This is where I live. It is beautiful.



Almost stepping on a snake is way better than the rest of my week has been.

So I’m not gardening in the front today, but partying, of sorts, way in the back of Western Pennsylvania. It’s been an incredibly tough week because teenage daughter, so I packed a pair of flip flops and some dirty t-shirts and drove up I-77 to my in-laws’ place by the side of the Allegheny River.

Heaven. At least for today.

Heaven. At least for today.

Even though Paris Hilton is probably desecrating my garden boxes as I type, my day here has gone pretty nicely so far. My seven-year-old daughter, who is not yet old enough to realize how much she has always hated me, brought me breakfast, water, coffee, cherries in a bowl, and an adorable new puppy named Forrest Gump to play with (he’s half Boxer and half Chocolate Lab. Get it?). Then she massaged my neck with her sweet little hands and took me down the bike trail to see the grassy bank where the leatherback turtles lay their eggs. Sadly, the raccoons know about the grassy bank where the leatherbags (that’s a Freudian slip, but I’m leaving it) lay their eggs, too, so there are broken egg-shells in piles here and there.


This is after showing me its prickly behind. BTW, is it true or urban legend that porcupines can shoot quills?

Then I went on a walk.

And I saw this porcupine:






And I saw this useless sign:

No Parking on the ancient oil tank.

No Parking on the ancient oil tank.








And I saw this t-shirt just chillin’ on a bench:

Or maybe it was the rapture and I missed it.

Or maybe it was the rapture. And I missed it.











And, messing with my Pandora music feed, I almost stepped on this:

I screamed. I won't lie.

I screamed. I won’t lie.

Dramatic Re-enactment of me almost stepping on the snake.

Dramatic re-enactment of me almost stepping on the snake.










Which, all in all, wasn’t nearly as bad as changing a wiper blade, in the rain, by the side of Interstate 77. Or teenagers.




Paris Hilton: The enemy at our garden gates.

First off, y’all should know that Paris Hilton is a cat. An adorable cat. With a pink, rhinestoned collar. Which is the first reason I’ve named this deceptively adorable cat, Paris Hilton. But the second and third reasons are the reasons why Paris Hilton is my enemy. My nemesis. The Big Bad of my garden’s 2nd season.

Reason number 2 (there’s a pun here, you’ll see why in a minute) I call the cat Paris Hilton: Remember when Paris Hilton the Socialite ordered the pilot of her private helicopter to touch down on some poor German family’s farm?

A source told Britain’s More magazine: “She gave the farmer a bit of a shock. Her bouncers even blocked the farm door so the family couldn’t go inside their own house while she was using the loo.” The star then allegedly spent another ten minutes on the startled farmer’s porch, so she could smoke a cigarette. The unnamed farmer said: “She was cold as a fish, and cursed about the weather.”

Well, just like Paris Hilton the Socialite who feels entitled to pee wherever she wants, Paris Hilton the Cat thinks she’s entitled to use my garden boxes like her own private loo. And she smokes. Okay. She doesn’t smoke. But if she did, Paris Hilton the Cat would leave her butts everywhere.

photo credit: PerezHilton.com


And Reason 3 I call the cat Paris Hilton: SHE WON’T GO AWAY!

So, right now I’m sitting in my garden chair, keeping watch. Paris Hilton the Cat will slink in, that’s sure, but I’ll be ready. WE WILL HAVE BEETS!

In other news:

1. I threw a tantrum, so the kids helped me weed.

2. Last night we ate homemade strawberry shortcake with strawberries fresh from the garden.

Homemade shortcakes, y'all! And real whipped cream.

Homemade shortcakes, y’all! And real whipped cream.

3. The Stella d’Oro daylilies look lovely in the strawberry patch:

Stella d'Oro daylilies

Stella d’Oro daylilies

4. The plum sticks are growing leaves. Yay!

Japanese Plum Stick. Now with leaves.

Japanese Plum Stick. Now with leaves.

5. I treated the columnar apple tree with Neem Oil. We’ll see if we lose it to the Fire Blight. (“Out, damned spot! Out I say!”)

6. We’re already on our second harvest of radishes.

It's a radish.

It’s a radish.

7. And this is our front-yard garden, Year 2 Day 26:

Year 2, Day 26

Year 2, Day 26