June 30, 2021

So how did the potatoes in the grow bags work out?

Last fall I conducted a little experiment on growing potatoes in fifteen-gallon grow bags. It was enough of a success for us to give it a try this past spring. I got a couple of Kenebeck seed potatoes and planted them in a big green bag - and they grew! 

Unfortunately, be it due to the weather or my inexperience with grow bags, the tops of the potato plants browned over the past two weeks. That meant the growing spuds were probably done growing because their source of nutrients had died. I wasn't quite ready to call it quits, but logic and common sense do sometimes prevail here on the manor. I emptied the bags to harvest the potatoes - and there were potatoes.

It wasn't the harvest I hoped for, but it's got potential. These can be used as seed potatoes now. There is no reason at all I can't allow a few of them to sprout and replant the bags for this fall. I even wonder if the plants will survive in the greenhouse over the winter. 

Half the fun of gardening is just planting and standing back to see what Mother Nature will do, and what she can do. 

We'll keep you posted.

Oh, and those really small potatoes? We'll boil them, butter 'em up, and enjoy!

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

June 28, 2021

The peppers are forming

I have what is to me a new food obsession. I say it's new because I only discovered it last year and I'm totally hooked on it. What is it you ask? A little delight called Cowboy Candy or "candied" jalapeno peppers. I'd never heard of it until I saw a homesteader on YouTube make it. Himself is a big fan of jalapenos and I was always on the "take it or leave it" fence. 

Until I tasted Cowboy Candy

Oh, it's not pepper jelly, no. I've always liked a big spoonful of pepper jelly over some cream cheese with a handful of wheat crackers. Cowboy Candy is better. 

I planted pepper seeds earlier this year and damn if I didn't end up with thirty-three pepper plants for my little garden corral. They are doing so well! There are pepper blossoms everywhere and now little peppers are forming! 

The recipe I use to make and can Cowboy Candy can be found in the Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. It's a wonderful resource for technique and recipes. It's great to have recipes and not just a how-to on canning, say, apples. You get a recipe for apple pie filling which is one of the reasons I want to can apples. 

I'm hoping for a good harvest and a lot of half-pint jars of Cowboy Candy. It's amazing how quickly we went through the batches I made last year. I'm going for double this year. I really can't wait! 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

June 26, 2021

When you least expect it

Just yesterday I posted about retiring. By the end of the workday, I'd had enough and I submitted my letter of resignation, effective July 31, 2021. 

Talk about something feeling anticlimactic, yes, it did. It felt like nothing at all.

There's no panic, no second thoughts, only relief that the letter is in and I can now actively wind things down. After twenty-one years, I have a bit of stuff to haul home. 

I'm not sure how I thought I would feel, but this "nothing" isn't it. For the first time in probably my adult life, I don't have a sense of urgency over all the things I want to get accomplished this weekend, or even this summer. I've entered a sort of waiting limbo. 

The Lord of the Manor has yet to question me. I think he's digesting the fact he's going to lose his private kingdom a bit sooner than anticipated. I'm sure we'll work it out. I do expect to spend a certain amount of time each day at my computer with my writer's hat on. That should give him sufficient time to do whatever it is he does all day. 

I don't want to get overly excited, but I can feel the excitement building in me. I've realized so few dreams in my life, well, only one if the truth be told. I was and am recognized for my writing. But the biggest dream I have for myself, the one that is most important, is to truly BE the Lady of the Manor. To be here, on the land my grandfather gave to me and that I love as much as he did. 

Perhaps Neil Young said it best: We've been through some things together, with trunks of memories still to come. We found things to do in stormy weather, long may you run. Long may you run, long may you run, although these changes have come with your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

Now a new Saturday beckons, one that I hope retains the peace I feel this morning. Long may I run.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

June 25, 2021

How's the countdown doing?

taken 6/20/21
I have a countdown counter on my phone to track the possible days to my retirement date. I have a world of options ranging anywhere from tomorrow morning to May 31, 2022, and any day I choose in between. That's been the most difficult thing - deciding on the date. Because it's not just about the date.

If I choose to go on March 31, 2022, it's not 280 days. It's 40 weeks, which is rather biblical at the moment. Forty is one of the numbers of completion. March 31st equates to 200 weekdays, or workdays. But wait.

