Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Robbery at Red Zinnia

I suggest you stop reading for a moment - and get yourself a cup of tea, a soda, or a bourbon and water…..whatever your choice may be. This may take awhile to read. A week ago last Thursday we were robbed at Red Zinnia. Now, this is a small town, and I realize many of you may already know about this, but what you may not have heard is that last Sunday, we were robbed again. Of course we took major security measures after the first break in, and this is what thankfully saved us from losing a major amount of merchandise again. But it didn’t catch the thief. We got to go through the task of once again installing new glass and doors, new key locks, heavier security measures with the police and a few more sleepless nights.

Here is my main reason for writing about this now. We live in a small town, relative to other communities that surround us. The demographics of our town are probably pretty much the same as most others though, but what I have always loved about our little “oasis in the desert” is the fact that we watch out for each other. We stop to say hello and pass the time of day when we meet in the supermarket. We cheer for each other’s kids like they are our own, and we always seem to have the time to help those in need. We set up kitchens to feed those less fortunate, we bake cookies and take them to the elderly shut-ins, and we support our local shopkeepers whenever possible. This… why this has hit so hard. Not only have we had the monumental task of re-constructing our loss on paper, filling out the necessary insurance forms, and re-ordering merchandise so it arrives in a timely manner for the upcoming holiday season, but we have also had to deal with the horror stories we have heard from other shopkeepers in our community. I won’t name names here, but this is what I will say. We are not alone.

Over the last 3 months there has apparently been a rash of robberies in and around the city center where Red Zinnia is located. I didn’t know about them before this, and it makes me wonder why. The paper has not reported this information, and other than the fact that we (all of us at Red Zinnia & the Flower Tree) have been trying our best to get the word out to our fellow shopkeepers, I don’t know if we ever would have heard about it. What I am hearing though, is that we are not alone – but this is one time that I would rather be as lonely as if I were stranded on a desert island, than know that my friends and co-entrepreneurs where going through the same thing. Fortunate for us , we have not been hurt, physically. But it is unfortunate to say that that is not the case for all of the shopkeepers that we have spoken with.

What I really want to say by all this is, Be Careful. Do not take it for granted, as we did, that someone else is watching out for your business as much as you are. Be extra vigilant in your safety procedures, and this is even more important at home, as your loved ones are involved. Yes, I have started locking my car, my doors now have a secretly system in place, and my life will be forever changed by this. I know that many, many of you have faced this same situation in your home life, or business life – because you have shared your stories with us over the last two weeks. Small town USA just doesn’t seem to be the same place it was two weeks ago, and for that, I for one, am truly very saddened.

I am looking out the window at the beautiful fall colors and the clouds are fluffy and white. Whoever you are, you may have taken our money and goods, but you won’t break our spirit. We will continue to be the ones that greet you with a smile and share a story from our day. The last two weeks have taught me a lot about the world I live in. Not all of it good, as you read above, but much of it has been. The thoughtfulness of others as they heard about what happened and called to make sure we were alright, the amazing women that I am surrounded by on a daily basis, the true flowers of my world, that pulled together to make sure that we were not only back open the same day – both times – but worked hard to keep each others spirits up when needed. I can’t ever thank you enough for not only caring about me, but also about this business as much as I do. My husband, Robert, the absolute rock in my life, that has made it his goal to keep me on an even keel these last two weeks. The gentle encouragement, prayers and concerns from you, our customers and friends – that is what really matters. We are a small town, but we have huge hearts. Please, please continue to watch out for each other.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Garden Diary

I know I am always saying "write it down", so here are some of the things that went into mine this fall.....

The tomatoes did wonderful this year in the new back garden. While this was set up to be a "juicing garden" originally, it didn't quite work out that way. Best laid plans and all...........but the tomatoes WOW! I just picked the last of them last night in anticipation of the hard freeze that is on the forecast for this week. Since most are still green, they will get layed out in the garage on brown paper and ripen up gradually.

The gophers got the side yard again. All my "wishing them away" doesn't seem to be working.

