Wednesday, March 20, 2013

More Signs of spring on the Farm

It was another very cool morning here,  28° and today will be in the 40's.  We are waiting for another storm to move in tomorrow bringing  a possibility of 3 to 6 inches of snow.  As warm as our temperatures will be during the day I don't think much will accumulate.

Yesterday we took Sugar to the vet to have her stitches removed.  She actually got up in the truck with some nudging from us, on her own and jumped  down when we got her home.  We were very happy we didn't have to lift her 55 lbs both times.  I bought her some rawhide chews as a treat.  She chewed it all afternoon and even kept it in her mouth while she snoozed.  I caught her just as she looked up.

I managed to 'trim' my grasses before we went to the vet yesterday morning.  I used my BIL's method and it works great.  I got it  done this year before the iris got too big.  I should have done it last month though.

The day before I made the rounds of the yard looking for signs of spring and was surprised to see so many.

The bulbs in the tub are up and I can see color on a hyacinth.  I  need to plant more bulbs in there this fall.

My poor single hellebore is getting ready to bloom
I just can't get excited over this flower; maybe because there aren't enough or I need a different variety?

This is the same planter that has brunnera 'Jack Frost' coming up and a variegated Solomon's Seal.  There should be some yellow tulips but I don't see any.

These are blooms on the Korean Boxwood by the back porch.  They are very fragrant and even have a scent before all the blooms open.  I love this shrub.  It stays evergreen and seems to do very well here.

This is October Glory red maple in the west yard.  I love the brilliant red buds and new twigs.

Now I have moved into the garden proper.  This is a branch on my little plum tree; it is covered with these little ball-like bloom buds.

The groundcover is Henbit!  I need to accept it as such and appreciate it.  It will be early food for the bees.

Now I am in the berry patch and I see it needs some more pruning.

This is the year I hope to move some blackberry and raspberry starts back to the orchard.

I think this is a bud on the broken peach tree,

Now I have almost completed the circle from the back porch area, west into the garden and now back through the garden gate to the house again.

This is the Endless Summer hydrangea in front of the kitchen window.  Last year it finally did rather well, except lots of the blooms were hidden behind  the large leaves....I still prefer Annabelle,

This is a bed of vinca minor I have tried to eradicate.....I guess I will give up.  The negative is if the plant is too small the vinca can overwhelm it and you never see it.  

I  did notice I lost all my golden agastache from Kris.  They never last past a couple of years here.  I did see at last foxgloves have reseeded for me!

Pending job:

Dormant oil spray.  I worry about the pending precipitation so will research that before  I waste the spray.  I think it is the most important spray in the orchard.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring is sprung ..... almost

Tomorrow is the first day of it is 28° and we are expecting some kind of freezingprecipitation by the end of the week. There is a heavy coating of frost.  I say Spring? What Spring?  At least we are getting moisture.

I finally made it outside just before this last rain (another 1.25 inches!) and tilled  a small strip in the back garden.  It is covered with some short wild grass that is like sod.  I had a tough  time tilling it up and will have to re-till it several more times to get rid of it.  It will be some nice added humus when it breaks down.  This is the strip where I will plant all those onions.

The crew came and finished the sliding doors on the east sheds.
They did another super job.  These are the same men who will be redoing my bathroom in about a week.  (I hope).

I think I have settled on the bathroom tile and design.  I am going with white subway tile on the shower, with dark grey tiny tiles on the floor of the shower; wood floor (laminate) on the bathroom floor and bead board on the walls (all painted white).  All new either chrome or brushed chrome fixtures.  The bead board walls was an addition to the project. I decided to go whole hog and be done and have it how I want it.  It will be sort of a vintage style bathroom (in a vintage style farmhouse).  Wish me luck.  This is first time I have had these guys do any inside work.

The yard is greening up and I will need to mow here and there before the month is out.  I see henbit everywhere but no bees on the blooms yet.  It is still too cold here for flying creatures.  I began some cleanup before the rain and got the small corner back porch bed weed free and even dug up a clump of white iris and divided them.  They were buried behind a a small leptodermis shrub.  It  has a lilac bloom.
I think I have a daylily or two in there that need to be brought forward but I will  wait until they are up more to do that.

This is frosted henbit in the humming bird bed.

I chopped a few weeds around the cistern planter and patio area.  I suspect the rose in the planter is history. I transferred RRD (rose rosette disease) last year when I failed to disinfect pruners between bushes.  I knew better!  Roses may be slowly eliminated from the yard because of RRD.  I do love them though.
I see many of the self seeded cilantro plants made it through winter.

