Posts tagged: holiday

Happy Winter! Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah!

By , December 23, 2016

Christmas tree, (c) The Herbangardener

Greetings of the Season to you all!

I hope this finds you well. Can you believe how quickly it has become almost-Christmas? It’s almost a little scary.

I have been meaning to put pictures here of the rest of the season’s garden including the harvest, but it hasn’t happened. After Christmas I will backtrack and post those pictures.

But in the meantime I wanted to put some wintry pictures up. We’ve had approximately two days of wintry weather so far this year. It’s been too warm and dry. Most of what we’ve had is this:

Sunshine, (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

That picture above is pretty too, but I love the raw bleakness and snowfall of a real winter’s day. We had one yesterday, and I went out and gathered evergreen boughs and made a wreath.

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

***

If you need any last-minute Christmas making-and-baking ideas, here are some from my recipe archive:

Challah Bread, 6-braid

Chocolate-Orange Macaroons

(Healthier) Pecan Snowball Christmas Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Cranberry-Pumpkin Muffins

Gingerbread

Chocolate-Dipped Candied Orange Peel

Snow Ice Cream

Cranberry-Mandarin-Ginger Relish

Traditional Hot Mulled Apple Cider

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

*****

Moving house

By , February 27, 2016

Moving (c) The Herbangardener

Yep, we have moved again. It’s such a breeze and so stress free, you know, we can hardly get enough!

This last year, circumstance dictated that my folks reclaim their home that we had been renting from them for the past three years, which meant we needed to find ourselves a new pad. Their house is where I grew up, so this homebody’s roots there run awfully, awfully deep–soaking up comfort and familiarity and cherished memories like precious life-giving droplets of water over these past few terribly challenging years. Difficult to pack up and go, you bet. Our move has blessedly been to a place just a couple hours “down the road,” so visits back are realistic and doable on a semi-frequent basis — which has been helpful for my heart which does not, alas, sway to the currents of logic or plan or situation, and does not apparently even realize that it’s actually their house and not mine at all. Helpful also in that I finally found some good doctors and I’m not, and I repeat not, in the mood to drop them and doctor shop in a new city right now. Commutes back for doctor appointments are softened by wonderful time spent with my family so this setup is working well, considering.

Going through the experience of a home purchase was new to both F and me. I would totally not recommend it. We’re lucky that we also did not have a house to sell at the same time! How do people do it?? We felt heroic for getting through it (applause especially to F) but wow, the stress was busting out the seams. Hopefully we will not have to buy, sell, or move again, ever, for the rest of our whole entire lives but if we do, I think it will definitely be easier the second time now that we’ve traced the learning curve.

We got really lucky with the place we found. And by lucky I mean that if we’d missed seeing the new Zillow listing by a single day, it would’ve been gone. And since we already had a contract on another house the realtor wasn’t sending us any new stuff so it was F that stumbled upon this one thanks to his persistent internet searching late into the night. We shudder now to think of ourselves at the first house we had the contract on! Instead, we lucked into a perfectly sized, solidly built 60’s house (we’re only the second owners!) on three irrigated acres. We wake up to meadowlarks and mountain vistas. It’s a special spot, as you’ll see:

Mowed pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Mowed pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Mowed pasture (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Tractor mowing the pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Wish this tractor were ours!

Tractor mowing the pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Green pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Green pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Sunset (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Clothesline (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Flood irrigation (c) The Herbangardener

Irrigatinggate pipe (c) The Herbangardener

Irrigation gated pipe (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

IMG_3729

IMG_3268

End of the rainbow (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Winter dusk (c) The Herbangardener

Winter dusk (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

 *****

Mandala Magnets in My Etsy Shop!

By , December 14, 2015

Mandala Magnet, (c) The Herbangardener

Hello all!

A quick note here to let you know that I’ve got Mandala Magnets in my Etsy shop! They’re a new item that I’ve just posted, and if you need unique, handmade last-minute gifts or stocking stuffers for Christmas, these are perfect. All 20 mandala designs that are in my Coloring Book are available, as well as three new mandalas (#’s 21 thru 23) which are not in the coloring book. All 23 are available individually, or as a full set.

There is also a non-mandala design called ‘Forest Child.’

Each magnet measures 2 1/4″ (5.7cm) in diameter.

Handmade by yours truly, with 100% USA-made materials.

All designs are illustrated completely by hand — not with computer software like so many of the mandala designs out there.

The magnets add beauty and pizzazz to Home or Office — refrigerators, filing cabinets, office cubicles, and lockers! They’re also great for wedding favors, party favors, housewarming gifts, hostess gifts, teacher gifts, etc.

