Monthly Archives: December 2012

The New Day

Sunset before new years eve 2011 - Copyright Kathleen Gresham Everett

By Kathleen Gresham Everett

As the old year slinks away into the night
I will throw my shoes at its shadow
Shaking the dusty months from my clothes,
I will wear my cap and shirt inside out
So the old minutes and seconds can’t cling
Like a bad smell
I will salt the earth where the previous days
Stretched on and on
Assuring they will not
Follow me into the new year
When the New Years Eve bonfire is burning
I will gather the bitter herbs
And walk counter clock wise into the previous moments
Casting the hated bouquet into the flame
Leaving its acrid taste behind
With the smell of its grief and sorrow

Only then will I wreath my head with four leaf clovers
Fill my pockets with new pennies
And my trunks with rabbit’s feet and horseshoes
And walk bravely into the coming year
Head held high and with cheerful optimism
I will greet the new day

© 2012 Kathleen Gresham Everett – posted with permission.

Kathleen Everett is a writer and poet living in the Missouri Ozarks.  Kathleen’s blog, The Course of Our Seasons features her eloquent poetry as well as articles and photography focused on the seasons of the Ozarks region.

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Winter Blahs? Let’s Feed the Birds!

Male Red-breasted Nuthatch By Daniel Novak

Feeding and watching birds in the summer, spring and fall can be an enjoyable family pursuit and winter should be no different. While many of the birds we often see at other times of year travel to warmer climates for the winter a few hardy souls remain. Inasmuch as feeding can attract a plethora of birds for our viewing enjoyment it can actually be integral in seeing our feathered friends through a tough time of year when other food sources may be scarce or absent. Here are a few basic winter bird feeding tips that will keep birds happy and coming back day after day.

The Terrace Project: Year One (part II)

Repaired and seeded terrace slope.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

The first few months of addressing the severe erosion on the terraces cut into the hillside behind our house involved a lot of physical labor.  With shovel, rake and clay-covered boots, we were able to repair the worst of the damage and redirect the runoff into the adjoining swale.  But that was just the beginning.  Once the repairs had been made, we had to figure out just how we were going to stabilize the barren expanse of clay and rock hovering a mere 20’ from our back door. The first and most obvious answer to permanently stabilizing the terraces was to vegetate them. Doing so might seem elementary, but as anyone who has ever lived in an area with clay “soils” knows that getting anything at all to grow on a mountain of solid red Ozark clay and rock is easier said than done – even for a pair of skilled gardeners like Dean and I.

The Terrace Project: Year One (part I)

The Terrace ProjectBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

When Dean and I moved to our new place in August of 2011, we knew that we had a few landscaping challenges ahead of us.  The first was the hilly driveway, which was so washed-out I was afraid to drive on it.  The next was the vast expanse of rocky hillside on which our home was perched.  It not only had little in the way of leaf mast or groundcover, but also served as a major conduit for runoff during heavy rains.  The third challenge would be converting the small front and side yard, made up of solid red clay and weeds, into a herb and vegetable garden. But the ultimate challenge came in the form of a pair of terraces cut into the face of the hillside behind the house and the mud-fest that was the backyard.  If I thought the driveway was scary, the bare, eroding terraces were a downright nightmare.

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The Indoor Winter Herb Garden

Potted Oregano Copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson

Gardeners can enjoy the sight, smell and taste of culinary herbs long after summer’s end.  By providing adequate light, warmth and moisture, culinary herbs will grow well enough indoors to provide the discriminating chef with plenty of savory flavors for the pot all winter long.