cell phone tower deaths on frontline

lamium + oregano

Tonight, Frontline is airing the episode for which we contributed some footage. It is about cell phone tower deaths. They contacted us in April after seeing some of our tower climbing footage. After that, we went out and shot a bit more. It should be airing at 10PM on most PBS stations. (There are two short clips of our footage. If you watch the online video, our winter scenes from the tower are shown at the 7:12 and 15:12-minute marks.)

Otherwise, just puttering in the garden.

slanted light

robins following me about

pallet pea trellis

robin by pallet pea trellis

as it darkens


early to bed, early to rise

hen + chicks

a long engagement

wild blue flax

i can not recall


i'll take it all

red russian kale

Through my blog reader, most especially, I have noticed the discernible lack of winter throughout the US this year. I don’t know about other countries and continents, although curious, and whether they too experienced the winter of less-than. It has never been a secret that the coldest season is my favorite and I rarely pick a favorite of anything. I’m too much of the mind that variety is the spice of life and I’ve spent my life trying not to ever have to select just one. That said, winter trumps the heck out of nearly everything else for me.

So, this lack of that we’ve experienced in most of the states has been rather confusing, for plant and beast alike. I mean, of all things, I find myself ready for spring. That completely shocks me. Of course, last year I was determined to find a place in my heart for summer, and I did. I am finding a balance in the seasons again, not that I don’t wish we’d had a proper winter. It’s certainly not too late, by any means.

One of my favorite variables in gardening is the structure of the cold-season garden. You can’t completely plan that. Solid structures can be counted upon to some degree, as well as trees and other plants with some heft or strong stems. The birds and bunnies might peck and pat. After that, the biggest influence upon the architecture is the weather itself. So far this season, I have been unimpressed with the display until I realized that it is nearly March and not only does the Red Russian kale grow, but the Five Color Silverbeet Swiss chard too.

I am so used to a gray scale winter garden that this shock of color nearly threw me off of my gait and onto the wet, muddy path. This isn’t the winter of my Scandinavian-heart dreams, but, oh, I will certainly take it.

five color silverbeet swiss chard

quiet scenes + tool shed sneak peek

chopped tomato salad + toasted garlic

sunday lunch

i want to go to there

tool shed sneak peek

Recipes, plus more on the shed, coming soon…

P.S. I hate to honk my own horn, but if you’re interested, I do have a Facebook page HERE.

potential for projects


Yesterday, I woke up and looked out the window over the head of our bed, just like every other morning. It made me happy to see all the stuff lined up against the shed. There’s only a fraction of our reclaimed goods in this photo, but it makes me satisfied just the same. My mister told me to come up with some projects for the new materials.

Back to the drawing board!

pocket to table

steamy tomatoes

I really love planning meals around whatever is ripe in the garden, like ALL VARIETIES OF MY TOMATOES right now.

The Mexican Midgets have been prolific for two or three weeks, so they’ve been getting the earliest workout. (I like shirts and dresses with big pockets so that I can load them up with produce. In this case, it was a little steamy outside and the lens was immediately covered in condensation.)

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution has some really kicking recipes. I made a basil, cherry tomato, cheddar omelet the other day and it was magnificent. Last night, I tried the cherry tomato sauce with pasta. Absolutely divine, especially with that nice dash of balsamic vinegar.

And to think that I once felt that cherry tomatoes were only good for salads. Pshaw. I’ve come a long way since the 80s.

Thank goodness.

cherry tomato sauce with pasta

dreamy diana garden peek




growing up on coon bluff road

jodi + jessica

morning glories

smile anyway



Sometimes, I think that it is no wonder that I garden and cook and marvel at life. I mean, this was our childhood. I think that I am forever trying to capture it, recreate it in some way.

In these photos, I am nine and my sister, Jessica Sunshine, is three.

P.S. Locals often told us that this property, the land in particular, had been owned by Al Capone. The area has secrets, that is for sure. As a child, they were always just beyond my reach. Now, they are forever gone. Most of the 200 acres is now developed and filled with new houses.

[I am logging my family heirlooms and thrifted finds. All items will be considered vintage by the 20-year standard.  You can find all of the entries under the category ‘something old‘.]

early july garden slideshow



things that I super-must do

rainbow swiss chard

Sweet diary, I have been a complete bum. Slow and lazy. But, this week is all about getting caught up on chores, or pleasant tasks that I put off until they feel like a chore. I am taking the power back, catching up and falling in love again with my mundane life.

  • Plant kale, a fresh row of radishes, more onions.
  • Fertilize tomatoes and peppers.
  • Tend to houseplants.
  • Make a plant hanger. Or two.
  • Add last of trellises to garden. Make them first.
  • Create a summer banner for my journal.
  • Prune mock-orange dogwood tree.
  • Prowl the perennial close-out sales.
  • Start Wisconsin thrift store database (!!!!).
  • Take inventory for the store.
  • Mint pesto. Potatoes, peas, and mint. Garlic scape pesto. Pickled garlic scapes.
  • Draft next year’s garden, greenhouse, and yard.
  • Purge pantry, fridge, and freezer.
  • Detail July household projects, such as wooden valances and music creation station.