Wednesday, December 21, 2022


I was whipping up some cream cheese frosting and decided to compare my usual recipe with the online favorites. The only difference was I use 1.5 c of powdered sugar compared to 3 or 4 c in all the others. So I tried it with 3 c... yuck! I couldn't taste the cream cheese at all (so what's the point?) I ended up adding another block of cream cheese and that worked fine. Although I now have a LOT of frosting. Ha.

One of my front doorstep plants shows appreciation for moving inside for the winter.

The first geranium from seed is flaunting pretty colors.

Needlepoint framed and ready to hang.

Sunday, November 20, 2022


Because everyone needs a little chaos in their lives, I adopted these two farm kittens, Solo on the left and Fury. You know that thing about cats being independent? These two always want to be in the same room as me. 2:00 a.m. play session has to be on my bed.

Fury has issues with being picked up. He goes full tornado mode, claws and teeth. No, the nape of the neck doesn't work on him. So, I don't pick him up, but I am slowly subverting him and he climbed into my lap for the first time yesterday!

These are my outside plants, brightening up the basement for the winter.

I read an interesting BBC article on the effects of cooler houses on people. Basically, anything below 64F and the body starts to work to protect the internal organs. They took it down to 50F since that's what UK houses would settle at without heating on average.

At that point blood flow to the brain is down 20%, blood pressure, breathing rate and heart rate go up. It's why there are more strokes and heart attacks in winter. 

Of course, living here not having heating would be a lot worse than 50F. Normally, I aim for high 50s, but this winter I'm going to up that to a 64F minimum.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

New to me

I had a visitor on my garage a couple days ago. I've never seen one here before so pretty exciting. 

Today I see she left behind another generation. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Paying Attention

I was just comparing syrup brands and wondering why one was so much more expensive. Looked at the ingredients and there the answer is: only ingredient was maple syrup. The cheaper brands were all based on corn syrup, if not high fructose corn syrup. 

Lesson learned: all syrups are not created equal. Ha! I tend to eat a lot of scrambled eggs breakfasts because it's easy, cheap and diabetic friendly, but it can get boring. I've begun eating them with syrup instead of ketchup and just that little change was enough to make them palatable again.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Garden Update

 So, I have an ongoing issue with the black walnut trees using chemical warfare against my garden beds; getting worse in hot, dry weather. Last year 2/3rds of the length of these beds were stunted down to unproductive because of that. This year I was determined to find a solution...on a budget.

It may look a little crazy, but check out the peas! Also, how cool is it that all the marigolds are volunteer seeds? They are being added to my list of plants to let go to seed, along with lettuce and dill.

I am so happy I finally got the south bed filled. It's going to be a powerhouse. I've gone heavy on mulching and use soaker hoses to alleviate what is looking like a bad drought year. 

Amusing anecdote: Opened the back door and a baby garden snake made a dash inside for the basement stairs. Cats were instantly interested. I grabbed it and put it back outside. Later, I saw it hanging out nearby still so I brought a saucer of water. Protect and cherish snakes!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The big blow

Pictures from my parents' farm after the big storm that went through in May. It still looks naked without the two old trees in front of the house and it always hurts when an apple tree is damaged.

 It was a strange storm that blew up very fast and seemed hardest on evergreen trees. All the cemeteries lost mature trees. I'm still doing double-takes when I pass a park and see how many are gone now. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Oh, my...rain!

Wow, my rain barrel is full! In fact, there is only one partial sunny day in the 10-day forecast. We might even have real spring weather.

I put up a new bird feeder pole with multiple hooks and different feeders; one of which is a wire tube for peanuts. Annoyingly the wide space to allow the birds to remove the peanuts also made it difficult to fill without spilling everything out. My work-around was to put the peanuts into a mesh saucer instead and repurpose the feeder. I slathered a corncob with peanut butter (which I can't eat anyway, thanks, intolerance) and rolled it in the birdseed. I just now filled it again and looked out the window, there's already a woodpecker on it. Yay!

Onto a cautionary tale: very nice youtube couple recently went to the city for a weekend getaway. He became quite ill afterwards. The following week he is recovering but she is now sick. It's obvious from the video that she is quite sick, but they go to a crowded outdoor market and out to eat. I wanted to thump my head on the desk. Have we learned nothing in the last two years? If you have any contagious illness, stay home!

Closing my eyes, breath deeply, listen to birds singing, bring blood pressure down.