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

Advertisements

Iceland: views from the road and a museum that honors a body part

20160906_032140_resized

I promised I was not going to try to duplicate the professional travel books that have photos and information about  visiting Iceland.   Having said that, I do want to share some of the more awe inspiring and unique sights and experiences we had.   Full disclosure:  at the end is something that is probably not suitable for children.   So, if there are any  young children here that you don’t want to explain this to, time to turn the page and move on. Continue reading

Traveling in Iceland: food, drink and sleep

20160909_203426_resized

One of the guesthouses we stayed at near Budir in western Iceland.

During our one week vacation in Iceland, we only stayed in an actual hotel once.   That was on our first night in the country.  While often spartan and always unique, we enjoyed the diversity of our bed and breakfast choices.  We ate delicious food and drink everywhere, even in the most isolated places.  By the end of our time we came to appreciate the ubiquitous cod and potato meal, and to yearn for Skyr, a yogurt like dairy product made from whey.  Our trusty guide book pointed us to places where we could get a reliable meal in the most out of the way hamlets.  Continue reading

. . . and beetles, oh my!

DSCN1293

In my delight at my vegetable garden success I forgot that when you have a garden you also have some uninvited guests.  These are known as pests.  I put up a fence around the garden to keep the four legged ones out, but it’s impossible to keep out the insects.   Recently I noticed that I have Japanese beetles feasting on the green bean foliage.  At first this didn’t bother me, but lately they have been gobbling up a lot of leaves.  So, I went into action. Continue reading

Bees and butterflies

DSCN1260Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I moved to southeastern Pennsylvania from the Washington, D.C. area about a year ago.  I had a much smaller house and a much much smaller yard.  It was pretty typical for the D.C. suburbs, but here in western Montgomery County my yard is a lot larger.  One of the other things I have here is nature, and lots of it.  In addition to the large variety of birds,  we have rabbits, deer, foxes, moles, ground hogs, and, I’m told, an occasional  bear is seen in town.  A recent post was about my vegetable garden.  One of the reasons for its success is the bee and butterfly population.  When they’re not in my garden, I enjoy watching them from my deck.  This post is about my butterfly bush. Continue reading

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

DSCN1275

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?

DSCN1190

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

Energy independence, stage two

DSCN1104

Stacks of solar panels waiting to be installed.

Two weeks ago we had solar panels installed on our south-facing roof.  This is the second stage in our journey towards energy independence.  Last fall we put in a geo-thermal system.  It lowered our electric bills and made our house feel more comfortable with even temperatures throughout.  Next, we replaced all the lightbulbs with energy efficient ones, lowering our utility bill even more.  And now the final chapter:  solar power. Continue reading

A duck, a nest, and a threesome

DSCN0868

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