Thursday, January 20, 2022

It Snowed

That snow I was talking about in my last post came to fruition.
Sunday morning we woke up to a beautiful blanket of snowy white.
Looking out the back windows, it appeared that the wildlife were busy making tracks in the early morning hours.

Even the birdies were leaving their tracks in the snow.
So cute!

As the day progressed the snow gave way to sleet.
Clearly we were not leaving the house so I did something that I haven't done in many years.  Stayed in my pj's all day and read.  I've been working my way through Susan Wittig Albert's China Bayles mystery series.  If you've not read this series, each book finds ex-lawyer turned herb shop owner, China Bayles, solving a mystery while also tossing in a lot of facts and sometimes recipes about various herbs.

Having just finished Rosemary Remembered, I came across this sweet potato recipe that I had torn from a Cooking Light magazine.
It is basically mashed sweet potatoes with salt, pepper and minced fresh rosemary added.  The topping was an interesting mix of finely sliced shallots caramelized with a bit of brown sugar.  It added a nice pop of flavor to them and the shallots got slightly crispy which was an added bonus.
I tend to tear recipes out of magazines with good intentions for trying them.  Once I try them they either get tossed or earn a place of honor in my recipe binder.  This one is now in the binder along with a few other sweet potato recipes.
We eat sweet potatoes often and it's nice to have a few different methods to prepare them.

Now, on Thursday, there is still some snow lingering and rain is falling.  The weatherman is tossing around the snow word again.  If we get it, I don't think it will amount to anything.
In the garden my chives are partially buried in snow.  No doubt wondering what the heck is going on.  Tonight I've got potato soup on the menu.  Not sure if it's worth stomping through the soggy snow to clip a few to garnish the soup.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Garden Notes ~ January 2022

New Year's Day brought temperatures in the upper 70s.  Unseasonably warm even for these parts.  
After pruning the crape myrtle tree and pulling my fair share of weeds, I took a little walk around the garden to see how my plants were faring.  Some things go unnoticed when only glancing at them through the windows.
I was a bit surprised to see new buds forming on some of the Encore Azaleas.  I've never seen them trying to bloom at this time of year.

While bending to pull a weed under the loropetalum shrub, I was pleasantly surprised to see the bright pink blossoms greeting me.

Another surprise was finding some of the daffodils sending their shoots up already.  Most were still slumbering away underground, but here and there a few had decided to peek out early.  No doubt the warm temps have them a bit confused.

One of my favorite outdoor tools is our battery powered leaf blower.  It works great to blast the leaves and other debris that tend to accumulate on the patios and front porch.  It gets the job done a lot quicker than the broom.  I found it amusing to see little pansy plants popping up in the beds along the edges of the patio.  It looks like some of my clean up efforts must have blown seeds away along with the other debris.

I may not have placed them in their current new homes, but I've got to admire their tenacity.  Here they have even established themselves among the rocks in the fountain garden.

Showing their cheery little faces on this sunny January day.
Since New Year's Day our temperatures have gotten much colder.  In fact, a glimpse at the weekend forecast is showing a 100% chance of snow on Sunday.  I'm not sure what that will mean for the early garden bloomers.

Inside there is a great sense of excitement!
Snow is such a rare occurrence here.
Sitting in front of a crackling fire while watching the snowflakes fall sounds like a perfect way to spend a January day.


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Fresh Starts

There is something so appealing about a brand new calendar.
All of those little squares waiting to be filled in with the events that shape our days.  Oh, the possibilities.
May this be the year that our calendars fill up with joyful moments once again.

Some of you may have been quick enough to read my now you see it, now you don't post.  On that topic I can only say it felt like a good idea at the time.  Not so much the next morning.  So, it was reverted to draft form.  I can only say that sometimes life is just plain sad and even though I strive to keep this blog a happy place, that's not always realistic.
So, our Christmas wasn't anything like I had hoped and imagined.
We put a plan B in place and made a different Christmas memory.
Thankfully our weather was unseasonably warm and sunny.  Perfect for exploring a local hiking trail. Getting away from the house and walking in nature was just what was needed.

This year I welcomed the opportunity to put the Christmas decor away.  Nothing like keeping busy to keep your mind off of other things.
Once the decor was dealt with, I made a cup of tea and perused all of my Christmas cookbooks.  I parted with many of them when we moved and discovered many more that could go now.  It felt good to purge them.
I did like this idea for decorating a small rosemary tree so, I kept this one.  I bought one of these rosemary trees this season, but never thought to decorate it this way.  A simple idea with pretty results.  Hope I can keep it growing until next year.

With another Christmas season done and dusted, I look forward to the opportunity a new year holds.
A time for fresh starts.


To those who contacted me behind the scenes, thank you.
To anybody else, forgive me for being vague.
Sometimes the stories aren't ours to tell.  When they involve a loved one who is struggling, it's a process we work through.
I thank you for your understanding and wish you all happiness and good health in the new year.

: )