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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It sure looks like summer here

And its only the end of March. All the fruit trees here have bloomed out and now starting to lose their bloom. We have had frost advisories the past couple nights but we didn't get any here at the house. I have peas, carrots, onions, and lettuce coming up in the garden. Our forsythia and Spirea bushes have bloomed out and look so pretty. AND the dandelions in the yard popped up after  Rodger mowed Sunday night. The weather has been nice the past couple days tho, not too hot, just right like baby bears porridge.

This spirea bush is one my aunt gave me last spring and this is the first year it has bloomed here. It is also called Bridal vail.

The forsythia is planted in a row at the end of the driveway and I hope in a few years it will block the view from the road to the house.

 My zinnias that my friend Deb sent me seed for are coming up in the pots. Oh my, I sure think I put far too many seeds in there. Not sure where the heck I will plant those.

I have one whole flat of cabbage started and they are up already too. It takes the tomatoes a lil longer to sprout and get going.

Now tell me this ain't redneck? I think everyone needs a big azz bath tub in the middle of their herb garden. Well this is the one we took out of our master bath room. Soon as I get time it will get buried in the herb bed about where it is sitting and I intend to make a water feature with it. I think it is deep enough to maybe have a few gold fish in as well. It wont be so unsightly after it gets buried in the ground and trimmed out with rocks. But for now, I am just content to be redneck. As you can see in the picture above, some of my chamomile has jumped the fence and is growing on the edge of the driveway now.

We got our hams trimmed and sliced an put in the freezer last evening. I had a good deal of fat and skin that was trimmed off. Rodger and I rendered it down this evening to make lard. I think the lard is good enough to use for soap making. I will wash it again tomorrow to get all the bits of meat out tho. When we get our beef I have ask the butchers to save all the fat for me to render for tallow for soap also. Should have a good bit of soap making material that is mostly free. And nothing beats free, right?

Not much else happening here. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Friday, March 23, 2012

It seems to be spring here

I have managed to stay busy this week and got a few spring chores done. On Tuesday I got all my seeds in potting soil to start plants for the big garden. This year I thought about tomatoes and peppers needing extra calcium to prevent blossom end rot. I had saved all my egg shells, rinsed an dried them and had them stored in the freezer. So when I started putting soil in the trays to start the tomatoes an peppers I put some crushed egg shells in the bottom of each tray. So when we transplant the plants to the garden later the egg shells will be in the soil and available to the plants for extra calcium. Guess I will see how well this works for me. I also got the kiwi vines pruned too. Not sure if they cuttings will propagate or not but I took some cutting and dipped them in rooting hormone and put them in soil to see if they make new plants.
My strawberry plants that my friend Gretchen and her hubby sent me last year are loaded with bloom. I should have lots of berries this year. I still need to transplant some of the ones from the field back over here to the old flower bed that has been prepped for them near the driveway here at the house. There is just no way to keep the grass and weeds out of them in the field where I have them now. I should think things thru a lil better before I plant stuff. Might save me a lot of work in the long run. Any who, story of my life.
We got a lil rain this afternoon after it staying cloudy most all day. Gosh the weeds and grass in the yard grew several inches with the lil rain tho. We need to mow like really soon. Our yard looks awful shabby an over grown. Guess that is a task for after the rain and it dries a lil.
Not much else happening here on the farm, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Outside in the fresh air

We have both spent most of the day outside in the fresh air doing lil chores in the yard. Good grief somebody gonna have to mow soon or we gonna be living in knee deep weeds. Our yard is mostly lil weeds, if not for them I think it would be just dirt. We have some lil tuffs of grass here and there, just not your typical "lawn". But do we care,, hell now! The chickens like the weeds so we all good. I am sure the chickens are really happy tonight. Rodger got the chicken house cleaned out and the manure piled for compost. I scattered fresh straw in the building. When I went out to close the door after dark the chickens were sitting in the fresh straw for the night instead of sitting on the roost. After he finished that we did finally get the grape vines pruned today, and they did bleed a good deal. It is a lil late in the season but it had to be done.  So we can only hope it don't kill em. I did also take cutting to root for new vines. Got those in soil after dipping the tips in rooting hormone. Now they will sit in damp soil surrounded by a large trash bag till they get leaves and then for several weeks longer to establish good roots. After they have nice roots they will get transplanted into individual pots till this fall and then be moved to the field near the orchard where last years starts are planted. I started 45 cutting and out of those only about 10 or so of em will take root and grow.
I got a good start on weeding the big herb bed too. But I sure didn't make much progress seems to me. Maybe 1/4 of it is weed free. If weather permits(and it is supposed to b nice) tomorrow I will work on it some more. My body just cant take the bending and using my arm to keep at that task too long. But I am better than I was. I think I actually got a lil sun today too. I alas have a farmers tan in summer. Not the all over tan ya get from a tanning bed by any means. I fit the title of redneck farm girl.
It seems kinda early in the season to have the AC on but dang its hot for mid March. The forecast was for rain today but it didn't rain here at our place. And if we don't get rain tomorrow I will probably watch the fellers put the plastic on my greenhouse so I can play in dirt in there and get all my seedlings started so they be ready for the big garden. I should have already had the cabbage family started but such is life in my world. Had to let my arm get back to some sort of usefulness before tackling planting. So maybe tomorrow is the day.
Not much else happening here on the farm, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Love or hate the weather

