Book Releases

Barely Breathing (A Colorado High Country Novel) — Look for the first book in my new Colorado High Country series on May 10! This new contemporary series is set in the small mountain community of Scarlet Springs and focuses on the lives and adventures of members of an alpine search and rescue team. It will be available in print and ebook, with audiobook coming sometime this fall.


Soul Deep out in audiobook! — Jack West, widower, rancher and former Army Ranger, gets his own love story in this special I-Team novella, which was picked by readers at Grave Tells as the Best Contemporary Romance of 2015. It will be out in audiobook any day now.


Seduction Game is out in paperback, (I-Team #7) — Holly and Nick’s story is out in all formats — ebook, audiobook, and paperback. Look for it in Wal-Mart, the Kroger chain of stores, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookseller.


Dead By Midnight: An I-Team Christmas is out! — The grand finale of the I-Team series finds all the couples you love brought together when terrorists attack holiday festivities at a historica hotel in downtown Denver. It’s bad news for the terrorists. They have no clue what they’ve done when they take Marc Hunter and his friends hostage. Featuring cameos by the men of New York Times bestselling author Kaylea Cross’s Hostage Rescue Team series. Available in ebook and paperback.

About Me

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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Meanwhile down on the urban farm...


See that little peek of red amid the green vines? That’s our first ripe tomato of the season.

There ought to be a celebration for that day. There’s nothing like a tomato picked ripe from a vine in your own garden. Tomatoes taste like summer itself, and I can’t wait to devour this one.

High summer is here, and the greens that were so plentiful in early June — arugula, romaine, spinach — are history. They’ll be back in the fall, or sooner if I replant. But they don’t like hot 90+ degree days, which is all we’ve been having lately.

I planted the greens, together with swiss chard and broccoli, while it was still snowing back in April. Brassicas and greens generally tolerate cold fairly well, producing when it’s still cool and surviving all but a truly hard frost. So, we’ve enjoyed some broccoli and swiss chard, and both are still producing despite the heat.

Broccoli and greens

One must wait, of course, to plant anything sensitive to cold, like tomatoes. So our tomatoes, green beans, peppers, corn and squash got planted in late May. Tomatoes do really well in Colorado, provided they don’t get beaten into the ground by hail — and you remember to water them. Corn, too, does well, and borrowing from Native tradition, we planted squash with them. Well, and cantaloupe...

Tomatoes and corn plants, together with a glimpse of squash, and green beans

Last year, we got a ton of green beans from two relatively small rows, so this year we planted a bit more than that, along with cucumbers, brussel sprouts and hot peppers. Mmmm...

I swear, I could live off arugula, green beans, radishes, tomatoes and broccoli — and last year I did just that for a time. So hopefully we planted enough this summer to keep me and my mum fed. She'll be staying with me after my operation and taking over the garden while I read and write and rest.



Green beans, hot peppers, brussel sprouts and cabbage plants

I believe strongly in the concept of economic independence. Economic ups and downs have much less impact on a family that is able to supply a lot of its own food and labor — stuff like plumbing, repairs, car maintenance. Knowing how to do these things one's self is important, I think. Canning, sewing, darning socks, knitting — skills our grandparents had but which were forgotten in a single generation.



Looking down the corn rows with hidden squash plants

People have proven that the average family can grow most of its own food in the average yard, and that’s our goal. These garden beds take up only the small south-facing side of the house. The front and backyard, though home to three big trees, also have lots of room where there’s full sun or partial shade. If we were to plant crops everywhere we have plantable space, and include a few fruit trees, a couple of beehives and backyard hens, we’d have most of the food that we need, apart from meat. And if we hunted or went mostly vegetarian... Well, you get the picture.

We won’t be able to accomplish all of this while I’m working full time and writing, of course. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. As it is, I work from the time I get up until dark either at the paper or in the garden — and then whatever time is left goes to having fun and/or writing.

I should add that all of this is organic. We don’t use chemical fertilizers, but rather compost. And we don't use pesticides of any kind, which is why you all heard screaming coming from Colorado this weekend. Washed some romaine and earwigs came running out.... Man, did I shriek!

I hate bugs... except for pretty ones like ladybugs and butterflies and dragon flies.

In the flower garden, the moment really belongs to rose mallow, a precious flower that bees love. It grows about waist height and is covered with small pink flowers. I love pink, let me say.

Rose mallow. Note the bumble bee in the center. I was particularly
happy to snap a photo of this fat, fuzzy fellow.

My roses are all rebooting. The big spring bloom is over, and now they've been deadheaded and will make another round of buds soon. All of our rose bushes are repeat bloomers. What’s the point of having roses that bloom once? Boooring.

Unfortunately, four of our bushes seem to have caught something. It’s nothing they’ve had before, and I wonder if it’s from the cool weather and rain — a fungus of some sort. The leaves are dying and falling off, and it upsets me. I hope we can rescue them!

In other news: Just trying to get ready to be away from the paper for eight weeks, and trying to prepare my mind for surgery. I’m almost looking forward to it, actually. Two weeks from this past Tuesday.

2 comments:

Debbie H said...

I would love to have a garden, but, butting heads with DH is just not worth it. He has a black thumb and I don't want him anywhere near a garden. LOL

You are going to have some fantastic eating before long which will be really good for you while you are recovering from the surgery. I'm glad your mom will be there to help. Do as you're told (I know from experience) so nothing goes wonky afterwards.

I will continue to keep you and your surgeon in my thoughts and prayers. Please have someone come on here and let us know how you are after the surgery, K? Please?

Diane W. said...

Our green beans are going bonkers right now. The broccoli and cauliflower are almost ready and the green peppers are doing well, too. I don't have any red tomatoes yet, but I'm looking forward to that first one. Our peak tomato month in Utah (well, at least in my backyard) is September. By the end of that month I am waving the white flag of surrender in the general direction of the tomatoes and zucchini. Although in January, I am very happy that I spent days slaving over a hot stove stirring big pots of salsa and spaghetti sauce and baking zucchini bread.

I'm also eagerly looking forward to my raspberries and peaches. I love slicing, sugaring and cinnamoning (is that a word) the little stinkers before freezing them. Nothing like fresh peach crisp in the middle of winter. The raspberries go into triple berry jam (too many raspberry seeds and my kids complain) which I could eat with a spoon.

Yep, right now I'm just waiting for everything to finish growing. I am poised with my mason jars and my grandma's apron!!

Your garden is really beautiful! And, I had to laugh about your hail comment. A particularly nasty hailstorm in Westminster one year destroyed my garden (my car, too, but I didn't care as much about that). I would have gone outside and flung myself over my tomato plants to defend them if my husband hadn't stopped me. Stupid hail!

Sending all kinds of prayers, good vibes and positive energy for your surgery to go very smoothly and for your recovery to be brief and complete!

Diane

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"I am an artist. I am here to live out loud."
—Emile Zola

"I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day."
—James Joyce

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery."
—Jane Austen

"Writers are those for whom writing is more difficult that it is for others."
—Ernest Hemingway

"When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth."
—Kurt Vonnegut

"The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar is the test of their power."
—Toni Morrison

"No tears in the author, no tears in the reader."
—Robert Frost.

"I'm a writer. I give the truth scope."
—the character of Chaucer in
A Knight's Tale