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My blog was ten years old in November 2021, and currently I focus my posts on life as a retiree living in West Howard County.

Topics? Include gardening, cooking, volunteering, and eating and drinking locally produced items. Add to that whatever catches my fancy at the moment.

our welcome in winter

It’s different out here. Pick up truck. Four wheel drive. Snow thrower. Tractor, leaf vacuum and various other power tools not present in our lives until seventeen years ago, when we moved here after 23 years in a townhouse. I suppose more than anything I want this blog to talk about life in this part of the county.

We live on what could be considered a farmette, a few acres in the rural residential part of Howard County. I had a garden, sort of, since the trees were blocking the sun, and I have abandoned it for a community garden where I volunteer. There is a meadow out back, now adorned with a radio tower for my husband’s hobby. Our neighbors occasionally have escaping animals like the goats below, and yes, there are also chickens, and hawks, and fox, and deer.

visitors from the farm down the road

Retired twelve years now from a professional highly stressful management career. I spent 30 years in Federal employment, starting as an engineer doing ocean research. I bounced around all over suburban Maryland, DC, northern VA, including a stint at the Pentagon, mostly doing Naval research for laboratories. Using computers to model the ocean. Those types of things, until I got too old to do at sea transfers to ships and submarines, and became a policy writer. My commute meant I never really got to enjoy the beauty of Central Maryland. Now, I am making up for that. It was fun, however, particularly those times traveling the world, and seeing things the average traveler doesn’t get to see.

repicturing and dinner and birds whatever 050

Included in that past were  interesting field tests, like the one in the picture here. I am in the picture, taken by my boss. We has a visiting sub surfacing a bit close to our camp, and we got to walk out and check it out.

I love my new life, as a volunteer, a gardener, a foodie, a locapour and a locavore. I have my own hobbies and I support my husband’s amateur radio hobby. Gardening and radio are what really drove us to buy our property here, after 30 years of living in Columbia. Different place. Different priorities. Lots to experience. What’s not to love?

So different than what I saw and did growing up as a city girl in West Baltimore, in the 50s and 60s. Amazing how much the world, and us, have changed in seventy years.

me and mom 1954 me and mom 1954

18 responses »

  1. Great site for slow/local foodstuffs! I found you linked from HowChow and wanted to let you know about our little coffee roasting company, Southern Skies Coffee Roasters.

    Happy holidays!

  2. M. R. Yogi Barrett

    Forgive me, for I know not who you are. I have spent most of the night taxing my memory for one named Annie Rie Dora but it escapes my old brain cells.

    I received your blog from one of my beloved wine lovers of days past – i.e., Les Amis du Vin, Wine Lovers International and the Tasters Guild – and know that indeed I must know you but do not recognize your blog name. Please help me . . .

    Your Friend in Wine,
    Yogi (happily retired on the Gulf Coast of Texas)

    • Hi Yogi, I sent you an email.

      I am using a nickname since my real name wasn’t available as a domain, and I was keeping some of this stuff fairly low key. People do figure out the connection after a while.

      Enjoy Texas! but, the wine is better here, I think? Yes?


  3. Fabulous site. I am sharing your site with our customers from Off The Vine Market, as we LOVE Trickling Springs Creamery and eating local here in Williamsburg, VA : )

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  8. Stephanie Holzman

    Just shared this on FB. Hope you don’t mind. Used Annie as your name…tho ;). See you @ the conservancy! Stephanie Holzman

  9. Interesting blog, and fascinating career backgrounder … I’ll keep reading. Seems you have straddled at least two worlds in your life pursuits to date – that makes for a rich perspective. Thanks for sharing it.

  10. So great to discover you via aristonorganic’s award page! Looking forward to viewing your future posts in my reader! 🙂

  11. I don’t have an Iphone so didn’t try these apps. Some look like they may be helpful-

  12. Wonderful Blog. Learned about your site from TSCreamery’s facebook page. We are a small farm in Bel Air, MD. We go by the Garden of Eapen at We grow lots of chickens and Texas Longhorn Cattle for grass fed beef. We are focused on food that primarily reverses chronic illness such as diabetes as the Internet is full of misleading information, even from medical professionals.

    Well, you are an inspiration and for that we Thank You.

  13. Great meeting you today at Secolari Olive Oil in the Columbia Mall. Hope Angelina was able to fix you up with some of their fabulous oil. You mentioned St Helena is Napa – have you tried Benessere wine while out there? It’s Italian style – would go great with your olive oil, pasta and CookieRide cookies!

    • Hi Casey, yes, Secolari is an incredible source of oil,and vinegar. Loved the place.

      We went to Benessere on a trip to Napa in 2008. Brought home a few wines. Iron Bridge has also sold their wine occasionally. I think we have one bottle left in the house. A Phenomenon.

      Good to meet you today.

  14. I’m really enjoying following your blog. Especially your posts about your CSA and other local food sources – it’s inspired me to post about my crop share this year. Also, I’ve nominated you for a Liebster blogging award! For more details, check out this post: 🙂

  15. Enthralling read, this is a useful post for any decent


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