Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And now...back to our regularly scheduled programming....

  It's a hot and humid morning here at Honeysuckle Hill. 73 degrees already at 7 AM and gonna climb to the mid 90's before it's all over. This is a picture of one section of the honeysuckle that climbs the fences on the front and sides of the house and driveway. It is absolutely lush this year, and the smell  knocks your senses for a loop every time you walk out the front door. I adore honeysuckle...it's one of my all-time favorite flowers and I don't care--no, I LOVE!!-- how invasive it is. I'm thinking seriously of transplanting some up onto my front porch rails. We already have bees all over anyway...and in a year or two, I would have a front porch rail covered in vines and flowers. They are pretty evergreen too, so it would be  nice in winter.

  The pickup truck is back in the shop this morning.  And now my little car needs a new battery. The light keeps coming opn, randomly.  I'm agonna take it down to Auto Zone and have them test it. It's at least 4 years old and I'm not sure what the life of a car battery is these days, but I'm guessing it's as short as everything else.

  Am I just getting old?

  It seems like nothing lasts anymore. Has the world of manufacturing forgotten how to make things that are not disposable?? Or am I just a naive idiot??  I am stuck in a warp of thinking that when I buy something, that should be it. It should live as long as I do. (Which is really scary, if you think about it). lol  I have always been like this. I guess I need to get over that, huh?

  I need to get out and finish mulching in the garden. Bales of straw are up to 5 bucks apiece this year...it's like mulching with gold.  I cannot believe how fast this garden is growing ...is that my age again??  lol  It all looks beautiful, I'll say that for sure. I already have a golf ball sized tomato on one plant...one that I missed, I guess, as I pull the flowers off them the first month or so, until the plants are bigger and well established. It's so cute, I can't bear the thought of pulling it off, so I'll leave it be.

  The chickens are laying well and happy, although it stinks over there from all the rain mixed with chicken poop mixed with grains laying about out in the run. The inside coop smells sweet from the fresh straw...whoever thought I would like that smell so much?   And the smell early this morning when I was out feeding the girls and the humidity and the dew and the drifting honeysuckle smells nearly made me delirious.

   Reading Ms Moon this morning, I am reminded about how much my world has shifted these past few years. As I enter an older and wiser stage of this existence. As I leap from the uncertainty of youth to the resigned uncertainty of old age.  As I find the joy and yes, Ms Moon, the kindness, of the life I have carved out for myself, I know deep down that truly, in the end, it will all be okay.  And if it's not okay, it's not the end.

  Now. Get back to your regular week...it's Tuesday for crying out loud....


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

 The green beans are looking great, in spite of the weird cold snaps we've been having. This bed also holds a small edamame patch and a few cukes down at the other end. It's about 30 -35 foot long.

Oregano. Planted in the bed where the old pea seed I planted didn't come up. I'm making REAL sure this year to date all pkgs of seed.  lol  Oregano is a perrenial that will come back with no special treatment.

    It's a glorious day here. Rained yesterday, but not a lot. Apparently it was saving itself to go up and knock the heck out of Judy's barn this morning. But it's 82 at noon here and tomorrow is supposed to be dry as well, with temps around 91.  We have no plans really for this holiday weekend,. but next weekend is our annual family reunion/camping weekend. I still haven't found anyone to come feed the animals while we're gone. Very worst case scenario--we don't camp and just go down for the big Sunday noon potluck. 

    I have hotdog and hamburger buns raising...they are whole wheat this time, because I am apparently out of white flour! (I know...I can't believe it either.)  I also am out of vital wheat gluten, which I use when making whole grain bread because it helps it rise better. Sigh...At any rate, I'm sure they'll be fine.  We will have smoked brats for lunch today, with some pickled beets and some devilled eggs. Maybe I'll open a jar of pickled peppers too, and serve it all up with chowchow...Also have some corn chips left I think, with salsa. Then I have to head down the road to sit with MissB. 

  I'm off to get some lunch ready, he should be home anytime. He's out picking up roofing felt and straw bales...lol..another holiday weekend in the life of parttime homesteaders I guess.  We have to redo the roof this summer, and are going to start picking up supplies a bit at a time so we don't have to pay for everything all at once. The shingles we will, so that they will deliver them up to the roof, and save these old people from having to carry the damn things !

  Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

This past week blows...

Here's one of my peonies, down by the driveway...

Little red roses, in the same area...

