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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

January chores, weather & seed catalogues

What is it that's said about good intentions?

Ah long as I keep writing when I can. The second week in January was a gift...the weather was beautiful, the skies clear, the sun shining and the weather in the 50's and sometimes 60's F. A blessed gift! I spent every day of that week on the tractor and doing farm chores. I mucked paddocks and lots, manured garden beds, spread mulch...there are now two garden beds ready for spring planting and the burn lot is ready for a hot dog roast. Lovely!

Friday was the last day of warm weather and the dogs and I spent every waking moment outside. When at last we came to the house, the hound had a cut on her leg. I vetted her and we went to bed knowing we'd done our best. The next morning it was still a straight, clean cut but seemed to have lengthened during the night. {Surely it wasn't that our middle aged eyes hadn't seen properly the night before?} Dave and I decided to take her to the vet where he put in 15 or 16 staples, brought her shots up to date and sent us all home. Within twelve hours she had chewed them out. AAARRRGGG! Back to vetting on her myself. We did call the vet and he said, "no more staples or stitches as she obviously doesn't want them". So, I'm putting iodine and salve on her twice a day and trying to keep her quiet long enough for the meds to do "some" good.

Saturday was spitting snow, sleet, the roads were iced over...just an unlovely day to drive over the mountain but we did it anyway. Sunday was more of the same and we stayed home. Monday was icy cold, frigid cold really, but somewhat clear. Since Monday though, we've had snow, more snow, ice, howling winds and frigid temps. Brrrrrrr.

I've been trying to finish up some knitting projects, trying to get some things de-cluttered, trying to cook some good meals and succeeding, a little bit, at all of it. Especially the good meals. This is hot soup and bread weather and we've been enjoying home made soup from vegetables canned last year. If there's *anything* better than home made soup from canned vegetables it has to be vegetables fresh from the garden. I made a pan of cornbread and I don't care what the naysayers natter on about...cornbread is *still* cornbread even with a touch of sugar. You go to your church and I'll go to mine. Besides, it saves me from adding a touch of sugar the next morning when I break a few chunks into a glass of milk and eat as cereal.

Seed catalogs have started coming and it's wonderful to sit with a hot beverage and dream about the gardens. This year, I'm trying heritage seeds along with the standards such as Big Boy tomatoes. I use a lot of horese manure in my gardens and the tomatoes turn to pure sweet, there's not any "nasty" acidic taste and they don't burn your stomach. There are some little green and purple cherry tomatoes I'd like to try. They are supposed to be wonderful, we'll find out. And Romas round out the tomatoe mix...some for sandwiches and canning, some for drying and some for eating in the patch.

This year I want to try some mini-watermelons and expect them to be quite tasty. Daddy tells me watermelons planted with horse manure are sweeter than sweet and oh so delicious. I aim to find out.

One of my favorite seed catalogs is , Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds located in MO. Last year when I spoke at the National Small Farm Today conference, I met the young man, Jere Gettle, who is the Seedsman behind Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. He's an interesting person and at such a tender age has made this his lifes work. I wish him well and am sending him an order for both seeds and his magazine later this month. You might consider doing the same. Lord knows when we find a young person who is doing such a good work, we're beholden by the laws of God and nature to help out. He's doing the whole planet a favor by saving heritage heirloom seeds.

One of my gardening plans this year is to use the fence between the pastures and the house in addition to the gardens. There are two fences I can use for climbing plants but the fence behind the house is where the sheep can eat the plants. The fat little darlings would do just that all my plants and then cry for more. They did do me the favor of eating the tops off my lavender and rosemary this autumn. That saved me the trouble of topping them so they would grow again, hopefully, in the spring.

I think brussel sprouts are a must...I adore little cabbages when sauteed {actually fried...who am I kidding?} in a little EVOO as Rachel Ray says. EVOO is evtra virgin olive oil and we go through gallons of it every year. Toss a few pine nuts or walnuts in the mix and yummy... Tastetelicious!

I enjoy planting pumpkins and gourds so those are a must; small sweet pumpkins for pies and gourds for fun. Salsify is another I'd like to try and squashes of every sort. Gosh, I can't forget to plant the sun flowers and other merry flowers that add joy simply by living. The flower bed alongside the driveway has been prepared and is ready for plantings. I need to drag out the tractor and pull up the maple tree stump that the former residents left by the driveway. That will give me more room for parking vehicles and maybe I can squeeze out another little garden bed.

Every year though is the same sad story...I run out of garden before I run out of seeds. I expect this year to be no exception but that doesn't keep me from dreaming and trying to attain my dream.

If children are God's opinion that life should go on then gardens are God's opinion that the world should go on.


  1. I can't think of anything more fun than planning a garden in January. I have a cousin that plans an elaborate one every year and never plants a thing. All the good stuff you're talking about is making me hungry!

    Hope Dog's leg heals quickly!

  2. Sandra,

    Ouch. But, thanks for the painful reminder of my own words. That's the blessing/curse of the blogosphere: accountability for what we said.

    You have also convinced me to write again.

    It's not about me, at all. It's about a chance to touch someone else's life with a bit of truth about this God we serve. How can I walk away from that?

    Thank you.



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