Sunday, April 22, 2018

It's Raining!

It's not a heavy rain, but it is steady.  One half inch so far and more promised.

I weeded the strawberry  bed yesterday and it needed moisture badly.  I may still water if this rain isn't enough.  Speaking of weeding............what a  job, but I got it done!  The plants are not very tall but are loaded with white blooms.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that our frosts are finished.

I have the tomato plants and cabbages hardening off on the screened porch (the carpenter still is a no show to enclose the porch.)

I also mowed the east yard for the second time. 

I took this picture through he morning rain out the office door:
  The red bud is now blooming and the lilac is still looking good.  That small bed in the lower left has a viburnum just leafing out, jonquils that are done and daylilies coming on.

and my favorite tree because of the apricot colored peeling bark,  betula nigra.  When it leafs out the bark won't be so noticeable but then it completely screens  the front of most of the house from the road.

Plans today are making English Muffins...... 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Change of Plans.......

....on several levels.  Today was to be Max's work day with a young neighbor boy (19).  I usually fix lunch for all of us the day he works. So, yesterday I made a loaf of banana bread and  this morning I made hamburger buns.By the way this is an excellent recipe if you want buns to be very soft almost like  store ones. These are what my DH likes so it will be added to my files.  It is from King Arthur Flour recipes as Beautiful Burger Buns.
Received a phone call; helper  not coming, Friday instead.

I had planned to work outside.  Went out early and it was mid-50's and blowing very hard.  Not pleasant; there will be another, better day.
OK.  So changed plans.  We went for more bird seed instead.  I wasn't going to feed them in warmer  weather,  but I miss seeing them out the window over the sink.

One thing you have to be on a farm (and maybe anywhere) is flexible.

I moved the Chinese cabbages back to the screened porch and also the tomatoes.  I was able to keep them out  of most of the wind.  Just brought  them back in after several hours out.  It will be near freezing again tonight.

I did my tour of the yard earlier (in  the wind) and will share a few.

 This is a flowering crabapple in the east yard. It is just a couple of  years old.
 I still have several clumps of daffodils blooming.  These are out by the front ditch near the road.
 They are mixed in with these in the same location. the green to  the left  is a very thick stand of old-fashioned lilac that are loaded with buds.  I wanted to thin them but my Sis wanted me to leave them alone and see how they do this year.  The regrowth is due to a very severe pruning a few years ago.

These next two are just to show I have been doing some work!  This is the bed outside the kitchen.  First one is cleaned  off.  ( I planted 10 Asiatic lilies on the edges and a circle of  oriental lilies around the base of the bird feeder (skinny black pole just off center)

and this is the end not yet worked on.  Most of the greenery will stay but a few weeds and stalks  will not.

This clump is almost finish.  They are in the front yard near a very scraggly forsythia and a self-seeded burning bush.

One more showing the two spirea prunifolia plenifolia near the shop.
You can tell by the very spotty grass that I am not a grass person. The previous owner was and I am ashamed of myself that I have let this go.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Day of Rest and Monthly Posting

The weather turned gray, windy and just 49 degrees; it is now raining.

I decided to not go to the milk parlor and finish cleaning and prepping the planting materials.

Instead  baked a  pumpkin pie, the first dessert baking  I have done in some time.  I tried a new technique for me, blind baking the pie shell.  I have never done that but have not liked  my  bottom crusts for some time.  They didn't seem done enough.  This new technique worked and I will be doing it from now on for custard pies; maybe even fruit pies.    Not having dessert for a long while made us really appreciate this one!


March 29, 2018

Another cool, dark, rainy day in the Ozarks.  So far, we have had 3.75 inches of rain.....much appreciated but now I want warm sunshine.  We are never satisfied are we?

Mama Pea and I can carry on an egg-bragging.  I don't have any waterfowl but my heirloom girls are really doing great.  My Dominique's are beginning their third laying year and are surprising me with the output.  I still wish I had a really dark egg layer like Marans...if I ever run across them............I may have to have a couple.

April 16, 2018

 Another catch up post.

We have had more up and down weather, actually 86° one day and down to freezing the next.  I am ready for that pattern to settle into a  slightly normal pattern.

I did manage  to get some outside work done.  Partially mowed  the east lawn around  the first of the month.

Planted a 20 foot row of  potatoes and cleaned more henbit from flower beds and garden fence row.  The hard freezes don't faze it at all.  I try to pull and toss lots of green weeds to the hens every time I get a chance.  I even turned them into the garden proper one day since I have no seeds planted.

In the background is my Gravely with the garden cart serving as  a yard tractor.  I load up all tools and other necessary things to go to  the work area.  It saves me lots of steps and I need all the help I can get.

Growing under  plant lights on the back porch:

Several varieties of tomatoes,  three kinds of the fluted Italian ones that  I have never grown before.
eggplant (the long skinny purple and white striped)Listada de Granda, red and yellow cheese peppers,
three kinds of Chinese cabbage, garden heliotrope, another  variety of heliopsis to grow beside  the  plain yellow one I have had for years at the east end of the garden.

My plant light stand fixtures are slowly dying.  I don't know if they are 'fixable' or not.  I am sure it is the ballast.  The replacement fixtures are almost  $90 so I won't be doing that (I don't think).

In bloom:

the redbud tree is showing pink
my hybrid lilac 'Isabella' (not fully yet)

Several varieties of daffodils
These are growing outside  the milk parlor (aka, potting shed and anything  else that needs shelter while doing.  I have heat and water in there.

The forsythia have  finished and the ordinary lilacs are  budded but not blooming. 

My next outdoor project has to be chainsaw pruning before things  get fully leafed out and I can't see what to do.

Max and his helper were going to do  some fence repair but it is just going to be in the 40's so we are canceling until  a (hopefully) warmer  Wednesday.


The last two breads have been  oatmeal bread, recipe from King Arthur flour but using my mixer technique.

Still not doing desserts for us.  I did make Ina Garten's Oatmeal and Raisin cookies for the neighbor's visit and  then he didn't come down.....drat, now we  will have to eat  them.
It's a very good recipe and I have added  to my files as a favorite.