a little while longer, but at 21 they are giving up. Ah well, it is high time.
Speaking of time, thyme, the ice was stuck to every edge of this thyme plant this morning, so beautiful. Not sure if photo really shows it~

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Diary 11/13/14

The autumn leaves' show is definitely past its most brilliant time. It is not over by any means and there are lots more leaves to fall. It's just that
the view is changing to more browns and greys and leaving behind the green, yellows, and reds~

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Diary 11/11/14

It is Veteran's Day. I wish there were not wars. I wish we did not have a holiday to salute those who have seen them, but we do.
I honor and salute you and your families for your sacrifices on the part of us all.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Diary 11/10/14

I have been having some fun with free verse. So bear with me~ I am not a poet and I know it~

Frost in The Garden

The frost arrives in the moonstone blue twilight of morning.
The shroud of small white crystals cover the garden.
It penetrates the flesh of my last pink tomatoes.
Resting on the skin and bursting their cells into translucence.
The shoulders of my bright orange pumpkins are draped with a cape of soft ice,
Hardening their shells for winter storage.
The surface of each green bean leaf is painted with a clear, shiny glaze.
The vines will turn a drab olive by mid-day.
For now, the frosty fog
Fills the cool space around the yellowing trees,
But cannot enter underneath.
For that, a colder freeze must come,
Then autumn’s last colors will surrender to winter‘s dormancy.

It was fun and a little corny packing as many colors in as I could!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Diary 11/8/14

So hard to resist taking pictures of these beautiful yellow leaves. Every year I say I will not take another yellow maple leaf picture, but how can I not?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Diary 11/7/14

The asparagus ferns that I let grow up and did not cut for spears

have turned a beautiful gold. Birds are using the hedge to hide, find bugs, and eat the few asparagus berries they find.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Diary 11/6/14

I wish these Fringe Caps were edible, they are easy to identify~

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dairy 11/3/14

The leaf blower was calling to me today as we had nice sun and the fallen oak leave were dry enough to blow. Maybe tomorrow. After all, there are still some in the trees! The yellow understory in the forest give it such depth. Amazing autumn!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Diary 11/1/14

November is here, and we may get our first frost tonight! One added bonus of have blueberry bushes is the beautiful red leaves they have in Autumn.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cleaning and processing Chantrelle mushrooms

If you are lucky enough to find some of these delectable forest treats, then you need to clean them so you can eat them, and dry or freeze them. I think the most important rule is to keep everything dry.Introducing water makes a mess. Dry brushes are the best tools for the job. I picked my mushrooms in an old growth forest where I felt their surroundings were pretty pristine. That really helps to know they are free from pollution. The ones I picked were covered with fir needles, some dirt, and bits of this and that from the trees above. No bugs. Again, that helps to know they are ready to clean the rest of the way. I haven't seen bugs on Chantrelles, but I guess there cold be anything that might be in the woods anyway. So using a stiff painting brush, I start sweeping the debris away. If there is any convolution with dirt in it, I use the tip of my knife to flick it out. I can also use the side of the blade to scrape lightly if there is any tissue brown or damaged. As a last result, I can trim any of the mushroom off that isn't going to clean up.

Cut clean mushrooms into thick slices for drying or chunks for freezing. I dry saute the chunks until they have reabsorbed the moisture that fills in around them as they are cooking. They are a wonderful addition to spaghetti, pizza, stroganoff, or any other meat dish.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Diary 10/30/14

Fresh out of the forest floor duff, these Chantrelles were hiding until uncovered. We found over seven pounds of both choice white Chantrelles and the more common plain yellow Chantrelles this afternoon at about 4000 foot level. It has not been very cold yet and with a couple days break from rain, they were just popping up and in perfect condition. Now to clean them and get them ready for the next step...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Diary 10/29/14

"Red skies in the morning, sailors take warning..." It is so gloomy, it might as well rain!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Diary 10/28/14

With all the rain and warm temperatures, there are several mushrooms popping up. So far nothing I know to be edible, but maybe if I take a drive up to the high terrain and old growth trees, I could find some Chantrelles~

Monday, October 27, 2014

Diary 10/27/14

The trees had been turning brown in lieu of a fall color show, but now the rain seems to have slowed everything down. The bit of color is coming slowly and as we have not had a freeze, the leaf fall has been minimum except where the winds have helped to release the oak leaves from their branches.