Category Archives: General Information

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!

Thank You!

Sorry for the lack of posts; between getting ready to go on vacation, going on vacation, then recovering from vacation, I just didn’t have a lot of time! However, I’ll share much more about our trip to the East Coast soon. As a teaser, go ahead and Google Mount Race in Sheffield, Massachusetts. Me and my very tired legs climbed that little hill!

In the meantime, I wanted to share the grand total from our Lucky’s 5% Day: $1902.83! We can’t thank everyone enough for heading to Lucky’s and buying something. We’ve got great plans for the money to make LOUA even better than it already is.

Thank you so much!

Until next time!

Lower Olentangy Urban Arboretum Earth Day Follow Up Event

big pileWhen: Saturday, August  2, 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Where: Glen Echo Ravine West “The Walker Tract”

Directions: Our work area is a wooded area just west of the Indianola Bridge that spans Glen Echo Ravine. The site is visible from the bridge and is bordered to the north by the alleyway south of Olentangy St.  The southern border of the site is the stream that runs through Glen Echo Ravine. You can park either along Indianola Ave. near the bridge or on Olentangy St. between Indianola and Medary.  If you enter the ravine at the Indianola Ave. Bridge, there is a stairway on the Northeast side of the bridge that leads down into the ravine. At the bottom of the stairs, head west (to your right) and right after you pass beneath the bridge, be on the lookout for a trail on your right that passes through an open grassland and eventually enters the forested area where we will be working.  If you plan to enter the area via Olentangy St. alley, there is a path that enters the ravine about mid-way between the Parkview Condominiums and the Xenos School.  There is a city park sign near the path’s entrance.  If you have work gloves and/or shovels and/or bow saws, please bring them.  There is some poison ivy present so dress accordingly.

Activities: Removal of invasive species.

The Walker Tract is a parcel of city parkland and part of Glen Echo ravine. The understory of this site was formerly choked with invasive plants. Work on clearing this area began on Earth Day in 2009. Since then significant progress has been achieved but more work needs to be done to finish what we started. We will be working in conjunction with Karl Hoessle, an Ecological Restoration Programmer from the city’s Recreation and Parks Department which means we will accomplish more than we would without his assistance. In addition to honeysuckle, the area still has a fair amount of privet, burning bush, and especially creeping euonymus that needs to be removed.

Questions: let me a comment!