Sunday Evening Recap…

I’m so excited to begin my spring garden in the middle of January.

Yep, January 9th…   it was 48 degrees out today.  Sunshine, fair breeze, it was sweatshirt weather!!!  I can’t hardly believe it.  So after we did an errand and had lunch, I went out and got started on my raised straw beds.  Took me a little while before I decided on this design.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted them 3 bales long or 2 bales long.  And I wasn’t sure if I wanted the end bales on the inside between the other bales or on the outside.  I decided on inside because it gave me a lot more inner area.

The inside of the bed measures 3 and a half feet by 7 and a half feet.  About 26 square feet.  I’m going to take some of the plastic fiber feed bags we have been storing and slice them open.  And then put them over the bales like a saddle blanket, tucking the sides into the binder twine.  My thought is that it should help to keep the bales a little longer in my gardening plan.  I think I’m also going to get a spool of twine and wrap a couple lengths around the outer part of the bed, just to keep from having a compost blowout.



Maggie and I measured and we can get ultimately 12 of these beds into this space, if we want to.  I know for sure I want four to run parallel with the poultry barn.  Because that is the lowest area of the garden and was under a good deal of water in the spring last year.  I know these will not last forever, and that’s fine.  I plan to build up the area so that eventually, they will just be raised mounds that I can plant directly into.  And hopefully, by raising the area up a good foot it will help to control some of the water issues.

I might not have to worry that much after this spring, the good news is that my big farmer friend that lives all around us, he is putting in new drainage tile all around our property in his fields.  And he is going to put in a larger tile, because he’s worried about us flooding!  It should help to drain our eastern side a bit more in the heavy spring rain season.  However, he probably won’t be doing this until June or July, so we just have to get through one more soggy spring!  That is really fantastic news!

And of course, I’m not going to mind having everything raised up a bit.  All that bending over can be hard on the old back!

Jessy is the real photographer of the family, but every so often I think I get a good shot!  I really love how this shot of Jack turned out.  It’s got that lovely professional looking quality with the background a little blurry and the foreground so nice and sharp.  Just love a good Nikon camera…  they can make even a novice into a decent photographer now and then!  Jack is always ready to pose out in the farmyard.  He is our ever present farm buddy.  He just loves it out here.

Well, hopefully tomorrow, we will be filling up the first bed.  I’m anxious to get it going because I have 5 or 6 neat varieties of garlic to get planted!  I know I should have gotten it in the ground a month ago, but it’s not been that cold, so I think it will be fine.  You can plant it all the way into the spring, but it just won’t have that extra bit of growing time.  I think I’ll have it planted by Wednesday.  Monday we are going to see just how many wheelbarrow loads of compost and dried leaves it takes to top off one of these beds.  And then on Tuesday errand day, I’ll stop and get a few bags of topsoil to add on the top.  I know that we could probably dig it up from somewhere on the farm, but the ground is a little hard to dig in right now.  With all the good organic matter, I don’t think I’ll need too much to make the bed nice.

Some of the spent hay around the yard manger finds its way into the dog yard.  Evee is a fence runner and she has this neat racetrack all around the dog yard.  But this area right by the fence just gets muddy if there is any rain or snow!  So we just rake up any leftover hay and lay it in this area and that keeps our kitchen a bit more tidy!  And of course, Evee too!

Everyone is just watching me and wondering what I am up to.  It’s funny, they just all find me very amusing.  Cody is usually tagging along like a big dog.  But, even the sheep are learning to do it.  And of course, there are usually a few chickens in the mix.  You can see Bucka hanging out around the blue spool.  Darn pony keeps leaving that shovel and hose out in the yard… I’m going to have to have a talk with him about picking up!