I think most people across the country have had a love/hate relationship with the weather this year. We didn't have much of a winter here at all, very little snow, now its warm outside and we have lots of rain and thunderstorms. All the trees are starting to get leaves. I even have a lil small cherry tree in the orchard that is blooming out already. So with it being this early I am guessing we probably wont have much in the line of fruit this season. I suspect it will get frost bit for blooming this early. It was so warm here in February that we kept postponing pruning the grape vines till we got a nice cold snap that never happened. So we are going to definitely prune them this weekend and hope to hell it don't kill em all. This is the year we need to also prune the kiwi vines. I simply must do something to make them produce kiwi's this year so Josh and Jason will stop fussing about all the work of setting post for kiwi vines to never get a kiwi off em. Just kidding, they give me a hard time but they are alas willing to help out with what ever projects I need help with when they here. Although it takes 5 years for them to produce, and I think this is the 5th year we have had them planted. We shall see. I do hope we have some. Will sure be a nice treat in summer to be able to pick fresh kiwi from my own vines.
I took out the flower bed near the drive way last year and covered the soil with black plastic all last late summer till now in hopes of killing any weeds and left over seeds in there. Now I need to think of what I can plant in there that looks nice and will be edible. Maybe a trellis and plant the Mexican cukes in there with a couple cherry or grape tomato plants, some lettuce and what ever other goodies I can think of. Or maybe I can just fill the whole bed with strawberry plants. Now that would be convenient for me. Still thinking on the project for now.
I had a doc appointment yesterday with the ortho doc for follow up on my arm surgery. All is well with it. I did ask him about the bad pain in the elbow and he tole me he guessed 6 to 8 weeks post surgery before that pain eased up due to the fact it was tendon repair and those take a while to heal and quit hurting. So I told Rodger I have minimum 3 more weeks to whine. Not sure that made him too happy but such is life. OMG we made the mistake of eating at long john silvers for a late lunch too and all the oil tore both our bellies up. I have felt like crap all dang day. Didn't wake up till 11am this morning and had went to bed fairly early too. Then I have been nauseated all day. I really did myself in when we got home and I was having some leg and foot cramps. I drank a lil small glass of orange juice and gosh that did not sit well on the tummy. Then on top of all that being really sore this morning from riding in the truck yesterday while we were out and about. Long story short it has been a rotten day. At least I have felt rotten all day. The weather was nice enough and warm, but we got thunderstorms this evening with lots of rain. Not really storms tho which I am very thankful for.
Not much else happening here on the farm, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Its time to get busy

It is getting time to get things ready for spring planting. I weeded my asparagus and strawberry beds this past weekend, still don't have mulch down. Today I got the deck cleaned off and the covers back on the patio furniture on the front porch. It was down right hot today. I was sweating when we sat down to eat supper and we ended up turning the A/C on for a while.
After supper Rodger got on the tractor and bush hogged down the corn stalks from last years corn field. I think he is getting up really early in the morning to try to get the ground turned before we got to my doc appointment in the afternoon.
I let the chickens out kinda early today and I got a hen setting again. And I swear I think it is one that just hatched off some in early January and has weaned them. So I stuck 10 eggs under her to see what happens. After I did that I got to thinking, she will prolly hatch the week we are gone on vacation and Jason will have to take care of baby chicks. That will do him good. I am getting ready to order chicks to raise for meat so they will arrive after we get home. Then I will be butchering chickens about the last of May.
In my plundering outside earlier today, I saw leaves coming out on our lil pear tree, my lilac bushes are getting leaves too. This weekend we must get the plastic on the greenhouse so I can get seeds started. Rodger did say our peas and stuff he  planted is starting to peek thru the ground. So that's a good thing, at least they didn't wash away in the heavy rains.
Not much else happening here on the farm, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Geez its been a while

I didn't realize how fast time had passed till I looked at the date on my last post. It has been over 2 weeks since I posted anything on my blog. No I didn't really fall off planet earth, I did have surgery on February 23rd as planned. The only thing I didn't plan on was having pain like this for this long. Dang it has been a booger. I still am taking lots of pain meds and using Lidoderm patches too to keep the elbow numb so it don't hurt so much. But I went back to the doc on the following Wednesday to get my stitches taken out, all 4 of em. The rest are the ones that dissolve and he also used glue to seal the incision on my elbow. It has healed well. And he told me I had a good tear in the rotator cuff and lots of bursitis so he repaired the tear and cleaned up the bursitis. The elbow he said would hurt for a while because he had to do some digging around to get under the tendon that had a big ole tear in it. Now how that happened I don't know unless I just over used it to compensate for lack of use when the right arm was injured a few years ago. But I think I am fixed now, just have to get all healed up and then the pain will subside. Hopefully!!
Any way we had planned on me being our of commission for a few weeks and of all things Rodger decided that would be the time he was off work to baby sit me and be inside anyway so he decides to take our big garden tub out of the master bathroom and build a closet in that area. He just put the final trim up and did the minor finish work today and it does look great. I love it. Now if I can talk him into doing the other bathroom and maybe putting the laminate floors in the kitchen I would fer sure be a happy camper.

I think the project turned out really nice. In the near future we plan to put the same kind of floor in the kitchen and get rid of the vinyl flooring that is in there now.  I didn't have any part of this project because every time I ask Rodger if there was any thing I needed to do he would say, "yeah go in there and hold the couch down". I really didn't have much problem with that as the pain meds kinda made me want to sleep a lot.
Just last week we had really bad storms here in Kentucky. Nothing at our place but some rain tho. A couple days before the tornado outbreak in our state we got some hail early in the day. Just pea size and no damage from that. And for that I feel blessed. Some nearby counties were nearly wiped out. Those folks still need lots of prayers as they try to bury their loved ones and rebuild. Most of the towns that were hard hit by tornadoes were places I have worked in when I worked in EMS and was doing my paramedic ride time for class.
Do you have your gardens started yet? I don't but Rodger did. He got our peas, onions, carrots an lettuce planted right after I had surgery and he wouldn't even let me go to the garden with him. I did as he instructed an held the couch down and took one of many naps.
I think this is the extent of things that have been happening around here. At least that I can remember. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.