Saturday, April 2, 2016

April Flowers ~
 April brings lots of new flowers to our mountain gardens. The bleeding heart is in the faery garden next to the woods. It is home to a few faery garden statues.
 The poet's daffodil is a very old flower. I brought a few from the Episcopal rectory which was built in the early 1900's before 1916. It is quite fragrant.
 Threat of frost this evening which always seems to happen when the lilac begin to bloom.
                                     We planted five of these in the woods. Three are blooming.
                 Wild jasmine, a native plant,  grows with the tulip poplars in a wooded garden area.
 When the Asheville Botanical Center had a plant sale, I purchased this yellow wood poppy several years ago. The deer and bunnies nibbled it to the stem last spring. Even the hostas are okay. I am using grated Irish Spring soap again this year and garlic powder.
 These daffodils are just some of the bulbs I ordered in the fall from a company that specializes in bulbs from Holland. The bulbs were very large and often had three or bulblets attached to the mother bulb. The success rate was amazing. As soon as I find the catalog, I will share the information with you.

      Yellow primroses purchased from the Southwest Virginia Museum's annual plant sale.
     Some of the first flowers planted here and hiding in the daffodils near an old stump.
          These tiny flowers are some of the sweetest smelling in the front gardens.Iris will be blooming                soon. The critters ate the few tulip bulbs. Saw a lily poking its head up near the greenhouse.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring in the Mountains ~

                  There is a slight chill in the air today. Have been told it is red bud winter.
 The daffodils are enjoying the weather. The many layered daffodils are new this year in the garden.

 The yellow King Alfred daffodils line the driveway. Imagine the smells being outside when the wind blows.!

      Each year I have planted at least 100 new bulbs. Some have done well, others not so well.

The grape hyacinth have always been here. They trail down the side of the yard stopping at the moss and violets.  More daffodils blooming...Happy Spring!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Writing and Self Publishing a Book ~

I do not know why anyone writes except me, I write because I have a story to tell. The book has many voices and can be confusing. Natalie, the child who was abandoned by her mother; Ellen, the maternal grandmother raising Natalie; Pearl, the mother who left her daughter one hot summer night, and Robert Jr., the uncle who was always there to support his family. I knew this story had to be told.

While the snow fell, I was finishing my book. A process of 16 years to write and then came the editing. I never really understood how important editing was until I began this process. I realized I could not edit my own writing. After many friends had read the book and offered suggestions, I came to the conclusion the book was going to never become a reality until a decision was made to find a professional publishing company.

This took a few years to come to a decision. It was more about the finances.  I realized, just invest in your dream and do it.  In our family, we have a discussion before a  financial  decision is made.

 I emailed Amazon's publishing company Create Space. Within 24 hours, I was starting the path to self publishing.  I chose the full design team for my book. I had access to help 24 hours a day seven days a week. If I had a problem, I would call on the phone. They were there to help and help, they did.

I took the photograph of my grandchild, Maggie walking down our mountain road to meet a friend at the end of the road. My husband, the photographer, edited the photo for me and sent it to Create Space. Create Space sent the final version of the cover. The edited version came back. I spent a good six weeks editing the editing. Then the final book was emailed.  At this point, I was close to tears. Mama Left Me was really going to be published!

I received an author's proof in the mail. I held onto the book. It was real. Once the book arrived, I looked at it and then went to my author's page to push the publish button. Within 24 - 48 hours the book would be available in paper back. Kindle format came later.

Mama Left Me is available on Amazon. In Big Stone Gap, you can purchase a copy at the Tales of the Lonesome Pine, The Post, or The Southwest Virginia Museum. I carry copies with me wherever I go.

I will be in:
 Richmond, Virginia on March 30 - 31 for the Family Based Treatment-Va. Chapter Kinship and Foster Care Summit
April 9 Early Childhood Conference University of Virginia at Wise
April 17 Book Signing Southwest Virginia Museum

You just never know where your path will lead.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

End of the Year & A Give A Way ~
 This early winter weather has brought many surprises into the yard. This seedling which can grow as tall as six feet with a beautiful flower is growing amid the stones near the front of the house. If you know the name of this flower which also gives lots of seeds to the birds, just reply to this post or if you are reading this on facebook, make a comment. I will be giving away either a glass plate or a pair of earrings.
 The greenhouse although small is home to several geraniums. These I picked right before Christmas along with the lemon balm. The red flowers continue to bloom when there is little red color outside.
 Planted several years ago, these  snowdrops are blooming. The new double snowdrops are up and their leaves are showing. No blooms yet!
 While the sun shone through the studio windows the prisms danced with rainbows. A faery charm from Green Girl studios dangles from a gemstone necklace. This is my favorite necklace I made during 2015.
From turquoise and chrysolla the charms dangles with a faery on the front and a star quote on the reverse.