How does your garden grow?

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Cauliflower in front surrounded by tomatoes plants.

I haven’t written anything about my garden project in a while.  This is part of my push for self-sufficiency and reducing my carbon footprint.  Why drive to the store and buy food that has traveled in a truck or train when you can grow it in the back yard?   Now, if I could only give up chocolate.  Unfortunately you can’t grow that anywhere in my neighborhood.

After weeks of rain, we now have the opposite — long, hot days.  I have to water every evening, carrying my two water cans back and forth to the standpipe to fill them, and then repeat.   I finally got a hose to attach to my existing one to reach the garden, and a spray attachment.  I promised to keep you informed about what was working and what was not.  Mostly, it has been successful, but there have been some challenges and some failures. Continue reading

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Garden Setup: building the beds and planting the vegetables

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Earlier this month I blogged about starting a garden.  I planted seeds and watched them carefully, hoping they would grow and thrive to later be planted outside.  Last week I had two of the three raised beds put in the backyard.  The third bed will be installed this week.   Continue reading

A duck, a nest, and a threesome

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About a month ago I wrote about a Mallard duck couple that was frequenting our pond.  I have since named them Mildred and Sylvester.  We have a small manmade pond in front of our house.  It’s so close that if I stand by the front door I can watch them.  The former owner put koi fish in the pond.   I have enough on my plate looking after two active dogs.  Looking after fish is not in the cards for me. Continue reading

The Ducks Return . . . and a Cardinal

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The pond in front of our house is a big draw for local birds.   We have a lot of trees, especially around the pond.  Since the weather got warmer it has been a virtual menagerie of wildlife.   Not only have a pair of mallard ducks made the pond their second home, but other birds enjoy it as well.  This cardinal and her mate come regularly.  The male likes to sit in the tree.  I haven’t been able to get him to stay there long enough for a photo, but I’ll keep trying. Continue reading

Birds on the pond

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The temperatures hit 80 today in southeastern Pennsylvania.   Barkley stood at the door this afternoon and barked and barked and barked.  What’s going on?  I went to the door and saw this bird sitting in the grass by the side of the pond.  Is she nesting?    Five  minutes later she flew away. Continue reading

Walking in a Desert Wonderland

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Sunset at the Grand Canyon, AZ

Well, I suppose mid-February is a good a time as any to post my holiday (yes, those holidays) guest blog post.  After months of subtle reminders from Marla dropped over texts, calls, emails, cards, e-cards, in-person reminders, and carrier pigeons (well, almost)… here it goes! Commence guest blog now!   Continue reading

The blizzard of 2016

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The blizzard hit the east coast on Friday, 22 January and didn’t end until Saturday.  We were happy to be out of the DC area for this one, but we still got hit hard.  Before the snow we treated ourselves to a pizza lunch at an Italian restaurant near our local ski lodge.  Then it was home to wait.  In the afternoon it began. Continue reading

First snow of winter 2016

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The pond frozen over with a dusting of fresh snow.

A few days ago we had our first snow.  It started with a blustery wind and chunks of snow that blew around the yard.  About half an hour later it was over.  The few flakes had already melted as the temperature rose to the high 30s.  We went to the gym, we fed the dogs, and I settled down at the table with my computer, answering and writing emails.    I had sent a number of emails to friends the day but some of them had not arrived . . . gremlins at work, so I was trying to reconstruct them. Continue reading

Remembrance of things past

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As a student of history I appreciate old houses and like to read historical fiction and biographies.   A few years ago I began researching my family history.  As my parents age and have forgotten their past, I am trying to revive it.  Last year we visited the house in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania where my mother spent the early years of her life   The house still stands, at the top of a hill, as does the home of her grandparents across town.  The current occupants have no memory of my mother’s family, but the place endures.  I will make more visits like this, to see the places where my ancestors lived and worked and raised families. Continue reading