Ward House

Small Town Grillin’

We live right on Route 220, which used to be the main road to go north; that is until the interstates were built. Light traffic still travels this route, mostly tourists or those that prefer a slower pace to northern places.

Our porch is wide with tall ceilings so Ronnie will often set the grill up on the porch – keeps him and the grill out of the wet weather. This is a charcoal grill to which Ronnie will add hickory chips for extra flavor. . . . and lots of smoke! Well, yesterday there was so much smoke coming from this grill that one of the volunteer fire fighters stopped to make sure the house was not on fire! Glad it was just wood chips smoking some steaks and not what he feared. Sometimes nosey small town people drive me nuts and other times, like yesterday, I am glad to have nosey neighbors!

In other news, our yearly tandem of wood arrived today. Looks like its choppin’ time again.


August 20, 2009 Posted by | Cooking, heating, traveling | Leave a comment


I have hermit, homebody tendencies. Isn’t that true of most homesteaders? We do not travel much cause the money is tighter and needs to be used for other things. Our May trip to Lancaster did happen this year despite finances. This is normally a motorcycle trip but since we do not have a bike this year we will drive the van. Yup. We are the support vehicle for the other 6 have-motorcycle friends. On a lighter note, I will not have to worry about helmet hair. =)

This trip seemed a bit more mellow than our last one; taking a bike trip without a bike, well, it is just not the same. We were able to bring back more gifts than last trip – van can hold way more than the bike with trailer.

Friday’s trip up was uneventful ’til just outside Hagerstown W.V. We were stopping for a break when on the exit ramp, the bike in front began to wobble dangerously and then onto the shoulder. His rear wheel was shredded. We stay far enough back from the pack to make room when the riders need it and block traffic if they need over. We never noted anything in the road that he could have hit to do that kind of damage to his tire. Thankfully he had road side assistance and, two hours later, we were back on the road. He had picked up a nail that had done it’s damage and then exited. It could have been much worse than a 2-hour delay. We arrived at the motor lodge, checked in, snagged some dinner and then just collapsed into bed.

Ronnie and I are two of the few people in this group that have a job so we are used to getting up at 7 to start the day. Vacation is no different. Since no one else was stirring we decided to take a walk and off we went. Being out that ‘early’ gave way to some great photos, hand holding and quiet talks. Saturday morning we were able to watch the children walk barefoot to school and Sunday the roads were full of carriages and people walking to church.

Watching how these people live inspired me to continue to move towards a more simple, self sufficient lifestyle.

I heart Lancaster PA!

May 13, 2009 Posted by | traveling | 1 Comment

Sunday Stills, b&w

This Sunday I will be in Lancaster so this post will show on Sunday but my comment was left on the Sunday Stills site a little early. This weeks photo op. was a black and white from any of the previous categories. Ed, this angel falls into your misc. category from last year (I think it was last year).

Several years ago I discovered this tombstone in the cemetery where my grandmother was laid to rest. I have always had a fascination with tombstones and wish I had been allowed more time to wander through this old cemetery. Tombstone art is amazing – this angel is proof of that. While in Lancaster I hope to revisit a fascinating old Church; we have visited the cemetery before; however, not with this camera. I cannot wait! Glad to have a 2 GB memory stick!

While there we will also visit Bird in Hand farmers market and the winery (cannot remember the name atm). Do not worry, there will be a whole post dedicated to this trip. I love Amish country!

May 10, 2009 Posted by | traveling | 5 Comments

Planting templates

Reading seed packets is usually pretty simple. Planting seeds the recommended distance can be challenging (for me anyway). I know my forearm, from elbow to wrist, is 10.5″ and my pointer finger joint, the one after my nail, is 1″; this is what I use as a guide. Kinda funny to see me placing my arm on the ground to measure the distance between plantings/seeds. Nothing like getting close and personal with ones garden!

Anyway, Kate, over at the SGF Coop has a fab post on planting templates. I am going to ask Ronnie to make me a few of these. It’ll keep me cleaner when in the garden and the neighbors are less likely to think me more odd than they already do.

We have had almost two weeks of rain and today, so far, appears to be partly sunny! If it can keep it up until this evening, I will put my remaining plants into the ground; Days are in the 70’s and nights in the 50’s with no frost in the forecast… yet. These plants will include squash, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. We will plant beans and corn when we return from a short weekend trip (Lancaster, PA).

I love to go to Lancaster (a yearly trip) and chat with the Amish on how they live, plant, etc. Very educational and gives us all sorts of ideas for our little homestead.

May 7, 2009 Posted by | Gardening, traveling | 1 Comment