The pumpkin that came up volunteer in the side garden was a beautiful plant all on it's own, even without the fruit. Next year I will plant one under a few of the trees in the back yard. They will get the drip, and the green will look great against the shredded cedar.

Plant more garlic and onions!

Plant more agastache..the hummingbirds loved it
(no, this isn't a picture of my diary..........just a beautiful old one)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Harriet in Pumpkin Slumber

Posted by PicasaHarriet in pumpkin slumber.......(thank you to Sarah H. for the photo)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oktoberfest 2009

It was a cold-cold-cold afternoon, but as the music got started and the sun set, everyone seemed to warm up. With the fires going and the dance floor filling up, we settled back and enjoyed another evening under the stars at The Flower Tree. The music was great, Rock Creek Connexion, a Northern California band provided some awesome tunes that got everybody hopping. A huge thank you to Toni for getting us the great dance floor, and to Big Ed's for serving up the food. This was our first venture into the country/country rock venue, and judging from the turnout, it won't be the last.

Up Next ??????

A few fans braving the cold.......

Lori and Linny bundled up at the ticket area

Rock Creek Connexion takes to the stage

Michelle and I relaxing into the evening

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Pollinating is FUN!

Pat Manuba and John Amy gave a fabulous presentation to the Lahontan Valley Garden Club on Mason Bees and pollinators. They are willing and available to give their informative class to school children, garden clubs and ??? They are a wonderful entertaining couple, that love what they are doing, and it was a pleasure to sit in on some of the presentation.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gather As You Go

Don't miss the special class today at 1pm with Michelle!
Gather As You Go

Bring clippings from your own yard, or just wait and clip from the nursery. Here is a sneak peak at the practice ones made yesterday. The birds will love these little treats all through the winter season, you can just keep adding sprigs to the gourd. See you there, Susan

It's Garlic Time

Today is the day we plant the garlic. The past few years we have been fortunate to have Bill Mewaldt as one of our "go to experts" on gardening and all things organic. A retired college professor of biology, he also owns and runs with his wife Korena, Mewaldt's Organic Produce here in Fallon. They sell their amazing produce to gourmet restaurants in Reno (4th Street Bistro, LuLu's...etc..) and last year they started a CSA -Community Sponsored Agriculture - subscription service that Bob and I have been enjoying most of the summer. Every week a lovingly prepared basket arrives for us at Flower Tree filled with whatever goodies they harvested and accompanied with delightful recipes and history of the particular vegetable or fruit.

Back to the garlic. Those of you who read this on a regular basis will remember that I am from the South. We don't grow garlic there, heck - we didn't even really use garlic in our household, except for Mom's spaghetti sauce, and that was used sparingly and always came out of a little shaker can. It was when I had my first cooking lessons at the right hand of Bob's Mother Sharon, I started to learn the fine art of garlic. When my husband and I had been married and living in New York City for just a short year, the Coast Guard saw fit to send him to "isolated duty" in the Marshall Islands for the next 13 months. Back home I went to Miami, and after a month or so I started my Every Thursday Night cooking lessons with Sharon. My own Mother who worked full time all during my childhood was a basic cook. Sure she could whip out one of her famous meatloaf, or put on a show with some incredible Macaroni and Cheese, but the basics were what she excelled at. Sharon on the other hand was a self taught gourmet cook. She subscribed to all the magazines, she watched the early TV shows, and she used a LOT of garlic. Her spaghetti sauce was famous in her circle of friends, and over the year of lessons, I got pretty good at it too. I have never used shaker garlic since then.

But what I didn't know until I met Bill Mewaldt was just how easy and fulfilling it was to grow your own. With little effort, and even less care, you can harvest your garlic every summer and have enough to last the entire year. It doesn't go bad, it doesn't rot or smell and it is just plain see it all lined up in a row. So, stop by today, about noon, and plant some garlic with us. I may even give you some secrets to Sharon's Famous Spaghetti Sauce. See you there, Susan

Monday, October 5, 2009

New England Fall container

Came across this picture that I took in Boston last fall and realized we have everything in this pot right now at the nursery. Watch for a container like this out front in the next day or two.
(hint hint Michelle)
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