Back in the Saddle Again…

…of the lawn mower. Gardening high season is here and we’ve been caught up with the spring chores. The corgis had their first outdoor baths last week and supplied the momma birds with fur for their nests. The herbs and vegetables are partially planted in the 2 tables.

Another table! This one for small, kitchen herbs.

Another table! This one for small, kitchen herbs.

We got a second table for kitchen herbs and they are quite handy. Especially with the corgis who pilfer the veggie if we don’t protect them. Some pruning and tidying up done already. Since I designed the gardens to be informal, we do some and leave some. Nothing really HAS to be done right now. We don’t even prune the shrubs every year except for the euonymus hedge, which is once a year.

Tulips from our center island.

Tulips from our center island.

Every 3-5 years we do shrubs in an area to improve the growth, etc. Emily’s Arch is in and Mom’s climbing rose is planted on it. A nice rosemary, which gets 4-feet high was planted, too. In between we weed some, spray some weeds, and do odds and ends. Then we took a break on Sat. and went to the Creek for our first canoe trip of the year. Velvet thoroughly enjoys it, sniffs all the air, and listens for the animals in the woods on the banks.

Canoe break in gardening... we had fun, relaxed, and had nice weather.

Canoe break in gardening… we had fun, relaxed, and had nice weather.


She has her own little life jacket and sits very still in the canoe. Glenn does most of the paddling and I chip in occasionally. Saw native plants in bloom- especially a local, deciduous azalea. It has small, white-pink flowers. A few dogwoods and viburnums we interspersed throughout. Nice day. Never thought that it would actually get to 80+ degrees as the winter extremely cold and spring, too.

Native azaleas in bloom.

Native azaleas in bloom.

Of course, there’s the usually goings on with plumbing and car repairs and big expenses. That all seems to melt away with a nice, slow canoe trip on the Rancocas Creek in Smithville nearby. It’s 10 minutes away so we can go whenever we like. Velvet sure appreciates it as does Glenn.

Can’t work all the time, right? And, now we prepare to go to the Cabin in Camp-Rest-A-While by the Lost Lake…all in the far back corner of our property. Planning to clean the fire pit for picnics there. It really feels like we left home when we go back there. That’s the reason we have it and love it.

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A Gift of Love

You can read about Emily’s new garden arch here:

Emily's new garden arch was installed today. Thank you, Glenn!

Emily’s new garden arch was installed today. Thank you, Glenn!

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SPRING! Finally…On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!

It was a tough winter for most everyone-especially those north of here. We finally feel that we are “out of the woods” as far as more snow and cold comes. Some people never stop fixing things and working, though. Take for example, Glenn, my husband. He’s been at it since Jan.

We both did much inside this year but Glenn gets the prize for tough jobs! In Jan., we had very, very cold weather resulting in low temps in our garden room. I don’t think it’s ever been that cold in there. We got a newer heater but the real problem was above.

We use that all year and can look outside from this room. It’s a very pleasant area and we spend much time in there. I mentioned to Glenn that I didn’t think that we had insulation in the attic it as we only added to the house attic after we moved here 19 years ago.

When he checked, he said that there was only 3” insulation instead of the 6” that is needed for this area. In this deep freeze, Glenn got and did the additional insulation up there a little at a time over a couple of weeks. I don’t know how he was able to stand the 30+/- degrees. It got done and the temps improved greatly! AMAZING!

We keep that room at 65 degrees but it had been getting to 55-60 degrees. That is just too cold for me and the dogs, as well as, the few houseplants in there. Voila! 65 degrees was easily maintained at less electric cost. That cost us less than $100. for greater comfort.

I’m giving Glenn a “5-star” award for that!!!! Next Glenn began measuring, acquiring wood, priming and painting for Cabin parts. He removed and replaced wood on the shady side and back, etc. near the bottom. On the warmer days, he replaced the wood and sprayed for dormant carpenter ants there. Amazing again! It’s almost completed and it’s only April 2nd.

Before Glenn retired he wondered what he was going to do with his time. I told him then that there will be much to do here. I was right. There’s always something to do inside or outside in repairs, replacements, fixing up, etc. He also keeps busy helping me. At times we are both very busy.

Now that Spring has finally arrived, we’ll begin the outside work slowly to recharge our muscles. I’ve already ordered another veggie table for herbs. Too windy today to do what we planned but we’ll do some trimming before the birds make more nests.

I’ve ordered a new tool for the vine removal-fire rake. I saw this before but decided that this was better when I stand or sit in the walker than sit lower with pruners. Easier on the back. The teeth can be sharpened individually or replaced. There are still some spots around the plants in back that I didn’t get all of the ivy and the myrtle that expanded on the road-side of the house. We cut it back and spray Roundup on the stubs. That’s the best way to remove it.

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Who Can Resist This?

