19 Years Ago

I’m sure that each and everyone of us that are over 30 years old remember that day, 9/11/2001 and remember exactly what we were doing when we heard what was happening.

sept 11

I was at work at Chesley, planting tulip bulbs and imagining how beautiful they would look the following spring. That’s when a coworker pulled up and told me and I was filled by the enormity of the events. I immediately put my bulbs and tools away and went home. Like most everyone else I suppose, we spent the day watching the horrifying news footage. Those images remain seared into out collective brains.

Now, 19 years later, I reflect on that day and the aftermath. As the horror and anger turned to the most beautiful showing of patriotism and unity of our entire country. There was no black and white, no religious divisions, no political division, we were all united in our love of this country and what we would do to preserve our land and what we have here, freedom,opportunity and peace.


It seemed like every porch was decorated with the red, white, and blue. Everywhere you saw the American flag flying proudly.  It was a sight to behold!

That year I decorated the three pine trees in front of our house with red, white and blue lights. I remember that it was nearly impossible to FIND blue lights in the stores.

Then the finger pointing began. The armchair quarterbacks got behind their keyboards and the cracks in our unity began. Seeds of evil began to grow.

Now here we are in the year 2020. Our land has never been so divided.

Each day I pray that the young ones will be able to experience our country as it was in the aftermath of 9/11/2001, I just pray that it doesn’t have to come with the cost.



Divided we fall.

Posted in memories, Opinions, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Lonesome Louis

When I purchased my latest group of chicks last year. I paid extra to insure that they would all be hens… no more roosters. I wanted eggs.

Well, you know how that goes.

I’ll consider myself lucky that out of 13 birds I only ended up with one rooster.

Out of the 13 I was supposed to get 2 buff brahma hens. One of them is not.

Louis is a sweet rooster, not mean at all. But he is BIG! A heavy bodied, very randy,  BOY .

Did I say randy? Yes, I did. I started noticing that all of my poor hens were becoming naked on their backs and rear ends.




Even poor old Louis didn’t have any tail feathers like a proper rooster should.


I tried using chicken aprons to protect the poor hen’s backs. It didn’t work.

With the cooler temperatures of fall and the brutal cold of winter on the horizon, I had to make the decision to separate poor Louis from his girls.


He seems to be taking it pretty well. We’ve made sure that he can still see them and ‘talk’ to them and even roost next to them at night but with a barrier between so the girls can grow their feathers back it time for the cold temps.

Please send good thoughts and prayers for poor old Lonesome Lou.

Posted in Around the House, Chickens, Feathered Friends, Sassy Cat Hill House, Gardens and Other Stuff | 1 Comment

What’s Bloomin

Whew, It’s been a hot month! But there are still some blooms to enjoy here on The Hill. We’re supposed to get some good rain tonight so hopefully things will perk up.


Helianthus has been blooming for awhile now. It’s been popular with the flutter-bys


The tree hydrangea is alive with pollinators of all kinds!


Zinnias are doing pretty well even though the Japanese beetles were all over them .




Mr C. always feels the need to tell people that “this plant isn’t what it looks like” whenever someone comes to see the gardens. The leaves DO resemble a different plant. But it’s actually a Mexican Hibiscus.




A few daylilies are still blooming



And speaking of lilies, my walking buddy Barb gave me some Surprise Lilies, AKA Naked Ladies and these are the first blooms!



The window boxes seem happy


And these two are still keeping me on my toes!


I hope you are all doing well. Thanks for checking in on us !

Posted in Around the House, Gardens and Other Stuff, Sassy Cat Hill House, Gardens and Other Stuff, The Adventures of Punky and Nugget Baby Beavers 2020, what's blooming, Wildlife Rehab | Leave a comment

Beary Season

Last week I went down the hill to cut some bamboo to use to stake the tomatoes. I was cutting away when I needed to straighten up because my back was hurting. As I stood up I saw a good size bear about 30 yards up the hill staring at me. No camera, no phone, and only some bamboo sticks for protection! I knew bears don’t see all that well so I walked out of the shadows into the sunlight and once he realized I was a dreaded human he ambled off into the neighbor’s driveway. I headed up to the house pronto and got Mr. C to come back down with me to collect the rest of the bamboo.

