FOTESS Celebrating the Winter Solstice Season Swap!

sjc48December 1, 2013

Hi Everyone and welcome to the December FOTESS swap!
This year we will be celebrating the Winter Solstice Season by sending greeting cards to other members of FOTESS, much like we did last year with the Christmas Holiday.

If you sign up, you will be sending 5 cards, with a Winter Solstice Season theme to 5 other members of FOTESS. And that's all. Very Simple, which is good for this time of year!

As with last year, if you would like to send a small giftie, you can, BUT make sure the giftie is small enough that you are still using just ONE stamp to mail out.

Gifites are TOTALLY optional, not really needed. The card is the important thing!

Let's talk about the Winter Solstice Season for a minute. The Winter Solstice occurs every year on or around the 21st of December. It is the shortest day of the year, and the traditional start of the winter season. The season lasts for 2 1/2-3 months.

it is a dark, somber, cold, silent season. But we can use those attributes to enrich our lives. The stark, barren branches of the winter trees allow us to see ahead more clearly. And the snow covering the ground provides a security blanket for all growing things, surely a comfort to all us Gardeners!

This season can be a time of reflection, of looking back over the past year; assessing and evaluating what we did and what we need to do differently. A time for remembering loved ones and all the good things that happened.

It can be a time of snuggling in and staying warm. Or a time for taking long walks in the cold fresh air. It could be a time of being silent and still, a time of dreaming; a time for resting and gathering strength.

The Winter Solstice Season is a season of anticipation. A watchful, waiting time. Laying plans for the new year; preparing home and self for the upcoming challenges. A time of looking ahead to everything we want to do and starting to fit it all in (seed catalogs come to mind here!).

But mostly, I think it is anticipation of the return of the Sun's light and warmth in the Spring. How we look forward to that! That sense of anticipation keeps us going thro the long months of January and February. Of all the seasons, I think Spring is the most anticipated!

Just a thought: for those of you who really want to get into this particular card sending: the colors of the Winter Solstice Season are white, black, grey, mauve, silver and blue. There are flashes of green in the occasional pine tree and the red of a cardinal's wing, but mostly the colors are somber.

You can sign up until December 9th. I will do my best to get your list of names to send to by Monday or Tuesday of that next week (I can't remember how I did it last year!! AGGGHHHH!!)

I will post the rest of the instructions when I send the names.

You can mail your cards at any time during the month.

Who wants to Celebrate the Winter Solstice Season?

Shirley!

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l1oness(5)

I'm in Shirley - I'm going to have to think about the card choice a bit, but it sounds like I have time for that.

Happy December!

Mandy

This post was edited by l1oness on Sun, Dec 1, 13 at 21:17

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 9:16PM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

Me too! (hand raised, bouncing in seat) Me too! I want to be in.

Heidi

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 9:37PM
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smitties

I'm in as this is easiest enough. Thanks Shirley. Margo

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 10:05PM
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poisondartfrog

The winter solstice is a favorite of mine! It means renewal and spring are on their way, among other things. Please sign me up.
Alana

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 6:51AM
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pinkiris

Yes would love to sign up!

Jayeanne

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 1:06PM
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canyonwind(9)

Shirley...I am in!!

Thanks much!

Annie

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 1:35PM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

Shirley, I love this theme! The winter solstice is a favorite of mine, too. In addition to the many things you mentioned about what it means, it also has a special meaning to me here in the south. Sadly, we do not get much snow here, but by the winter solstice, we have received a few hard frosts that have driven away the biting bugs (mosquitos, ticks, and chiggers). For the woodsy ones, this is a real blessing!

Of course, sign me up!!

Katie

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 2:06PM
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sjc48

WOW!! We're off to a great start!

Welcome everyone!

Mandy, the cards should be fun, something different at any rate. I've done a few, with snow scenes, using the different colors, but a lot of the "regular" holiday themes apply here too. Like snowmen, icicles, maybe gingerbread men, birds, sledding, bringing home the tree, lots of great ideas!

Katie and Alana, winter is a favorite time of year for me, for photography. The colors and the light or absence thereof, is wonderful, especially for digitals. And I love winter trees!

Margo, Jayeanne, and Annie, welcome, welcome, glad you are joining in!

Heidi, nice to hear from you, how is the job going? Are you making your cards this year?

Well, going to work early and staying late, so need to get started on bedtime. It takes me a while!

Hope to see more members joining in to share Winter Solstice Season cards with other members.
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 8:01PM
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sandlapper_rose(Zone 8)

Sign me up, Shirley! It sounds like we are off to a good start.
Jeanne

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 1:09AM
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sjc48

Hi Everyone, and welcome to the swap, Jeanne! How's the recovery coming along? How did your WS seminar/class turn out?

Thought I'd share a Winter Solstice Season pic with you. This is from my front porch back in February, I think. Snow is hard to capture, at least for me.

Well, off to work on bedtime, talk to ya all tomorrow,
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 7:51PM
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canfan

Sounds like a great swap. Sign me up. I love the description of the Winter Solstice, Shirley. It makes winter seem less cold and gloomy and looonnngggg when I consider all the attributes you provided. Peggy

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 11:05PM
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sjc48

Evening Everyone, and welcome to the swap, Peggy! Nice to have you with us.

It's a totally different mindset for me, Peggy. Before WSing, January and February used to drive me nuts! I find that if I accomplish something peaceful, like WSing, I can settle down and implement all the other ideas mentioned above. December doesn't have to drive me nuts - gee- what a novel concept!

And the winter photography helps me thro too. There is so much beauty out there. I am amazed at the great shots I get, just walking to and from work!

We have 3, 4? days left for sign-ups. Great group of card senders so far!

Have a great day tomorrow,
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 8:51PM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

Ooo, I love your snow photo, Shirley. I sure wish we got more snow here in MS. Hopefully, we will get at least one this year.

Speaking of winter sowing... I got started early on my WS back in November when it was starting to turn cooler. We had our first freeze the 3rd week of November, too. Before Thanksgiving, I had managed to get +/- 25 WS jugs done. It's been cool, cold, rainy, and sunny. This week, it has warmed up to over 70 F. And guess what?!? I have 3 containers that have already germinated and seedlings are popping up. Some of these are even species that require stratification, like Ratibida pinnata. Hahaha!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 9:48PM
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sjc48

Congrats, Katie! Sprouts already, how great is that? What kinds of sprouts do you have?
I'm not quite ready for WSing yet, a little behind this year. I think I mentioned that I'm going to WS directly into the planters/pots this year. Sure hope it works, because all that "HOSing" in May really gets to me, anymore, especially the 1001 pansies!

Have a great day tomorrow, I am totally ready for the weekend!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 8:07PM
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sjc48

Hey Everyone!
Just checking in!
So far, these folks will be sending Winter Solstice Season Greetings:
Mandy
Heidi
Margo
Alana
Jayeanne
Annie
Katie
Jeanne
Peggy and
Myself.

