Yes, I know. It's blowing a blizzard in your corner of the world, while Central Texas is enjoying a green spring already. But our daytime 70s will pretty quickly morph into 80s, 90s, and 100s and the garden will fry, so hold onto your garden envy.
In the meantime, however, we're reveling in green grass--and a goodly harvest of green spinach and chard. I went out with a knife on Monday and cut a basket of spinach. An hour later, it was blanched (boiling water, 2 minutes), iced, and bagged for the freezer. I saved enough for supper and sauteed it with a little sausage, onions, garlic, zuchinni, leftover corn, leftover cooked macaroni canned tomatoes, mushrooms, thyme, and rosemary. Great skillet supper--went together in just a few minutes and cleaned up some leftovers. My favorite kind of no-fuss cookery.
Garden report. The peas are up (some pillbug damage), the onions, radishes, and carrots are flourishing. The potatoes will be up by the end of this week. I potted up my seedling cabbage, broccoli, eggplant, and tomato babies--they'll be under the lights for another three weeks. I've learned that I have to get everything in early because it gets hot so quickly here. But our average last frost is around March 20-24, so I don't put tender things out until the end of the month. That's when I'll start planting beans and southern peas.
Book report. I haven't been blogging because I've been writing like crazy, finishing Widow's Tears. I started it after Thanksgiving and have worked on it steadily, but with interruptions, so the writing has taken a little longer than usual. Also, this book has an historical backstory--the Galveston Hurricane of 1900--so it required more research than usual. I still have a few paragraphs at the end to wrap up, but it's basically finished. It's scheduled for publication in April 2013.
Which reminds me to remind you that Cat's Claw will be out on March 6 (there's a first chapter/excerpt on the book page). Got my author's copies last week, and they're beautiful. Love that cover! Mourning Gloria will be out in paperback in early April.
Next up on the writing desk is the fourth Darling Dahlias mystery, The Darling Dahlias and the Spirit Bean. I have a synopsis (which I did for the project proposal) but not much else, so I'm looking forward to finding out what that's all about. Also in the works: another article for Wildflower Magazine. No news yet on the Laura/Rose project. You'll be the first to hear when I have something to share. I'm currently reading Rose's 1925 book Hill-Billy, parts of which originally appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. What a remarkable writer she was!
Other stuff. The Story Circle Conference is coming up in April, and I've been working (with a wonderful team of conference committee chairs!) on that. I've been doing a cross-stitch piece (a Mary Englebreit teapot) for the Silent Auction--it's done but not framed yet--when it is, you'll get a picture. Oh, and I sent Peggy (my assistant, she-without-whom-nothing-gets-done) a pair of socks I knitted for her. Here they are, keeping Peggy's toesies warm.
Reading note: Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.—Sharon Schuster (I bought this as a bumper sticker in Berkeley when I was in grad school. I look at it at least once every day.)