Then, the other day I was out in the back yard watering and I heard a commotion in the garage so I walked over to take a look and came face to face with a bear trying to tear into a bag of chicken food!

I ran into the house to grab my camera and took these shots through the sunroom window. It had jumped the fence and was checking out the area where the birdfeeders usually are.

DSCN0165 (1)

DSCN0167 (1)

Sadly, this one is afflicted with mange too.

THEN,  this morning I was heading out to go for my walk, pressed the garage door opener button and THIS one was right in the driveway! Lucky I had my camera with me this time.


It didn’t seem terribly afraid as it jumped the fence and then walked back toward me on the other side of the fence! We stared at each other for a bit and then it wandered off. Looks like this one has a milder case of mange as well.



You can bet that Mr.C and I are a LOT more aware as we are in the yard these days!

My heart breaks for them dealing with these awful mites.  They are so miserable and distracted with the biting and itching that they can’t forage for natural food. That’s why they are looking for easy meals. As much as I WANT to feed them I am NOT doing it. We only put the birdfeeders out when we are home to watch them now.

Posted in Around the House, Other Critters, Sassy Cat Hill House, Gardens and Other Stuff, Uncategorized, wildlife sightings | 1 Comment

Life During Corona

How can it be mid July already? On one hand it seems that life is going in slow motion and on the other time is flying by.

I was so sad to have Memorial Weekend/week without Mrs. Schmenkman here. Stupid Covid ruins everything!

Sheesh, it’s been forever since I blobbed. I guess I’ll keep it simple and write in list format to try to get caught up.

1- Wildlife rehab season!

I’ve raised and released 8 squirrels and 10 opossum this spring.  Sadly I lost a couple of babies as well.

On the first of June we got the BIG call about a baby beaver coming in! I no sooner picked that one up when I got the call about a second one! So now you know what’s been keeping me busy!

Meet Punky and Nugget


Nugget (on the right) came in teeny-tiny at only a week old.

Her(?) lodge must have been washed out and she was swept away in the Potomac River around great falls.

She had quite a struggle with pneumonia but has made a remarkable recovery.

Punky came in at 4 weeks old all the way from Newport News Virginia. Found on a lake when he (?) was approaching boaters. Once he was rescued a bad wound was discovered on his rear end. Some wonderful wildlife transporters brought him all the way here. Thought I was losing him the first few days but he too pulled through and is now fat and bratty!

2- Sadly we’ve lost two Sassies recently.

Rest in peace Kismet


and Brutus


We miss you both terribly.

3- I’ve continued to walk each day so I’m well on my way to a TWO YEAR daily walk of at least two miles per day!

4- Mr.C. is an essential worker and has been working a LOT of hours due to Covid. We’re hoping he’ll start to get some weekends off soon.

5- We had this poor,poor, pitiful bear show up in the yard.


We got permission from the state to euthanize it if it returned. Mr. C was able to put the poor thing out of it’s misery not long afterwards. It had a horrific case of mange and was clearly suffering from something else as well since it was completely emaciated. It was terribly sad, but I’m glad we were able to give this girl a faster end rather than having to endure any longer.

6- We managed to get out on the yaks a couple weeks ago. Had a few bites on the rods and enjoyed our first time on the river this year.

Otherwise things are much the same around here. The critters and gardens are keeping us busy and the days seem to fly by. We’ve been lucky enough to not run out of toilet paper, sanitizer, or disinfecting sprays and wipes.

I hope and pray you are all doing well .

Thanks for reading!


Posted in Around the House, Odds and Ends, Sassy Cat Hill House, Gardens and Other Stuff, The Adventures of Punky and Nugget, The Sassy Cats, Uncategorized, Wildlife Rehab | 1 Comment

Spring is Still Springing

Yes it is, despite this crazy Coronavirus that has taken over the globe.

I know this virus has changed a lot of lives drastically. I hope and pray that when this is over the world, and the people in it will be… better.

This is a chance for us to reset and reevaluate how we treat each other and how we treat the planet and all of the critters that share it with us, I hope we don’t waste it.

Our life here on The Hill hasn’t changed too much at all since Mr. C and I have been practicing ‘social distancing’ for quite a long time. We are experts at it!

