Blog - Ron Tanner's site for readers and writers
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A New Roof for the Barn

The craftsman who put the metal roof on our house is so good and so busy, we sat on his waiting list for a year when it came time to re-roof our barn. His work is worth the wait. He's old school, one of...

Summer Update from the Farm: the Kitchen Garden

Let me say flat out that Jill and I know nearly nothing about gardening. Given that we've bought a farm and are now obliged to cultivate it, our ignorance should be cause for some concern. But, heck, we don't have time to fret--there's too much...

Spring on the Farm: Flowers and Snakes

Earlier this week, I was working on the third floor of our old farm house, while my plumber was working in the basement. He phoned me and said, "You might want to come down here." "Is there a problem?" I asked. "Two snakes." He sounded agitated. "One...

I Worry About the Lady Bugs

When it gets warm--even in the midst of winter--the ladybugs come out. I find them in the windows, crawling up to the sunlight. I didn't know this but lady bugs hibernate, hunkered down in the crevices of windows, usually windows on the warmest (south-facing) side...

My Bout With Kidney Stones

I say “bout” because dealing with kidney stones is like stepping into the ring with a brutal opponent. If you’ve ever been punched in the kidney (prohibited in boxing) you got a hint of how vulnerable that organ is. Most of us are familiar with the...

One Year on the Farm

It’s deer-mating season. “This time of year, deer do strange things,” my neighbor told me. “A buck that’s been skittish and hard to track all year will suddenly walk right out in front of you like he doesn’t care about anything.” Anything, that is, except...

Home at Last

I got back home this week after a two-month book tour to promote my novel, “Missile Paradise.” It was a DIY tour, meaning I traveled in my camper van, logging 9450 miles. Cleo, my aged basset hound, kept me company. I thought the hard travel...

Homeless and On the Road

I camped in a Walmart lot last night in Fort Worth, Texas. At Walmart Supercenters, which are open 24/7, there's always a security officer patrolling the parking lot. That's why van campers and RV folk like parking there: it's the store's unofficial policy to allow...

103 in the Shade

I drove south through the San Joaquin Valley on my way out of California. The San Joaquin is America's garden--more produce comes from this land than from any other. Never mind that it's desert, fed by water sluiced from the Sierra Nevadas. It was 103 in...