It’s Official

Spring has sprung!

The temperatures have been slowly rising, although for the most part they have still been below normal. Then overnight the rains and storms moved in and now we have the possibility of severe storms this afternoon and tonight. When the severe weather threats move in, I know spring has officially arrived.

Although today is a gloomy day, the grass is much greener and my tulips are working their way up thru the soil. I should see little green leaves emerge from the branches of the trees soon and next week I’ll move my pots of cabbage and broccoli outside during the day to begin hardening before planting them the following week.

Our long, cold, snowy winter is now behind us and I look forward to the new season before us.

 

Finally!!! A Spring Day

We are finally getting a real spring day here and it couldn’t come at a better time. There is a lot to be done outside and we are armed with supplies to get it done.

Last year we completed a deck and patio project.

First, hubby and girls built a fire pit.
First, hubby and girls built a fire pit.

 

Our rebuilt deck leading down to our new patio.  The fire pit is lonely no more!!
Our rebuilt deck leading down to our new patio. The fire pit is lonely no more!!

That project now requires some landscaping be done and I had decided last year that I would be putting in some small shrubs around the patio and along the deck. Of course, those plans have now changed, as most plans around here do.  Having a real need for more garden space, planting shrubs just didn’t seem like a good idea.  So instead of shrubs around the patio, I will be putting in pots filled with herbs. The space around the deck will be filled with plants that will attract butterflies and bees, which are of great benefit to the garden. I’m also putting in a small flowering tree that will eventually provide some shade to the deck. There will still be space for additional pots of herbs around the deck as well.

The nice thing about using pots for my herbs is that I can take them with me when we move to the homestead.

I’ve ordered everything and they should arrive later this week, so today is my day to get the ground ready for planting – cleaning up dead growth, leveling the ground, putting down landscape fabric and mulch. A lot to do on a beautiful spring day!!!!

 

Snowy Thoughts

The snow is coming down. It’s not coming down vertically as light fluffy flakes, but instead millions of tiny snow flakes are blowing horizontally across the yard.

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Every once in a while a stronger gust of wind sending even more flakes blowing off the roof of the house, spiraling down to the ground. Drifts of snow forming across the yard.  Our fire pit slowly being buried in white.

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According to the forecast, we have several more hours of snow yet to fall.  A total of 6″ – 8″ inches expected, with winds becoming stronger and temperatures continuing to drop as the day goes on.

Our dogs don’t seem to mind the snow at all.

Snowy face Zoey
Snowy face Zoey (Keeshond)

 

Jagger (Papillon) and Jada (Keeshond)
Jagger (Papillon) and Jada (Keeshond)

 

As I have been watching the winter storm today, my mind has been wandering to what our life on the homestead might be like in weather like this and I realize just how unprepared I am.  No insulated overalls, coat, or gloves for working in weather like this.  No insulated work boots either.  I do have a couple of pair of really thick, warm wool socks.  I suppose I could start a new farm fashion trend with my Vera Wang wool coat and Ugg boots, but somehow they just don’t ooze ‘farm life.’

So much learning and preparation that still needs to be done for our life on the farm.  And no time like the present to start learning and preparing.

 

Batten Down the Hatches

2104 is ushering in lots of snow, wind and bitterly dangerously cold air.  The snow is expected to begin here in the next 1 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours and while we are only expected to get 5-8 inches here, friends to the south of us are expecting up to a foot.  Either way, once the winds kick in, it’s not going to be safe travels for anyone traveling across Central Illinois with lots of drifting snow and wind chill factors as cold as -40.  Unless there is an emergency, we are battening down the hatches and staying home.  I have several jars of soup in the fridge, a fresh loaf of bread and cornbread made as well as salad fixings.  Enough food to last us several days and the ability to heat everything if we should lose power.

We already have about 4 inches of snow on the ground and I like it.  Snow, especially a new fallen snow, is so clean and fresh.  It’s like a clean slate.  A fresh start, like a newly fallen snow.  It’s quiet.  It’s peaceful.

Of course there is also the practical part that says the snow will one day melt and seep into the soil.  My garden is thankful for the snow and so am I.

For those in the path of this storm, I hope you have no need to venture out.  Remember to take care of your animals.  Keep them warm with lots of fresh food and water.

Stay safe.  Stay warm.

 

First Snow Excitement

The snow began around dinnertime.  There wasn’t much accumulation expected, but the girls were still excited and couldn’t wait until morning when they could go outside and enjoy the very first snow of the season.

Before breakfast, they were dressed and bundled up for some snowy fun.  Naomi was hopeful that they could create something wonderful with the snow and her enthusiasm wasn’t dampened when we explained that there really wasn’t enough snow nor was it wet enough to create a snowy masterpiece.  Instead, they both enjoyed picking up handfuls and began throwing it in the air and on each other.

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Ready for Autumn

Photo from goodlightscraps.com

It’s October 3rd and still in the 80’s. I know this isn’t going to last much longer. For a matter-of-fact, it will likely only last another few days, but I really am ready for the crisp, cool days of autumn. I’m ready for the reds, yellows, oranges and browns that present themselves this time of the year. Most of all, I’m ready for some cooler weather that would make my outdoor to-do items easier to complete. I just hope we will have some decent autumn weather to enjoy before winter hits.