Thursday, April 18, 2019

Progress In Planting

 Hi friends, 
It's raining cats and dogs, so I thought I'd stop in at the shed 
and document the latest changes.  

Since I last wrote; we said goodbye to our cows again.
Although Spring grass had started coming on;  it's time to start
buying hay again and because of last year's drought we pretty 
much have lost our shirts.  $ in the hole that is...
going backwards, downwards, upside down and 
inside out.  
What a losing proposition.  
Myguy added things up when getting ready for tax season 
and nearly checked out.  
As in an  "I'm coming to join you Edith," thing.  
I think it hurt me more than him when loading them all day
and hauling to the salebarn.  
Didn't think that was possible but I think he's just "over it all." 
Least til he retires.  Maybe then with more time things could be different- 
Maybe?  The truth is; for us... feeding cows year round and having to buy skyhigh
hay is just not something we can afford.  
So... we no longer have cattle.  
The day after selling them; it was weird looking out at that great 
big empty pasture.  At the same time it was a lighter feelin too.  
The cost to feed them was a burden.  

 Last I wrote here I was dreamin, schemin, and trying hard to plot out  
my planting for the new growing season.  
I found a photo of a garden bed alot like this and Myguy 
said he could make me one!  
So here was the start.  
 Dirt was  a big problem because our soil around here - is mainly reddish clay.  
We talked to a neighbor who wanted good soil for their garden too and they have a friend who let us get some 
off his land in the Hartman bottoms.  Myguy did the hauling for both of us with a dump truck so that worked out great.   Much darker and richer soil.  
He was able to unload it on this end and then we used shovels to move it to the other side.  

 You can see on the far end we bent a cattle panel over the top so cucumbers can grow 
overhead.  I got it all planted and the next morning walked out there and our cats 
had a party in it all night long looked like.  Grrrrr.  
We put netting all the way around it and then he remembered this door he'd made  along
time ago for our old chicken coop. It fits perfect!   It's still just wired on for now but kept the cats out last night.  
I'm a little surprised and wondered if they'd just climb the posts and jump in?  Maybe the rain is what deterred them; not sure.  

Next Myguy is going to cut the old hinges off the door and replace them to get it all working. 
As of now we have onions, beets, carrots, potatoes, snap peas, cucumbers, petunias and lobelia planted in the bed.  
 Last night we got a bit more mulch put down and then ran out.
It just doesn't go as far as you'd like.  
On the rest of the garden I wish we could use straw but finding it with a guarantee
that herbicide wasn't used on it... well... isn't anything I'm willing to risk unless it's
from someone I know.  
Been there done that and learned a hard lesson.  
 Any other garden news:
wisteria is blooming it's head off.  
 The bees are sooo happy.  
Hummingbirds have arrived too.  
 I think if I was a cat I'd sleep right there too.  
Would you?  
 I've never seen so many blossoms ontop of this roof before.  
Usually they all dangle down.  
Wish you could smell their  fragrance.  
It's nearly intoxicating.  
 Spending so much time in the greenhouse inspired a few changes.
Lately the color green has been grabbing me.  
Different shades of green too that I've never been attracted to before.  
At a flea market I picked up this freshly upholstered chair.  
Pink roses are always  a no brainer for me but that green too in the leaves? 
For some reason... I've been gravitating towards it.  SO...

 time to paint.  It's a fast and fairly inexpensive way to make a 
change.  I chose all three of the larger chips here.  Top to bottom: Plant stem, fresh moss, and wild thyme.  I got a quart of each and have no idea yet what I'll paint which color but- 
I think I'll repaint my desk, an antique possum belly cupboard, plant stand and a little ladder in the green house.  For so long now I've been on the aqua/turq train and while I still love it... just needed 
a fresh, new, earthy nature inspired boost.  And I still think mulch brown and robins egg blue
look pretty good with green.  We'll see?  
 Another project before long is to make a new fountain inside a washtub. 
We looked at some reproduction style pumps but they're always painted red it seems like.  
Myguy found this old rusty one and old n rusty is more "us."  lol  
He still wants to make some kind of a stand for the pump to set it on and then we can 
get started on that.  

