Wildlife Jackpot at John Bryan

Another perfect day for a hike, this time at John Bryan.  We spotted some ginormous carp, big deer strolling near us in the woods, some gorgeous dragonfly-like insects whose dark wings shine luminescent blue-green in the light (the photo doesn’t even begin to show it), and best of all, some large graceful blue herons fishing in the river (if you squint, you’ll be able to make one out).

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Back at the ‘stead

We’re practicing for our future homestead life.  While E was busily processing a harvest of greens from the garden, and trying her hand at making parathas (Indian flatbreads), I was out mowing the “vast estate” (both yards) and watering both gardens.

Here are some photos of (in no particular order): the wildflower hedge, the heirloom corn row, the huge assorted summer squash and cucumber plants (yellow and green squashes already forming), the perennial herbs and tomato plants (with baby green tomatoes) behind the house, celery and carrot flowers on plants I grew from produce, the white jasmine buds getting ready to bloom on my tree(!!), and a big blue weed thing that appeared on our front lawn, and is actually really pretty, though probably an evil invasive.

This will be our last garden project in Ohio, so making it count.  Next year whatever makes it through the winter will be our garden, as we gear up to find a house in TN.  Then all this practice will serve us (and family) well in our new home.

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YS Pride

We spent the morning wandering around Yellow Springs waiting for a big crowded festive parade, whiling away the time checking out the farmer’s market, getting coffee at the Emporium (with the sofas and books), hanging out at HQ (the Tavern) where I enjoyed a Yellow Springs Captain Stardust (pictured), and still no parade.  Just lots of rainbow flags and the usual tourists.

Finally, we found the Pride event hidden away off in a grassy corner of town, almost as if it was still in the closet!  They were reading off the names of the Orlando victims, and there were some organization booths with helpful people and info, and some vendors.  Not very impressive, but we met some nice folks, a couple of whom were straight parents with young trans kids who themselves were in the process of learning what it’s like to live in an intolerant, uneducated atmosphere with a bully culture.  E got to know some people and exchange info, but all in all it was a little disappointing.  Ohio is still in its infancy as far as social tolerance and awareness, but at least some groups are making an effort to educate and advocate.

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Weathering the Storm

Well I’m here to say the tornadoes passed us by, thank the weather powers-that-be.

It was touch-and-go for a while there last night.  Illinois and Indiana got pounded by tornadoes and hurricane-force winds.  I lay awake much of the night through continual lightning, thunder, and torrential rain and wind, waiting for the end!  I hate the midwest!!

Even E, who is a veteran of one of the worst tornadoes in history, which leveled the city of Xenia, is still a little shell-shocked from that experience, though more philosophical than I.  And now because of climate change, the season is totally random and unpredictable.

But for now, the storm has moved on, unfortunately back toward the MidAtlantic, where my old home turf just experienced unusual tornado damage the other day.  All climate bets seem to be off now.  Who knows what TN will have in store for us by the time we get there.  Volcanoes?

But we’ve come this far, and weathered all kinds of storms, so we carry on.  We’re determined to get out of here and move on with our lives.




Off to Oz [Hypothetical]

We’ve packed our emergency essentials bags (towel, booze, stuffed animals, flashlight, crank radio, underwear, etc; must have priorities right) and we’re  gearing up to hunker down for the (hopefully) false alarm.  We’re under one of those severe wind and tornado watches so popular here in the Midwest.  It makes me crazy nervous.  I’ll never get used to it.  How do people live like this?!   So if you don’t hear from me again, assume I’m in Oz or some such weird place.  It’s been nice knowing y’all!  If we’re lucky, it will blow us all the way to our future home in TN, save us the trouble and expense of moving.  If only tornadoes had GPS.  I’ll keep you posted, hopefully with an anticlimax.  For now, here is the last fading light we may ever see… 😉



Indian Mound and HQ

We took a short hike at Indian Mound, known for its towering cliffs along the river, and what I call “the fortress”.  You walk between huge layered rock walls covered with thick green moss and ferns and open sky, and it’s cool and quiet in the dim green light, like an ancient natural fortress.  It makes one imagine native Americans sheltering there against the elements in both winter and summer.  It’s sort of mystical.

Don’t ask me how the evil garden gnome comes into it.  They’re wily and devious creatures.  Also pictured is the almost completed cabin renovation.

It being hot and muggy, we adjourned to our HQ the Tavern in Yellow Springs, where it was cool and quiet.  I had an excellent Yellow Springs Brewery Belgian ale called “First Lost Episode”, with a lovely peachy color.

I’ve included other shots of the shops in the same courtyard, one of which, the Tibet Bazaar, sucked us in again.  It’s full of Tibetan, Nepalese, and Indian incense, jewelry, clothing, crafts, and spiritual items.  Shiny!  Almost impossible to resist.  E insisted on buying me this beautiful green Indian shirt.  The photo doesn’t do it justice.  I stocked up on Indian incense.

This was like a mental health day; don’t ask.  Suffice it to say, Ohio state government sucks!  [!@#$ stupid morons%^&*]  Hiking and HQ, much cheaper and more effective than therapy.

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