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Cherry Pie & the Pandemic Blog Post

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These are the tart “pie” cherries I stayed up late one night last summer pitting. It was too late in the evening when I picked them from my parents’ tree, and I sat up by myself past 10 pm pitting them one by one. It wasn’t fun.

Now, though, I’ll soon be enjoying a fresh-baked cherry pie here at home in the midst of this world-wide pandemic. Back then, who would have dreamt it? 

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I love cherry pie. It’s my favorite pie. I’m not sure I realized how much I loved cherry pie until I was in college. Whenever Mom knew I was coming home for the weekend she always baked up a cherry pie just for me. Mom’s standard was berry pie (we were berry farmers), but she knew I had a sweet spot for cherry, so there it always was, waiting for me. Maybe that’s also when I realized how much my mom loved me.

Nah, I think I always knew that.

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These days have made me reflective. I write in my journal nearly every day now. So much so, that I’m working on my current WIP less than I should. I bet you’ve become more reflective too.

Care to share your thoughts in the comments below?

Sandra Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade/YA series, Seed SaversVisit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on TwitterSign up for the newsletter!

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Doing My Part During Covid19

 

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In my last post I discussed what I was doing to be a helper during this time of crisis. Not feeling like I was a good enough seamstress to help with sewing masks (my daughter’s significant other works in a hospital), I pleaded “gardening.”

Authors (of which I am one) are also stepping up.

Some are discounting or giving ebooks away for free. Some are hosting read alouds on Zoom or Skype, even Instagram. Some are offering writing or drawing lessons. Some are creating collections and lists of books for all the parents and kids at home.

What am I doing?

Before the virus got out of hand I had already put my first three ebooks on sale for Plant A Seed Day. I had planned to go back to full price (normally $5.99 each), but instead I’ve left the books on sale. In fact, yesterday I put all five of them on sale. You will find the lowest prices at Smashwords, who is hosting big discounts in their Smashwords store for any author who joins.

I’ve also signed up with Draft 2 Digital to enter my ebooks at a discounted rate to libraries through Overdrive. I don’t know if my books have been chosen, but I did sign them over.

Another thing I’m doing is making sure the Little Free Libraries in my neighborhood are always stocked with children’s books. (take precautions, people! wash those hands!)

Finally, I have some Audible codes to give away for a free audiobook of my first book, Seed Savers-Treasure. If you’d like a code, let me know in the comments below. I have only a limited supply. You will need to leave your email for me to contact you. Or you can comment and then email me at sandrasmithauthor at gmail.

If you are not on the frontlines already, what are you doing in your own small way to be a helper? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Stay safe!

Sandra Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade/YA series, Seed SaversVisit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on TwitterSign up for the newsletter!

(If you’re not familiar with my books, Seed Savers is a 5-book series that takes place in a future where gardening is illegal and real food unknown. The first three books are appropriate for elementary age kids and the last three “age up” somewhat.

Go here for summaries of the books.

For comprehensive reviews of each book, check these out:

Seed Savers-Treasure (book one)

Seed Savers-Lily (book two)

Seed Savers-Heirloom (book three)

Seed Savers-Keeper (book four)

Seed Savers-Unbroken (book five) )

 

 

 

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Which American Girl Doll Are You?

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“You’d be a terrible American Girl doll!” my daughter said with disapproval. I’ll admit, no one had ever hurled this insult at me before.

My daughter is 27 and lives in Indiana though a good portion of her heart is still here in Oregon. We talk nearly every day on Facetime, yes even before the virus. On this particular day she asked if I would like her to send me instructions on how to sew facemasks. Her boyfriend is an emergency room nurse.

“Uh, no,” I answered. I have way too many things to do.” That’s when she hit me with the American Girl doll thing. For those of you unfamiliar, when my daughter was young, American Girl dolls were very popular. And they aren’t just dolls. They are dolls with history, of history, and they had lots of books that went along with each doll. We read them all. She even had a subscription to the magazine. But I digress.

I felt the accusation was unjust. As I tried to explain my way out of it, she kept telling me it was my American duty and reminding me of the many ways “the girls” helped during their particular place in history. By golly, before she’d finished with me, she’d even brought up George Bailey from It’s A Wonderful Life.

“Do you think George Bailey wasn’t out there volunteering during the war BESIDES running the Bailey Building and Loan??”

“But, but, I am doing something,” I said. “I took the Garden on Wheels out to grandmas! I gave vegetable starts to my neighbor. I’m sharing seeds.” I was talking fast now, gaining momentum. “I’m the gardening American Girl doll, not the sewing one!”

She was silent a moment. “Okay, there is that,” she admitted.

Phew.

Which American Girl doll are you? 🙂

Take care. Be safe. Do your part. (Which is all just short for: try your best to stay home if you aren’t one of those who need to be out taking care of the rest of us. And many thanks if you are one of them!)

Sandra Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade/YA series, Seed SaversVisit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on TwitterSign up for the newsletter!

 

 

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Garden on Wheels

 

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Not the one I took out there, but similar. (I forgot to take photos!)

I’m sure you’ve heard of Meals on Wheels and all the good work they are doing (and always do, but particularly needful at this time). Yesterday I did something for my parents I’m calling “Garden on Wheels.”

