Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wow. Time Flies!

I've been busy with life, and totally forgot about my faithful followers! So sorry all!

This week, we're going to talk about the garden again first. I've been running around with a friend of mine and digging up plants that grow native in my area. These are being transplanted into my yard. My plan is to eventually have a lovely sitting area, a veggie garden, flower borders on 3 sides and my mini-orchard along the back of my little yard. Winding through all of this will be a pretty stone path. No grass to mow at all! I hope. However, that does not seem to be working out the way I'd like. Not ONE of my daffodils bloomed this year! Not one! None of my irises even have stalks or buds on them. My day lilies are growing like mad, and are not due to bloom for months yet. So, my beginning flower bed is still a bit sad.

The sunflower bed is almost all emptied out. It used to be an area the former tenants used to burn trash. I've been cleaning all the rubbish and bricks out, so that I can work the ash down into the soil. This is a great spot for my sunflowers now and maybe an azalea later on in the fall.

I pruned back a few branches on the plum tree. It was the wrong season to do it, and it is taking a while for the tree to heal. It didn't blossom out much. I may not get very much fruit from it this year. My neighbors told me the fruit was very sour-I had to tell them it was for making jam with and needed to be sweetened before

The pear tree is taking off wonderfully this year. Full of lovely blossoms, which indicates a good fruit harvest. YAY! More pear butter for me! Yes, Smidgie. I know. You are still waiting for

The naked tree in the back corner of the lot is now covered in little green leaves. If nothing else, it is pretty and provides some much needed shade and resting points for the local songbirds.

The grapevines are GONE! I pulled them out of all my trees and cut them back. Then I cut the stems right down to about 3 inches above the ground. I also pulled up a ton of starts. Some of them have to be mailed out to people on my homesteading board. Others are going to be relocated along the new trellis when it goes in, so they are in a pot. The old vines will come back in a few years and bear fruit again. I will be able to control where they go by espaliering them to the trellis while they grow and keep them pruned back out of the trees.

Last week, on trash day, I scored some gorgeous antique metal fencing for the edge of my butterfly garden area near the stone wall. Neighbors were putting it out, so I knocked and asked if I could salvage it. YAY! 6 sections of it, 4 feet high and 4 feet long!

The veggie bed is currently a holding place for all the yard waste, as we are hoping to rent a chipper and turn it into mulch. At the end of the month, my seeds will be safe to put in and we will have food from our own back yard. Beans and peas and squash and tomatoes. I"m going to make and can salsa, tomato sauce, pickles, beans, jams...all kinds of great things for my pantry.

Stay tuned tomorrow for news about my on-line custom crochet business~

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Back By Popular Demand

Well, after a long hiatus due to financial constraints, I am finally back online. I really missed having my internet friends to chat with and working on my pattern collection.

Right now, I have spring fever like nobody's business. I've done some prep work in the yard, contracted a pair of young men to do some landscaping work for me, installed birdfeeders, repaired the birdhouse and taken down a nasty wire fence thingy.

I'm getting ready to prune back my grapevines and pull all the prunings out for soaking. Then, I'm going to coil them into wreaths and sell them!

The majority of the housework is done, and spring cleaning has begun. I'm washing walls in the kitchen this week, and then I am finally going to paint over that horrid pink wallpaper. A nice shade of pear green. YAY!! After that, the living room walls are getting painted. Cafe Au Lait.

My food storage program is coming along nicely. I've begun doubling up on certain items each week and stashing the duplicates. In a year or so, I should have a full storage pantry. We've also ordered a pig and are considering half a beef for the freezer. With our garden providing fruits and veggies, that should make things a lot less expensive.

We are now the proud parents of 2 cats-a siamese named Jaz and a himalayan named Skyler. Both are females and are about to be bred. I have orders for 3 kittens, and 2 offers of deposits. So, I'm going to have kittens in time for Mother's Day. Gorgeous, pure bred babies to spoil. Since we no longer have a dog, I feel a bit more comfortable filling those orders.

I'm finally taking time to get myself back into school, too. I want to get my degree (or certificate or whatever) in medical billing. I can do that from home and not screw up my disability too awfully much. An opportunity to be self sufficient and not push my body beyond what it's capable of is a great thing.

Off to do the laundry and then my housework is done! Ahh, the benefits of being an empty nester!!