A Little Snow & More Gifts

In Maine, this winter has been an odd one—relatively warm with little snow, so sparse that Clif hasn’t had to use Snow Joe. A scoop and shovel have been enough. There has been an upside: Clif hasn’t had to worry about scraping the roof.

On Friday, we did get a bit of snow, a dusting as we Mainers would call it. Still, the light snow was better than nothing, and I took a few pictures of the lovely gray day.

Here is our Christmas wreath with a few twinkly lights. Yes, I know Christmas is over, but I do love the sparkle of those wee lights. (Still haven’t taken down our Christmas tree with its enchanting blue lights.)

Standing at brave attention, these phlox stems are sentinels from warmer days.

Finally, I was caught by the pattern of snow on the hedge.


Now to the gifts. Thanks to my blogging friend Gerrie from Canberra’s Green Spaces, my YA fantasy novel Maya and the Book of Everything is officially in Australia. What a thrill to think that Maya has made it that far. Truly, one of the great pleasures of blogging is to make connections with like-minded folks all over the world.  Again, many thanks, Gerrie.

Betsy, another blogging friend, sent me a box of citrus picked from her very own backyard. How cool is that? It must be such a thrill to have citrus trees in your backyard. Thanks so much, Betsy! (She doesn’t have her own blog. Otherwise, I would have provided a link.)



With this post, I plan to to make Reading a regular feature.  I am an avid reader, and I read one or two books a week. I really enjoy learning what other bloggers are reading and have often added their suggestions to my TBR list. I am what you  might call an eclectic reader. While my favorite genres are fantasy and literary fiction—yes, I consider that a genre, too—I am open to any genre that features good writing and vivid characters.

Last week I read:

  • The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean. This is a  horror/fantasy/supernatural tale featuring book eater Devon—she actually eats books and can eat nothing else—and her brain-eating child, Cai, who, you guessed it, can’t eat anything else but brains. As it turns out, there are families of book eaters and brain eaters scattered around England. Drugs have been invented that suppress the urges of brain eaters, but the family that developed the drugs has fallen into chaos, and the drugs are no longer readily available. The book tackles a thorny question: What would you do for your child?


  • The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery. This is a true-life story about a woman and the runt pig she rescues from certain death. The pig—Christopher Hogwood—thrives and grows and grows, bringing much joy to Montgomery’s life, opening it up in a way she had never envisioned. I am not ashamed to admit I cried at the end.




55 thoughts on “A Little Snow & More Gifts”

  1. I always appreciate getting book suggestions from other bloggers. I like to have a book in-the-ready before I finish the one I’m reading.

  2. Wow, can you imagine the thrill of picking your very own citrus from your own backyard? That would be heavenly! We’ve had a weird winter, too, Laurie — lots of rain, for one thing. Congrats on learning your book winged its way clear to Australia!!

  3. Laurie, my tree and wreath are still up, too, and the twinkle lights on the mantle. I’m not ready to remove those bits of festiveness yet.
    Like you, I find pleasure in the patterns snow makes depending on what plants it lands on.
    Am reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series and am on the wait list at the library for Louise Penny’s latest, as well as The Dictionary of Lost Words. I’m glad you’re going to start sharing what you’ve read. Have you read any of Marie Benedict’s work? It’s fascinating! The Time Traveler’s Wife was an interesting read. Loved The Cartographers. And any WWII historical fiction, Kate Quinn especially. I, too, read a couple books a week (no tv).
    That beautiful bowl of citrus looks to have lots of kumquats. How do you like them? What a lovely gift.
    Sorry, I got a bit long winded here 😉

  4. The gifts of blogging are numerous, to be sure. I’m excited finally to have started the latest Maya adventures and you don’t disappoint (having trouble putting it down)! Reading recommendations are a great addition. I think I may need to learn more about Christopher Hogwood. 🙂

    1. So glad you are enjoying Maya’s adventures. I bet Christopher Hogwood is available through your library. Well worth reading. Just make sure you have a box of tissues nearby.

  5. WOW! Such lovely gifts, especially the citrus!!! How special to know it grew in your friend’s yard. We have a friend in Phoenix with an orange tree. I try to go during orange season. I LOVE grapefruit and so many people down there can’t eat it because of drugs they are on, so there’s always a bunch. Heaven! We haven’t been there since Feb 2020, but maybe soon. I would be fine if this were all the snow we got, as long as it doesn’t get real cold. Need the snow to act as insulation then. I’m glad your book is going global!!

