The Holidays

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post! November was very busy and just slipped away from meLake house with snow. We spent the first part up in Michigan, staying with my brother in Saginaw for his birthday (always a great time!) then travelling farther north to Grayling and the Lake House with Dan, Mike and Auki. We had a nice dusting of snow (about four inches) that made for the most wonderful walk in the woods. There is something about snow and woods. The silence is so peaceful, and where their house is, there is no traffic sounds, so I could actually hear the snow falling. Amazing!

Then, of course, it was Thanksgiving. My mom came down for a few days, and it was so nice to have her visit. We mostly just spent time eating (and talking in between mouthfuls), although we did venture out on Black Friday for the first time in about 30 years! We went later in the afternoon and had no trouble finding a parking place or having to wait in line; in fact, the most annoying part was the clerk who said I had to take a plastic bag for my purchase. I don’t usually do so, but he said he’d get in trouble for letting me out the door without a bag, so I let it slide. But other than that, it was a nice few hours shopping. To be honest, I most likely won’t do it again for another 30 years!

Next up on Thursday is getting our tree from the Ohio State Forestry student organization. They do have nice trees from Ohio and freshly cut. I managed to find a few more WWII ornaments at Scott’s Antique Market, but Pete and I are beginning to think that I’ve bought most of them in Ohio! I got some in Findlay that are my favorite: red, white, and blue, and the accordion hanger. As I place them on the tree, I always wonder about the person who originally bought them.

WWII ornatments and greeting cardsSpeaking of history and Ohio State, there are so many trees on campus of significance. For example, there is a massive sycamore in front of Hopkins Hall that is estimated to have been there since before the U.S. Constitution was signed. Another tree near Thompson Library was given to Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and two sycamores, near the football stadium, marked the Underground Railroad trail. Another one of my favorites is a beautiful oak planted in honor of a WWII soldier who died in Normandy. Trees have such history and bring so much to future generations. And I’m thankful to have been a part of that with our arboretum. We’ve left a lasting legacy for future residents of Clintonville for generations to come.

Until next time!

Buzzards Abound

buzzards-migrating-ohioDid anyone else see all the migrating buzzards this afternoon over Clintonville? I was outside, putting up the Halloween lights, when I looked up and saw a group of large birds flying overhead. It was really beautiful to watch: a real buzzard ballet! The buzzards were circling and spiraling up and down. Then they went off to the south. I wasn’t sure what the birds were at first because I didn’t see the “fingers” on the wingtips, but Pete said they were buzzards without the wings fully extended.

About 15 minutes later, another group came through. Right now, there are a few that are on their own, just floating around. Wonder if they will fly on All Hallow’s Eve…

Hinckley, Ohio has nothing on Clintonville!

Until next time!

Fall is in the Air

As I sit writing this, the weather is what I like to call a perfect October night. The breeze is brisk, the leaves are dropping from the trees, whose colors are truly spectacular. The clouds clipping through the air are grey and heavy. Eventually, I know the temperatures will fall even more, as will the snow. That’s just fine with me – I love fall and winter!

drafty-windowBut as I contemplated cooler temperatures, I got a letter today from Columbia Gas with a Home Energy Report for our house. The report compares our house with other similar houses as well as energy efficient homes. Now our home was built in 1918, and when we moved in, the curtains left by the previous owner would literally wave in the breeze when the wind blew in the winter because the windows were the original ones with weights from when the house was built. There was little insulation in the attic and in some of the walls. In fact, we had a futon in an upstairs room that actually froze to the wall because there was so little insulation. We worked very hard to weatherize the house, adding lots of insulation and new windows. Well, this old house beat out similar houses and even the energy efficient ones. And by quite a significant amount. The similar homes were based on about 100 homes like ours, and the efficient similar homes were those that rated in the top 20%. In full disclosure, we keep our house fairly cool in the winter: 64 degrees during the day, 65 when we are in the house, and 60 at night. And our furnace isn’t the newest, over ten years old. I’ve never felt cold in the house (wool and layers are great!), so we were very proud of our home. And to top it off, the period used included last year’s polar vortex.


