Sunday, January 02, 2011

In With The New

Utah Penstamon

Wasn't that kind of the calendar to give us two weeks of holiday celebrations landing on Fridays? More time to celebrate friendships, old and new. A less hectic schedule for finishing out a can't-say-it-was-all-that-great year. Onward and upward.

Been thinking a lot about native flowers this weekend as that's high on my list of things I'd like to embrace in this new year - more flower power, more water conservancy.  (These pics are three I find in plentiful supply along our hiking trails and three I'd like to grow.)

Dusty Maiden

As long as I'm thinking in 3's here are my top 3 holiday observations:

1) Roasting chestnuts is not nearly as cool and romantic as it sounds. They explode! In unison! Roast them a bit too long, drag them out of the oven and when they hit the cooler air: BAM! It's like 4th of July all over the kitchen.

2) As I took a quiet moment to admire Sandy's lovely Christmas Eve buffet, I spotted a pretty platter beneath the ham. Hey! That's mine! What's the statute of limitations on the return of serving platters? I'm thinking... never?  ;-)

3) What price peace of mind? $214.00. As we suffer through the deepest of deep freezes (sub-zero temps are soooo not what we're used to,) I hightailed it down to the cowboy store and bought winter coats for both horses.

Do they need 'em? Who knows? More importantly, who cares? I slept well, knowing they'd be toasty warm while these frigid winds continue to blow...

Wild Something or Other

I hope you got everything you wished for this holiday season. I got closer to my daughter. We've always been pretty tight so I didn't even think closer was possible. We are now Siamese Twins and she's the better half.

Oh! And, I got a ticket to Innsbruck. But, that's a story for another day.

* Plant ID:   #1 ~ I know is correct. #2 ~ I think is correct. #3 ~ is clearly a wild guess.


Gail said...

Hi Kate....I know.. a long time since I have visited. It has been a busy year around here, we even got some landscaping in on the Wyoming homestead (as it is), we are planning on a small patch of grass this year. I just hope my little pine makes it, it is so cute, we love it but it started getting alot of brown/yellow needles in the fall, time will tell. This dang dirt is such a pain, got some top soil to mix into the beds, alot of work but I hope it will be worth the effort. We also got 2 other trees put in and about a dozen bushes. You can see the efforts on my Wy blog if you'd like, I have been busy posting on my Decorating My Tin Shack blog this year. Ok, just a little catch up, hope all is well with you, so glad about you and DD, that is a blessing. Sending hugs

Laurrie said...

You made me laugh about the chestnuts. All I could hear was the traditional carol (chestnuts roasting on an open fire) with explosions and screams in the background! Happy New Year.

Tessa @ Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots said...

Hey Kate,

I hope your new year is going well so far- looks like some cold weather. I would have sleep better knowing the babies were warm too! Sure you love to know what that first flower is- it look familiar, and now that I live in a high desert area (much lower elevation than you, though) I'm sure it would fit in well :)

Happy gardening to you,


Cynthia said...

I'm so excited to have found your blog! I have followed for awhile but I think this is my first comment.

I just got seeds for all sorts of Penstemons (including the Penstemon cyananthus- Wasatch Penstemon in the first photo). I'm glad you're thinking more about the beautiful native and adapted plants we have locally for your gardens (I actually work for a Conservation Garden in our lovely State so WOOT for you!) I'm always excited to hear about people showing an interest in our own flora- not that I'm against other plants, grow plenty myself, just in moderation.

lifeshighway said...

Roasting Chestnuts - I agree and you know they don't taste that great anyway.

The platter story was hilarious. It's just like borrowing someone's sweater is high school.

Horse blankets, while we don't you your frigid temperature, I do clip my horse in a hunter trace because he is worked so much in the winter. Blankets are a necessity for him and they give me peace.

Glad you had a wonderful holiday.

Meredehuit ♥ said...

Love your holiday observations. You are always good for a smile. Happy that you have reconnected with your daughter... my youngest will be sixteen this month and is s.l.o.w.l.y becoming wonderful. Being a teenager is hard. The long holiday was good for us, too. Here's to a better year, good to see 2010 in the rearview.

Kate said...

Oh, my goodness! How nice to see you here. I managed to destroy my blog roll about a year ago and I had no idea - until after I did that - how dependent I was on those links to stay connected. I'll pop over and say hello. I think your pine will do just fine. If you happen to have extra pine needles and boughs use them as compost for your little tree. Beefs up the soil... ;-)

Kate said...

