Wednesday, May 14, 2008


One of these went over the house today. Really, really low. REALLY low. This is the plane that you can fit 5 tanks in, plus 32 humvees, 600 troops and three llamas. Really big. REALLY low.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rain Rain Go AWAY, dammit!

We had ANOTHER 4 inches of rain last night. This is a total of around 12 inches in the past month. The potatoes we have in the lower part of the field aren’t coming up, and at this point I really don’t expect them to, I’m sure they’ve rotted. So. Well. At least the rest seem to be ok, but we still have 200lb to plant. Please check out other gardening-related news in my new gardening blog.

I also will be talking about this in my garden blog, but I went to an event this weekend and Hundredfold Farm in Cashtown, PA. It was really nice, I met Angie at my parent’s house in Gettysburg, then we drove over together. The event was fairly well attended, had house tours, a greenhouse/wastewater plant tour, and many vendors and speakers.

Hundredfold Farm refers to itself as an ‘Intentional Community.’ There was a Christmas tree farm for sale and a group of people bought it out from under a housing developer. They are keeping the Christmas tree farm going, while building sustainable housing (limit of 14 houses) on part of the property. The houses are modular (NOT mobile; one of the young men on my tour was really snotty and referred to it as a ‘glorified mobile home’ and the homeowner icily set him straight), they have solar arrays on the south-facing part of the roof, and all the wastewater from the houses goes to a greenhouse system where it gets broken down by an artificial marsh into usable water, which they then reuse to flush their toilets and they hope in the future to use it for irrigation as well.

I went to three speakers:

The first one was a Penn State professor who talked about the need for solar power, the state of the energy crisis we’re in the beginning of, and was very interesting. He made a good point: as much as we’re complaining about gas prices, we’ve been spoiled by cheap energy for way WAY too long, and he said that the majority of the country would find 30 miles of driving to be worth $6 (as opposed to the alternative, which is not going wherever it is you want/need to go). I also had a great time watching a 4-year-old playing in a mud bog.

The second speaker I went to was Thom Marti from Broad Valley Orchard, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm north of Gettysburg. He talked on Food Security, which working where I do I immediately thought he was going to talk about the security of our massive food supply. But no, he talked about the security of our micro food supply, as in do you know where your lettuce comes from and how it’s grown? I will talk more about this in my garden blog; he was veeeery interesting.

The third speaker was my coworker’s husband Jim talking about electricity conservation. This was basic stuff I’ve heard before: turn off lights, buy EnergyStar appliances, etc.

My coworker also went to the Sustainable Eating workshop, which I wanted to go to but went to the last house/greenhouse tour of the day instead. I’ll probably get the Sustainable Eating scoop and write about it in the garden blog later. Stay tuned.

Angie and I went to dinner at the Appalachian Brewing Company in Gettysburg. We each had a nice beer (her: Stout, me: Maibock), and some good food. We gabbed a lot, tried to solve the world’s problems, talked about parents, and had a nice time.

I went home and tried to crash but wound up only getting 4 hours sleep.

And on to the Busiest Day of My Life So Far…ok, not really but it was the busiest day I’ve had recently...Mother’s Day.

I got up early (thanks a lot, Max) and drove over to New Oxford to visit Matt’s grandma Mary V. She’d ordered some tomato plants through me and I needed to drop them off. We visited, she’d made coffee cake (of course) and I had that with her wonderful coffee. She makes the best coffee on earth. Matt’s uncle Bobby came by with his two golden retrievers. Bobby is in the middle of a quiet divorce, so he was very scattered.

After a couple hours there, I drove back to Gettysburg to pick up my mom for our annual trip to Isabella’s in Frederick. We just barely made our reservations and had a nice lunch. They’ve taken a few things off the menu and added some new dishes (ATTENTION TIM!!!). The old standby’s we had were marinated eggplant salad, sautéed spinach with pine nuts and golden raisins, melon with prosciutto, French fried asparagus, (I’m starting to drool just writing this), meatballs in tomato sauce. New dishes included a really spicy shrimp with garlic and onions, and my personal new favorite stuffed dates wrapped in bacon then breaded with Panko bread crumbs and fried served with a goat cheese cream sauce. OMFG, they were really good. I think we had a couple others, but I can’t remember right now.