Here are Shasta Daisies and lilacs and lilies....there's a birdbath in there somewhere...lol..in the backyard.

And here's a shot of the garden about a week ago, maybe  a little less. Beans, I think.

Good God.  It has been crazy around these parts. Tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, baseball sized hail and now it's cold. Getting down to 40 tonight. It barely made the mid fifties today...I was wearing sweats for crying out loud.     IT'S MAY!!!!!!  Not only May, but the tail end of May.

 The temperature on Wednesday dropped a whopping 20 degrees in one hours time. We had tornado warnings, funnel sightings, 55 mph winds and torrential rains. Trees splitting and branches cracking and limbs falling everywhere.  Last Sunday a big tornado hit Joplin, MO and it has been hysteria ever since. The local St Louis tv stations are preempting shows and running their Storm Center for hours on end. I want to go unplug them...I know they provide a service, but criminey...it feels like fear mongering. There was a huge line of storms advancing that COULD have the POSSIBILITY of rotation. And there was some, but only a little damage and for heavens sakes...dial it down a notch, guys.  When you live in the midwest, these storms this time of year are what it does here.

  Okay. That rant is over. And I really do appreciate that they are concerned. Really I am. But I had to laugh when they said something to the effect of using your computer to keep following them if you're in a tornado. The last thing I'm going to be thinking of is following the tv station during a tornado.

  I had a nice lunch at Olive Garden today with my niece and her mother. Two of my favorite women in the family. The weather was yucky, but we ate and then we went to the World Market, which is one of my favorite places to shop. I got some Thai Lotus candles on sale and a couple of other things. Then I went to Petco and bought some food for the Cichlids and some chemical that is supposed to clear the murky water. I picked up some compressed rawhide bones for the puplios. Then  I came home, grateful that I don't live down there in the city and can sit on my back deck and listen to the songs of the bullfrogs and the cardinals and the chickens singing hymns for me. And let out a long sigh of relief to be back on Honeysuckle Hill once more.

  In the morning I will go take some more pictures of the gardens. Miraculously, nothing was destroyed by the hail and winds and rain. And things look about 3x the size they were 4 days ago.

  Time for me to hit the hay, been up since 6 and am running on fumes. I am very emotional and hyper-sensitive and those are just a couple of the ways I can tell how exhausted I am...tomorrow will be busy, have a sponsling celebrating a year and a friend celebrating 26 years...we will take the former out to dinner and then go to the meeting where she'll get her coin, and then adjourn to the latters home, where we'll have coffee and dessert probably and catch up.

  Life is good. And bad. And everything in between.  That's what makes it so precious....


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Busy days...

  But never too busy to put cut flowers on the table...these gorgeous irises (or "flags" as my granny always called them) are from my yard. I got them for free from someone tearing them out of their yard and were going to throw them away. The stems are so long  many of them leaned over to kiss the dirt or broke, so I cut them and brought them in the house. I found the gorgeous vase at a thrift store. It's perfect for these daddy long legs!!

  It's been strange weather around here, finally warming up to about 77 today. The humidity is high, so it feels even hotter. They keep predicting rain, but so far we have seen none of it.

  The Irishman got the tent out and went through the camping gear today. When I got home tonight, the tent was set up in the front yard. He says he's airing it out, getting ready for our big camping trip. It looks like the circus is in town.  lol   (Which , of course, reminds me of something I heard years ago in an AA meeting...."Just because the monkey's OFF your back, doesn't mean the circus has left town!") to explain how crazy we can sometimes be, even though we have put down the drink and dope.

  No word yet on the autopsy findings. My friends young son came by yesterday and we hugged and he cried...I told him to come out anytime....it is all so sad...

  On the bright side, we got the sweet potato slips on Friday and got them in the ground. Put in 2 dozen plants. Beauregards.  And everything else is coming up nicely. Trying hard to keep the sprouting potatoes pulled up from the tomato bed...bad call on my part--volunteer fingerling potatoes coming up all over that bed. Tomatoes don't like potatoes. Sigh....The green beans are already about 2 and a half inches tall!!  And the corn is up and all the salad stuff is going gangbusters already.(Have I said how much I love gardening????) lol

  Going to check out a new church tomorrow, I think. It's in the town where I went to high school, about 15 miles from here.  Or I'll sleep late and miss it.  lol   Either way, I'm sure my day will be grand. I am not really a church goer, but sometimes I feel the need to sing.