I don't work on Mondays. I gave that up a few years ago and it's been the greatest gift I've given myself in years. So I need to figure 200 workdays on the counter less one day a week for the 40 weeks, or 160 workdays. But wait.

Here at mid-year, I still have 14 vacation days and 5 paid holidays to go, so we must subtract another 19 days of work from the 160. This gives us 141 workdays remaining. 

And here's a thought for you. Why do they call it the work FORCE? I never thought about the word "force" having two separate meanings before. Shines a different light on it, doesn't it? 

taken 6/20/21
I tell myself I can make it another 145 days, but I wonder. The CEO is on vacation this week and I may make a few phone calls. 

I'm ready to be home at Holly Tree Manor on a full-time basis. I have work to do here. I want to transform the manor to match the vision I've carried in my heart for so many years. 

Yes, it's really time. Am I brave enough to take the step?

The Lady of the Manor

** I took those screen captures days before I actually go to write this entry which is why the numbers may seem "off."

June 23, 2021

Green and growing!

 We couldn't be happier with our little garden corral! Everything is green and growing and even producing blooms. We worry about the deer finding it, so we did put up a perimeter netting and so far <knock on wood> they're leaving it alone. 

I enjoy going out and watering it every day it doesn't rain. The tomatoes are in grow bags and those can dry out quickly. Next year, the plan is to get the tomatoes into five-gallon buckets. I didn't want to be a hoarder and purchase every food-safe bucket I could find, a notion that may bite me in the ass come next year, but there it is. 

Last year we started with five grow bags and had an encouraging harvest.  This year we've gone a bit bigger and instead of having just a few peppers, I hope to have enough for several batches of Cowboy Candy, pepper jelly, and more. We had enough cucumbers to eat and make a batch or two of refrigerator pickles, but not enough to store in the pantry. I love, love, love bread & butter pickles and hope this year to put my great-grandmother's recipe to good use. 

Then there are tomatoes. We seem to be cursed when it comes to tomatoes, but with over a dozen plants, we have hopes of some scrumptious tomato sandwiches. Considering we're growing old-fashioned Beefsteak tomatoes, it may happen. 

And so we wait and hope our little garden corral will do us proud. And we also hope our energy doesn't fail when it's time to preserve our harvest. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

June 21, 2021

My Kindle HAS been acting wonky lately...

1. Read the small print.
2. Government is not in place to be your friend. 
3. If a corporation offers you something, it's not really to your benefit. 
4. Rule changes are rarely in your favor. Opt out. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, we got hooked on YouTube. We joke that you can find out how to do just about anything because someone has posted a video. We stick mostly to cooking, gardening, homesteading, and automotive channels, but there's variety when we want it. One of the gardening/cooking channels posted a quirky little piece about reports of "smart" thermostats in Texas turning up or down on their own. 

I scoffed, too, but wait. 

Being curious, because this channel is a bit off-beat and the woman creating the content hears a different drummer, I restored to asking Google this morning. Guess what? The story seems to have legs. 

True or not, there's a big lesson, or several, here. 

The jist of the story is that some consumers in Texas may have enrolled into a "smart saver" program when they enrolled in a sweepstakes. How's this for a long link? https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2021/06/19/local-residents-say-smart-thermostats-were-controlled-remotely-in-an-attempt-to-conserve-energy

Check it out fast because I expect it to be pulled. Here's another one -  https://www.wpxi.com/news/trending/texas-thermostats-adjusted-remotely-during-heat-wave-residents-claim/S35AZRBXARB6BBOT4BNA6NSWEE/

If your first question is how can anyone remotely reset a thermostat, let me say that the facility I work in has programmable Honeywell thermostats that I can adjust with my smartphone. There's an app. Of course, there's an app. More than one.  I'm linked in to the security camera system, too. It's a different app. 

It wouldn't take much for a large company to strike a deal with any of the thermostat manufacturers to obtain override permission. A few clicks on a computer or phone, and you're going to get hot. Or cold. 