Keeping everyone hydrated has been a little bit of a challenge, but not too bad.  We worked hard this weekend to make sure that we filled up the 55 gallon trough and all the watering stations around the homestead.  Got a couple nice 7 gallon containers and that really helps.  Doing okay without easy water, but I’ll admit, it’s getting a little old.  I’m hoping that within the week perhaps, we’ll have enough of a cushion that we can call around and get started on getting that pump re-wired and running.  Going to call another county resource for winterization and see if we might qualify for heating assistance since the fire took out the corn stove.  We just might now.  We’ll see… not going to hold our breath, but hey, you just never know.  We heard that they just received another $150,000 in grants and need to use them or loose them.  They might be able to fix the furnace that is in the basement…  who knows?

I love this shot of Iris and Molly.  Iris just has the sweetest soul.  She’s fast becoming one of my favorite ewes…   she just has these eyes that seem so old and wise, even though she’s not quite two yet.  I was reading that Shetlands have some of the longest lifespans of sheep, easily past 10 years old.  Even into 15!  I hope that Iris is with me in ten more years.   Oh, the things she will see here at the farm.  I hope many lovely improvements.  I hope she will be able to lay in the back pasture grass with her babies, in the warm spring sunshine.  I hope she will see these little baubles in the road smooth out and everything running wonderfully.  She is letting me touch and pet her now, and doesn’t flinch or act hesitant at all.  Of course, the boys, Fergus and Angus, are attention hounds.  They have learned that I am also their favorite human scratching post.  Little Molly is torn.  She wants to be in the circle with her lamb buddies, but she’s still just a little shy.  If I have sweet feed, she will now take it from my hand, but you can tell, she’s still not totally sure.  Iris let me tickle under her chin this afternoon and that was neat.  She’s a sweetie.

The hammock hay net!  Pretty cool, eh?  I like that it also gives them a little extra warmth and insulation to the shack.  I imagine laying down under the net would be nice and cozy.  I think we could almost get two bales fluffed in there, but I don’t want to risk it falling.  So one is fine.  There’s a little shelf in there that we can stack a bit more hay on if we want.

Cody shows you how convienent it is to nibble hay from the underside.  It’s just about perfect pony height, though I don’t think he could get underneath it.  I have some new rope that I am going to try and use to make him a hay net for his workbench.  But that will be another day.  Got a busy work week ahead of me, so I might not have time for farm macrame till the weekend!  Still, I’m pretty pleased with the hay net for the sheep.

The only real drawback is that the ewes are getting hay bits in their fleece.  I suppose that I might have to revisit the hay net next winter, but for now, it’s fine.  Hay bits can get picked out of spring fleece!  I might consider fleece blankets next year after I spend 200 hours this year picking bits out of our fleece all summer long!  haha….

We made a lot of progress inside the house this weekend.  This is our new studio art space.  It was the parlor, but we decided that we would rather have an art studio rather than another living room.  We love our new living room but to be honest, we don’t have that many sit down visitors and we don’t spend a lot of time watching tv or anything.  So there is absolutely no need for two living room spaces.

it’s still very much in the early stages of development and the furniture is all mis-matched and such.  However, we’ve got plans!  (as always!)  I still can’t believe we got that nice cherrywood storage unit for free off Craig’s list!  Yahoo!  It’s wonderful.  I believe I’d like to keep my eye out for a little thin cherry table or shelf to tuck in the open area and then properly utilize for craft and arts supplies.  Right now, it’s a little, well, free form.

I like the table and chairs and am planning on giving the chair seats a new fabric uplift.  Just not sure what color and all to go with yet.  I’d like to paint most of the furniture in this space, and probably just white.  Not the cherry shelf though, it’s pretty nice as it is.  But the rest of the stuff… it would help to tie it in better and lighten the space.

That little desk in the first studio picture, that is a desk we got for Jessy’s room.  It’s going to be totally rehabbed and made upbeat and beautiful.  She has a beautiful armoire in her room that is that newer dark mocha stain color, almost a woody black.  We are going to string this desk, take off the dated hardware and stain it to match.  And then at Sauder outlet, we got matching brushed silver knobs that match her cabinet and it will really make this neat little desk match in her room nicely.  It’s a project that I hope we can get to pretty soon.  (So you can take it out of the picture, if you’d like!  haha…. it’s not going to be there forever.)

