The temperature has warmed considerably since my last blog entry. The prediction for Friday and Saturday is 24 degrees Celsius - 75 Fahrenheit - way above the norm for this time of they year. That makes me more than a little nervous. I love warm temperatures, but I'm terrified of another tornado. Hopefully temperatures will return to normal as the season wears on.
I've been in a bit of a spring housecleaning frenzy. I know it'll pass quickly, so I've been trying to get a lot done while I'm in the mood. With warmer weather on the way, I'll want to 'play in the mud' as much as possible, so my house will suffer. The carpet in my living room was quite soiled, so I tore it up and purchased laminate flooring. Now I just have to get a contractor friend to install it for me.
My middle daughter and I got up to visit with Mom last weekend. She's well and happy - looking forward to having a film removed from her implanted lens later in April. She had the one in her left eye done in February. It took less than fifteen minutes and her sight was restored almost instantly. There was still a fair amount of snow in her yard, but hopefully the mild temperatures on the way should make short work of that.
I spent two hours cleaning up my flower beds here today. They were a shabby mess. I generally do a thorough cleaning before winter sets in, but I didn't get around to it last fall. I've still got a lot of weeding to do, but at least the dead twigs and foliage have been picked up. Something (possibly a skunk???) has been digging in my front bed- especially around the roots of my hostas. I don't think they've been damaged to any extent, but it's annoying, nevertheless. I may have to set a live trap. We're not allowed to discharge firearms in the village for obvious reasons.
I finally found gardening gloves I can work with. For years, I've had ratty looking hands all summer because all the gloves I've purchased have been clumsy and awkward. Last year, I resorted to latex gloves for removing stinging nettle from the beds at the farm. They worked fairly well, but inevitably I'd manage to puncture them. I bought a pair of Atlas brand gloves at the Garden Festival and tried them out today. They fit snugly and have protective material over the fingertips. I was absolutely comfortable with them on, even when I was picking out the odd early sprouting dandelion. Yahoo! Perhaps my hands will look decent this summer.
I still haven't made it down to the farm yet this year. Tomorrow's the day! I want to see how my perennials have wintered over in the holding bed and the shade bed. I've renamed the shade garden. 'The Sprucery' just didn't work for me. It will henceforth and forever more be known as The Respite Bed (pun intended).
I'm looking forward to the weekend. My kids and grandkids will be here for Easter. I've got an 18 lb. ham, so I'll be able to send care packages home with each family. The next few days will be devoted to preparing raisin sauce, mustard sauce, and chip dip, and baking cookies and pies. Can't prepare the scalloped potatoes or stuffed mushrooms till Sunday. I love feeding people.
Well, after a few really nice days, it's cool with flurries again - not much, mind you, and I keep having to remind myself that it's been milder than spring generally is in this area. Those warm, sunny days made me long for more, though.
My home beds need cleaned up really desperately. I allowed them to get really untidy last summer when I needed to spend my time caring for my mom. Mom's well and happy at the moment, so hopefully I'll get them tidied soon. Not today, though. It's about 36* and I don't feel like working outside.
I think I'll take a run down to the farm just to see how my forsythia wintered over and check out C's 'hay burners'. I haven't been there since last fall, so I may be in for a few surprises.
I must order my flower seeds soon, even though I won't be planting many of them before May. I like to organize them by planting times so I don't overlook getting them into the soil in a timely fashion.
Witt's blogs have revived my interest in naming my beds. I think I may call the shade bed at the farm 'The Sprucery'. I'd prefer to call it 'The Pinery', but the trees that provide the shade are spruces. The name could change if I come up with something more imaginative.
Take care, everyone. I hope you each enjoy the first day of spring.
YAHOO!! Today was really mild and sunny. I wanted to get some work done in my flower beds, but alas, it's too wet to be tromping around in them. Instead, I got rid of the spider poop. Who wudda thunk that would make me feel so good? I have a small alcove at my front door - approx 12' wide by 4' deep, with coach lanterns on either side of the door. It took me a couple of hours and three half-buckets of water to spruce it up. I think the light attracts bugs, which, in turn, attract spiders. I have a lot of respect for those critters, but they can make a real mess.
It's my turn to host my card club tomorrow evening, so my guests will arrive at a sparkling clean entrance. I'm a happy woman! I bought a crazy green hat and a St. Patrick's Day button at the dollar store for each guest. I couldn't think of anything special for the savoury portion of lunch, but for dessert I'm serving hot gingerbread with home-made applesauce dyed green with food colouring.
I have tulips and daffodils poking through - just about an inch and a half, but I love the promise of things to come.
Happy St. Patrick's Day to those of you who have Irish ancestry and to all of you who don't.
Only those of you who are as old as I am will remember listening to "The Life of Riley" on the radio. That's where the captioned phrase lives in my mind. I remember Jimmy Durante used it often, as well.