  Time for me to hit the hay. Tired to the bone tonight for some reason. Yesterday I made some wonderful veggie burgers for supper, with homemade hamburger buns. I will never buy hamburger buns again. These were so simple and outrageously GOOD!  For the veggie burgers, I was going to make them southwestern, with black beans and salsa, but instead, I started with a Nature Burger (do you know what this is???) base and added chopped onion and leftover pinto beans, to finish those up. Then I finely chopped some celery and added black pepper, garlic and celery seed. I had a leftover ear of corn on the cob...cut the corn off and threw that in too.  They were so good....I sauteed some mushrooms and onions to put on top and we were in hog heaven.  Today for lunch I just made some old tuna salad for my husband and sonny boy (who came by to fish a bit) and we all had a nice lunch of sandwiches, blue corn chips and homemade salsa. Yum.

  Alrighty. I am off to meet up with Mr Sandman.  Catch you all later....


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The fragile nature of life...

My phone's message alert went off as soon as I turned it back on this afternoon. I had been in a meeting, and when I came out there it was. I answered it and a very serious voice asked me to please call her as soon as I got this-it was important.  I called, and was told that a friend of mine had died that morning. A relatively healthy 40 something alcoholic who could not stop drinking and stay stopped to save her life.

 She had lived here for a little over 6 months, out in the studio apartment, while she tried one more time to get sober.  She did alright for a while, and then, as usual, she as back on another bender. After a couple of these, I asked her to please move out, as I could not have that here. Our agreement was that she could live there as long as she stayed sober.

  She managed to quit drinking a couple of more times since then, only to have some catastrophe or crisis send her back into the bottle again.  She lost her last in a string of temporary jobs. Her son wanted nothing to do with her.  Her boyfriend that she had a love/hate relationship with, told her to get out of his life...he couldn't take it any more.

I am deeply saddened by her demise. She was a wonderful human being when she was sober. I knew a side of her that was all soft and loving and breakable. The outer persona was brittle and brutal and sometimes  mean. Always keeping her guard up. Always such a child in there. 

Unfortunately for people like her, and like me, and like so many I know....this is what we get.  If we drink, we die.  We absolutely cannot drink for any reason , of any amount, in any way. Complete abstinence is our only hope. We crush the people who love us, we do things we would not normally do, we hate ourselves with such a ferocity it is unimaginable.

If we are lucky, we find ourselves in a life and death situation where recovery is the only option.  I am so grateful that I had the shit kicked out of me by life one last time, right after I got arrested for druink driving.  I am so grateful that there was no where else for me to go. I suspect that if there had been one more shot, I would have not made it here. Like my friend, I would have kept hitting myself in the head with that bottle until finally my head split wide open (metaphorically speaking) and all the life drained out of me.

  I have known so many people these past 20 years that have died. Because they could not live with alcohol or without it.  Because they could never be convinced they were worth saving.  Because they had to chase that high, that buzz, one more time. Because this might be "the" time they got the relief they were looking for.  And they are dying of things that don't look like death by drugs or alcohol...but they are. Things like seizures and respiratory arrest and cerebral hemmorhages. Things like massive heart attacks. Things like intestinal bleeding.  People who are worn out and used up and oh so tired of the tragic comedy they have been living for far too long. People who have only 2 choices left to them. Live. Or Die.

I am feeling so bereft tonight. I know that there is nothing I could have done differently. I know that none of this has anything to do with me, really. But I also know that in my heart I will continue to wonder if there wasn't something I could have said  or something I could have given her that could have prevented this.  It is all so tragic. Her 17 year old son will continue the rest of his life without his mother. Her parents and step parents have lost their daughter. And I have lost a friend...

 At last, she has peace.
 RIP, M.R.
May 17, 2011


Monday, May 16, 2011

Mondays Meanderings...

   Wandered around outside a bit this morning...looks like we survived the rains/wind okay, with the exception of a few purple irises that decided to lay down in the dirt. I have a ton, so I just cut the long stemmed flowers off and took a bouquet to Miss B, and put some on my own dining room table.

  Am pleased to report that there is major germination going on out there, and the plants that are in are looking great.  Supposed to have some warm weather coming up, after tonights possible low of 36. Keeping my fingers crossed it doesn't get quite that cold. I am soooo done with this chilly damp weather.

