This morning, I stepped outside, planning only to enjoy a few minutes of fresh air before returning indoors to finish un-decorating. But when I looked around our front garden (we have no yard) and saw the work that needed to be done, I couldn’t help myself. Where we live, pentas bloom happily until at least the first frost. At that point, they usually begin dying back to the ground, depending on how protected their location is in the garden. Our pentas are many and huge and most were either partly brown or entirely so. I just couldn’t leave them looking humiliated another day.
So there I was, in my cozy slippers, cutting the pentas back. I still have pansies and snapdragons to plant in front of them.
Then I noticed that one bed under an oak tree, usually very pretty, was practically empty, especially once the pentas had been trimmed. There were a few small oak branches, a zillion acorns, and even an empty bedding plant container. Really? Yikes. So, I found my clogs and continued cleaning. The weather was sunny and cool, absolutely beautiful.
We have so much to do in the garden during the next few months. Some of it will be rather hard work. Our wood frames are rotting. We’re considering replacing some with cinder blocks. We want to move our fig tree and create a sitting area out in the garden. Our patio is almost entirely shaded all day, so a spot in the sun would be welcome. And there are so many empty spaces. Okay, to be honest, I’m sort of thrilled about that. Not everything works, so it’s an exciting challenge and an opportunity to experiment with plants and maybe discover a few new ones.
The roses that have survived the garden – not as many as I would have hoped – are still blooming away. This morning I discovered a lovely rose bud at the side of the house. It was a nice surprise.
While we usually leave our decorations up until Epiphany, this year I decided to wrap it up early. Of course, if I continue as this morning, they might well still be up in a month or two. 😊
Wishing you all the best in 2021.
It's been a while since I reviewed a book. The holidays kept me busy, even if celebrations were smaller, quieter. I didn't have a lot of time to read, much less review. I have to say -- it was SO HARD to not ignore everything and just enjoy Magnar by Mary Morgan. I love it!
What a great start to a new series! Mary Morgan’s unique style – magic, mysticism, and strong, noble characters whose emotions run deep -- lends itself beautifully to the paranormal, shifter romance. That’s to say nothing of the beautiful, Scottish scenery she describes, the sexy, sensitive love scenes, or the wonderful secondary characters who add so much to the story.
Her characters are not sweet and simple. They’re complex, tormented individuals who ultimately find solace, love, and life in each other. I adore Magnar and Elspeth. They’re perfect for each other, which seems impossible at first. I spent a good portion of the book holding my breath, wondering how they would get past that which divided them. But the author made it work out beautifully, so sweetly. We can only wish that more such love and acceptance existed in this world.
One of my favorite aspects of Mary Morgan’s writing – and there are many as she’s one of my favorite authors – is the way she weaves magic and mysticism into her stories. It’s captivating. Another is the true nobility of her characters. I’m sighing as I type this. It’s impossible not to love the characters or get caught up in the story.
Mary Morgan is a master storyteller. Her stories read like legends of old. Don’t miss this romance, first in The Wolves of Clan Sutherland series -- historical, paranormal, spectacular.
I was hoping to share a beautiful poem about a winter rose. I couldn’t find one! I suppose I will have to keep looking. If the English romanticists couldn’t get over themselves, surely other cultures might offer up a few?
The garden was not on my to-do list today, except that it’s always on my list. I spent a lovely hour in the sun spacing vegetable seedlings. I still have a few hours of that pleasant task ahead of me this week. As difficult as Texas gardening is in summer, it’s positively lovely in the cooler half of the year.
It feels great to to work outside, concentrating on the task at hand, without having to deal to with bugs biting or sweat trickling down my face and neck.
Cilantro, cabbages, lettuces, beets, carrots, parsnips, kale, chard and so much more – all popping up exuberantly. Last year, everything came up late and I didn't space the seedlings properly. This year, I hope to do better and enjoy an even bigger harvest.
The roses, of course, have simply been waiting to show off.
Happy Medieval Monday! #MedMonFall20 comes to an end this week. I know that I have discovered some wonderful authors and romances to enjoy. I hope that you have, too. For more snippets, please visit the Medieval Romance Lovers FB page. We can also be found on Twitter #MedMonFall20.
For this week's snippet of Tremors, Deidre and Lachlann have finally made it to the Christmas tree farm.
At the far end of the parking area was a horse and a deep green carriage. Parked a little way behind the carriage was a wagon filled with hay.
Lachlann wasn’t sure which she was pointing at.
“We’ll take one to transport our tree?” he guessed.
She shook her head. “No. I thought it might be fun to take a carriage ride down to the trees. It’s a perfect day for it.”
It was a perfect day for anything, cold but not uncomfortably so, and sunny. But it wasn’t the weather that made it perfect for him. He watched as Deidre drew their picnic basket from the back seat. Her long, fiery hair moved gently in the breeze and her green sweater, the same color as the trees, hugged her figure. She was all the perfection he’d ever want.
Available at Amazon. Free with KU.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
The day is cool and sunny – perfect gardening weather. But a few nights ago, we actually had a freeze. To my surprise, the tomato plants survived. But the usual suspects, the subtropical plants and the basil, have died to the ground. They should return in spring. For now, it’s time to trim and plant cool season annuals around them.
