Category Archives: Living

2015_Day 275: Cool weather and more containers?

I must be feeling better the past few days because I’ve started thinking about a new backyard project for the fall. My seven-week itch (a really lovely, extremely itchy rash/hives) has calmed somewhat and I’m not cringing at the thought of spending more than 10 minutes outside. Continue reading

What if it was all up to you?

2015_Day 256: I read this blog post by former co-worker Warren Bluhm. Warren and I worked together at the Green Bay (Wis.) Press-Gazette for a time, he as the opinion editor, me as the online editor. I was constantly amazed at how forgiving he was of users (misusers, really) of our online forums.

He was always willing to give people a second chance and I admired that in him. 

I liked this post from his blog,, and wanted to share it. I am going to try to take his advice more often.

Thanks Warren.

Warren Bluhm

what if it was all up to youWhat if we woke up and were not afraid, not sad, not meek, ready to do what needs to be done, to pursue happiness with life and liberty and vigor?

What if we woke up and the power to change our lives was in our own two hands?

What if we woke up and found the means to make today better – not just tomorrow, but today – with the past consigned to the past where it belongs?

What if we woke up and there was time for everything?

What if we woke up and fixed what needs fixing, learned what needs learning, and did what needs doing?

What if we woke up and there were no bucks to pass, just a certain knowledge that it’s up to each of us to make our lives better?

What if we woke up and no one was responsible for our lives but…

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2015_Day 250: Reflecting on our first year in Texas

There was a lot of unpacking to do after a cross-country move.

There was a lot of unpacking to do after a cross-country move.

It’s hard to believe we’ve lived in Texas a full year now. So much has changed for all of us. New jobs for me and my husband, and new school for daughter. New friends all around. I had no idea what to expect when we moved here, and some things have been easier than others.
Continue reading

2015_Day 247: Flowers bring peace, calm to end of busy week

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole world would change.” — Buddha

I’m constantly amazed at how productive zinnias are. Just when I thought the zinnias in my pots were on their last legs, I see more buds popping out of the leaves. Continue reading

2015_Day 245: Good neighbors hard to come by

Feeling a bit sad tonight. Neighbors across the street are moving. They are the kind of neighbors everyone hopes for. Friendly, nice, respectful of those who live next to them. The sort of neighbor you want to look out for because they look out for you. I wish them well, but I’m really going to miss them. Continue reading

2015_Day 236: Got the itchy Monday blues

Going on three weeks and still battling this lovely rash that has decided my body is a good place to call home. Although the prednisone the doctor prescribed seemed to work for awhile, that ship has sailed. The big, itchy welts have been replaced by a lot more tiny ones — on a lot more if my body. Continue reading

Dr. Deb Interview – Keyhole Garden

2015_Day 228: This DirtNKids bog post on keyhole gardening has me thinking (again) about starting one of my own. It will probably be a few years before I get one going though. Since I’m leaning toward finding a place with more land (and peace and quiet and fewer neighbors with noisy dogs), I’m not sure I want to create one only to have to leave it behind.

But once daughter is out of school, I hope to find the perfect piece of land that will allow me to do more gardening in a more country-like space. Until then, I’ll just work on plans for a keyhole garden. Or two. Or three.

Hope you enjoy this post and video as much as I did.

DirtNKids Blog

My Keyhole…Revisited

The birth of a Keyhole The birth of a Keyhole

Back in 2012, I got excited about a new gardening concept, one which seemed to prove what I had been learning in my own yard — that building soil is the foundation to healthy plants.

The keyhole garden is a self-watering, self-feeding raised bed that is built entirely with recycled materials (stones, brick, phone books, cardboard, newsprint, leaves, manure, grass clippings, etc.) and maintained through the compost center basket. It is essentially a ‘hot compost’ that is directly planted into, volcano shaped for moisture retention in addition to the shading from densely packed and mulched plants on the surface.

Can you say seventy tomatoes in a 6-ft diameter garden? I never would have believed it if I hadn’t heard it myself.

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2015_Day 227: Contact dermatitis puzzling, frustrating

I can't figure out what's causing this rash on my elbow and arm, which is itchy, to say the least.

I can’t figure out what’s causing this rash on my elbow and arm, which is itchy, to say the least.

I’ve been struggling the last week or so with a rash that I had hoped would clear up on its own. It started small, a couple of patches of red bumps on my hips. The next day it was also behind one of my knees. It wasn’t too itchy or painful, calamine lotion or Benadryl cream seemed to take care of that. Continue reading