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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pruning, painting puttering

Just not all these in one day tho. This weather we are having this winter is enough to make the best of us go nuts. It was nice enough last weekend that we got out and pruned the grape vines, finally. I really wanted to get our fruit trees pruned too but Rodger said we would just make big ruts getting in the field with the truck so we passed on those for now. It will have to either be frozen or dry before we can tend to the orchard. The yard was wet but nothing we cant handle. So on Saturday we got the grape vines pruned in the back yard. They sure looked scraggly before we got into them.

 Much better after most of the growth was cut away. I did manage to take a lot of the limbs and cut lots of starts for new vines for this fall planting.

The hardest part of getting the cutting started was finding some potting soil that was not froze solid to put the cuttings in. Finally got them in some sandy loose potting soil, put the whole pot, cuttings and all in a large trash bag after I watered them well and took them into the kitchen. With the warmth and moisture I am sure they will make leaves soon, within a couple weeks and then they start making roots. So by time I get my greenhouse up in early April they will go in there till summer and be re potted into bigger individual pots to grow till early fall and get transplanted to their permanent location in the vineyard in the field and some to by friend Anna. That is about the extent of what we got done outside.

As you know from previous post, I like to paint. No am not an artist. Just like to paint the inside of the house. Rodger keeps telling me I am making the house smaller with layers of paint. Doubt we miss the square footage. I decided instead of getting in on painting the rest of the house first I needed to get the utility room painted as well as the storage closet in there and finish up the dining room. These need to be done before we start putting down flooring before long, I hope. So today I got myself in the notion to start painting. Then it dawned on me, "I need a lighter color paint for closets". Well hell !!! Off to town I go and get another gallon of paint in a lighter tone than the golden yellow that goes on the other walls. I got back and fixed supper and started painting. I thought may as well get the closet in the utility room first and get that over with. Toted all the "junk" out of there and scattered it about and set in to painting. Oh my goodness!! It took a half gallon of paint to just do the damn closet. But that did include painting the shelves in there too and adding some more shelving. Done!! I was killed. I just cant work as long or as hard as I used to. I had a fan positioned to speed the paint drying time and got the "junk" all put back. SO that is done. Tomorrow, the utility room. And that means moving the washer and dryer, clean them, clean under them, scared to see what might be living behind them, then wash the walls and finally paint. It should be a lil bit brighter in there once I am done. If I live to see it. I can sure hope.

For the ones of you who read and know me, you know it is rare for me to leave the house more than once every few weeks. Well I been out 2 times this week. First part of the week I got paint. And stopped by the grocery store just to plunder around and see what the rest of the world eats. The prices are out of sight, can we say sticker shock, again. Happens to me real often. Not to mention I have never in my life seen so many packaged single serving foods in my entire life. Single serving sausage biscuits, microwave ready. Sandwiches, micro ready. veggies, micro ready. Do people eat this stuff? I guess they do cause it sure seems a lot of people were buying it. Now we are in the country, not a big city, most people live in a rural setting. How the hell they gonna eat if the power is off from one of these crazy winter storms we are having? The food is already cooked I guess so maybe eat a cold sandwich. This type foodstuffs is pricey too. For a while I had almost decided to just buy chicken breast at the store locally because you can buy 10 lb boxes of chicken breast frozen for about $1.79 a lb. Not a bad price. Well that idea was short lived when my friend Lori came down to visit on Sunday. She works at the local grocery store and informed me chicken was getting ready to go up really high. Short supply due to drought shortening food supply for the birds I think is the reason. IF it stayed at the above price I would consider just buying chicken breast but if it is going higher than that, I am gonna raise my own chickens. Initially I had planned on just buying chicken breast and hatching and raising some standard breeds to butcher for stock and such. Well now I think I best order meat chickens and hatch and raise some too. There is no easy way out. But at least I am blessed with a way out of the high prices. She also told me vegetables will be going up in price also due to the short fall in production in California with farmers having no water to water their crops with. Not sure about the politics of that whole situation but it sure seems to me food production would trump having a pretty lawn any day. But I reckon not to the powers that be out there. I say let them eat their lawns, we can raise ours here. We have options here, we can raise our food, supplement with game meat and meat we raise. But what about folks on fixed income, folks who have no space to raise any food. They are at the mercy of the grocery store. If a family budget allows $100 a week for groceries and you pay 20% more for groceries, either you add another $20 to the budget or buy and eat less. Scary as hell these times we live in.

I am ready for spring myself and ready to start seeds and dig in dirt, somewhere. Whether it be in the greenhouse, a flower pot or in the big garden. Not likely be doing any playing in dirt this weekend or coming week as we have snow forecast for almost every day, in some amount. But dad was right, it thaws a lil bit every day in February. It might snow tonight and melt off tomorrow. I can live with it, for now. Cause I know spring is not too far off.

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


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