Sunday, December 20, 2009

The 2010 garden

The 2010 garden is taking shape. This cold weather experience has given me the energy to adapt and change. My papers have a plot that shows the borders of fences and woodpiles. The center is blank. No rows or crops yet. OK, I put in the small greenhouse in the upper left corner. Next to that in the upper right corner is a dotted rectangle [maybe a high hoophouse] about twice as big as the greenhouse [about 15x20]. Down the page from the greenhouse is a row of 8 cold-frame boxes. Then beneath the 'maybe' hoophouse draw 2 more rows of cold frames. That would be 24 cold frame boxes. The rhubarb bed is in the way, so take 2 boxes out of the center row. Now there are 20 Coldframe boxes that are the Kitchen Garden. In '09 I had 11 frames. Some were perennial herbs, others flowers, garlic, leeks, and vegetables. The big summer garden is farther down the page --for another day of planning.
So here are spots for about 6 coldframes that I can plan with night covers to start a March garden of frost-loving plants. My wood-shop got finished this summer so I can saw and assemble the pieces inside. This could work. The studio is slightly heated so I could germinate some seeds inside at maybe 50 degrees. I will keep thinking......
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December carrots!!

Ok, I'm bad. There were two rows of carrots that were planted late and weeded over. I got one row out in November and I thought that was pretty good. With this late season, I got some out when the ground wasn't too frozen. They were good. Last week after the ground had frozen hard, I put bags of leaves on this last row. I thought maybe some insulation would help. So this week I went out with a bucket and started digging and chipping. Most of the ground was soft and the carrots came out easily. On the outside edge I had to chip out chunks of dirt with the carrots. So I got a bucket of dirt and carrots. I put the bucket in the bathtub and filled it with cold water. Today I cleaned them. They were crisp and sweet.
So I will think about this. How about a winter garden? Planting hardy plants like Kale, spinach, beets, carrots and turnips in a section of the garden, could be a good idea here. So I can do that. I will even get to eat some foods that I haven't had for years.
The snow is serious here. My homemade hoop house got a big snowdrift. The more it collapsed, the more snow piled on top of it. Is shoveling snow a garden activity?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Smart talk

Ok, I got out in the carrot patch, nipped the green tops off a row, got the fork out and found the ground frozen hard. Chip it or wait...... I decided to wait and dig them out later. I'm not totally stubborn[determined]. Since the ground was frozen I spread hay on the trails where I am laying out next years beds. I make 4x8 planting beds with paths around them. This part of the garden had daffodils last spring. We moved them and the ground got chicken manured hay that composted in during this summer. So next year I have plans for more herbs and flowers.
There should be 25 beds and rhubarb in this part of the garden. So now I have the paths made for walking between the future beds.
The logging was tough. We worked steady for 3 hours. He sawed trees and I carried wood chunks to the edge of the trail where the wagon can pick them up. When I am by myself I work like that for about an hour. So I guess I am way stronger than I thought I was. Am I sore now. Tomorrow we do the same thing. Then I should have wood until March. Life is good.
Happy day to you.

Frosty morning

It is cold and crisp this morning. Soon I will go out to get some buckets of carrots. Not going to the store for them anymore. I have 3 rows still in the ground and this 20-40 degree weather doesnt seem to affect them. After the rains and snows thing have dried out a little so I wont be digging in mud.
Anyway the garden is mostly put to rest now. The tall plants have been mowed and the ground has been shallow tilled to compost the greenery and extra zucs. I have about 40 garlics to plant this week and that is about it. My sister got me onto a Greenhouse experiment. She is moving little beets and kale from her outside bed into a greenhouse bed. She hopes to keep them going for salad greens until Dec.
Today I am working in the woods cutting firewood. I am working with a 'pro' so I can keep on task and work with some urgency. I work alone toooooo much.
Happy Days!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Yesterday was a big test day.  I brought a frozen chicken into the kitchen to let it thaw.  This is is the first cooked chicken from the second flock.  After it had thawed I split it and covered it with some spices.  Then baked it in the oven.  The smell was wonderful and the taste is awesome. YES! YES! I am validated!  Some of the things I tried as I raised these birds came through in the taste.  The green oats/peas as an suppliment food, the sunshine hours they spent outside the coop, the buckets of fresh water.  When these bird went for processing they were strong, active and fit. So I hoped they would be good.  I just never thought I could do this on my own.  So this winter we will all eat like kings and queens.  Now I know it is worth all the hours of work and observation to keep them fed and sheltered.  So the meat from this bird will go on to be the main course in two more meals.  Then the bits will go into a baked dish. The rest will become soup stock for a few lunches.  Funny! Until last year I had never tasted a Real chicken.  Now I am proud to be raising my own and feeding other people. 
Last week we had two nights of deep freezes. Now there are beets, carrots, squash, and sun chokes left growing in the garden. I have bags and bags of carrots but I dont know how to store them.  In the store they come bagged and chilled. I'll try to keep them in the shop but they might freeze.  Anyway they will be my snack food this month. It has been raining and misting so I'll try to stay out of the garden.  I'll need different breads this week for the dinners and soups. So Baking is on my list for today.  It is Saturday and electricity is cheap today.
Last Wed we got up on the hill and cut firewood.  We have enough for Oct and Nov now.  We are cutting near a trail so I can get the wagon in.  This part of the woods has mature aspen trees dying off as maples, basswood, ash and balsam are growing up to replace them.  So we cut the little trees that didnt make it and the aspen that died out. I am not so good at aiming the big trees as they fall, so I am taking the little ones first.
It is getting nicer outside. I'll start the bread and do some chores before I go up the hill. 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ending the garden for now...Harvesting

