Sunday, February 24, 2019

Looking Toward March

Good Morning my friends,
How does this wonderful day greet you? Its still cold, but this morning the meadowlarks were singing and I know that spring is not far off. Old Farmers Almanac said today our last day of frost is February 3rd. With all of the hard frost we had this week, I am so glad I didn't pay attention to that.

We planted more seeds yesterday. These will be flowers. Zinnias, Echinacea, and black eyed Susan.
We worked and were able to get one very muddy flowerbed cleaned. We have so much chickweed growing in them, so its good because I just feed it to my chickens. They love it.

My dining room table is full of potatoes, red, russet and purple.

We are between storms. I feel like we run out and do everything we can in a short amount of time and then we have to wait for the storm to go by. We have dry weather today through Tuesday. Then the storms start again until next weekend. It is a very wet year for us.

Yesterday I was waiting for it to warm up a bit so I decided to start a new counted cross stitch project. I have had this pattern for a few years now. I am trying to not buy new stuff before I finish up my old stuff. Its so hard though.

This is by Shakespeare Peddler.

I loved this because it was red work. I love red work and for years that was all I did. I could carry it in my purse and the kids would be in piano lessons or some kind of lessons I could wait and stitch. I like that to just be able to carry a few things and be able to keep my hands busy.

This isn't as big as His Eye is on the Sparrow, its only four pages. I think I can do it faster than three years. I was thinking as I stitched yesterday, I think after I am finished I will soak it in black walnut dye to make it look old. I really loved the color of this old sampler. 1838 is a long time ago.

When Peter came back from Cebu, in the Philippians. He brought back all of this coral. The beach he went to had coral and not sand. He thought it was so interesting so he brought some home for me. Then of course, Elliot who is the musical one, can play it by hitting it on each other and a table. All of it has a different tone, like glasses filled to different levels of water. It is also kind of eerie too. Isn't it nice to think that even something like coral can leave a sound?

Have you ever noticed how territorial hummingbirds are? This guy keeps himself so busy chasing other birds and other hummingbirds. He never misses anything. He sings his little song all of the time. Sitting in the tops of all of the different trees. I am sure there are more, but this one has the hottest pink stripe around his neck. I know there are others that have a green or a red stripe. This one is the only one I have ever seen with that hot pink.

I wish you a lovely day. The weather man says tomorrow may be 70. If it is, and I doubt it, I will open my house, for a little while and stay outside all day. I need sunshine. I can't even believe I am saying that how tired of the sun I was last fall.

Blessings to you, from our house to yours.


---The Book of Stillmeadow on Gardening...
"My heart goes out to beginners. The first year, while wheeling in squash by the wheelbarrow loads, we had exactly five and a half of strawberries. Now, after all the years they have been at it, Bob and Jill are both in the expert class. They know how many carrots grow from a package, and even I have learned that the size of a seed has little to do with what comes of it. And looking back over it on this wintry day, I realize that probably few things are so rewarding as gardens, no matter how many mistakes you make learning." Gladys Taber

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Odds and Ends

I took this one night as the sun was setting. It was much brighter red but my phone just can't catch it. We have had such wonderful sunsets and sunrises this winter with so much rain and snow.

I am still in the throes of spring fever. I get my seed order today. I am so excited. This is a weird comparison, but when I was expecting a new baby, I lived in a state of excitement. When the baby moved, or in the dark, quiet hours when I was awake and felt the baby moving. Then the excitement of the arrival of the new baby. Then of course, finally meeting the new little person and holding them in my arms.Because the greatest gift I have ever had has been my babies.( Now that they are grown with children of their own, and the mates they have chosen and blessed us with.)  Well, all of that to describe how I feel every time I walk in and look at my new green seedlings, in the bathtub.

This is also weird, but I feel like I can conquer the world, just because I can grow some seeds.
I have always felt so garden challenged. I have suffered way more defeats than victories. I have watched bugs and heat and drought decimate my plants. Not this year though, I have read and watched vlogs and I have so many magic bags of concoctions to mix up. Blood meal, bone meal, magnesium. We have added gypsum to that wonderful mulch Ron has made. We fertilized fruit trees this weekend. Racing the rain and spring. Its been so cold here, nothing is awake yet.

We went to Tractor supply this week. I am going to try my hand at vertical growing this year. So I want 8 cattle panels. I wanted to look at them and I love the place where all of the feed troughs are and the wire and of course the T posts and panels. Walking back there was this area with fruit trees.
I went crazy. We were in Ron's car so we had to go back home and get my car.

We bought two Mariposa Plum trees.

 The tree in the foreground is a semi dwarf apricot.  Not a big fan of semi dwarf, but he is going to stay there. The Mariposa plums are green on the outside and purple on the inside. Best tasting plum I think.

Then we found a full sized Blenheim Apricot and a Key Lime. We also bought a Honey Crisp apple tree, but I don't hold out much hope for it as I think we are just too hot for apple trees.

I know its hard to tell what is what with just sticks and mud. But they are beautiful to me and make me so happy. I had another surprise. While we were out there Ron finally got to see the Wood Pecker.
I believe He is a Ladder Backed Woodpecker.

I only had my phone so this was as good as I could get, but I was so glad that I wasn't alone. I also saw my first robin that day.

 The Flickers are still here too. I am so glad the trees are still empty of leaves so I can see this wonderful birds. Not very good picture, but there he is. First one of the year for me.

 We have all of this glorious  snow on the foothills. The foothills are beginning to green up. Its been a lot of years that we have had this much snow in the foothills. I read a quote by John Stienbeck years ago in East of Eden. I think it says it better than anything else I have ever read about living in California.