Velvet, I love you!

Velvet, I love you!

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We’re Freezing…Spring Forward?

Believe it or not, this weekend we “Spring Forward” to Daylight’s Saving Time. How is this possible? It’s NOT Spring yet. Think about this, in Fall we had “Fall Back” in Nov. but Spring doesn’t come until the end of March. Did the Spring date change??

I writing this to snow showers out my window. It’s not warm at all. Everything was covered with ¼” in. of snow on Monday morning. Even looking at garden catalogs gives me no hope at all that we’ll soon Unfreeze.

I think this is just a publicity stunt by some to get us unstuck and thinking about Spring. I’m not ready. Although we’d like the warmer weather, we just haven’t got the “Spring in our steps” with all this ice on our steps here.

Oh! To be sure, the dogs are ready to go out and run and play. They’ve been inside a lot and playing in the garden room. Since it take a couple of weeks to get used to the time change, we should be “awake” with the bulbs by Easter, April 5th. I’ll let you know if we’ve survived the frozen weather.

I’m cold and have been all winter. The fireplace gives nice warmth but we don’t use it every day. Glenn is in and out all day but even he says that he is cold and tired of it. The corgis don’t complain; however, sometimes they want to come back in right away as their feet are cold. Corky and Ginny are getting older now and much rather be inside.

Velvet and I take a nice, warm, cozy nap under the comforter and quilt where it’s toasty. We finally got a new hot water heater but the water is so cold coming into the tank that we have to draw is out slowly so as not to use all the hot water up at once. It is coming into the tank at 39 degrees…I want a hot bath so I guess I’ll have to draw it out slower. In the summer the water comes into the tank at 55 degrees from the water line underground.

Interesting information but I’m still frozen here. Not that the “Spring Forward” will make me warmer, but I guess just to give me hope that it won’t be long before REAL warmth is outside. Try the end of April and I’ll hibernate until then.

Still frozen...

Still frozen…


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Due Diligence-Snow Removal?

(Of course, this is NOT a legal blog post but a fun post 😉)


The Merriam-Webster definition is:

Definition of DUE DILIGENCE

1: the care that a reasonable person exercises to avoid harm to other persons (dogs?) or their property

2: research and analysis of a company or organization done in preparation for a business transaction (as a corporate merger or purchase of securities

Here, I am applying definition # 1 to Glenn and the dog-walks…

After each storm, Glenn shovels pathways all around the acre here. Some are on the brick, pea gravel, or grass. The corgis are dwarves and “low riders”. Last year, we still had Emily and she was walking in a cart so it was even more important to have cleared pathways on the brick walks.

He even shoveled all around the 8-square garden because he knew that Emily liked to walk there. I like to say that Glenn exercises “due diligence” to ensure the safety and well-being of our corgis. The deeper the snowfall, the more important shoveling the pathways become.

With Velvet here now, she’s a tiny corgi, a 5”- 6”-snowfall is deep. We are not the only corgi parents that have these pathways either. I’ve seen many videos where others do this, too. It’s fun to watch the corgis run and chase each other inside these “troughs”. They like to play “hide and seek”.

When we close off the driveway, we have a fenced-in yard for them to play. We’ll do that when out bitter temperatures rise to at least 30 degrees. Right now there’s too much danger of frostbite feet but I’m looking forward to watching them from inside my nice, warm, cozy rooms.

BOXWOODVELVET - WIN_20150217_112134 BOXWOODVELVET - WIN_20150217_112137




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Not and Appropriate TV show for…

As life would have it, I was in the hospital for a few hours for a medical procedure. Suffice it to say that I had not eaten in 36 hours. I’m in the room awaiting my turn and there’s a TV on the wall. What show was on for 1 hour but Rachael Ray. You ALL know who she is!

The theme of the program was FOODBALLS, on the pending Super Bowl game, and food to make and eat. The main food that she was cooking a Beef Brutus Sandwich (Sliced steak and Caesar Dressing subs). You can watch the Video here and see her recipe (copy and paste into your browser) :

The nurses and staff were busy so I guess that they didn’t pay attention to this…

As it turned out I had to be there and extra hour due to the patient ahead of me having problems. My stomach growled and I had to look at a close up of this juicy beef sub, spread with Caesar dressing, topped with Romaine lettuce, with Parmigiano-Reggiano shaved cheese curls….

Yes, and that was 36 hours without food and longer by the time I was out and to home and to EAT MY VERY OWN FOOD. I am reminded about the place where we all go for blood work and we have to fast from the night before. At one time, people were bringing fast-food, drinks, etc. and finally a sign went up. The smell of the food must have generated a lot of complaints.

So now I have a good recipe and just need the flank steaks, long rolls, and away we go.

Notice that I didn’t put the picture on this page in case you are reading it at an inappropriate time.


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