Harvest is starting here.  I am pulling out the onions and storing them in bags. The carrots are going into plastic buckets. The blessing of the drought is that the cold weather is holding off for another week or so.  So this week I'll be pulling things in and tilling the ground and finishing up areas where the plants are done.  I decided that I am going to put up a small hoop house.  It may give me some choices on an earlier spring and a little more weather control for next year.  Anyway I need to get it up now in order to have the structure ready for Spring. The little apple trees [two years] are having a few apples.  Good eating!  Just not enough yet.  So I will spend some afternoons in the orchard, cleaning up around each tree and setting in braces and wire cages to keep them mouse and rabbit proof over the winter.   I am pretty happy to be a gardener.  These projects feel good and it is nice to see things fixed up.  Of course the trees are turning yellow and orange so I know the seasons are moving along. And I can do my fussing now when it is nice or do it later when it is 40 degrees, wet and windy.  It is so good to have choices.
Speaking of choices.... This year I have a torn rotor in my shoulder, two sprained thumbs and a torn thigh muscle.  All of these are slow healing and painful.  I could quit doing this work.  But I believe in it.  I am setting the framework/schedule to heal and strengthen myself during the gardening 'off season.'  I have to do it before I can write about it.  But I have made my decision. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I spent a long time watching the sunrise today; from dark to day.  Incredible color... so soft and flowing in time.   These moments this morning are helping me.  I have to change my life. I don't know how yet.  Anyway the doctor and the torn shoulder have forced me to look at my life directions.  The deal for me is that I have to do 6 weeks of guided physical therapy with daily home exercise to restore my shoulder.  I can't do my farming like I thought I would even after 6weeks of therapy.  So maybe the 'soft and flowing' of the sunrise can help me today.  Maybe I can change in a soft and flowing way too. Maybe.....
So today I can do a few things.   The meat chickens were processed last week. It was sad to put them in cages but I know we could not have such good food without them.  We pick them up today-wrapped and frozen real food.  Most are sold already and I will send out some notes to other past customers to see if they want to order again.  The other good thing here is that I am not carrying buckets of water twice a day and lifting 50lb bags of feed and bales of bedding. So that daily strain wont be present in my schedule.   I start therapy and I will know a lot about what and how this will work. 
In the garden the drought is back. We had our last good rains two weeks ago.  The ground is dust again.  So  I am gathering and ending sections of the gardens.  The seasons are moving on.  It is hot now and soon the freezes will be here so I will be getting ready to have the gardens getting ready for winter and next year.  It is that time.  I bet there are a lot of one-armed gardeners and 'soft and flowing' gardeners. 

Monday, September 7, 2009

Catching you up...