 This little piano bench was inside the greenhouse and still had the box part on the seat?
A board was set on top of it and the veneer on the bottom of the seat was peeling apart.
Ants discovered it was a great home and when I lifted the board a billion of them came marching out with eggs.
I ran it outside and ended up taking a shovel to the veener and busted it all out. 

--- Then decided to plant it.  
Didn't have a coconut basket that would fit so stapled chicken wire and screen in a basket 
shape and layered some old hay in the bottom then potting mix.  
The hay came from a field I know wasn't sprayed and so it worked as a safe liner. 
 Besides the new bed; I ended up tilling the other side of the garden even 
though I'd been avoiding doing so.  Got pole beans planted on this teepee and 
now waiting to get the rest of the tomatoes in before laying barrier and mulch. 
 Hopefully things will dry out some this coming week.  
You know what they say bout April showers though.  
Hard to complain when flowers are involved.  
 Lilies have come back to life in the goldfish pond.  
Remember the rootball mess we pulled out of there?
Really wasn't completely sure what I'd saved was lilies and instead was
the other junk we disliked.  But definitely lilies.
Then we spotted these at Lowes.  The color looks almost salmony.  
I hope they are! 
These seeds are also a new thing. 
 Another friend surprised my grand daughter and I with two little 
ceramic chicks for her to play with and these heirloom morning glory seeds. 
We will plant them together around the mud kitchen!  
 This was taken today.  
My angelmother's  peonies  are sooo close to bloomin! 

 Allium gifted years ago now from my friend at Sparrowgrass are also blooming. 
Don't you just love sharing seeds and flowers with others?  
I cherish the ones my friends have gifted me.  
To walk out in your garden and remember the person who sent you a plant start
....oh happysigh.  
 And this other surprise came in my mail this week from a sweet friend!- this stack of antique books.  
We had to have a photo shoot.  :)
 This one is entitled the Coloured Language of Flowers!
What lovely old books!!!
--and what a thoughtful sweet friend!

Guess I better go check on the baby guineas and sign off.  
When I looked in on them this morning two were missing.  
They're still living in the box in the back room of a shed and two had flown
out of the box and were sitting in a corner of the building.  eeek.
An old window screen is over the box now but one end is still open so they
may have flown the coop again.  They've started buckwheating too now finding their voices.  
I've missed that sound!  
Sorry this got long winded.  
Thanks for spending your time with me here at the 
potting shed.  
Have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Plotting It All Out

 Hi friends
and Happy April! 

Quick entry today; documenting plans and 
ideas to get this garden and small farm growin!

With the loss of my sweet Roo Old Spur, I had to add a different
rooster to the ladies pen.  
We actually have a rooster pen so I had a few to choose from-
--Of course the killer dog that came didn't get any of those.. but instead the primo hens. 
Sorry fella birds... don't mean to knock you.*  
(sarcasm intended) 
Anyways.... this black silky was my pick.  
He was always hiding from the other roosters and is a total scaredy cat
so hopefully won't be one to start jumping me when I go in the coop.  
Roosters can be so ONreeeeee! 
Yes I do know how to spell it correctly but this is the south.  
graMMer means little to me. 
I know even that little iMproperly Punctuated sentence drives som CRAZY.  
(I shrug my shoulders at that.) 

 Back to the silky roo... here he is strutting his stuff to his  new girlfriend.
She was amused.  
Hopefully they'll live happily ever after ... -for awhile....
and hatch lots of cute silky babies.  
And... I'm quite hoping he breeds my polka dotted frizzle hen..
the last of the frizzle girls I have (thank you bad dog) - My neighbor has been 
telling me she's been reading about breeding frizzles and silkies and that you can
get some really cool looking birds.  
Maybe we shall see? 
 To also add to this little farm... we picked up 
six baby guineas yesterday.  
It's been a long time since we have had any.
Some of you may remember Percy and CoraBelle?  
Aka the odd couple.  
That's been several years now... so I'm really looking forward to 
having a handful of squawking watchdogs again.  
Especially their pretty feathers.
 This morning I helped Myguy feed the rest of our cows at the corral.
This week if all goes well catching and loading we will be saying 
goodbye to them. 
 I know Myguy will miss them alot. 
He's always loved havin cows. 
But adding up  what we spent on hay last year... 
made the decision a tad easier. 
Myguy said  he'd rather feed an old Chevelle ten grand  this year than
a few cows. 
I hope he does.  :) 

