Sunday, January 19, 2014

Spring Fever

"And Spring arose on the garden fare,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of it's wintry rest," ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley 
The past several weeks have been very nice, but different compared to what January normally brings.  The month of January started with a snow covered landscape.  Gradually, the weather warmed up enough on several occasions to melt a lot of the snow, resulting in one continuous sheet of ice covering most of the land.  For over a week I had managed to avoid killing myself the hard way as I would slide down an uneven ice laden yard hoping to slide into my car without causing myself bodily harm.  On one occasion I remember sliding down the yard and my hands thankfully connecting with the metal between the front and back seats on my car instead of my car's glass windows.  Enter the worst day last week.  I had carefully picked my way down the driveway to the end where the bus drops my daughter off after school.  The bus pulled up and I stepped forward, both feet airborne, arms flailing out and I hit the ground.  Thankfully the back of my head was cushioned by an ever so elegant work pony tail and the hood of my coat, or my head would have sustained some damage all in front of the school bus and my daughter.  I was black and blue and very sore for several days after this incident.  On the way back home from the bus stop my daughter slipped, thankfully only a few bruises sustained and after I returned home from work that night discovered my husband had slipped and lightly sprained his ankle.  Bloody ice!  Enter the Chinook winds, one night they howled through the valley.  Overnight, the temperatures went from the low 20's to the high 40's and 50's causing significant flooding over the county, and the landscape went from being an ice skating rink to small ponds.  The Sun has been out, warmth has penetrated this frozen landscape and the smell of Spring has permeated the air.
    I have been busy playing out in the sunshine.  My daughter, the dogs and I, have been taking Lady our miniature horse for walks on her lead rope.  We deep cleaned the rabbit cages removing the straw and adding it to our raised garden bed, and added new straw to help keep Thumbelina and Cadbury warm during the last part of Winter.  My first raised garden bed is complete and I have started the bottom cardboard kill layer of the second raised garden bed.  When Spring arrives I'll clean out the chicken coop again, the rabbit cages are cleaned out very often, and Lady's pen.  Between all of the various animals bedding and compost it should break down into a very nice soil mixture for the second raised garden bed.

    The two books that I find inspiring for gardening are Lasagna Gardening and The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book.  As you can see they are well worn by being very well read.  Both deal with large amounts of mulch, no tilling and low stress, low time needed gardening which is the only type of gardening that will work in my lifestyle.  My general theory on plants is that given access to nutrients, Sun (warmth), and water and they'll do the work themselves.  They've been doing it for ages now, why should I interfere and make more work for myself?  In the next several weeks I'll plan out which vegetables I want in which area of the garden.  Spring fever has started my friends.  ;)
    I have started writing my novel and have dedicated an hour a day to writing my novel, the first part of my Trilogy.  I had forgotten how much I missed writing fiction and telling a story from someone else's point of view.  Will it be a New York Times Bestseller?  Probably not, but at least the story will be told, the task will be done and I'll have done the best job on it that I know how and that is something to be proud of.

Until Next Time

Monday, January 13, 2014

Christmas Blessings

"I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time that I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys,"~ Charles Dickens.
A recap of our Christmas Splendor.  Christmas was a delightful time.  I had originally planned to work the swing shift in the afternoon for the Holiday pay as money sometimes doesn't go quite far enough, but after picking up so many hours back in November, my husband requested that I not pick up that shift.  Instead my family and I had a wonderful Christmas brunch after opening our Christmas presents.  My daughter and my mother-in-law were delightful to watch when opening their presents.  In the afternoon we had my family and my husband's family over for Christmas dinner.  The following are a few pictures of our Christmas season, yes both our small and large Christmas trees.  A long established tradition for no reason other than that we love both the large and the small Christmas trees.  And yes, given my love of Science Fiction on the smaller Christmas tree there are little green men spread out over the tree aka glow in the dark angels.  ;) 

    One of the most significant events of the day was when my husband and I gave my daughter a miniature horse for Christmas.  Yes, as a parent I am well aware that the pets my daughter has require parental help and oversight.  Hence, why my daughter will not have any snakes or spiders as pets until she is old enough to have her own house, and no I won't pet sit them.  We all have our limits, and that is one of mine.  The miniature horses' name is Lady.  She is 7 years old and from what I understand has the normal lifespan of a horse, so approximately 30 years.  She had been out to pasture for about three years and has to take off a significant amount of weight to be healthy.  Our plans are to train her to pull a small carriage.  Between the rabbits, chickens and the horse, my raised garden beds this Spring are in good hands.  :) 

    We had left Lady tied up with her lead rope until after Christmas dinner when the construction of her pen would begin (Lady was a last minute purchase at an amazing price).  When the family went out to see Lady before the dinner began there was a lead rope, neatly unclipped to the tree to which it had been tied.  Sweet in temperament, Lady decided she was going home, and no, not her new home.  So my husband, my step-daughter and her husband went across town searching for a miniature horse.  One of my co-workers (whom I had bought Lady from) chose that moment to call me and inquire as to whether I was missing a certain miniature horse and whose house I could find her grazing at.  I simply laughed, in small towns, everything gets around.  My husband then went and retrieved Lady Houdini as she was officially christened.  Later in the afternoon I chuckled as I saw a picture of Lady grazing in a yard with a caption of "Anyone Missing a Horse?" on Facebook and the responses that it was drawing from all of the locals of this small town.  Hoping you and yours' Holiday season was as delightful as ours.
Simply Yoko