Winter Solstice

It’s been a little quiet at my pay-the-bills job (shout out to @Tierneycreates for the moniker). I work for a not-for-profit on a college campus, and all the students and faculty have left for the holidays. This makes for some looonnnng days.


Just a quick mid-morning nap.

Luckily, there is a greenhouse on campus that comes equipped with little benches and tables. This respite from the cold and snow provides a needed vitamin D fix on winter days –and keeps my creative soul nourished on even the most dull work days. My boss is an excellent gentleman: he knows that marketing types are most productive when they are not sitting behind their computer all day, so today, instead of taking a nap, I headed to the greenhouse for some brainstorming.

There, I discovered new life and it makes me hopeful for spring on this darkest of days of the year.  I started out in the desert room. It is full of cacti and succulents. I wish I could name them.


The desert room has some beautiful blossoms.


I have no idea what any of these plants are, but they are life-affirming.

The next room is a planting room. In it grows a cherry tomato plant about the size of a golf cart. I have to confess to stealing a tomato and popping it in my mouth this morning. The taste exploded in my mouth. It was incredibly delicious. I never, ever eat store-bought fresh tomatoes in the wintertime because they taste like red plastic. This was the real deal. If I had to choose a last meal, I think it would include a sun-ripened fresh tomato sandwich.



Site of future breakfasts.

Next, there is a tropical room. It is lush and green and it is home to a small waterfall and some cute koi. This room is great for my sinuses. The thick, rich air is alive with promise.


The bright colors are mesmerizing.

Finally, the greenhouse has a hydroponics lab. This morning I discovered that students are working on a strawberry growing project. Previous years have hosted lettuces and herbs. I’ll have to keep a close eye on this inventory, in case it ripens while everyone is gone!


This reminds me — I can’t wait to see how mom reacts to Cindy’s Strawberry quilt on Christmas Day!

Just a few more hours and I’ll be on my own Christmas break. I hope this tour helped you through the winter solstice.  Happy shortest day of the year!


Thanks to Sandy for holding down the blog while I put a check mark next to Alaska on my bucket list!


The scenery was breathtaking AND I was inspired by so many Alaskan artists from past and present.

This incredible work of art greeted us in the Vancouver Airport.



The colorful shipping  containers in the Vancouver Harbor are quilt inspiration worthy.

Shades of orange, blue, brown and white will show themselves in a future quilt!


A Study of Nature Inspired Colors!


Shore in Ketchikan, Alaska


View of Denali from Denali National Park


Sidewalk Planter in Skagway, Alaska

The Alaskan quilt community is thriving!  I’ll tell you more about it in future posts.  Meanwhile, be inspired by the scenery around you.  Beauty and inspiration abound, wherever you find yourself!