If no one else signs up by tomorrow evening, I'll send out the names to everyone on Sunday. Get your pens ready!

Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 10:33PM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

I have sprouts of Grey-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinata), Agastache foeniculum 'Golden Jubilee', and Royal Catchfly (Silene regia) that came from you, Shirley, in October's MNF swap!

I visited Easy Wildflowers native nursery in October. John, the owner, took us on a little tour of his gardens, and he pointed out his already senescent grey-headed conflowers. Those dead seed heads smelled heavenly! My DH loved them so much that John told him to go collect seeds from the plants.

The Agastache doesn't surprise me much, but I sowed the Catchfly on Nov. 3rd. and it is supposed to require 60 d of cold stratification. LOL!

My pen is ready!

Katie

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 6:11PM
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sjc48

Evening All!

Katie, glad the seeds germinated for you! It's a great little plant and the hummers love it!

Well, ladies, sign-ups are officially over. I'll be sending your list of names tomorrow. PLEASE POST HERE WHEN YOU GET YOUR LIST. DO NOT POST THE LIST.

When to send? Well, I'm going to try to time mine to arrive on the Solstice, wish me luck! You can send at any time, but please have all cards sent by the end of the month.

Please post here when you send out. DO NOT post who you are sending to. Let's surprise everyone! If you need addresses, email Jeanne or I.

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! WHEN YOU MAIL OUT, PLEASE WRITE FRIENDS OF THE EARTH OR FOTESS ON THE BACK OF YOUR ENVIE, SO WE DON'T GET CONFUSED WITH OTHER SWAPS!

Any questions, concerns? Let me know.

I really appreciate all of you taking the time to do this. FOTESSers are the best!

And here's another Winter Solstice Season pic. This is the River Raisin, again, back in February.
Shirley!

This post was edited by sjc48 on Sat, Dec 7, 13 at 20:44

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 8:31PM
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Vampyress(6)

Last minute. Pick me! Pick me!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 3:34AM
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sjc48

Vampyress, Friends of the Earth is a membership only group and we love to welcome new members! You won't be in time to join in this month's swap, but if you are interested in joining our group, please email Jeanne (sandlapper_rose) or me (sjc48) thro Gardenweb and we'll get you all set up!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 9:26AM
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sjc48

All righty! Is everyone ready to send Winter Solstice Season cards? We are ready to start!

But first, thanks to one glaring error in my counting and two missed names, I have had to ask everyone to send 6 cards instead of 5. I want to thank Jeanne, Alana, Jayeanne, Margo, Annie and Mandy for their generous responses!
And, Heidi, did you get my email requesting that you send 6 instead of 5?
And, Katie and Peggy, sorry for the last minute notice, but I just found the 2nd missing name! AAAAGGGGHHH!!!

But all is cool. Really.

I am going to start emailing the names to everyone as soon as I sign off here. I'm going to email thro GW, because my Yahoo mail sometimes eats everything.

Please post here when you get your names. DO NOT post who you are sending to.

As we said before, when you mail out is up to you, but please post here when you do mail out. But NOT who you are mailing to!

If you need addresses, contact Jeanne or I by email.

Peggy, I need an email address for you. You can reach me thro GW. Thanks!

Okay, off to email names!
Shirley!

This post was edited by sjc48 on Sun, Dec 8, 13 at 15:58

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 3:51PM
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poisondartfrog

I received my names Shirley, thanks!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 6:12PM
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l1oness(5)

I received my names - thank you.

Mandy

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 6:24PM
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pinkiris

Rec'd my list of names, thanks!

Jayeanne

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 6:33PM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

I received my list of names, too, Shirley ;)
Did you get my emails in return? lol

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 6:36PM
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pinkiris

My cards are ready to go, I will be mailing mine out tomorrow morning....

Happy Holidays,
Jayeanne

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 8:14PM
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canfan

Received my list of names and an email has been sent to you Shirley..... Thanks Peggy

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 9:19PM
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sjc48

Katie, yes, got all the emails, even the one in my spam folder!

Pink! Your cards are going out already, wow, are you on the ball or what?!

Everyone else - you have all month to mail out. Don't panic yet!

Peggy, thanks for posting, on my way to the email box right now!

We had some snow here today, not much and is it ever COLD! Stay warm, everyone!
And have a good Monday!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 9:30PM
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pinkiris

Shirley,

LOL I mail out over 200+ cards every year for Christmas, I get started with these right after Thanksgiving and try to have them all ready by the first week of Dec, this year Im late, LOL. We are going into the second week of Dec and they are just now all finished up for mailing in the morning... yes even the Fostess cards... lol

Jayeanne

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 10:57PM
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sandlapper_rose(Zone 8)

I received my list of names. I hope everyone has Happy Holidays! I'll post when I mail my cards.
Jeanne

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 9:20AM
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canyonwind(9)

Shirley, I received my list of names. Thanks much!

Happy FOTESSING!

Annie

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 12:12PM
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sandlapper_rose(Zone 8)

My cards are being mailed out today. I hope the recipients enjoy them. When I looked at my "To Do List" for today, sending the cards seemed SIMPLE!
Happy Holidays, everyone.
Jeanne

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 1:35PM
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sjc48

WOW!! the Winter Solstice Season cards are flying already! That's great!

But remember, you have until the end of the month to mail out. I'm still planning on mailing mine out in time for the Solstice, starting sometime next weekend, I think.

Thank you, Everyone, for letting me know that you received your names. And I emailed addresses to everyone who requested them. Sure hope you got them!

I went searching for a Winter poem to share with you all, couldn't find anything that really touched. BUT!! I received my prizes from the Nov. MNF swap today, from Margo, and I want to share the text from the card she sent. Very beautiful! Talk about Serendipity!

"The evergreen reminds us that
through all the seasons,
and in spite of adversity and change,
Life prevails and
hope grows forever new."

Thanks, Margo!

Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 9:05PM
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canfan

Shirley, I received your email. I look forward to "foraging" for "Solstice" cards...

It has been very cold this past week or so and I haven't been out side much. I came up with this short poem to explain what I've been doing these past few days.

Looking ahead...

Cold days last forever
in this long, long December.

If I could I'd make a date
to visit Hawaii ASAP or sooner.

Oh, that be wishful dreaming
but still I sit instead of cleaning.

Peggy

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 11:06PM
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sjc48

Peggy, that's great! My sentiments exactly, about the cleaning anyway!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 11:13PM
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poisondartfrog

Mine are ready! I think this is about the only thing I have ready timely this year.
I'm going to hold them a few days until closer to the solstice.
Thanks Shirley!
Alana

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 2:33PM
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sjc48

Evening All!

Alana, I'm kind of sorta ready, it is only the 10th, but I am done shopping!! Did most of it online. Nothing wrapped. I still have some calendars to make and my SSS cards are on hold until the weekend, ran out of bubblewrap. Baking is at 50-50! Tree isn't up, and might not be until the weekend of the Solstice.

