January:  A new year’s bright beginning is signaled by the unmistakable scent of paper whites and the bright sunshine of daffodils!  The darkness of January is chased way…at least on my kitchen window sill.

February:  Sledding down the hill at a high rate of speed over a dusting of fresh snow is exhilarating!  So is staying out into the early evening in the fresh night air, bombing down the hill at breakneck speed. I don’t care how old you are, sledding is always fun.

March:  Will the month of March be blustery or benign?  Who knows!  One thing is certain and that is the tradition of  St. Patrick’s Day cabbage and corned beef at our house.  The cabbage leaves are so beautiful that it is hard for me to cut into them!

April: means spring is really and truly here and the bluebird of happiness is here to prove it.  This year they have made a nest just over my front door and I think this might mean great things are on the way!

 May:  In Japan the 5th of May is Children’s Day and the carp is the symbol :  swimming up stream, the carp turns adversity into advantage.  The colorful fish windsocks flying everywhere are a sight to behold.

June: Lightning bugs in a jar….a June delight to light up the night!  Carefully caught to enjoy for awhile and then set free with a satisfied smile.

July:  A fourth of July picnic is the perfect way to reflect and celebrate the meaning of the day!

August:  Eucalyptus  are the most remarkable trees, and so diverse, some with great layers of papery bark, some and some with smooth, some with round leaves and some with long and graceful ones and little eucalyptus buttons.  They are the soul of California Plein Aire painting of the early 1900’s and still excite the heart today.

 September: Speaking of things that make the heart beat faster, September’s list of school supplies is definitely one of them!  You school supply people know who you are…and the thrill of a new fountain pen or new shade of ink or smart new notebook is something you feel your whole life long.

October:  When most of the other fruits and vegetables are long gone, the persimmon takes center stage, capturing the color and spirit of the season.

November: the soup month!  It’s finally cold enough to make soup the main attraction…and who better to fill the starring role than the glorious leek, both beautiful and delicious!

 December:  You have to love our (rescue) dog, Sparky, and his enthusiasm for the holidays!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Johanna