Fortunately, I still have some snapdragons and pansies left from my last trip to the plant nursery in October. It seems impossible that I haven’t planted them yet, but November just zoomed by. I’m just glad that I don’t have to return to the plant nursery yet. My favorite nursery makes for a rather long drive and the closer, local nursery supplies mostly professional landscapers and doesn't have a particularly pleasant atmosphere.
I’ll probably continue to try to propagate the seasonal annuals myself. So far, I haven’t had much success and don’t know why. But I don't have to give up.
In the meantime, some plants are perfectly happy with the cooler temps and most of the cool season vegetables are coming up. I planted some early, some a little late, and a few in between. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes.
Wishing everyone a wonderful December!
Not to feel exasperated, or defeated, or despondent because your days aren't packed with wise and moral actions. But to get back up when you fail, to celebrate behaving like a human -- however imperfectly -- and fully embrace the pursuit that you've embarked on."
-- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
We don't always see the good in ourselves. Too often, we focus on the negative. Granted, we're not always our best selves and that's where Marcus Aurelius' quote comes in. My favorite part, "to celebrate behaving like a human -- however imperfectly", is a call to both pride and humility. We are who we are, and we will make mistakes -- large and small -- but that doesn't mean we give up or give in.
I noticed the egret on a short walk this morning. I did not see the reflection, so I was surprised when I looked at it a little later. The bird didn't seem to notice her reflection, either, and it crossed my mind that sometimes we don't see ourselves at all, even when we're looking. And that's when we need to embrace a little calm, take a breath -- recall our unique humanity -- then pick ourselves up and continue. No one can walk our journey but ourselves.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
Welcome to Medieval Monday Week 11! Seasonal "hecticity" is setting in! My Christmas was up all weekend and is still only half-decorated. Maybe today…
For this week’s snippet, Lachlann and Deidre have finally arrived at the Christmas tree farm in the piney woods of East Texas. For snippets of other great, medieval romances, be sure to check out the Medieval Romance Lovers FB page. We’re also on Twitter, #MedMonFall20
A few minutes later, they turned onto an asphalt road that led to a gravel parking lot. For the second time in less than an hour, an exclamation of pleased surprise escaped Lachlann. In front of them was a long, red wooden building with a wide front porch and a sign that read Welcome to Olsen’s Christmas Tree Farm.
The porch ran along the entire storefront. Decorated Christmas trees punctuated both ends and several large wooden rocking chairs, some red, some green, were arranged on either side of the steps. Glancing around, he realized that the whole property was festively decorated with various rustic holiday displays, greenery, and, of course, Christmas trees.
Beyond the building, in the near distance, long rows of trees grew all the way down to the lake. Near the water, picnic tables were set up under the trees.
“What do you think?” Deidre brushed his shoulder with hers.
“This is great.”
She smiled. “I have another surprise. See over there?” She pointed out of his window.
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Welcome to Week 10 of Medieval Monday! The holidays are upon us, rousing all sorts of activity and emotion, even – maybe especially -- in this year of worry and change. For a quick and easy escape to another time and place, check out at the Medieval Romance Lovers FB page. We can also be found on Twitter, #MedMonFall20. Why not take a break and relax with a little medieval romance? In this week's snippet from Tremors, Lachlann and Deidre are wrapping up a roadside conversation that he doesn't to have.
".. .and I've never..."
Oh, that conversation. He wanted to delay it. She raised her brows.
He grinned. “I’ve never chosen a Christmas tree.”
He had a point. The dimple in his cheek had nothing to do with anything. She sighed.
“I’m such a sap.”
“Never mind.” She gave him a peck on the lips and put the truck into drive. “Let’s go choose a Christmas tree.”
Welcome to Medieval Monday! For some great new snippets that tantalize and intrigue, stop by Medieval Romance Lovers FB page. We’re also on Twitter, #MedMonFall20.
In this snippet from Tremors, Lachlann and Deidre are still parked on the side of the road in the piney woods of East Texas.
Leaning across the console, he kissed her long and sweetly. Their bodies weren’t touching, but Deidre’s whole body responded as her mouth clung to his.
He broke the kiss abruptly, smiling as he rested his forehead against hers.
“Can we continue this conversation later?” he asked.
“Conversation?” Deidre blinked. What conversation?
He sat back and shrugged. “Like I said, I have a lot to tell you, a whole lot, and none of it’s going to change between now and this evening. But we only have so many hours of daylight left, and I’ve never…”
Oh, that conversation. He wanted to delay it.
Deidre had become a medieval history professor because of a family heirloom -- a medieval drawing of a farmer that she'd loved since childhood. Too bad she couldn't have married him instead of the lying, vicious cheat who had almost ruined her life. Despite the fact that he'd cost her her job, her home, and her relationship with her family, he had failed to destroy her. With a new life in a new city, she'd moved forward. She didn't need anyone, especially another man. But it was impossible to ignore her new neighbor, a gorgeous giant with a strange accent, haunted eyes, and a striking resemblance to her medieval farmer.
She wanted to erase the tormented look in his eyes, to make him as happy as he made her. She wished he would confide in her. But was she ready to confide in him? To explain how she’d lost everything – her life, her family, her self-respect – because of her own poor choices?
Lachlann had lost his entire family to the plague. He’d lost himself by falling through time. He had to go back, to return to the fourteenth century and try to save his family, save his son. But how could he leave Deidre? He needed her like he needed air. And she needed him.
Would she believe him if he told her the truth about himself? Would she reject him once she knew he couldn't stay?
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Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun. – Gibran Khalil Gibran