On Ice

It’s hailing, snowing, blowing, going down in the teens…just a “normal” spring in Ohio!  In a few days it will probably be back in the 70s again.  Just as well, I’m too under the weather myself to work outside even if I could.  I’m sure nature will get along just fine without me.  I have my porch babies to cheer me on.

Under the Knife and Other Adventures

While I recover from extreme dental surgery, and zombify (not enough) on pain meds, I’m on hiatus from my normal puttering, so instead, here are the first cut flowers of spring, and some more baby seedlings coming up.

Also, here are E’s finished handmade cabinets and countertop, and the new microwave installation.  The latter is a long stupid story featuring Lowes dropping the first microwave from a tall skyscraper or something, misplacing the reordered second microwave (they tried to sell it to someone else), and finally coming up with an undamaged one for us.  No intelligent lifeforms there!  But eventually E got it done.

Springing in the Rain

Yesterday was get stuff done day.  After taking care of business, we “found ourselves” at HQ, imagine that.  Here are some pretty crocuses and squill outside the Tavern.

Then we made our first spring appearance at Siebenthaler’s Nursery and Garden Center, just to scope it out.  They were just beginning to set up their outdoor displays, so we talked some shop (yay!) and bought a token plant or two.  We got a native Euonymous americanus (“strawberry bush”) and some bare-root native yellow trilliam to add to our future “woodland” areas.  Next up will be a coniferous evergreen privacy hedge between us and the too-close neighbor.

Meanwhile, back on the porch, more seedlings are coming up, and today I started two more trays of seeds to replace the ones I transplanted outdoors.  There are more greens, herbs, and annual/perennial/native flowers.  Queen Misu supervised from her tall throne.

Here are some non-native but pretty Pulmonaria, pink hyacinth, and purple primrose happily growing in the rain.

Equinox Part 2

Early spring is my season, and I can’t get enough of springy things!  Today I planted more bulb flowers out front, widened and began to edge a large bed out back, adding in soil amendments, and planted my “salad bar” with misticanza greens, assorted romaines, spinach, and upland cress I grew on the porch.  Next I’ll start some more seeds indoors, and direct-sow and transplant more outside as it warms up.

Vernal Equinox ’22

Happy Spring!  It’s actually been springlike out–raining for days, windy, and not freezing!  The other day, we paid our first visit of the season to Stoney Creek Garden Center outside of Yellow Springs (one of our favorites), and got a few token spring bulb flowers–daffodils and hyacinth.  Here they are enjoying the porch at night, hardening off for planting.  Some of the greens I’m growing will soon go out, as well.

Meanwhile (I like to say “meanwhile”), E has been building kitchen cabinets, over the stove to include a new microwave, and next to the stove to replace the inadequate one that was there, which Misu has been seen enjoying on the porch.  It’s still a work in progress, to be continued…



Reserve of the Mysteries

One of my favorite parks here, Indian Mound Reserve, is full of remnants and echoes of ancient Native American life, primarily the Adena and Hopewell cultures.

There’s a narrow passage winding between cool green mossy rock walls that feels like a natural spiritual temple.  And there is what must be an old Native American “signal tree” used to mark trails or ceremonial gathering places.  Along the beautiful Massies Creek, canyon, and Cedar Cliff Falls, they’ve built or rebuilt bridges and boardwalks to connect all the fascinating habitats represented.  It was not yet technically spring, but felt like it at 72º, and the first new green flush of woodland natives and mosses was starting to explode.

All that green is a segue to St. Patrick’s Day, which was also Purim as it turns out, (what an appropriate juxtaposition, Catholics vs. Jews!), so here is my nod to a Persian style meal, with an herby frittata and a Shirazi salad, yogurt, pita, and apricots, and of course the obligatory Hamantaschen (in a previous post) for dessert.

Some other miscellaneous new and ongoing business:  E’s new car’s first visit to the cemetery, the full moon, more greens coming up, and Misu enjoying her “new” cabinet on the porch, which E is replacing with a bigger, better one in the kitchen.



The “Almanac” is Back!

Two days in a row gardening!  It must be spring.  The “Almanac” is back in business.

Yesterday I planted lilacs out front, dug up and potted up some perennial herbs to bring onto the porch to recover from winter mud, and got a small bed ready to turn into a kitchen salad bar.

Today E put edging around it so I could amend it into a raised bed.  Meanwhile, I planted tulips and a primrose out front, and cleaned up the front and side beds somewhat.  And guess what?  My first seeds have germinated on the porch–pak choi!  It’s not much but it’s exciting.  Beyond the back fence, masses of snowdrops are blooming and migrating over to our side..

Also today I attempted to bake some Hamantaschen for Purim.  They came out “the r-word”–can I say that?–but tasted not bad.  I’m really out of practice.

Suspended Animation

It’s that limbo time of year in Ohio, suspended between winter, spring teasers, and anticipation.  Another arctic blast is about to hit, putting on hold any garden plans.  But you know all the buds and seedlings are just waiting in the wings with bated breath for that magic reanimation prompt.  There will be no stopping them then.

In the meantime, this blooming primrose is cheating out on the porch, which is like a big cold frame for hardening things off.  I have all kinds of flowers, greens, and herbs about to germinate.  Also some lilac saplings, our favorite flowering tree.  Every chance I get, I go outside and work on prepping future garden beds, while watching for each new life sign.  I am plainly a verge-of-spring person.

Today I got in a Persian cuisine mood in anticipation of Purim.  I normally refrain from food selfies these days, but I had to make an exception.  This one came out so colorful, with a Persian-style salad featuring fresh greens and herbs I grew on the porch, aromatic spiced chicken, and basmati rice.  It’s all about the presentation!  Coming soon…Hamantaschen.


This winter lasted a lifetime, but all bleak things must come to an end, just like wars and evil perps.

My first cheery spring sign was tufts of snowdrops blooming where I had cleared away brush and debris along the back fence.  Other flowers can’t be far behind.  Lots of birds are gathering and singing.

The first spring in a new place is always full of lovely garden surprises.  Someone else did all the work and you reap the benefits.  Hopefully the same goes for the young couple who bought our TN house.

The last two days have been in the 70s, so I officially got to work in the garden, turning the compost, raking out some winter debris, sorting garden stuff on the porch, and preparing peat pots to be seeded with spring greens and flowers.

Meanwhile, indoors, E took down the dark, dreary gray drapes from the sliding doors to the porch, and replaced them with these light, airy panels, which she sewed together.  It looks so much brighter, and you can see the trees and bushes swaying in the wind through them.

Putin continues to be a crazy jerk bringing destruction upon Ukraine, but just like winter and trump, I know his days are numbered.



On a springy day in the 60s, with the latest of many doctor visits behind me, it was only logical to adjourn to, you guessed it, HQ.  Even Spooky the Dark Star Cat had spring fever.  I switched to a friendly springlike Tröeg’s at the Tavern.  We dropped in at the little hardware store, and they had seeds!!  I couldn’t say no.  Where there are seeds, spring must be just around the corner.  I even saw crocuses blooming in a yard.  It’s unstoppable, just like Ukraine.