The cards for this swap are done. However, I have a warning! Two of you will be receiving a card made from blue glitter paper, with white ink. I made these cards back in October. Yes, October and the ink still isn't dry. You're getting them anyway.

I tried drying them with the hair dryer, I tried laying them over the registers, I blotted them and blotted them again. They didn't smudge but they didn't dry either. Drat.
I think it's the glitter paper, all the others with white ink dried. What a schlemiel!

Jayeanne, I send out 40-50 cards to family and friends, and I send to the SSS too. Also, this year and last, cards for this swap. Don't think I ever reached 200!

The past few years, I have been making my cards, which I LOVE doing! I start in September and by the middle of November, I'm usually done. Then the writing begins. Next year, I swear, I'm going to have a stamp made with my name on it!

And before I forget: PLEASE REMEMBER TO WRITE "FOTESS" OR FRIENDS OF THE EARTH ON THE BACKS OF YOUR ENVIES TO AVOID CONFUSION WITH OTHER BIG SWAPS!

Bedtime, have a good day tomorrow,
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 9:32PM
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sjc48

Evening, Everyone!
Just checking in!
Here's another WSS pic. Yeah, from last February. We must not have had any snow this past January! This is the Old Woodlawn Cemetery, about 2 blocks from my house. Huge place, the Custer family plot is in this cemetery.
Have a great day tomorrow!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 8:48PM
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canfan

Been researching Winter Solstice and came up with this upcoming concert.. won't be going to New York City but thought I'd post this as an FYI...

http://solsticeconcert.com/

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 11:49PM
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sjc48

WOW!! Peggy, that concert looks great, would love to be able to go! Great explanation of the Solstice too!

Everybody, you should look at the website Peggy posted!

Has it warmed up any for you, Peggy?

Starting work today at 11, this could get confusing!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 9:43AM
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l1oness(5)

That concert looks like fun!

It is freezing cold here today... I'm ready for the windchill to get above zero, so I won't feel so cold.

I have all of my cards ready to mail.. I'll probably put them in the mail Saturday - I can't leave them sitting around here too long or the cats will steal them!

Happy almost Friday (soon!)

Mandy

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 6:35PM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

oh, wow! I'll bet that Solstice Concert is quite the production. I would definitely attend.

Amazingly, I got my cards mailed out today! Still have a naked tree sitting in the living room. Determined to get it decorated tonight. While sipping on scotch! Mmmm.

Katie

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 6:47PM
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sjc48

Brrr, Brrrr, Brrrrr! Shiver, Shiver!

And it's not even the "dead of Winter" yet!

Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 8:55PM
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canfan

It is starting to warm up a bit.. today may make it to 30 degrees. Night time is warmer, too.. was 16 degrees last night. No snow/sleet or rain yet. We are starting to get a bit worried about the water storage for the farmers this spring/summer but we have a couple more winter months ahead of us. Have a batch of caramels planned for today.. then I'll be able to put my son's Christmas box in the mail. Working on getting my FOTESS cards in the mail.. hope to have them on their way tomorrow.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 11:28AM
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flowergirl34(5 Upstate NY)

Evening!

I just wanted to post a huge surprise THANK YOU to Jayeanne (pinkiris) for the lovely Solstice card she sent me.

Beautiful white, snowy, sparkly church scene. Very lovely!!

Thank you so much for thinking of me this time of year :)

Happy Solstice!!
vina :)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 6:57PM
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sandlapper_rose(Zone 8)

I received my FOTESS card from Jayeanne today, too. It's so pretty. Thank you so much!
Jeanne

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 7:00PM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

Jayeanne sent me a beautiful card with white bunnies in snow. Very solsticey! Thank you so much. I love it!
Heidi

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 7:17PM
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sjc48

I too received a Winter Solstice card from Jayeanne, complete with snow, old wooden fence, church with wreath AND!!! Winter Trees! You nailed it, Jayeanne! And thanks for the lettuce seeds too!

It has warmed up here too, Peggy, but we are supposed to get 4-6 inches of snow over the weekend. That's okay, I can get some good pics, hopefully!

Have a great weekend, All!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 9:02PM
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canfan

Katherine S. White writes: "From December to March, there are for many of us three gardens -
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind's eye."
and

Marie Huston shares her observation that: The gardening season officially begins on January 1st, and ends on December 31."

Hope your weekend is warm on the inside and manageable on the outside.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 10:14PM
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smitties

I received a pretty card today picturing snow in the woods with a stream running through from Jeanne today. Very pretty. Thank you.

Margo

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 11:02PM
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pinkiris

Hi Ladies!

So glad to hear that the cards are arriving, gosh some of the cards are taking awhile to get to their destination...LOL Enjoy your weekend, we are preparing for our next 'storm' coming in stay warm everyone!

Happy Holidays =)
Jayeanne

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 9:22AM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

Hi Ladies, just stopping by to say I'm out of town, so won't be able to check my mail for a few days. Back home Tuesday, then headed to AZ on Saturday Whew!

Mailed my cards out this week and got the tree decorated. I've only bought one gift so far. Ha!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 9:34AM
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canyonwind(9)

Just popped my cards in the mail.....I apologize as I did not hit the mark on the card and the solstice theme. Bad me!

The Solstice Concert in New York.....I was just on the website. That is some event!

Katie, safe travels.....

After our little cold crunch we have had recently, it is to be in the 80's today. To all of you who are shivering, stay warm and healthy....and be safe.

Off to prune my roses.....

Enjoy the day!

Annie

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 2:43PM
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l1oness(5)

My cards went in the mail today. With the weather outside, I hope the mail people don't get stuck! We're expecting 3 - 5 more inches of snow today, and it's drifting.

Stay safe and warm this weekend!

Mandy

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 3:36PM
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poisondartfrog

Thank you Jayeanne! I received a sparkly snowy card with some pretty frosted salmon P. somniferum seeds inside. I love them!
Alana

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 7:50PM
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sjc48

I'm snowed in!! And it is beautiful! It snowed for about 8-9 hours today, we got about 6-7 inches, with more to come tomorrow. It is so pretty out there. And very quiet, very hushed. Waited all day for it to quit so I could get some pics, but will have to try in the morning as it never quit snowing until after dark.

Margo, are you getting any of this snow?
Mandy, has it quit snowing where you are?
Jayeanne, any snow in Rhode Island?

Annie, pruning your roses? Good Grief!!

Peggy, thanks for sharing those thoughts!

Katie, safe journey!

I think Alana, Peggy and I are the only ones who haven't sent their cards yet, but we have time yet!

I'm going to start sending mine on Monday, I'm going to try and have them arrive on the Solstice. Wish me luck!

Stay warm, Everyone!
Enjoy the snow, if you've got it!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 9:47PM
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pinkiris

Hey Shirley! LOL Oh my YES! ha ha ha we have around 4+ inches or so right now, but the heaviest and worst is expected over night and into tomorrow. We are under winter storm warnings until tomorrow night...Could get anywhere from 6-14 inches. And did i mention how COLD it is.... pruning roses, reminded me of summer! warm thoughts came to mind Annie =)

Stay warm, and build a snowman or two....

