Tag Archives: Seasons

Winter Inspiration

The artist named it Adirondack. Note the snowshoes.

It conjures the sort of pictures common on Christmas cards. One of the few places in recent years where the snow is even, clean, and roads passable on December 25.

Have you ever tried snowshoes? Do you live where it’s even a possibility?

For a sweet little romance where the heroine straps them on and goes walking among evergreens — try Starr Tree Farm. It’s available in print or ebook as a single.

It’s also available with five other winter romances in the ebook anthology Snowbound Snuggles.

http://amzn.to/2njlaOE

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Whooooo Designed This?

A wreath on the front door welcomes guests. And at this time of year more doors than usual wear them.

Some are simple — a swirl of pine boughs. Or perhaps holly.

Others get rather elaborate.

On my most recent visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden, they had a display – available via silent auction – of some beautiful door decor. They were too large for my door and the bids were too high for my wallet, but a person can enjoy for free.

These white owls wisely welcome you to the holiday season.

Holiday Fruit

Fruit trees in the Upper Midwest, where I grew up, bloom in the spring and have fruit ready for harvest from mid-summer to fall. Depending on the sort of tree.

Winter fruit — well — that was from the store. Unless it was from a jar an adult preserved during the local harvest.

And at the holidays we often bought special fruit. Big, shiny apples shipped from another state. Or oranges — they fit so well in the toe of a Christmas stocking.

A few years our house received a box of very special fruit. A relative living in California would send my grandmother a box of “tree ripened” citrus. They were extra large and extra sweet.

Mmmmm. This sight brings back memories.

Carefully collected

Autumn. Fall. Harvest. A time to gather together the bounty of the earth and store it for the bleak winter to come.

Growing up on a farm, this was one of the busiest times of the year. The oats were threshed (later combined), a final crop of hay gathered, and then the corn. These days there’s a soybean harvest also. Long, busy days full of dust and noise and satisfaction.

The final vegetables from the garden were picked. Or dug. Some ended up preserved in jars. Some, like potatoes or squash, in a wooden box to story in a cool, dry, dark place. Onions were  pulled, the long tops braided together and hung on a nail in a cool, dry place.

It’s different when living in the city. Items we considered useful but messy are used for decoration. Cornstalks at the grocery store? One straw bale set out where the weather could attack from all sides?

An elegant, colorful, seasonal display.

Sunny Day Work

Growing up on a farm had advantages. (Also disadvantages, but we’ll save those for another time.)

We raised dairy cows. Cattle have a large appetite. And since Wisconsin has a season called WINTER, much of the year hay was included in their diet. Raking was one of the jobs I was frequently given during haying season. (Beginning in late June and continuing to two, sometimes three cuttings.)

My father, or sometimes an older brother, would mow the alfalfa (or clover) and it would dry as it laid in the field for one, two, or three days. They I would be assigned to rake it. It one of these:

This was a job for sunny days. I’d drive the tractor and putt along the field from one end to the other, the rake swishing the hay into a long, loose windrow ready for the baler. A large straw hat, long sleeves, and long pants protected me from the hazard of sunburn. Bumping over gopher holes made me thankful for a padded seat. But it was fun! Time to think. Sing. Daydream about the future.

Did you have a favorite chore or job while growing up?

Ready for Dipping

St. Louis has a weather reputation which it shares with large portions of the American Midwest.

Four seasons. Some years it feels like five or six. They’ve been known to crowd three into a single day. An allotment of three (maybe four) perfect weather days per year.

It’s currently summer. Early sunrise. Late sunset. Hot and sunny in daylight. Warm and humid in the dark. Residents learn to cope. Fans. Air conditioning. Shade. Water.

The quiet time between sunrise and opening.

Summer Seating

Walking is good for your health.

Standing can make a person tired.

So have a seat. My summer seating on the patio is simple, utilitarian.

It’s very weather dependent. On the warmer days I’ll only be out here early in the morning. Evening would be nice — but lighting gets to be a problem if I wait too late.

Chair and table are the basics. If I’m working add a laptop, pen and notebook. If it’s more leisure time, add a book. And always — a beverage on the table. Mornings are for coffee. On the three perfect days St. Louis is allowed per year – the afternoon brings out the ice water. And later, you’ll find an adult beverage in my glass.

Ready for work or leisure.                                                                                    Distractions include dashing chipmunks and acrobatic squirrels.

Book Season?

Actually, in my mind, book season is 365 days each year.

Writers and readers do have seasonal conferences, luncheons, and events. And the season is starting.

Are you a writer? Have you scoped out the conferences or workshops in your area? Don’t know where to start? Check in your local library for any sort of writing magazine — they often have advertisements and listings of popular, reoccuring events. Another good source is the web page of writers groups.

Are you a reader? Spring, summer, and fall are popular times for reader events. Meet new authors. Browse book tables. Get filled with the “new book” smell. Find other readers — you may find new friends among them.

Meet the author, pick up your coaster, and touch the books at               GatewayCon in St. Louis. June 16-18.  Free admission for readers.

Shy Bunny

Easter Day is over. But the spirit of spring continues.

Nature sprouts and shouts joy at the longer days and warmer temperatures. Colorful blossoms pop in both expected and unusual places.

And the people in charge of the artificial flower displays – in this case an indoor decoration at a church – prove they have a sense of humor.

This shy bunny makes children of all ages look twice to find him.

24 Hour Difference

Events happen fast. Good ones as well as the questionable experiences.

For example: last weekend. We had two beautiful, warm days without rain. Like hundreds of others, I paid a visit to the home improvement store. They were still adding items to the garden center while customers were loading up on some of the preliminary items – tools, patio blocks, paint, and outdoor furniture.

My own purchase — a new hose — fit right into the mix.

Clean out the old leaves and debris of the winter. Assess what will fit in the empty spaces between the living perennials. Plant the shepherd’s hook will the ground is soft. Figure out the hanging basket portion next week — or the week after. Check the current plants – azelea buds are looking good.

From bud to blossom.

The call to spend more time out of doors.