I can't believe so much time has passed since my last writing.  And some big things have happened.  There have been some disasters and many wonderful times.
As for disasters.... I wrecked my shoulder carrying too many hay bales and I had surgery to get a bad mole removed.  I had to let a lot of projects go undone.  I couldn't do the work or adapt for a way to get things done.  I have so much respect for people that live and function with daily pain.   Next week I go to the doctor to find out about my shoulder.  It won't heal by itself.
Now the good stuff.  The sunrises have been incredible.  The last two weeks there has been ground fog and the sun comes up into a mystical landscape.  Most of the garden has survived the 'end of August' Frost.   I put a big fence around the tomatoes to keep out the cold.  Because of me a lot of beans and lettuce didnt get picked.  I sort of let it all go.   The orchard is  needing  me, some of the trees had apples and I didn't help them this month. I ate a few and they are very good. I feel like working in the garden again now. The second flock of chickens is adult and going in to be processed this week.  I took care of them every day and they are really healthy.   So I did something very right. Probably I did more right than I think I did.  But for sure the weeds are all over.  I can do something about that.  So that will make me feel better anyway.  REDOS.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Garden days

These have been calm days.  The 'meat chickens' were processed and now in the freezers.  We get to deliver and visit this week for part of each day. It is refreshing to see a job get finished.  Well this is a farm and there are more jobs in the wings ---- The gardens are getting covered with baled grass.  The drought is bad.  We had a rain last week but the ground is back to dust.  Last night the rain missed us again. I am doing a watering as I weed. I keep a radio and coffee by the chair and move it around to where I am working. Then I get little breaks where ever I am.  It is beautiful outside. The third crop of lettuce is peeking through the hay. The onions are getting big. The cucumbers and squash are fruiting. So it is coming as long as I water.  Maybe I should make trenches and call it irrigating. 
The baby chicks have grown wing feathers and need to leave the nursery crate.  This afternoon I will finish cleaning the coop and they can go to the little room there.  They need the heat lamp but they want to run and flap  too. They grow so fast. 
This isnt a job ---the raspberries on the hill are calling. So I am out picking this week!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

After the rain

I can't believe that I haven't written for 3 weeks. There were good days and 'gritty' ones too.  Lots of family days and getting to know my grandkids.  Definitely 'good days.'  Then coming to terms with the weeds in the gardens, just going out and pulling them every day, making one plot after another look good, watering them and covering them with mulch.  It is really getting dry here. I am planting for fall beans and salad greens.  They are tiny but with watering they are growing. Lots of work that is  wonderful but I get too tired.  I get behind on my list of jobs to be done. 
My over/the/fence neighbor lived here for years. She lived her own style. We were getting to be garden friends. She was sick and died sometime last week.  She was alone.   I feel sad when I think about her.  I look at the sunrises longer, I stare at the long grasses bending in the wind, today the raspberries were so good, only half got in the bucket.  How do you celebrate life?  I look at her house.  She was an original Master gardner,  all combinations of plants were in her beds. You never knew what would be blooming there.   I think there are gardens in heaven too.  Now the clouds keep going over me.  The grass is growing and I should mow. I want to spray oil on the trees in the orchard. I have to feed the chickens.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Delicious pain in the garden

Oh I know, no pain is good..... except the muscle aches that come from planting, hoeing, tilling, transplanting, weeding  and dreaming.  The hours of bending, stooping, and crawling are so worth it.  The zuchs, cucumbers and beans are breaking through the clay soil and the vines will be coming soon.  The transplants are getting used to life in the wilds and flourishing.  I've got a chair out there and I watch or dream or just 'feel' the place.  The greenhouse is getting empty of the transplants. It will have some experiments through the summer.  I have samples of the tomato plants and I can see the difference between the tomatoes growing in open air and their twins growing in the greenhouse.  I have some broccoli that I will raise in the greenhouse bed [hopefully away from the moths and their baby worms that love my plants to pieces. 
  Today I worked all day out there. It was wonderful. I planted seven frames and got the fence up [with the vital help of my son-in-law].  I mowed weeds, pulled weeds and tilled a sod bed of weeds. Walking through it tonight I got a little smily--- it is starting to look like I thought it would look. This ark farm is a place of dreams. It really is. 
And tomorrow, my grandkids will build a salad, with the lettuces and herbs from the coldframes, and it will be a salad of foods they will happily eat.  Does it get better than that for a Grandpa?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Gardening in the cold

