This afternoon I mowed our back and side yard. My parents back yard needed mowing a few days ago. In a few days everything will probably need mowed at the same time. Welcome growing season. Hopefully on Friday we covered the plants for the last time for a freeze. Rain predicted tonight.
While I was mowing I noticed several of the blue bird houses were occupied. I’ve seen lots of robins but haven’t noticed nests in the usual places.
We got our taxes filed. Before he retired, he was treasurer of the St. James Kiwanis Club. He bought a money organizer program to keep things straight for the Kiwanis and it’s been handy for tracking/organizing our farm income and expenses. He keeps it updated so we aren’t sorting through shoe boxes of receipts and post it notes, trying to figure it all out with filing deadline looming.
I’m about 1/3 through _Messenger of Truth_. It’s an early book in the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. It’s set in England after WW I. Maisie is a psychologist and investigator who who solves murders and deals with the social and political issues of the time.
I’ve finally adjusted to daylight savings time. Or maybe the days are just long enough that it’s light at 6 am. Not sunrise but light out. It’s about 7:30 pm before it’s dark enough for the chickens to go inside the palace to roost. It’s making for long days but sitting outside, listening to the birds settle in for the night is a nice way to wind down.
I saw them flitting around the broccoli and cabbage plants. I’ll have to start searching the backs of leaves for eggs. Sad these butterflies have to go through the destructive caterpillar phase.
We had a wonderful visit with the Duncans. They’d spent the previous week camping and hiking in Utah, so our humble house seemed luxurious. A real bed and hot shower. Khloe took to them immediately and fortunately they like dogs and gave her lots of petting.
We did our duty and voted today. There were only a few other voters at our polling place but at least it wasn’t deserted.
I just finished _Wide Sargasso Sea_ by Jean Rhys. The novel stands alone but it’s based on the character of Bertha Mason, Mr. Rochester’s crazy wife. Her life in the Caribbean and how she came to marry him. Many deep thoughts on inequalities of race as well as between men and women. Was she mad because it was inherited or was she driven mad by the treatment by her husband and being ripped out of the tropics and isolated in a dark stone residence in England? this would be a good read for a book club.
Aaron’s dogs are back. Woke me up at 2 am barking. Allegedly they are on a waiting list to go to the humane society. Aaron is living with girlfriend in Springfield whose landlord kicked the dogs out. So his relatives are feeding the dogs but otherwise unconcerned about them.
Today is beautiful and sunny. Rain tonight and then temperatures drop. Down into the 20’s again this weekend. Dog drama and now weather drama.
I glanced out the window while eating lunch and it was snowing. It’s supposed to warm up a bit and turn to rain this afternoon. Ground isn’t frozen. Zero accumulation. In fact, the ground is saturated from rain the past few days and we have some standing water in the yard. Later we’ll be heading out to cover all the plants in the garden. They are predicting temperatures in the 20’s overnight.
I totally enjoyed _The Thursday Murder Club_ and put my name on the waiting list for the next book in the series by Richard Osman. I loved the fact the main characters live in a retirement village ( in England) and are mentally and physically active. The book is long enough to have a complicated plot with twists and turns and character development.
A month ago I agreed to be part of the entertainment for our church Mother/Daughter banquet. We’ve learned our line dance and now we are working on costumes. The theme is Daughters of the King, which makes us Princesses. We are dancing to “The Princess and the Cowboy“ because this is rural Missouri and that’s what we do. I have my skirt sewn together but not hemmed. I borrowed a hoop thing to wear under it. I have to get length figured out so the hoops are covered but I don’t step on anything. How did women in previous centuries survive in this garb?
Obviously nothing is squirrel proof. Dennis got Khloe out the door and she gave a chase to the nearest tree.
Today started out sunny and 33*. It warmed up to 55* but a cold wind kept it from being comfortable outside. It has since clouded up and rain is predicted.
My friend Norma Dean shared her sour dough cinnamon roll recipe with me. I’m in the process of making them. It will be tomorrow before I bake them. I like the whole sourdough process but it’s a lot faster to just use dry yeast in baking.
The jonquils and grape hyacinth are still blooming. I’ve been bringing them inside and enjoying a bit spring indoors during the rain. I noticed the columbine coming up, along with wild violets. Tomorrow morning Brenda and I are going to a local nursery for a lecture on raised bed & container gardening. Then we’ll check out plants, unusual seeds and an antique store in the area. I’m looking forward to a girls outing.
We’ve had A couple days of cold rain with a few snowflakes. Not Below freezing, unless you count the windchill. Tomorrow actual snow predicted but no accumulation. A few more days of this miserable stuff and then warmer weather and then warmer temperatures. We have our broccoli and cabbage and lettuce hanging out in the garage for a bit longer. No tornadoes so I’m not whining.
