It’s been a jam-packed summer at Casa Clare. With the first snowflakes falling this morning, I thought I’d share some of the highlights with you.
As some of you know, I got rid of my lawn many years ago and have a huge flower garden and a productive urban farm. Our flower beds bloomed beautifully all summer. Several times, people stopped to tell us how beautiful it was. We love sharing that beauty with others.
We had record cherry, apple, plum, peach, and pear harvests out of our own garden this year. I have never pitted so many cherries in my life. We ate the peaches and pears fresh. We ate many apples, turned some into cinnamon apple sauce, and used some in pies. We still have plenty left.
Our tomato harvest was off the charts, as well. We had so many one-pound+ tomatoes that they were no longer exciting. Yes, another huge tomato. We’ve made so much sauce. We ate some fresh and froze the rest.
Cucumbers and shishito peppers. Herbs. Potatoes. Everything gave us a record harvest, come to think of it—everything except garlic. Something went wrong there, and I have no idea what.
Of course, having a large garden is a lot of work. When you grow that much fruit and veg, you need to preserve that bounty. In addition to applesauce and plum jam, I dehydrated cherry tomatoes and made pickles and dill pickle relish with our peppers and cucumbers. It took me three hours to chop the veg for the relish. I won’t do that again! I now have a device to do it for me. I also got an electric water bath canner, which was a huge help.
I made things worse by having foot surgery in July. I had to get help with the garden while I healed. Still, I finished and released my 36th novel, Take Me Higher, featuring fan favorites Megs Hill and Mitch Ahearn. I had more fun writing their story than I’ve had in a while.
In the meantime, we had some real romance in our lives when my younger son married the love of his life. The ceremony was held in the mountains close to sunset. A close friend of mine officiated. It was one of the loveliest weddings I’ve seen. Sure, I’m biased, but it truly was. Their vows to each other, written privately, were so heartfelt that there wasn’t a dry eye anywhere.
My son wore medals representing the four divisions of competition target shooting in which he has won the gold. (He was our state gold-medalist for two years running.) He looked like a prince, and she looked like a fairytale princess. They danced a waltz for their first dance, drawing lots of applause because they know how to dance. My littlest grandchild, Oliver, was the ring bearer, and he took his job quite seriously.
My sister came back from Sweden for his wedding—and for our niece’s wedding, which took place in the mountains three weeks later.
Didn’t I say it was a busy summer?
Now, flakes are falling, and I’m gearing up for my next two books—Bound to Fall, Sasha Dillon’s story (Colorado High Country #10), and Reckless, Captain Joseph’s story from my long-dormant MacKinnon’s Rangers series. I hope to have Bound to Fall out in January, while Reckless will be out in about a year.
In the meantime, Thanksgiving is only 25 days away, and I still need to embroider the Thanksgiving tablecloth I started making for my family in 2019.
I hope you all had a wonderful summer and have lots to look forward to during the upcoming holiday season. Come the New Year, I’ll have new books for you to read.