Friday, March 12, 2010


Pine Mountain News

It is nearly the middle of March already.
Winter has been strange this year. One
minute we have a winter storm and the
next the snow has all melted.

This year we have a full eco system in
our greenhouse called aquaponics. All
we have to do is keep the water
chemistry right and keep the water
flowing from the fish tank to the grow
beds and back again. The plants love
the constant nutrients and grow like

Our little wood shop is doing well.
when everything crashed in 2008
no one was buying anything. The
smaller pieces are now selling.
People are downsizing.

Poem of the Week

Mediterranean Momentos

by emily d stine

Midday sun sways soft in the sky
deciding to be blue or to dip
into blue--an aquamarine sun-
bathe for Mediterranean rays.
The boat's carving aqua ripples,
churning blue to white in its wake.

We cruise over Grotto Azura,
adjust eyes to turquoise hues
and exquisite views
as if the gods had bathed there.

And with a turn, we're sliding
back to Sorento. Dip our feet,
a final reprieve from the sun
and a sip of
sun-filled imprint
for my tongue.

Story of the Week


Malta is an island in the Mediterranean.
It is 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km
north of Tunisia. The island has had a
rich and varied history.


Malta was first settled around 5200 BC
by people from Sicily. They built megalithic
stone temples that still stand to this day.
Disease or famine or both wiped them out
about 2500 BC.

Next came the Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthage,
and finally Rome. Next came the Arabs,
Germans,The Spanish from Aragon, then the
Knights Hospitalier who turned the island
into a fortress. The French under Napolean
occupied the island for 16 years then the
British took over in 1814 and kept the island
until it became independent in 1964.
Malta became a republic in 1974.

Today Malta is made up of 3 main islands.
Gozo, Malta, and Comino and numerous
small uninhabited islands. More than 404,000
people call the islands home.

We landed at Malta International in Valetta,
then rented a car and drove to the Baystreet
Hotel in St Julian. The hotel was a 4 star that
rented for $97 a night.

Malta is a people place. There are more things
to do than there is time to do them.

On Gozo there is Dwejra inland sea. In Valleta
St John Cathedral of John the baptist fame.

The restored 5000 year old temple at Hypogeum.

Ggantija temple. Impressive slabs and pillars
from 5000 BC.


Some of the best diving in the world in the blue
green waters of Malta. if you prefer not to get wet,
There is the MV Sea Below. You can look through
38 windows to see the ocean below.

There are museums and fortresses.There are so many
restaurants you hardly know where to start to sample
the local cuisine.


There are rocky beaches and sandy beaches but there
are always people. No seclusion here.

Malta does not have enough natural water to supply
everyone so desalinization plants provide over half
the water on the island.

Many British retirees call the island home.

The official languages of the island are English and
Maltese. Driving is on the left since it was a former
British colony.

Time went by so fast and finally we had to leave
and return home.

Pine Mountain Evening

We are gathered once more in the family room of
the Pine Mountain ranch. Dinner is over and we are
watching a movie and eating fresh baked cookies.
tonight's coffee from
is Raspberry Squared. This American roast coffee
is mixed with the finest black and red raspberries
to give it a distinctive taste. It goes great with
fresh sugar cookies.

The movie is over and so is my coffee and cookies.
It is time for bed. Good night all see you in 2 weeks.