 Here we are again doing the usual dance with the weather. 
You know the dosido to up and down nightly temps?  
Never fails that warnings come this time of year of  late freezes or frosts.
 I have been covering stuff left and right best as I can.
Funny how you use ANYthing you can to keep the frost off.  
Only think I'm worried about right now are the fruit trees.
 I better sign off for now.
I've gotta head to town for physical therapy on this 
goofy sciatica.  
I guess it's not an uncommon thing when you 
get to be my age?  
-Still doing everything I like to do but ...
a definite pain in the rear isn't it?  
I'll just leave that right there!!!!!!!!
But before I go ... gotta show ya this...
My new "read." 
Yall if you are a gardener and can your hands on this copy....
you will most likely very much enjoy it.  
This book was found on Ebay and I was so happy because it's a first edition to boot.  
I also got another called "The Garden In The Wilderness" by the same author
Hanna Rion 

This week I'll be cleaning up the garden and 
documenting  my mess.  The plan is to add a  new raised bed and 
I'll share how I'll be attempting to make things require less weeding and
tilling.  Stay tuned if you're interested. 

Have a wonderful day,

Friday, March 29, 2019

here lately

 hi friends!
i'm collecting my thoughts tonight and thought i'd 
share a few here before bedtime.  

when i got out of the jeep a couple days ago, 
this greeted me.  i still smile as i remember their "hello"
-saying fiona loves the donks is an understatement.  she goes crazy if you separate them.
 in this picture, it sure looks like spirit is fond of fiona as well.  
i'm so glad they're getting along well because old violet who is standing behind them, hasn't been doing 
so well these days.  she's reeeeally old and has sure slowed down. 

that brings me to our dogs. 
old addie and francois are changing too.  
just this past week, addie has not been able to get up the step to come 
back in the house anymore.  everytime we let her out to go potty,
we have to get off the porch and lift her up.  
yesterday as i did so; i felt something.  
she has a mass on her back end.  she has other fatty tumors that in the past 
were supposed to be okay but now... i'm  not so sure.  
she'll be 13 in june.  
francois limps alot.  he'll be 13 in november.  
don't know what i'll do without them when their time comes.  

there have been alot of  changes this month.  
myguy has decided to sell the cows.  
 i know he really loves havin cows but
they've been eating us out of house and home.  
we managed to keep them last summer through the drought but had 
to feed them through much of the summer as well as the winter.  
it's been a real losing proposition.  
the biggest problem aside from paying for crappy high priced hay ...was just finding some for sale.
we managed to hold on through it all but now it's almost time to start buying hay for 
next winter again.  we learned our lesson waiting til second cutting after the rain
stopped and farmers started hanging onto what they managed to cut.  
so ... here we are again, looking at having to go buy more hay.  alot of hay.  
we have neighbors on all sides with cattle and that always makes it harder too. 
if you don't keep a bull your cows want to go find one.  If someone else has a bull,
their bull wants in with your cows, and your own bull gets bored fast and wants to go
fight other bulls or find more cows.  
it got even more interesting lately when i walked past the corral the other day 
to find our great big bull nursing a cow who had just had a calf a day and a half before. 
yes really.  no wonder he was fat as a tick and our cows looking  poor.  
so, we've started selling off cows... starting with the bull.  
next week, we hope to haul off the rest.  
myguy... well he said much as he likes cows... he's ready to not hassle with it all.
i think he'd rather tinker with a  chevelle or camaro that eats less.  