  Read Miz Moon's blog about Pearl, and I started crying over losing my Lucy all over again. It feels like this grief will never subside, though I know it will.  I have so many pawprints on my heart...Lucy, Sophie, Bella, Seamus...Little Caylee came over and put her paws on my chest to lick the tears off my face. She is such a sensitive dog, and has not left my side since I started to cry. She's laying here at my feet, with one paw on my leg. Anchoring me. Loving me. This is why there have always been and will always be animals in my life.  Unconditional love.

  The mechanic called and said that the truck is done and we could come pick it up. I will go first thing in the morning. He had said earlier that he might not get finished with it until Wednesday, but ...maybe it wasn't any big thing...(hope, hope!)

  I spent a leisurely morning housekeeping...doing some laundry, vacuuming up tons of dog and cat hair (gotta love this time of year when the shedding begins...)...homey stuff.  I miss the time when I never had to leave the house for days and days at a time if I didn't want to...As much as I like the extra money, I have a feeling something is about to change. We shall see....we shall see.

  I am having a problem with someone and it feels like 13 year old girl BS...I was always a tomboy. I played with the boys and rarely hung out with girls when I was a kid, becaue I couldn't handle all the games. I refused to get involved with the cliques, the gossipy crap, the competition. And I am feeling like that is what I am dealing with here. I'm not going into detail about it ...but if it doesn't resolve itself, I might be travelling down a different road soon. And I am being a bit bitchy about it, which makes me feel like as much of the problem as anyone..I have drawn a line in the dirt, and crossed my arms and am being as stubborn as I have been about anything for a long time. AArrrgggghhhh....

  In the meantime, the moon tonight was so fabulous, hanging there in the dusky sky that it almost made me cry.  I love a good full moon, and it's a remarkable sight to see out here on the Prairie, with no city lights to mess it up.

  Okay, I have to go to bed.  I am cranky and tired and weepy.

  Snuffling off to Buffalo....


Sunday, May 15, 2011

A wet and cold Sunday in mid-May

 (Sorry--but I thought this was hysterical!)

  It's been raining since Friday evening. After I hand watered most of the garden, of course. And by hand watered, I mean carrying watering cans full of water from the rain barrels. Arrgghhh....So now everything is well watered, and temps have been 50 or below, after days of 90 degrees. Today was absolutely yucky.

  There is lots of sprouting in the garden, despite the cool temperatures. And my irises are all blooming too. It's lush and green and wet out there.  lol

  I am tired and checking in before I go to bed. The Irishman has to take his truck to the garage tomorrow morning and drop it off. Something wrong with it...hopefully not too serious.  We cannot easily afford a big auto repair bill. Oh, well. It will work out the way things always do. Sometimes easier than other times. I'm thinking of a humorous quote..."It will all be okay in the end. If it's not okay--it's not the end."

  Watched a very strange movie tonight from Netflix called Little Children.  Had mixed feelings about it...

  This wet cold has my joints in an uproar. The arthtritis is getting worse and more painful. I guess that is the nature of arthritis. Reminding myself to move, move, move...even when it hurts. It hurts much worse if I don't.  My hands are hurting tonight, as well as my knees and ankles.  I could use some good hot weather to just lie out on the chaise lounge and let the healing energy of the sun do it's stuff. Maybe tomorrow I will use the jacuzzi at the gym. That affords some relief too.

  I chopped down my chives today, Mama Pea.  I froze a bag of flowers to see what they do too. 2 quart bags, one of garlic chives and one of reguilar old chives.  Snipped and frozen. WooHoo!

  Okay. I'm heading to bed.It's about half past midnight here and the old bed is calling me.

  Tomorrow it's supposed to be a tad warmer and much sunnier. Here's hoping....


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thoroughly Thursday

  My handsome son, in the kitchen, fixing my Mother's Day breakfast! It was a wonderful day.

    A busy Thursday coming up here. Picking up my sister to go to lunch and then the Irishman and I are going to the big music extravaganza put on every year after the spring pledge drive by the local independent radio station KDHX. We have been members for a few years and every year they send us the tickets to go, and every year we don't make it. But--this year, we are going! NO matter what!!

 It is held at the City Musuem in St. Louis and is taking up 4 or 5 floors of the building. Should be a blast...if our old hearts and bodies can take it.  lol  Lots and lots of music, all kinds of food and drinks, and a real good time.

  I have to make a stop by Pappy's Market to see if the sweet potato slips are in yet, because once they are, they'll sell out fast. I really should get it together and raise my own..maybe next year. That's about the last of the garden to get in.  We are supposed to get some rain tonight...if we don't, we are going to have to get out there and water I'm afraid.  The rain has swerved around us the last couple of times it was supposed to come.  We shall see...

