Friday, March 21, 2014

Article in Richmond Magazine's RHome - Heirloom Zinnias!

My brain is slowly returning and I am getting back to freelance garden writing. I am lucky, in that favorite editors reach out to me, and make it fun.

A piece I wrote a while back is in the March/April issue of Richmond Magazine's RHome. It is on heirloom zinnias. Read it here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring on the Inside, Snow on the Outside

It smelled like hyacinths and fresh flowers in our house, while a beautiful snow fell outside. Could be worse!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Writing, Again

What a winter. I mean, really. It was a little more treacherous than I expected, and I was aiming low. Being back at work with two kids out in the world, a.k.a. immersed in cold weather germs, almost sunk me. I'm still nursing Sam - even while I muddled through strep (twice). The wee ones suffered, too. Strep (and a strep carrier), as well as head colds, double ear infections, visits from the vomit gods, pink eye, unexplained fevers. Upon re-reading that last sentence, I am a bit horrified. It sounds like we let Sam and Willa suck on the bottom of our boots.

Work hasn't been easy either. Way too many deadlines smushed around many, many snow days within a two month span. I was trying to wean myself off of sugar earlier in the year, but this confluence of events sent me right back to the beginning - running into the basement or upstairs to unwrap chocolates and shove them in my mouth before anyone asked after what I was eating.

But, all-in-all, the chitlins are thriving. Willa turned six and Sam turned one - both within a week of each other. And, spring. SPRING! March, please-please-please have mercy on me. Oh, and thanks for the daffodil and iris sprouts. They help. In the meantime, I will be out in Sugar Hollow squawking directives like 'Wash your hands!' and 'Don't cough in my eyeball!'


I have beefed up my kitchen apothecary this winter to help my immune system out. I made this elderberry syrup. (I added four slices of astragalus root and two cinnamon sticks, as well) Also, FIRE CIDER. Rosemary Gladstar's recipe is here. I take a shot of this when I feel like I am getting something and it has helped tremendously. Also, sleep, fresh air, probiotics, flax oil, kombucha and warm water with Bragg's apple cider vinegar and raw honey. (Sounds gross, but feels awesome when you are sick!)

Farmstead Ferments. (That is all you need to know.)

The upside of all of the home time/sick time has been lots of extra time with the kids and lots of reading. A few favorites from the past two months: Turn Around Bright Eyes by Rob Sheffield, Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead and tiny beautiful things by Cheryl Strayed.

Music - Morning Phase by Beck, Blood Orange by Cupid Deluxe, After the Disco by Broken Bells, The Worse Things Get . . . by Neko Case and Tame Impala (!).

I am obsessed with narwhals and love this pillow.

I have a friend with a birthday coming up. I think I will make her bacon muffins with a maple glaze.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Embracing Winter

As I slowly emerge from early baby-land/sleep deprivation, balancing work and mom life, housekeeping duties and wintertime illness(es), I realized one important thing. If I get out/outside every day, I feel better. More energy, more happiness, more balance. So do the kids. Sam is never as chirpy and smiley as he is in the hiking backpack - looking over my head at the mountains or the Moormans River.Willa always loves being a part of the world, in both an earth girl kinda of way and a social butterfly kind of way.

It was warmish this weekend and I gardened. Good lord, did it smell good out there. A bit of digging, weeding, mulching, moving around border stones. Might this be the year I have things tidy BEFORE spring? Could it be possible? Ha! The pursuit of order in the garden is always a bit out of reach for me, but I soldier on.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Remember The Good Things

She reminds me. Often. Also, I love that she jumps her into leaf piles barefoot.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Out and About

On the water, into the woods, around the garden, looking out to the mountains!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sultry Days of Summer

  Willa in her fairy bower.
A friend's horse farm.

The cutting garden.

 Looking out to the butterfly garden.

We make road trips for homemade ice cream. {They had red velvet last week.}

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Article on Our Gardens in C-ville Weekly

There is a small article on our gardens in the July issue of C-ville Weekly's Abode. I hope you will check it out. The photographer {Mallory Benedict} - who I was super comfortable with - also took these photos of me with my wee ones. I was so touched when she sent them to me as a gift. Oh! And she has a blog post and a section on her website with more photos of our gardens. Funnily enough, our naughty, sweet, stinky beagle made both the print edition and Mallory's blog.

I hope to post more things on the gardens shortly. I have been finding short moments to myself in the early mornings to tidy things up and weed and that is my alone time. I am so absorbed in the quiet that I forget to photograph progress/favorite spots. This working mom of two ain't for sissies.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Awash In Green

Terrarium life.

All good paths lead to Otis.

 The new shade garden - which now includes two varieties of fragrant hostas.

Learning our herbs.

Feeling all grow'd up. The blue hydrangea.

Things are green around here. We have had so much rain - for a change. And life is happening in and around the garden - Willa has started her own garden plot and Sam loves to be held in one arm while I spray the hose with the other.

I have officially closed out my big garden to-do list until the fall. I will not - repeat *not* - be seduced into eleventh-hour garden purchases and plantings this year. {Ha!} New additions and divisions will need to wait a few months. This is good for me - because I can just enjoy weeding and watering, for now.

Happy summer!