Going to keep an eye out for a nice big piece of vinyl or maybe short pile carpet for the middle space, and then perhaps, carpet in the sewing area.  Not totally sure yet.  Maggie’s woodworking area is going to get a little attention as well, but she has her space pretty nicely decked out.  She is gathering quite a nice stash of wood and materials for sure .

Doesn’t the ceilings in the alcove look lovely?  I can’t believe how much nicer it looks!  They still have to be mudded, sanded and painted, but still, they look fantastic as compared to the yucky exposed nasty old porch ceiling.

There is place a few towns away that is like a surplus junk shop and they have these lovely fabric bulletin boards for next to nothing.  Lots of them.  I guess they were going to be used for something that fell through.  So I think it would be neat to get a handful of them, maybe duct tape the backs together and then hang in the spaces, to protect the old paneling.  I hate to just pound nails and such into the walls, so this would be a nice way to use minimum nails and maximum surface to play with.  We can use the boards for project pictures, and just fun stuff and change it out often.  It can be used for quilting, so test out block patterns and such.  Going to at least try it in the sewing alcove right hand wall there.  I think by tying in the space with a uniform furniture color, that will help to make it a really fun an vibrant area to work in.  We’ll see!

I got this little box at a garage sale last summer and I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but for a buck, hey, it was going home.  And then I was thumbing through a magazine at the laundrymat and I saw the exact little box and it was filled with art supplies!  Neat!  So I did the same.  And I just adore it.  I added a little felt to the bottom to make it slide nice on the table and then started to fill it up.  I still have a little more space in it, but that’s the fun part… finding more things to add to it from our stash of craft supplies.  Seeing that there just makes me want to start drawing and fooling around!  And it’s nice to have a place for everything and everything in it’s place!


I think Maggie got the deal of the weekend!   A nearly new Delta scroll saw!  And for only $30!  It’s a much finer detail saw than her old Sears Craftsman model and a real deal.  She says she is going to set this one up with finer blades and use them both, one for bigger work and one for fine work.  Sounds cool to me.

The camera makes the room a little wonky in color, because it’s not that weirdly green…  but the living room is coming along nicely.  We actually hung up a few pictures this weekend with the help of brave Miss Julia!!!  (haha)  To be honest, it looked so nice in there after nearly a year of kinda creepy looking, that we have been a little afraid to start making holes and all.  Just wanted to make sure that we liked where and what we put up there.  Just being really picky I guess.  So we hung up our beloved old lithograph of Mary, leaving on Good Friday up the steps away from Calvary.  I love how the tan mat works with the nice sagey green.  We would like to put a fake fireplace mantel underneath that picture, on that wall.  But we’re still waiting to find the perfect one at the sweetest price on Craigslist!  You know us.

And that little wreath, it’s hard to see but there are these beautiful amber glass berries on it, and it’s just so delicate and pretty against our Craftsman style amber and black lights.  We also hung up a pair of black iron candle sconces with a pretty delicate leaf pattern on them, on the far side, but of course, I forgot to take a picture.  Maybe next time.  It’s starting to look more and more like a home.  That rocker we found on the curbside for free, it’s simply beautiful in style.  It needs a little good glueing and attention, but it’s not that bad.  You can sit in it and all.  Needs a cushion for the seat.  We will dress it up soon.  After we finish with Jessy’s desk, we will be working on this rocker.  In the meanwhile, the kitties like to snooze on it…  we just at a little throw on the seat for them.

I suppose it would nice to just have a big bucket of money to have the place all finished at once.  But I think we get a lot of satisfaction over spreading these little advancements out.  The house is very tolerable to live in at this point.  Are there still things we want to do?  Oh sure!  But then, even folks with finished homes feel the same way.  I just like when we get something major done, like the living room or the ceilings in the studio, it is just so wonderful.  We are so thankful to Jr. and Julia and their family for all their fine help!  We are pretty game to try a lot of things, but they are always ready to get right in there and guide us through some of the harder things that we’re not quite ready for!  I love that they are part of the new history of our wonderful home!!!

