Gardening in the woods can be a challenge, especially when you love plants and flowers. But the forest is where I choose to live; it provides great shelter for many birds and critters that we love to watch, so I don't intend to clear the property of a lot of trees just to have a huge garden.read more
March 2, 2010
I have made a decision this year to have a small, thriving vegetable garden but to try to save money gardening where I can.
I have already bought my seeds at an outlet store at a 40 percent discount. These are good, name brand seeds packaged for this year. I’m splitting the cost with a neighbor, as one package contains enough seeds for both of us.
I’m also starting everything from seed this year: tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and broccoli, to name a few.read more
February 18, 2010
January 22, 2010
December 22, 2009
December 12, 2008
This morning, we woke up to huge crashing sounds. (My husband later compared the sounds to road-side bombs.)
We rushed over to the window. An enormous tree was falling right before our eyes. Our stunned eyes took in an otherworldly view. There were fallen trees in every direction. The branches were covered in an inch and a half of ice. The entire world was frozen.
Suddenly, the wind whipped through the forest and we heard more exploding sounds. A tree cracked in half. A giant branch fell from the sky.read more
December 20, 2009
Every December, we cook up a storm for the annual Almanac Christmas party.
Last year, a huge ice storm forced us to cancel our festivities—so we were looking forward to this year's celebration.
Below are photos of the holiday table. Can you tell that we love to bake and cook?!
This year, we hosted a holiday afternoon tea; the table was loaded with sweets, breads, and decorative tea cups. Here are a few of the holiday recipes:read more
December 1, 2009
Recently, I was introduced to the world of gingerbread house-making when I took a 6-hour-long workshop on how to construct one. Although that sounds like a long time, the class was so much fun that the time just whizzed by! My creation is shown here.
December 1, 2009
There's a large maple tree that lives next to my house. It's been a trouper, in spite of old age, ice and wind storms, woodpecker holes, squirrel nibblings, a canker wound, and a barbecue grill rack nailed to one of its limbs (for some unknown reason). I often look out to see how my old friend is doing, and this time I noticed that it is graced with a single vertical stripe of moss growing on—you guessed it—the north side.read more
October 14, 2009
This past Halloween, I got into the spirit and made a fun-filled dinner for my family and friends. I thought I'd share my Halloween dinner recipes—including an appetizer, drink, main dish, and dessert.read more
October 13, 2009
This autumn, I drove past an unusual site: a giant contraption towering above crowds of cheering people. Suddenly, I saw the machine's "arm" swing forward to hurl something through the air—why, was that a flying pumpkin?
Indeed, I had discovered "pumpkin chunkin," an unusual competition that involves catapulting pumpkins over great distances—in this case, over 2000 feet! Part Americana, part medieval, this unusual activity uses a 60-foot steel throwing machine called a "trebuchet."read more
October 8, 2009
My friends received an apple cider press for a wedding present long ago. Last week, they threw an Apple Cider Press Party, and what a treat!
Have you ever tasted apple cider fresh from the press (your own or a local cider mill)? WOW! The cider has a pure, refreshing flavor that's hard to beat.read more
September 24, 2009
June 11, 2009
It's time again to shine the spotlight on a certain caterpillar. The larva of the Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella), this fuzzy fellow is called the banded woolly bear, or woolly worm.read more
June 11, 2009
June 11, 2009
A few weeks ago, I had a surprise one morning when I opened my mailbox to put in a letter. Inside were dozens of medium-sized black ants busily tending a nursery of a hundred or so cream-colored eggs.
Well, thank goodness for the Internet! I quickly scanned the Web to see if anyone else had this trouble, and sure enough, quite a few people did. They had recommended some courses of action and I tried several, just in case. Whether it was one method in particular or the combination of all that did the trick, the ants have not returned.read more