 I got all the family reunion reminder flyers made and printed and mailed out yesterday. I've been doing this the past 7 years and it's feeling like time for somebody else to take it on. I usually get it out way before this, but....we have a large family on my dad's side and it's quite a bit of work. Not to mention the reservations and all that I have to make for it....camping and the day use area... We'll see. I'll try to get someone else to take it over at the reunion. I mailed out flyers to over 35 families...

  Gonna go out and check my chooks, look over the gardens and empty the compost bucket. Then I'll get showered and dressed and go pick up my sister. It will be a good day today and I am feeling especially blessed to be on the planet...even though my horoscope the past few days has been talking about my troubling financial situation.  LOL  (Like that's news...)  The Irishman came home talking about possible transmission trouble with his truck last night...oh, dear...He'll get our local guy to have a look at it, hopefully tomorrow.  THAT could certainly be some financial trouble I guess.  We have the money saved to put a new roof on the house this year...some of it may have to fix the truck instead, and if that's how it is, then that's how it is.

  Thinking about changing the name of my blog. Not sure why, but it's been on my mind for a while. Life is all about change, isn't it?  lol

  Okay--off to have a grand day of play. I've worked hard this past week or two, and I deserve it. 

  Are YOU getting enough playtime in ???????



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

That Fickle Mother Nature...

 MY chives...and now Mama Pea tells me I should have chopped them before the flowers. Dang! Well, even at my age, you live and you learn...lol   But...they're soooo pretty!!

  Yesterday barely missed 90 degrees. It hit 90 the day before and today is supposed to be the same. The humidity is brutal.  We seem to have warped straight from winter to summer and almost left out spring. With all the rain we've had the last few weeks around these parts, it's nice that things have dried out just enough that we can plant. And by we, I mean me, and the farmers. I get stuck behind farm machinery every single day now out on the road.

  I finished the corn, green beans, edamame and a few errant peppers that the Irishman missed planting. This was yesterday. It kept threatening to rain out my planting day, but never quite happened. When it did rain (after I was finished) it was just enough to wet things down a little and then go it's merry way. South of us, they got some pea sized hail. We had thunderboomers, but that was all. It's amazing how different the weather can be just 15 miles south of us...

  I will spend today housecleaning and cooking and puttering around before I leave for MissB's. Taking it a little easy...

  Tomorrow I will drive down and pick up my baby sister and bring her up here to Honeysuckle Hill to spend the day. She hasn't seen my newly painted walls yet, or the gardens. She had a little setback on Monday, so I will try to cheer her up. I had a rotisseried chicken yesterday and the leftovers will make a nice chicken salad for us for lunch. Today I will fix some kind of  wonderful  thing for my husband's supper tonight while I am gone...something he can easily heat up in the microwave after his 10 hours at work.

  Hopefully the sweet potatoes will be in by the weekend and we can get those in and then except for the marigolds and nasturtiums that I border my beds with for bug control, the garden will be fini! (I just realized that I didn't put any parsley or cilantro in yet!! I can tuck those plants in about anywhere...in the salad bed maybe, or near the chives.) This is life on the little homestead...it's never finished, and just when you think you're done, other things pop up.

And I wouldn't trade it for anything...


Monday, May 9, 2011

Can it be Monday???

  Here's what we've been up to all weekend...no wonder it whooooshed right by!!  We got all the garden beds manured and turned over and composted and ready to plant. On Friday we went plant shopping for tomatoes. I never start them from seed, although I could. But this time of year it's a joy to visit the farms where people are selling garden plants...to catch up and see how they've survived the winter. One lost their greenhouse in a January windstorm, one had a new baby lamb trailing along behind him, the mother dead from a mysterious viral outbreak in the barns. One man lost all his chickens to a fox over a two week period... New grandbabies,  one death, a fire....all this, just life in the country. The circle of life can be brutal, but is always met head on with a brave stoicism that perplexes many.

  Anyway, on Saturday I spent all of the morning in the dirt, planting tomatoes and basil and okra and peppers.  This morning I put my salad bed in--radishes, onions, spinach, kale, swiss chard and a "chef blend" lettuce.  I also transplanted all the squash I started...26 butternuts, 6 zucchinis and 12 yellow crooknecks. Then I mowed the front yard (under the threat of rain). But besides a few sprinkles, there was no rain and the temps soared to 90 degrees.

