My friend Shelley in Wisconsin sent a message that she had seen a Robin! I went to look and this is what I saw, not fair. In all fairness the days are getting longer and somewhat warmer. We have gotten up into the 40's and there are days I can skip a layer or two. In looking at the trees and lilac bushes I can see buds on them. I just want it all now!!
Last Monday I went to my first meeting of the local garden club. A nice group of ladies, all very welcoming which is nice. I am looking forward to more meetings and helping to pretty up the town. There are also classes to go to and much information to share. Most of my past gardening experience is in Florida and the vast majority of that was flowers. Attempts at growing vegetables in Florida was not a good experience, so many pests and diseases and then the heat. Being able to put in a garden last year and have things grow was a super experience. This morning I opened another jar of my strawberry jam and last Sunday used my tomato sauce on the pizza I made for Jim. I know that many people take all this type of thing for granted, for me it is mostly new. My Grandfather always grew vegetables and when I lived with them I always had fresh salads and vegetables. We seldom had meat, only at the holidays. Grampa was very much into fresh, natural and against use of pesticides, he baked bread and did so many things for us. He was a wonderful role model, one that I appreciate so much more the older I get.
We have finally found a tractor, this will be so super as it has a scoop on the front. I can use it to dig and move things and then next winter clear the drive by myself and not have to depend on the kindness of my neighbors. I will be able to return the favor to them I hope. I am planning to use it to clear out much of the downed wood, if I can pull it out of the woods Jim will be able to cut it up. We purchased a partially made log splitter, the guy was making it and then found a newer one and never finished this. So, for $35.00 we have the basics of it and Jim will be able to finish it off. Our neighbor Mel brought over the phone number for a man selling a tractor and Jim went to check it out. He made a deal with the man, we are going to be able to make payments on it, which helps a bunch. I saw Mel and his wife Terri up at the store and he was teasing me about being able to drive a tractor. I figure if I can learn the pickup and other stuff, with practice I will be able to drive the tractor also. I will let you know how it goes.
Well, that is about all that is new and exciting here for now. I need to finish some apple butter I am making, I needed to use up the last of the apples. Really super that they lasted this long, very little waste. I made myself some vegetable beef soup yesterday, so know what I am having for lunch. The more i put my mind to it, the more I am able to make from scratch and save more. Looking in the stores and seeing a small can of soup costing over a dollar, makes ya think. For little more then a dollar I made a large pot of soup which will last me for days, I could even freeze some if I wanted. All this makes the thought of being able to grow so much of what we will need for next year so much more exciting. I feel we have gotten so lazy, well maybe it is not all lazy, just not having the knowledge. Last year being able to can something was a huge mystery to me, thanks to my friend Ellen giving me the confidence I gave it a try. Now I am hooked!! I showed her a pressure canner I had purchased several years ago at a thrift shop. I was not sure if it was any good, she assured me it should be fine. So now I will be able to expand my skills and can so much more.
I really need to stop abusing these poor animals!
Best to you my friends.