If you have some Amazon devices, it could be even worse. Amazon has/is using its Ring and other devices to create something called Amazon Sidewalk. This new "feature" creates a low bandwidth network using smart home devices and can piggyback on your neighbor's wi-fi if necessary. And you are someone's neighbor, too. Don't forget that. 

I'm not sure my very mercenary cable internet provider is going to like this. Could this mean MY Internet gets cut off because my neighbor is watching porn? I wouldn't like that much.

And here's another thing. My Kindle Fire HAS been acting wonky lately. It's gotten very slow and it acts a bit confused. I checked, and it does "see" a lot of networks around me that are out of range. But what if they are suddenly boosted and become in range? 

Does my cellular carrier, T-Mobile, do something like this? 

I find this very worrisome. I want to opt-out of all of it. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

June 20, 2021

How many stages will it take?

November 2020
 We've begun to do the work to clear the old tractor path. It's been a long time coming because it will be a lot of hard, physical labor, labor that I will need to do. The Lord of the Manor no longer has the physical capability and I thank God that I do. 

Last November, on a bright sunny day, we made our way to the edge of where the work started and did a few minor things - mostly assess what really needed to happen. That led us to the purchase of a Brush Crusher.  Brush Crusher is the brand name for a front-end grapple for the John Deere 1023.  We purchased ours from Good Works Tractor and had it shipped since we knew we were capable of the assembly. 

The grapple is able to lift heavy logs and hold them while I use the chain saw to cut them to length. It can also "bite" into the brambles, yank them out, and hold them firmly for a trip to the brush pile to be burned. Oh, if we'd had this thing twenty years ago! 

June 20, 2021
There is a massive amount of work involved with clearing the old tractor path. Deuce and I took a walk along the southwestern strip of it last winter. A short video of our walk, in the snow, can be found here. 

The path was clear back in my grandfather's day. The property he gave me was at one time a small apple orchard and a strawberry patch. I still have tiny wild strawberries grow each year. 

It may not look like we accomplished much, but we can at least see the stone fence again. Our next task is to finish cleaning up as much as we can before we move on to the next twenty to thirty feet. It may take us this entire season to clear the whole stretch, but we'll keep after it, a few hours at a time, until we reach the corner of the property.

Making the turn north will have to wait for next year. Maybe. The Brush Crusher is a true game-changer. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

June 19, 2021

Curried Apple Chutney from the Ball book

Curried Apple Chutney
Last summer I purchased the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. (not an affiliate link) It's a great resource for experienced and newbie canners alike. I want to try many of the recipes in the book, and yesterday, I got a headstart on canning apple goodies. The original plan was to do apples in season, but one should never walk away from a good deal or a free deal. Preserve it! It looks like apple season will be all about apple pie filling and that's okay. 

Chutney, sweet or savory, has always interested me. I had everything needed for the Curried Apple Chutney so last evening, I went to work and got it done. It didn't take too long to do, either. I spent about half an hour peeling apples, chopping the onion, and measuring out everything. The chutney needed to cook for about forty-five minutes, during which time I prepared the jars. Once the mix has cooked, it goes into the jars, and then it's time to follow a water-bath process for fifteen minutes. Then the jars came out, I tightened down the Tattler lids, and scampered off to my Kindle. 

Curried Apple Chutney jarred
First thing this morning I checked the jars, gleefully discovering all the seals are good. The book says the recipe makes ten pints, but no. It made twelve half-pints or only SIX full pints, and I measured everything very carefully since it was my first time using a recipe. Sometimes you get what you get. The Ball book is usually very accurate in the recipe yield, so I'll give them a pass on this one. 

I also learned something else this morning. Apparently, the Jarden company, which makes Ball jars, is now owned by the Newell company. Is this why we can't find metal lids? At this point, I'm liking the Tattler lids more and more. 

There are many additional recipes I want to try in the Ball book, but what I need to do next is simple apple jelly. As I peeled the apples last night, I saved the peels and the cores to cook along with some sliced apples to make the apple juice for the jelly. Waste not, want not as the old saying goes. The remaining pulp will go out in the woods for the little ones. I still have several jars of Caramel Apple Jam on the shelf, so no apple jam or apple butter this year. 

