Category: Random Topics and Musings

The Cats of Longwood Gardens

What’s even better than a beautiful garden? A beautiful garden with beautiful cats! Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, one of America’s best display gardens, fits that description perfectly. What amazes me is that until recently I didn’t know about the famed Longwood Cats. Cats have been a feature of Longwood ever since 1984, when…

Things My Houses Taught Me

Our home-ownership journeys inevitably teach us many lessons that only experience can provide. I probably fall into the median as far as numbers go, having lived in five (plus one designed and built but sold before ever being lived in.) So what were the pearls of wisdom that my various dwellings cast before me?  …

The Whine of the Anxious Househunter

You’d think, after going through the process five times already, that the process of house-hunting would by now feel less aggravating? Or at least that I’d be more blasé about it than not. Right? Well, to borrow a word from a certain Presidential candidate: Wrong! A recent showing of yet another disappointing entry into the…

Ode to a Squirrel

More than ten years ago, after engaging in almost three years of fruitless warfare with a particularly cunning neighborhood squirrel (nicknamed Macgyver), I was inspired to pen this little poem out of a sense of utter and complete frustration. The illustration accompanying it is an original watercolor by a very talented Pembrokeshire artist, Gareth Hughes.…

The Search for the Ultimate Winter Coat

I am what most would call a “winter wimp” despite living where winters are not nearly as horrendous as some; for example, we don’t often get more than 4 feet of snow in an entire season (the 2014 Winter From Hell was an exception.) Our average temperature is about 32°F/0°C in January, and by March…

A Glossary for Orchidists

I recently came across this amongst some scribblings of mine from the late 1980s and realized that it’s just as true a quarter-century later as it was then! The thought occurred to me that the novice orchid grower might be able to use a bit of help in navigating the shoals of vague and ambiguous…