We drove back to my house so I could show mom the veggie garden and pick up Max, then headed back to Gettysburg. Mom did her online registration for our August cruise, Max and I went grocery shopping, then….finally….home. Matt called, I watched TV and had a baked potato for dinner, followed by some vanilla ice cream and a homemade strawberry-rhubarb sauce and a Tylenol PM. I had a good nights sleep last night, much needed.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Morels R Us

One other interesting bit of information. This is Morel mushroom season, for those of you who don't know that. Matt's buddy, Duane, introduced us to morel hunting a few years ago, but to be honest we've never really done very well and I just decided this year not to go.

So, Matt went out with Duane to one of the usual stomping...uh, treading lightly....grounds on public land in Maryland.....and they came back with 4lbs of morels. Each. Whoa.

So, Matt and I went back out a few days later, and came back with another 2lbs.

Keep in mind that when we were at Wegman's a couple days earlier, morels were going for $59/lb.

And Matt and Duane went back out and got another couple lbs each. So, this has been a really REALLY good year for morels.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Anniversary and such.

So, Thursday the 24th was our 7-year anniversary. My god, has it been that long. Anyway, I had suggested to Matt that we go take in an IMAX movie in Harrisburg, then go to Passage to India for dinner.

Well, we didn't do the IMAX movie, which bummed me out, but we can do that some other time. Matt's never been to an IMAX movie before, and I think he'd really like it. I also suggested we hit Ashcombe's on the way and pick up our yearly supply of herb plants, but we were running a bit short on time and decided to bypass it.

We did get to Passage to India, though, and had a wonderful meal. I wound up getting the same thing I got the last time, which was Papri Chaat and Chicken Hylashi (?). If I had only 5 things that I could eat for the rest of my life, Papri Chaat would be one of them. I could happily devour it. I also had the whole-wheat Roti. Matt ordered the Mulagatawny soup (very good), Shrimp Biryani, which I tried and was also to die for (they had golden raisins in it), and he had the Kulfi for dessert, which I tried and liked, too. He ordered the passage naan which is stuffed with ginger, cottage cheese, almonds, raisins and herbs. OMG this was wonderful. All in all a memorable meal.

We then drove over to Wegman's on a whim. I had mentioned that I hated to make the drive and only do one thing (gas mileage rationale), and he suggested Wegman's, so off we went. Got the usual stuff: Israeli feta cheese, some bulk tea, some Russian Banana fingerling potatoes, apples, etc etc.

In other news, we still haven't planted the remaining 300lb of potatoes due to swampy conditions. Hopefully this week. I'm considering starting a garden blog, with pictures. It seems that I have a lot of garden related stuff in here, and this would give me the opportunity to start a 'diary' of dates and such that I can refer back to in the future when I'm planning out my future gardens. Hmmm.

JoAnne and I went to a composting workshop yesterday morning. I think I and two other guys (who appeared in their 30s) were the youngest there of the 25 or so in the class. The class leader was not a very good speaker, she kept using the wrong words and mixing up words, adding extra sylables. It was very painful at first, then got to be entertaining when she accidentally switched the word 'organism' for 'orgasm.' Seriously. Then she was talking about animal feces and accidentally sayed fetus instead. But we got a free composter out of the deal, so it was worth it. Now JoAnne is in competitive totally balls-to-the-walls my-composter-is-more-full-than-your-composter mode. It is very annoying, but that's the way she is, everything is a competition.

Max is well, he's been a dear when it comes to working outside. He'll sit and just listen, smell and watch the world go by while I dig and plant, and he's happy as a clam. I don't have to keep an eye on him as much. He's getting older, he'll be 9 this year.

Matthew left this morning for 2-weeks of training in Syracuse. I have the house to myself for a while. It feels weird. I have two lists of things I need to do inside as well as outside (in addition to the potatoes, and mowing the lawn) and I'll just work at it a bit at a time.