Posts tagged: winter

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

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(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


Chocolate-Dipped Candied Orange Peel

Snow Ice Cream

Cranberry-Mandarin-Ginger Relish

Traditional Hot Mulled Apple Cider



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


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.











By , March 15, 2013

Last weekend I had a wonderful retreat.

My folks were headed to the mountains for the weekend and my kitty and I went along with them. I didn’t realize how much I needed that dose of nature. My heart has been heavy lately with worry and too much of the ‘big stuff’ on my mind, and getting out of my usual daily pattern and having a fun little vacation really lifted me up. We all had a wonderful time!!

Kiss the kitteh!

These icicles were bent. Weird!

One day it snowed. It’s a shame I was too lazy to go outside and get a proper picture of this enchanted forest at dawn in the snowfall. Instead I took the photo through the window screen. Ug. Next time!


What have you all been up to lately??


Garden planning, more snow, and a catnip party

By , March 5, 2013

As I opened the bedroom curtains yesterday morning I was greeted by a peaceful gray day and gently falling snowflakes! I always get excited when I see snow. I made tea and turned on some soft harp music, which goes very well with snowfall.

In the afternoon, the sun was shining while the snow was still falling:

And now’s the time when I haul out the seed box and plan my garden. I always am puzzled about statements referring to gardeners delving into seed catalogs in December or January, itching to get going again. For much of the winter I can hardly think about gardening! I very much enjoy the break that winter provides. I love my garden, and I also love having a break from the work of it. And I absolutely can’t even think about garden planning and seed starting and fertilizer stuff and soil amendments… until I’m fully ready. Through the winter, my heart actually sinks when thinking about these things! Until one day… about this time each year… I think about gardening… and my heart lifts — soars, even.

And then I know that it’s time to begin.


My cat Liz loves seeds perhaps as much as I do. When I lay out all the packets for planning purposes, she makes sure she’s there to help. We love to “play seeds” together.

Can you guess what kind of seeds she loves best?

When I left all the seeds out on Sunday night, I had forgotten about the Catnip.

And Liz had been playing seeds in the night — as I quickly realized on Monday morning when I saw the crumpled rug and strewn packets.

The life of the party:

So I guess to plant catnip this year, I’ll just have to rake a plot of dirt and shake out the rug!


(If you’re curious about planning a veggie garden, here’s how I do mine each year.)

And your garden… what’s it up to right now?



Winter has returned!

By , February 26, 2013

The season has reasserted itself, and we got about a foot of snow on Sunday! It’s a fortunate thing, too, because winter was slipping through our fingers without much at all in the way of precipitation. I was getting ready to drag out the hoses and sprinklers but now thankfully I can put that off for a while yet.

Sunday was a lovely day of resting, reading, soup-eating, snow-ice-cream-making, enjoying the blizzard from inside our cozy warm house, and venturing out now and then to re-shovel the walkways.

And in typical Colorado fashion, yesterday, Monday, was a glorious sunny day. Not one single cloud anywhere. So I shoveled a tunnel to the clothesline and dried two loads of laundry outside. My grandma used to do that; she dried all the clothes of her household of nine (!) out on the line, even through the winter. She shoveled a walkway to the clothesline through the snow, for 46 Colorado winters, and didn’t get a dryer until she was in her 80s… but by then she was very sick, and never did get to use that new dryer. It’s just as well; my mom says she reckons my grandma loved every minute of the time spent outside hanging clothes, no matter the weather. I agree; there’s just something about hanging out the wash.

Then later in the afternoon when I was needing some birdsong in my ears, wind on my face, and sunshine in my eyes, I sat out on the sidewalk with some tea in my New Chair. I bought this fabulous chair, seemingly never used, at the thrift store for $4.99. I looked it up this weekend and it’s a $75 chair! (It’s a Howda seat.) It was one of those things I didn’t know I needed — as my mom says, “I’ll need it when I see it” — but it’s just perfect for one of the things I like doing most, which is to “sit awhile” in little random outdoor spots.

Today is another wintry, cloudy day with a little bit more snowfall. I love these days. But the shrinking band of winter sun through the south windows, and the increasing evening daylight means that Spring really isn’t very far off at all…


Bits of Spring

By , February 23, 2013


Beautiful Things Today

By , February 7, 2013

The aspen branches I brought in a couple weeks ago are flowering…

It rained last night, instead of snowing — a most unusual occurrence — and this morning was so fresh smelling, and frosty…

This book I’m reading is a thing of beauty, too. It’s called Heaven On Earth, by Sharifa Oppenheimer. It’s about the Waldorf approach to early childhood — but if you let it, this book could be a life-changer even if you don’t have children. The environment created at home for the young child would in fact benefit anyone. The other thing of beauty in this photo is the page holder!! What a great invention…

Spring is coming! I thought the single-digit temperatures in January had killed my lettuce crowns. Not so!

From a longtime friend… a most wonderful, old fashioned, hand written letter full of love and soul arrived in the mailbox this afternoon, and contained these handmade hearts for our window!!!



By , January 29, 2013

It snowed last night. It was such a peaceful sight, and our ground needed the moisture badly. And every single person in the city awoke to a wonderland this morning!

I shoveled the walks, took a few pictures, and enjoyed tea inside the warm house as the morning sun began to break through the clouds.

This day was spent doing quiet things; resting, addressing neglected piles, picking up messes, sweeping, making soup with homegrown hubbard squash.

F and I had set out our five boxes full of things we’re giving away, and they were picked up today from our front porch. How great it felt to send those things on to their new lives, while paring down and simplifying our own.

And being, as it is, a day on earth, it also had its challenges. Sweetness and challenges…like yin and yang, dark and light — always hand-in-hand.

Surprising rudeness at the grocery store. Surprising insurance bills. Being tired and cranky. Frustration with my bum hand and the things I can’t do right now. Assorted worries and fears. Overwhelm regarding the future.

Some days just have a heaviness to them.

That’s okay.

Other days have the most incredible lightness.

Tonight, F and I decided not to turn on the TV for the PBS program we were planning to watch. Instead it was a quiet night. I got a batch of kombucha going, candle in the kitchen window, and the soothing sounds of Steven Halpern music coming softly through the speakers.

After the counter was wiped clean and the lights were lowered, I made tea and sat down with Renewal, the magazine of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America. I love this magazine. I received it when my mom and I visited a Waldorf school for its winter fair in December. I’ve read every word and am going back through it a second time. I’ve been noticing which magazines and articles sit around unread, and which ones I grab first these days; so I’m letting Taproot and Mother Earth News lapse, and have excitedly bought a subscription to Renewal. Learning about the Waldorf approach to early childhood, and then extrapolating that info to life in general, has really grabbed me of late. It strikes such a chord. The importance of gentleness and goodness, the importance of beauty and quality and simplicity and meaningfulness. The deep connection to nature.

And what else can we do, really, but follow our interests. I can’t see what my future looks like. All I know is that I aim to lead a joyful and authentic life doing the work I am meant to do, even though I’m not totally sure what that is right now. The only way I see getting there is to follow what really grabs me. And then, trust that it will knit itself into a future that fits me perfectly.



~May you all have a peaceful night tonight.~


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