A squirrel is creeping around near the magnolia tree, its cheeks bulging with acorns. As I watch, it finds a good spot under an azalea and buries its prize.


Spring-blooming bulbs are for sale now in the garden shops.


Cuttings of coleus, impatiens, and geraniums stand in small vases filled with water on the east windowsill in the Sunrise Room. I took these cuttings two weeks ago and some have begun to form roots. The cuttings will give me plants and flowers to decorate the dining room windowsills this winter.


Also in the Sunrise Room, butternut squash lined up on the yellow-tiled counter. There they stand, waiting for me to bake them or cut them up for a stir-fry. I harvested more than twenty pounds of squash to enjoy in the coming months. No need to do anything special to the squash. Just keep them dry and cool. And come Thanksgiving I’ll make a family favorite- Butternut Squash Casserole:

2 cups mashed cooked butternut squash

3 eggs, beaten

¾ cup sugar

½ cup milk

¼ cup butter, melted

2 T. flaked coconut

½ t. ground ginger

½ t. coconut flavoring

Optional: ½ -3/4 cup crushed pineapple

Combine and beat together all ingredients, pour into 1 qt. size greased casserole dish. Bake in 350 degrees oven, uncovered, for 1 hour. Serves 6