A Sewing Day

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A few weeks ago, I made 5 cloth masks, 2 for each of us and 1 for daughter as she has been doing grocery runs for us. This morning daughter initiated a text exchange and finally a phone call asking for a mask for her daughter so she can resume Taekwondo outdoor classes. They will be limiting the number of participants, spread out 10 feet apart, and must wear a mask. We ended up on the phone to determine style and size. While on the phone, her son asked for one too and we decided daughter needed a second one. I don’t have any fun fabrics, but do have two different gray fabrics and some ribbon that could be used as ties. The afternoon was spent cutting and sewing 5 more masks so they each have two for being out in public.

Hopefully this will help keep them safe as the state is allowing more and more activities to resume. We are still self isolating except for curbside pick up of some groceries and animal supplies. We will go through a drive through or curbside food delivery occasionally if we are out on one of the other errands.

Daughter set out today to get the remaining plant starts for the garden for her daughter that I helped with via emailed garden plans, instructions, and support. They wanted two Jalapenos plants in what they bought, but couldn’t find any. There are a couple of other places to try, but I may end up starting the seed for her which will slow them down some, but they will still get peppers before the season ends in the fall. They sent me a picture of granddaughter’s garden with plant seed up and starts planted. I wish I could have helped more with it, but pleased that I could provide guidance and planning.

Such a neat little garden and a great lesson for the 8 year old.

Two nights ago, when I went out to lock up the hens, 5 of them had apparently gone under the garden gate and again wrecked havoc. They dug up 3 of the tomatoes, trampled peas, scattered the hay from the aisles. I had to call for help to get them out, did repairs in the falling dark and finished the job yesterday morning. I finally got a new battery for one of my solar fence chargers, so I will be stringing electric wire to keep the deer and fence climbers out. The charger isn’t my preferred one, but I can’t get that one open to see what battery it needs. The back is screwed on with tiny star headed screws and I don’t have a star bit that small. I put a board across the opening under the gate, but I haven’t given the hens any free range time since. I guess I will have to expand their run and only free range them when they can be supervised. Several of them will go over the gate in the garden.

I really don’t want them in there now that the sunflowers and corn have been planted this evening in anticipation of 5 days of rain. In a week or two, the pole beans can be planted in there as well.

The blueberries have berries, the raspberries have flowers, and there are potato sprouts showing. The garden is now fully planted except for the pole beans, a second planting of bush beans in a few weeks, and some herbs that will be tucked between the tomatoes and peppers so that we can have dilly beans and pesto. The pumpkins are started in a flat and will be planted out when they have secondary leaves and I can see where the sunflowers are. The corn block is 4.5 feet by 13.5 feet. That should be a sufficient sized block to get some corn. If the electric will stop the raccoons.

The Yard (Wo)Man

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The grass was tall again, the morning beautiful, the mate still in bed, so after critter chores and breakfast, I took to the mower.

Front northwest. It takes several hours to mow what gets done on the riding mower. You can see the delineation between the hay line and the lawn line. This was the third mowing this year and should have been done a week ago, but it is done. There is hay behind that row of trees and hay to the northeast, east, and south of the mowed area. The hens had supervised free range time while I was doing the mowing. It stirs up bugs and they have a feast. After a break, I broke out the monster Stihl line trimmer, got it re wound with new line, fresh fuel, and worked around the culverts, the transformer box, and the well head. I still need to do around the mailbox and around the lower yard hydrant so the hay men don’t hit it.

Haying has begun in the region, but the guys that do ours either haven’t started yet or they are doing more distant fields, I haven’t seen any evidence of them being out. We are one of the last on their list so it is usually the second week in June before we see them.

The bearded Iris were gorgeous this morning.

Last night after dinner, I plied the two balls from my spindles. I ended up with a tangle on the lace weight and lost a couple grams of yarn, but got 109 yards, 19.7 grams of lace weight yarn from the shiny blue Merino/silk blend and 132 yards, 42.08 grams of fingering weight from the gray Shetland. Only one spindle has been started again, with the Rainbow punis that arrived in yesterday’s mail.

