A pretty winter photo and a test

I’ve been far too quiet here, lately. Sorry about that. I’m revising a new book and that’s taking most of my mind. With that plus Yule right around the bend I fear this poor little blog is getting neglected. I’m testing this blog, too. Trying to get it linked up to my Google+ account. I’m having some technical difficulties there so do bear with me. For now, though, I thought I’d share a little picture with y’all. I went up to North Carolina last month and got a little unexpected surprise when it snowed.

snowhouse

 

Yes, it was cold, no I hadn’t driven in it in years (and gotta admit, zinging around those mountains in it was a bit scary) but it was pretty. Winter is upon us, I guess… ;)

Seeking a bay fort

West Metro Mommy Reads

I’ve been in Pensacola, the last week, running around like a madwoman, erm, that is, scouting future installments in my Antique Magic series of paranormal fantasy novels. Where was I scouting, you ask?

Fort Pickens Road sign

Yep. I finally got to Fort Pickens–and it was fantastic! So, for this Saturday Snapshot, I’ve got some site-seeing photos to share.

Dunes

Santa Rosa gnarled Tree by Juli D. Revezzo

Once you get on the island, there are just miles of these gorgeous sand dunes, and signs everywhere that warn drivers to watch out for nesting seabirds (unfortunately, we didn’t see any though. I guess it was too hot for them). Then the Gulf Islands National Seashore sign, but we’re still seeking out the fort.

Fort Pickens Gulf Islands National Seashore sign

Then finally, we come around a corner and see… (eep!) This:

Battery Langdon

Battery Langdon

Getting a little excited now! *rubs hands* We must be close. Yes. Once inside we see…

Guarding the bay

Guarding the bay

Was that all? Oh, no. But, patience, my friends. I’ll show you more next week! Have a great weekend.

To see more participants in Saturday Snapshots, go here.

And if you’d like to sample the (currently) freebie novella, see the post here for details on how to get it.

Tiresome dribble | Tampa Bay Times

I read this article, and laughed out loud. The moral of the story, spell check is *not* your friend. Read on….

Every time I write a column criticizing the misuse of English by “citizen journalists” on the Internet, I get two kinds of reader response. The first are letters of applause, often from prim grammarians pushing their own pet peeves. The second type is scolding me for being a prim grammarian, such as this letter from reader J. Meyers….

read more via Tiresome dribble | Tampa Bay Times.

Mountain fall and a book

The one thing about living in Florida that I will admit I miss is the fall color. It’s been ages since I’ve seen any so last month I went up to North Carolina, again, hoping to see some color. As usual, I took my camera. :)mountains_1013

Unfortunately, no matter where we went, the trees hadn’t quite all turned yet. But of course I had to get the smoke off the mountains. :) It just looks so cool…and in some ways, mystical, yes?

mountain_shadows

This one isn’t as colorful, but I loved the few dots of shadow on the left-hand mountain so I couldn’t resist. *sigh* Maybe next year we’ll get up there a little later and I’ll get some pretty color.

Oh! Also, I got something nifty in the mail this week.

JuliandtheBook_copy

Why yes! That would be a paperback copy of Passion’s Sacred Dance. (Just in time for Christmas shopping. Ack, Christmas!)

Also, if you look close (beyond my funny looking mug) the neighbor’s dog thinks he’s hiding behind the fence pole. ;) *cough* You can’t see..er, he thinks you can’t see him. *lol* So those are my pictures.

Oh and Passion’s Sacred Dance is now available for pre-order and The Wild Rose Press and Amazon as part of the “Matchbook” program at Amazon and at Itunes.

Remember, the Kindle version is available or purchase anytime.

Oh,  Caitlin’s Book of Shadows has been, er, slightly updated this week. Er…okay. So if you’d like a copy of that, it’s available at Amazon too, for $.99.

So those are my Saturday Snapshots. :) Have a good weekend!

Nanowrimo is…going. I’m just not quite to where I want to be, at the moment.