I have spoken of the rich years when the rainfall was plentiful. But there were dry years too, and they put a terror on the valley. The water came in a thirty-year cycle. There would be five or six wet and wonderful years when there might be nineteen to twenty-five inches of rain, and the land would shout with grass. Then would come six or seven pretty good years of twelve to sixteen inches of rain. And then the dry years would come, and sometimes there would be only seven or eight inches of rain. The land dried up and the grasses headed out miserably a few inches high and great bare scabby places appeared in the valley. The live oaks got a crusty look and the sage-brush was gray. The land cracked and the springs dried up and the cattle listlessly nibbled dry twigs. Then the farmers and the ranchers would be filled with disgust for the Salinas Valley. The cows would grow thin and sometimes starve to death. People would have to haul water in barrels to their farms just for drinking. Some families would sell out for nearly nothing and move away. And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.” 


I think this year is a wonderful year. To have rain and snow and weather is incredible to me. Today my first order of seeds comes in the mail. I can't wait to sit and hold those seed packets and dream dreams of spring. Of growing food, and canning and all of that wonderful stuff that I love to do. 

The above picture is the reason I started blogging in 2008. Our first garden. I had no clue what on earth I was doing and we had so much food. I hope to grow lots of different things this year. If I am not careful it will be much bigger than this. 

Thank you so much for stopping by today. Its time to go out and take care of my chickens and walk around and look at stuff. I hope you have a wonderful day,


                                                  The Flowers

All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener's garters, shepherd's purse:
Bachelor's Buttons, lady's smock,
And the lady hollyhock.

Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames---
These must all be fairy names!

Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny treetops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!

Fair are grown-up people's trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where, if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all.

---Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A Stormy Day

This picture says it all today. As this storm comes ashore, the wind rushes to meet it so the wind is roaring in the trees sounding like the surf of the ocean. The wind chimes are not singing today but banging in a discordant clanking sound. The tumbleweeds are blowing across the field in front of the house like trolls stumping along to guard the bridge. I always think of that while I stand at the window and watch them rolling and bumping along. Praying the really giant ones don't jump the fence to come live in my yard.

We have a lone avocado tree in our yard.  This year it had one avocado. We watched it and with the freezing temps we were having we decided to pick it. It was still hard as a rock. The other day I checked it and it was perfectly ripe.

I am almost tempted to get bees just so we could have a whole tree with these lovely fruit.
I just wish they got ripe the same time as the tomatoes.

This is some of the picking of citrus. I picked blood oranges from a tree I haven't even started picking yet. The oranges are quite a bit bigger than the other tree. Today I am going to make some Starbucks pound cake. I decided that I will make that for Bible Study in the morning.  See my seed potatoes sitting in the back? I need to get them in the ground but we keep having storms and the ground it too wet.

I made some lemon syrup for my tea the other day. I am juicing and freezing juice to try and get the trees emptied. I am running out of ideas.

Some times my bright ideas don't turn out. I thought I would love to have fresh nettle tea. This time of year I have nettle growing every where. So I went out yesterday and picked this huge bunch of it.
I wore my gardening gloves when I was picking it. But, I being a hardhead. I thought I was stronger than nettle so I didn't go get gloves. I thought I could make myself believe that pain was just a state of mind. Duh, it isn't. My hands are still messed up. They looked last night like I had put them in boiling water. I got the nettle cut up and I put them in the food dryer. After the nettle dried I bagged it up. I tried to make tea with it but it was so yucky. I threw the whole bag in the trash. Next time I want nettle tea, I will buy it. Not to mention what a mess. I guess I am not Euell Gibbons.

I got my Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Catalog yesterday.
What a lovely catalog. I would love to order every single seed they have.

That picture on the cover, that flower is Buckweet. Isn't that pretty? I thought it was gorgeous.

I just wanted to stop by and say hi.

I wish you the best,

"His Father left in a desperate search for work. The food supply diminished until all that was left was a few pinto beans and a single egg, which no one would eat. Euell then a teen aged and one of four children, took a nap sack one morning and left for the Horizon mountains. He came back with puff ball mushrooms, pinion nuts, and fruit of yellow prickly pear. For nearly a month, the family lived wholly on what he provided." Anonymous, on Euell Gibbons.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Signs of Spring

Today I have spring fever. You know how I love storms. Today though, I was really hoping the weatherman was wrong. That we wouldn't get rain. We did get rain and its to wet to play outside. I had to be content with just writing about it today. This is a Cork Elm Tree. It has such tiny little leaves. Someday it will be a Bonsai. For now he is getting to grow so his trunk will be gnarly. Look at that tiny leave on the little branch left over from last year.

Our seeds are up. Tomatoes and peppers. I went a little crazy and bought more seeds than I could possibly grow, but having these growing now makes me feel like I can grow anything. I have enjoyed watching these seeds come up so much. I have things growing every where.

This is our container of lettuce mix. After all of the lettuce scares this year, I decided it was more important that I knew where my food was coming from and what was going into it.

 I have picked, given away and juiced and frozen  orange, lemon and grapefruit and my trees are still loaded with fruit. I guess I need to work more at it than I have.

I was finally able to finish a rug.
Here is my rug Mother Earth by Maggie Bonami.

I hooked it so differently from the times I have done it in the past. I really enjoy the lighter background. I love this rug.

I am doing a smaller mat right now but I am doing it in Oxford Punch needle. I am really enjoying that too. Its so nice to be able to switch it up.

I shut down my Word Press blog for those of you who followed it. It was so different  to keep trying to keep both blogs going. Now that Google fixed comments I just like and know this one like the back of my hand.

I hope you have a delightful day, I am going to hook and read and do all of the nice things a Saturday is when I can go outside.

Thank you so much for stopping by,

“One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.” Elisabeth Elliot---