Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Sculpture


Emily, Matt, Sarah and I found a trove of animals hidden away in the stacks of wood left by the tree service that came through in November clearing the easement that runs along the northern edge of our land.


Can you see the animal faces we found?






Carefully balanced I hope the sculpture will last.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Dinner First

The tradition here at our house is to have seafood for Christmas Eve dinner.  It's also typical to try new recipes so 2013 was no exception.  Sarah read and watched a video on NYTimes about baking a whole fish.  Emily had Meyer lemons ripe from her little tree so the stage was set to bake a fish and use the lemons for an accompanying side dish of lemon risotto.  

Christmas Eve morning the three of us ventured out to the Lotte Plaza, an Asian grocery store because we knew that it would have a large assortment of whole fish and we weren't disappointed.  A fellow shopper was there buying a whole fish that he planned to stuff with crabmeat.  His advice was to look at the fish eyes.  Clear=fresh.  Cloudy=not fresh.  The choice for us was between a sea trout and a striped bass/rockfish. The former had cloudy eyes so it was rejected in favor of a 4 lb. rockfish.  The fish was cleaned and gutted for us there at the store.

Sarah and Emily took charge of the preparation.  I was the photographer.

Herbs: rosemary & sage from the garden; Emily's Meyer lemons in background and sliced lemons foreground for fish; broccoli and cauliflower florets ready to be roasted.

Rinsing the fish.




Just fits on the pan.



Salt & pepper first.



Stuff with lemon slices and herbs.


Drizzle on olive oil.


In the oven roasting for 35 minutes.


It's ready.






And we are ready to eat it.  Fish servings plated and we'll pass the lemon risotto, mushrooms and roasted vegetables.




It was delicious.  A new first in this household for these cooks.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Seasons Greetings

Come walk through the snow, pass the glen on your left, and


cross over the small creek to watch it flow into the wetlands on your right.

Startle a deer or two out of their brush shelters.


Take one more look back at the wetlands.


Climb our steep driveway with the woods to your left filling with snow.


Walk up to our door


 and come in out of the snow.


The Santas welcome you in the front hall.


As do the angels.


The tree awaits you in the great room.



May your holiday be filled with love, laughter, and fun!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our Second Snow Day!

The bird feeders were filled again this morning, but it's not just birds eating the sunflower seeds.  Here's one of two does that visited at lunch time no less to eat the spilled seed.



I didn't realize that when I sprinkled the seed on the snow for ground feeding birds that I'd also be feeding the deer.









Here she is outside Dan's study window oblivious to him sitting there.


Somehow she sees me taking her picture from the great room.


She's had enough so she heads off.


I remember a time when it was unusual to see deer.  Even when we'd vacation in West Virginia when the daughters were young it was a special event to happen upon the deer feeding in the fields at dusk.  Now they're out and about at all times and are everywhere.

Post script: 12-21-13 Linking to Saturday's Critters.
Snow in these photos is disappearing fast as our temps are at 50ยบ and climbing.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

First Snow of December 2013


Views top and bottom from my study window.
It's a fine snow and quickly covering everything.


Looking out the kitchen window.  The top of the swing will be our gauge of the number inches we get.


Birds are happy I filled the feeders yesterday.


We stayed home from church expecting the snow to hit while we were out if we had gone.  If that happened we would have had difficulty getting back up our driveway.  We made the right decision.  So did our church: they encouraged folks to stay home.

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