Sunday, March 30, 2008

Almost Spring

It's starting to warm up on the homestead a bit and I'm beginning to believe Spring really is right around the corner. We've got some trees budding out, and a red maple in the front yard is even blooming right now. There are several trees in full bloom in town, but we're a couple of weeks behind them out here.

This week Bernie worked inside painting when it rained, and outside cutting more firewood and spreading the mulch he made. It's sad we still need firewood, but even when it warms up to near 70 degrees during the day, it's not unusual for the temperature to dip into the 30s at night. We're slowly warming up though, and soon we'll be missing the fire in the fireplace. I can't wait!

Charlotte gave me a Mimosa she had in a pot for a couple of years. I've kept it inside, but she left it outside year round, so I finally decided it was hardy enough to plant outside now. Bernie actually did the planting, but I told him where I wanted it and then stood by and gave lots of advise about digging the hole. I'm sure he really appreciated that.

Bernie plans to start building raised beds in the next week or so for the vegetable garden. We have some old tires, so I decided to go ahead and put my garlic in one of them. I bought some garlic plants from someone a few months ago and kept them in a pot inside by a window. They did pretty well inside, but are apparently quite hardy, so I decided to go ahead and put them outside in one of the old tires. I also used a tire to plant some lettuce seeds. And last fall I put some potatoes in a tire and covered them with a very thick layer of pine straw, as My Dear John suggested. I dug out the pine straw over the weekend and couldn't restrain myself from digging around a bit to see if anything survived the winter in there. Sure enough, I found potatoes and several with tubers already!

We went into town today to pick up a few things. We can't hardly go to town without stopping at Bernie's all time favorite store on the face of the entire planet - Tractor Supply Company (TSC). He got 50 more fence posts, and I got a chick feeder and waterer. I know I can't get chicks right now, but I told Bernie that TSC will be getting their baby chicks in the middle of April and that means that all the chick supplies will quickly sell out around that time. By getting the feeder and waterer now, I won't be searching for them when we finally do get our chicks. Amazingly, he said "That's probably a smart idea." I interpreted that as "Yes, you'll be getting your chicks soon." Yay! Not much longer and I'll have baby chicks to bore the snot out of you with!

We're getting our barn shed and garden shed built here this week. I'll be sure to post some pictures. My garden shed will end up being what we add the chicken coop on to. Hopefully, we'll start the coop project very shortly after we get the buildings erected.

I've been soaping a fair amount lately and working on a formula that is a little more moisturizing since my demented sister claims her skin is just too delicate for my already moisturizing bars. I made Bernie test one and he seemed to like it, although he asked me just to make him his regular soap. I do think there is a market for both types. Some people like a bubbly, cleansing soap and some people like a creamy, luxurious soap. I'm pleased with both recipes and can't wait until the newest cures so I can test it out on other unsuspecting family members. Hey sis - expect a package of soap from me soon.

Bee Free,

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