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Recently we inherited a community garden plot at the Hilltop Nature Center in Bloomington, IN. The previous owner had apparently abandoned it. (Though an Asian woman informed us that she saw him just a few weeks ago, and that he is Russian. Combine that with the fact that the plot was weedy, but tomatoes appeared to have been harvested… I just hope the Russian mafia doesn’t come raid our garden in revenge, now that we’ve planted for the fall/winter season…)

We are growing tomatoes, eggplants, mint, catnip, dill, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, radishes, broccoli, kale and cabbage. I’m not confident in the kohlrabi or beets though… neither seem to be doing well. They were planted only a week or so after the ones in planters at our house, which are ten times as big.

Since we just ‘plundered’ our garden, I’m posting a few pics here of the rest of Hilltop, which has a great botanical garden with endless basil, peppers, banana trees, date trees, tomatoes, corn, pumpkins, and more. (Also, this is an excuse to post more pics that I took with my new camera, a Canon Digital Rebel XTi !! (Got it for my birthday from my mom and siblings!)

Hilltop Nature Center

Hilltop Nature Center

 

Banana Tree

Banana Tree

 

Banana Tree

Banana Tree

 

Flowers at the gate

Flowers at the gate

 

Green Habanero

Green Habanero

 

Brick Pyramid

Brick Pyramid

 

My lovely BMW Z3

My lovely BMW Z3

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EDIT: ABSOLUTELY DO NOT USE GUARDIAN PET SITTERS EITHER IN BLOOMINGTON. JUST ARRIVED HOME TO DISCOVER THAT THEY NEVER SHOWED UP DURING OUR TEN DAY TRIP!!!!!!!! (See my last comment on this blog post)

We’re pretty annoyed right now. We’ve been looking for a petsitter in Bloomington, Indiana since we travel frequently, and need someone to take care of our animals when we’re away. So we found a local petsitter named “Amanda West” who advertised on the IU classified boards, and has a web site with “references” (probably fake, there’s no name/number/address under them). We asked her to come over to our house to meet the cats, and she agreed to a time and date. 

When that time came around, we waited, and waited. Finally, after over an hour, I checked my email to get her phone number, and found an email from her saying something had come up, and she needed to cancel. The email was sent ten minutes after she was already supposed to be there. I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, and suggested a new appointment the next day at 7.30 pm. She replied within minutes to confirm. So whatever came up that was so urgent, she was on the internet at 7.10, and again at 8.20. Perhaps her urgent matter didn’t take very long, but since I had originally suggested she come over at 7 OR 8, she would obviously have been welcome to come over after she was done with the other thing. 

So today, we waited again. 7.30 went by. Then 8 pm. 8.30 pm. and so on. Finally at 10 pm, I sent Amanda an email saying we don’t need her services anymore, because if she’s not responsible enough to show up for an appointment twice in a row, then she is not responsible enough to take care of animals. No response thus far.

So if you’re looking for pet sitting services in Bloomington, Indiana, and you love your animals, I strongly recommend that you find someone other than Amanda West!

(She would probably just taken the money and never come to see our animals, because it would be ‘too much trouble’, or ‘something would come up’.)

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