For any of you that are struggling, please know that you are in our prayers. We’ll all get through this!

So let’s take a little look at Springtime…

Here’s Mojo enjoying a bit of sunshine


Ahhh those daffodils!


This cute little chippy has a great look out spot!


I love how these ornamental peaches look just before the sun comes up.


The forsythia and crabapples are bursting into bloom


The bullies are coming up for some sun


And the toads have arrived for their springtime love-fest. This one should try to look a little less grumpy if he wants to find a girl!


Yes, spring is springing and all will be well again.

Take care out there and have hope!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Playing With Broken Glass

I’ve been completely UN- creative for quite a loooooong time. It’s embarrassing how long it took me to get this commission finished. Thankfully I have a very understanding client!

The hardest part of the process for me is the grout.

It looks pretty good before grouting.


I get finished with the glass and then have to choose a grout color. My mind starts playing games with me and I’m just SURE I will RUIN the entire piece!

Once you start you pretty much can’t go back, so if you choose poorly you are screwed.


Then you hold your breath and start wiping off


This might be okay! A little more clean up to do.


Finished! This is a tray that is a part of an antique tea cart. I’m so thankful I finally got it finished.


Posted in mosaics, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

First Snow of 2020

The Hill was looking like a winter wonderland yesterday.



I love how the snow enhances the artwork




I had always coveted this rooster that BFG made for Capri D back at the house on Loveland street. When they downsized they told me that they were gifting him to me. They even delivered him back in November when they came for a visit! I love him so!


I’ve taken down all of the Christmas decorations except for the outside tree. I love how it looks with a dressing of snow.


It’s hard to believe that it’s supposed to be back up near 70 degrees this coming weekend! 

Posted in Around the House, Gardens and Other Stuff, Uncategorized | 2 Comments


The new group of girls are producing!!!


Lots of pretty colors too!

Posted in Chickens | 2 Comments

Happy 2020, A New Decade

Wow, how did we get here?

I can announce that I made it through last year’s resolution to purposefully walk at LEAST 2 miles each and every day of the year.

I’m proud of myself for that.

I OBVIOUSLY did NOT follow through with last year’s resolution to get back to blobbing on a regular basis.

I forgive myself for that.

2019 had a lot of ups and downs.

We spent the beginning of the year house hunting because of the distasteful neighbors. We never found just the right place although we traveled a lot of miles with a great realtor! As it turns out, the distasteful neighbors moved away (YAY!) ,so we remain here on The Hill. I hope our realtor forgives us!

(The NEW neighbors are GREAT!)

We welcomed a new Sassy Cat in April.

Meet Grandy, she was one sick girl and would have died had she not found her way to our house. She earned her moniker with the amount of her vet bills.  She doesn’t always look this grumpy, this photo was taken right after her surgery.


Here’s a better one of her with George Baily back in July.


We said goodbye to Miss Kibbles in September


We also said good bye to our favorite Easter bunny, Sampson, in November. This photo was from happier days in April when the Crazy Dog family paid us a visit for Easter


The biggest shock came just before Christmas when we had to say our good-byes to Miss Miracle Monster.


She had been struggling with Cushing’s disease, had bad arthritis and chronic hoof abscesses due to her bad feet. We started her on regular pain management medications but she had a number of falls where she had a real hard time getting back up and on December 18th she fell twice, the second time she had decided that she was done trying and we made the decision to let her go.

The hardest thing is not hearing her whinny at me when I open the garage door every morning.

It was a relatively slow year with wildlife for me. 

I rehabbed and released an opossum, a number of squirrels and these three bandits


I also lost a number of wild babies as well.

The company that Mr. C worked for decided to ‘spin off’ their jeans-wear division into it’s own company. Mr. C didn’t like the direction the new company was going so he decided to resign and take a new job. So he is starting a new chapter in his career in this new decade.

While 2019 had plenty of good times, I’m not sorry to see it go. We’re looking forward to our new beginnings here in 2020.

Let’s see if I can do better with last year’s resolution failure.

Happy 2020 everyone!




