The absolutely most blood-curdling screams I have ever heard in my life occurred when my 8-year-old daughter and the neighbor kids annoyed some mud wasps.  I was outside the house and moving toward the cries before I even knew I was out of my chair. So, though I’ve never been […]


When I open the barn door and step into our little greenhouse, I gaze lovingly at the plants growing there.  Then I get down to watering them with a yogurt container and a 5-gallon bucket. I don’t pay attention to the concrete barn wall  while I’m working.  That’s why I […]

Treasuring Topsoil

I have a clump of dirt on my sideboard but I’m not washing it off.  It’s a handful of the topsoil we just had delivered to our land for the septic system drain field and garden beds, and it’s my prized possession. I feel like I dodged a major guilt […]

The Dirt on Our “New” Topsoil

Before we build a house on our land, we will need a septic system.  The land has already passed its perc test (Doesn’t that sound cheerful?  It’s 6 a.m., and at the moment, I’m not sure I feel perky enough to pass any test.)  Our land is not only perky– […]


Yesterday was Doug’s and my 32nd anniversary.  It is serendipitous that our anniversary is also Earth Day, but it makes a fantastic reminder of the values that drew us together in the first place.  This year we celebrated by planting our raspberry patch. According to Growing Raspberries in Wisconsin,  “with […]