The Garden Gods

On the subject of gardening, there is always much to discuss each year with family, friends, neighbors, even the smart folks at the Co-Op. How to prep the soil? Plant before Easter or before? Why is rainwater better for the vegetables than county water? And the weeds, oh geesh, who’s gonna tackle those every day?

We’re still learning, of course — and I’m not convinced there aren’t divine forces at play when it comes to how a garden will grow. Here’s hoping our good behavior this year will help make the garden gods shine down favorably upon us and our little patch of country dirt.

Happy Gardening! And please feel free to share any secrets to your own backyard garden successes…


From the first summer we moved in, a few old toads have come to hang out each night by (and sometimes in) the pool. Not all have survived us. Dogs got one, cats got another. And someone ran over a big one with the car. But these stoic toads keep coming back every summer — probably to catch bugs under the outside floodlights. Mike even bought them a little house.

Last summer, a young man from our town took this visiting toad experience to a whole new level…creating custom hats for one patient, and obviously fashion-forward, amphibian, in order to help cheer up a child who had lost his pet toad. He only shared the photos just recently, and they spread like wildfire overnight. Since posting, over 1 million curious folks have clicked to see the toad millinery. Read all about the Toad and his Hats on BuzzFeed.

Horse Xing

Our country road just got a little bit sweeter, thanks to the county and neighbors who helped us put up these signs. 🙂

Scenes in Winter

Tonight as we were feeding the horses, a low fog rolled into the wet pastures just as the sun was setting. It was beautiful. And as I excitedly tried to run back to the barn to grab my phone, I tripped over a fence wire and went Splat! Right into the mud. But never mind that. We still got the pictures. 🙂

Ring out, Ring in

Just some special words to take to heart for the beginning of another year…

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

– Alfred Lord Tennyson

Here’s to a beautiful 2017!