and it’s Ma’s ( my better half) Birthday today
Temps are rising slowly, the breeze doesn’t have snow in it and the sun is shining.
In the gardens
Working towards getting ready to put plants in the ground; our morning room and our entry look like..no, wait , they are nurseries.
This week, once again, I transplanted Ma’s veggie plants…and I had to move more out from under the grow lights as they were getting crispy on top as they are growing like crazy. The morning room counter has some 60-70 plants on it. I had to make room from the outdoor plants making the Master Bath into a nursery as well.. The Apothecary Cabinet is covered in plants as is the window sill, and the counter between indoor herb plants and the house plants from the Morning room.
When came down to veggie plants this year, we are back to where we were before we put up the new house. Both of us; individually, had great luck with prepping plants for out outdoor gardens before the new house. Ma in our ID home and me up here with whatever I decided to try to get through the summers up here after the well all but dried up. Once we consolidated, and moved into the new house, we have been at close to 0% in seed starting up here… New house, new well. So that made us a little concerned. Seem that no matter what we did, we had no luck… Until this year.. Granted, I am retired now, so I am watching the plants, but we made a few other changes as well. The starting space, we did some work on and for the second stage, we added more lights. But we think probably the biggest was going to Black Gold Seed starter.. We switched back to the soil a couple years ago which changed everything outdoors. Miracle Die soil is absolute crap. We, like many other switched over to it quite some time back. Up here , I went through all of a sudden losing plants left and right, but with the Summer weather up being so brutal and so little water to toss at plants, I figured that was the problem.
The new house and well changed that, but I couldn’t figure out why things that use to grow here wouldn’t anymore. Once we switched soils , things started looking up.. We still couldn’t any type of plant to start this last year, yet again… This winter , we made the switch and hoped.
After all the troubles we have had,.. well and even after the surgeries; up close work is still all but impossible to see..even with cheaters and a magnifying glass.. the right eye is still all scarred up …..anyway.. with all the trouble we have had, I thought I’d put in three seeds per pot.. WAAAYY too many of those seeds are so small that I can’t see individual ones, and just barely can grasp the little pile of seeds in my hand…soooooo…. Tomato plants ended up as groves. Pepper plants weren’t as bad….Basil, well.. if they all keep growing like they are we will have bales of the stuff.
I planned a new garden area this winter and have been out there the last few days working on it. I decided that it would be nice to try to put the bulk of everything together finally… As there is a fence around the apple trees and I have lots of space to the north of them, it just seem to make sense…Ok..fine.. the fence is actually seven layers of fence to keep out everything from squirrels to elk.. Tall fences are wide.. tight fences are small and squirrels climb so every time I ran into a problem, I added more to tighten security.. including plastic to keep it a little warmer earlier from the cold west winds. I haven’t run the fence all the way around as I don’t think, at this point, that that is necessary.
I added two 10x2x2′ gardens for tomatoes. That would be maxed at twenty plants… with 100% survival rate, I have 31.
I added a 7x3x2′ garden for peppers as well as a 4x3x2′ for whatever doesn’t fit in the other gardens. IF it works as planned-ish, then I will add a couple more raised beds as well as taking down and moving the potato bed… Obviously wont ask Ma for help this time around as it permanently ruined her back because of her bone density problem. The thing is big and awkward and heavy but I’ll figure out something on my own.
Even with the trees and gardens there is still plenty of room to put in a table and chairs for when I am working out there.. we’ll see. It had a different view than what we have from any of our other areas…and right by the pit, so kids come in there every day morning noon and night.
Actually our Bunny Day was technically yesterday as she was helping me outside. While I worked in the garden area, I had many spectators throughout the day.
Lass sat on one of the apple trees making sure I knew about any mistakes I was making while Hollywood would sweep in to chase her around , giving me a bit of peace.
Our does came through to watch for a while. As I was in the apple area, they were very interested to see if maybe I had any goodies for them. Once I chucked sod over the fence and it turned out Not to be Appules , they lost interest.
“ Geeze Da,, If I wanted grass, I would have just bent over. I came all the way over here for this? Where’s my Applues…??”
“ Ummmm….You are at least five months too early. I gave you the last of them.”
” Those appules sucked. They were all wrinkly. Not crunchy at all. They don’t count.”
‘Well.. That’s all there was. Maybe I’ll have something to throw over the fence for you this summer.”
“ Yeh? Like what?” Lil Buck looked at me through the fence, his head tilted.
“ Mmmmmm …Well… Tomato leaves. You like tomato leaves.”
“ Yeh.. They make me feel funny, but they tastes good. Some times there are tomatoes on the branches too. mmmm…Tomatoes….”
“Well.. Hopefully no tomatoes.”
“No..Yes.. Hopefully Yes tomatoes.”
“The tomatoes are Ma’s first.”
“Hmmppt.. What else?”
“ Baby appules when I am thinning.”
“Now we’re talking! Lots of big juicy appules.”
“Mmmmmm.. more like little green mouth puckering appules.”
Lil Buck stood there, looking thoughtful. ” Ok.. That works.”
“Well.. I gots to go…..umm…look for something interesting.”
I grinned at the little buck as he leap over the fence and trotted into the woods. Our Girl shrugged. ” Later Da. I’d better follow him.. You know how he gets.”
A dozen or so wild turkey came through, looking through the fence at me.
By this time, I was leaning on my shovel, simply waving and grinning at the birds as they filed through.
‘ Hey! Quit pushing.” I heard from just beyond as the last few Tom fluffed up , dancing around each other, looking tough.
And just that quick, they were on their merry way once again.
I could feel something watching me but had my hands full so I ignored it.
“ Whatcha doing Da?”
I look around to see Bunnie looking in at me, sitting quietly at the gate.
“ Hey Bunnie bunnie bunnie. I’m putting in new gardens.”
“ How am I suppose to get to them? This fence is freakin ridiculous.”
“ Well.. There are still the other gardens and you usually don’t get into the tomatoes or Peppers anyway.”
Bunnie sat, chewing on a blade of grass as she thought. ” Ok…Well.. it’s still a crazy tall fence.”
“ The fence is the same fence, I just added more stuff to keep out the wind a little.”
“ Yeh.. I can’t see through it now..”
“ Just here, You can from over there still..”
“ Don’t fence me out Dude. I like to watch the plants grow.“
“ Plenty of other green stuff. All your old gardens are still there. I am just not sure yet what will be in them.”
Bunnie hopped off in a huff.
Once I had finished making and settling the two big beds, I had some soil to get them started . Bags cut and filling in the bottom of the beds gave me an idea of how much more soil I would need to pick up. I walked the bags out to the dumpster at the beginning of the property. Bunnie was sitting next to the drive, watching me.
“ Hi Bunnie bunnie bunnie.”
“ Hey Da… Have you decided on what you are going to plant for me yet?”
“ Umm , no, not yet.”
“ Whatever.” Bunnie mumbled “ No Easter eggs for you then.“
I laughed as I walked by. Bunnie just glared at me.
I tossed the bags into the dumpster and walked back. Bunnie was still sitting there, just a few feet from me.
“ How about now?”
“ Not yet Bunnie.”
“Maybe I’ll lay some Easter eggs in your chair for you.”
“ Ummmm.. Thank you..no.. We both know those aren’t Easter eggs. And.. you are way too little to be the Easter Bunnie.”
“ I know him you know.“
“ I know him too. Have a picture of him and all.”
“Whatever.“ Bunnie huffed.
“ You still have all that yummy thyme you guys like so much everywhere.” I called over my back.
Bunnie bounced up to catch up with me. ” Yeh yeh.. That stuff is awesome. Mama grew it for me you know.”
“ I bet she did Bunnie. You gonna help me?”
“ Ummm.. pass.. You are filthy and I just cleaned my coat.” Bunnie said, wriggling her bright and shiny clean whiskers at me.
Back at the garden space, I went back to work while Bunnie looked around the outside of the garden area,
“ Whatcha up to Bunnie? “
She stop, turn to sit and watch me for a moment. ” Ohh about four inches of none of your dang business” and off she hopped.
“ Oh! And a Happy Easter to you too , I am sure. “
She look back, a sly grin on her face. “ You can start your Easter egg hunt right here.”
“ Haha.. very funny Rude Bunnie.”
She laughed, hopping away from her Easter gift to me.
“ You onrey fur-bearin woodland creature idget ” I called out to her as she giggled in the brush.
I finished up all I could, then locked down the gardens, only to see Bunnie watching me from the drive again.
She lift her paw to her eyes then pointed at me and back to her eyes again before she hopped off.
I shuddered… Spooky little bow-legged varmint
Well, we have already had the first wild fires of the season.. earliest by months, but due to the heavy winds that had come through knocking down power poles and rekindling some fires that people assumed were out rather than watering them down like I do. Which means that I am done burning for the year as well. I do have an idea of where I can safely toss a bunch of my wood , either to finish rotting or be used as I need but away from the woods and the house.. I just have to make the time to move all of it.
This coming week, I’ll be travelling around more than I have since I retired. Shopping, taxes, dental, and more and as nothing is close, I’ll be putting in a lot of time on the roads. I still do not do well when I am driving at any speeds.. Things moving by me don’t focus before they are gone again.. But, no biggie, at least it’s not every week.
Ma is spinning up Musk Ox today, which is pretty dang cool. Nope.. No one combs out any trained Ox.. As they rub themselves on whatever, people collect it. No easy task. Then it has to be combed to get as much of the guard hairs out as possible. Extremely warm ( go figure ) and incredibly strong, it makes a great addition to MA’s collection.
No memory means, however, that trying to use the Ox on its own wouldn’t be usable for any things beyond shawls, However mixing it with wools that do have good memory is the trick and it will be a matter of figuring out how much is enough to make a difference without fighting the results.
The Ox is spinning super fine, and this is coming from Ma who spins super fine to begin with. I had to look a couple times before I could even see it, that alone makes it fun for her to spin. We are looking forward to seeing the ply and how it performs.
Ma was in watching YouTube videos from Whispering Pine Farms Soft Shetland Wool , videos at Soft Shetland Wool. I could hear Jen talking and I had to go in to investigate. We absolutely Love Jen and her sheeps.. The fiber is amazing with just enough lanoline to make it feel luxurious for Ma spinning. It drafts, as they mention on the video we were watching which captured it perfectly I thought; like pulling taffy. Jen has been doing more of a chatty type video on Fridays and more work related on Sundays for a very long time now, which we didn’t know..but we do now and in far more than one way they are entertaining as heck.. even if you don’t spin you should at least pop in and check out some of these, both Ma and I were sittin and grinnin watching today’s video.
The winds are gusting today, which is fine, I am not working outside today so better than if it had yesterday. I guess it is testing my new wind fence… Hopefully it holds up.
One of our little coyotes came through just a bit ago. No where near as big as anyone in Limpy’s pack ( so normal coyote size) but look to be at least beyond pup stages, so probably one of the relatives coming up to visit either Limpy’s pack or Wraith’s pack.
He knows the house, so not his first time here. He stopped to watch the house a bit, looking for Ma or I. When we didn’t come out..as Ma was busy and I was writing, he got bored and headed North, so probably up to see Wraith.
Listening to the wind and grimacing over a sore back , neck and hands… As Ma says, I work harder up here than I did at work….But slowly the place is gaining ground on old projects. I got the first mow done on the fields so they can grow easier as the grass does its year’s worth of growing during the next couple months before it goes dormant again and I see the leaves just starting on out plants around the house, I finish up another post for the few folk that read it and clear my mind for the week to come. We are coming in to the best part of the year here on Zen, short as it may be but then, every day is really
Just another day on Zen Mountain