Cows, Goats, and Udders

(Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

At Young’s Jersey Dairy to get homemade ice cream shakes, we dropped in on the goats and calves, always fun.  They’ve raised all-Jersey dairy cows (and goats) for generations, plus grains and hay to feed them, and produce their own milk, fresh and aged cheeses, ice cream, and dairy products.  They hold seasonal festivals, like the wool-gathering (shearing,spinning, weaving, etc.) event in September, featuring sheep, llamas, alpacas, cashmere goats, angora rabbits, and others.

Then we stopped at Peifer Orchards to stock up on produce.  We bought our first apples of the season!  One of their several dogs said hi.

Yes, we lead a boring, mundane (i.e. affordable) life.  I’m learning to appreciate and savor all the lowly ephemera in life, which are underrated.  Nothing like a comical smartass goat to put you in your place!

Eclipse Day

Thinking I’d mow before the eclipse of the century, I went outside, only to discover the barbarian hordes of wild children had raped and pillaged the garden as usual.  Their “parents” don’t even bother to supervise or train them to respect others’ property.  So discouraging, living here, but it will be over by next year.  Also, it was extremely muggy and buggy, so I rescheduled.

I don’t blame the kids; they don’t have good role models to emulate.  These “grownups” never learned to take responsibility or respect others.  They spit all over the common front steps, toss their trash everywhere, and let their kids run wild.  They model ignorant, phobic behavior, and the kids echo their hate-talk.  Future white supremacists of America.

But not to sound too negative, I did reap some items of interest from the garden.  The milkweed pods have exploded, and I was happy to see a monarch caterpillar on the leaves!  Success!  Oh, and the volunteer Mystery Melon turned out to be some kind of muskmelon or cantaloupe?!  The couple of tomato plants continue to yield bushels.  Flowers, etc. are still going strong.  We must glean some good from wherever “fate” has placed us at the moment.  Moments, like eclipses,  never last.


In tribute to the solar eclipse (and my grandson’s birthday), here is a sunny summer Bohemian pils from Breckenridge Brewery, CO.  Cheers!

Belated Erev Cheers and Other Trivia

Better late than never.  Here’s an Asian stir-fry using lots of fresh local veggies.  Not shown is the Tsingtao I drank for inspiration.  Some sake was involved, as well.

Here are my ginger unfurling pointedly and my white sage keeping an eye on things.

I think I’m losing my mind.  Reality is addling my brain.  I neglected to mention a visit to HQ (the Tavern) the other day.  Two excellent craft beers may have played a part.  Such oversights will not be tolerated!

Last but not least, here are ornamental peppers and a morning glory, just because.


Steamy Jungle Fen Part 1

The outer and inner world can get to be too much sometimes, so we took a break from it at the Fen yesterday.

It was like a sultry tropical jungle, in between rains.  The wetlands and prairie were covered with incredibly colorful drifts of wildflowers of every description, most notably the masses of dusty pink joe-pyeweed, deep purple ironweed, bright yellow coneflowers and the beginning of goldenrod sprays, galaxies of delicate white flower stars of all kinds, and too many others to name.

It was encouraging to see hundreds of honeybees stocking up, and monarchs.  If you look closely, you’ll spy the large praying mantis hanging out on some white flowers.  We were glad to see some turtles in the stream, indicating the improved quality of the water.

I went a little crazy with photography, so I’ll post this in two parts.  The second part includes our always-pleasant visit to Peifer Orchards to buy local produce.



Prairie Wildflowers en Masse at Charleston Falls

There were amazing drifts of colorful wildflowers throughout the prairie meadows, woods, wetlands, and pond at Charleston Falls, including some unusual new to me varieties.  Especially impressive were the masses of purple liatris, ironweed, and many species of yellow flowers.  Monarchs and bees were having a blast, and the fish have multiplied in the stream.  The falls itself was more of a tinkle.  I didn’t include (T)horny Badlands today, but rest assured it’s still there, as is my cave.

Then we came home and had a nice hoppy Golden Road (L.A. CA) Wolf Pup session IPA.



Kroger Mania

Here’s how pathetic my life is: the Kroger Marketplace that replaced our old tiny Kroger finally had its grand opening, and I was there, not once, but twice in one day!  It was so overwhelmingly massive that I had to make several passes around the vast perimeter before I could take it all in.  It’s a cross between Whole Foods and Target, which for po’ folks like us is a major event.

There were armies of suited managers from all over Ohio to inaugurate the store, orient customers, and give out lots of freebies.  I talked with old and new employee friends.

OMG.  It has a craft beer bar open 7 days, with local brews on tap like Yellow Springs, beer flights, growlers and howlers, and wine-tastings.  I visited it twice in the same day!  You can take your glass and go shopping!  The wine and beer aisles alone go on for miles!  They have live musicians at the beer bar during the week and weekends.  I got to know the blues/R&B guitarist, a local who was quite good.

Here are my friendly barista, my blues musician Gil, my beer-and-wine girl from the old store, and just a sampling of the vast beer and wine aisles (you can tell I was impressed):

There’s a huge Whole Foods-style food court, with custom oven-fired pizza (supposed to be better than WFM’s), sushi, pan-Asian, Mexican, etc.  The delis and cheeses are mind-boggling.  You could pretty much find anything to eat and drink, and just camp out.  The seafood dept. has expanded impressively, as has the organic produce and locally-grown section.  There is even a whole wall of bulk bins of legumes, grains, flours, nuts, fruits,  etc.

Here is the friendly cheese guy, dwarfed by the array of cheeses, and the motherlode of olives:

Then there are the miles of culinary appliances and equipment, housewares, clothing, kids’ stuff, and an actual 7-day health clinic for all routine medical needs.  My jaw was permanently dropped.

Eventually I did complete my shopping, and then got E to come back with me and check it out.  I gave her the grand tour, and then we got some Asian food, a beer flight, and a table near the music.  I introduced her to some Kroger folks, and we hung out.  We could have lunched on free samples alone!  She was even more overwhelmed than I was.  This is a new experience for her.

All told, I spent most of the day there!  I know right, pretty pathetic!  Biggest thing to hit our drab locality in a while.  I’m hoping that, along with the City’s latest commercial redevelopment project, hopefully attracting new entrepreneurs and businesses to this blighted area, this new Kroger will help improve the local economy and culture.  I was glad to hear a favorite local craft brewery is planning to bring a new brewpub/tasting room to downtown, in an empty historical firehouse.  Even though we’re leaving, it’s nice to think there’s some hope for these old depressed industrial towns.

Ok, I think I’m done about Kroger for now, and back to reality.  Erev cheers.

Whoopee We’re All Gonna Die!*

[*from “Vietnam Song” by Country Joe and the Fish]

I thought for sure I’d have nuclear holocaust nightmares last night, but I was spared–for now.  You never know what that deranged lunatic in the WH is going to spew.  I just hope there are some sane, rational advisors left to restrain him, before he blows us all to kingdom come.  Maybe we should just exile him to North Korea, where he’d fit right in, or Gitmo, where orange is always in style.  Just a thought.