There are 4 one-half ounce punis in the package, 2 each of the red, orange, yellow and green, blue, purple. I am going to spin them in rainbow sequence and then ply them in the same sequence. It should make an interesting scarf or cowl from the finished yarn.

I guess I should get back to work and see if I can finish the lawn chores before time to prepare dinner. Different hats for different times of the day.

A Super Day

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From freeze warnings to upper 70’s. The local weather blogger and news reporter at the local paper, posted dates in history where the area went from a freeze to 80+ degrees overnight. Winter is over, the trees are green, the peppers and tomatoes have spent two nights outside, so after some morning showers and a run to the garbage drop off, I started planting and light weeding. The tomatoes and peppers are in the ground and stakes pounded in on the edges to provide support for the string that will hold them as they grow. The far end of the third box south, 8 cucumbers were planted and post set to hold their trellis. Half of the bush bean bed was planted with 72 bean seed. In a few weeks, a second planting will be made so we have fresh beans all summer and enough to make dilly beans and freeze for the winter. The edge of the 3 sisters garden got a row of mixed sunflower seed, but it is too soon to plant the corn. I am watching the local gardeners and farmers on that. The fields that will get feed corn have had their winter cover crop sprayed, a practice I hate, but when they plant their corn, I will know it is time to plant mine. The pole beans follow a couple weeks after the corn sprouts. The pumpkins will be started indoors tonight so that they are ready to be tucked in among the sunflowers and help shade the soil for the corn and pole beans. By planting two kinds of beans, I won’t be able to save seed, but I would rather have the fresh beans and the dried pintos.

Every time I go out, I find more mint and dig more roots from that area. I hope I can stay on top of the garden and keep it as neat as it is now. The asparagus bed is not doing as well this year as the past couple of years. Son 1 asked if I had ever re dug it and thinned them and I haven’t. Early next spring, I think I will relocate it to the deep soil where the mint was (assuming I have won the mint battle), and will put a new growing box where the asparagus bed is now. The makeshift box that is around the asparagus had deteriorated to a few rotten boards with screws protruding. If I put a new box where the mint was dug, plant the asparagus there, I can put posts at the corners to tie up the ferns for the summer and still get to the other beds.

I have been busy spinning on my spindles and wound about 70 grams of singles into ply balls. I haven’t plied it yet, maybe after dinner, but it cleared 3 of the 4 spindles. Just in time for a 2 ounce package of rainbow punis to arrive to spin.

When I am out in the garden, the tree swallows seem to have no fear of me, they come and go from the two houses and sit on the fences so close I could practically stroke their iridescent backs. When I mow, they soar around the mower catching any insects that try to flee.

Each evening before our freeze warnings, I cut yellow bearded Iris and filled jars and vases all over the house. Now the remaining ones will bloom in the garden and that bed looks like it needs a major overhaul when they are done. Some of the purple ones that were thinned and dumped just out of the mowed area of the yard will have to be dug and some of them brought back to the gardens. The deck destruction and reconstruction as well as all the rocks moved and the soil compacted seems to have affected them where they were planted. The yellow ones came from a neighbor several years ago, along with a red one. The red one did not come back and I was going to dig more this year, but he did a burn pile right in the middle of the area he has them planted and there will be no blooms there this year for me to figure out which cluster to dig. Maybe next spring and by then the walled garden should be ready for flowers.

The seed and seedlings that were planted, just had a heavy rain shower to help set them in and now the sun is out again. The next few days look like warm and showers, just what is needed to get things started. Soon it will be time to harvest peas and spinach. The lettuce, radishes, and cabbages in the half barrels are beginning to develop too, so we may begin to get good home grown food soon.

I love garden season and hope I can stay ahead of it this year.