• kids forest
    In the Family

    Don’t Tell Kids This Is The Best Time of Their Lives!

    I’m no psychologist and I am far from a perfect mother. I strongly believe in gray areas so I’m not the biggest rule enforcer. My kids have eaten cereal for dinner. Sometimes when I’m grouchy or busy I send them upstairs or outside, or give them a screen. Only time will tell how many of my kids will end up in counseling. I try to be a good parent though and help them navigate their way in this world. Recently in two separate circumstances I heard about an adult telling a child that the child is now living the best years of his life. The first time the parent was…

  • rose
    In the Garden

    Top 5 Things To Do In Your Garden In February

    It’s February, the heart of the winter. Today is going to be nearly sixty degrees in southern Delaware so I would like to take a nice walk in the state park.But no way! I’ve got roses to prune. Winter is a good time to take care of the roses. Prune off the previous year’s growth. You can go way back to just above the wood of the cane.  I also like to take a close look at our clients’ trees and shrubs for storm damage and disease. It’s a great time to prune, prune, prune. Don’t be afraid to spend a couple of bucks and call in an arborist for…

  • rocky coast maine
    On the Road

    5 BEST REASONS TO VISIT MAINE

    I know it’s February and you may be thinking, “Seriously, Maine?” I realize that as I write this article, temperatures in Maine are in the single digits and the ground is covered in snow. No one is saying you should move there! It can take a while to plan a trip, so I’m suggesting that you should start planning one. There is a reason Maine has been called Vacationland for decades. I recommend going to Maine in the summer or fall, when it is breathtakingly gorgeous there. Tom and I have been to Maine three times, twice together. We each went to Maine with our parents in August 1982, 15…

  • Osmanthus heterophyllus Goshiki
    In the Garden

    Must-Have Plant of the Month: Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’

    I was looking around for a plant that stands out this time of year, and I came “this” close to picking another red shrub! I knew if I did, after last month’s post, everyone would think (know?) I’m obsessed. So I decided to branch out (haha) and choose another colorful evergreen, Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki.’ “Goshiki” actually means “five colors” in Japanese and refers to the many shades of color on the shrub’s variegated leaves. Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’ is also known as False Holly or Holly Olive. It is not a holly nor an olive shrub. The evergreen leaves resemble holly leaves but are opposite on the branch rather than alternating.…

  • Valentine's hearts snowy day
    In the Family

    Top 5 Things To Do With Your Family In February

    Go outside and play Bundle up and go build a snowman! Make snow angels, go sledding, or throw snowballs! If you’re lucky and there’s none of that dreaded white stuff around, go outside and challenge your family shooting some hoops, playing football, or just playing a game of catch (that’s my speed). It’s a great cure for the cabin fever that sets in this time of year! Make Valentines Even if you don’t have crayons, construction paper, and glitter in your house, you can still get creative. Make Valentines out of whatever you’ve got (my father was famous for writing humorous and inspirational words in a spiral on plain old…

  • chicken raising chickens
    On the Farm

    How To Get Started Raising Backyard Chickens

    In my post from November, I discussed why you should have backyard chickens (even if they’re in your front/side yard like ours) and all the benefits of having chickens. If that got you thinking you should raise some chickens, here are the details of how to get started raising backyard chickens! First step: Find out if you are allowed to keep hens in your town or neighborhood. If you are not, work with your town or homeowners’ association to have it changed!  There are many ways to compromise so that neighbors avoid what they don’t want but you get what you want: chickens and eggs! • For example, you can…

  • travel trailer camper camping tent campsite
    On the Road

    What is the best way to camp?

    You know I think camping in a camper is the best way to travel, but camping in general offers most of the same great benefits. We highly recommend traveling and camping to everyone who is able to get away. We are thrilled with our little travel trailer camper, but we can see there are pros and cons to every form of camping. What is the best way to camp? People have different needs, different goals, and different budgets. Which one is right is for you? TENT:  $15 – $2000 Let’s start with basics. For the diehard outdoorsy types, this is the only way to camp and going any further in…

  • yellow petunia
    In the Garden

    Let’s Think Spring!

    Only 9 weeks to go until spring!  Until then let’s think spring with some pictures of flowers! OSTEOSPERMUM ZINNIA ARGYRANTHEMUM HIBISCUS TORENIA HOSTA OSTEOSPERMUM DOUBLE CALIBRACHOA CALIBRACHOA COLEUS BIDENS ROSE HYDRANGEA DAHLIA BACOPA IPOMEA VERBENA PURSLANE PETUNIA SALVIA PETUNIA CELOSIA VINCA MARIGOLD DAHLIA LOBELIA IVY GERANIUM MARIGOLD AGERATUM GERANIUM (Can you tell I love to take pictures of the flowers we grow???) What is your favorite spring flower?  Let us know!

  • woods forest trees deer ticks
    In the Family

    The misunderstood disease that can ruin your life

    Let me begin by saying that I have no medical training whatsoever, and I cannot give you any concrete reason for taking my advice at the end of this post.  That is not going to stop me from offering my strong opinion on this matter though.  I can only tell you the story of our experience with the misunderstood disease that can ruin your life: Lyme disease.  This is our personal story, but sadly we have seen it repeated in friends and with others who have shared their experiences with us.  We put it out there with the hope that soon more medical professionals (and the general public) will recognize…

  • watering can unique flower planter
    In the Garden

    Think Spring With These Unique Planter Ideas

    Who is thinking about their spring garden in the middle of the winter blahs?  We are!  Here is something you can actually DO right now to get ready for spring planting.  Look around your house (in your attic, in your basement, in your cabinet, under your bed), your garage, and your property.   See if there is anything you can repurpose as a planter to place on your porch, to stick in your garden, to hang on a fence, or to put on your patio. Don’t be afraid to get out the spray paint and/or stencils to change the look of something.  Clean out whatever you’re using before filling it, and be…