Getting into the Spring of things on Zen

Yup, officially Spring has sprung…..Though temps are still hovering at freezing each night, any snow we get is just for lookin at.

We have had a few hail storms this week. I was outside working when one of them hit and was glad I was wearing a hat and heavy jacket.. The hail that found bare skin was fairly brutal though, we had larger chucks coming down when I had just come in.

I have had a couple controlled bonfires now and another stack ready to go. So long as I can keep track of incoming winds, we are all good. I did get a few gusts come through the other day though my only concern was Ma seeing it pump up the fire a bit.

I had just got the fire actually going, no small task this time of year; everything is wet, when in comes a series of gusts, enough to charge the flames up, but as I am burning n the middle of a green field and have water and tools at hand it wasn’t ever a problem.

It seems to take a few hours for each burn.. most of which is as exciting as watching the grass grow around the burn area..

A new chant of ” Just burn already would ya? “ became an almost constant for a while there. I know there is no way I can finish up this year, catching the right breeze and of course before we know it, it’ll be too dry. I’ll get what I can and start once more during the wet weather/ less wind time of the year.

Winds have come through already heralding Spring and soon the weeks long nonstop heavy winds will hit.

I have been digging through not just the trash wood that has been here since before I got up here along with our couple of lumber piles, also from before I got here, trying to put together new garden beds and fencing. A lot of the lumber gets trashed during the winter when the snow gets so heavy that it splits the wood lengthwise . Out of more than two dozen of the matching wood I wanted for a fence I was able to find five relatively decent boards.

I did manage to pretty much finish up one of the piles that was created when a South wind destroyed close to a hundred feet of wind fence along with a lean-to…. all in one night.. That wind also destroyed my gazebo, flattened the mud room, tore up sections of the roof ( Aluminum ) and threw other stuff around the property, so it was nice to finally break that down. I still have the small stuff to clean up then look for nails and such before I can think about if we want to set the area up for parking.

The kids are moving back in

We have had more and more of our hummers coming back in now. Lass, Plum Boy, and Hollywood are all going nuts chasing the others around. I haven’t noticed Hummie or Mrs Hum yet, I imagine they are busy yet in town.

Plum Boy has been hanging around me about as much as Lass does. Guess he is feeling right at home… and maybe he was born up here and his colors are just now showing.

I was looking around the gardens, and working on others when I was next to one of the feeders.. as in my side was against it when Plum Boy came in. The fence he landed on I had my hands on when he landed a foot or so from my hand, then moved down to drink out of the feeder next to me as we chatted. Back up to the fence again, caring on a conversation with me, turning all purple if I didn’t talk back to him.

Later, I had to refill the same feeder. I was walking off the deck when he saw me with the new feeder and started flying around me. He landed on the fence, patiently waiting for me to hang the feeder then hit it before my hand was off of it from stopping the swinging.

One of the new silly things the hummers are doing is to come into the covered porch area where Ma’s swing is and up to my window. That in its self isn’t new or different, but now they are bound and determined to get my attention.. They will hover and then bounce against the window until I see them…goof balls .

Da ! Come look! I have a secret to tell you. Come out and play.”

Some times , if I am working on something, they will hover, and hover, and bounce, and hover and hover until they know they have my attention.

Our deer are back in, in larger numbers with some pregger girls. Most of the deer are our kids and don’t mind us at all, including coming in to follow me around from time to time. A few others aren’t regulars and get twitchy if they don’t see us until they are close. Over all though things are pretty quiet. They still like to watch me at the burn pile though I can’t get any of them to help me move lumber…lazy dang woodland creatures.

The elk came through after being gone for awhile here just a couple days ago. A small cow band, under twenty. They came up looked around for a bit then made their way down through the saddle to the south of the house.

While I was working around the gardens, I heard our two mated ravens throwing a MAJOR fit. I stopped what I was doing and started trying to figure out what wasn’t right.

They were diving and circling and throwing serious tantrums, when suddenly a bald eagle flew up from the grounds. The two ravens started pecking at him in flight. Eagles are big birds, but so are our Ravens. They pestered him until he was down in the Oak Grove, seemingly just far enough away from their nest so that they just sat and glared at him.

Getting ready for planting

I have my lumber for raised gardens to the North, in our effort to find a place that doesn’t get completely scoured by the Spring winds. It is already fenced for the apple trees, I just need to put up some plastic to warm it a bit , till the ground where the few beds will go and then the beds themselves. The hardest part there is getting all the angle brackets.

I moved three trays of plants from under the grow lights and onto the Morning Room counter. I also started the next batch of plants and just waiting for them to break through the soil now along with four trays of plants that are also getting too large for the grow lights. After so many years of starts simply, well NOT starting, now we have a ton of plants. I still can’t see all that great so putting in seed, I think I am putting in two or three tops and I am getting a forest in each pot, so when I repot I am tripling, at least, my numbers.

We are still holding off on squash and melons. They grow so big so fast that I am going to need to wait until we are closer to putting them out.. well, and I need more space under the lights.

Now whether we get a decent crop after all this..no telling.. Heavy winds or super hot weeks, or both and then there is fire season. Hopefully we wont have another bad one like last year. We didn’t get much due to very weak sunlight and all but impossible for me to keep water on them, it was just too smoky to spend that kinds of time hand watering.