At the last LOUA meeting, we discussed the feasibility study we will receive from Benefactor. There are a few steps to be completed in between, but we hope to have the report before year’s end. And so the journey continues…

Reuse, reduce and recycle

For the past several years, I’ve been getting most of my clothing from thrift stores and donating back to them whatever I don’t want anymore. The clothing is inexpensive, and nice things can be found. But I really like that I’m reusing clothing. The latest issue of Sierra offers several sites that will take used clothing such as ThredUp, Yerdle, and Rent the Runway. The magazine gave a lot of statistics: 68 pounds of clothing tossed each year by the average American and that a single t-shirt takes 700 gallons of water to create. I plan to try one of these sites out just to see what they can do.

Until next time!

That’s Dedication!

What did everyone think about the hail storm this morning? Pete and I were heading to the Clintonville Farmer’s Market; the minute we got in the car, it started to do this:

Through the pinging of the hail hitting the car window, I heard something else machine-like. I looked around and saw my neighbor, John, doing this, as the hail fell from the sky:

John using weed wacker during hale stormon grass that looked like this:

photo 2Now that’s dedication to your lawn care! I haven’t laughed so hard in quite some time.

Until next time!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Last Saturday, LOUA had its Third Annual Pawpaw Festival. This event is always nerve-wracking for me; it’s like having a party at your home, and as the time for the party to start gets closer, you wonder if anyone is going to show up…And each year, I worry for nothing. We had seven vendors and a food truck, and everyone was very happy with how their sales went. And the people! So many people stopped by to buy things, including pawpaw fruit. I’ve never acquired a taste for pawpaw (and to be honest, I don’t like most fruit!), but apparently, it’s quite the thing!

I did enjoy Rambling House’s pawpaw soda…











Walhalla Pottery pottery (…











Pat Belisle’s garden sculptures (…








Little Bags (…








And Root Dub











And Mike Siculan, who brought his 1953 car along with his puppets (…

Mike Siculan Vintage Vehicle









And Taqueria Don Pedro 2 and their Mexican food truck (…

Food Truck









We also had Perennial Rye Band, who played bluegrass – and Zack Yocum, from the band, brought all the pawpaw fruit (…










And Larry Sterpka…

Larry Sterpka









Of course, we couldn’t do this festival without Scioto Gardens










and the Ohio Pawpaw Growers Association.










So much thanks to our co-sponsors, and all the vendors, and especially, to everyone who stopped by.

Until next time (and next year)!

Third Annual Pawpaw Festival :: 9.20.14.

image0023rd Annual Clintonville

featuring local Art,
Native Plants,
and Pawpaws

Hosted by the
Lower Olentangy Urban Arboretum, Scioto Gardens, and the Ohio Pawpaw Growers Association

There will be food, vendors, live music, and lots of fun!

Saturday, September 20, 2014
10:00am to 4:00pm

Directly across the street from
Indianola Informal K-8 School
251 East Weber Road
Columbus, Ohio 43202

Hope to see you there!

The Northeast

As promised, here are some photos from our trip to Connecticut and New York. We went to Storm King, a large outdoor park that has plenty of sculptures. Most of them are very big, one or two stories tall. Others were on a smaller scale. One I found totally fascinating was this sculpture that was constantly in motion. I could have sat and watched it for hours. Very soothing.

Here’s a few other photos; I particularly like the sculpture that looks like it’s floating.










This next one is a bit tricky for me. The guy who thought of the stone fence below wasn’t the person who made it. Does that make him the artist? Or the stone masons who actually made it? I think it’s a bit like Matisse telling Picasso that he has this really cool idea about a cubist sort of painting; could Picasso paint something that Matisse would sign? Or something like that!

SK_2What was really cool about Storm King was the landscaping consisted of lots of native plants. Plenty of prairie plants and grasses that really set off the sculptures.

We also went to Mount Race near Sheffield, Massachusetts. We actually walked on part of the Appalachian Trail to get to the summit. Pretty cool! After four hours of hiking through scenery like this:



we were rewarded with this view:

RACE_3The trail was so clean, with lots of plants and birds to see and hear. The Appalachian Trail is only marked by small white stripes. And I don’t know what I expected, but in some cases, the trail in nothing but a faint suggestion that you need to climb that bunch of rocks. Or a trail no wider than a foot. But it was lots of fun – and I was quite surprised I made it! But compared to the one girl we spoke with who had been hiking since late April with “only” 600 more miles to go, what I did was nothing.

Until next time!