Happy Dance

Spring is here, happy dance, happy dance.  The weather is unbelieveable for mid March, it is expected to reach the upper 70’s today, the birds are returning to the area and treating us to their song.  In town, the tulips, jonquils, and forsythia are all in bloom.  Up here on the mountain, the buds are swelling, the grass is greening.

The sprout light finally arrived yesterday and the kale, cabbage, and chard seeds were replanted on the heat mat, under the light.  The peppers and tomatoes that were up, perked up toward the light source.

Later today, I will plant 3 beds of peas for shoots and peas.  There is no finer vegetable than peas fresh from the garden before they get starchy.  Shortly, it will be time to plant lettuce, radishes, turnips, and onions.  I see fresh veggies in our future.

It has taken us 6 years, but we finally feel like we have a finished home, yard, and garden.  There is still some landscaping and fencing to be done, but spring brings the weather to accomplish some of these tasks.

I’ve even moved some of the heartier potted herbs out to the deck.

Still recovering

Well, the weekend has rolled around again and I have nothing to show for the week. I guess that is what happens when you slug around or doze in the recliner trying to feel better.  The antibiotics are helping, but I still have difficulty breathing if I exert myself.

It is a gorgeous day outside, sunny, mid 50’s, relatively calm winds today, so we ventured in to the farmer’s market with the pup for some socialization with the herd of kids running around, the other pups visiting with their owners and scored some turnips, spinach, cheese, and 2 bars of soap.  Not a bad beginning to the morning.  Feeling pretty good, we continued this adventure with pup for a very short walk on the Huckleberry trail, working on come and sit with lots of treats.

Returning home, Jim volunteered to help me get the 2 Asian pears and 2 dwarf blueberries in the ground before they came out of dormancy in the garage, or died from neglect.  This almost proved too much for my healing system and I am now back in the recliner, trying not to have to take a dose of the codeine cough syrup which I think helps only by knocking me out.  Being in the garden makes me want to be in the garden more.  I see the weeds are beginning and know that if I don’t do something about them soon, the task will be much more daunting in a couple more weeks and out of control in a month.  I failed to get a winter cover crop down in the fall as that was just as hubby broke his humerus and could do almost nothing for himself.

My plant light still has not arrived and the cute little sprouts on Wednesday are now 4 inch long leggy seedling that will not survive, so I guess all of the starts will have to be restarted.
I am going to wait for the light to be in hand before I do this to guarantee this won’t repeat itself.  Unfortunately, the tomatoes that sprouted were a variety that I only had 6 seeds, since tomatoes are pretty forgiving, I may just plant them in deeper pots under the light and see if they strengthen up.

Update on Spring

So the snow came and went and the temperatures are near 60 today.  The daffodils even on the road up the mountain are in bloom, the forsythia in town  is blooming.  My forsythia is budded out but not blooming, the iris are sprouting as are the daylilies.  The fall planted garlic is up and strong.  I have seen snow much later in the year than this and our average last frost date in during the first week of May.

There is so much temptation to start planting, but I know from experience that it would be a grand mistake.  I do have 2 Asian pear trees and 2 Dwarf blueberries that arrived this week dormant and do need to be planted very soon.  First I must get rid of the creeping crude/plague.   Yesterday on day 7 of this malady, I finally called the doctor, I tend to just try to fight these things off myself, usually successfully, but I felt I was losing the battle.  My visit was scheduled this morning and I received the diagnosis of definite bronchitis, possibly early pneumonia and left with two prescriptions to aid my body in healing.  The doc said that he has seen more cases of pneumonia from this winter’s bug than in any other year he has been in practice and that it seems to linger.  Thanks Doc, I needed that news.

The seeds I planted on Sunday are beginning to sprout.  There are mini cabbage, kale, and chard sproutlets and at least one of the tomato varieties is up.  Yesterday I received notice that the sprout lamp had shipped, so it should get here in time to strengthen the sprouts and keep them from getting to leggy.

Spring really is coming and with it, a whole new garden season.


      On March 1, the local paper stated that it was meteorlogical spring with the Vernal equinox still 3 weeks away and the last frost date for our area still at least 6 to 8 weeks away.  This is the time I start getting serious about my garden.  Having purchased some seed in early winter, some stored from last year, and the remaining sitting at the local Post Office waiting for me to come down and claim the package that contains the onion sets, potatoes, 2 more blueberry bushes and 2 Asian pear trees.
     Deciding that my seed starting indoors has been only marginally successful the past couple of years, I ventured to town and purchased a heat mat to go under the starter tray and ordered a seedling lamp that hopefully will be delivered before the seedlings can do more than germinate.  This is the day that I begin.  After pulling out the seed and marking on each package the planting date for this region, the seed is now organized by planting date in a neat arrangement in a small box.  Yes, for those of you who do not know me well, I am pretty obsessive about organization.  The gardening calendar with the plant by chart is nearby.  A flat of 3 types of tomatoes, 3 types of peppers, cabbage, kale, and chard planted and sitting on the heat mat for sprouting.

     As I sit doing all of my planning and planting of seedlings, looking at the calendar that says to start putting the early seed in the ground within the next week, it is snow flurrying with a forecast of 3 to 5 inches of snow by midmorning on Monday.