The date is June 7 and I am wearing my winter coat.  Alright I asked for this.  I moved here because of the fresh air and the landscape, the quiet and the beautiful everchanging sky.  It is also cold a lot, and windy.  So I am building my character.  Last week I almost quit and gave the gardens to the weeds.   All week I was interrupted and emergencies jumped in, like the flat tire on the tractor and I didnt have a wrench to take it off. I was  changing my work goals again and again. We had frost two nights and I am  still holding the tomatoes and transplants in the greenhouse.  I broke the big job into little jobs and tried to do a little. So Friday I did the carrots. I love carrots.  Saturday early I put in the squash, pumpkins and cukes.  It only took a couple of hours--big seeds.  And now I will hold. Late this week I will plant the next series of peas, beans, lettuce, etc.  Then I will have a succeeding harvest.  Cold or not the tomatoes and herbs will go out too. As an experiment I will keep some samples in the greenhouse to see how they do there. So the garden is officially planted, even though unofficially there are a lot of empty spots and full seed packages.  I am fencing the garden before the rabbits have too much lettuce and I am making a row of cold frame boxes that I can plant in all summer/fall.  I guess I am ok now.  With the cold it is raining. It rained yesterday and will again tonight.  No dust now and that feels good.
Some of the funny stuff is working out so well.    After winter feeding my big bag of sunflower seeds got wet and I just broadcast them along the fence line.  Well, thousands of little sunflower seeds are starting out and really growing.  They are almost too thick, I'll move some with the shovel. Next winter the birds can get their own sunflower seeds. 

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chicken Teens

In the mornings-every morning-- for the last few weeks I have been visiting the chicken coop and our 100 Jumbo Cornish Rock chicks.  They have a big title because they are going to be food.  I am on a farm and we are raising clean, active, heathy birds that will feed my relatives, friends and family.  I am proud of these birds and what I will be able to do to help others find 'un-chemicaled' food. 
Another part of me so admires this growth process as I see them changing every day.  Last week they were losing their yellow downy and starting to get white feathers.  They would run around flapping and sometimes 30 or 40 would all go flapping together across the pen.  This week they are growing so fast they have bald sections of their body.  The feathers cant keep up.  I am challenged by them to keep their environment correct.  This week we put 2 inch wood blocks under the feeder and the water tank.  If we keep the rim of the feeder at 'chest high'  the feed will stay cleaner and more birds can get to the feeder at the same time. This morning I adjusted the feeder so more grain would come out for them.  They ate 20 lb. of feed yesterday.  So I don't want waste but I have to keep alert to what they are doing.   I started 'turning their bedding' this week.  The bedding is straw and wood shavings.  I move slowly through the coop, forking over the bedding. It fluffs and unmats from the floor.  Now that they are used to me doing it; dozens swirl around me, pecking straw, chirping , and  fussing like they are cleaning their playground.  Then I add some new straw and shavings. They go to work on that too. Tomorrow I will dump all the bedding into compost and bring in all fresh bedding. As these teens get bigger I will need to do this more. 
The daytime air is in the 50's and 60's so I open the windows to knock down the humidity during the day and with the cross breezes dry the bedding a little.  So food--water--shelter, then I sit a while and watch.  They are funny, clever, pushy, and so active.  Tonight the windows are mostly closed, 40 degrees by morning,  one heat light is on in case someone needs it, and the feeders are full.  As the sun goes down most just flatten themselves into the bedding and sleep. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rain Train

We had the experience of having rain for 30 hours.  I've never been in a 'rain train' before where one storm after another after another after another moves over us and it just rains continually.  Now after the rain has stopped, in the slough the water is rushing over the tractor trail as though it were early spring.  In the woods, every low spot is a pond. I noticed that my fine homemade driveway is puddle after puddle all the way out to the road. Hardly any level spots at all.  That is not the way I had envisioned it.  It must be practice.....   My rain gauge showed 4 inches.  Wow!
 I am not complaining at all.  Last week I was walking around in the dust, I was planting onions, beans, peas and the first line vegetables out in the garden. I was hoeing dust, raking dust, and covering the seeds with dust.  I wasn't feeling  like the brightest bulb in the bin.  But now everything is good.  That Gulf rainwater warmed everything up. The quack grass and dandelions are almost up to my knees. My strawberry bed disappeared. But I'm not complaining at all. It is a wonderful week .   I think I have some new fun projects to do, like finding the strawberry plants and mowing the grass.  Everything is so green.  I love it here. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Week Later