Jayeanne

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 9:52PM
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poisondartfrog

I put my cards in the drop box so they should be en route tomorrow. It's all rain here, but the rivers have just receded from a flood so snow would be a welcome substitute. A slow melt would cause fewer problems.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 7:47AM
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toomanyanimals(5b/MI)

Shirley, we ended up with 8 inches of snow. We are south of Detroit.

I haven't been part of this group for long and for reason's I'd rather not get into this time of year is very hard for my family. So I've been away.

BUT what a great surprise to find the card from Jeanne = Sandlapper. A beautiful card she made for me ... Three Chickadees on a holly branch with just a couple red berries and a brown/tan plaid frame.

Thank you Jeanne for the wonderful card that brought a smile to my face.

Thank you Shirley for this swap that I didn't participate in, but am a Thankful recipient of.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 9:10AM
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sjc48

Sharon/Toomany, this is a swap where you participate even if you didn't know you were participating!

We have 26 members in FOTESS. You are one of those members. You are one of us. Enjoying the cards is the way you, and everyone else, participate in this swap. Happy Holidays!

I'm just a tad further south than you, in Michigan. As I said before, we got maybe 7 inches of snow. AND!! It's snowing again today! Great big, fat flakes today. Really pretty and yes, as soon as I get the house organized, I'm out there, snowing or not!

Thanks for posting, Alana, are you right on, or near the river?

Laundry, I gotta do laundry!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 9:49AM
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l1oness(5)

It's still dusting snow here, but not the volume we received yesterday. We are supposed to get another inch or two.

It is pretty. The birds are out at the feeder, enjoying some breakfast,

Mandy

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 9:49AM
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sjc48

Evening, All!

Mandy, we ended up getting less than an inch of snow today, supposed to get more on Tuesday. I guess it is drifting pretty bad out in the country. Got out today for a while, the high winds chased me back in!

Here's one of the pics I got today, down by the river. See what I mean about Winter Trees?

Have a great week,
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 6:43PM
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poisondartfrog

Thank you Katie, for the beautiful midnight blue and sparkling silver card. Later tonight I'm going to try your eclectic holiday music, lol. That was very fun to receive.
Thank you.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 5:52PM
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canfan

The weather here is confused but I am not going to complain. Today we had blue skies and it warmed up to the upper 40s. I didn't need a coat as I ran my errands.

I mailed my cards out today. I must confess......I failed at keeping the card on one stamp... O well.. I guess with practice I will improve in this department.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 7:43PM
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sjc48

I received a very pretty card (ice covered berries on it) with a bookmark included from Mandy today! Happy Solstice to you too, Mandy!

I mailed to the West Coast today, also the East Coast. It's going to be interesting to see how many are received right on the Solstice. The next batch goes out on Wednesday, then Michigan and Ohio on Thursday. I really enjoyed this!

Margo, I could probably walk yours down to you if it weren't so darned cold. It was 3 above this morning for the walk to work. Yeah, I hurried!

Peggy, I failed on at least 3 of my cards too. Sometimes you just have to go with Plan B!

Alana, any snow yet?

Off to cheer the Woofs on to victory!
Shirley!

This post was edited by sjc48 on Mon, Dec 16, 13 at 19:56

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 7:51PM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

I got a really pretty card from Mandy today, a snow scene of a pair of Northern Cardinals sitting among Eastern Redcedar branches. Right up my alley ;) Thank you, Mandy!

I confess, it took $0.66 worth of postage to mail my cards, too. Whoops. I'm blaming the extra 0.05 ounces on all the glitter.

Saturday, DH and I are driving to se Arizona to spend the holidays with family and friends for 2 weeks. Looking forward to it, as we always have fun.

Katie

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 7:23PM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

Oh, oh, oh! I just found the cute botanical bookmark in the bottom of the envelope from Mandy. Thank you, Mandy!!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 7:31PM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

Katie,
I so enjoy your eclectic gift! I'm loving it and I was becoming the Official Grinch! Thank you so much!
Heidi

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 9:12AM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

Oh, it's supposed to hit 62 degrees today! I told my kids, "They can open the pool soon!" ha

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 9:15AM
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canfan

Loved the comment regarding your pool plans for the kids, ziangirl. Reminded me of when my sister filled her pool on Memorial Day one year. Husband was the first to jump in and the fastest to get out. Turned out the water was 52 degrees. We still laugh about that one.

Received my first Solstice Card from Mandy in Michigan. Love the seed saver envelopes. Haven't seen them before. Very cool. Thank you, Mandy.

We finally got our tree. Only took two lots and I didn't have to wear a coat because it "warmed" up to the mid 40's. :)

Got my son's package mailed today... maybe it will get there by Christmas.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 3:32PM
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sjc48

Hi Everyone, just checking in! Hope everyone is staying warm!

I'm mailing out the last batch of cards tomorrow. I thought it would never end, between family, friends, and swaps I mailed close to 100 cards! Making them was lots of fun, organizing and mailing out was a bit much. Need to figure out a different game plan for next year!

Have a great day tomorrow, stay warm!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 7:55PM
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micyrey

hello
I had not evan read this post, and I got a card from Katie. she sent a very glittery card and a disc with holiday music.
thank you
I sent out 5 cards today
michelle

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 8:18PM
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sjc48

Michelle, thank you for sending cards! It was very thoughtful of you.

We did the card sending swap last year too. Like I said before, this is one swap where you don't have to sign up, in order to participate. You are a member of FOTESS and certainly deserving, as we all are, of the greetings from other members!

Hope you all are enjoying those greetings!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 8:27PM
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canyonwind(9)

I received a beautiful red poinsettia card from Mandy (aka l1oness) yesterday. And inside cute seed saver envelopes!
Thanks so much Mandy.Happy Sostice and a very Merry Christmas to you!!

Happy Thursday!!

Annie

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 12:47PM
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l1oness(5)

Merry Christmas everyone! The postman really must think I have a lot of friends everywhere with all of the card envelopes showing up in the mail from my seed swaps.

Today I received a beautiful leaf card from Margo (aka smitties). It fit the theme perfectly. Inside she included a couple of her favorite flowers, and they sound lovely (Coneflower Sombrero Hot Pink and Fanfare Blanket flower). I look forward to putting them in my garden this spring. Thank you very much!

It's supposed to be a very mild weekend, so I'm looking forward to some of this snow melting, just in time for us to have another winter storm next week, right before Christmas.

