Monday, June 7, 2010

Wow, where have I been

Time really does fly...its been over a many things have happened, passed into the wind, fell into a sink hole, never to be recognized again. With health issues, family problems, the homestead itself, the time to write here was not the top issue. Now however, I think I can try again.....and write in my blog rather than play computer games.

So lets bring you up to speed, in September of 09, after many months of testing, running to Eau Claire to the heart specialist, I received a pacemaker.. the electrical system in my heart went haywire...and went down to 36 beats per minute, leaving me with nothing to go on.... now the rest of the heart is fine, infact after having a heart catherization this past spring there is normal plac in the veins, with nothing of this year I have more energy...and finally can walk across the lawn. Then the last day of December of 09, my husband joined the ranks of the unemployed...which was a shock to the our systems....and after three fruitless months of searching..decided to go back to school for IT, Globe university, on line courses. Now we owe our souls to the School loan systems, and in 15 more months he can pursue another career, other than truck driving, meanwhile studying, and looking for a driving job ....which in this local is like trying to find a needle in a haystack....but life goes on.

Spring has set her foundations firmly in our life now, the garden is fully planted almost three weeks earlier than previous years. This year I raised enough plants in our greenhouse to supply 8 families, plus yours truely. In return,among some of the things I received maple syrup, tincture of elderberry for the winter colds, and most important at this time 30 + bales of old moldy hay from the neighbor to mulch my garden with. My brother Den, gave me at least 40 bags of last fall's leaves, which already has been used in the garden mulching the potatoes and onions.

Spring came early, in fact by March my greenhouse had been started, it was very warm, and April proved to be dry, warm so by May, the potatoes, onions, and all cold plants like lettuce, peas, kale, cilantro, were planted and peaking thru the ground. In the green house were peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, and flowers, almost bursting the seams of the little sun home, enough to supply plants for 8 families. I mean, you can buy a packet of seeds for little, and there are enough seeds for the world, and since I hate saving and planting last years seed, I contacted a few people who were more than happy to let me do the things I love to do best...and had the time for. All the fruit trees were in bloom, in Mid April, it seemed like spring was here to stay.

However, there was a little burst to this fine growing bubble, we had snow in May 7th, like 4 inches, and a heavy frost. That took us back to reality, in a fast way, my root crops were in the ground, so it passed them over, but the apple trees which were in blossom were bit, and some of the plum trees in the garden became tainted with brown blossoms. The flowering plants in the rock garden hung down to the ground, under the heavy wet snow. It was both a sad scenario, yet beautiful, almost refreshing after the very warm weeks before. As it turned out, the snow melted the next day, and we were still left with a very early spring. By June 1, my potatoes were more than a foot high, and I was battling the potato beetles, weeds were growing faster than I could mulch, and it rained, and rained. All through the earlier months, it had been horribly dry, in fact April and a part of May, there was no moisture to speak of.....we started worring about the dry cold soil, with the warm spring winds.....what kind of summer was in store for the homestead this year.

It never pays to worry about Mother Nature, she does what she pleases, and we must bow in humble vintage to what she orders. Now I sneak in between the rain showers, to mulch, weed, and check the bugs. It is so refeshing however to go out and pick the spinach and kale along some beet tops to make my green smoothies, challenging the taste buds after buying southern winter crops in the stores thru the winter.

I have dried the first crop of parsley, cut the rhubarb and made 25 pints of rhubard/strawberry jam, and now drying the mint for teas this coming winter. A new thing I am learning now from a dear friend, Joyce Arndt, is making elixers from rose petals, and later from the elderberries, and some other tantalizing things from herbs. She is a trained herbalist, with so many things to share, and I have so much to learn. Its a whole new field that I hope to have the time to learn about.

Meanwhile, along with the gardening, shearing the alpacas, gathering eggs, mowing the lawn, and checking on the couple hundred pines we planted earlier, I am trying to finish sewing the summer dresses that my 14 year old granddaughter actually asked me to make.....what a surprise most teens prefer to buy the tantalizing fashions in the top fashion stores. Tim is glued to the computer, studying for upcoming exams...while trying to keep up with the honey do's issued from above. The grass is growing faster than the weeds, the soaker system has been laid down on the tomatoe bed, the frames have been built for the pole beans, (I can no longer bend over to pick beans, back complains way too much), new horseraddish roots have been sunk in the earth, and the rain continues.

A typical, but as unusual year has begun, the learning process is in session, and I am keenly attune to lifes cycles beginning anew. This year we have a quiet barnyard, the tom turkey died in very early spring, so now I have three hens, with no mate. However, along the fence line struts a newcomer to the homestead...a lone, wild, Tom, that has been trying to entice my gray hen with his romantic calls, and majestic struts. Finally one day she could not longer resist his heart, and proceeded to fly over the fence....which is a feat in itself, as the fence is 8 foot high, and she is no spring chicken... ah, turkey....she had been pacing the fence for days, and finally decided he was worth it. The love sick hen was gone for the day, but finally I spotted her up behind the beehives, clucking contentedly, eating the bugs and grass from the woodland floor. In a harried chase , she was finally back over the fence, away from from the clutches of the coyotes which sing every night....and home again. The spirited Tom was no where to be seen, though he would be hard to spot in the tall uncut hay, where he usually crosses each morning, after flying down from his favorite roost. Obviously, he is off to other pursuits, trying to find another lonely hen, as most of his own kind have already hatched out their family, and hiding deep in the woods, away from the coyotes, wolves, racoons, and what not, that roam when the moon is high in the sky, and the owls are hooting their stories to the clouds.

So goes the spring time at the homestead, rain is on the way again tonight, but at least I have most of the garden mulched, cultivated, and ready for another sunny day. I leave you with some pictures of the visitors that have paid their respect to the flowering buds of spring.


  1. I loved reading your blog...i know it is an enormous amount of work, but you make it sound are so talented you should open a small store and teach what you have learned and sell hand made items, jams, jellies or whatever you wanted. You could even blow up some of these pictures and frame them...they are beautiful! Thank you for sharing this little wonderland!

  2. Reading your words takes me out of the city, if even for a few minutes in my mind, and into the country...where I long to be. I know it is hard to find the time but I sure hope you are able too with your extra energy! Love~Net

  3. I know only too well what you are going through although if not for you I would not have had the opportunity to use the garden for a course project. Go figure how gardening works into a college degree in computers. Love Me