Monday, June 27, 2016

Bike on Water

Bike on water...or along it, to all the beautiful, wild places you did not know were right in your backyard until you saw them from your bicycle. I am still bowled over from the beauty of my morning ride today. 

The Mississippi? A big thing to get across to get to work, an event, school. That's from your car. On your bike? It becomes mystical, magical world of its own, ever-changing, ever alive. 

The bike path along the river that winds its way through Davenport, Moline, Bettendorf and Rock Island is like a road through France; a small country with huge landscape and climate changes in a matter of hours. In ten minutes of biking today, I went from mist surrounding the far banks, making the hills appear to be distant mountains as I rounded a bend in the path, then swirling and dipping into the water like the gulls and pelicans along my way, to the sun rising on a jungle-lined section, clear blue water, and suddenly,

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cool Sirop de Menthe Recipe for All That Mint Outside

If but for the squirrels...well, not only the squirrels, there is also the invisible-ish fence I put in place for the dog who chases after the squirrels, over which I continually trip, and the dirt that is all over and has to be replaced and put back nicely and cleaned up after the darling beasts have finished digging up my foxglove, red onions and geraniums yet again. Besides this, gardening is pure joy, especially when I have a day when I can just be out without interruptions. The kids wander out and around, help out when I give them a job...or not, sometimes. 

Today, sirop de menthe is on our always is in the summer. This is the French equivalent of Kool-Aid;

Da Good Counts Maksh da Good Neighborsh, but the Good Compost?

...I'm afraid my Portuguese neighbor's old adage; "good accounts make good neighbors," as he was giving me change for 5 centimes, or making sure he paid me for a 35-cent baguette, was not one that will hold up to the stench of my newest compost bin. Good compost? Yes, the compost will probably be very nice, if there is not a court-order for its removal before I can use it. As for our dear neighbors to the left; I had really better go ask them if it is a problem for them. Maybe the wind always blows from the north in the summer. any case, it smells like something died and decomposed in it, and except for its daily hosing down, I am not sure what to do about it.

I have tried every method you can imagine of storing and mixing and using compost. I have battled roots growing down into the ground from plants that really looked dead when they went in, or maybe they were banana tree seeds, who knows.