Got a really busy week ahead, so it might be a little sketchy in posts, but I will try and stay at it!  We are going to be playing at the Perrysburg French Quarters hotel at the Bluegrass in Super Class event on Friday!  Can’t wait… it’s an honor and a privilege to be the ONLY local band to be playing there with bluegrass superstars like Rhonda Vincent and others!  I just can’t wait!  So take care and enjoy this wonderful weather up this way!  I keep thinking that real spring is only a few months away…  2 months really!  60 days!!!   We can do it!


Related Posts with ThumbnailsPin It

About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


Sunday Evening Recap… — 4 Comments

  1. We are looking forward to seeing you in Perrysburg. This may be the only year in the history of the event that it hasn’t been 5 degrees with tons of snow outside.

    • Haha! Yeah, but I thought it was a little funny… I was looking at the 10 day forecast and of course, for Friday and Sat, it drops like 20 degrees and then goes back up on Sunday!! It’s that the case…. Can’t wait to see you and Bill too!!! I sure hope we sound okay, I’m always a little nervous playing there! Feels sorta big time, at least for us! See you soon!

  2. Nothing wrong with help..think of all the people you have helped in your lifetime..its Karma time..and its YOUR time to get some help.

    I rememeber when I was really young..just got divorced (27) and I rented this little house out in the county from an older farm family. It was ran down..but..being young..I really didnt understand what I had gotten into.
    The oil stove didnt work..and it was so drafty in that little 2 bedroom house..the curtains would sway with the wind. I had fuel oil, and the fuel oil people only came to fill it to a certain amount, and I never had enough money to fill it.
    Keep in mind..I was renting this house..but it was very cheap because it was run down..but to me was heaven..
    So..I qualified for help to “seal” my windows and put in insolation. WHAT A DIFFERENCE. The landlord had to sign an agreement that I was entitled to stay at least a yr afterwards for having these improvements done. I had previously lived here..and the awful winters..for 3 yrs.
    They had they put on storm windows (hand made to fit this old house) ..insulated the whole house (no more busted pipes!) and this house didnt have a basement..just a crawl space..which they also insulated..and they provided me with enought fuel for the winter. They also inspected the furnance. I was so greatful..later I shampooed the very thin carpet, and painted the dirty walls with fresh paint. This was my home with my little girl..I was so greatful.
    Well well..after a landlord could not wait to make me move (he didnt evict me..he just said he wanted the house for his family) I left. The cute little house..that now was so warm ..and full of was a nice house for his 18 yr old daughter. Im sure..she..or anyone else ..would have moved into the house BEFORE weatherization..but ..she couldnt wait to “then” little nest for myself and my 3 yr old. Can you say “bad luck”!…lol..I cried so went on. But.just saying..there were even grants for renters..thank was a rough winter : )

    • Well. I called another place and they have a 2 year waiting list and no funding until April and even then, it would probably be a very long wait. I’m glad that you got assistance when you needed it, but I think this is a sign that we just need to take care of things on our own. It’s fine… I am going tomorrow to get another Eden Pure-clone 1500 quartz heater off Craigslist from a lady in Toledo… A hundred bucks. A good deal. The one we have, it ALMOST can heat most of the living area of our home. With this second one, we will be just fine and toasty warm.

      I’ll just start saving and hopefully by next winter we can see about getting a decent used furnace in the basement. I don’t think we are going to have any of the flooding like they did 6 years ago. Too much drainage tile work has been done. Even if we don’t get a huge one, it will heat the majority of the house and we can use supplimental heat here and there. It’s all good! Sales are finally starting to pick back up to near normal levels, so I hope in a week or so we’ll be able to get the well situation fixed as well.

      Thanks for your kind thoughts!