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FOTESS Celebrating the Winter Solstice Season Swap!

sjc48
10 years ago

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!

Comments (130)

  • flowergirl34
    10 years ago

    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

  • kchd
    10 years ago

    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

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  • pinkiris
    10 years ago

    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......

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    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

  • canyonwind
    10 years ago

    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

  • kchd
    10 years ago

    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

  • canfan
    10 years ago

    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...

  • xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska
    10 years ago

    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

  • l1oness
    10 years ago

    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

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    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

  • hibiscusfan -Northwest Ohio
    10 years ago

    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!

  • jaynine
    10 years ago

    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

  • pinkiris
    10 years ago

    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

  • oliveoyl3
    10 years ago

    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

  • primrose1x3
    10 years ago

    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

  • poisondartfrog
    10 years ago

    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

  • smitties
    10 years ago

    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

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    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!

  • kchd
    10 years ago

    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.

  • l1oness
    10 years ago

    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

  • Panhandle_Seed_Swap
    10 years ago

    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

  • booberry85
    10 years ago

    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

  • oliveoyl3
    10 years ago

    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

  • sandlapper_rose
    10 years ago

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

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    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!

  • xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska
    10 years ago

    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

  • toomanyanimals
    10 years ago

    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

  • smitties
    10 years ago

    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

  • canyonwind
    10 years ago

    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

  • kchd
    10 years ago

    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.

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    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!

  • l1oness
    10 years ago

    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

  • smitties
    10 years ago

    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

  • ruthz
    10 years ago

    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.

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago

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

  • canyonwind
    10 years ago

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

    Happy Friday!

    Annie

  • canfan
    10 years ago

    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 :)

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    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!

  • sandlapper_rose
    10 years ago

    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

  • xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska
    10 years ago

    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

  • sandlapper_rose
    10 years ago

    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

  • smitties
    10 years ago

    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

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    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.

  • xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska
    10 years ago

    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

  • xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska
    10 years ago

    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!

  • canyonwind
    10 years ago

    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

  • Panhandle_Seed_Swap
    10 years ago

    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.

  • kchd
    10 years ago

    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!

  • sjc48
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    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!

  • kchd
    10 years ago

    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