Mandy

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:30PM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

I received a beautiful glittery card from Shirley with a Fotess Bookmark complete with blue ribbon. Lovely poem (I won't ruin it for the rest of you). Yesterday was 70 and today it's 15 degrees so it feels like winter again! I think it feels like snow, but my barometer is often wrong!
Heidi

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:34PM
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micyrey

hello
I got a wolfy card today from alana with white scorpion seeds, I dont evan know what these are, cant wait to look them up.
thank you
michelle
ps If I dont thank someone here for a card it may be that I thought was for the secreat santa swap and posted it there.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 6:48PM
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elliesfun

I received 2 beautiful cards today from Shirley & Alana today. I have been AOL for quite some time but life has really gotten in the way. I have been looking into the seed libraries that have been springing up all across the US and have gone 2 years in a row to the National Heirloom Expo in California I knew that I could get one started here in Spokane, WA. Been working really hard all year with the help of a couple of the librarians and it will be opening the first part of 2014. I started out last spring of selling plants from my yard to help fund the library. Sold 910 plants in 6 weeks. Then got donations of seeds from several seed companies to fill the library.

Then I also had cataract surgery in both eyes later in the summer. Last week I got a new great granddaughter so it has been a busy year and I will be the babysitter. Will have to have my plant sale again this year to continue to fund the library. So life goes on and so much for retirement. Thank you again Shirley for the beautiful card that you made and the bookmark and also Alana for a beautiful card and packet of seeds.

I shall try to take some time this year and be back on the gardenweb. Have a wonderful Christmas season everyone.
Ellie

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 12:30AM
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poisondartfrog

I am glad to see my cards are finding homes. I was getting a little worried. Melinda (ilovefarac) received hers too. I missed it if she posted here, but she sent me an email.
No snow yet Shirley. Thunderstorms for this weekend and more rain, but the prognosticators are saying we will be much colder and may get a dusting on Christmas. That would be perfect.
Alana

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 5:50AM
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Melinda Hagen

I didn't sign up in time to do this swap, wish I had! Looks like a great one! But have to say Thank You to Shirley and Alana for both sending me beautiful cards! Alana also sent a pack of much wanted seed and Shirley a wonderful bookmark, which I definitely use!!
You ladies are wonderful and thank you so very much!
Melinda

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 1:06PM
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canyonwind(9)

Thanks so much Heidi for my Winter Solstice envelope of celebration!
And Heidi writes in her note....
"Winter Solstice is determined by the tilt of the Earth's axis....Therefore......Enjoy whatever position you find your axis in this WINTER SOLSTICE 2013!" LOL...LOL...LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I certainly will do that...always do!!!
And the Winter Solstice Yule Log Review....very interesting!!
Heidi, thanks so much!! Happy S O L S T I C E and Merry Christmas!!

Annie

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 1:35PM
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flowergirl34(5 Upstate NY)

Happy Winter Solstice Eve Everyone!!!

I wanted to pop in and say a HUGE THANK YOU to Margo and Shirley for sending me beautiful Solstice Cards!

Margo, THANK YOU for the lovely seeds CF Hot Coral!! And, Fanfare Blanket Flower

And, THANK YOU Shirley for the amazing book mark! You are so talented...the card is so lovely!!

Thank you so much for including me in this swap...
vina :D

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 4:03PM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

I found 2 Winter Solstice FOTESS cards in the mailbox today!

Michelle sent a lovely homemade card, blue with embossed snowflakes. Very pretty! She also included some festive paper with will be perfect for folding seed envelopes.

Alana sent a card that speaks to my wild heart, with a full moon and wolves celebrating the Winter Solstice and Yule. I was astounded to discover seeds of Lantana urticoides, which is our only native Lantana in the US. I've been searching for these for years. These are quite special, so thank you so much!

I just love this group of FOTESS ladies!

DH, Woolie our dog, and I are headed out tomorrow for the first leg of our drive to se Arizona for the holidays. Looking forward to this much needed vacation.

Katie

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 6:14PM
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pinkiris

What a wonderful surprise in the mailbox today! A beautiful hand made card and a handmade bookmark! WOW Shirley! They are amazing! My daughter has won different state contest for a variety of art projects and she loved both the card and the bookmark! ...Ive been reading a new book again and was just thinking i need to pick up a bookmark and stop bending these pages! LOL You must have read my mind! LOL
Thank you also to Alana! Wow! another beautiful card...love that black background with the moon! she also included some 'fireworks' seeds...cant wait to get these going! Thank you both Shirley and Alana .....they sure brightened my day! Hope you are enjoying the holiday season =) Thank you ladies for including me in this group, I feel so blessed......

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 10:02PM
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sjc48

You can always count on Heidi to make you smile!

Ellie, good to hear from you! Thanks for sharing your news with us. I have never heard of Seed Libraries. Could you tell us more about them?

Melinda, glad you're enjoying the cards, nice to hear from ya!

Alana, we're getting rain here and much warmer temps, it's supposed to close to 50 tomorrow. Sunday it's going back down again and as Mandy said, another big snow before Christmas.

Jayeanne, glad you liked the card! We must have been posting at the same time!

Well, so far, I haven't hit right on the Solstice. Can hardly wait to see what happens tomorrow. And speaking of tomorrow, I've got 10 milk jugs prepped and ready to go for my Solstice Wintersowing! I'm doing pansies, Echinacea and hardy geraniums. Is anyone else doing a Solstice sowing?

Off to bed,
Shirley!

This post was edited by sjc48 on Fri, Dec 20, 13 at 22:09

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 10:07PM
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canyonwind(9)

Happy Solstice!!!

I received a beautiful and very SOLSTICE appropriate card yesterday from Shirley...glitter, white, trees..... I always love and appreciate your cards. And inside was a bookmark made by Shirley...Celebrating The Winter Solstice Season!

Gaillardia and Rudebeckias are on my Solstice sowing quick list today!!

Thanks so much Shirley!

Happy Saturday!! Enjoy and be safe!

Annie

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 9:53AM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

Happy Winter Solstice, Fotess-ers!

Got up at the crack of dawn today to start the first leg of our drive to AZ. That kept me from officially sowing seeds on the actual Winter Solstice, but I did sow some yesterday: green hawthorn, deciduous holly, and 4 red buckeyes. The hawthorn and holly commonly take 2 yrs to germinate. Ah, patience...

Katie

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 10:27AM
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canfan

Yea! Winter Solstice has arrived... I love the picture posted by Mother Earth News, today:

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/stories/why-winter-solstice-is-the-shortest-day we know the story but the picture is fantastic...

Shirley your card arrived yesterday. Loved it. The colors show the beauty of winter... Thank you. Makes me want to take some creative craft lessons.... I did watch a bit of the Wolves and the Laker game last night. Love is a very impressive player... Sorry they didn't win.. I was hoping they would.

As for sowing solstice seeds... haven't tried that before.. We aren't able to plant outside until April so that would mean the seeds would have to sit on the counter for a long time...Maybe you all have tips on how to deal with that...

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 12:55PM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

Holy moly the mail is taking forever! I have been ocd about checking Gardenweb! It was so busy earlier today the website wouldn't let me on! I'm glad one of my cards made it--that gives me hope! lol
Heidi

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 1:45PM
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l1oness(5)

I received a pretty blue, white, glittery snowy card from Shirley today - right on the Solstice. Thank you Shirley. k2The poem inside is perfect for the season. This time, the postman cooperated with the timing!

