Posted by: Brenda Kula | December 23, 2008

Dreary December Skies


What few blooms I have just refuse to bloom. Must be lack of sun. And the shock of unseasonable cold weather.

This day before Christmas Eve, the skies are dreary and dull.


I have to be content with the foliage that has not succumbed to frost. Today I spent some time with my clippers, cutting away the casualties I found drooping and tired when I got back to Texas . Hated to make that first cut. Saying goodbye to the season.




Foxgloves that haven’t sent flowers up in months.


The palms all look fine however.


Many trustworthy and brave sedums remain lush. I have renewed respect for these plants, some of which don’t seem to have been stricken at all by the cold temperatures of the past week.


And I picked up this book while in Tulsa to read at my hotel. I haven’t had time since I got home to return to it. But it is very well-written and fast-paced. I look forward to finding out the answers to the questions set forth by the plot.


The story begins when a woman is at the ocean with her soon-to-be stepdaughter. Her fiance has entrusted her with the six year old while he is out of town. The woman is a photographer, and becomes enthralled with something she sees through her camera. Just a few moments pass. Something else catches her eye. And when she looks back, the child is gone.

The story evolves with the search for the little girl. The relationship gone awry between she and her fiance. The wedding is “postponed.” She cannot seem to reach him. For, obviously, part of him blames her.

Months pass. The mother who left the child years before comes back into the spotlight.

I am about halfway through this delicious book, but the writing is superb. You feel as though you are there, adrift in this photographer’s angst and grief and guilt. I would recommend this book on a cold night snuggled underneath a quilt and sipping hot chocolate. Trying to forget about the fact that winter is upon us and spring is months away. Thus, so are the blooms…



  1. It is just horrible here today. The sky is just a series of gray splotches. Hopefully tomorrow will bring better weather for all the Christmas travelers. You still have quite a bit of greenery in your yard; mine is just brown, only the pansies provide any color at all.

  2. That books sounds like a wonderful read… I will check it out the next time I am in Barnes and Noble. Hope you have a Merry and Bright Christmas!

  3. My dear friend,

    Thanks for the book review. I enjoy a great book and neglected to get myself one this year:-)
    Isn’t it wonderful to know that the blooms will come with the beautiful skies. I too dread the inversion of winter skies we get being caught between the mountains here in the SLC Valley. We hardly see the sun for weeks on end.
    My husband travels for work and can escape. It is a good thing because he suffers from SAD.
    Your pictures are still beautiful whether is is winter or not:)

    Enjoy your Christmas, Brenda!

  4. That book will surely help the time pass by quickly. Your plants look fine too. That phlox is a keeper.

  5. It seemed like this day was the same color, gray, from dawn to dusk. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

  6. Congratulations on your newest addition to the family!May the Spirit of Christmas leave its blessings on the hearts of you and yours! Spoil that new baby girl! hugs NG

  7. Merry Christmas Brenda! Congratulations on the best present ever – Marley Ross!

  8. Good evening, Brenda. Sorry to hear that you lost a few plants to the frost. 😦

    Merry,Merry Christmas and may all your dreams and wishes come true.
    πŸ™‚ *hugs*

  9. oh my goodness, you have the best christmas present ever! merry christmas, I am so pleased you got a bundle of joy, what can be better…

    sending many blessings


  10. Brenda,

    Merry Christmas my friend.

    Guess what? I got my Wild Life Sanctuary for Christmas from Chris and Elizabeth. They are such good kids. We’re going to put up my sign tomorrow. I also got a copper bird bath from Hud so I can have water for the birds in the winter.


  11. Merry Christmas, Brenda. Wishing you a Great year to come.

  12. I don’t mind cutting back the dead or frozen, but the living healthy looking! Yesterday was so dreary looking, but really lovely feeling, today also, and now I’m going outside to play, um, I mean work in the yard!! Love our Texas winter of 60/70 in December! (beautiful pictures, as always:)

  13. I hope you had a beautiful Christmas Brenda and congratulations on your gorgeous grand daughter!

  14. So much has happened…a new grandbaby!! That is the best gift of all!!
    Your plants are so pretty in your pictures! Ours are all snow covered and presumably gone!!
    Have a restful week!!

  15. It’s so amazing to see the lush greenery in your pics Brenda. We are blanketed in a layer of snow, so very pretty. Tomorrow Im going to get some photos taken before it all goes down the drain LOL.

    Happy Happy New Year, Hugs, G πŸ™‚

  16. Brenda, Hi and Merry Christmas!
    Thanks for suggesting the book. It looks like it would definitely be a good one to curl up with!
    No more snow here…we’re supposed to have rain then ice. But we had our White Christmas! πŸ™‚

  17. How’s the grandbaby doing? Hope all is well!

  18. Brenda,
    I enjoy reading your blog, especially since I live near you in the great city of Gilmer, Tx. I’ve been enjoying some of the same yo-yo weather that you have. It’s hard to pick out clothes for the next day!
    I was so touched by the story of your daughter’s birth. It could have been any of us. A hard start, but you did more than survive. It’s an amazing story.
    I’m not very familiar with Tyler, but will be coming that way some as spring progresses. I’d really like to know what your favorite garden centers and nurseries are in the area. I’ve been to Blue Moon Gardens, and can’t wait to visit there once the weather warms up. I’m ready to dig!

  19. Hi Brenda! I’m catching up on blog reading here, going back through your past month’s posts. I have one question. Does the book have a ‘good’ ending…or rather, does it have a tragic ending? I don’t want to KNOW the ending, I just want to know if it’s tragic. I can’t handle tragic endings, but otherwise, think I’d really like to read this book!

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