Today is day 5 and though the elephant is still sitting on my chest and I can’t breathe when I lie down, the temperature seems to have abated as I no longer ache in my back and hips.  I’m glad I took a flu shot this year.

My Dad always says, “A cold lasts 6 days if you take medicine, half a dozen if you don’t.”  I’m not a big medicine taker as I generally have the worst side effects they offer up, but I have been taking Musinex DM and ibuprophen for the last few days to just cope.  It is tough to rest when you can’t breathe when you are not standing.

I must be feeling better as I cleaned the table between our recliners.  It had gotten to be a challenge to put anything else on it without it toppling, much like one of the board games our grandsons play.  I also pulled out my knitting again and went back to work on “Yvaine.”  It is a simple pattern and I am using the loveliest of Green Dragon Traditions yarns in the Undersea Twilight color.  Just thought I would share it with you.

A boy and his dog

Once upon a time, there was a boy who wanted a big dog to live in his house.

This dog he wanted would grow some day to easily outweigh the boy, but that didn’t deter his search. 

Last week, that boy got his wish and though the dog is currently a pup, his parents are huge. Pup has feet as large as my fist. 

He sleeps much of the day and nearly all night, but he encourages his boy to play whenever he is awake.

Can’t wait to see this game in a few months.

Other thoughts

Between having a new puppy in the house and having caught my first cold of the winter, I have done no knitting except in the car going to and returning from puppy acquisition.  Nor have I spun an inch.
When I have rested enough from feeling poorly, I have washed, air dried, folded and stored all of the door mats, vacuumed, spot cleaned and aired all of the rugs, rolled them and stored them under a bed until we no longer have puppy puddles and piles left in the house.  The living room rug is too large to move, so the living room has been blocked off with furniture and his large wire kennel for the same reason.  It is easier to clean up a hard floor, plus he is more reluctant to use the hard floor, preferring the grass outdoors, thank goodness. 
Progress is being made in training, he will now voluntarily go up and down the stairs to the loft and our room, a good thing since Ranger already weighs 23 lbs at 9 weeks and we don’t want him to think he can be carried.  He will now walk on a leash most of the time, another good thing since “come” and his name are still foreign to him and we don’t want him wandering too far from the house at night when we take him out.
He seems to like riding in the car, so I guess another training event will be to get him to use a ramp to get into the backs of the Xterra or the CRV.  Mastiff’s aren’t noted for their athleticism and he will soon be too large to assist him up into the back of the SUV.
It is pouring rain outside right now.  He has not shown any reluctance to light rain, but we don’t even want to go out in this.  It hailed enough down the mountain a few minutes ago when we were coming home from Jim’s Physical Therapy to look like it snowed.  The forecast is heavy rain, wind, hail and even snow by Monday.  It will be a good weekend to stay in, recover from this cold, read, and knit.

Puppy time

We have been home two nights and one full day with the pup.  Yesterday was a full agenda, registering him as The Lone Ranger of Stafford Shire, Ranger. for short.  Meeting his new vet for a well puppy check and to restart the puppy shots as the breeder was doing them and the record was sketchy.  New vet because the one we had taken the cats to had retired and his business was purchased by 4 young vets, 2 women and 2 men that have a second location over the state line in West Virginia.  The staff and vet were all enamoured with Ranger.

Exploring his new environment, both indoors and outdoors.  He really seems to like the space to romp and roam.  We are working on training us to his needs to reduce indoor accidents, teaching him his name and to climb and descend stairs as he already weighs 22.6 lbs.

He is a good pup, sleeping in a crate in our room at night and keeping it clean all night.  During the day, he has decided his extra large wire kennel is just the place to nap or take his toys for playtime.

Hubby is very happy with his puppy.

The New Addition

Yesterday, we started off on our puppy acquisition trip.  We were headed for Stevens, PA, between Lancaster and Reading via Vienna, VA to take our son and grandson home in route.  Having them visit, if only briefly is always a joy.  Until fall, when they relocated for school, we had weekly overnight visits with our grandson and we miss that.

The trip to Vienna is about 4 hours and after taking them out to a late lunch and unloading them at their house, we headed farther north.  Another 3 hours put us in Ephrata where we located the breeder’s house for this morning’s pick up and set out to a nearby town for a motel and dinner.

This morning came and hubby was like a kid at Christmas, anxious to see his new puppy.  The breeder has 3 mastiff’s, one female and 2 males, though we only saw Max, the daddy at 200 lbs, and Tekka, the mom at 170 lbs.  Teeka had 15 pups on December 29th and then the weather got very cold and they lost 8 of them.  When we arrived, the only 3 remaining were Ranger, hubby’s pup and two of his siblings, a huge brindle male, and a small brindle female.  In their pen, none of them looked too big, then Jim picked up his pup and his feet are huge!

We didn’t get 10 minutes from their house with a fussy pup when he lost his breakfast out both ends, necessitating a clean up stop.  The second accident occurred just as we finally managed to get on I-76 headed west.  By the time we got to I-81 to head south, he was cleaned up again and settled into travel mode, a good thing, because the trip home is a total of 6 1/2 hours without the frequent stops for his needs.

I’m sure he will be a happy fellow when we finally get home and can finish cleaning him up,, feedings him and letting him begin to settle into his new home.  I hate to admit it, but he sure is cute with his black mask, black ears, tail and toes on his apricot body.

Farm life, knitting and spinning, cooking and family