$2.95 each

BUY NOW

~~The ordering deadline for these, to get them by Christmas, is December 18th.~~

Aren’t they fun!?

Here’s a sampling of some of the designs:

Mandala Magnet, (c) The Herbangardener

Mandala Magnet, (c) The Herbangardener

Mandala Tree Magnet, (c) The Herbangardener

Mandala Magnet, (c) The Herbangardener   Mandala Magnet, (c) The Herbangardener

Forest Child magnet, (c) The Herbangardener

Mandala Magnet, (c) The Herbangardener

Mandala Magnet, (c) The Herbangardener

Mandala Magnets, (c) The Herbangardener

Mandala Magnets, (c) The Herbangardener

*****

Winter Days~

By , February 9, 2015

Snowstorm, (c) The Herbangardener

Gingerbread cookies, (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Springtime starting seeds, (c) The Herbangardener

Family laundry, (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Beef marrow bone broth, (c) The Herbangardener

Doctors office, (c) The Herbangardener

Chat noir, (c) The Herbangardener

Winter aspen branches, (c) The Herbangardener

Aspen branch in water, (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Indoor cat grass, (c) The Herbangardener

Smiling orange, (c) The Herbangardener  (c) The Herbangardener

Making cookies, (c) The Herbangardener

Christmas cat toys, (c) The Herbangardener

Brewing, (c) The Herbangardener

Strawbale greenhouse, (c) The Herbangardener

Inside the straw bale greenhouse, (c) The Herbangardener

Mature zucchini, save seed, (c) The Herbangardener

Kitty, (c) The Herbangardener

Zucchini, saving seed, (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Lychee, Date palms, and cilantro, (c) The Herbangardener

Clothesline, (c) The Herbangardener

Nebulizer hypertonic saline, (c) The Herbangardener

Burdock in winter, (c) The Herbangardener

Heat lamp, (c) The Herbangardener

Cabbage seedlings, (c) The Herbangardener

*****

A Merry Christmas to you!

By , December 24, 2014

IMG_1025

Merry Christmas! My best wishes to all of you.

What will you be doing this year for the holiday?

It’ll be a quiet little Christmas here, with us at home here and my parents coming over for a simple, relaxing get-together with a few presents and some special items to eat and most of all, each other’s company. And now it looks as though some snow is being predicted!! Even better. Growing up, Christmastime was joyous and so full of excitement and anticipation and the richness of sensory delights. Low glowing lights and the smells of pine and cookies, the sound of the heater kicking on, the cushy wall-to-wall carpet underfoot, the coziness of our house decorated so beautifully and soulfully, the real tree and prancing out to the street to admire it glowing in our livingroom window; special Christmas cookies in the oven, eating scraps of gingerbread dough as we rolled it out for the cookie cutters, standing on the step stool to make Eskimo Balls with my mom, rolling them in powdered sugar, eating many, and putting the rest into the same tupperware container every year, and then into the fridge where they would be kept until every last one had been snitched. Too bad, that recipe is largely out of circulation these days since it calls for a couple sticks of margarine — oh the glorious 80s — which we would remove from their foil wrappers without a single second thought.

The good ol’ days. These are good ol’ days too, in different ways. At Christmas, I bask in those old memories with relish, while enjoying these good ol’ days right here and now, with Bing Crosby’s White Christmas — the soundtrack of my kid-hood Christmases played on the record player — in the background, and the tree all a-glow.

IMG_1043

IMG_1052

IMG_1049

IMG_1045

IMG_1040

IMG_1036

IMG_1028

IMG_0998

*****

Happy Easter!

By , March 31, 2013

Happy Easter to you today! It’s a quiet, sunny Sunday morning here in Colorado, and this morning it really seems like spring has come. The lawns are getting green, the finches and robins are chirping, the daffodils and grape hyacinth are blooming, and the trees and bushes — though still bare silhouettes — are coming to life again.

May you have a wonderful Easter, however you choose to celebrate the re-awakening of nature in this most welcome and hopeful season!

*****

Make an Easter Egg Tree

By , March 25, 2013

What a dear holiday Easter is. I love the sweet, cheerful decorations, the colors of early spring, the smell of hyacinth.

Back in late January, I had clipped some aspen branches and brought them into the house. They’ve been such a nice touch of nature to have around, carrying on with their life cycle of blooming and leafing out, content in just a vase of water.

So naturally, our indoor aspen tree needed some Easter eggs. I do have some blown-out-and-dyed eggs from several years ago, and this year I blew out some brown eggs, which are beautiful just as they are.

***

To make your egg tree:

Clip a few branches and place them in a vase of water or sand.

Blow out some eggs by piercing both ends with a sharp implement like nail scissors or a needle or an old-fashioned ice pick; blow the innards into a bowl.

