Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hades releases Persephone

February 3, 2014 - 7.3"/185mm snow

The winter has been rather harsh here. A great deal of snow was shoveled. Much more than normal. Temperatures were low into the first month of spring. But as Zeus commands Hades to release Persephone each spring, the earth awakes.

I began the growing season late again this year as last. The reason was one of mixed cold temperatures and malaise. I missed the sowing of peas and onions for the second year in a row. I do so love freshly picked snow peas. Not to worry. The temperature rose above 68ºF/20ºC this week. I feel planting fever coming on.

First action I took in the square foot garden was sprinkling two tablespoons of my organic fertilizer on each square foot section of both raised beds. Second action was to mixing it into the first inch or so of planting medium.

What you see in the photograph are the two of the four drip irrigation tubes I use to water the raised beds along with the fertilizer atop the growing medium.

Fertilizer mixed into the growing medium.

Third action was to cover both raised beds with red plastic mulch.
The mulch will server many purposes.
  1. Warm the soil
  2. Keep out any unwanted seeds
  3. Retain moisture
  4. Reflect light up under the leaves.
Persephone is only upon the earth for a short time. Don't just stand there, do something in your garden. 

I am already thinking of that first tomato.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Goodbye Wawa Store #72

In just five weeks Wawa store #72 will close. It was the seventy-second Wawa store opened.

#72 opened in 1973, 40 years ago.

On May 15th, the staff will be moving to new store # 8062, down Egypt Road in the Oaks Shopping Center.

The small strip mall type Wawa will soon be a relic.

As for #8062, the gas pumps are installed.

The new led luminaries are installed. I can almost smell the rolls baking and the coffee brewing.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oaks Shopping Center Getting Closer to Opening

It has been over a year since construction started on Oaks Shopping Center at the intersection of Black Rock and Egypt Roads, in Oaks, PA. Originally, the center was to open in the autumn of 2013. Inclement weather throughout 2013 kept construction behind schedule. As the winter weather finally begins to recede, construction gets closer to completion.

Wendy's is hiring, as you can see by the sign.

Penn Liberty Bank from Egypt Rd side and behind with servers from Uno parking along the roadway.

Concrete is being cut in front of Wawa. Their fuel pumps are in place under the large canopy.

The stores in the rear of the center are not quite as far along as the bank, Wendy's and Wawa seem to be.

This is an overall view of the center from the corner of Egypt and Gumbes Rds. On the lot in the foreground the Buffalo Wild Wings Bar and Grill will arise. 

It won't be long before bright lights shine all night long, day after day, everyday of the year combined with the odor of burning beef and chicken wafting through the air.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Another Barn Falls in Lower Providence Township

April 2011
April 2011

I've seen two barns torn down in Lower Providence Township within the last few years to make way for new houses. Within just the last two months another barn fell. This time it was not torn down. It collapsed.

October 2013
In October 2013 it was obvious the barn was in trouble.

October 2013
30-odd inches of snow was the last straw.

February 2014

February 2014

I am sorry to see another bit of history go.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Planting Seeds of Dreams

I received three seed catalogs in the mail just days after Christmas. Seed companies know what they are doing riding the coattails of the season. Still fresh in our memories are the faces of children with their toys under the tree. They are planting in our heads the seeds of dreams.

Photograph from eBay
Seed catalogs have rooted themselves into the furrow plowed by the dream catalog of childhood:The Sears Roebuck Christmas Catalog. Unlike Clement Moore, of sugar plums we never dreamed. We dreamed of toys. Toy in the Sears Wish Book. We revered that dream filled catalog like a sacred magical book. Every page was fingered hundreds, maybe, thousands of times before our eyes closed the night before Christmas. The pages were dogeared. The photographs circled. They were by our sides until we dropped off to sleep.