  On Sunday, my son came over at 8:30 AM and cooked me a wonderful breakfast. He stayed until noon and we laughed and walked around looking at stuff and just enjoyed each others company. Then at 1, Patrick and I went to our neighbors, where we had been invited for lunch on the patio. It was a lovely afternoon, all around.

  Tomorrow I will put in green beans and corn and edamame.  The Irishman put the sugar peas and  potatoes in tonight after he got home from work. It will be another week before the sweet potatoes are available. And then, gentle readers...the garden will be IN.  lol

  It is a busy time of year. Locally the rivers are rising...creeks are full. The weather is seesawing back and forth between hot and reasonable.  This is the nature of spring. We've sure had a lot of water. My irises are ready to bloom. The clematis is blooming is huge purple blossoms. There are tiny little nubs of apples and peaches and cherries on the trees. The chives are in full bloom. The Egyptian walking onions are getting heads on them too.  We planted a new bed of asparagus, as our original one is being assimilated by blackberries...I planted it too close to the edge. I can still get a few stalks of asparagus out of it, but not much.  I noticed the big blossoms on the blackberries today too, while mowing the front yard. Even the rhubarb is in it's glory...all green and red and pretty.

  I'm grateful to be feeling that good bone-tired feeling I have from toiling in the yards and garden.  I will sleep like a baby tonight. Working the dirt feeds my soul....


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thundering through Thursday...

  As you can see, the giant hostas are making their debut. I went to a plant sale today, put on by the Women of Pappy's market, and when I asked the questions, I got the answers. Those old girls are brilliant when it comes to plants. One of them showed me her tile spade and said it was the best thing for dividing hostas. Said I should get one. New they are about 35 dollars, she says, but I got this one at a yard sale for 3.  I offered her 10 and she roared. And refused. lol  I was asking her about timing for dividing the hostas, as I'm thinking I'd like to move some around to my front porch.

   I bought a few plants...I like to support local people any chance I get, and all their stuff is grown right here. I got 2 big pots of feverfew (and by big, I mean 1 gallon size)- to replace all my feverfew that got destroyed putting in the water lines, 2 pots of Azure fairies (don't have any idea what those are, but loved the name), a pot of red castor beans and a pot of ginger. She said it likes shade. I said really??--that grows here?? They said, "Sure does!" SO I bought it. All the pots were 3 dollars each except the castor beans, which was 2.50.  I also picked up some containers of bell peppers--3 green and 3 gypsy, which are red , yellow, and green.   Just for good measure I picked up one tiny tray of zucchinis.  The butternut squash seeds I planted in peat pots are starting to come up too.  We'll be getting some major work done tomorrow in the garden, as there is supposed to be no rain, and the Irishman and I are both home all day. We're getting a few truckloads of leaf compost from our neighbor tomorrow too.  It's finally starting to feel like spring....

  The boyo called today to chat, and said that for Mother's Day he'd like to come over and cook breakfast for me at my house. I said that sounded wonderful to me. So that's our big plan for that day...family, food and lots of love. What else is there?  I am blessed.

  Tonight I cooked a feast for my husband...bbq'd country pork ribs in homemade sauce, coleslaw and corn on the cob. I made his all time favorite, Key Lime Pie for dessert with freshly whipped cream to top it off.  He loved it and immediately fell into a food coma.  lol  We watched some tv and talked and then he was falling asleep on the couch after his long week of work.  He's gone to bed now and I'm getting ready to join him.  It's been a long day here on the Prairie, with a few minor thunderstorms and rain showers and all the odds and ends that make up a life.  I did a bit of shopping, a bit of cooking, a bit of planning and a bit of sitting out front in the rocking chair...watching the gold finches  and listening to the Barred Owls hooting back and forth. All in all, a very good day.

  Okee dokee. I am off to bed and planning to dream the dreams of a dreamer.  This old woman is plum tuckered out...


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Catching up Tuesday...

 This is a coral bell. I love these guys, they are hardy perrenials that even these brutal Illinois winters cannot keep down. Years ago I had one in an old pot at the base of a tree, and I never did anything to it, yet it persevered. My kind of plant.

  Had a hectic day yesterday, as I got involved in a family crisis. It was a day of run run run and I'm not sorry I did it, I just hope it can work out. My brothers family.  He moved out of state a few years ago, and a call from him in the early morning sent me running. It's what family does.

