Choosing Our Christmas Tree

  • Post published:12/20/2010
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Henry and I set out Saturday morning to cut our Christmas tree. Unfortunately, this photo does not capture the field of diamonds that surround our house, but it does capture our cat Holly who likes to hike with us. This time we had to stop and put her back in the house. We saw lots of animal tracks as we walked down the Rose Walk. I thought these were deer tracks, but Henry wasn't so sure. A fair amount of…

Our Own Charlie Brown Christmas

  • Post published:12/10/2010
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My youngest daughter Kate, formerly known as Kathy, requested that I reprise this column. I am amazed that I found hard copy; it was written on my old Kaypro and published in 1985. The year 1971 was important for me. In January I was a suburban housewife, busy with PTA, chaufferring the children, the Ladies Literary Circle, chauffering the children, and chauffering the children some more. By September I was divorced, settled in Greenfield with my five children…

Christmas Lists

  • Post published:12/09/2010
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I have barely begun my shopping, but I admit that much of my shopping is done in the bookstore.  On the other hand many gardeners like to get plants - or gift certificates for plants to be used in the spring.  I did let a comment slip about how many new roses I'd like in the spring. Fountains and birdbaths attract the birds, but they are also a beautiful ornament in the garden. Of course some things wear…


  • Post published:12/08/2010
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Yesterday was gray and cold, but a jolly Christmas was well on its way at LaSalle's greenhouses in Whately. This is only a sample of the plants that are ready to adorn the altars of local churches. I love the creamy color of the 'white' poinsettias. I saw a couple of trays of tiny variegated poinsettias. Of course, LaSalle sells many other plants: the white azalea, white hydrangeas, orchids, Norfolk pines,  amaryllis, and prostrate rosemary to begin the…

Let’s Talk

  • Post published:11/10/2010
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Last Friday night was the premier broadcast of Let's Talk - with Pat Leuchtman on our local cable TV station.  I was talking with Lori Pirkot,  the owner of Boswell's Books in Shelburne Falls. We had a great time talking about the wonderful books for children that are available this season, many of them by local (ish) authors and illustrators. I think there is no better present for a child than a good book. My grandchildren will tell…

Christmas Trees – of a sort

  • Post published:12/28/2009
  • Post comments:7 Comments

When we woke early on Christmas morning we immediately lit our Christmas tree, but we also admired the majestic yellow birch out in our field. This is the most notable tree in our landscape; it still shows the damage wrought by last year's historic December ice storm. It would be pressing a point to say that I did any gardening over the holiday weekend, but I did devote some time, energy and nerves to prepare another type of…

Books for the Gardener

  • Post published:12/28/2009
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Just about everyone knows that I am a reader. Therefore there is nothing (well, almost nothing) I like better as a gift than a book.  When I had regular paid employment I always prayed that the day after Christmas would be on a weekend so I could devote that day to reading my Christmas book. And I’ll confess, I often bought myself  a book – for just in case, but I never needed to worry. Here are some…

Merry Christmas

  • Post published:12/24/2009
  • Post comments:4 Comments

"A star rose in the sky, and glory from on high Did fill the night with splendor. Came birds with joyful voice to carol and rejoice With songs so sweet and tender."              The Carol of the Birds Merry Christmas to all! We wish safe travelling to all those moving from here to there to celebrate with family and friends. May joy and laughter fill all your celebrations.

Gifts that Fit Like a Glove

  • Post published:12/20/2009
  • Post comments:2 Comments

            The dictionary defines the word gift as “Something that is bestowed voluntarily.” Sometimes, at this time of the year with Christmas garlands  around every product in the supermarket, drugstore, department store and  boutique there doesn’t seem to be much of the ‘voluntary’ available.             And yet, sometimes a gift is not only truly voluntary, it is inspired, perfectly suited to the recipient at that particular moment, a gift that fills a secret need or desire. My first…

Refractions and Reflections

  • Post published:12/17/2009
  • Post comments:7 Comments

   While reading and enjoying my morning coffee I looked up to see this flame reflected in the framed map on the wall opposite me. And opposite the south windows where I have hung chandelier crystals to catch the sun sending rainbows dancing across the room, for a little while every day. As we come closer to the Solstice we are all more aware of the sun, and the diminishing hours of light and warmth. But there was the…