This is how it all began. Here in western Oregon we have been basking in a week of great weather. Sunshine, highs in the 60s, blue sky. So those of us with a little land (we live on a lot and a half in town) have been planting whatever can be planted this time of year: onions, potatoes, lettuce, carrots…things like that.

But our soil here is wet and clay-like, so really only raised beds and containers can be planted since the soil is too wet to work. Alas, my parents’ garden falls into that category. My mom was bemoaning that everyone was talking about planting their gardens and there was no way she could get started.

Enter my idea of the portable garden. It just so happened that I had one of my larger containers that was empty. I also had an unopened bag of garden soil and potting soil. We had already planned that I would visit them during the heat of the day (63 degrees) so that we could sit outside, a proper social distance away. (Tracy, call your parents.)

So I showed up with the container, placed it in a warm, sunny spot, added the soil, and planted it full of Walla Walla onion starts, radishes, and lettuce seeds and gave it a good watering. Voila, garden on wheels.

“This will give you something to do,” I told Mom. “Until your ground is dry enough to work.” (It’s supposed to start raining again and rain for a week or more.)

We sat and talked for a while, I cut some of last year’s chard from the big garden to take home to my 4 urban chickens, and we gave each other air hugs goodbye.

I’ve got two more days of warm weather, so off I go to plant a few more seeds.

Take care wherever you are.

S

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Example of last year’s lettuce in container.

Sandra Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade/YA series, Seed SaversVisit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on TwitterSign up for the newsletter!

**Seed Savers-Treasure, Lily, & Heirloom ebooks still all on sale.** 

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Hope in the Seed

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For whatever reason, lately my husband has had a bee in his bonnet when it comes to pollinators.

He’s collected mounds of seeds to plant flowers to attract pollinators and has been approaching neighbors about planting on their property. He announced in church he had a handout for bee friendly plants (before church was cancelled on account of the virus). And every day (even though it’s barely warm enough yet), he’s been bugging me about when can he plant seeds.

“What I don’t understand,” I said to him recently, “is where in the alley you plan to plant the seeds. I think the ground would need some work done.”

“Oh, I just want to go and scatter them about,” he answered.

“Just toss them?”

“Yes.”

Having planted many a seed in the best of circumstances that have NOT come up, I shook my head. “You have an awful lot of hope in those little seeds,” I answered, feeling immediately the irony of me–author of Seed Savers–doubting my own motto.

Today we walked out in the alley and scoped out the possibilities. On the other side is the vacant lot where the daffodil bulbs I tossed there last year are in full bloom.

Yes, there is hope in the seeds. And hope in spring. Despite these trying times, we celebrate the new life of the budding blueberry bushes and flowering cherry trees.

Scatter your seeds. Happy spring! Happy Plant A Seed Day!

 

Sandra Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade/YA series, Seed SaversVisit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on TwitterSign up for the newsletter!

**Seed Savers-Treasure, Lily, & Heirloom ebooks still all on sale.** 

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Plant Seeds of Hope & Kindness & Kale & Cabbage…

As we go about our adjusted daily lives, remember the small kindnesses. If you have to go to a store and there’s not an automatic door, hold the door open for the next person so they don’t have to touch one more thing. Give out smiles and kind words freely. Check in by phone with friends, family, and neighbors.

I freaked out the other day. Take news and social media breaks. Because you don’t want to be in a state of constant freak-out. 🙂

A week and a half ago (remember that? pre-freak-out) I posted about Plant A Seed Day. It’s tomorrow. And there’s never been a better time to plant seeds. It’s also the first day of spring. It’s the earliest start of spring in 124 years. Our weather here is forecasted to be 63 degrees. Which isn’t to rub it in to anyone with a less than stellar weather report. It’s just to say that amid the bad news, it’s something to be glad about.

Back to the seeds. Tomorrow I’ll be starting tomatoes and peppers from seed and then many weeks later I’ll transplant them outdoors. But if you don’t have outdoor space and only plan to container garden, you can get going right away on lettuce, kale, cabbage, etc.

Here are what my starts look like:

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Now obviously, kale and broccoli plants (top and right) are going to get WAY big

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So what on earth am I going to do with all those plants?

Eat them as micro-greens, of course! And so can you.

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It’s not like I plant all those on purpose. What happens is, I have old seed and I’m not sure if it will come up. ALSO, seeds for these plants are REALLY SMALL,

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so I just toss them lightly over the soil. And sometimes WAY MORE than I had intended get planted and come up.

Anyhow, like I said before. Micro-greens.

So go, plant seeds. Kindness, hope, cabbage, kale…

And let me know how you’re doing.

Sandra Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade/YA series, Seed SaversVisit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on TwitterSign up for the newsletter!

**Seed Savers-Treasure, Lily, & Heirloom ebooks still all on sale.** 

Although not all retailers are currently showing the correct sale price, which should be less than the regular $5.99 price.

 

 

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The Seed Savers Series–Will You Like It?

I’ve created this flowchart to help you decide. 🙂

And don’t forget, the ebooks are on sale for just a few more days!!

 

Will You Like the Seed Savers Series_

 

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Sandra Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade/YA series, Seed SaversVisit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on TwitterSign up for the newsletter!

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