    1. Thanks, Dawn! What bliss it must be to have an orange tree. Cold without snow is hard on perennials as well as a gardener’s budget. One year, cold without snow took down most of the plants in my back garden.

  6. A book about a good, good pig sounds intriguing; I might see if our library has that one, or can get it through inter-library loan. What I’d really love to get my hands on is a basket of citrus like that. Oranges and lemons are my favorites, although I never turn down a good Texas grapefruit. I had a friend here whose orange tree produced like crazy, but the freeze two years ago finally got it. She replaced it, but it’s still in a pot, and believe me: when the last freeze was on our doorstep, that tree was living la dolce vita in her living room!

  7. I’m glad you are going to mention books you have read, in future posts, I always enjoy other bloggers suggestions. However, I fear I might cry all the way through the book called “The good good pig” because I am such a softie when it comes to animals!
    Many thanks for the link to my blog, and I’m sure your book will have a happy home in Canberra, Australia!

    1. Thanks so much, Gerrie! Such a thrill to think about my book having a happy home in Canberra. The Good Good Pig isn’t sad the whole way through. Actually quite uplifting in parts and sometimes quite funny.

  8. I’m pleased Clif is having an easier time with the snow. As you know, I probably won’t stray from my own library, but I am interested in what my friends read. In Burley, one of our local villages, a woman is often seen walking with a pig on a lead.

  9. Sod’s law you replace the snow blower and now there is much less snow! However I imagine it makes life easier. I love snow – even a dusting turns untidy heaps of stuff or bramble thickets into something that looks nice. I wish I could grow citrus. It i possible in the UK but needs more heat and attention than I can afford. However I have just bought Seville oranges to make marmalade.

  10. Do you have a plan for when it is no longer a good idea to take a ladder up to the roof? My 80-year-old husband did that last summer and I told him, No more. We’ll see if that sticks.

    1. Clif uses a roof rake to clean snow from the roof, which means he doesn’t have to actually go on the roof. I can see why it makes you nervous when your husband goes on the roof. Clif is 71, and he still goes up there to clean the chimney. Makes me mighty nervous.

  11. It sounds like we got the same snow amount, and it is nice to not have to get that roof rake out. Wonderful presents! Right now, I’m reading a Michael Harvey mystery starring his character, Irish ex cop, Michael Kelly. I can’t imagine life without my library and its books, paper or e. 🙂

    1. I feel exactly the same way about my library. Essential to the life of a community. I will be looking up Michael Harvey. And, yes, great not to have to use a roof rake.

  12. I’m glad you got a “dusting,” Laurie. It’s so pretty and probably wouldn’t feel like winter without it. Lovely to have your book in Australia! Congrats.

  13. Wonderful to see snow again and we bought a Snow Joe after your recommendation (works great!) and have only used it once. Love book recommendations and I’m adding The Good Good Pig to my list.🙂

  14. Beautiful snow images, Laurie. Such wonderful gifts you received, too! I’ve often thought the same about being able to go out into the yard and pick my own citrus fruit.

    I have that Sy Montgomery book on my TBR list. I’ve read a couple of her other books (Birdology and two of her childrens’ books that I bought for my grandsons).

  15. Goodness. I read this last night and woke up this morning realizing I hadn’t said so! I have never lived anywhere I had to worry about snow on the roof or raking it off. I suppose I would learn if I did, but…It’s good to leave the wreath and lights up. My Christmas wreath is still on the door, but all my neighbors have taken theirs down! I did take my tree down after Epiphany, but I miss the lights. I’m making do with a scattering of candles for evening cheer. I finished Of Time and Magic, which was an adventure! Now I’ve moved on to Horse by Geraldine Brooks. Thanks for the other book tips–and congratulations on your worldwide coverage!!!

  16. I love hearing book recommendations! I love my bacon, though, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it through The Good, Good Pig. I’m currently reading “The Measure,” by Nikki Erlick–it sucked me right in. I also loved Barbara Kingsolver’s “Demon Copperhead.”

  17. A dusting of snow sounds magical. I’m glad you do not have to work as hard to keep your roof cleared, but it still feels like winter. Your photo of the oranges is stunning. That would make a nice greeting card, eh? It’s a lovely gift.

  18. I just scrolled through your posts that I’ve missed to see if I could catch a glimpse of Snow Gauge Clif – I guess the weather has been mild enough not to pull out the big guns!

    1. Snow-Gauge Clif doesn’t make an appearance until March. The way things were going, I was wondering if he was going to be out of a job this year. But we do have snow now. We’ll see how long it lasts. What a weird winter.

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