My coffee is cold and this entry is finished. It's time for a fresh cup and to check the weather forecast for the day. After that, who knows? The day will unfold, with or without a decent game plan.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

**You can find a bit more about this chutney here.**

June 13, 2021

Cherry jelly - first time making

Growing up country, having a cherry tree was not a big deal. My grandfather had several "wild" cherry trees that produced cherries growing in odd locations. Not every "wild" cherry bears fruit, so having several was quite a boon for my family. 

These trees produced an abundance of fruit, but the cherries were small. It took a lot of work to harvest enough fruit for everything my grandmother wanted to "put up," but it was worth it. I haven't had cherry jelly since she stopped canning. And I do mean jelly, not jam. She strained the pulp and used the clear juice. 

When I was making grape jelly a few short days ago, I saw that the Sure-Jell insert had the formula for cherry jelly. I finally had the chance to make a stop at the local fruit stand and brought home about four pounds of fruit, enough for one batch of jelly. 

Making the jelly was much the same as making the grape jelly. The cherries are cleaned then heated to release the juices. Being that I was making jelly and not jam, I didn't need to pit the cherries before heating them. My grandmother was no one's fool. She knew how to streamline the work and I learned from her. 

Once the cherries were hot, I used a potato masher to mash them. Then I added a splash of lemon juice to preserve the color, ladled the hot pulp into a jelly bag so the juice could strain out, and went on about my other chores. Several hours later I had three and a half cups of juice - just the correct amount for the Sure-Jell formula. 

The juice was transferred to a large pot and reheated, the pectin added, and the mixture brought to a roiling boil. After a minute, the entire four cups of sugar were added all at once while constantly stirring the mix. Yes, you have to have the sugar measured and ready to go in all at once. It's important to do it that way. 

After the sugar is added and the mixture is at a roiling boil again, set a timer for one minute and keep stirring until the timer goes off. Then remove the pot from the heat and jar the VERY HOT liquid. Process in a water bath according to your altitude. 

Just like with the grape jelly, I used the Tattler reusable lids. Tattler lids are made in the USA and last for years. 

I'm pleased with the results. There was just a little bit of jelly left in the pot that I scraped out and tasted. I think we'll really enjoy the cherry jelly next winter. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

June 12, 2021

The garden corral

In an effort to thwart the local deer, my veggie garden is a container garden located in what I'm calling The Garden Corral. 

The garden corral is located on what was our pool pad. To our sorrow, the Lord of the Manor can no longer safely get in and out of our little pool. Well, he can hold his nose and fall in, but it's the getting out we're not sure about. It's one more thing he's lost the ability to do as his overall health declines. Fifteen years ago chemotherapy saved his life, but the damage it did has lingered long after the cancer was dispatched. Life is a series of trade-offs. 

My little garden space is a work in progress. I started this year with grow bags and quickly graduated to 5-gallon buckets for the peppers. Next year will require something different for the cucumbers and radishes. The much-anticiapted strawberry grow bags are, in my opinion, a real bust. I don't like them so the strawberries have already been replanted. 

So on we go. 

I have fifteen buckets with peppers, thirteen grow bags with tomatoes, five grow bags with cucumbers, one with beets, one with carrots, one with a bush pumpkin, one with a bush watermelon, and one with sugar snap peas. 

The peppers are what I'm most interested in this year. With any luck, Cowboy Candy, pepper jelly, and a good amount of salsa will be added to the pantry. Past eating fresh tomatoes and making a few batches of salsa, I'm not sure what will be done with the tomatoes. We'll eat the watermelon, and I'll likely freeze the pumpkin puree. I tried canning pumpkin last year and never again. If I'm going to end up with mush, I'll just freeze mush. 

Will the harvest make me sorry I went on this journey? Perhaps, but the idea of having even a small amount of food in my pantry that I know has no preservatives in it is worth a little work. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

June 11, 2021

Garden fail: Radishes

 This is my year to experiment and learn about container vegetable gardening. As I've mentioned, an in-ground garden would be decimated by the deer, so my focus is on what I can grow in my little garden corral. 

Here's the link to a video of the deer in our woods: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0JXEfL2vqk . As destructive as they are, we love watching them. 

It's a given that not everything I plant is going to prosper - case in point is the radishes. I purchased good seed from Burpees and got really good germination. It was downhill from there. 

