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Garden Travel: The New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands Manor

Garden Travel: The New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands Manor

This past week, I traveled to New Jersey for a family wedding. Many adventures ensued, but one that was indeed memorable was my trip alongside my sister, Mary, to the New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands Manor. The garden, located in Ridgewood, New Jersey, is […]

Autumn Waldorf Salad Recipe with Leftover Pork Loin

Autumn Waldorf Salad Recipe with Leftover Pork Loin

Have you ever looked at leftovers and thought, “What in the world am I going to do with this?” That’s what I thought when I saw the three sad-looking slices left over from last night’s roast pork loin. The pork roast was delicious, but what […]

The October Update at Home Garden Joy

The October Update at Home Garden Joy

I love this quote. October is a special month for me for many reasons – it’s the anniversary of my first date with my husband (yikes – that’s over 25 years ago now!), my mom’s birthday, my dad’s birthday and death date, and many other reasons.

It’s the month for our town’s fall harvest festival, country auction, and bake sale to raise money for the fire department. It’s the second of our library’s annual book sales. It’s the anniversary of when I published my first novel (end of September, but October is when people started reading it!) and this year, my very first book signing.

The Jewish people celebrate the New Year at Rosh Hashana, which is in September, as the start of their year, and the Catholic start their liturgical year in November on the first Sunday of Advent. Fall for me is a time of beginning – not ending.

And so it is with this blog. A time of new beginnings, not endings. I have to admit that this month, I’ve reached a crossroads with Home Garden Joy.  I have been blogging here for 10 years!

I am a bit…written out, as they say.

What began as Seven Oaks, a little blog to chronicle all the changes in my life as I transitioned from full time, stressed our Manhattan executive to full time, sort of stressed out freelance writer, living on a farm instead of in a suburb, became Home Garden Joy three years ago with the goal of becoming a great gardening resources. I think I’ve achieved that goal, but I want more.

This fall, I’m transitioning the blog into more of a comprehensive home and lifestyle blog. Gardening, herbal medicine and herbs, and everything plant-related will still form the core of the blog. Some of the longer guides will be coming down as I transform them into longer books. The navigation will change, but the blog posts you’ve come to rely on to help you with everything from identifying good bugs from bad bugs by their cocoons to how to plant tulip bulbs will still be here.

2017 marked the year I launched Christian Herbalists at Home Garden Joy, a community for people interested in herbs, plant-based health, and other related topics. I was tired of being exhorted to worship the moon goddess or whatever anytime I wanted to make a tincture. I love herbs, and working with herbs, but I am a Christian, and I wanted to support other Christians who wanted to explore herbs without the woo-woo. I hope you will join us there if that is of interest to you.

Moving into 2018, I am broadening the topics on Home Garden Joy to encompass more ‘home’ related things. Since moving to Virginia, I’ve had time to grow as a homemaker, learning all sorts of basic things like how to clean my house, keep a hardwood floor shiny, plan meals, you name it. I’ve also continued my love of counted cross stitch, picked up my knitting needles again, and taught myself some sewing skills. I’d like to share these new things with you, too.

And what about my other passion – fiction writing? I maintain an author website over at www.jeannegrunert.com.  Now with three books under my belt and another one on the way, it is time to blend that aspect of my life in with my writing work here. I also want time to write more gardening books. That is part of my plan for 2018 as well.

I have so many big dreams and plans, and I want you, my readers, to be part of them. You’ll notice some changes on the blog moving forward. For instance, I hope to completely phase out advertisements of all types by 2018, relying solely on my book sales to support Home Garden Joy and my other web properties.  Navigation will change and older pages will be updated.

If you have any ideas, concerns, or thoughts you’d like to share, I welcome your comments, below. I thank you for 10 years of wonderful support for my writing at Seven Oaks and Home Garden Joy, and can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring us together!

With all blessings to my readers,

Jeanne

 

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Recipe for Lemon Parsley Jelly

Recipe for Lemon Parsley Jelly

Have you ever looked at your herb garden and wondered what you would do with all of that parsley? Aside from feeding these guys: (Eastern swallowtail butterfly caterpillar) Parsley is often used as a garnish but it offers tremendous nutrition. Contained within its leafy green […]

How to Can Apples

How to Can Apples

Canning apples isn’t hard, but it is time-consuming. It’s great to know how to can apples if you have an apple tree, go apple picking, or just find a great value at the supermarket. Canning Apples, My Late Summer Project This year, we were blessed […]