Catching Up

Attempts to catch up with life around the house, overlooked for two weeks with the road trip and a busy work schedule upon return, have been fitful at best.

We've had a couple of cold days with bold sunshine. The Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete' appreciates the warmth coming in the south windows.

And the hydroponic tulips on trial here have come out of the refrigerator to sit on the window sills.

But it was with trepidation I opened the cold frame that had been sealed shut in a blanket, tarp and 8" of icy snow for fifteen days. I expected freeze-dried remains but was greeted instead with a brave calendula blossom.

The Aeonium extended lanky bud stems ready to burst.

And the thyme looked fresh as spring.

The secret to their survival? Two 40-watt long life appliance light bulbs my husband mounted to the back of the cold frame. With temperatures plummeting over night to low single digits and worse, in the cold frame it remains in the upper 20s/low 30s. And once that sun rises and heats things up inside it can get to 80 degrees in the afternoon. I can then prop the lid open slightly with a scrap of lumber to allow some air to circulate.

Back inside, plants and bulbs aren't the only things enjoying the south facing windows. We all spend our days in the family room during the winter with the sunshine. It's my favorite room. The girls were raised in this room, all those long winters growing up. And it's the one room in this drafty old Victorian, with it's tall original wavy glass windows and high ceiling, that gives off the comfort and warmth of a soft old flannel shirt when it's filled up with plants in the fall to join us for winter. It adjoins to the kitchen with an extra wide open door frame. Food, sunshine, family, cats, plants. Truly the heart of our home.


  1. So many surprises waiting for you, Ann! You're lucky to have the yellow narcissus waiting there for you. Nothing is popping up yet, not that I've seen in my own garden, at least.
    And the beauties in your cold frame, how wonderful for you;) Your hydroponic tulips should be exciting to watch now...I wonder when they'll bloom. Nice memories, I'm sure you have with your family and children in your family room...as have I:)

  2. It sounds wonderfully seductive . . . your sunny room and all of its inhabitants.

    I know I shouldn't want to rush the seasons, but your picture of the narcissus makes me long for March!

  3. Hi Jan. Thanks for coming by. It seems there's a lot to do even during the quieter times of year. I checked out the zones for the Cyrtanthes mackenii (Ifafa Lily) - hardy in zones 9-11. Let me know if you're interested in an offset.

    Hi Bee. I think this family room is one of the reasons it's hard to get things done around the place at times. Especially when it's busy. Keeps calling my name to come sit awhile.

  4. Hi,
    thanks for commenting on my blog...i dont of any tent camping areas, but i will ck it out. i just moved here in dec. and trying to get aquianted with just finding the grocery!! i have a few more than things than that, now that i think of it, i know that you can camp at the biltmore, in ashville nc. also on my 3.5 acres but i dont have any water or electric, i will do some more research for you
    thanks again, ps i love your kitties..