The owls are not what they seem…

013Time to bust out your copies of “Wrapped in Plastic” and “The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer”.  Or listen to ” ‘Diane’ the Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper” and search for clues. “See you in 25 years” is actually going to happen.


Get Out There

I’ve thought about the common thread that ties together the many very different people in my life whom I admire, and this seems to be it: they get out there and try new things. They are engaged. They geek out over what they love and do those things balls-out. I’m prone to being in my own head too much, but I’m trying to be better about getting out there and doing things that scare me. In the spring, my husband and I tried one such thing: we went zip lining.

009It was fun, I felt like a kid on the playground again. Recently I attempted something in another realm of my life, and it didn’t work out the way I hoped it would. But I’m glad I took the risk, and need to remember to get on out there more.

Malabar Farm

Malabar 088Malabar 092 About 80 miles northeast of Columbus in Lucas County lies the exotically named Malabar Farm. This 1000 acre farm was the home of writer Louis Bromfield. In his time, Bromfield was a Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author and screenplay writer. He was also an early environmentalist who advocated sustainable farming practices.  Additionally, he was world-traveler (the farm is named after the coast of India) and a bit of a gadfly who hosted loads of celebrity friends at the farm. Apparently he made his guest work when they visited, and James Cagney liked to run the produce stand (produce stand sign is the first picture) when he was at the farm. Most famously, Bromfield and Malabar hosted Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall’s 1945 wedding. Because why wouldn’t Hollywood royalty want to get married on a gorgeous Ohio farm? :)

A friend’s master’s practicum involved archiving and cataloging 9 boxes of photos from Bromfield’s estate for OSU. For that friend’s birthday a few weeks ago, we went on a trip with him to tour the farm.

Malabar 084 Malabar 054We toured the “Big House” and it was interesting. The tour was pretty chill and I felt like the access guests were given was unusual -we could pretty much poke around most of the house as we worked our way through with our knowledgeable guide. Built by Bromfield in the late 1930’s, the 32 room house is large but relatively casual. It was clearly intended to both be the main residence on a working farm and to host scores of guests.

The main entrance was the fanciest bit, here’s one of the double staircases in it:

Malabar 034Otherwise, it looked like a fairly modest, lived-in, well-loved place. Malabar 047

I especially enjoyed seeing Bromfield’s office. The giant semi-circular desk was pretty sweet:

Malabar 044Apparently, Bromfield’s neighbors weren’t quite sure what to think of the fact that the home was built with a bunch of bathrooms rather than having an outhouse! Here’s one of them, hard to imagine something so mundane was a sensation to the area farmers at the time.Malabar 045

Bromfield was well know for his love of his dogs, boxers. They were even featured in liquor adds, the art for which was hanging in the office:Malabar 043

Other notable art found in the house included 2 Grandma Moses pieces. Also? His eldest daughter painted this:

Malabar 046After the house, we toured the barns and took a tractor-pulled tour of the farm, all of which was lovely. Malabar 052

Malabar 055Malabar 074Malabar 072Malabar 056The Lucas County Ohio Bicentennial Barn was located on the property:

Malabar 060Malabar 095Malabar 096

This pretty much says it all:

Malabar 050An absolutely lovely day-trip!

Berry Lovely

Although our trees haven’t changed as vibrantly this fall as they have other years, their more muted show has allowed me to appreciate all of the color provided by berries, crab apples, and rosehips. While hiking out at Dawes, I loved seeing the hazy splashes of color in the distance coming from things like crabapples, winterberries, and serviceberries:035and look at the berries on this Sparkleberry winterberry shrub in their collection:

053While we were there, we browsed the selection of plants for sale at the visitor’s center. We found a white-berried version of a shrub already in our garden at home, the Japanese beautyberry, so we had to add that to our collection. Here’s a peek at the berries and such coloring our garden at the moment:


clockwise from top: Japanese beautyberry (Callicarpa japonica), Golden raindrops crabapple (Malus transitoria ‘Schmidtcutleaf’), white Japanese beautyberry (Callicarpa japonica ‘Leucocarpa’), American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), Sugar tyme crabapples (Malus ‘Sugar Tyme’), and center, hips on our Scotch rose bush (Rosa spinosissima).

Persimmon Time

Popped out to Dawes this weekend. Had a lovely time hiking the grounds. Was tickled to see the fruit on a persimmon tree:


Seems like usually the animals get to them before I actually see them on the tree. I must confess, I’m not much use in the kitchen but these fruits could almost inspire me to try! I had persimmon pie once and replicating that flavor would be worth an awful lot of effort.

This tree is younger than the one I shared pictures of a few months ago ( -this one was planted in 1997. The bark isn’t quite as craggy looking as that on the more mature one, but you can see it is getting there. Would love to add one or two to my yard, but, alas, there just isn’t space. I’ll have to save that for my someday-move-to-the-country-dream-file!


Rolling, rolling, rolling

Although I love vintage bicycles and we have a few project ones waiting to be properly fixed-up in our barn, I must admit I was surprised and delighted when my husband decided to treat us to new bikes this summer. Those fixer-uppers will be put into working order, they will, but it’s really nice to have something reliable and ready for use NOW. (I hope that doesn’t mean that I have to turn in my vintage girl card!)

We got touring/cruiser style ones. I love mine. Love it. In fact, I appreciate it a little more every time I ride it. I had a mountain bike for years, which was nice, but I like this better. I don’t feel much of a need to off-road it anymore, plus the frame on that one was always a little small for me, so the mountain bike has been neglected. I’m not training for a race or riding to work, so a super-sporty road bike would be a waste.  Nope. A nice comfy touring bike suits my needs perfectly now. And we’ve been taking them out pretty frequently…


More to come about some of the beautiful chunks of the Erie to Ohio trail we’ve managed to bike thus far!