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I love these little guys… {Gardening Chronicles

I have to say when I see these little guys they make my heart happy…
Did you know that:

  • They are not a native insect?  They are typically exotic and were introduced to the U.S.
  • They lay hundreds of eggs in a Styrofoam type of pouch.


  • Indeed…the female does eat the male sometimes after mating.  It happens more in captivity though then in the great outdoors.  So the fella has a bit of a fighting chance.  Perhaps.
  • They do eat other insects in your garden…be warned they will eat the “good bugs” just as often as the “bad bugs” though.  Don’t believe all the garden store hoopla that the are crazy beneficial…they are beneficial but they can be a bit too much in a small garden like my little kitchen garden.
  • They are simply fascinating and beautiful creatures.
  • They have one ear…on there belly.  Some don’t have any ears at all,  they typically are the non flying type.

This year I found, no fewer than, 20 egg nests in the front flower bed.  I promptly put them through out the yard instead of all in one spot.  Figured a little space would do them some good:-)
We kept one in the aquarium though.  We keep one on the front porch for just such creatures.  We love to watch!  This little fella has grown and stayed close to “home” though.  So fun to watch him…or her.




The kids LOVE when mom picks them up and let’s them crawl all over…they think this is quite hysterical:-)

If you find yourself using the word “kerfuffle”…

Then you might just be reading Diana Gabaldon ’s newest book in the Outlander Series…. Written in My Own Hearts Blood


You know you maybe a historical romance fiction junky if…you have managed to read all of these ginormous novels.
And love them all.
Ok well maybe not “all”.  I really didn’t like the second book Dragon Fly in Amber which I confess to skipping over large portions of.  The parts leading up to Battle of Culloden were just far too depressing and dragged on for me.  I just didn’t want to give up on the series so I simply skimmed.
I have never been so happy for my “skimming” of that book…because I have LOVED every book since.
In full disclosure I was a History major in college so..ya I love historical novels.
This is not a “light reading” type of series.  This is like a “whole Summer to read” type of series.  Each book typically takes me a week to read.  In my world that is a long time.  Most books I am through in about 1-3 days.  Daryl and I were in book store the other day and I picked up the hardcover book and showed it to him (I read on my ipad) and he was like “holy crap! That is huge…”

My favorite part of this book?
Oh geeze.. I couldn’t begin to name a “favorite” but I did quite enjoy reading a scene out loud to Daryl, while on a long car trip,  that involved a hatchet going through a skull.  I have been warning him for months that I will, most definitely, be watching the Starz Outlander series coming up next month.  Telling him over and over that it isn’t all romance and girlie.  That it is more of a historical girls version of Game of Thrones or something…tons of gore, guts and testosterone mixed into make any husband “ok” with watching a historical love story…right?

The long and the short of it…I am sad I finished it and now have to wait another few years for the next one:-(
Until then I shall try to limit my use of the word “kerfuffle” in hopes not to give myself away as a complete Outlander series junky…that I am.
August 9th can’t get here soon enough;) Now if you are one of those folks thinking “Why read the book?!  I will just watch the series…well I am here to tell you that you will be missing out.  No matter how wonderful they do with the series the movie is NEVER as good as the book….ever.

The big garden…June { Gardening Chronicles


This year I have a brand new, ginormous garden out at Daryl’s parents.
God Bless them!  I have lots of folks to feed and this garden is going to feed many….hopefully.  Possibly…if all goes “according to plan” (BAHAHAHAHA!)
Since this was the first year this land has been worked in 20? 30? 40? years we had our doubts anything would grow.  Plus I got a lateish start.
BUT…it is doing great!


Now it looks more like…

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But actually even bigger now I just haven’t had my camera out there this week!
Lots of  tomatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, melons (a few different types), basil, okra, and my favorite….HOPS!

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I am most excited about them.  We are trying several different varieties this year and trying to figure out which variety is happiest out there.
Cascade is winning so far.  I think I love them the most because Daryl grows them with me…tomatoes bore him.
But hops get him out there and in his happy spot.
The boy loves his home beer brewing;-)

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I of course still love the usual garden favorites!

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Peppers…I went a little over board on peppers this year.
I planted at least 8 different types between the two gardens.
It’s about to get hot up in here!

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Loving these little melons!

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It is soooo tempting to pick all the zucchini blooms and fry them;-)
But I have managed to not do that…just yet.

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So good!  I shall take more pictures this week…of course;-)
Until then…I love the surrounding field and the bees it feeds.

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It’s so darn peaceful out there….love it!

Pamplin Historical Park…revisited with a Yankee

Virginia…yes I know I say it often…broken record.
I love this state.  Never a shortage of destinations.
You know what I love even more?
Getting to share this great place with my Ohio friends and family. Seriously fun!
I grew up in a Springboro where even our schools bus depot used to be a very real part of the Underground Railroad.
We had Civil War actors as well at festivals and events…they were just always in Union uniforms;)

Lucky for me my stepdad is an Army man and has training in Richmond every few years….yesterday he had the day off so we took him for a day at one of our favorite battlefields….because this is a town FULL of battlefields…from several different wars sadly enough.

When last the kids and I visited Pamplin they were a tad bit younger and of course…minus a Lucas (click here for that post)
Pictures..must share pictures!

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The great thing about this park has to be the walking headset tour!  Lucas even loved it!

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This is his best “Ya I am two and still have my pacifier…what’s it too ya???!”
Good news isbhe may let it go before he leaves for college one day….but when the whiney, skipping a nap, hanging out in the heat being dragged all over the place, toddler says he wants his paci?  Well you just give it to him;)

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The tour guide, Jason was great!

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  Surprised how much Lucas loved the loud gun…the boy LOVES fireworks!

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What good Army man doesn’t love guns?

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How about a game room?  Oh yes, this little shack was a big hit!



He found the playing dress up was a whole barrel of fun….




That’s about it…lots of fun!
It was great seeing Grandpa Jeff!  Now who shall be our next family/friend from Ohio field trip victim????:-)

And because I can’t leave without a quote from one of my favorite books ever…(yes the book is 100o times better than the movie):

“Never pass up new experiences [Scarlett], They enrich the mind.” – Rhett Butler”

 ― Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind



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