Tag Archives: gnome

Gnome, gnome on the range!

The first gnome

The first gnome I found. I used by cell phone to take his photo and texted it to Audrey, with a message that said "Mommy." But, she denied any relationship and pointed out that she recognized my office computer speaker. I'm sure she did. She saw it when she put the gnome there ....

A gnome-themed Romeo and Juliet move is out in theaters, and we’re likely to see it since Matt recommended it. Anyway, that movie apparently is encouraging some pranksters in the family.

I’ve been gnomed.

And not for the first time.

Most Tuesdays, Audrey and I will meet at the Hilltop Grille at Mount Mercy University for “Taco Tuesday,” when tacos are plentiful and cheap. While chatting this Tuesday, we came up with an idea for a “Mount Mercy Times” photo contest—rather than merely show pictures of details and ask students to guess where they are, have a gnome who travels from place to place (the MMU travel gnome) and take its picture. The contest can be “where is the MMU gnome now?”

Second Gnome.

Well, based on the scene of violence, this must be a dangerous gnome. Worse than a Blue Meannie ....

Little did I know that the gnomatic bent of the conversation was a pretext. Sometime between Tuesday and Thursday, four gnomes suddenly appeared in my office.

When my gardens were mysteriously gnomed last summer, strong circumstantial evidence implicated two of my children—the youngest and the oldest. This time, I don’t need Sherlock Holmes or Mary Vermillion to crack the case—only one member of my family has both a history of gnoming and a key to my office.

Guess who.

In the 1990s, when we lived in Early, Iowa, and our children attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Storm Lake, Iowa, the kids joined the St. Mary’s band. Mysteriously, garden gnomes randomly began to show up in the band room there. I think Mr. Suits, the band teacher, strongly suspected the Sheller kids, and, to be honest, I don’t think his suspicions were misplaced—and the gnomes were purchased, suggested and sometimes even placed by the children’s mother.

The window gnome

The window gnome, looking over planters where I will try to sprout Ironwood Trees soon.

A known gnomer.

Recently, there have been gnome incidents in the Nursing Department at MMU. Now, I am not a witness and I don’t know if Audrey is the Nursing gnomer—certainly the idea of haunting others with gnomes can come from other sources. Maybe Mary Tarbox is a fan of “The Full Monty.” Anyway, even if Audrey isn’t the nursing gnomer, certainly a gnomatic incident there may have revived her latent gnomish tendencies.

Yes, I said it. I’m married to a gnomad.

And Wednesday afternoon, I began to notice some gnomes. The first I saw was atop a shelf attached to my desk. Then, I noted one lurking among “Yellow Submarine” figures I have (not toys, action figures, of course). A third gnome was soon spotted on my window sill.

That night, Audrey denied it, of course, but during the conversation, also blurted out that, in fact, there were four gnomes. Aha! J’accuse!

And Thursday, sure enough, a fourth gnome was indeed found when I went to put my lunch in my minifridge. Poor fella. Must have felt like Gnome, Alaska.

The fourth gnome

Aha! The fourth known gnome, hobnobbing with coffee...



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Invasion of Peonies from Mars and Gnomes!


Gnome in a young lilac. Family members are being quiet about how it got there.

It’s Easter Eve, Holy Saturday, one of the holiest days of the year.

Not everyone in the family is feeling good in this season of hope. For those who struggle with personal storms and darkness even as the weather turns nice and flowers bloom, our thoughts and prayers are with you. May you enjoy many a more sunny spring.

Daffodil. In back garden by deck, next to steps going up to deck.

Anyway, in my immediate family, Holy Saturday has brought some strange garden apparitions.

Gnomes! Someone, probably someone I am either genetically closely related to (an offspring or offsprings of mine) or someone I am married to (who I can freely write about because she doesn’t read my blog) or some combination has been in cahoots.

Gnomes have started to sprout among the daffodils, tulips and pretty, unnamed other flowers blooming in my gardens.

It is a little creepy to suddenly find gnomes in your garden on a Saturday morning when you are pretty sure they were not there on a Friday. My wife claims that a combination of children were involved, and she may be right, or she may be covering her own tracks. Hard to say.

New peonies

"Chinese" peonies transplanted in fall. Note how much sooner in growth cycle buds appear compared to "normal" peonies. They look like the Audrey II plant from "Little Shop of Horrors." Peonies from Mars?

The other surprise is the odd growth of the “Chinese” peonies, which are shown. Unlike traditional peonies, which shoot up a few inches and then form a flower bud at the tip, these odd looking peonies form buds almost right away. Since they were transplanted last fall, I thought they might be shy about blooming this spring.

Not, apparently, from the number of buds shooting up.

Well, it looks like an interesting and surprising spring in the garden. The plum tree, which was sickly last spring, looks pretty robust. The lilacs are already budding.

Easter is here, amid a profusion of a sudden spring that followed a hard winter. I hope that analogy, the sudden and almost unexpected appearance of a beautiful new season, will be echoed in the lives of any who are struggling this spring.

God so loved the world that he sent his only son. Along with gnomes, peonies that appears to be from another planet, and assorted other flowers, let hope be the harvest of this spring.  Happy Easter!

Rose Gnome

This is the "new" rose that was transplanted from the farm last September. Not many roots, so it is good to see it coming back. The gnome? Who knows where it came from ...

Chinese Peonies in "new" garden by the wall

More "Audrey II" Peonies. I got about six clusters going. Audrey says they cost around $50 a plant, so, if she's right, it's $300 of peonies coming up. The smaller red tips are "regular" peonies, which are starting to show, but the peonies from Mars, besides an odd growth pattern, seem to be super early, too. This is the "wall" garden, irises and lillies showing behind the peonies.


Some early tulips already in bloom, shown here with the odd new peonies in another spot of the back garden by the deck. Some peach colored tulips are blooming elsewhere, and some crocuses are just starting to show. Yes, another gnome, too.

I've planed more of these yellow daffodils than any other kind. To me, they just look happy. Back garden under retaining wall, not far from new rose.


New crocus. Happy to see yellow, most of mine are blue, for some reason. Cate planted crocuses in her front yard, I like that idea and may try that this fall. This is side garden by the walkway--a shady spot, so new crocuses are a little slower.

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