Dear Sunday Letter readers,
This is the time of year I fall behind in my writing and reading because I spend the bulk of my waking hours working in the garden. Nurseries lure me in with fuchsia blooms and bright green foliage. Warm weather entices me, tries to make me believe things that aren’t true.
I know better.
I’ve held off on planting seeds and buying most flowers because a late cold snap always arrives just when our corner of the world is stretching awake. There are plenty of other things that keep me busy. I’ve been dividing lilies and coneflowers, and moving them to other places. I’ve been weeding and weeding and weeding. Removing deadwood from trees and shaping up ornamentals is fun for me. And John has built a trellis, laid gravel—well, he does the heaviest lifting.
Next Tuesday, our forecasted low is a rude 27.
The good news: by the mere passing of days, we are nearing the tail-end of cold weather until fall. For real.
Last week, I told you a Carolina Wren was building a nest in our mailbox. I snapped a couple of quick pictures with my phone a few days ago. They aren’t super clear, but you can see her peeping out the hole.
What a sweet face. Carolina Wrens are easy to spot because they have white, eyebrow-like face markings. They like to nest in bird boxes, and this metal mailbox fits the bill.
Below, she is flying to get more material.
What a beautiful and dedicated bird. She’s been working on her nest for at least a month.
Of course, I named her Caroline.
If you are a fan of morel mushrooms and are lucky enough to have foraged a few, this mushroom bisque recipe from AllRecipes is FANTASTIC.
Rather than using heavy cream (which I’m sure would be incredible), I used 2% lactose-free milk. It’s what I had on hand, and I wanted a lighter version. With only a few simple ingredients, this recipe really highlighted the earthy flavor of the morels. And I bet it would be great with other mushroom varieties too.
My picture doesn’t do the soup justice. If you like mushrooms, definitely, put this one in your rotation. With more cold weather haunting us, soup is sounding really good.
We’ve lost whatever control we thought we had.
Two days in a row I’ve found Gracie sitting in a chair at the kitchen table, as though patiently waiting to be served supper. She’s quiet and sneaky and black as midnight, which helps her go from Point A to Point B so quickly I do a double take.
Of course she isn’t allowed to sit at the kitchen table, but I can’t help but laugh and take a picture before telling her to get down. Umm, inconsistent training for sure.
Her full name is now Gracie Don’t.
Gracie Don’t eat that.
Gracie Don’t do that.
Bless her. She’s a mess.
Coming Up Roses!
It’s a good day when you receive any type of flower delivery, but the best kind is the sort you can plant and enjoy for years. Back in January, we order four David Austin roses to plant at the little cottage where Momma is living. This week, our roses arrived!
The three shrub roses are bare root, but the climber is potted and loaded with buds. It even has one blossom! We are going to wait until after the coming cold snap to plant her.
I’ve admired David Austin roses for years, but these are the first we’ve purchased. I have a feeling these won’t be our last.
David Austin roses are bred in Shropshire, England and grown in the USA. They come with an expert planting guide and 5-year guarantee.
The most difficult part is deciding which roses to buy from the multitude of varieties.
Things Momma Says:
To tell you the truth, I’m never going back to the grocery store.
One of the best things that happened last week was John and I received our 2nd dose of the Covid vaccination. I had the same minor reaction to the 2nd dose that I had with the 1st—tiredness, sore arm, and a flushed face. It feels great to have it behind us. I hope you’ve gotten yours too.
I am grateful for last week’s kind words and prayers for my cousin Cindy. Keep the prayers coming. She needs them.
Thanks for reading yet another Sunday Letter.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.