Spring harvest time

In between knocking on doors and meeting people in my township, I have been busy in the garden.  Building on lessons learned from last year, I have already had some early successes.  These include lettuce, spinach, radishes, and peas.   I recently started putting in my summer veggies:  tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and green beans.  The longer than usual cool spring weather helped extend the lettuce.  I had so much lettuce I have been giving it away by the armfuls.  The spinach is about done and going to seed, which is good because I need the space for zucchini and cucumbers.  I found a local source for high quality compost, and learned about the value of covering plants, organize means to battling pests, and growing in bags. Continue reading

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Marching for Mother Earth: The People’s Climate March

Waiting for the march to begin; wall separating the Hill School from High Street in Pottstown, PA

My readers probably know that since last year’s election, I have become a bit of an activist.  There are so many things to protest, where is a woman to start?  Women’s issues, healthcare, financial regulations, voter’s rights,  jobs, taxes, the environment . . . and so it goes.  In March I met with a few friends and made a suggestion:  we should hold our own march.  I’m not sure at the time that they believed it would happen, but it did.  With the tremendous support of my husband and a few good friends, we pulled it off.   And so was born the Climate March Pottstown. Continue reading

Lest we forget

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I just got back from visiting my parents in New England.  My father has severe dementia and barely recognizes me, and my mother is becoming more frail and declining cognitively.  When I get a phone call from the assisted living facility where they live it usually means that something is wrong.  Lately it’s been my mother.  She had been in the hospital after a fall and was going to a rehabilitation center.  I had to convince her to go, so I wanted to go and provide my support.   I try to make the drive without stopping often; one stop usually does it for me.  I fill up the gas tank, hit the bathroom, and grab a drink or a snack.  On this trip I was nearly out of gas when I saw a sign for Newtown/Sandy Hook.  I can’t explain exactly why that had such an impact on me, but it did.  I pulled off the highway.  After filling up with gas, I headed down the road to see the school.   Continue reading

When life slows down . . .

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Those of you who have been following my blog know that I was in a car accident a few weeks ago.  It’s actually more like four, but hey, who’s counting?  The doctor says I had a concussion, even though I didn’t actually hit anything.   Apparently my brains sloshed around inside my skull.  I am much better now, but I still say and do things that are a bit off, and get really tired by about 5 PM.   While I took the doctor’s guidance seriously, it’s been hard for me to do less, move less, and think less.  I am not reading, except short news stories, and not exercising much.   There are things I have to do:  I have to water my plants, and answer emails, and keep up with projects and clients related to work.  As for the rest of my normally productive, busy life, I’ve had to put it on hold.   What happens when life slows down? Continue reading

A trip to the hospital, times two

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Last Saturday I left the house to go to a hospital in suburban Philadelphia.   Our cousin Richard was very ill and I had planned to spend the afternoon visiting with him.  I completed my morning routine:  fed the dogs, walked Barkley, took them outside again and left them with a peanut butter smeared Kong and some calming music before heading out.  The day did not turn out the way I expected.   A few miles from the hospital as I was traveling along a side road an SUV coming towards me drifted into my lane.  I honked and tried to get out of the way, but there was no shoulder and no where to go.  I did visit Richard, but before I got to his room I made amy own trip to the emergency room. Continue reading

The green giant, or how many ways can you cook a zucchini?

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As the first of my harvest comes in I am reminded of what it must have been like to live off the land.  In the summer you ate whatever was in season.  You went out to the garden and that was what you ate.  No one at peaches in December or asparagus in September.  For the past week it has been all about zucchini at my house.   Soon it will be something else, and if I’m lucky, an assortment of vegetables.  Unfortunately, when you have one zucchini you have ten.  They don’t cooperate and ripen one at a time.  There is no way I can eat all these veggies, so I am coming up with imaginative ways to eat, store, or repurpose it.   This post is about the green wonder. Continue reading

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

Spring means it’s time to plant

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Since the weather started to warm up my thoughts have turned to my garden.  I have to admit I’m not much for flowers.    With the deer that come up on my front yard after dark, there’s no point planting anything in the front yard that the deer like.   There are some plants they don’t like:  bleeding hearts, daffodils, lavender, and others.   I found a list of them on a website. Continue reading