Posted in Around the House, Miracle Monster, The Sassy Cats, Uncategorized, Wildlife Rehab | 4 Comments

The Front Walk

Most of my attention to the gardens revolve around the back yard since that is where we spend the most time. But I do try to keep the front walk looking acceptable.

I’m not sure how many years ago I decided to try to make a living archway using arborvitae.  I planted two at the beginning of the walkway with the idea that I would keep pruning until it formed an entrance. It is now starting to grow together in the way I imagined.


Seeing how it’s coming along I wish I had planted a tiny bit further apart but what’s done is done. When we were thinking about putting the place on the market our real estate agent suggested cutting them down! I was horrified!

The daylilies look really pretty this time of year. They are Stella D’oro daylillies which are supposed to be reblooming but I’m not very impressed with them once the first bloom is finished.


I’m very happy with how my little front pond is coming along. There are two purple ornamental peach trees with a huge chartreuse hosta behind the pond.

(I see I need to do some weeding)


Just beyond the pond are hydrangeas, Mordens pink (non-invasive) lythrum and some zinnias. I still need to work on this area.DSCN0319

One of my favorite daylilies is right at the base of the stairs.

DSCN0318 That’s the front walk.

Posted in Around the House, Gardens and Other Stuff, Sassy Cat Hill House, Sassy Cat Hill House, Gardens and Other Stuff | 2 Comments

All My Peeps

Surprise! I’m back.

It’s been a LONGGGGGGGG time since we’ve had a chicken post.

My flock has slowly dwindled these past few years. All That remain are 4 hens, one is pretty old, blind in one eye and is still presenting me with an egg every few days.



One is a transgender game hen that grew spurs and quit laying ages ago. She is one of a group that we bought at our one and only trip to a livestock auction many years ago. I believe it was in 2008



Two others were purchased from a local breeder and are just not reliable layers. I get one egg every two or three days from them.

Maggie and Myrtle


We also still have two roosters,



and Marley


Since I’m low-carbing again eggs are on the menu a lot so I gave in to temptation and purchased a bunch of chicks at our local farm store.


We’ve got 3 Buff Orpingtons


2 Barred Rock


2 Lavender Orpingtons


2 Buff Brahmas (although only one of them has the tell-tale foot feathers so I’m not sure about that)


and 4 Easter- eggers


So in about 6 months I should have more eggs that I know what to do with! Praying that they are all really hens because I just don’t need any more roosters!

Posted in Around the House, Chickens, Feathered Friends, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Loss On The Hill

Several weeks back we had a loss here on The Hill.

We lost the old pine tree in the back yard. It was the ONLY tree that was in the yard when we first bought the place.

I’m sure I have better pictures of it in it’s prime years somewhere, but this is the best I could do.

pine tree

And LOOK… there’s Old Delilah hanging with Miracle before she was mine! *sniff* Miss that old girl.

Anyway, the pine has been in a sharp decline for the past several years. I believe it was victim to a virus in the soil. You can see that it was barely hanging on.


So I made the tough decision to cut it down.


The birds loved this tree because it was right next to the birdbath and that was where they waited for their turns to bathe, and it was where they returned after they bathed to preen. They miss it and so do I.


Posted in Around the House, Gardens and Other Stuff, Sassy Cat Hill House, Gardens and Other Stuff | 1 Comment

Spring is Poppin/ A Sunday Stroll

Our first Sunday stroll of 2019

Blooms are bustin out on The Hill





Hosta are unfolding


Fish are feeling frisky


Birds are bathing


Life is Good!  Happy Sunday everyone!

Posted in Around the House, Gardens and Other Stuff, Sassy Cat Hill House, Gardens and Other Stuff, Sunday Strolls, what's blooming | 6 Comments

The Road is Paved With Good Intentions

So keeping 1 out of 2 New Years resolutions is better then a lot of folks do I guess, but I’m pretty disappointed that I haven’t been blobbing.

(Sorry Aunt Nan!)

I’ve walked every day this year so far though!

So let’s catch up a bit…

At the end of February we had a wonderful vacation visiting Capri P and Jim  in sunny Florida at the beautimous Paradise Gardens on North Captiva Island. Truly one of the most relaxing places on earth.

Premier bird watching



This osprey nest was amusing to me


Awesome shelling too!