Photo from eBay

Of all the toys we chose, our families purchased just a few. If any. This time around we are the ones making the purchases. We can purchase as many seed packets as we can afford. Seeds that may never see the light of day, breathe fresh air or feel warm damp soil. For it is not the flowers and vegetables that are being sold. Seeds, desires and dreams of flowers and vegetables are what these catalogs are selling.

As before, I'll carry these catalogs with me to work. I will take them to the toilet. I will take them to bed. Soon, it will be time to decide which seeds to order from circled photographs on those dogeared pages. Then stacks of seed packets will spill across my kitchen table. Packets containing potential flowers and vegetables that may grow in my garden. Maybe, they will just remain beautiful seeds of dreams.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Oaks Shopping Center - One Year Later

Just a bit more than one year has elapsed since I began photographically following the progress of construction at the Oaks Shopping Center site. What a difference a year makes!


©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Uno Is Open in Oaks

The sign was lit on Monday night announcing the opening of Uno/Chicago Grill in Oaks.

All the lights were installed and working and the exterior of the building looked like a cross between a diner and any national chain restaurant.

I stopped by on Tuesday, their second day open, for lunch.  I was greeted at the door by three employees. Each welcomed me. Each waited for my acknowledgement. A bit much for me. One, even two would have been sufficient. I was led to a table. A menu was placed on my table and I was wished well. I removed my jacket and hat (it was snowing) and sat down to read the menu.

I arrived after 2:20pm and I was afraid I might have missed the lunch specials. I scanned each page like a pubescent boy looking for salacious words in Mandingo. I flipped through the multi-paged menu several times, back and forth, looking for the lunch specials and the time lunch stopped being served.  It seemed I was scanning and searching for a long time. Too long. I was pondering leaving and stopping for an Italian shorty at Wawa in Audubon.

I looked up from the menu and was finally greeted by my server. She introduced herself and asked if I wanted to start with a drink. I, figuratively, threw my cards on the table. I stated I was on lunch and had only thirty minutes remaining to be served and eat. I asked where the lunch specials could be found. She directed me to the specials listed on the reverse of the menu. The only place I neglected to look. She advised me that any lunch special ordered was guaranteed to be served in 10 minutes. Great! That would leave me 20 minutes to eat.

Not letting my server leave, I ordered a $7.99 lunched size Classic Cobb Salad and All-You-Can Eat Soup. I chose Chili. I added an unsweetened iced tea and my server was off to place the order.

Within a ten minute span I received my lunch, as ordered. Served with a side of Cobb Salad Avocado Ranch dressing.

I began with the chili soup. The soup included tortilla chips of both yellow and blue corn, onions, cheese and two types of beans. There was a whiff of vinegar that probably came from the hot sauce they used to add some heat. Very little heat, I must add. I should have brought my own Sriracha sauce. Overall, the chili was just one level above that of a canned chili available in any grocery store. I wasn't satisfied with the soup.

The salad was much better. Fresh ingredients of greens, chicken, avocado, tomato(nothing like home grown tomatoes), gorgonzola cheese and bacon. The creamy avocado ranch dressing was perfect for this salad. One teaspoon more dressing would have been the icing on the cake. Included was a bread stick seasoned with coarse salt. The salad was good. No, better than good. Whoever made the salad did a great job.

I ate everything and I was sated.

As for the atmosphere, the room was hard. The floor, oak and stone walls, furniture, everything was hard. I can only imagine the sound level when the room is full. Visually contrasting was a gas fueled fireplace with a raging fire. There were several large screen TVs in the room I dined. Two in the back and one mid-room, over the fireplace. Three too many TVs for me.

Overall I liked my lunch and the price. The staff was obviously newly trained and it showed. I will definitely return for lunch. I will choose a different soup next time but I will return. I will eat at the bar, next time. I felt uncomfortable by myself at a table for four in the middle of the floor. The bar will be more comfortable. Although, I won't like those big screen TVs directly in front of me. Silent bright visual distractions that hinder conversation. Even with strangers. Especially if your not interested in sports, as am I.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved