Friday, April 20, 2018

Enjoying Nature, and More Projects!

 Dear Friends,

Thank you for all the kind birthday wishes. We have been enjoying seeing all the new growth in our yard, and along the roads nearby. I was excited to find two patches of May apples growing on our property the other day, as well as a little fern. Normally we would have to take a drive to the country for wildflower-viewing, so it's nice to have it all around us. Now we just have to drive a ways to do any shopping!

We have been planting lots of peas, radishes, carrots, favas, and salad greens in our garden, and hoping that they survive all the frosts we've been having lately!

 These are Thomas Laxton peas, which we learned were bred by a famous friend of Charles Darwin.

The children and I have been building a strawberry planter box out of pallets, in hopes of keeping the rabbits from eating them once they start growing. We're trying Ozark Beauty strawberries, which should do well, since they were bred in this area. Gardening is always an adventure! We also have put in lots of alpine strawberries that we started from seed purchased from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co, where our three oldest daughters work. If you will be in the area for the Baker Creek Spring Planting Festival in May, the girls and Frankie will be performing a few songs and we would love to meet you!

May you have a wonderful day.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Birthday Time Again

Dear friends,

This past Sunday I became 90 divided by 2. We had church in the morning, and in the afternoon, my girls made me a beautiful cake with strawberries and magnolia blossoms on it. Magnolia blossoms are a little strong, but they're good medicine, so it was worth it!

Hyrum gave me a sweet hug and a tractor made out of Legos to help in the garden (we'll see how THAT goes!).

We had fun target-practicing in the woods on Saturday. and Mother Nature blessed me with gold in the form of finches, as well as dandelion blossoms all over the yard.

We also had our first asparagus harvest from the bed that planted years ago, so that was an especially wonderful treat.

I am so grateful to finally be here in land in the country, where we will be busy doing more projects than I can keep track of, until we make a real homestead out of our place. There are fences to install, chicken coops and other animal shelters to make, a greenhouse or two to figure out, ponds and other waterworks to dig, etc. etc.  My husband suffers from severe diabetic neuropathy, so thank goodness for wonderful people from our church who are willing to come lend a hand with tilling, clearing brush, etc. and neighbors that offer to help, as well!

Thank you to all my friends who read this blog. Your friendship means more than you know.



Monday, March 26, 2018

Spring Has Sprung!

 Dear Friends,

We have been watching in great anticipation as our magnolia tree began unfurling its fuzzy buds, wondering which kind it was. Now we know that it is a lovely, all-white Star variety, and we couldn't be happier! It is close enough to the house to be able to see the birds perched in its branches from our bedroom window upstairs.

Speaking of birds, we are now feeding a flock of nearly 100 goldfinches that have decided that ours is a wonderful place to eat thistle and sunflower seeds.

 They empty the feeders about every other day!

Violets are blooming in our woods, both the regular purple colour, as well as a bi-colored type that is very sweet.

 The seeds we have sown are now sprouting up and ready to be put in the ground. And we are clearing the ground just as quickly as we can!

 The neighbors' cow surprised us by having a wee calf the other day. We wondered why she was bawling all morning! Cows are very interesting creatures, even trying to eat plastic through the fence.

Have a wonderful day!



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Working on the Garden and New Puppies

 Dear friends,

As you can see, we've been busy feeding the local goldfinch population! I've never had a single finch eat from a thistle sock before, but they've emptied out three in the last week, and I had to buy four more today! Did I mention it's expensive? But the little birds bring us so much joy with their singing, it is worth every penny.

We've been working outside when the weather permits, building raised beds and putting in some cold-hardy crops like lettuce, pak choy, arugula, and broad beans.  In the picture below you'll see three of my helpers digging a small pond for a memorial garden in the front. We are going to put lilies around it for our Victoria Lily, who died at birth ten years ago.

We'll be building a rose arbor as well, an fencing it all in so the deer don't come dine on them. We have lots of multiflora roses around the property, so I'm hoping the deer will eat them and leave our nice ones alone. We'll see how my theory pans out!

We picked up some "Craigslist Special" puppies that a person not far from us was giving away, to be future guard dogs on the homestead. We saw a bobcat the other day on the road by our house, and have heard coyotes howling nearby, so good guard dogs will be helpful once we get chickens.

I hope that you are having a wonderful March so far, and enjoying the greening of the spring (if it is where you are!).



Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Settling In, and Getting Busy!

Dear Friends,

We've been officially moved in for less than two weeks here at our new home, but we've already done quite a few projects and improvements.

Here is the new floor in the girls' room, after we pulled the old carpet out. They laid the whole thing themselves (with the help of their ten-year old brother!).

We brought along the stray cat that adopted us in Springfield (on the top stair), along with our cat Ginger. They were exhausted after the long car ride!

We've been exploring the woods around our home, and getting busy cutting down all the invasive Amur and Japanese honeysuckle that has taken over (You can see a small one next to the tree below~ we still have hundreds to cut down).

We've put up a couple of bird feeders and discovered just how many birds there are in this area! I've never had goldfinches come to my feeders before, but there are plenty of them here (along with a purple finch).
We have found digging bars come in handy when digging holes for things like clothes line posts (we've also found that they're really heavy!).

The lawn on the side yard is going to be our kitchen garden, so we are using our old moving boxes as a grass-killer, holding them down with some of the many rocks found along our dirt road.

The sunrises and sunsets here are quite beautiful, casting a colorful blessing on our little homestead-in-the-making.

If I haven't stopped by to visit my friends' blogs lately, know that I am thinking of you, and will visit soon!