I think the chicks are double in size---- Their feet and legs are so much bigger and their bodies are becoming so lean and tall.  They get fed 3 times a day and I keep the water jars full. We are introducing little grit and sand for their digestion. I worry a little so I am keeping watering the dry food.  I suppose I should let that go and start doing half mash and half crumble feed.  I'll try.  Tomorrow I get to change the poopy wood chips they have been calling home.  They will probably be chattering a lot when I get in there. I think I will feed them at the same time and most will not notice what I am doing.  I guess the chicken chores are becoming routine now.
This morning it is still freezing outside.  This area is North and West of the main weather stations and they seem to be at least 5 degrees warmer. So I have learned to do some subtraction from the weather report temperatures. My garden is still empty and the brown dirt is looking at me.  I have onions, peas and salad seeds ready to go in the garden and in covered frames.  So I am getting motivated.  They will go in the ground this week.  Also I want to start the tender plants in containers. So I am planning a big gardening week.  The seed packages are spread all over the big studio table and I am starting to arrange them for companion planting. 
This farm living is sometimes difficult for me.  There are a lot of 'facts' in my head that have always known, but they don't really work.  This area is really cold, really dry and really windy.  The soil is almost 'pottery clay' and it needs  coaching to be its best. The idealized things that people say just don't quite work.  My independence is coming slowly. The earth and sky are teaching me.
It is still freezing outside, but the sun is out and the greenhouse should be warming up by now.  The little salad garden there  is under pink insulation sheets on freezing nights.  Out there I am moving my tomato plants from little pots to big pots. They look like gawky teens for a couple of days until the stems get tougher and they stand on their own.  I have one little corner of the greenhouse that I will use for a tomato garden. Maybe I will call it 'Georgia.'

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The chicks

Tonight we brought the chicks home.  They are 3 days old, they have yellow feathers  and are soooo little.  And so full of life! They got a sip of water as we took them out of the mailer crate.  We put them into their heated area and  they ran and pecked mush and just got busy. After an hour half of the chicks were eating the softened mush and some were running and a big clump were under the lights sleeping.  This was a good delivery. None were dead or acting damaged. Now I can go to bed too.  
I remember that in the bigger picture these are Jumbo Cornish Rock hens.  They will have wonderful tasting meat and because of their genetics they carry double sized breasts when they are adult.  So it is my job to give them a good environment with excellent feed for eight weeks.  Then they will be processed so family and friends can have wholesome food. That is my job too. One day at a time I am grateful for what I can do.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Summer Sun!

Today we had sun all day and the temps were in the 70's.  The Earth up here came alive!  The popple trees opened their leaf buds and the hillside took on highlights of  light green.  Finally. Something besides Black, white gray or tan---- real green.  Speaking of green the grass is a pretty bright green too.  I think I can crawl through the asperagus and weed them.  Monday I will start planting the garden.  Now I am planting in the Greenhouse and in Cold Frame boxes near the greenhouse.  My daughter planted the coldweather salad greens in the greenhouse three weeks ago and they are up and growing now. The ground was so cold I didnt think they would grow. By this weekend we can have a salad and aspeargus Is this worth the wait? Yes. 
The garden is cultivated, the oats field[about 1/2 acre I think.  I never measured a half acre before, but a big city lot size.] had it's first tilling.  Many weeds had a tough day.  Tomorrow I can seed some of it with oats/peas. I have to do that by hand some how.  The egg-layer chicken flock in the orchard is really getting into 'bugging.' They hardly ate any of the feed I put in there.  AND they are back to laying eggs again. I gathered twice today and totaled 3 dozen!  The rooster had them all gathered in an assembly this morning.  ---Like Johnny Cash singing to the crowd.  So I'll change their name from 'egg-layer flock'  to 'Johnny's Flock.'  This is a good day!    

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Coop Cleaning!!!!

What a day!  We got into the Chicken coop today and Cleaned It Out!  Straw, dust, dirt and all the mess that chickens can leave behind.  So sweep, scrub, rinse, bleach, rinse, scrub, rinse and the coop is cleaner than our studio!  We just kept at it, we both felt good to have it done.  I tilled out the yard and planted timothy and wheat seeds. How could we be so motivated??  This is a new year on the Farm!  Next week the chicks are coming from McMurry.  By Monday the coop becomes a nursery for 100 Jumbo Cornish Rock hens. The farm will be in operation again.

There is a little more to this.... The coop was being used by another flock of chickens. So last night in the dark we moved the Egg layers into the orchard. That is their summer hangout. There are about 30 Bantams and Leghorns and we moved them back to their old hangout from last summer.  They will be outside all the time.  They  have a nesting [bad weather/night] insulated box and a sports bar box if they need a separate shelter  or if there is strife in the flock.  These chickens have personality and there is  always fussing going on.  Today they were ranging through the grass with a lot of clucking going on.  It was good to see them being so comfortable right away.   This is a good day.  We are tired, we hurt. But this is what I want to be doing with my days.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Slow Spring

