Friendship, Facebook and a Garden Book Review

I love Facebook. I am far from being young, so I am not on it to be hip or find out my next homework assignment. I am there because I love interacting socially with people from all over the world. Two of my dearest friends, Jo and Rabia, are ones I originally met online and then went on to meet in-real-life, forming friendships and bonds that exist to this day (10 and 16 years later, respectively.) FB enhances those friendships. I can share Rabia’s difficult journey through her mother’s last days, and Jo’s ending of a long-term relationship which includes children.

I have made new friends on FB – Rhys, a talented, funny mother of four in Queensland, AU. And Gabby, a gamer who has taught me much about living life to the fullest. And then there are my Susans. All members of Story Circle Book Reviews, I have shared their ups and downs as well; one Susan is living through her husband’s struggle with brain cancer, another finding out that being retired, on a retiree’s income is not what she had envisioned. There is Susan the writer, who shares her path in creating a new book, and who has become a mentor of sorts, helping me be a better writer and editor. These women live in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, and I have never met them in person. But they enrich my life, make me laugh, and create a secure place for me to grow as a person. FB makes this possible.

I keep up with family on Facebook too; the zany teenager that is my grand-niece, the multi-talented author, musician, professor that is my sorta-brother-in-law, my two children, whose lives are so busy and full that reading their status on FB sometimes is the only way I know what is happening in their day-to-day lives. I play a form of scrabble with my husband and son on FB too, as well as following the Occupy Wall Street movement, Willie Nelson’s TeaPOT Party news, gardening updates and crafty ideas.

And, speaking of gardening updates, I recently had the chance to read an e-book published by a new acquaintance on Facebook, Sheri Ann Richerson. Sheri lives in Indiana, and her homesteading path reminds me of  my own, some 30 or so years ago. She calls her endeavor “Exotic Gardening Farm and Wildlife Habitat” The information on her FB page for her farm says, in part,

“The owners of Exotic Gardening Farms and Wildlife Habitat believe in self-reliance and doing things the old fashion way. From weaving to spinning to soap making, our crafts are made with pride and care using items grown and raised on our farm whenever possible.

Our items are handmade with care using as many items as possible from our own farm. We feed our animals certified organic feed and do not use pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals on our animals or land.”

So without further ado, I want to review the first of the two books from her, which encourages others to take her path in enjoying gardening and do-it-yourself-on-the-homestead techniques.

101 Secret Gardening Tips
By Sheri Ann Richerson
LifeTips Organic Garden Expert Guru

This is look at tips that you may be aware of, but have never applied, ideas that somehow have missed your radar, and concepts that will make your own garden a place of beauty and enjoyment. Just a look at the Table of Contents makes me tired – Sheri’s ideas and tips encompass a wide range of homestead skills…



Table Of Contents

  • Author Note
  • Herb Harvesting And Storing Tips
  • Edible Flowers And Unique Foods
  • Essential Oil Distillation
  • Natural Flavorings
  • Natural Perfumes
  • Aromatherapy
  • Natural Beauty
  • Body Products
  • Soaps And Shampoos
  • Crafts, Wreaths, Jewelry
  • Household Cleaning Products
  • Natural Pet Care

Are you needing/wanting to know what herbs are best preserved by freezing? One is basil – and Sheri discusses more as well. She tells you not only what to freeze, but how, and then, how to use the herbs in recipes.

Want to find some interesting recipes to try? Sheri can help. One recipe is a delightful one from a 1953 Dairy Goat Journal for Goat Milk Honey Candy. Another, for Rose Petal Jelly brings back memories of making my own organic jelly from my own roses in the 1970’s.  Interested in creating your own essential oils? Ms. Richerson can give you the steps, process and creation of essential oils from your own garden. Sheri gives you ideas on creating your own aromatherapy gardens, filled with both classic plants such as lavender and rose, and special herbs, such as chamomile and citrus scents.

Making soap, potpourri, Christmas gifts, remedies for your pets and more are covered in this compendium of garden delights. When I first looked at the book, I just glanced through the whole thing; I dabbled in this section, and enjoyed new ideas in that one. Then I read the book, from “cover to cover,” as it were. I am not much of a e-book person, and only read on my laptop, not having an e-reader, nor plans to get one anytime soon. But this book, a Kindle edition, is available to read on your computer, with a free PC program. Best of all, having it on your computer allows you the opportunity to have it available for reference at any time. And believe me, once you browse through the pages of  101 Secret Gardening Tips you will want to try some of the many recipes, techniques and plans she shares.

So there you have it. My life online, and a review of a really interesting e-book!  Hope you will go to Amazon and buy Sheri’s book – it is available for only 99 cents! WELL worth it. And visit Sheri on Facebook, and learn more about her. Thanks for joining me today on Readerwoman Redux – we are moving back to CA on Thursday, so I will not be writing for a couple of weeks – but I’ll be back with news of the move, our new place, and ideas I have implemented from 101 Secret Gardening Tips!


About ReaderWoman

Professional reader and researcher for writers - Reviewer and Editor for online book review sites - AVID reader (well, duh!) writer, crafter (sewing, jewelry, fiber art) photographer, herb gardener, love to learn new things - Married 3842 years, 2 "kids" (now 34 and 36) and two grands (13 and 15) Born and raised California Girl, with stints in Tennessee, learning to speak Southern, and Arizona, learning that living in a trailer is NOT fun! Enjoy conversations with wine and chocolate, long walks and being with hubby and family. Life is good!
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