After not buying any new books for a while, I indulged in a few. One is a childrens book that also has adult appeal. I rationalize this as being book for grandkids. The other 2 are cookbooks. I’ve been watching a lot of PBS cooking shows, so I got _Deep Run Roots_ by Vivian Howard and _The Complete Americas Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook. Both are substantial books and seriously heavy. I’ll be reading _Deep Run Roots_ cover to cover because it’s also an autobiography and social commentary. Meanwhile, just for fun, I’m reading _ The Thursday Murder Club_ by Richard Osman. Back to my usual library book borrowing.
Dennis got the potatoes planted this morning. We discussed setting out the cabbage and broccoli but opted to wait another week since there was a freeze in the 7 day forecast, as well as several nights in the 30’s. It won’t hurt to let the plants get a bit bigger before they go in the ground. Any gardening done in March is iffy. I finally cut back the roses and cleaned out the front flower beds.
Last night we had friends over for cocktails with the chickens. I added a drop of food coloring to our glasses so we had a green champagne toast. Served corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes. It was warm enough that if I’d cleaned off the deck and made table, we could have eaten outside. Next time.
Yesterday I baked my 2nd batch of sourdough bread and it was as good as the first. This weekly bread baking may become a new habit.
It’s 61* and the wind is not frigid. Cabbages, broccoli and lettuce plants are out to harden off. Dennis was able to do a first plowing of the main garden this morning. Full-time gardening is just around the corner.
Tomorrow I start the cycle of feeding my sourdough starter and making bread. Neighbors and my parents are willing to help us eat it again this week.
The hyacinth and jonquils are just starting to bloom. I set out my chicken whirligig and her wings are spinning in the wind. I’m so ready for spring. Maybe we’ll even get our potatoes and onions planted on St. Patrick’s day.
Of another snow event. 1-3” predicted tonight and into Friday. It’s been below freezing at night but into 40’s during the day so the ground isn’t frozen. It will probably not be a problem, just inconvenient for a day or so.
We’re expecting friends this afternoon and spend the night. If we get snowed in, at least we’ll have good company.
We went to Aldi with a long list of food we’ve run out of or in low supply. It became serious when we opened our last bag of coffee. The store was moderately crowded but no one was rude or pushy. Again, there were no saltine crackers although there were several types of what we call “fancy crackers”. I got our corned beef brisket for St. Patrick’s Day. There were only 5 to choose from but they all looked good. The poultry section only had family packs of frozen chicken breast. Fortunately I wasn’t looking for anything except the corned beef. I was disappointed there were no avocados but there was plenty of cabbage, potatoes and carrots.
We hear about the drop in CoVid19 but I lost a cousin yesterday. He had underlying health issues and spent over a month on a ventilator. It’s sad any way you look at it.
Dennis dug up some of our Jerusalem Artichokes. I roasted them with carrots as a side one evening. They were good and I’ll do it again, but slice them a bit smaller because I liked a bit of crunch on them. I tossed them in olive oil and sprinkled salt and pepper on them. Roasted 45 minutes at 375*.
A friend gave me a sourdough starter. I baked bread yesterday with the recipe that came with her instructions. It’s good but a bit sweet. It’s not Amish friendship bread or the “Herman” bread starters. It has no milk and is fed with sugar and potato flakes instead of flour. I’m not sure of it’s origin, but I’m wondering if it could be used for gluten free bread. Not willing to serve it to anyone with gluten issues but I was just wondering. Because that’s what I do. I wonder.
Dennis bought a used food grade barrel and cut it in half. It had been used to ship/store honey. There was a significant amount of honey and we wondered how we’d clean it out. We had below freezing temperatures at that time and procrastinated. We’ve had 60*+ weather the past 4 days and bees have almost cleaned the barrel for us. Win win for everyone.
Today we will finally get out peas planted. The regular garden is too wet to do anything so we’ll use the center of 2 raised beds. Then we can set out cabbages and broccoli plants (started in the basement) and plant lettuce, radishes and spinach. It’s partly cloudy with a slight breeze today. It probably won’t be enough to dry out the main garden before rain returns late Saturday. Fortunately we got our soil samples for analysis turned in earlier. I’m looking forward to seeing how much improvement we’ve made in the past 2 years.
We had a blast with our friend Sue, who paid us an overnight visit. We made a tour of the farm so she could stretch her legs after driving 6 hours. Then we had our long anticipated dry martini with pickled okra garnish. It did not disappoint. It won’t be long until Cocktails with the Chickens season is here.
Another sunny, warmer than usual day. The ground is still cold and muddy. It will have to get a bit dryer to even pull weeds. hopefully I can get fence/trellis in 2 raised beds and the peas muddled in before the next rain. Right now, that is predicted to arrive Saturday.
Lots of birds are back and even more are just passing through. Late afternoon they raise a ruckus as they settle into the trees for the night. Keeping the feeders filled is a challenge.
This morning our solar company and ozarks electric showed up. Our solar panels are now online. Dennis was fascinated by the meter running “backwards” this morning. The power goes to our house and the extra goes to Ozark Electric, who “buys” it. According to Dennis’s calculations, we sold $2.43 back to the electric company. Of course we’ll be buying electricity from O E all night. Another adventure begins.