Recent Blog Posts

Sunflowers cause problems in garden

August 15th, 2017

Plants have developed an number of different survival techniques that can give them advantages over other plants competing for the same growing space. For example, some plants have roots that produce chemicals that inhibit the growth of other nearby plants of other species. It’s a process known as allelopathy. Black walnut trees are probably the … Continue reading Sunflowers cause problems in garden

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Basement Family Room Repairs

August 10th, 2017

Six weeks ago our basement flooded during a rainstorm the dumped 3 inches of rain in our area. Panelling, dry wall, carpeting, furniture, and anything on the floor was water logged! We had insurance, but not enough to cover the help I needed from the various “trades” needed to renovate my “man cave!” The only […]

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Hoverflies are beneficial insects

August 03rd, 2017

As mentioned in an earlier post on this blog, I planted a fairly large plot of buckwheat adjacent to our vegetable garden this spring. The main idea behind planting buckwheat was to provide forage primarily for honeybees and for any other pollinators that might be around to take advantage of it. As it turns out … Continue reading Hoverflies are beneficial insects

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M-50 and Hillsdale County Michigans Scenic Drive

August 03rd, 2017

Took a ride from my house up M-50 to north of Onstead a couple days ago. It’s a very relaxing and scenic drive through the heart of “big buck” country (Hillsdale!) The corn is high so I didn’t see any deer, but I did see quite a few turkeys. Just south of the small town […]

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Billy the lumberjack!

July 28th, 2017

I have been building a new cabin on my property in Luzerne and am winding down on the major issues. It has been a long tedious process! When your doing most of the work yourself, and you live 240 miles away it can really drain you. Just this past week I had the propane tank […]

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Cedar Valley Golfing With Friends!

July 22nd, 2017

This past week my wife and I were at our place in Luzerne with good friends Ed and Linda Ponzy and Bob and Linda Baltrip. Everyone brought their golf clubs including both Linda’s! Monday morning we showed up at Cedar Valley Golf Course in Comins, just about 5 miles North of Fairview. I have played […]

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Tomato disease score

July 19th, 2017

This is the time of the season when tomato plants start showing signs of disease infections, usually as different shapes and colors of spots depending on which particular disease has infected the plant. Last week I took an informal survey of several varieties of tomatoes to see how each variety is holding up under early … Continue reading Tomato disease score

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Whos Your Caddy?

July 14th, 2017

I have an awesome 12 year old grandson who happens to play some pretty good golf. I started him playing when he was 6 years old after his mother bought him a kids set of clubs through Costco. His dad is a baseball fanatic, so I am awarded very little time to hone Kyle’s skills […]

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Doh

July 11th, 2017

It only gets worse for President Trump and the rest of us. On our national holiday, North Korea demonstrated that they overcame the cyber-attacks that impacted their previous missile tests. They also figured out how to build a missile that meets the definition of an ICBM. They are on a fast track that will soon […]

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Striped cucumber beetles causing problems

July 11th, 2017

A couple of gardeners I know asked me why their cucumbers didn’t come up this year. Others have mentioned that their beans didn’t come up either. Was there something wrong with the seeds this year? After inspecting a few gardens, it became apparent to me what was going on. In each case, there was a … Continue reading Striped cucumber beetles causing problems

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Forth of July at the Cabin!

July 07th, 2017

Made it up to Luzerne over the 4th of July with my wife and daughter Tara, husband Glen, and grandson Kyle. I had some work to do on the new place and had hired a local Mennonite builder to take care of several jobs I just don’t have the time or energy to do! I […]

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Kool aid

July 02nd, 2017

via GIPHY I must admit that I remain astonished at our current political landscape. We have a Congress who are attempting to take healthcare away from at least 22M people in the name of what? Reducing premiums for the young and healthy? Providing the first of many big tax cuts to the wealthy? Further punishing […]

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Cedar Valley Golf Course and Amusement Park

June 30th, 2017

Again this summer my family took a day trip to the Cedar Valley Golf Course and Amusement Park located in Comins Michigan. I was reluctant to write about it last year after our visit in fear that I would let “the cat out of the bag” and the place would be over-run with vacationers and […]

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Planting buckwheat for weed control and helping honeybees

June 28th, 2017

I have an area in the garden that I will not be able to plant this year. Instead of letting it stay fallow and grow weeds, I planted buckwheat. It’s something I’ve done through the years whenever I’ve been unable to use an area for one reason or another. Buckwheat is a fast growing plant … Continue reading Planting buckwheat for weed control and helping honeybees

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Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad

June 27th, 2017

This past week the Ansel crew were recreating around the Luzerne, Mio, Fairview area, and one of our favorite things to do is take the family on the AuSable Valley Railroad ride! What a fun and unique experience is waiting for all that venture into this hidden jewel of the North woods! The miniature railroad […]

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Black Bears Kill Two!

June 22nd, 2017

Recently two people were killed and one partially eaten by black bears in Alaska! Both attacks happened on the same day which is very unusual in it’s self! Black bears do not have the reputation of brown or grizzly bears, and in most cases are far smaller than their bigger cousins. That being said there […]

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Lambsquarters a wild edible bonus from the garden

June 22nd, 2017

One of my lushest weeds in the garden right now is lambsquarters. The pure stands coming up in my beds make it look like I purposely planted them there as a crop. I didn’t plant them but I sure am using them as if I did. Lambsquarters are the most nutritious plant that grows in … Continue reading Lambsquarters a wild edible bonus from the garden

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Whoomp

June 19th, 2017

  The next big test of the Trump presidency is sneaking up on him. As I predicted, the domestic challenges that this administration has been dealing with will pale in comparison to international events where there is the very real possibility of escalation. Trumps generals told him and Congress that we are losing the war […]

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Pruning milkweeds

June 18th, 2017

I saw my first Monarch butterfly several days ago. I know they were here much earlier because I found a caterpillar on my milkweed plants. That means there had to be a female butterfly around before that. It takes around four days for a Monarch egg to hatch. The caterpillar stage lasts around a week … Continue reading Pruning milkweeds

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A Bad Day of Fishing is Better Than a Good Day of Honey Dos!

June 17th, 2017

Today my brother Darryl and myself were fortunate enough to be asked out on a fishing yacht for a chance to take some Lake Erie walleye. We arrived at Toledo Beach Marina at 7:15 a.m. with the anticipation of two 13 year olds. Captain John and First Mate Jason met us at the dock. Snacks, […]

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