The Dogwood and Other Pretties



I can see this dogwood from the sunroom,


the kitchen,


and my sewing room. It reminds me of the pink dogwood we had in front of the house I grew up in.



DSCN3047 Trillium erectum f. albiflorum

DSCN3053 Trillium erectum (bethroot, wake robin, birthroot) The name Trillium comes from the Latin trilix, “triple,” because all parts of these plants are tripartite. See reference below.

I got some books out of the library to help me identify some of these plants. The Herb Society of America’s Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses helped me identify the trilliums. Of the 30 species of rhizomatous perennials in this genus, they pictured the two I have in my front and back yard. I wonder if they are the most common. I’ve also asked a couple of friends who are certified in permaculture design to walk around the property with us and identify what we have and talk about future plans. Hopefully, we’ll do that within the next few weeks.


Soon after we moved here – it’s been a year! – our daughter found morels on our property. My son picked these today. Our daughter told him to leave the base behind so now we know to do that in the future. He sautéed them in lard and they were very tasty.


My African Violet is finally blooming.

The Bird Bath


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The half bath is on our first floor between the kitchen and family room. It included the washer and dryer in a makeshift closet.

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This vanity was warped and the faucet and sink were crudy and impossible to clean.


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We used the sink that was in the master bath when we moved in. One of these days I will show the before and after of that renovation. We used the same lights, towel and TP holders. I inherited the mirror from my Aunt Betty many years ago. We tried to match the green and failed. The gal at the Benjamin Moore store did her best but it just doesn’t have the same look as the old lead paint. The toilet is new. The old one is now in the apartment over the garage. We made that move last fall when we got the water hooked up in the apartment over the garage and discovered the toilet was cracked.

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I’ve been blowing out the duck eggs and now have a nice collection in this Easter basket. The basket is from my childhood. The chair was my grandmother’s.

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I made this quilt the winter before we moved (2013/14). I had no idea it would end up on a bathroom wall. The hand towels are rolled up in a basket that was one of many in one of the bedroom closets. I think it was used as a craft closet by the previous owner.

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This cabinet came from The Snugbug Mercantile in downtown Staunton. I love this store and have stayed out of it for the past few months so I wouldn’t be tempted! Jeff, who owns the shop with his wife Patty, said he found it at an estate sale north of here.

Thanks, Mom, for naming this The Bird Bath. I hadn’t really planned most of my accessories having a bird theme – the basket of eggs, peacock feathers in the glass jug and the bird prints.

More Plants I Cannot Identify



Wondering if this is a honeybee. This plant was buzzing with insects – I’m thinking good ones.



This garden bed is a mess. I dug out a lot of thistle for a start. Dave moved peonies from this bed earlier in the week. This bed is in the front yard but cannot be seen from the front door. It faces the pasture and has a southern exposure. A good place for herbs and/or vegetables.


Found these diamonds in the rough.

Flower Power


Two days ago it rained all day and I had minor foot surgery so I didn’t get out to the pasture until this morning. I found an explosion of these yellow flowers. I don’t know what they are. I’m reminded daily of all the things I don’t know.

We noticed this morning that one duck was missing when we looked out from the house into the pasture where the other five were foraging. This has happened before. We just assumed she was out of sight. Well, there were still only five when we saw them in the creek late this afternoon. We started looking for the missing duck without any luck. Either something got her or she is broody and nesting somewhere. It is probably the same one that sat on the nest in their duck house for a while this morning. The drakes make all kind of noise when this happens and she finally leaves her nest.  I feel bad because I told Dave maybe we should fence her in but he thought we shouldn’t interfere. There are many places she could be – I’m betting/hoping she is in a huge pile of pine tree branches behind the cottage. Tomorrow morning I’ll put some food and water over there just in case. They always look so happy when they are out foraging so we have resisted fencing them in. I knew the day would come when we would question this decision. I’ll just have to hope for the best and say a little prayer for our missing duck.

Potting Shed


We started hardening off the tomatoes, peppers and herbs. It was windy today, as it often is, so we put them in the potting shed. Our potting shed is under the stairs to the apartment over the garage.






Spring Fresh


Duke and Len spent all day at the beauty parlor yesterday. Len is silky smooth and Duke is soft and fluffy. Love those kerchiefs, fellas!


Some hardening off of herb seedlings.


When we moved in last year at the end of April we were pleasantly surprised to see Virginia Bluebells growing next to the patio.



Not sure what this pretty little flower is. It’s in the bed to the right of the walkway to the back door.

Tomato starts, Cabbages and Collards, Ducks and a Thunderstorm


I repotted the tomatoes this morning.


The cabbages and collards had a rough week last week. It looks like the glass bowls protected them from the freezing morning temps and the wind…the wind…it was soooo windy last week.


I wasn’t sure they were going to make it. The above pics are of the best looking plants. We’ve had very mild temps the last few days and even the plants that looked iffy have new growth and are really perking up.


Had to round up the ducks this morning. They were on the neighbors property and trying to get back to ours and were blocked by a fence. With arms wide, Damian and I moved them back down the hill toward the creek and through the opening in the fence. We are able to direct them by walking behind them with our arms out wide. Usually, they’ll go the way we want them to.



We had a fierce thunderstorm this afternoon. I didn’t have a chance to check on the cabbages and collards.