The bookmark is very nice too - thank you - I needed one of those, and it will remind me of my gardening friends.

I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy the shortest day of the year.

Mandy

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 3:25PM
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sjc48

Solstice Greetings to All!! And may your day and the season be blessed for you!

I got my Solstice planting done! I planted pansies for remembrance, Echinacea purpurea for the butterflies and birds, and hardy geraniums for my leap of faith seed. They are good for my zone, but not for me; I have trouble growing them, so it is a real leap of faith for me to try them again.

Didn't have any tree seeds, so instead I "communed" with my two little black willows and promised faithfully to transplant them into a larger container this spring!

Peggy, Kevin Love is indeed an amazing player, as are Nikola Pekovich and Ricky Rubio, despite the fact that he can't hit the basket this year. I can't figure out what they are doing wrong this year, if anything. No one is injured. Their schedule is grueling tho. I loath the Lakers.

And Peggy, I do Winter Sowing, which is filling a gallon milk jug half full of soilless potting mix, add in water, sprinkling in the seeds, sealing it, and then setting it outside for the winter. It's an amazing process and you can find out more on wintersown.org. It's the only way I plant perennials now. But I am going to do begonias under the lights this year.

Heidi, I couldn't get on earlier either. Wondered what was the matter. I'm glad mine are starting to arrive too. And I had one, at least, arrive right on the Solstice! YAY!

I received a beautiful card from Beth today; white birch trees with bare limbs and a cardinal, very pretty, and very Solsticy! Beth, Thank you!

Talk to ya all later,
Shirley!

Another one! Thanks for posting, Mandy!

This post was edited by sjc48 on Sat, Dec 21, 13 at 15:55

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 3:52PM
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hibiscusfan zone5-Northwest Ohio(5 northwest Ohio)

Received Winter Solstice cards from Margo with a flower mat in it and one from Shirley with a bookmark. Both were really pretty and it was a joy to receive them as I have been hurting for the last several months with degenerative disc disease in my neck. Making an appointment with a nero-surgeron after Christmas.

Wishing all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 6:09PM
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jaynine

Shirley, Alana & Peggy~
Your cards all arrived yesterday. Thank you, you three lovely, lovely women. You brightened my day.
Wishing you all a safe & happy holiday~
Janine

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 7:14PM
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pinkiris

Thank you So much Peggy for the sweet beautiful card and the wonderful pocket calendar ....I was just thinking I needed to get one of those for this year! LOL I just love this group, once again I feel so blessed to be part of such a wonderful group of ladies. Headed to bed early...been shopping all day and still not done will head to Boston tomorrow to finish up. Our snow is melting and feels almost like spring out there! Have my jugs and soil ready to start on wintersowing... enjoy your evening everyone =)

Jayeanne

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 9:19PM
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oliveoyl3

What a surprise to receive cards this week from Jeanne & Annie! Thank you for including me.

I've been away from GW since we started the big move to another home here at camp in April. Unexpected renovations kept us busy until July when we actually moved our bed & began to sleep here. The landscape needs a lot more work, but we've made great progress removing the too large shrubs away from the house as well as hazard trees. More trees need to be removed, so until then I can't plant...

We spread partially composted manures & bedding over cardboard in our wettest September on record. Our hope was that the trees would be down by October to begin planting; however, we're still waiting for the tree guys to return & finish the job.

A long time idea (dare I say dream) came into fruition in early November when we began leasing 3 goats to help us remove the underbrush & make this place fire safe. An added benefit is their rich, sweet milk since we are allergic to cow's milk & soy milk isn't that great no matter the brand. It's been a family effort that I really appreciate since I also had surgery last month. I'm back on my feet, but light duty. My niece is the cute blonde next to the baby goat. The pictures are of the most sunny area for our edible gardens. From Drop Box

Blessings to all of you & we'll be back in touch soon,
Corrine

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 9:50PM
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primrose1x3(7)

Hope you will forgive an intrusion from a lurker. Your thread is wonderful to read on today's solstice, and I thought y'all might like NASA's homage to the solstice today: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

From left to right, the segments show the sun photographed in increasingly short waves of ultraviolet light.

Thank you all,
Karen

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 11:12PM
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poisondartfrog

Corrine, I love goats and tiny nieces! Those are wonderful photos.
Karen, that progression of the sun over the year is astonishing. Thank you for posting that!

Yesterday I received one of Shirley's beautiful cards with a pretty bookmark that will certainly see use! You are such a talented lady, Shirley.

Happy first day toward summer solstice,
Alana

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 7:24AM
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smitties

Corrine, thanks for checking in with us and letting us know all is ok. Great pictures. Didn't know you could lease goats. That's pretty cool.

Karen, I will have to check that out when I am done here.

I was away the last two days moving our son out of his apartment. He had a coop job for the last semester in Indiana. We left at 2 on Friday, drove 7 hours. Went to bed. Got up at 7, moved out his stuff, cleaned and drove 7 hours back. I can't tell you how many moves we have made with our 5 kids. :/

When I got home, I did find on of Shirley's beautiful cards in my mailbox along with a wonderful bookmark I am excited to use. thank you Shirley.

I may have received a card last week from someone else here but got it mixed up with others so not exactly sure. I am sorry if I have missed someone and wish to thank them as well.

Margo

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 8:55AM
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sjc48

Corrine, how nice to hear from you! Thanks for sharing what's been going on in your life. Loved the niece and goats. I, too, didn't know you could lease goats! Hopefully, you'll be able to join in some swaps in the upcoming year, but if you can't, please stop by and visit, okay?

Primrose, feel free to lurk at any time! I'll check that site out, sounds great!

And, TADA, we have a new member! Would you all please welcome Sheri/Panhandle_Seed_Swap to Friends of the Earth? Some of you might recognize her from the Secret Santa Swap this year, where she has been busy playing Elf!

And when she has time, she'll be on here to tell us a little bit about herself.

Sheri, Welcome!

Off to set up the tree, I have NEVER been this late with my tree! And I'm not even stressed about it.
Have a great day,
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 9:27AM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

I think one of the things I love the most about this (quickly becoming an annual tridition) FOTESS holiday card swap is that when we send cards to all the FOTESSers, long lost members start coming out of the woodwork and post on the thread to update us all on what they've been up to lately while they've been away. I enjoy reading all the updates.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 9:32AM
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l1oness(5)

Welcome Sheri! These ladies are a fun group!

I have never heard of leasing a goat - but it sounds like a great idea if you have a lot for them to eat.

We have ice here from the overnight storm, so I am staying indoors and making some laundry soap today.

Shirley - have fun with your tree!

Mandy

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 9:39AM
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Panhandle_Seed_Swap(8 Florida Panhandle)

Hi y'all and Merry Christmas! I'm so excited to be a new member of FOTESS... thank you Shirley & Jeanne! I'm passionate about gardening and heirloom seed collecting. I hosted a fancy community seed swap at our Panama City, Florida library in 2013. I loved meeting all the enthusiastic gardeners who attended.

