Smile, It’s Only Winter

spring flower

It’s been bitterly cold in West Central Illinois the past week or two. Most daytime highs have barely reached  the mid-teens, while overnight lows have slipped well below zero.. Given a glance at the national weather map, I assume, if you live in the U.S., you, too, have a good shot at being in the big chill zone. Fortunately, we’re expected to begin a warm up here today, but I still say it’s time to turn my thoughts to spring!

This is not exactly a new idea. Most gardening catalogs turn up in mailboxes about now, which has always worked for me. I’m an equal opportunity gardener.. Vegetables or flowers, I’m up for both. Flowers are lovely and I grow them. But, to my mind, nothing matches walking out into a vegetable patch and harvesting a crop for supper.

Gardening in pots?

I cheat. I don’t have the physical stamina to keep up a large garden. What I can do, however, is grow my goodies in pots. I’ve planted peppers and green beans and eggplants along with lots and lots of leaf lettuce. It’s easy. There is no dirt to plow or hoe. And I’ve seldom had to fight a weed infestation. A tug here and there of a baby weed has usually done the trick.

My flowering plants usually go in the ground, but since I mostly grow perennials,  my flower garden doesn’t require much work from me. If I want to add flowering annuals to  the bed, I tuck them into…(you guessed it) pots. The only downside to perennials is that they must be divided every few years to keep them healthy. But I rotate that job so that I never have to dig up  many in the same year.

Now, I’m really dreaming of spring. May it arrive early this year! And if you’ve received a gardening catalog, isn’t this just the kind of weather to dive into it?

Also, if you have a trick for surviving this dreadful weather, please share! There’s strength in numbers. Who knows when another arctic blast like this one will land again?

Bonus content:

The Top  FREE COZY MYSTERY at Amazon Today

Rosemary’s Gravy by Melissa F. Miller

Happy dreaming and happy reading, everyone.

 

 

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Mud Pie, a Delightful Free Novel

Oh boy, I  have another free book to recommend. It’s Mud Pie, written by Emma Lee Dole. It’s cute. It’s fun. And it’s a decidedly complicated mystery. I could not figure out who “dun” it  until the very last minute, and I read a LOT of mysteries.

It’s set in England, near Manchester, and features a young cook, Lannie Herron, being chased by an evil bunch of young thugs. They want to kill her for exposing their drug dealing. She is fleeing in hopes of escaping their retribution.

(Mud Pie, by the way, is a dessert, although I can’t really describe it since I’ve never had it. But needless to say, Lannie makes a great one.)

So there she is working in some small pub, praying to escape detection and death. Who said survival was easy?

The e-book is an engaging read full of rugby players, flirtations, and narrow escapes. I truly enjoyed it, and since it ended with her future not fully spelled out, I suggest Dole use this as the first  book in a series of Lannie adventures. I’d certainly read them for whatever that’s worth.

Mud Pie is available FREE for Nook, iTunes, and Kobo. I downloaded my copy at Smashwords.

I cannot end this post without also mentioning Widowmere, which is also written by Emma Lee Dole, and is also FREE. I read it. I loved it. But this book is heavy on description which bothers me not a whit. In fact, I reveled in the language used to tell this story. This tale features an artist as a protagonist who is as far removed from Lannie as possible. She’s sensitive, observant, romantic, and charming.

Widowmere begins when a beautiful young woman fills her pockets with pebbles and walks into the lake as the artist is painting the scene. It is more of a  literary mystery, but that bothered me not at all. This book is also available from the above outlets. Enjoy!