Radishes are said to detoxify your blood, help lower blood pressure, boost immunity, and taste de-lish! I know not everyone agrees on that last item, but we like them. My plan was to serve up some fresh in a few salads and dehydrate the rest. Once dehydrated, they're stored in airtight containers until you re-hydrate them for use.  

But back to the garden fail. I did pull a few young radishes out for salad toppers, enough to be sad we missed out on the rest. 

Good seed germination doesn't equate to a good crop. Lots of things can go wrong like the gardener putting the grow-bag in the greenhouse and allowing the radishes to get too warm. Radishes are a cool weather crop, liking temperatures anywhere from about 40F to 70F. When the weather prognosticators predicted a hard frost, I set the bag in the greenhouse for protection - and then forgot to take it out the next morning. (There was NO frost, by the way.) And so the radishes died before their time. 

I'm disappointed, but I'll try again this fall. Radishes mature quickly so if I plant again about six weeks before our average first fall frost date, we should, hopefully, be able to harvest a nice little batch. 

Maybe, come fall, the radishes we harvest will look like the ones in the picture I ripped-off of the Internet and I can post a good photo for everyone else to use. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

June 8, 2021

Trail cam provides proof of activity

 Last fall, on an impulse, I purchased an inexpensive trail cam to see what actually goes on in the backyard after dark. It's been both interesting and disappointing. 

We expected to get a lot of deer footage and we have. Unfortunately, there are times the trail cam doesn't activate until it's almost too late and we get a two-second blip. Other times it works the way we want it to. A few months ago it gave us a five-second video of a doe with a very bad limp. We agreed it was unlikely she'd survive the summer. Now, thanks to continuing footage, we can report she has healed and has just a slight limp. She was living alone in our woods but is once again traveling with her group. She can keep up with them when they run so we're hopeful all is well with her. 

We'd also hoped to discover where the foxes pass through the yard so we can set the Havahart trap for them. They've got to go. Not only would they eat Loki if they could catch him, but they carry a virus dangerous to dogs. 

And then there is the raccoon. The raccoons around here can carry rabies. He needs to be dispatched if we can catch him. Common sense says this one is probably fine since we don't see him during the day but it's a chance I don't want to take. I go outside with the dog after dark and I've had an unholy fear of rabies all my life. 

One thing I've learned is that I should download the footage from the trail cam more frequently. Clicking through thousands of images takes a lot of time. If I made it a weekly habit, it would only be a couple of hundred images to view. 

But sometimes the cam picks up some very strange wild life, something almost unexplainable. Something that amuses at least one of us. 

The Lord of the Manor does occasionally do a little work, and now he has proof.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

June 7, 2021

Now that the fragrance is gone

Every year I look forward to the peonies blooming. We like to sit on the front porch in the early morning before the sun lifts over the trees and starts to cook us, and the fragrance is wonderful. The peonies are a sort of homage to my grandmother and mother. They were fonder of the plants than I am, but I like the visible connection to them and to my younger years. When the peonies bloom, I hope any rain holds off for a week or so because rain ruins the flowers. This year, we got to enjoy the blooms and the fragrance for about ten days but now it's time to deadhead the bushes. 
An unfortunate side-effort of peonies are insects, notably bees and wasps. They, too, love the fragrance but I draw the line a coexisting with wasps. 

This morning, before the sun topped the trees, I got the clippers and went out to do the deed. Much to my surprise my helper, although four-footed and black, isn't who I expected. Loki doesn't care much for work. 

His idea of help could have gotten him hurt. Every time a leaf waved in front of his face, he took a swat at it. It didn't bother me but I doubt he'd have enjoyed it if the clippers caught his paw by mistake. 

In the end, the job was finished without bloodshed. Next spring will bring new blooms and I'll remind the cat he doesn't enjoy gardening. 

I doubt my words will have any influence on him at all.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor 

June 6, 2021

A light harvest: dill and spearmint

I would love to have a true herb garden. Herbs are lovely, fragrant plants just on their own, but they have genuine uses, too. I have memories of accompanying my great-grandmother into the woods and watching her fill her apron with mysterious green leaves. My mother used to drive up the mountain to one particular spot and cut some sort of mint for summer tea. She tried to transplant some year after year but it wouldn't grow in her garden. My problem is the deer and how they nibble on everything. 

