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Today is the first day of the rest of my life

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watercolor by Miriam Schulman

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Saint Raphael Archangel


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A hike through tall, droopy branched shagbark hickories, towering black walnuts and magestic oaks restores your soul.

Count the butterflies and listen to the woodpecker...marvel at the stickbug and enjoy the acrobatic nuthatch... meditate with the praying mantis and drink in the beauty of the indigo bunting.

I hope to help the wildlife here and create not only habitat for them but a refuge and place of mediation for all lovers of nature. Modern Life has too much to offer. It's nice to be reminded who we are in the Universe.

(click on my photo gallery for imagery):

In February, WATCH FOR SKUNKS cause Pepe Le Pew really does come calling for the cats. Always have the dog on his leash!
In March,... tiptoe thru the carpet of spring beauties, pluck and eat the early leaves of poison ivy as recommended by Ewel Gibbons, (it tingles)...
In April, among the May Apples...find the Jack-in-the-pulpit and listen to a good sermon (say a prayer that you WILL find the Morel Mushrooms this year!) ...
In May, ...kneel down and gather the tiny, sweetest red strawberries, then,...
In June, gorge on wild mulberries and black raspberries !
In September, grapes with bitter taste are ripe, admire their beauty.
In Fall, buckets of Walnuts can be collected, read Thoreau's words on nut gathering.
In Winter,... explore the thickest parts of the woods easily, go out early in fresh white snow looking for animal tracks... possum ? Raccoon? Deer? Laugh at the crazy squirrels' high wire chases. Keep the home fires burning.

We moved here in July of '05. There's 5 acres and plenty of projects. Trees to cut (some in the way, others dead) and trees to plant (redbud & dogwood). A garden to start (my own TOMATOES & BASIL!? )

I am developing 2 acres of field into a pathed flower & herb garden adding shrubs and eventually trees. In two seasons of work, the paths and design are defined. Plantings include evergreen shrubs, ornamental grasses, coneflower, chives, spearmint lots of spring bulbs, 2 willows for fast results, and a good clump of cat nip! We made a spot to camp and stargaze on clear nights.

This year I want to add camomille, fennel, dill, forsythia, evergreens, black eyed susans, ornamental grasses and as much lavender as possible. (I love those lavender fields in France).

I was surprised to find the thorns among my rosey life here! Disapproving Neighbors? Yep, for the last 20+ years they have maintained and mowed the 2 acres of field on this property as extentions of their own backyards. Unfortunately, puzzling nasty encounters over property lines have occured even though on DAY ONE we had the property pins dug up and marked by the county. There are 5 neighbors to this field and they all were mowing 20 feet x 100 feet long into our side . We've been unpopular since the first month we got here and asked them very nicely to no longer have their burn piles on this property. I might never understand why they would be against landscaping and habitat... People are God's most complicated creation, aren't they?

Last spring began my first full season of growth in the field . The abundance of life was encouraging even as the neighbors were not! (cough) At least a dozen types of Butterfly, Spiders of all kind including the " writing spiders" with yellow backs, hungry flycatchers, patroling dragonflies, a snake hole, mole tunnels, rabbits (of coarse) and probably shrews and field mice. There were mushroom rings and a delightful amount of daisies and other wild flowers (but mostly grass and dandalions).

A coyote slinked past me within 10 feet in July (a bit disconcerting but, exciting too) . A small group of deer are seen infrequently.

I love the internet, airconditioning, the microwave and 300 channels on cable and don't want to give them up BUT!!!!... I must keep my connection to the universe and everything in it as the ultimate reality.
The truth.
I find happiness here.
Happiness is contentment and contentment is HEALTHY....

Will Landscaping projects plus Spark People.com melt off my cumbersome UNhealthy extra 50 lbs? ....STAY TUNED! :)

(Thanks to the January 21, 2008, People article, " The Buddy System" , I am here. )

Member Since: 1/14/2008

Fitness Minutes: 0

My Goals:
Carrying this extra weight around is a useless chore! My goal is to wiegh LESS!

My Program:
First I am observing what my behaviors and habits are with no judgements.

In 3 days I recognized that I am a carb addict!
Note to self:
say hello to Fruits and Veggies

Personal Information:
I graduated from college in 82 and worked 20 years in public broadcasting.

About 12 years ago I had 2 beautiful babies . 2 years ago I semi retired to be a full time at home mom.
I enjoy this life but, have been LAZY in my habits.
Sweatpants have been my destroyer!

Other Information:
We are looking forward to the 4th season of "Lost."

I watch Joyce Meyer every day.

I love winter but love spring more...can't wait to see the spring blooms before the deer eat them!.

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  • v LARISA72
    You rock!! Good to find another person brought here by the article in People. I hate to admit it, but I'm a People junkie, even though I have tried to stop my addiction to Hollywood gossip, etc.

    Your description of your property has me extremely jealous - we have a corner lot with a raised plant box. I grew tomatoes, green beans, and carrots...the cucumbers didn't make it - sigh. We have future plans to have 2 or 3 raised garden beds - but we have to even out the yard first, then we have to get it built. I found great plans online, and hubby thinks they will be easy enough to do, so we just have to take care of some house stuff that has yet to be completed - hubby's office, our son's trim, redoing my sewing room (outer walls do NOT have any sheetrock, just paneling over the wall studs!).

    Best wishes on the neighbors and cheers to your commitment!

    4673 days ago
  • v no profile image TIME2LIGHTENUP
    Hi there, just wanted to say Hi and wish you a great rest of the week! Hope everything is wonderful in your corner of the woods!! It's still winter up here in West Michigan, we're having a Blizzard tonight, had some lightening in the area earlier, and now snow and winds gusting up to 50mpr with the cold front ripping through. Hope you are safe there, I saw storms on the radar in Ohio tonight.

    Take care, Cheryl
    4682 days ago
    Just dropping by to give you a big hug! Jenna
    4686 days ago
    I finally figured out how to look at your page (heh!)
    Firstly, thankyou for being so welcoming and friendly on my blog :) It's nice to interact with people rather than just read stuff :)
    Secondly, I read your page and wow! I would love to have such an exciting project to spend my time on! Your "garden" sounds amazing! My dad's a big gardener and enjoys all aspects of nature and I think a bit of it has rubbed off on me :) Sadly, we only have a small garden since we live on the outskirts of a city, but we keep chickens and have a veg patch and some other bits and pieces :)
    I've not seen if you've put any pictures of your fields and stuff up yet, but i'll look, and if you haven't, you should!
    Your page is ace, thanks for being so friendly :D
    4692 days ago
  • v no profile image TIME2LIGHTENUP
    Hi there, I am so happy to see that you set up your page so I can say thank you for the awesome comment you left on my page on Wednesday!! I really want to know why the "i before e except after c" rule does not apply to protein - I would have loved to have realized this back in school during whichever grade of English class that covered that rule! It would have been a great debate with the teacher.

    You have done a great job setting up your page and your typing looks great too! I still need to get some time with my daughter to help me with pictures. Yup, she's much better with computers!

    It sure looks like you and your family have your own little nature paradise there in Ohio! I pray that your neighbors will respect your home. I love your "to do" list, it is very inspiring!! I live in Western Michigan and love watching the change of the seasons and nature and wildlife too!

    Hope to "type" with with you again! Best wishes to you, take care!!!
    4693 days ago
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