Here I am excited about 2 nights in a row when it didnt freeze.  Well, except it was freezing this morning,  so I am thinking it is plodding progress not a leap into summer.  The May flowers are out in the woods and it is so pretty to be walking up there.  Sometimes we step on a leek and you can smell the onion......  The aspeargus is coming up.  So Spring is here.  The farmers here are starting to till and disc and plow so I  started tilling up some ground too. The soil is dry enough and the frost is deep enough that it seemed to be fine.  So today I will do some more tilling.  We have to move the egg layer chicken to a new spot so I will get that ready next.  There are just so many jobs to do.  I have to stop and think.  I am not a working machine.  Maybe now I can plan the next 3 weeks, make a schedule and do work and play in a balanced way. I have all wonderful things to do and it will be just fine.
This is a good time for a walk. Maybe I can see one of the wild turkeys I have been listening to this morning.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Slow Morning

This morning is not slow because of anything but me.  The sun is stirring up the birds, the sky is clear, the wind is still from the SE and the chickens are out checking for something.  But me,  I am energized in my head but my arms and legs are saying, 'Slow is good.'  When I walk around a little more parts will get more interested in activity. 
I do have a great day planned!  I am going to assemble another section of fence. [The old fence between my neighbor and I didn't match the property line.  So I am remaking it. ]  Yesterday the little boy she is babysitting came wandering over. So I am really motivated to get it finished.  Also I am going to paint the last section of my new woodshop.  I don't know why but I am getting my first woodshop and I will have it ready for my 65th birthday.  I guess life is like that, dreams sometimes have to wait.  Oh then I am going to go through my old potting trays from last year. I am getting ready to move my 2" transplants to the 4" pots.  I still have to keep the seedling trays inside the house and studio.  I have a new small greenhouse but it gets around freezing every night. By next week I will start to move plants out there. It should be warmer by then. So three things today; paint, fence and clean greenhouse trays. 
This is a good day.  I think that before I start I will walk up on the hill. There are Mayflowers starting to carpet the forest floor.  The buds are opening and Spring is starting.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Earth Day Gathering

This weekend my family came to Talk, connect, and do things together on the land.  We met for a noon potluck in the studio and then spread out to start worm compost boxes, exchange seedlings and walk up to the woods on the hill.  Little snippets of conversation mean a lot.  Watching the grandkids run and laugh and climb trees makes a heart warm even on a cold raw day.  At least the rains stopped for a while.  I was tired because I was Spring cleaning for two days. But I was smart enough to let everyone lead and be in conversation.  I didn't try to make the day be all about me.  It is all about them.  We all have so much goodness and creativity.  The day is about the Earth and about us too.   
Then last night it rained again and off and on today too.  The land needs it. The water will pull the cold out of the ground and  awaken the plants and trees.  The grass is getting green and the trees are budding.  It is cold and raw but Spring is starting.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Snow to Sunshine

This morning the snow was covering the ground, the sky was gray and the day looked dark.  Well, I planned to do a favor for a friend so that all didn't matter so much. We were off to the city to get photo equipment checked. My partner is assembling a quilt in the ArkStudio with her day of solitude. 
When I got home the weather was sunny and very windy.  It didn't seem like the same day.  The wind had damaged the hoop house.  but I got it back together again. I think I left the doorway open and created a parachute. So that problem is solved.  Now another one,  some chicken is eating the eggs in the coop.   How do you find out which one is doing it? I'll try 2 or 3 visits a day for a while to see if I can see anything.  I am so glad to be home.  The tension is creeping out of my arms and the hill looks beautiful.

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20 Snow Flurries

We have had a week of thawing weather, with temperatures in the 50's and 60's.  Now it is back, snowy rain and foggy gray skies.  So I dressed warm and  got going.   The birds were all over. The ground is just thawing and they were checking everywhere for seeds, worm, grass and bugs.  I could hear geese and cranes flying in the fog. They were close but I couldn't see them.  I cleaned up two piles of wood chip around my much smaller wood pile and spread them along the fence line. It was muddy and wet working outside so I switched to the Rainy Day list. Things to do when I have to be in. Painting in the woodshop came up number 1. My tools and saws and boxes of nails & stuff got moved into a mound when a carpenter came over to insulate my metal pole building. So that job got done and now I have walls of 4x8 plywood.  So I started painting.  I hung a plastic sheet over the doorway so the heat would stay in this smaller room. I painted and painted with 60's music. It wasn't long and I didn't want to be anywhere else. I got about half done, cleaned up and volunteered to cook. We had a spinach omelet. My pan was too hot but it tasted good.  I tucked in the transplants, the snow is covering the ground, it is getting cold. This has been a good day.