Spring Cleaning

Ma got into her room working on papers…We get so busy that paperwork doesn’t get divided for burn, shred and or trash. It doesn’t help when any mail that comes in, for whatever reason, senders seem to think that the more times they put our names and address on whatever they send the better it is making it a matter of going through every dang page and side looking for that so that bulk can be trashed and info shredded or burned… So it builds up.

So, Ma was able to get that taken care of along with us doing a little minor work to her sewing machine so that she is up and running again.

I know Ma has more she’d like to get done in there, Part of the problem is that I need to go through Innie to make room for anything else that comes out and to do that , besides having temps warm enough that I can stay out there, I am going to have things to get rid of.. We have a lot of things we pulled out of the house as soon as we started moving in, knobs, faucets , lights, on and on. So I need some place to take them to so that I can make enough room to move stuff out there. So my fault there.

We decided to start looking for a new sofa for Ma. We have a Hide-a-Bed that is in excellent condition BUT it is too big for Ma and that is where she knits and spins along with having her projects laid out on it. Even with pillows and towels to try to fit Ma comfortably we have just gotten no where and trying to find something nice locally that isn’t as tall and deep is a problem. For whatever reason companies are all over making things for Big and Large folk but not for smaller.

It’s hard enough just trying to find gloves and underwear let alone a Love Seat.

With temps starting to go up a bit, we are getting close to when I can start shampooing again, though as long as I am hauling in wood a couple times a day, it won’t help much. But we are getting closer anyway.

I haven’t even tried starting to fight the tractor again yet. Even if she starts up and runs ok, she’ll just go straight into the shop for me to try to stop the oil leak and the gas leak both and then I wont be able to get around the shop though at the same time I can’t really wait until I change the shop around…..that would mean moving stuff into the containers.. which we already covered.

The Magic Fleece

So, we have been looking backward into working from Fleece and on to fiber to spinning to knitting to wearing them out and starting over.

Ma picked up some fleece and I will be learning the prep work. It all seems pretty straight forward if possibly messing and time consuming, but I am looking forward to seeing if I can pull it off for Ma.

Working from the fleece forward gives us options we have to hope for the best at present.

When you buy yarn, there are a ton of different directions you can go, from cheap to very expensive. You can order custom work and hope for the best..

Ma has been ending up with more and more that we are altogether happy with finding more and more with nups in it. ( bumpy crap from carding too hard and fast for the most part.)

Working with the fleece , I’ll be using combs along with other fun gadgets, which combs can pull the nup crap out to an extent.

Trying to clean the fleece, then comb it, attempting to separate the unusable crap from the usable and hopefully finally to where Ma can just grab and spin is hopefully doable for me.. Others do so I imagine I can. There are so many ways Ma can work off the fleece , it will be interesting. There will be more for me to try to learn after that, but baby steps.

I have to run to town this week so I’ll start looking for some of the other toys I’ll need.. Fortunately, a lot of them are pet tools.. Now just hope that even here they still carry pet tools..

Final Thoughts

Day two of a migraine * chuckle* always something , so I’ll be closing the post down here for today.

We are in Spring mode now, getting things ready for Summer, hoping for a decent harvest this year , mostly tomatoes for sauce and if we get more then on to diced or stewed tomatoes….Assuming I can get my canning supplies this year.

Another nice thing ( assuming it works) about having the gardens to the north, it’ll use less water to do more with the beds in with the apple trees. Granted, the old beds will still be in use, just a different use. I am hoping to get Chamomile to take off in a couple beds. and I’ll still have squash types and probably a couple hot peppers roaming around. At least threw a full decent season so that we can see if we can get what we need from just the north gardens, but new gardens take time to break in up here, usually a few years before they are comfortable.

This will be our first year with all our own plants, including a lot of seeds that came from plants that did well up here. It is harsh here for flora so when a plant thrives , that is where you want to propagate from one way or another.

And as I sit here typing away, here comes our wild turkeys . A couple big Toms just came through, and girls heading the other way. We haven’t hunted turkeys now since before my eye got trashed and I am not so sure I’ll worry about them just yet anyway.

They are generally more entertaining out in the field than as I am trying to clean them up. We eat them , all of them, unlike a lot of guys I know that just use the breasts, but probably not this year.

I still have to break out my bow, my right hand bow, to switch , once again, back to Right hand shooting from the left hand shooting I had to learn after the injury.. That bow is heavier so better flight. But.. I can shoot either way now, just have to work on the muscle memory some. I don’t have to rush on that however as deer season is Fall, plenty of time yet.

With snow mostly behind us and winds ahead of us, we are in comfortable cool calm days. Nice enough to be out without major bundling and still able to sit by the fire to get toasty.

Ma gets to spin by the fire a bit and knit a bit before bed, it is nice right now. Gardens are like Christmas at this point; all prep and ” decorating” anxiously waiting for ” The Day” Once we have everything ready and plants hit the soil, then it is just a matter of trying to keep them a live in the summit winds and hope for decent weather .

I am watching two more turkey come up from the saddle, slowly making their way here to the homestead. I have to smile, Days like this are great so long as you don’t try to rush the seasons. It is suppose to be cool and overcast. I am not one to wish away Spring for Summer….Especially with as many bad summers as we have had lately with everything trying to burn to the ground around us. I’ll keep watching my plants get a little bigger each day, get ready to repot again and wait for the warmer temps soon to come…besides. I have taters to plant soon..

Turkeys in the fields, hummers at the window and pregger deer and elk passing through. Limpy’s pack making their rounds with new babes any time now. Mama Bobcat kitty close by with hopefully new babies too before too long. All make for

Just another day on Zen Mountain

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