Oh, my, Sunday morning started out wonderfully. I was able to sleep a little later than normal, and lo and behold, Hannah, who has had to go out three times a night recently, slept the entire night! Since I have to carry her back and forth, I was very appreciative! Then, I heard the dogs all barking, alerting us to someone at the gate. It was my son and his friend, coming to pick up the Craftsman lawnmower that we used when we first bought the place. Since we upgraded to the John Deere last summer, we hadn't used the Craftsman much, and Jim has a great big yard now. He has been using his best friend's mower to cut it, but it will be better for him to have his own. I leapt out of bed (yes, really leaped) and got dressed quickly and went out to meet them. Nathan had spent the night with his dad, so he was with them, and bypassed me going in the door, he was worn out from staying up late, and went straight to bed in the spare bedroom.
So Jim and Robert got the mower loaded, and a subsequent phone call told us that it started right up after emptying out the old gas, changing the spark plug, and cranking' er up.... but needed a new belt. We reminded Jim to be sure to sharpen the blade as well. I'm so glad he'll get some good use out of it for a few years, and it was good to see his best friend Robert, who has been his friend since grade school. Robert was one of those who lost his job of 23 years in the downturn, when his company closed. We heard good news this morning, he is now back at work at a job he really likes, in a small city closeby, so does not have to drive far. It was good news, indeed.
Robert facing camera, Jim, derriere view!
Then, as long as I was up and at'em, and Nathan was asleep, I started working on this:
This was an ill-conceived bed in the middle of the yard, directly in front of the deck, which faces south. As you can see, we used untreated wood.... it was deteriorating badly, and we were afraid would hurt the pugs or the grandkids. On the four corners were beautiful sedums, and in the middle, a mature pink peony. I took this picture to show the wonderful dirt of this bed, it was compost and chicken house cleanings that I did NOT compost, as an experiement. They broke down and as you can see, the dirt was black and loose. The green at the top is a mess of weeds, that went to the compost pile. The peony in the middle had such deep roots that Keith had to come break the ground around it gently with the spade, and lift it for me. We trundled it over to the new bed, where all the sedum and the peony were transplanted. I am praying that because the crown was intact, it will bloom this year.
Yesterday on my way to church, I saw a man cutting his grass. His yard is always perfectly maintained, and I have often wanted to ask him if I could have some of his grass, or his leaves in the fall. Yesterday, I stopped and asked. He told me to take as much as I wanted! I went back after church and got four bags. They were very heavy, or I would have gone to get the rest today.
Normally we would compost it first, but we put it on, and then covered it with dirt. We found last year that this will work fine.
The dirt from the former bed in the middle of the yard was moved over by me in my little yard cart, and you see the sedum in it.
As the day wore on, it got hotter and hotter... it actually went to 91 degrees, breaking a record by 10 degrees set in 2005.
Pretty soon, Keith asked me to stop, I guess I was pretty red (so was he!) ... and I went up to sit on the porch with the dogs.
The pugs suffer in this weather terribly, so they were not out long during the times they were out.
Gertie absolutely LOVES being outside, and here she is on the deck, almost asleep in the sun. She is the bravest little dog ever!
I put the dogs in, all of them, where the air was running on APRIL 3rd, then took some treats out to the chickens. Who knew chickens liked sauerkraut???
When I came out of the chicken yard, it was to this:
Which rapidly progressed to this:
As I type this at 9:39, it has been storming for over an hour, including hail, and the high winds we had all day.
The temperature literally dropped 20 degrees in about ten minutes, and Keith and I ran for the house, battening down all the hatches. He is already in bed, having made two additional garden beds, poured the first two footings for the new henhouse, gotten and unloaded a big load of cement, and another big load of dirt for the new beds, and sundry other things I had to have help with. He was worn out tonight, but, as he said, a "good kind of wornout". I am, too, and I am about to hit the hay with the little girls and Keith.
Tuesday is our anniversary, and since I had to have some medical tests early in the morning, I decided to take a vacation day. I am going to clean the porch off - trust enough to put away the snow shovels, and tidy up some more, before we go to dinner in the late afternoon. Olive Garden, YUM!