more news:  we  had a massacre. 
remember lucy here?
she along with about half our flock were killed by a dog. 
i always turned our chickens  out during the day when i'm home- except for our grand daughters rooster.
at dusk they always went in and i'd close the coop door behind them.
but one evening i ran with myguy to help a friend. 
i walked out the backdoor to run and close the coop to find a dead chicken by the back porch.
then another and another and another...
i could hardly believe my eyes.  
i had stapled a screen  over a doggy door that was in the middle of our coop and 
separated three hens with babies and old spur the rooster from the flock.
the dog clawed through it to get in the back but those chickens hid
behind the feed barrels and the dog couldn't reach them. 
everything else was either dead, or  up in trees, or missing.
we found 14 dead chickens, two chicks and several others we just never found.
next day a neighbor stopped in and asked if we were missing a chicken. 
she found the husky in her garage with a dead rooster and said it had blood all over it.  
she said the dog wasn't hers but it had been hanging around.  
another neighbor stopped by and told me her husband shot the dog.  
no one claimed it... 
still can't believe we lost so many of our sweet chickens.  
one silky i found way down at the edge of our woods.  
another quail antwerp belgian in a tree in the woods.  
i was so happy to see them and was sooo glad our grandgirls rooster 
was safe in a separate pen.
everyone has pretty well quieted back down now.  
back to laying too.
it's almost time to get plant the garden.
i bet many of you are dreaming and scheming as well? 
it's so exciting to plant isn't it?  
i've not tilled my garden at all yet!  the grass and weeds are growing!!
i always loved the look of things laying newspaper or cardboard down and mulching it 
so i'm contemplating laying heavy black plastic and mulch between the beds and rows.  
i'm so thankful we have a few old hay bales up in the loft that have not been sprayed
with herbicide.  learned my lesson the hard way with that one year!

speaking of hay, i guess i oughta sign off and hit it.  
my last photo of the evening is one i took earlier today saying goodbye to my sweet roo.  
i'm pretty sure OLD SPUR, will be gone when i go to the coop tomorrow.
i took this pic to save in my journal of my favorite roo i've ever had.  
he was the free chicklet i got one year when ordering from the hatchery.  
i kinda wondered if he got bit by that dog but i don't see a visible injury.  he is the rooster
that fled behind the feed barrels with the three hens and chicklets.  
he was getting old ... but was  fine up til all this. 
amazing how attached we get to our furbabies and feathered friends.  

thanks for stopping by the shed 
and spending your precious time with me.  
until we meet again,

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Last Few Days...

Well friends, 
how has your March started?  
Don't know about you but I'm so ready for time to spring ahead 
this weekend and also ... to warm back up.  

I know so many of you are covered in piles of snow and 
while I do love snow...  
-- think I'm turning into a pansy.  
Last couple nights it fell to the teens here and will again tonight.
I had to move the bunnies into the greenhouse in front of a heater.
Some of the plants ... I dunno? 
We're all cold.   

We have a few  crappy square bales up in the loft of the barn;
so I covered up the plants that had started growing.  Can't imagine it will help
much but ... did what I could do.  
This bed had 3" peonies up.  
Now they not only froze but got wallered by cats. 
Time will tell how everything fairs. 
The fruit trees were getting buds too.  

 More news:  we're getting goats again.  
A friend of ours raises dwarf Nigerian goats so... 
in less than two months we should be getting a little wether and doeling.  
Papa has started a new pen near  Blakeleas rooster.
Ohhh that girl is gonna flip.  
 On one of the last warm days we had I walked by our mess of a goldfish pond
and they had started waking up.  During winter they kinda go dormant.
So I got some fish food out and decided to roll up my sleeves and clean out 
all the plants I didn't want and old leaves.  
Wish I could remember what this one plant is but it had taken completely over!!!  
Kinda reminds me of an iris.  
I grabbed a pruning shears and went to pulling and cutting.  WHAT A JOKE.
That root  was like an iceberg!  
I'm not kiddin.  
Myguy helped with the tractor to lift the entire rootball  with the 
front end loader.  
The fish barely had any water... it was all rootball.  