I've been gardening since 2009 and I'm still learning. It seems like one long, ongoing science experiment to me (and I was never that good at science).

Please post any question that you might have for me or send me an email. Thank you so much!

Sheri

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 9:51AM
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booberry85(5)

Big thanks to my FOTESS friends for the Christmas cards! It was an unexpected surprise! I know i haven't participated much this past year, but am hopeful I can be more active in the group this coming year.

Merry Christmas everyone!
Becky

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 3:56PM
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oliveoyl3

Thank you Shirley ...

for your beautiful homemade card and bookmark. I love the sparkle in the trees & the frilly edges around the papers. You're such a good poet to pen those words so true during this season when it's pitch black by 4:30pm. Thank you for your kind words.

This afternoon I had my 1st day of gardening in the new garden year. I worked quickly in the dwindling light & drizzle to pull some blackberry vines from the rhododendron garden since they come out so much easier in the loose, wet soil this time of year after a thaw. It wasn't much, but the goats liked it & I feel proud every time I get those blackberry roots out. There were blackberries, stinging nettles, and other invasive weeds within a few feet of the house when we began in April. My family helps with the big jobs, but I'm the official rhizome puller since that's the best way to get rid of them and I care enough to pull the roots.

Since some of you asked about the leasing of goats... usually they're not leased, but are rented for brush control.

However, I knew of a gal nearby who has lent her goats to our camp for the summer petting zoo, so inquired. Fortunately, she had more goats than she could afford to feed, so 2 adults and one young doe came to us. We have a written agreement, but no money is exchanged. I'm responsible for fencing, housing, feed, & any expenses in case of a dog attack. She'll help with any other vet care needed such as hooves, worming, shots, kidding or illnesses. It's a fun adventure, so if any of you want to raise goats for the benefits of brush control, milk, or manure you can email me directly through GW and I'll answer questions. I have learned a lot from my goat mentor & though it was a bit of a leap at first isn't too difficult now even in the cold of winter.

For now besides the milk, they're entertaining & very efficient at converting our kitchen produce trimmings into green pellets for gardening making.

Corrine

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 8:18PM
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sandlapper_rose(Zone 8)

Welcome to the group, Sheri. I'm so glad you joined FOTESS!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 12:33AM
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sjc48

Good Morning!

Well, the tree is up, presents wrapped, WS Solstice planting done, baking done, cleaning-it's getting there! Just about ready for whatever happens next!

We're supposed to get more snow today, maybe tomorrow, hope everyone who is traveling for the holidays has a safe journey.

Becky, nice to hear from you! Would love to see you join in some swaps this year, but if you can't, stop in and visit with us.

Off to work,
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 8:05AM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

In my former job I worked with picking up litter and cleaning roads. Goats eat anything so they are used to keep vegetation down. It's better than using chemicals to kill weeds and plants. More places, including state governments, are utilizing goats. They are especially helpful in warmer climates where the vegetation never goes dormant. Goats will also eat plants that are highly invasive which have become resistant to chemicals. They eat thorns. They eat stinky plants other animals avoid. They eat them right to the ground. There are some very positive results and like Corrine showed, the by-products (milk & pellets) are great, too. Corrine, you might have to swap out your GW name. I like GoatGetter. lol
Heidi

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 1:32PM
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toomanyanimals(5b/MI)

I can't believe I received 2 more Solstice Cards!
I did receive them before the Solstice.... but just getting around to thanking those 2 wonderful members who sent them to me.
Margo/Smitties ... Loved, loved, loved the Plant Hope card and the seeds that go with it. I just may buy these cards for next year ... if I can remember. lol

Shirley ... such a beautiful card you made. I love it! And the bookmark, so thoughtful ... how did you know I needed a new bookmark?????

So it is the eve before Christmas Eve. I have to work tomorrow, but hubby and daughter will get everything ready for the family gathering at our home for Christmas Eve. That couldn't have worked out better if I had planned it that way. lol

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to our FORTESS GROUP

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 6:51PM
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smitties

Hello everyone, I received a card from Heidi today and it contained so much information about the winter solstice. She really did her research and I enjoyed reading about it. Thank you Heidi. I just wish I had the energy to do some container gardening this winter. I just have not had any luck.

Welcome to Sheri. I look forward to seeing more of you here at Fotess.

Margo

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 9:57PM
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canyonwind(9)

Bad me...I did not welcome Sheri to our very special FOTESS group!! Welcome...Welcome...Welcome!!

Renting/Leasing goats...who would have thought?

Margo, how are Elizabeth and Caprice doing? I do hope all is going well!

Merry Christmas to all!

Annie

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 10:25PM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

Hello from se Arizona!

Welcome, Sheri! So nice to see you join the FOTESS group. The first card I received in the SSS swap this year was from Sheri, and she sent some really nice heirloom veggie seeds :D
Looking forward to getting to know you.

Renting goats... LOL, sounds funny.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 10:43PM
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sjc48

Renting/leasing goats sounded funny to me too, however, who wouldn't rent/lease a goat to get a shot like the one with Corrine's niece? That was excellent!

I was clearing my dining room table this evening and found a small stack of non-delivered cards - OH NO!! The Neighbors! Guess I'll be running all over the neighborhood tomorrow!

Katie, what are the temps out there? Well, on second thought, I don't want to know, it's back to being super cold here again. Thanks anyway!

Goatgetter, good one, Heidi!

Off to bed,
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 11:11PM
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l1oness(5)

I received a cute snowman card from Annie yesterday, filled with confetti. It was perfect for the Solstice celebration. Thank you Annie!

Today, I received a beautiful peaceful snowy tree card from Beth. Thank you Beth - it's perfect.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, and a great 2014!

Mandy

This post was edited by l1oness on Tue, Dec 24, 13 at 12:53

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 10:46AM
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smitties

Annie, both Elizabeth and Caprice are doing well. Thank you so much for asking. Elizabeth has had no further problems and anticipate she will be fine. Caprice has finished the strong chemo and is now doing a lesser dose once a week for I believe 8 weeks. She got to feeling a little rough but a blood transfusion did the trick. I still can't believe how well she handles this. As if it is no big deal. She looks wonderful too and I admire her strength.

Merry Christmas to each and every one of my Gardenweb friends. You have supported me this past year by cheering when I became a grandparent, gave me kind words when my family and friend had problems. and helped fill my garden with bounty and beauty. I look forward to our friendships growing even more in the coming year. May you all be blessed with the best.

Margo

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 3:52PM
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ruthz

I need to say Merry Christmas and a big thank you to Shirley, Anne and Peggy.
I didn't sign up for the swap this month and was quite surprised when I received 3 fotess the same day.
The cards are beautiful and I love the bookmark and the day timer.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 9:55PM
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sjc48

Happy Christmas Day, Everyone! May your day be blessed!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 8:51AM
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canyonwind(9)

Good Evening FOTESSERS...I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful Christmas!!!!

