Sunday, May 30, 2010

Enjoy Memorial Day

I hope that everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day holiday. I also hope that each and everyone of us is remembering why it is that we have this day to celebrate. I think that we tend to take our freedoms and opportunities too much for granted. If we look around the world and see how citizens are treated in other parts of the world it might open a few eyes. We need to carefully guard our freedoms and not allow them to be taken away or watered down. Many hundreds of people have died so that we might have opportunities and freedoms. So honor the ones who have died and been injured so that you and I might be able to enjoy our lives.

On another note, for the last two posts I have obsessed abo
ut weeds and spraying, with that in mind a present pictures to give you a better prespective on the problem. This is what I refer to as the side yard, any areas you see that are not green are dying weeds, Yea!! I have other pictures which blogger is not letting me access my pictures so will have to post later. I am feeling very good about the yard. With Jim here to help so much more is being done, I am so proud of all he has accomplished.

I may add more later but for the moment that is all folks!!

Enjoy you day, Barbara

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunny, Windy pretty day!!

Things are starting to bloom which is wonderful, I think I am about my happiest when I am out working in my flowers. With all the beauty there is the ugly as in thistles, an over abundance of dandelions , creeping charlie and some sort of new creeping, sticky, green stuff. We have finally given in and started spraying to knock down all the bad things including burdock. I really am not a fan of poisons but there is a point where you need to throw in the towel. Please bear in mind that the "yard" I am dealing with is several acres. The plan is to eliminate the weeds this year and hope that they will be manageable next year.

I really like these Iris, they were given to me several years ago and I have dragged them with me each time we have moved. They have the most lovely fragrance, you can smell it all over the yard. In my plans for the yard are several areas that will be only iris and maybe day-lilies. The colors now available are just breathtaking. In the lily department more and more of them are every blooming.

Jim has been hard at work, he finished the wall for my garden shed and I now have a window which allows more light and some air circulation. He also built one door for the machine shed/shop/male playroom. Well, at least the frame for the door he still needs to buy the metal skin to cover it. He has the frame mounted on the rail so it rolls and when finished will really be nice and look super.

The latest project are the Adirondack chairs, the prototype is nearly finished and I am so proud of him. It took a bit but once he got going he is doing a really professional looking job of it. As soon as he has it finished I will paint and decorate it. I have several ideas as I want them to look different, not run of the mill. They are such a popular item and I am hoping that with my embellishments they will sell well. Jim's job hunt still has not produced any solid leads, the headhunters show up with jobs in CA, NY, WI. We just do not want to move again, we finally have all our possessions in one place and just want to settle here. I have leads on several big craft and art shows coming up so hope to have enough finished to be able to take them. If we are able to create a market for the chairs it will give us a bit more income. With this as a side line and my shop then he can aim a little lower on the job chain. The pay scale here is stuck in the 60's, we keep hoping that a job will show up in MN. Let me clarify that, in MN within daily driving distance.

Yesterday and today were the hottest days of the month, also very windy. I did manage to get a fair amount of mowing done, but still have down back and the large area the other side of drive way. So those will account for 3 or 4 more hours of mowing. It is nice to have all the windows open, little hot but bearable. I dare not complain about the heat as I just spent the last 7 months complaining about the cold!! When I was out mowing I looked over at the goats and had a good laugh. We have a large water tank for them, I had dumped it over to empty out the old water.
They now think it is a wonderful place to play king of the mountain or take a snooze on. This time when I looked one of the girls was on the top all nice and comfy and inside it was another girl. Kinda like bunk beds. The new chickens are almost as large as the big ones , so now able to hold their own. We have started letting them out during the day, well we try to let them out. They are still not quite sure how to navigate the door, so funny watching half out and half in squawking at each other. Then at night some make it in and the others make a pile in a corner so we have to herd them in. We are currently getting 10 eggs per day and end of July first of August the other 22 will start laying. I have a few regular customers for the eggs so more will be good, at this point they are paying for their feed.

The rest of the family are fine, everyone is getting along much better. Gretel has put on 20 pounds and nary a rib to be felt. I hope this finds everyone well and enjoying their lives.

Best to you, Barbara

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Another windy day, we are not talking breeze here but wind and lots of it. The sun is shining and looking out the window things look so pretty. Step outside and the picture changes, the temperatures are in the 50's so the wind makes it very cool. I have been trying to mow and have broken down and decided to do some spraying but the wind is making both impossible.
The dandelions have taken over large chunks of the yard and
while I think they look cheerful they are hard to mow. I am not one of those people who demand a flawless lawn, more important things out there. I do however believe in getting rid of things like creeping Charlie which in our case is running Charlie. This stuff is like a wave washing over lawn and flower beds and choking out what ever is in it's path. When I was out in the yard earlier in the week I had to admit that the yellow of the dandelion and the purple of the Charlie was pretty, but that was a fleeting thought. We also wage a war with "Quack" grass and burdock and other unknown weeds. I have tried smothering them and digging them and pulling them but they are winning so now will spray. Hopefully by killing them off en-mass I will be able to control them in the future with more natural means.

Violet Lady asked where I was going, well the answer is "no where". I feel like a broken record here, all hyped about going to Chicago for master classes at Wilton and then saying no not now. This time it was a financial emergency that put the kabosh on things, Jim is still out of work and things just got too tight. The upside is that the motor home has new tires and Jim and done lots of little things. There was also a leak which he has managed to finally find and fix. I found a new spread for the bed at the thrift shop, brand new!! The people at Wilton have been so wonderful and helpful and understanding, I really appreciate it. I will make it out there, maybe in shorter increments but one way or another it is going to happen!!!

I may have found another silver lining, while doing a Google search for some type of class closer I found a work from home site. So I am checking into that and will let you know later on the details if all works out. This morning I received an email from the Women for Hire site, this is the one from Torry Johnson who appears on Good Morning America. This may be another opportunity , a work from home answering phones for a large clothing company. I loved my job a
t Lands' End and this seems as if it might be very similar, so keep your fingers crossed for me. At 25 hours a week it will be very doable and I can pretty much set my own hours.

I have started planting some things in the garden, broccoli, cauliflower and spinach so far. I also found the garlic I planted last year, apparently you plant it one year and harvest the next,lol. The strawberries are looking good, I have onions also coming up from last year as well as oregano and chives. In the basement I have pumpkins, jalapenos, Hungarian hot wax peppers, Ancho and several other types of peppers. I have planted Lemon Grass and Basil and am going to put dill and others outside. If I have a good enough crop I will be able to take some of the things up to the local farmer's market.

Jim is at work on my garden/craft shop, he replaced the screen on the door so wildlife will not longer be able to just stroll in. The raccoons? would go in and scatter pots and supplies every which way and in general make a huge mess. Now he is in the process of replacing bad boards on the side and go
ing to put a window in. It has two windows high up in the ends which do not open. Eventually I want those replaced also with windows that can be opened.
This is a place for me to keep my garden supplies, pots and tools as well as work on projects like planters and bird baths. I love it and there is electric so is a great place to work, later we will insulate it and put some sort of paneling on the walls so I can use it also in the winter.

Best to you my friends and thank you for your visit,