SOLSTICE: LEGS AND MUSHROOMS

I awoke to the start of the shortest day of the year before daylight, feeling a bit baffled that the end of the darkest days of the year are almost behind me. Where did this month go? While I sipped my coffee, Mr. Big, the hummingbird, appeared for his morning beverage of choice at the…

BEE-GONE

When I came home from the hospital in early November, the first thing I did after put my bags down was to run outside to see my bees. Mazel dashed out ahead of me and barked at the two neighbor cats lurking around my bird feeders. It was a sunny afternoon, and I planned to…

CRAFTING

It is raining out, and has been for several days. In the breaks between showers, I’ve hurried outside to do some end-of-season clean up in the yard, cutting back dead flowers, raking leaves. Tucked between the tall stalks of wilted brown asters, supported by the thick, winding limbs of my favorite clematis, I found this…

CHORING

I am back home on this rainy day in the Northwest. I was discharged from the Cuckoo’s Nest late Monday afternoon.I had not been outdoors in a week, beyond the cement patio outside the ward where we gathered once every few days for a few minutes when the weather wasn’t bad. My, but the foliage…

VERMICULTURE

I keep worms. Three bins of them, actually. They are my trash recyclers, and they live in a variety of containers—some plastic, some wood. I feed them all my veggie kitchen scraps and pillows of shredded paper, and they are supposed to reward me with lovely, fluffy, black compost. One worm brigade lives in the…

FROM THE CUCKOO’S NEST

First, let me say that the term “cuckoo’s nest” is a bit of an odd one, as, to my knowledge, cuckoo’s don’t build nests—they lay their eggs in other nests for other birds to raise (how smart is THAT?). But I am in the cuckoo’s nest, nonetheless. The one Ken Kesey made famous. The proverbial…

NOT ON MY WATCH

My morning started out like anybody’s morning: I took out the trash, cleaned up dog poop, filled the bird feeders, and checked on the two ponds to see if the raccoons had partied in them the night before. Then I hauled out my treasured five-dollar, garage-sale Crockpot and put a chicken up to cook. I…