Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring work

Well, more work has been done on the garden, in fact enough to do some planting. Peas, potatoes, asparagus and spinach are in. Now to get a fence up before the deer figure it out. I borrowed a tiller from one of the neighbors and man did that make quick work of things. I had been turning the ground by hand with a shovel and pitchfork, but in about 2 hours I had made more progress than I had in the past 3 weeks combined. Oh it’s so good to have the right tool for the job! The tiller was a Craftsman 6.5 hp 17” rear tine heavy duty tiller. Boy was that baby sweet! I wrestled all 206 lbs of it up, down and across the slope for a few hours till I thought my arms just might fall off. Happily I report, they didn’t.

After making such quick work of things, I decided to expand my garden another 25-30% and create a berry patch. So thanks to Gurney’s great web coupons and B1G1 sales I am the proud owner of 100 strawberry plants, 9 blueberry bushes and 4 raspberry bushes. Now to get them in the ground and keep the bears away from my harvest.

Josh had a meet Saturday and did really well. His team has qualified for State in the 4x800 a few meets ago and they were attempting to qualify for the 4x400 this time. They just missed it. Maybe next meet. So far no schools in their division have qualified; they were hoping to be the first. They did take 6th out of over 30 schools in the 4x400. Josh had the final leg and he shot out like a rocket and held the lead in his heat till the end. After a few years of struggling, he finally has his run back. We’re looking forward to seeing him run in the state meet in Pueblo. In high school, I missed making state in the 1600 by 2 places, placing 6th in my district. I try not to think it could be a bit of vicarious living though him, but…

Steve & I hiked up our hill last weekend and spent he afternoon together just enjoying the views. Things are starting to green up a bit, finally. The hens are laying…a lot. And things are starting to come together around here. I helped Emily put a hammock up in a couple of trees in the creek, so when summer hits she can lay in the hammock in the coolness of the creek bottom and hide out from housework and the summer heat. Ok, I’ll admit, I did try it out for a while; it’s a nice, relaxing hide away. Sometimes it’s hard to keep focused on my work and the children’s ministry we lead with so much else vying for my attention.

Em has taken over Becca’s room and Steve has plans for a real office in Em’s old room. I’m still trying to organize and de-clutter around here. EBay has helped kick that process into high gear. There is always something to do around here.

Checking out the garden to see if I'm open for business yet. I bought a roll of 8' high fence. Hope it keeps em out! suppose they can read? No shoes, no shirt, no service!

After 5 loads of maure, the garden is ready to be tilled again.

After a few days of taking the long way up to the garden, I got a shovel and started to craft some steps. It decided to snow a bit one night and made for a nice picture.

A relaxing afternoon up on the hill. What a great view! If you could zoom in, you'd see the downtown Denver skyscrapers off toward the right.

The deer were brave and came up to the house to get the nice green tender new grass sprouting near the sidewalk. There were 18 plump does in the yard; we ought to see some new fawns here pretty soon.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Spring has sprung

Spring is finally knocking on the door here. As I scan the mountains, the meadows are showing the slightest tinge of green as the grass peaks out from its winter sleep. Groundcover with small purple flowers cover the front yard, reminding me of the wonderful abundance of wildflowers to come. We sat on the porch Saturday morning taking in the beauty and basking in the warmth. Between sips of coffee, Steve makes reference to the flower of the month, as it seems a new type of flower comes into bloom every few weeks. My favorite is the daisy-like bush that flowers all summer long and grows to about 2-3 feet in diameter, covered with hundreds of quarter-sized bright yellow daisies.

The garden is still in process. Seems when the kids are old enough to really work, they go off and work for someone else. For some reason, money in the hand has a lot more draw than “I provide food and a roof over your head” does. The kids were on spring break this past week, but due to frequent snows, working for money and hanging out with friends, not much outside work was accomplished. Rachael was here for the week too. We had a great time, but she kept me pretty busy wanting to see the hens and chicks. I tried to get her to play with Emily for a while, but after a few minutes she was back. “Well, Aunt Neice, she is just a little boring, I don’t appreciate her style of playing” rolled out of her four-year-old mouth. What’s an aunt to do? Also in the past two weeks, I’ve put some things up on EBay. That took some effort since I haven’t sold on there in ages. So far so good, my plan is to spend the year selling off things as I de-clutter.

Style is everything when it comes to teens. Josh loves to wear holey pants, you know, the kind that look like they could disintegrate at any moment for any reason. He came home from youth last Sunday night and I noticed oddly enough that his pants were missing the back side of one leg. Seems they were playing tag and someone grabbed his pant leg from behind and the pictures tell the rest of the story. I laughed till I cried. Good thing he wears short underneath.

Both sad and beautiful emotions ran through me as I watched an eagle swoop down not more than 50 feet from me and grab one of my newest little hens….while I was outside, the nerve of some eagles. Its massive dark-brown wings stretched a good 6-10 feet across as it gracefully yet swiftly neared the ground and grabbed my chick in its clutches. It was there and gone in just a split second. Instinctively I hollered and ran after it. She was a beautiful Auracona mix that I was looking forward to raising. Steve shrugs it off, “Someone has to feed the eagles around here” he says. I figure I lose about half to the wildlife. I’ll hopefully have more since I’m providing 6 dozen eggs to 2 schools for their “little peeps” project…thanks Craigslist. They will go in the incubator this Wednesday. Fingers crossed that they will have a good hatch rate and I’ll have more little ones running around. The hens are now laying a dozen eggs a day, so I’ve started selling eggs as well. Hopefully I’ll make enough to cover the cost of feed.