I have always loved to grow things. There’s something about the miracle of flowers returning to my garden year after year that never gets old. And though I have experimented with almost every perennial  known to man, I had never tried my hand at vegetables. This year I decided to change that.

Fresh tomatoes. Is there anything more delightful? I dreamed of BLT’s, pots of creamy tomato soup. All made with my own home- grown tomatoes.

Since I have many night visitors to my yard; deer, skunks, raccoons and woodchucks, and they have been known to make a salad bar of my flower beds, I knew that putting in a vegetable garden would be a thankless venture. So I started reading up on porch tomatoes. It made sense, so in early May I bought a few seedlings, a bag of nutrient rich potting soil, and some soil booster. I planted them in pots, set them in a sunny corner of my little porch and hoped for the best.

Two weeks later, they were thriving!

The weather took a rainy turn and I worried my plants would drown, but after another two weeks I had blossoms! They were as beautiful to me as any flower in my garden 🙂

I checked them last night and was downright blissful to discover that the blossoms had become tiny tomatoes!

I’m told it will take another three weeks or so for them to fully grow and ripen. I’m so looking forward to that. Thank You, Lord, for the joy of tomatoes…

The Little Things

I am not the calmest person in the world. Not even close. I am easily overwhelmed and I deal with my anxiety by keeping to a routine, by creating detailed lists and following them obsessively in an attempt to keep my world in order. So when the pandemic hit in 2020, my orderly world turned upside down. In a time of fear and uncertainty that was far beyond anything my lists could control, my anxiety level went spinning off into outer space.

I watched as one by one churches and businesses closed. As an “essential worker” I went to my job every day but other than that I stayed close to home. In the quiet solitude of my new routine, I turned my attention to the little things. I walked my dog, taking note of the absence of traffic noise and the vast blue sky above us. I tried some amazing new recipes, experimenting with different herbs and spices. I became obsessed with the songs and colors of the birds at my feeder. These things calmed my mind and I began to recognize some blessings I had taken for granted and the hundred ways that God’s voice whispered to me through the chaos… I’ve got you.

Like most every writer I know, a clear calendar and the absence of distractions meant more time for writing. I put together some short pieces, but the time seemed right for another novel, so I dusted off some ideas that had been on the back burner. I slowly put down a paragraph. And then  another, and another as that strange magic that is novel writing overtook me.

And finally the book was finished. And a new journey, begun.

I’m thrilled to announce that I have just signed a contract with Pelican Book Group for my latest Contemporary Christian Romance, The Little Things.

I’ll keep you posted!

Garden Goodness

I’m so thankful to have friends and neighbors that share their homegrown produce! Each year when fresh tomatoes come my way I look for a new take on one of my old favorites — tomato soup. Last year I embellished my go-to recipe with hot peppers for a tangy soup. This year I came across a garden tomato soup recipe from Allrecipes that included whole cloves. I love the little bit of sweetness they gave the soup. I was able to make my standard big batch this year — some to enjoy now and some to freeze for the crisp autumn days that I so look forward to!

Have a favorite recipe? Please share it in the comments 🙂