A nice way to hang each egg is to get a length of thin branch and cut it into short bits, 1/2″ or 1″ (2cm) long (or use part of a match stick or toothpick). The branch I used was from an elm tree.

Cut about 12″ (30cm) of thread, and tie a double knot on the branch bit. The knot doesn’t have to be completely centered on the branch. It helps to start a knot with the thread, and then slip the branch piece into it.

Slip your branch bit all the way into the top hole of the egg.

Hang it like this. Tie off the thread about 3″ (7cm) above the egg.

Then decorate your little egg tree! Don’t worry, your cat will help you.

*****

Quiet winter moments

By , January 16, 2013

Happy Solstice, Happy Winter, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

I hope you’ve all been well. Did you have a nice holiday season?

It’s been a nice few weeks here. Working hard to get my handmade gifts ready, lots of nice Christmas music (Kohala Christmas is a favorite at our place), multiple trips to the local thrift shop to search out wool sweaters — both to wear and to felt for projects — and then after Christmas some nice down time. Getting ready for Christmas I pushed my body further than I ought to have (I was feeling so good!), and timing being what it is, I crashed on Christmas Eve. So most of Christmas Day was spent on my parents’ apartment floor by the tree, pressing my head to a package of frozen lunch meat to try to calm a horrendous headache. Around five I was feeling a little better, and we opened gifts in the twilight (instead of in the morning) next to the glowing tree — which ended being so enchanting that I think we’ve started a new tradition!

And now the New Year feels like a nice clean slate. Since I have survived (which was a question mark in my mind for some time), and am now healing from, the awful disease that is Brucellosis, I’m beginning to think about what’s next in terms of career and life direction and moneymaking endeavors. Those thoughts are exciting and I have so many ideas, but they can be very overwhelming too, on days when the “what’s next” feels far away and out of reach. As I’m learning, it takes quite a while to rebuild a body so completely exhausted and depleted by nineteen months of unchecked infection and then a further ten months of strong antibiotic treatment. I am feeling SOOO much better. But the rebuilding part does take time. Actually I have to keep reminding myself of this — the big picture of what my body has been handling — because my mind gets easily carried away with activities and cool ideas and thoughts of the future and what I need to be doing to get myself there. But then my body yanks on the choke chain, reminding me that getting back to my old self is not instantaneous and everything will happen in good time (as in “not all at once at this very moment“).

So I’ve been keeping a slower, simpler, more realistic pace when possible. You know how if you work really really hard at your job, and it’s really intense work, and there’s lots of stress, and you don’t have any downtime…how you burn out quickly? Well that’s what happens in life too, I’ve realized. Especially with the pace at which our world moves now. Even though I’m just in my 20s, I feel like I’ve lived several lifetimes already. So much stuff has been packed in. Some of it really fun, some of it really not fun. And when you pack that much in, you get worn out and you start burning out. And if you’re very sensitive (any fellow HSPs out there?) you can get overwhelmed and burnt out even more easily due to the sheer intensity of it all. Being very ill is an intense experience. It taxes you physically, mentally, and emotionally. And so what I’m learning again and again is that I can’t get ahead of myself. Even if I have a million cool ideas I want to follow through with, I have to dial it back and pace myself otherwise I will burn out totally. First things first. My first priority must remain my health. (Health really IS wealth. If you don’t have your health, you have no energy to earn monetary wealth!) When I’m frustrated and tired of that being my #1 priority, I remind myself that it’s an investment in my future. I must get fully well NOW, so that I may be who I want to be and do the things I want to do in the future. If I don’t address the physical things that need attending to right now, and let my body fully heal, then things could be a little dicey down the road. Best to address it now.

So I’ve been staying quiet, moving (when I remember to) at a slow and deliberate pace. Doing one thing at a time (like drinking tea and doing nothing else during that time), and taking the time to do things that make my spirit happy. My appetite for anything techie has been minimal, so my computer has been off a lot. It’s been nice. I’ve enjoyed keeping more of a “1972 pace” rather than a “2013 pace” if that makes any sense.

And now, onto some pictures…

*****

A Good, Beautiful Tree

By , December 14, 2012

Thanks to an afternoon with my mom and her car (thank you Mom!!!), we’ve got a big beautiful charlie brown tree in the corner of our living room. I think one of the very best parts of Christmas is having a real live tree in the house.

This morning, to the soft sounds of Christmas music I remember from childhood, I strung the lights and laid out the ornaments. It’s cloudy today — a rarity that I cherish in this very sunny climate. Clouds make the day cozy and peaceful.

Tonight my Honey and I will decorate.

Assuming the ornaments remain intact till then…

*****

The Herbangardener is powered by WordPress