Friday, July 16, 2010


Was out in the gardens all day yesterday...weeding.  Gardening is my yoga.  (Of course, we don't have an acre and a half.)  I have been "studying" shade gardening for 6 years now coveting my ferns and moss.  (The Waynesville property is ALL sun.)  It's also been 6 years of fighting with the "critters" (deer, bunnies, moles, chipmunks, ground hogs...and whatever else invades my gardens in the night).  The deer must be hungry...they are eating some of the things they don't usually barberry bushes.  They've nibbled the black eyed susans and the monk weed.  Time to spray the deer fence!  Shredding Irish Spring soap around your plants helps as well. (my father made the cute sign )

My hydrangea has bloomed after two years of nothing!!!!  Isn't it cute!!!!  It is my fault for the two years of nothing...I pruned...actually, cut it back thinking the bare woody stems were dead.  It's important to know that mophead hydrangeas do not have to be pruned back - EVER - unless they are very old. Removing dead stems is the only pruning that must be done for the health of the plant, and these can be removed at any time. Dead blooms can also be removed at any time. Guess I didn't "study" this info.

Did you know that gardening and home canning can lower your grocery bill? Burpee Seed Company ( estimates that for every $50 spent on seeds and fertilizer, a gardener can yield $1250 worth of produce. As it’s not feasible for a family to enjoy all of that fresh produce all at one time, home canning allows you to preserve that fresh, home grown flavor from your garden for use all year long, and saving on your grocery bill.  Will be "studying" canning (I did can some homemade soup once for my daughter to take back to college with her)!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Our New Adventure

I've decided to blog about our new adventure...moving to the mountains. Well, at this point, it is hoping to move to the mountains! I enjoyed "blogging", via email, about our 3 years in Europe (2 in Slovakia and 1 in Serbia - 2001-2004) and my journey through breast cancer (2006). Friends have encouraged me to write here's the latest in my life:

Since my husband has been out of work for a year (and not finding anything worthwhile in his field), we are moving on to "Plan B". Our intent is to create our own "job" a Hobby Shop in Waynesville, NC. The "hobbies" at this point are mainly model trains. This may become a his/her hobby shop and include needlework (cross-stitch, etc...dabbling in cross-stitch design as well)...we'll see if we've bitten off more than we can chew! We'd also like to "drop off the grid"...become as self-sufficent as we power, rain barrels, composting, plant our "food", can that food...ala "Animal, Mineral, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. Mail-order chickens are not out of the realm of this pursuit! See what I mean...a lot of chewing going on here!

Waynesville, NC is a small town about a half hour west of Asheville nestled in a valley between the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains. Very appealing! Cute shops, great restaurants...haven't seen too many signs of economic downturn since our first visit over a year ago. We put our current house (near Pittsburgh) on the maket about two weeks ago. We have found a house we like in Waynesville with 1 1/2 acres and an awesome view of Cold Mountain. They rejected our offer, contingent on the sale of our house, but we're hoping it will still be on the market when our's does sell (their's has been on the market just over a year now).

This is the view of Cold Mountain from the front porch of the house we want! A nice place to sit and sip a glass of wine after a long day of gardening, canning, designing, running a shop, shipping trains for internet sales...feeding the chickens (?)...cutting the acre and a half of rolling hills of grass! We must be OUT OF OUR MINDS!!!!!