Today I am heading into town to buy a few groceries...some organic milk and some odds and ends, and I am getting my haircut too at 11. I've got a load of laundry going and will try to get another one done between shopping and haircuts and cooking my beloved a nice dinner. He's been  "feasting" (as he calls it) on leftovers for several days. He loves chicken fajitas and beans and rice...so that is what I will fix him.  Halfway healthy, and cooked with great love.

The weather does NOT feel like May. It is chilly and sunny at least....we will be planting the garden soon, in increments. The potatoes are ready to go, the lettuce and stuff can go in if we cover it a bit to warm the soil. That's the main problem right now...the soil is too cold still for germination.Things are looking good out there. My husband has shovelling more manure in and turning over beds...leaf compost will be the final dressing.  He's worked a little fter work each night, and on the weekend. When it's not raining...which it has been doing a lot.

I'm glad to see my Louisey back online...I miss you woman, when you go away.  I am blessed to watch the goins on at Miz Moon's...her fabulous family and friends and all the love dripping off her blog. Judy is crazy busy this time of year...my gardening mentor. And my all time hero, DJan...climbing every mountain and fording every creek that Washington state has to offer, not to mention jumping out of airplanes (my all time secret wish)...I wanna be like her, but I can't, so I live vicariously through her blog. and Sarcastic bastard. I love you. You make me laugh and think and something about your absolutely uncensored mouth tickles the holy hell out of me.  I roll around here laughing and thinking "Oh no she didn't !!!"  You make my days....

  I may actually get some stuff done today, if I get myself away from here.

  Here I goooooooooooooo........


Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day..

  It's the first of May, and unseasonably cool. The chives, however, have flaunted their flowers and look sweet.

  The red maple is breathtaking this year..the colors are magnificent and the tree is finally filling out and growing taller. It's the one we brought from our little cottage in North Carolina. (You can click on these to see them closer).

  Here's the far end of the giant hosta bed. They are about 6 inches tall and will be well over 2 feet tall in another month.  There's a big bed of bee balm at the very end there...but it looks like it's being taken over by mint.  More investigating needs doing there.

  This is out on the front side of the house where we planted the edamame last year. You can see the rose of sharon there, plus the apple and cherry trees. The Irishman has turned over the dirt and added the new load of manure...

  It's time for us to figure out where we're putting things in what garden beds ...we always rotate crops, and that's one reason I keep a garden journal every year. lol  (Like we could ever remember what was where...)  We'll still plant the old standbys, like sweet potatoes and butternut squash. I'm planting a few yellow crooknecks this year, and maybe one zucchini.  No acorns or Hubbards though. They take up too much space and are too prone to insect infestations in these parts. Since we garden organically, I have to be pragmatic. I also have a bag of red pontiac seed potatoes ready to be dusted with sulphur and put in the ground. Someone told me the other day that potatoes should be in the ground by St Patrick's day. I laughed and said, well...not at Honeysuckle Hill they don't.  We never plant them that early, as you often can't get anything in the ground around here at that time.  And we always have a good crop, one that gets us through over half the winter, at least. We'll have tomatoes and okra, cucumbers and salad stuff.  We'll plant more green beans this year, as we ran out a couple of weeks ago. And I have enough edamame seed to plant again this year.  I want more stuff that I can can and dry and not freeze, as the plan is to try and be less and less dependent on electricity run machines. And this year we lost some stuff to a freezer brerakdown. Yuck. Don't want to go through that again.

   We worked out in the yards on Friday all day, then went to Mr Curry's for dinner. It was great. I did a little too much mowing on this old raggedy yard...there's nary a 2 ft stretch that is halfway level.  lol  On Saturday I had a little gig...I cooked lunch for 16 people at a yoga retreat out at the La Vista Ecological Center. It was 2 soups, salads from the gardens, bread and dessert. I worked for about 4 hours putting it all together..the vegetarian soups won rave reviews, and everyone had at least one bowl of each. It was quite fun, and I hope they ask me back to do it again. Also won a couple of promises to be at the Harvest soups workshop I'll be teaching there in November.  All in all, it was a lovely day, and I was basking in the attention and compliments.

  I have to get some granola bars made for Patrick's lunches and throw together some kind of lunch for us. He has a business meeting this morning after the Sunday group, and he'll come home after...I have to leave for MissB's at 2:30. So...I'd best be getting my butt out of this seat and into the day.

  Happy May, all y'all....