right now

right now

Apr 24, 2015

What it's like here…

This is it!

It's difficult to know where to start with updating you on the events of the past year, but I think starting out by giving you some photos of where we live is a good place to begin.  Although we still live in the Mid-Atlantic and we are only 90 minutes from Washington D.C., the difference couldn't be any more stark from the D.C. and Virginia Beach areas.  

I am absolutely in love with this area!  It has all of the water we enjoyed in Virginia Beach, but none of the development.  You can actually get to the water here, pretty much wherever you want.  We lived close to the oceanfront in Virginia yet couldn't get near it due to development and parking restrictions and crowds.  Here, you can pretty much pull your car over anywhere and launch a kayak or throw a line in and nobody thinks anything of it.

The Navy is the largest employer here due to the test base (all the newest technology is tested here), but historically this area is rural, with most making a living off the water or farming.  This is about ground zero for watermen and their legendary Chesapeake Blue Crab harvesting.  The result of this is that this place is heaven for seafood.  Everyone knows of my love of crab cakes so it's about perfect here.  All of Southern Maryland is a peninsula bordered on 3 sides by the Potomac River, Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay, which effectively isolates us from the craziness that is the Northern Virginia/D.C. metro area.

This is part of "our backyard" - the pier where we fish on base, I was able to get up early and catch sunrise!  I refer to everything on the base as our backyard since we live right on base!

Another shot of the pier at sunrise.

This is the woods and trail that is behind our house.  

 We finally live among hardwoods and forest!  Our area is usually forested right up to the water line here, unlike the open areas and scrub of Virginia.

Many roads here look like this:

The result are these awesome secluded beaches all over that the trails just end at.


It's actually quite common here to keep kayaks at the ready and we don't look out of place!  In the spring through fall many people that work at the base just keep their kayak on the roof and actually manage to kayak or fish on their lunch hour.  This place is very outdoor oriented.  If you like the city you would probably not like it here!

Lots of fishing and hunting right on base.

This is one of our fishing spots, hubby and the kids always pack trash bags to pick up litter while they are there.

Marley & Sprocket love it here too!  You would never guess Marley is turning 14 years old this summer!

Hopefully you can imagine a little better the area we live in now.  We only have ONE road here that has all the stores, etc on it.  Just one.  It's awesome!

When you envision this area, it really is water and forest everywhere.  We have left the power boats behind in the south and here sailboats and crab fishing boats are king.  If you think of the old Chesapeake Bay photographs you have may have seen in books of watermen and their boats, it's pretty much still that way here. 

Crab pots everywhere here, on docks, boats and stacked behind barns!

For the uninitiated, this is the beautiful Chesapeake Blue Crab, it's Latin name Callinectes sapidus  translates to "Beautiful Swimmer".   Indeed.

It's also a hot bed of Revolutionary War history here, which is way more than I can blog about, but it's cool stuff.
I'm off to the garden plot in 40 mph winds to plant.  It's always 40 mph winds, sigh…..  Challenging, but it should give you something to laugh at when you see me trying to grow things there!  Should have a garden plot update on the next post, it's all been fence building so far this week.

Apr 21, 2015

Back in the Game...

There is no graceful way to make a comeback, but here I am!

A lot has happened...

Our new home has about 300 sq feet in the backyard - no joke.  It felt a little ridiculous to blog about everything except a garden on a garden blog!

That has changed.

Meet my new garden…

Yes, it is a plot right on the flight line!  We are very fortunate that our base has a community garden, and you better believe I jumped at the chance!  I thought I might go crazy this summer with one tomato plant in a bucket in my little backyard but I am not only gardening, I am getting to garden like I never have before!

Yes, I am so excited to be doing a lot of hard work!  My Virginia garden was work in the beginning, but I always had raised beds and they are soooooo much easier than in-ground gardening.  As you can see in the above photo, I am truly starting from nothing!  Well, the good fortune of living on a military base that will give you a little plot of land is certainly not nothing, we are very blessed.

Below you can see my car next to my plot, and this is the water spigot, so I will be doing a lot of hiking with a mile of hose. Beyond my car is the flight line.  Yes, the runway for fighter jets and all manner of other really cool test aircraft on our base.  Hearing protection is a must in my garden!  The JSF F-35 takes off here and if you know anything about that, you know how loud they are.

Yes, you will find things like this in my garden.  One of those things that is fun and cool yet makes you wonder who said "Yes, I think we will just leave this here."

We got our plot finally marked off and water turned on just this week.  The plot is 30' x 75'.  HUGE  compared to what I had previously.  Scary, considering I was harvesting 500+ lbs of produce from a garden half this size !  First order of business was to lay down some pathways so I could envision the plot and actually reduce the amount of space to plant.   Child labor laws were then thrown out the window and we began tilling and erecting fences.

A friend of mine that moved here from Virginia Beach also has the plot right next to ours so I'm sure it will be a fun summer - plus that's even more kids to put to work!!

Below is a shot of the entire plot.

Now, the return of the famous SEED BINDER, and fun with garden design.

Last but not least, a few photos of our new home… more to come later on that.

Cherry Trees entering my neighborhood.  We actually live on base, inside the gates.

This is our home.  1941 former officer barracks.  The conversion was done so that each home consists of two row houses, and they are on the historic register of MD so limited changes could be made. The result is a pretty "interesting" floor plan.  We have the original wood floors though and loads of character.  We have 7 windows in the dining room alone, this house is ALL WINDOWS!  Pretty, but FRIGID in the winter!  Colder than I ever remember being inside a house, and I'm from Minnesota so you know that's cold.  I think I took this on 9/11/14 since I see my flag is at half staff.

Our back yard is tiny.  We have a "reel" mower!

Big enough for a fire pit though!

Who needs a yard though?  We have 3 campgrounds on base, fishing pier, we can launch our kayaks or fish from over 40 little coves and beaches.  This is on base right down the street…

Just to show we are indeed alive… and hubby is not deployed!

And because no post about Maryland is complete without a Blue Crab, I will just set this right here...

I have missed blogging so much, there was never a time where I was glad to not be blogging.  I think I just needed time to regroup and had a lot of changes going on, which I will periodically regurgitate as blog posts to bring you up to speed!  I still can't believe I am going to have a real deal, old skool in-ground garden this year!!!