We set the whole darn thing out.  Then I added more water making sure 
to not get it too clear and kill the fish.  
 I tried to find the lilies because I wanted those back in.  
They were completely balled up with that other junk.  
I hacked on some of it and set it on the shelf of the pond and weighed it down with rocks.  
If that iris looking stuff  comes back I'll pluck it out. 
              Also, next trip to Lowes I'll get a couple more water lilies just in case.   
 I saved a little bit of water lettuce, and 
one other clump of a plant I love ... don't know the name but you can 
see it way at the back in the water. It resembles 
tiny bamboo and stays clumpy.  

 The fish seemed so happy.  
And about three days later I saw small ones so they definitely 
have babies down in the mud.  
Can't wait til it gets warm this weekend and flush it a little bit more.  
We don't keep a pump in it.  With lilies growing they kept it tangled and  
stopped up. But I kinda like it just natural.  
The frogs get thick and it does really well.   

Now ... I'm trying to figure out where to dig up a tiny ... I mean tiny
postage stamp plot for our grandgirl to have her own garden in her play area.
There's an old hog trough right there that we could plant in and it gets a little sun.
But really I'd like it to be on the ground and put a little plastic fence around it.  
She's kinda young to be doing this with but she does like to pick "flowas" 
for garnishes in her mud kitchen so this way they'll be near.  

The last day she was here it was real warm out so she got to make some mud pies and tea.
 The girl loves pretending tea party.   
She doesn't know it yet but see the antique tea set I found on Etsy?  
Our little parties this summer are fixin to get fancier.  :)
On the bottom of the three pieces (not the platter)
is the date May 10, 1898 
Can't wait to see her play with it.  

 Another surprise is I found a harness for her rooster Larkspur.  
No one would ever believe how we dote on and try to protect this rooster.  
On days when I turn all the chickens out... he gets carried to an outdoor dog kennel
that has a wire top so a hawk can't get him.  
And course ya don't want him  to be lonely so then one of his wives goes too. 
Then we go through this whole thing again before dark to put them back in the coop. 
ALL because she loves a curly haired rooster.  

 Other than that... 
Tomato seeds are planted.  
I planted three kinds:
Big Daddy, Big Boy, and Supersteak- all Burpees.  
Look at all that juicy, vine ripened goodness.  
I can taste it already... can you?

Better sign off.  
Myguy just got home from work and wants breakfast for supper... 
Wish granted!

Til next time!  

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

That Dancing For Jesus Song

 A couple days ago,  I played catchup in my wanderlust class.  
A friend and I were messaging back and forth and I sent her a video of me in my little art porch with the praise and worship music playing  in the background.  
My mind was ... all over the place, (but she didn't know that) -because I was remembering my Momma.  
12 years to the day ... It was the morning I awoke to the phone ringing.
My stepdad was panicking... because Momma had gotten out of bed and 
wanted to "go home." 
Turned out to be the last day I spent with her. 
Back to chitchatting with my friend... out of all billion songs she
could bring up in the world... she mentioned Mercy Me's song
I Can Only Imagine. 
My Momma called it "that dancing for Jesus song." 
"Play me that dancing for Jesus song," she'd say.
She especially asked to hear it back and forth on our trips to chemo and radiation.
I can still remember glancing over and seeing her tears while she sang along.
Then that last day twelve years ago, I played it often. 
12 years to the day. 
So my journal page took that spin...
imagining and dancing ....
I was glad my friend shared what was on her mind/heart
and it reminded me that we never know what dot will connect.
As you can see ... lots of dots connected for me. 
It's only February but I've been so loving the weekly art lessons.  
  Especially doing simple doodle drawings.
My simple souls keep turning into angels, nuns and friars.  
I think I'm discovering more of my own style.  
We also painted paintbrushes and spoons.  
My first paintbrush is a Martha....
Imagine that.  

She turned into a scripture picture.
I know, I know... crazy right?  I'll be printing her
and adding it to my faith journal. 
If you like her... feel free to
print and share...

Alrighty friends, I have critter chores to do....
Thanks for stopping by and spending your precious time
with me. 
Have a wonderful day!