Last week I featured Katie in my newsletter. Right now, she has settled in on my lap for a winter’s nap, duration to be determined. Or until the box truck pulls up to the curb in which case she will be up like a shot to defend me. Aside that,  it’s cold and what better thing for her to do? I’m good with it. Mainly because she is like a living heating pad which feels oh- so-nice. And I get to write with a simultaneous view of the Christmas tree and the neighborhood lights out the window behind it.

I almost never sit in this room of the house- the living room-even though it really does have the most comfortable chair. I suppose it is because I tend to craft this newsletter at the desktop in my home office rather than use my laptop elsewhere as my office has a view of the garden.  When we renovated our home ten years ago, we didn’t put a television in the living room in order that there be a space where people could sit and talk or read, a tv-free zone. The non-sports folk tend to gather here when we entertain, and the room not used much otherwise. Did it really take me ten years to appreciate the charm and cozy this room offers? Some things take time and faith to come around–growing a garden, cultivating friendships and relationships and raising children are a few. Sometimes it takes looking at something differently than you always have to see value and to appreciate. Since it’s dark there is no view of the garden anyway, I’ll craft this writing here with Katie– plus I have the bonus of Christmas lights all around.

Earlier today I was treated to a country-club lunch by some colleagues. It was very nice and remarkable in that cell phone use is prohibited. How nice! How refreshing that there is a place where a digital device isn’t attached to someone’s ear so we hear a conversation that is none of our business or where people are incessantly texting. Despite the benefits technologies–even that I can craft a newsletter that will find lot and lots of people in seconds–we sometimes long for simpler things and things that last.  Here are a few non-tech gifts for yourself or a gardener in your life. Many of these gifts will last a lifetime, be well-enjoyed, and make the garden and gardening experiece even better:

1. Atlas gloves. They come in different colors and sizes, fit tightly and hold up a long time. Machine washable (not machine dry-able, though);
2. Felco Pruners. I like the #7 with a rotating handle;
3. American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Gardening. If you can have only one book for help with your garden, this is the one;
4. Squirrel-proof bird feeder(s.) Next to the garden itself, nothing brings as much year-round pleasure as inviting birds (see Facebook post for some ideas);
5. A Moleskine sketchbook and some Copic markers. For dreams and doodles. Winter is a great time to plan and sketch out ideas for next year’s garden;
6. A certificate for a massage. Gardening is hard work and our muscles could use some relief and a sign of appreciation for all we expect them to do for us;
7. Hibiscus tea. The color is perfect this time of year and it is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Other gift ideas? Share some thoughts in the space below….

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light...
Simple Gifts...