This one seeded in the cistern planter beneath the rose.

I took a few more picture of the signs of spring here.  I will post more later in the week.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Bad

We have had quite a warm-up.  It was 56° this morning at  3 AM.  We got about an hour of rain during the night.  I don't have the gauge up so won't be sure of the amount.

Remember I told you that there was always some bad with farm life.....well we had some bad this week.  Something got into the chickens and killed all but 5 of them!  We are sure we caught the guilty parties with the wildlife camera.

They look so cute but they can do so much damage ....

I think I see three.  We have a trap set but they are so smart that they may not go in.

Funny thing is my Sis just got 10 new pullets and we were talking about how I didn't need any more chickens since  we were getting between 3 and  7 eggs a day......that has now changed drastically! We got two yesterday.

We had a  so so week....we took Sugar to the vet for her surgery Friday.  She is doing well but still not her full bouncy self.  She weighed 54lbs and it is all muscle.  We need to take her in the truck more; she doesn't like getting in it and trembled for 20 minutes.

Two things we need to get for her are a very large cage to put in the back seat for her and another is a large dog house to put in the pen for when we are gone most of the day.

We really need a grown outdoor dog to keep the varmints at bay around here and Sugar isn't ready for that yet.

The other bad thing was I had a bout of something; maybe the poly myalgia rheumatica in my left shoulder that was so fierce that I resorted to some pain  pills I had from before and after just taking three of them had pains in my chest every time I moved...just below the hollow of my throat.  DH decided it was the pain pills so I stopped them and went back on my aspirin therapy.  By this morning the pain seems to be gone and I have no pains in my chest area...I think he was right; he  usually is when it comes to drugs and  medical issues.

We have decided if the pain returns by Monday I will call the doctor.  I  still have leftover prednisone but sure hate to start that again but I can't tolerate the pain so I will do  what  I have to do.

I  hated missing that beautiful Saturday working outside.  I wanted to till an area for the onions.

All in good time.

Random Pictures

DH is really enjoying his birthday camera.

This was taken on the old farm.

and some dogs which is worrisome

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Catch up Time Again.

This covers from February 25 up through today, March 5.

First, it is a very disagreeable day!  40° and windy....I got numb just going to the barn to milk this morning.  Willow was down just a bit, but not bad considering the weather.  She does have shelter but often doesn't choose to use it.

Sugar has now graduated to going outside on her own for 30 minutes at a time or more.  So far, she has come every time I call her back in. She does go quite a distance back on the farm.  I think the exercise is good for her.  She expects her little treat of cheese when she comes back inside....and she gets it.

Most days have just been filled with normal daily routine.  We did get some things accomplished....I should say we had some things done.....

Our men built and hung the funny shaped door on the east sheds.  The old one was sound but looks shabby next the the two new we replaced it.

I need to do some trim painting this spring; DH will do the scraping.  There are 4 more bays on to the right of these doors and we plan to have doors hung on all of them.  We are petty close to the road and I like having everything out of sight and locked up......also the messes won't be so apparent.

I also visited with him about doing my bathroom and he says he can be available in about two weeks so I told him  to plan for it.  Now I have to pick our tile for the shower and floor and new fixtures.  Also do I use a preformed shower pan or have them do one and tile it?    I hate decisions but must do it if I want this done.  I like the idea of the tile floor so matching the shower walls should be easy.....
I hope to start shopping around this week.

I splurged a little on the kitchen and ordered new flatware and place mats and a matching rug. This was all DH's idea; he was so tired of our forks and mentioned that the place mats were getting a little sorry looking.  We have had them  for years and years.

It  is a little kitschy but I have a plate on a stand with a rooster so I went with it.

I am very happy with the quality of the mats; they didn't shrink at all when we laundered them which is usually a problem with place mats.

The flatware was very inexpensive but heavier than my old Wm. Rogers set.

and the rug in front of the sink,


I got my order of onions from Dixondale this morning and have them laying out on the back porch.  I don't want to plant them before March 25.

There are three of Candy; one of  red Candy, and one of Super Star.  Should be lots of fun planting all these.....

I have been keeping my rosemary out in the milk parlor just in a south window.  So far it is looking pretty good.

I just bury it, pot and all, when warm weather hits. 

Finally all the snow and ice have disappeared but it is too wet to till and too cold.  I need to start some seeds soon under the lights.

Tomorrow is cardiologist day for DH and then on to MIL's to do some things for her.....before that a few errands.  Not a day to look forward to, but must all be done.  DH has to fast after 7 pm so I promised him a pork chop dinner around 6 this evening.