Saturday, April 01, 2017

Warm Enough

 It appears that Winter just sorta gave up shortly after the first of the year and Spring came rushing on in.  Not that I'm complaining about no cold weather, mind you.  But it has been pretty weird.  We did not get the flooding rains we always do around the end of December/ mid-January.  We got some heavy rains but none even close to what I have recorded every year since living here.  Despite all that, we have made up a good deal of the terrible drought this area was in.  I think we are listed as still in a 'slight' drought, but not anything near what it was.
Most things have bloomed out already but a few things, like my forsythia bushes, did not bloom at all.  They just went straight to leaf. Very odd.  The dogwoods started blooming in March. I think that is a first.  It's so nice now that I'm tempted to go ahead and set out some warm weather crops but I'll control myself.  We may be in for a frost next week.  I have got all the spring crops in though!  Very excited about that and even have a good crop of broccoli that I managed to start from seed!! That's also a first. lol!

I have felt well enough since being on the new meds to do some hardscaping too!  I have put this off way, waaaaaayyy too long but have it finished now.  Just need more fill dirt.  It's the main entrance to the garden in case you can't figure it out.  I always assume people know what these photos are of and you can't do that! Anyway, I poured a concrete curb to finish the boundary of the brick paver pad, dug out a bunch of dirt and replaced with gravel and crushed limestone fill.  Packed that and then laid the remainder of the pavers.  The block coming off at right angles is the beginning of gravel paths that will go around the entire garden perimeter to form a flower/ herb bed on the outside edge.  Make sense?

 Jack built the little herb bed right here (where you see a few little things planted) and then I went from there.  Nothing is flat around here so I have to step or terrace everything.  The pavers are sand-set by the way.

 Little bit different angle.  I was very pleased with how it came out. When the garden soil and gravel paths are filled in there will not be quite that big off a drop from the paver elevation. Maybe only an inch or two.

 A real nice, older gentleman down the road has let us have use of his backhoe.  I did some welding for him on a couple of occasions and I guess he was pleased so he told me if I wanted any of his old equipment that he didn't use anymore to just ask.  I wasn't really sure he was serious but I said, Sure, I'll take that old backhoe if you ever want to get rid of it!  He said, Okay! Haha! I was kinda flabbergasted.  At first he said he's sell it and then he just said, if you can get it running (it's pretty old) that we could just use it however much we wanted.  Just keep it running and not tear it up.  Good deal!  Jack and Allen got it going and drove it over to my place, where it promptly died.  But Allen can get most any machine going again and he got it running enough to get up to his place next and then fixed it up a lot.  It runs pretty good now and we are taking turns doing a good bit of landscaping.  Will sure save me a chunk of money when I go to dig the footings for the next half of the house.  No, I don't have the means for building that yet but it must happen at some point.

 I repaired a larger bucket that came with it and we put that on.  This was a complete break and separation here but me and Allen worked with it and got it closed up enough I could get a good weld going.  For the most part, if I can step across it I can weld it.  lol!  And you believe that, right?  That's a very, very old brag for a welder.  And no, I will not give up welding.  I do weld now with a respirator and/ or a stiff wind blowing across me and will do so as long as I can hold my hands still enough to run a bead.

The violets are especially pretty this year and very, very prolific.  My herbalist friend came to visit the other day and told me how to make a syrup from them to sooth my lungs and throat.  I have a lot of issue now with coughing and hoarseness.  This is common with PD and it's very frustrating.  Hopefully this syrup will help a little.
Well, like I said, I am feeling better but still not quite up to my old days.  I hurt a lot and have a lot of stiffness all along my right side.  I joked that my left side is too loose and shakes and my right side is too tight and hurts! I'm slower than I used to be due to this but I'm still chugging along.  Mainly I want to do stuff and am excited about things again.  I can take some pain in exchange for that.  I'll try to get back soon with maybe some progress in the garden and maybe even the kitchen!!

12 comments:

JO said...

Glad your feeling better and back to working around the garden and other things.

I'm going camping in 2 weeks for the first time in 2 yrs. Worked on my camper and couldn't believe what I was capable of doing. It sure does give you a new out look when you can do things again.

ErinFromIowa said...

Oh! This post perked me right up Annie! The garden photos. The projects! Jack looks very jaunty! So impressed with you all getting the backhoe running and mended.

Hermit's Baby Sis said...

Looks to me like you're going great guns, Annie! I'm so pleased for you - God answers prayers ~
Spring sprang early here, too. The tulip trees bloomed about 1/3 of regular, then went to leaf, and my azaleas never did bloom. No winter to speak of, but I'm afraid of what the summer will bring . Oh well, we're fickle creatures, never satisfied.
I wish you continued progress in your many ventures ~

Ed said...

As someone who also welds but not professionally, I can appreciate your saying. I like your garden setup and someday I hope we can get something similar accomplished.

pamit said...

Glad you are getting outside, that sure does lift one's spirits in the spring. Let us know how the violet syrup works! I want to make some more calendula salve this year, just finished my old stash. Want to make some chokecherry syrup in the fall, we have a ton of those here. --Pam in CO

MamaHen said...

Hey Jo!! Yay!! so glad to hear you are feeling better too and able to go camping! That's great! I hope you have a wonderful trip. Yes, being able to do things again, even a little, helps so much.

Hey Erin! thank you! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the post! Well, it was a collective effort on the backhoe but we all contributed and that's fun.

Hey Sis!! I'm probably going good guns....maybe not great...lol! But that's good! Hopefully my azaleas will bloom. At least, the few that survived the drought. :(

Hey Ed! thanks! The garden design has been a long time coming, and I still have a way to go, but I think it will be really nice when I'm done.

Hey Pam! Yes, being able to get out in the warm sun is SO nice. The violet syrup came out pretty good; it has a wonderful flavor, but I think due to not ever having made syrup before, I either cooked it too long or added too much sugar. Oh well, I may have enough violets to make another batch.

ErinFromIowa said...

Can you use the violet syrup to sweeten tea or lemonade?

MamaHen said...

Hey Erin! I would think so because I read where some folks pour a little over ice cream and stuff like that. It would probably be very good in lemonade. I'll try that myself.

Anonymous said...

Nice weld... looks good to me and I would probably go nuts with a front end loader at my place, that and one of those machines that clears the woods. I don't want to clear much...lol!!! Save your backs with that big machine!!! Works looks great!

MamaHen said...

Hey Anon! Thanks! yes, hydraulics are an amazing thing!! So much easier with them.

Blackland Prairie said...

Dude... I want a backhoe soooo bad! I'm totally jealous. :) We just jumped right into spring here too, but we really only had 2 days of true winter, the rest was unseasonably warm. We're eating lots of greens from the garden and radishes and green onions. Our tomatoes are about Golfball size and the beans are up. The zucchini is blooming and so is the eggplant. I set out one tomatillo and it's hanging full of fruit. The peppers are just now blooming. I've been harvesting dill and cilantro. We have been getting plenty of spring rain and the wildflowers are gorgeous.

Your paving work is gorgeous! I can't wait to see all that finished with the walkways and all! I'm so glad you've felt like getting back outside to do the things that make you happy! The violets are beautiful! My granny used to make some sort of tonic from those, I bet it's the same that you're talking about. She made a tonic from dandelion too. Wish I'd been older and paid more attention....

Vonne

mohaverat said...

one of the times I went on vacation and shut down my blog I lost your blog. Just found it again and I am back and looking forward to catching up on what I've missed. come visit me sometime........