Capri D organized her finds very well! ^

Some even came with surprises!


Capri P has much larger beach combing goals… a good addition to the tiki lounge!


Speaking of the lounge, it’s the best place to hang out. My contribution was hanging all of the sand dollars.DSCN1727

The Schmenkmans even came for a day and cooked up some serious fish and shrimp tacos for us!

The Capris (some of us)

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And the CaBros


Can’t forget those island sunsets


It all seems like a lifetime ago.

Now we’re back to The Hill doing all of the springtime chores and gearing up for summer.

Still lots of catching up to do but that’s all for today.

Posted in Friends and Family, I'm Thankful for, memories, Surise and sunsets, The Capris, Trips and adventures, Uncategorized | 3 Comments


I’ve been singing that song in my head all day today, ever since Mr. C and I drove by a brand new FOR SALE sign in the neighborhood! Yep, my prayers have been answered!


We hiked at the state park today and I saw these Virginia bluebells just peeking out of the ground.


I hope the ice storm we’re supposed to be getting tonight and the snow coming mid-week doesn’t hurt their feelings too much. C’mon spring!

I’ve photographed this sycamore tree many times over the years. The high water from all of the rain last year has really washed out from under and around the roots. Not sure how long it’ll be able to hang on.


George Baily has been helping me with my Words With Friends game lately, maybe that’s why I’ve managed to beat Capri P once in awhile!


 Keeping up with my walking, thinking I just might challenge myself to another full year… or maybe more!

My oh my what a wonderful day! Plenty of sunshine comin my way, Zippity do-dah!

Happy Sunday y’all !!

Posted in Around the House, hikes, I'm Thankful for, morning walks, Odds and Ends, The Sassy Cats | 1 Comment

Sun- Day Hike at Lake Anna State Park

Mr. C and I took advantage of the spring like temperatures  yesterday and drove a few hours to visit Lake Anna State Park. It got up to a balmy 59 degrees so it was a welcome reprieve from the bitter cold.


The park is lovely with nice views of the water.


This picture is not upside down, it’s a reflection in the water. There’s a heron on that tree.


We saw plenty of seagulls, a couple of herons and various ducks.





There was still evidence of the bitter cold of last week though.


It was a very nice hike but Mr. C started feeling poorly at the end of the day. Hoping my home brewed colloidal silver will nip that bug in the butt. He said he was feeling better this morning.

Posted in hikes, Sunday Strolls, Trips and adventures, Uncategorized, wildlife sightings | Leave a comment

Happy Groundhog Day

Our group, Valley Wildlife Care, took our educational ambassador groundhogs to a local library to celebrate the big day.


Puxatawny Phil forecasts an early spring. Our groundhogs say 6 more weeks of winter.




Posted in Uncategorized, Wildlife Rehab | 1 Comment

Good-bye January

Well I’m doing great on one resolution and not so great on the other.

I’ve walked every single day in January.

A total step count of 413,930 steps

That’s almost 202 miles! Not too shabby I guess.

Full disclosure, that is my total daily step/mileage from my fitbit. My daily purposeful walks were between 2-5 miles with a couple of longer hikes on the weekends.

These last few walks have been mighty chilly as the polar vortex has come down into Virginia. Although I would never think to complain when I know what my Michigan and Wisconsin Peeps are enduring.

This photo is from one particularly cold morning. 

no excuses

My blobbing resolution has not gone as well, but I can honestly say that I’ve had nothing of interest to blob about. All has been quiet here on The Hill.

Miracle Monster has been battling an abscess in her foot which has required many foot soaks.

miracle monster

Otherwise it’s just been the daily chores and keeping warm by the fire.

Happy February!

Posted in hikes, Miracle Monster, morning walks, Uncategorized | 4 Comments


I had so much fun playing with my new (to me) tractor in last weekends snowstorm. I not only plowed our driveway, but also almost our whole road and a few neighbor’s driveways too… Twice!

I just did it, not expecting any payment for it.

But when I left to go walk in the park this morning and saw this alongside one of the driveways I had plowed it made me happy.

thanks for plowing

Posted in Around the House, I'm Thankful for, Odds and Ends, Uncategorized | 3 Comments