HNY, Laurrie;

Yep! Considerable screaming. :) During AND after, since explodo chestnut stuff stuck to the stove and the walls and.... good grief... We don't be doing that again. :D

Kate said...

Happy New Year, Tessa!

That top blue flower is a Penstamon. A Penstemon cyananthus- Wasatch Penstemon, thanks to Cynthia's expertise. :) I'm gonna hit her up for some info on the Sky Pilot - another blue Utah wildflower that is just as dreamy. I'll keep ya posted. :D

Kate said...

Hi, Cynthia;
The Conservation Garden? In Utah? Oh, my, my... Now this is a belated holiday gift if ever I've seen one!

Can we have lunch? Can I be your friend??? :)) Seriously, though, I'd love to chat with you. I'm in desperate need of more education on our native flowers and resources for seeds that are LEGIT and not stolen off the hiking trails.

Kate said...

How Very True, LifesHighway;

Roasted chestnuts don't taste all that great. It's hard work, removing them from the shells. And, even harder work, scrubbing them off the walls after they explode! :D

Our deep freeze is over so I'll be disrobing the horses today. They sure look pretty in their coats, though...

Kate said...

Well said, Meredehuit;

Some years we wish would last forever and other years... not so much. I've enjoyed your blog immensely and look forward to following more of your adventures in 2011. :D

Melospiza said...

Happy new year! Lovely flowers, too.

Kate said...

HNY to you, too, Melospiza!

Hope you had a wonderful holiday celebration.

Gail said...

Kate, Happy New Year~I a pretty sure I heard a collective sigh across the land that 2010 is over! Now onto a great new year for all of us. Keep warm. gail, clay and limestone

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Kate. I did not know chestnuts blew up. LOL!i have never tried or saw any roasted before though. Those horses will appreciate the blankets I am sure. We have to keep those four legged kids warm.
I think your platter is a goner. LOL! Cute.

Kate said...

Good Sentiments, Gail

This is one year I'm eager to erase from the memory banks.

Kate said...

Oh, trust me, Lona, they do! :D

And, don't be so quick to write off my platter. I know for a fact Sandy rarely locks her doors!!!

PS to Everyone:
I'm seeing a whole lotta buzz over on FB today re: a Garden Bloggers' meet up in Seattle.

I hope you're all planning to attend. :)

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Hi Kate,
Innsbruck- that sounds promising! The three additions to your garden will be beautiful. I enjoyed reading your holiday observations, especially the chestnut tale. How wonderful to come away from the holidays with a closer relationship to your daughter- the best kind of gift one could possibly receive!

sweetbay said...

Those wildflowers are beautiful. What are they?

I have to blanket my TB (nearly full TB) wimp whenever it gets below freezing. I even blanket the pony when it gets in the low 20s. Yes, they are princesses.

I've never tried roasting chesnuts. Thanks for the caution! :)

Boy Mom said...

I can't believe I have never stumbled onto your blog before. I love gardening. I live in Utah. As soon as my boys are raised I will raise Percherons, live in a much smaller town and run an eclectic cafe. It's like you are living my life.

Happy to meet you.

Johanna said...

Hello Kate! Hope you started 2011 brightfully. I loved your post and really adored your pictures!

Kate said...

Happy New Year, Jennifer!

Thx, it's been an interesting transition. She got engaged! I still think of her as 10, though. I need to readjust my perceptions but that might indicate I'm growing old and that will never do... ;>)

Kate said...

HNY, Sweetbay;

It was quite the tug of war getting horse Megan into her very first blanket. Rather than putting hers on, she insisted on trying to rip horse, Bella's off! After a few major hissy fits they both quieted down and seem to really like them.

Kate said...

Nice to meet you, Boy Mom;

Well you certainly have the training to run an eclectic cafe. With so many sons I'll bet the role of short order cook is a daily occurrence. Happy New Year! I'm glad we're connected. ;>)

Liz said...

That last one looks almost like a geranium.

Snowcatcher said...

So nice to see beautiful blooms in the dead of winter! I have pentemons, but I don't think they are the Wasatch variety. Sky Pilots are one of my favorites, but I've seen them only on the tundra. If you find you can grow them a little lower, I'll sure be on the list to get some, too!!!

Happy new year!

Rose said...

I've never roasted chestnuts before, but I'll take your advice--I'm smiling at the picture of them exploding all over your kitchen, but it probably wasn't that funny at the time:)

I'm glad you had a good holiday and spent some quality time with your daughter. I think I would have sneaked that pretty platter out of the kitchen and taken it home:)