Happy Friday!

Annie

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 10:37PM
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canfan

I received Heidi's card and solstice research paper :) several days ago. My husband read it to me as we drove to a friends for a visit. We both enjoyed the article and learned a lot from it. Thank you Heidi! My daughter and I are trying to recover from a hearty winter cold...hopefully it will be on it's way before the New Year. We have been able to spend some time with family and friends, which has been so enjoyable. I received my first catalog.. Gurney's .... I like the looks of the multi colored cherry tomatoes :)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 12:54AM
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sjc48

Morning All! Happy Friday, Annie, and to everyone!

Peggy, hope the cold is gone! Not fun! I've been getting seed catalogs too, drat, just when I thought I was done with that!

My Christmas was quiet, everyone is coming today for our celebration - eeeeekkkk! Have to work 6 hours, this could get tricky!

I've been keeping track and all of the greetings were sent,
and most of our Solstice greetings have been received. There are a few who haven't checked in yet, SO, if you have received, please post here and let us know, okay?

I know Jeanne will be posting the January swap, as soon as she returns from visiting the grandboys. But we still have a few days left, so we'll keep this thread up and running until we hear from everybody.

Have a great weekend,
Shirley!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 7:37AM
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sandlapper_rose(Zone 8)

We just returned from spending our Christmas with our triplet grandsons, daughter, and son-in-law in California. Our mail was held so if I received cards, they haven't been delivered yet. I hope people received the ones I sent.
Wow, the energy that "almost 3 year olds have" and with 3 of them, it was quite something!
The departure on our last flight on the way home was delayed for over 3 hours so we got in at a little after 3 a.m. this morning. It was a long day of travel!
I have my idea selected for the January FOTESS Swap so I'll post it soon. I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a great day!
Jeanne

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 3:24PM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

We're having whiplash weather! Friday and Saturday it hit 60. Today this high is 6.

Did a little wintersowing. Have to wait for more containers now.

Happy New Year!
Heidi

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 2:43PM
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sandlapper_rose(Zone 8)

I should be able to get the January swap posted by Tuesday so watch for it!
I'm finally here to thank everyone for their Winter Solstice cards that arrived while I was away: Michelle, Shirley, Sharon, and Annie. I hope I didn't forget anyone. There was quite a collection of mail when we got back from our trip.The cards are lovely and so creative and thank you also for the tuck-ins.
Happy New Year!!!

Jeanne

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 5:30AM
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smitties

I found a solstice card in my mailbox today from Chelsie. It was a cute card with a beautiful cardinal in it and a poem that read

"I heard a bird sing in the dark of December,
a magical thing and sweet to remember.
We are nearer to Spring than we were in September.
I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.
-Oliver Herford

Thank you Chelsie. Happy New Year everyone. Lots of snow is supposed to be on the way here. Margo

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 3:50PM
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sjc48

Isn't that poem perfect for the theme of this swap? I too received that card from Chelsie and was very pleased to hear from her! Thanks, Chelsie!

Well, I've checked and everyone who signed up to send cards this month have done so.

I want to thank each and every one of you for taking time out of your busy lives to participate in this swap. And thanks again for sending the extra, last minute cards! I love this swap and you all helped make it very special for me. Many, many thanks!

And I was so glad to hear from our other members too! Nice to catch up with everyone! Please remember, everyone, if you can't join in on any of the swaps, we would love to have you stop by and visit with us.

Cards were sent to ALL members of FOTESS, but there are some who haven't responded yet. To those who haven't posted, please let us know if you received Winter Solstice cards, okay? Posting on this swap site will be fine.

Jeanne has posted the January FOTESS swap and it sounds like it is going to be FUN!! She always has the best ideas! Check it out and join in!

To close this swap, I want to wish all our members a peace-filled New Year, and remember, the Winter Solstice Season lasts for a few months, make the most of it!

Shirley!

PS - one Winter Solstice Season activity I totally forgot to mention was: feeding the birds. I'll leave you with one last WSS pic.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 8:10PM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

Chelsea,
Thank you for the Solstice card with the cardinal and the poem. I read the poem online and it meant even more in the card.
Thank you for remembering me!
Shirley-love the bird picture. Have you made your first $10 million in photography royalties yet? Well, you SHOULD have, but that's a tough market to break. Thanks for sharing.
Heidi

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 1:10PM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

Oh if envelopes could talk.
I received Chelsea's card with 6 tiny holes in it where the raised plastic beads about 2mm across x 2 mm high punched through the paper. I wonder what torture some of this mail goes through. It's a miracle anything survives! I'm savoring every piece of mail!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 1:17PM
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canyonwind(9)

I am opening my mail from yesterday and what do I find? Sheri (Panhandle_Seed_Swap), our newest FOTESS member, sent me a lovely note and seeds of plenty.

And the seeds......

Lots of Chioggia Beets, Lots of Contender Bush Green Beans (a wonderful green bean), Detroit Dark Red Beets, Tomato Arkansas Traveler, Napoletano Basil

Sheri, thank you so much!! I grow all of these and love them. I look forward to swapping with you on FOTESS.

Happy New Years!!

Annie

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 1:25PM
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Panhandle_Seed_Swap(8 Florida Panhandle)

You're so sweet, Annie! You're very welcome. I have a huge box of seeds that I'm taking to a big seed swap on 1/25/14. I was looking through some of my FOTESS members "want lists" and I noticed some of their wants were in that box. I'm happy to do it. It's a bit after the Solstice, but I had your addresses from the Secret Santa Exchange.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 2:16PM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

Just got home this evening after spending the holidays in se Arizona with my husband's family and friends. Among the stack of mail, I found a card from Shirley celebrating the Winter Solstice, containing a poem and a bookmark. Shirley, your homemade card is my favorite of all cards that I received this year! So lovely! Brian loved it too, and it sits on the mantle above the fireplace. No doubt your card arrived precisely on Dec. 21st ;)

Love the junco pic, Shirley! Here's my favorite shot I captured while poking around AZ on our trip. This is a bird called a pyrrhuloxia, and they are only found in the extreme southwestern US. I am always excited to see them.

Stay warm, ladies!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 9:48PM
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sjc48

Welcome home, Katie! And thanks for the ID on the Junco. I wasn't sure. I can identify the males, but the females are a tad bit more difficult.

I'm probably not saying this right, but is the pyrrhuloxia in the same genus as cardinals? How great that you got to see it AND get a great pic! That is GOOD!

Off to bed, maybe,
Shirley!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 10:34PM
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kchd(7b/8a MS)

Yes ma'am, Shirley. Both the pyrrhuloxia and the cardinal are both in the same genus: Cardinalis. They sure look like it to me.

Brrrr, it's cold down here in MS! Supposed to get down to 6 F tonight. Now that's down right chilly for us southerners.

Katie

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 8:40PM
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