At any rate, here is my "revoltin' development": I awoke to the streets and lawns covered in about 1 1/2" of that white stuff! Despite that and losing an hour's sleep last night, I'm still in a tolerable mood. It's been snowing off and on since I got up, but the forecasters are calling for warm temperatures (about 52*) from tomorrow till Saturday. I may get that spider poop cleaned up yet. On the other hand, I never did unwrap my Alberta spruce. Perhaps that's a good thing.
Mar 13, 2010 | 4:43 PM PST
Even though I expected another cold spell and more snow, today's big, wet flakes were a disappointment. I had hoped to scrub the spider poop from the area around my front door. Oh, well, there's more warm weather on its way in a couple of days. The spider poop will have to wait.
We've had a couple of weeks of really mild weather and have lost a LOT of snow. The forecasters are predicting rain for the next three days, so we should lose a lot more. My mood has improved with the weather. I think I may unwrap my Alberta spruce tomorrow. I'm sick of looking at burlap. Even if we get another storm, the snow won't last long and I'll be able to shake it off the spruce boughs.
I started some seeds today: 11 cantaloupes, 13 pumpkins, 6 rosemary and 42 tomatoes. If everything comes to fruition like last spring, I'll have lots of maters to donate to the Hort Society Plant Sale. I'll likely donate a few glad bulbs as well.
I hope everyone's enjoying fine weather. Take care, and Happy Gardening wherever you may be.
What with all my grumpiness, I haven't shared the fact that I now have a cleaning lady who comes in weekly to help me out. I wish I'd hired her sooner. This house needs a good cleaning from top to bottom. My knees have gotten so bad that I can't get down to do my floors any more. I didn't think I could find someone who would do that for me. I was fixated on the idea that a cleaning lady would just mop them. This gem got down and gave them a good cleaning on her first visit two weeks ago. She says she'll wet mop them each week for three weeks, then she'll get down and scrub them on her hands and knees again. How wonderful! The same schedule I used to keep. I like to make sure that the baseboards and corners get attention monthly.
Last week we tackled my pantry. Two hours of hard work, and it was completely scrubbed and reorganized. My compost bin is very full. If I couldn't remember when I bought a product, out it went. It's amazing how much space I've gained. Now I label new purchases with the date I buy them. This week we're going to start cleaning the interiors of my kitchen cabinets.
The real bonus, of course, it that I'll have a lot more time to play in the dirt this summer.
Well, I enjoyed my visit to the Garden Festival. I had hoped to purchase some annual seed, but didn't find anything I really wanted at a decent price. I did, however, buy some basil seed and five blue and white glad bulbs along with five green ones. They were a little pricey, but I don't have either colour and I look forward to lots more bulbs as the years go by. They reproduce like crazy at the farm.
The facility was very crowded. Finding a parking space was difficult. I had to walk about a quarter of a mile just to get into the building. Several of the displays were so clogged with people, I didn't even attempt to get close.
The proceeds from the Festival are donated to the Lung Association, and there was an interesting draw for various prizes. I didn't take notice of the exact number, but there were probably about sixty in total. Lung Association reps were circulating throughout the crowd selling tickets. There were overturned clay flowerpots bearing a number corresponding to each prize. Participants put their tickets into the pot corresponding to the prize they hoped to win. I never win anything, but I like to support the Lung Association, so I bought a ticket and didn't bother to determine which prize I wanted to win. I simply stuck my ticket into the pot marked 13. This afternoon, someone from the Festival called to tell me I'd won some metal flowers. I can't imagine what they look like. When I manage to collect my prize, I'll post a photo. It may be a while, though. Stratford is more than an hour's drive from here.
I enjoyed "Frankie Flowers'" presentation on growing tomatoes and peppers, but I didn't learn anything new.
I was able to fit in a nice, if very short, visit with C's mom before I went to the Festival, and a brief visit with his daughter and her family afterward. I was really tired by the time I got home, but more than a little heartened by the prospect of getting back into my gardens soon.
Yippee!! I'm going to the Stratford Garden Festival tomorrow to get an early taste of spring. I hope to sit in on a lecture regarding peppers and tomatoes given by one of my favourite TV personalities, Frank Ferragine, otherwise known as Frankie Flowers.
The weather here has been sunny and mild for the past week and, after having been a Class A GRUMP all winter, I'm finally turning back into a nicer person. There have been times over the past few months when I haven't liked myself very much. Hence my lack of blog entries. I haven't wanted to share my evil moods with the rest of you. I know we can likely count on at least one more storm before Old Man Winter decides to give up the ghost for another few months, but the white stuff won't hang around too much longer.
I got up to visit my mom a couple of weeks ago - my first visit since early December. She's well and happy, thank goodness.
Clyde has recovered nicely and I've even managed to get five pounds off him since I switched dog food.
C has been busily hooking a couple of rugs. He thinks that may help to stave off the osteoarthritis that runs in his family. I tend to agree. His mom would likely be completely crippled if she didn't knit and crochet and quilt almost daily.
Happy gardening to those of you who live in warmer climates. I can't wait to join you.