‘Roman’ roads were actually built by the Celts, new book claims – Telegraph

‘Roman’ roads were actually built by the Celts, new book claims – Telegraph.
I just found this online and you know? I almost feel like saying “Well, d’uh.” I mean, it’s not surprising. Really. I’m waiting for the day researchers find out we got a heck of a lot more from the ancient Celts than we know… After all, there were Celts spread all over Greece and Rome at one time. If nothing else, it’d make an interesting (at least to me) alternative history story. ;) Just thought I’d share.

Friday Flowers–Fennel Failure

Forgive the alliteration, coffee hasn’t kicked in.

You know what I’ve always wanted? An herb garden. Unfortunately, I am admittedly a  failure at it. I had a slight success with some rosemary a couple years back. Kept it alive for about five years. The basil did okay, but I don’t recall it lasting for more than maybe two seasons. But it went to pot and I’ve never tried it again.  I had lemon balm, it died, tried dill, ditto. (again with the alliteration!)

Recently, I went to this place my mom likes and was tickled pink to find they had herbs. So I found some fennel and thought what the hell.

Fennel, so says Grieves’ Modern Herbal, is: a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves, grows wild in most parts of temperate Europe, but is generally considered indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean, whence it spreads eastwards to India. It has followed civilization, especially where Italians have colonized, and may be found growing wild in many parts of the world upon dry soils near the sea-coast and upon river-banks. It flourishes particularly on limestone soils and is now naturalized in some parts of this country, being found from North Wales southward and eastward to Kent, being most frequent in Devon and Cornwall and on chalk cliffs near the sea. It is often found in chalky districts inland in a semi-wild state.

For the medicinal use of its fruits, commonly called seeds, Fennel is largely cultivated in the south of France, Saxony, Galicia, and Russia, as well as in India and Persia.

Okay, good. If it’s been around in temperate areas for centuries how hard can this be?

I brought it home and repotted it, rocks in the bottom for drainage and such, just like dad taught me. At first, it did well. By the end of the first week, it looked like this:

fennel1

This is from week one, back in May, with watering it whenever it felt dry. Its previous owner is an organic genius so I figure it’s me and my yellow thumb (yeah, not so good for the druid thing, eh?)

Herm…. A good friend of mine says the stuff grows wild around her but she’s in the Northwest. I asked her advice and followed it…and the conventional wisdom around the web says likewise:

Moreover, it demands little attention from its host or hostess after having been made to feel at home; once sprouted in only moderately fertile, chalky soil, it requires little watering or feeding.

Okay so I snipped the dead piece off (it’s in my herb cabinet right now) and I tried the “dribble when I got worried” method, leaving the soil mostly dry. Yet still. It’s doing it again:

fennel614

Does this look, like Modern Herbal says:

4 to 5 feet or more in height, erect and cylindrical, bright green and so smooth as to seem polished, much branched bearing leaves cut into the very finest of segments. The bright golden flowers, produced in large, flat terminal umbels, with from thirteen to twenty rays, are in bloom in July and August.

To you??

I wish I had my heroine Caitlin’s touch. Brother, if that don’t make her books fantasies I don’t know what does. ;) Because she’s better than me, and what I wish I could garden like!

So, I gotta ask, if watering normally (’til the soil’s wet to the touch) is causing it to do this, and if dribbling it with water though letting the soil remain 90% dry  is causing it to do this….how do I save this plant? When you read the conventional wisdom it says “this plant’s easy to care for” and “watch out because it’ll take over!” but …uh, herm. I’m not seeing that in my little plant.  For the gardeners out there: any suggestions? I’m thinking this poor thing ain’t going to make it to the end of August let alone July, at this rate–or the second year that Florida Gardening says it should get to. And surviving to get me some of the seeds? Yeah, good luck with that. I know I’m in zone Hot as Huh…mmm… (that would  be zone 9) but you’d think a plant that’s suppose to take over would be harder to kill. What do I do besides call this another failure?

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