Review: Deer Off

It’s a pretty sure bet that when the contents list contains the phrase “putrescent egg solids”, it’s going to be stinky.

And, oh, is this stuff smelly.

The dog was licking the bottle before I ever opened it.  She was in love.  With the putrescent egg solids, and whatever other stinky stuff was in there.

BAWC Week 8: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

My friend Jane recommended The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield to me, but it wasn’t so much a recommendation as it was a statement of “ohmigod have you read this?!” as she shoved the book into my hands.

She told me it was the kind of book you literally can’t put down.

Hmm, I thought.  [...]

Winter One-pot Daal

I’m not sure if you would call this a daal, or a curry, or a kitchari or…what.

Bottom line, though, it is a one-pot Indian-spiced riceandbeanandveggie dish.  Serve it with a green vegetable on the side (salad or broccoli or spinach or whathaveyou) and you’ve got a full meal.

It’s inspired by this daal, combined with spices [...]

I Hate Deer

Don't worry, this is not a real deer.

My winter garden was growing quite nicely.  I had mustard greens bigger than my head, oodles of turnip greens and pac choi, and small but promising crops of collards and kale and cabbage that were slowly but steadily growing over the months.

And then the deer started nibbling—not [...]

BAWC Week 7: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

I first read this book in middle school, either 7th or 8th grade.  And I know right now you’re thinking one of two things.  If you haven’t read the book you’re thinking, oh, it must be some easy fluff-type book if it was 7th-grade required reading.

But if you’ve read the book you’re probably [...]

Broccoli with Pecan Sauce

I added some steamed carrots too, since I happened to have them.

I’m not sure how long, exactly, my mom has been making this broccoli with pecan sauce, but it is one of her go-to recipes when she wants to do something with broccoli besides just steam it and/or serve it with Cheez-whiz.

She probably hasn’t [...]

Tamale Pie

I may be ugly, but I sure taste good. (That's what she said.)

Let’s start off on the right foot here by going ahead and admitting that this is not authentic Mexican (can anything with the word ‘pie’ in the title be authentic mexican?), nor even authentic Tex-Mex.  More than likely it is best classified [...]


I’m going on a cross-country Amtrak trip starting this week!

It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I figured why not do it now, when I have the money and the time and no kids or job to tie me down.

That and friends scattered across the U.S. who are willing to let me sleep on [...]


I made a new friend this week.  It’s a fern, and her name is Polypodium polypodiodes.

Try saying that three times fast.  While drunk.

I’ve been wondering what the name of the fern was that grows on the trunk and limbs of the live oak trees around the house.  When it’s hot and dry in the summer, [...]

BAWC Week 6: Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison

I first read Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison as part of an Intro to Permaculture class that I took online when I was still toying with the idea of going to grad school for horticulture.

Even though I changed my mind about grad school, I don’t regret taking this course.  It was life-changing.  [...]