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Yesterday, while driving home after picking up my son from engineering club, I couldn’t believe my eyes. A cherry tree blooming in mid-December? I took a walk this morning and took pictures to capture this sight. Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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2015

It seems like such a large number. Wasn’t it just a little bit ago that we were all worried (or not, depending on our personal feelings) about Y2K? Yet here we are, well into the second decade of the millennium.

Teacup with ball of tea

Today’s tea — jasmine globe tea, composed of green tea, jasmine, and amaranth. It unfolds beautifully in the cup, and has a delicate flavor. A perfect contemplative drink for starting the year.

This is going to be a bit of a rambling post, as I’ve several things on my mind.Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I’m sometimes tempted to do a mash-up of these two. (“Moses supposes the rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain, but Moses supposes erroneously.”) Someday. (“It’s always the someday!”)

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Because the Muppets are always wonderful. As is Queen.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

eimarra: (bunnies)

It’s summer in Pennsylvania, which means it’s humid and hot — not as hot as in many parts of the country, but certainly hot enough that everything grows.

First up, we have the front bed, where the hostas are trying to take over the sidewalk. I think this fall, I’ll scrape out grass on the opposite side of the walk and split the plants.

Read more... )

hostas

In the corner bed, this isn’t a big bloom time like the spring is. There’s a burgundy clematis, but it only put out a couple of flowers, which are gone now. There is also an orange Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed) that just started blooming yesterday.

butterfly weed

The purple clematis by the mailbox blooms all season long, although it usually only has one or two flowers at a time.

clematis

And in the back, we have Kniphofia, also known as torch lily or red hot pokers. They’re getting some odd twists to their stems this year (not shown in this picture; some of the blooms are coming out parallel to the ground, then growing upward), but they’re blooming nicely. My daughter and I planted sunflower seeds next to these — and something dug up the seeds and ate them. It’s a little disheartening to come out and see the shells on the ground. Yesterday, I sowed a lot more (took them out of the birdseed mix); we’ll see if they fare any better.

red hot pokers

And in other news, I’ve gotten my newsletter set up. I’ll be sending it out the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month (I debated 1st and 3rd, but when the 1st of the month falls on a Monday, I would be surprised and panicking to get it out), with the first one coming out July 14. I will have sign-up notices at the end of my blog posts (see below!), and I’ll even get a separate page set up for those who want a bit more description before signing on.


Subscribe to my newsletter now — receive updates twice a month, including a newsletter-only serial and recipes:


Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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A few weeks back, I posted the video for my daughter’s favorite song. This is my son’s. Unfortunately, I can’t embed the video. WordPress app plus YouTube on iPad means to me, it looked like I was just posting a link. The wonders of technology. :P

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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The eggs have hatched! And no, the chicks aren’t actually making any noise yet, but every time something disturbs the nest, one or more will open their beaks, waiting for food. I imagine they’ll actually be fuzzy and cuter next week, yes?20140523-184255-67375765.jpg

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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20140514-203453.jpg
The color on the dogwood looks especially vibrant on the overcast and rainy days, which means something out there isn’t gray, anyway.

(Taken last week, not today. Sorry; it’s just a hectic week.)

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Yes, we’re running about a month behind usual, but we do have spring flowers in the yard at last. Click through to see them all, as well as a couple pictures of bushes. Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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A little backstory on how this came up: last year, I read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. I was so impressed, I followed her on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog. On Facebook, she often asks questions of the “Do you do X or Y?” or “Do you do X, and why?” variety. This week, one of her questions was about volunteering.

Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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The backyard. Snow’s still falling.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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View out the front window, 7 a.m. Snow is expected to continue throughout the day.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Big question, I know. Yesterday, Justine Musk posted a lovely post (poem?) titled “You are not here to play it safe.”

You are here to name the lost animals
. . .
You are here to look behind you in the dark

It’s an inspiring post, and I recommend reading it in full.

On the flip side, there’s something to be said for the quiet differences people can be here for — planting a garden, nurturing a child, easing some of the friction in life, or making the tools that others used in their endeavors.

I don’t believe everyone has one single purpose in life to discover and if they don’t do it, they’re a failure, not living up to their full potential. I think we all have many things we can do.

We only have to answer are we making a difference, in some fashion?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to steal apples from a goddess.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

Spring!

Mar. 9th, 2013 02:25 pm
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Our first croci of the year. Don’t they look cheerful?

20130309-142617.jpg

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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(Or Wednesday, if you subscribe to the blog by e-mail.) I’m sitting here, waiting for proofreading to arrive. I do have two short stories and a cover letter I’m supposed to be working on, and I’ll get to them, I truly will. Meanwhile, some amusements for you: Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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No, not NaNoWriMo.

One of the things I’ve learned through living in different areas of the United States is that most communities have things that they do that they simply assume everyone does because that’s the way it is around there. A simple example: I went shopping the other day for a recipe my son wants to cook, and I asked the lady at the seafood store for baby shrimp. She looked like she’d never heard of such a thing, and she asked me what count. When I told her 300 count, she looked at me like I had two heads. Evidently, here, they think shrimp don’t come any smaller than 41-50 per pound.

We ran into other assumptions when we were first looking for a home in Pennsylvania. Our real estate agent believed that all gas furnaces are deathtraps, due to explode within two or three years of installation, so she did her best to steer us away from houses with them. Which, being from the West Coast, we thought was ridiculous because natural gas was everywhere. Here, oil furnaces are more common. And since people here are used to them, no one ever explained to us what sort of maintenance would be necessary. We figured clean the air filters, and we’re good, right? Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I’ve missed a few posts — Friday flash, my monthly post for the Merry-Go-Round Tour, my Monday gratitude post. I was off spending time with my family and relaxing, as one does on holiday weekends — or should, anyway.

Today, it’s back nose-to-grindstone as I juggle three different paying work projects, finishing a novella, outlining a novel, and making notes on some other series ideas. Also, I shall resume blogging; expect a post Thursday about the latest novelette I’ve put up for sale. Tomorrow, the next time management series post will be up.

What have you been up to? Any fun over the weekend?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I used to post flash once a week. There’s a group being organized that’ll post flash fiction on Fridays. (Not a new idea — Twitter has a #FlashFriday tag, and Chuck Wendig periodically does flash challenges on Fridays.) I’m trying to decide whether to join in.

Do you like reading fiction in a blog? Does it encourage you to read more? Or would you rather see other types of posts?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Bed of plants

My "shade bed."

Today’s a lovely day — high 60s, low 70s, sunny with no thunderstorm on the horizon yet. It’s rained almost every day for the past month, which means the plants are green, the weeds are blooming, and the ground is soft. In other words, today would be a perfect day to be outside.

When we first moved in, I thought our house faced due north. I’m used to houses that face cardinal directions, and it didn’t occur to me that with the house on the curve of the street, we probably didn’t. In fact, our house faces northeast. However, thinking that the front of the house was north and would thus be shady all day, especially with the large maple tree in the yard), I planned and planted a shade bed. Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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What do you mean, I’m a month early? Tell that to the 50+ degree temperatures (or the 60+ it’s supposed to be on Friday). I’m sitting here with the windows open, letting the fresh air in. And here are the first spring pictures from the yard:Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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