Three Seasons

Hello friends.

It’s been tough to get serious about the holidays when the weather has been so indecisive.

Earlier this month while I was walking Sonny, I took a photo I call Three Seasons.  It’s a picture of this glorious layout of three seasons – Summer, Fall, and Winter – all intermingled beneath a Maple Tree. Green grass, golden leaves, and little clumps of snow; All of them together, laying on top of each other – like the boys playing Xbox.

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Three Seasons

Have you ever noticed how difficult it can be to get in a groove when seasonal shifts are slow to establish?

Today is the 19th of November. Yet, I’m going to run the lawn mower one more time to mulch the last of the fallen leaves. In any other year, the lawn mower would be long since winterized and folded away under the garage deck by now. But, not this year.

It’s a good thing Thanksgiving is late this year, because 2013 is taking it’s sweet time to wrap things up.

The Kids

Speaking of wrapping things up, the kids have finished their first quarter of school and we’re well into the established routines for homework, supper, and bedtime.

Last week, the little boys got their school pictures back. I broke all kinds of fashion laws by making them wear matching outfits.

What can I say?

It was just easier. The night before pictures, I received a reminder email from the school (Thank You Trish!!). Suddenly, I felt the need to try and make the little turkeys look presentable.

There I was – scrambling around Kohls at 9 pm on a school night.  The only viable shirt and sweater combination happened to be available in their two sizes. Lucky for me, the boys were oblivious to their matching ensembles. How did I get a pass on that one?

John 2nd Grade

John looks sweet as pie in his 2nd grade photo. Sadly, his smooth and even baby teeth have been falling out. This year, he’s got a new smile with new front teeth that look a little too big for his little head.

He’s still got his cowlick. I see his hair broke free of the “Got to be Glued” hair gel that was supposed to keep everything in place.  

PJ 4th Grade

PJ’s in 4th grade and you can tell by his smile that he’s a charmer. He’s ditched the glasses he insisted on having last year (the poor eye doctor finally gave in and got him a pair that didn’t offer really any correction). This is his first school picture with braces. (btw, I can’t believe we have three in braces!!)

Don’t forget, it’s basketball season and we’re up to our Gatorades in practices and games.

John (far left)  just wrapped up eight weeks of basketball. He’ll be playing again in the Winter. We can tell he’s benefited from having older brothers at home to teach and play with him.

John Fall BB 2nd Grade

PJ just started his basketball season. He’s had the same coach for three years and he gets to have his best friend on his team again this year. In PJ’s world, there’s nothing better than being with friends and playing sports. All through the week, I hear “Where is my practice?”, “When is my game?”, “Where is my Jersey?”… You get the idea.

PJ BB 4th Grade Fall 2013

In the Garden

My Mom has started her outdoor decorating. Aside from spurring me on to get going on my own planters, I love that she is using the sumac seed heads and pine cones from her daily walks in the woods with Dad. Her spruce top planter turned out really lovely and she also put together a swag for her mailbox. I’ll have pictures of both of them on the blog this week.

Grandma's Spruce Top Planter

Two weeks ago, I started my indoor bulbs and my first batch of Paperwhites are blooming in the front room. My new motto for Paperwhites is “All winter long…”. Last month, I bought nearly 300 Paperwhite bulbs – enough to last me through the end of March. Needless to say, I love them, love them, love them!

Throughout the year, I’ve been collecting petite containers to use for Paperwhitesproviding small punches of color, life, and fragrance around the house. I’m so excited to try new arrangements in the coming months.

Just an FYI, this first batch is potted in dirt and without overwatering, they are standing up as straight as can be.

Paperwhites All Winter Long

Everest Lane House

Since the weather has been cooperating, I decided to update our outdoor lights.

And, boy did I find some lights that I absolutely love. Not only are they great looking, but they are some of the easiest lights I have ever installed. They get an “A” in my book.

I can’t wait to share them with you and I’ll tell you where you can get them in the blog post tomorrow.

Excited For New Lights

I’ve had some amazing luck at Goodwill this month. One of my favorite finds is this 1936 volume book set. They are absolutely stunning and I plan to use them on my mantle for Christmas.

I’ll share my step by step process for mantles later this week. And, I’ll outline some tips that I use to make a narrow mantle ledge larger and ways to add dimension to your display.

Old Books 1936

In our guest room in the basement (aka the Port Room), I’ve finally curated enough ship art to create the gallery I’ve always envisioned for the media wall. This was a super fun project and I’m very happy with how it turned out. So, if you’re a fan of ships, genealogy, and all things nautical, you’ll want to check it out.

Port Room

This week’s Still Growing…

Last but not least, on this week’s Still Growing gardening podcast, I feature Part 2 of my interview with Joel Karsten. This show covers the “How to” of Straw Bale Gardening. So, if you’re curious about how it works and you want to give it a try, be sure to catch the show. And, if you decide to do it or want to recommend it to your garden friends and family, consider getting Joel’s New York Times best selling book Straw Bale Gardens. It’s clearly written, thorough, and chalk full of tips.

As I mentioned in Part 1, Joel and I share the same home town. As it turns out, our families have some connections we’ve had fun discovering this month. My Mom knew right where to find the photo of both our Dads dressed up as clowns for the town’s Turkey Day parade back in 1966. It’s not every day that a gal gets to say, “My Dad is the clown on the right!”

Turkey Day 1966

That’s the View From Up Here this week.  

Still growing...




Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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