Spearmint grows around the edges of my patio and I confess, by the end of summer I'm yanking it out like it's a weed. But this time of year, I'm harvesting the leaves for my summer brews. I like nothing better than to put a few spearmint leaves, a slice of lemon, and a chunk of real ginger in a water bottle and drink it down. 

I noticed this morning that the dill has reached the point where it will bolt and set seed if not cut, and the spearmint looked ready to flower. It was time for a little harvest. 

Both are easy to dry. I use a dehydrator, but you don't really need one. Chop and spread the dill out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and it will likely dry fine. You could also put it in the oven with the light on overnight. That little lightbulb creates more heat than you'd think. You can also tie the stalks together and hang the bundle upside down to dry, but I've found the little dill leaves can drop off and make quite a mess. 

My mother cut and hung spearmint, and that works great. I take a shortcut and use a dehydrator. Once the dehydrator finishes, I put the leaves in a quart mason jar with a moisture absorbing pack, vacuum seal it with the food saver gizmo, and store it. How long does it keep? I doubt there's a good answer to that. I keep mine until when I open the jar the fragrance is gone. 

One day soon I'll plant a proper herb garden, but until then I'm happy to have made even this light harvest. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

June 5, 2021

Acquaintances and grape jelly

Yesterday, I decided to make a run through the Walmart grocery store to stock up on a few things and obtain an out-of-season produce item. The Lord of the Manor needed... okay he didn't NEED grape jelly, but he wanted it. I knew my local grocery didn't have Concord grapes, but a quick online check said Walmart did. We do prefer to buy locally, but asking him to wait until fall for his next peanut butter and jelly sandwich would have made a grown man whimper.  

So I'm roaming the aisles at Walmart and encounter an acquaintance. Upon learning I'm on vacation and looking forward to retirement, the old gal dissed me. SHE is never going to retire. SHE likes working (i.e. living under the rule of another). SHE will never "bother" with a garden as long as she can shop at Walmart. 

Well, excuse ME! 

I have two takeaways from that meeting. One, don't shop at Walmart at 9:00am on a Friday because she may be there, and two, I'm not the crazy one. 

I was happy to get home, restock the pantry, and make a batch of grape jelly with no additives or preservatives. I followed the Sure-Jel recipe and the jelly set as it cooled. Sure-Jel has never failed if I've used their formula. I do need to get a canister of pectin for "rebel" recipes, though. 

It wasn't until I lined up the jars I'm putting in the pantry for a picture that I realized I'd lined them up like bowling pins. Subliminal? Yep.

The lids I used are the Tattler lids. Tattlers are reusable lids made in the USA. I like the idea that they can be used over and over for as long as the gasket is okay. If the gaskets start to wear out, you can purchase a bag of them separately. Tattler lids seal just as well as regular one-use metal lids. The initial investment sounds like a lot - $11.00 for a dozen lids and gaskets, but it's a one-time outlay of cash. Metal lids that are used once and discarded, which can't be found in any store around here in June of 2021, need to be purchased time after time. It just makes sense to me to buy a few boxes of Tattlers as I go along. 

The day awaits. We have a market not too far away called Ivy Hill Farm. We're coming up on cherry season and I happen to like cherry jelly. Maybe I can convince the Lord of the Manor to take a little drive today if they have some available. It may be time to order another box or two of lids. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

June 4, 2021

Brood X 2021

 They have arrived. Brood X. 

We've been hearing the cicadas singing for about a week, some to the south and some to the east, but none right on top of us. I think that's about to change. 

Yesterday, I went out to check the trail cam and pull any footage off it, and lo and behold, there was evidence of one of the little buggers hanging on the tree above the camera. It had shed its adolescence shell and is now on its way to breed as a bigger badder bug.

This morning, they're singing away! I suspect one of the cousins is now surrounded and by tomorrow, we will be, too. 

I remember the last time Brood X emerged, seventeen years ago. I didn't think much about the mystery and marvel of it at the time. This year, no matter how loud, I'm not going to complain. 

This may not happen again in my lifetime. It's a sobering thought. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor