Thursday, December 31, 2009

Starting Out The New Year Right!

I went to Lowe's today, and took the truck. It's my favorite store, and it just seemed like the thing to do. Besides, I wanted to get some steer manure, and it's a much nicer ride home when I don't have funky manure smells inside the car to distract me. I was completely out of the stuff, and believe me, that's just not a good place to be. I planted my winter garden sometime in October, so it's been in the ground long enough to put on some nice growth. This bed looks great, thanks to the 20 bags of steer manure I put in! It just seemed like a good idea at the time!

Now compare it to the same kind of plants, put in at the very same time. These are in a different bed, without the addition of 20 bags of steer manure. Oh, I sound like a project at an elementary school science fair! I should get a blue ribbon! (At our elementary school, there's no letter grade, just credit for doing it, and a blue, red, or white ribbon.) Ahh, but I digress. Here's my sad little garden bed that didn't get the steer manure. That's Dozer, there on the right, helping me.

So what did I do today?? I went to Lowe's to get steer manure. But not just a few bags. Or even just 20 bags. I got a whole pallet! That's 75 bags, according to my friends at Lowe's. Then I drove home, taking the turns very.....slowly.

I was greeted by my slave, uh, I mean child. He was so happy! "75 bags of manure?" He asked. "Is that all? Why not more, Mom? I'll get right on that!"

And he jumped right up there, with a big smile, and started tossing them down. See the look on his face? He's totally bummed that there's not more.

"We" got out the ol' 2 wheeled wheelbarrow, and started making the loads from the truck to the garden, where they got stacked up nice and neat. David let his dad help just a little, because he's nice like that.

Here's a picture of his dad heaving one on the pile. Yea, they had fun. Sort of a father/son bonding thing. They both thanked me when they were done.

Ahhh, what a great feeling to know that I have a small mountain of this stuff, right in the garden, at my fingertips. It's a great way to start out the year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our Mail Lady

Our mail lady is really sweet. Not only is she really sweet, but she is about 65 years old. I'm just guessing, it's not like we discuss how old we are or anything like that, but she's not young. Anyway, our mailbox is not at our house. It's down the road a ways, and we just stop on our way home, or walk down there on weekends. When we get something too big to fit in the mailbox, she brings it to the house and either gives it to us, or leaves it on the porch. Yesterday afternoon, David, our youngest, walked down to the mailbox. He did this because he spends his days thinking of ways to make our lives as easy as possible. He was also waiting for a package he had ordered. He came back with the mail and one of those tan papers that says there's something the mail lady couldn't deliver, and I can pick it up at the post office. But we were here! What gives? She didn't drive in! What am I, some normal, regular person on some normal, regular route?? I read the note. It says, "Very heavy! Bring a man :)"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Spring is Just Around the Corner!

Just when the weather begins to get really chilly, and the holidays are in full swing, the gardening catalogs start arriving. It's so nice to just sit next to the fire and thumb through the pages, but I was good and made myself set them aside until: 1) after I finished the Christmas stuff, and 2) I finally finished planting the bulbs I got two months ago.
So now, I can sit and look at the seed catalogs, with no guilt whatsoever! I'm checking what I have leftover from last year, and what I need to reorder. Oh, I love this time of year! So much promise! Anything is possible! The table is covered with seed catalogs, and my thoughts are on sunny days, getting up and out of the house to work barefoot in the yard. I try not to go overboard when I order. I tell myself to think what can I realistically take care of, and where I will put them all, but it's hard! I want everything! So many yummy veggies, to say nothing of the really cool and funky gourds, and this flower that looks like a brain. I really want that one. Want to know what's on my list so far? Sunflowers, pole beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, sugar peas (the flat kind), and I think I'll try potatoes this year. I haven't done those before, and decided to give them a whirl. The rest of the seeds I will plant are leftover. Unless I decide to get more seeds. That's always possible. Yea, that's pretty much likely.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Look what was plugging up the filter!

Today, we took a walk out back by our pond. The pump sounded funny, and there wasn't much water going over the rock into the pond. Hubby decided to investigate. It had been awhile since the pre-filter basket had been cleaned out, and with the leaves and tree gunk, it couldn't hurt to empty it. He opened it up, and guess what he found??? This big guy, and a little friend, (both very much alive and well) inside the basket, clogging up the flow. How he fit underneath the cover, and then into the pipe that leads to the trap, we haven't yet figured out. He's way bigger than anything else that has ever gone through. I'm just glad he didn't get stuck halfway!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Swap!

Guess What??? It looks like I will be able to post this on my blog today. We have been having problems with our phone lines, and the dial up seems to be working, (woohoo!!) so I will take this time to post about my swap. My swap partner was Brenda. My, goodness, is she ever on the ball! She had her basket done and mailed to me by the middle of the month. I, on the other hand, was not that organized. But, I digress. Check out what I got! Everything was in this very pretty, very sturdy basket. Cool, huh? And so festive, too. I didn't take a picture of it today, but just imagine homemade oatmeal rolls in it, sitting next to the mashed potatoes. Yummy! Oh, and the ornament on the front of the basket?? It's on my kitchen Christmas tree. It's a cute little jute snowflake with little pretties on the front.

And inside the basket? Lots and lots of chicken stuff! Can you see the towel on the left, and the one behind on the right? Those have the crocheted tops, and will button on my new oven. In fact, I have one buttoned up right now. Special for Christmas! And everybody that walks through my kitchen sees it. I just love new towels. My sister-in-law, Cathy, calls all her new towels, "Happy Towels", because they make her feel happy! These are my Happy Chicken Towels. The green roundish box has (well, really, I should say, "had") mint brownie mix. They were really good, and my family liked them too. Hmmm, can you tell that the mint chocolates have been opened? Yea, they're long gone! They were really good, and I didn't share any of those. The wooden handled spatula is really cool, too. A cook can never have too many good spatulas, and this one will be getting put to good use.

Oh! And that's not all! There are more chicken things, another towel, and hot pads, and a hot mitt. And....... A Chicken To The Rescue Cookbook!! Look at the picture! Is that not the cutest thing ever on a cookbook??? My sister picked that up today, and was thumbing through it. I'm sure I'll be copying some recipes for her.
Brenda did an awesome job, and I hope she had as much fun putting it together as I did getting it, and then showing it off to everybody that's into the whole kitchen thing like I am. This is what it looked like before I started tearing into it. Way cool, huh??

Thank you, Brenda, for such a great basket of goodies. I'll use them lots, and think about you when I do!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Big Doin's In Poe-dunk-ville

Since the middle of June, there's been daily roadwork smack dab in the middle of town. First, it was supposed to be done by October 31st. But that came and went, and they were still working on the road. Then it was supposed to be done November 30th. But that came and went, and they were still working on the road. Now it is supposed to be done December 31st. I think that's more likely. Anyway, they've been working on the road. Like, on the main road. Through all three of the main intersections. Where all of our stoplights are. For a long time my little town has had just three (3) stoplights. It suits me. I'm a small town country girl, and I like having only three stoplights. It's very easy to get around when you live in a town with only three stoplights. I can get from one end of town to the other in just a few minutes. But things can't stay the same forever, and my little town is growing. Yes, we are on the verge of getting another set of lights. I took this picture of the intersection where it is going. This is looking to the left. Ouch.

The state highway runs right through the middle of town, and what was 2 lanes each way 5 months ago is now 1 lane each way. I've been doing pretty good at staying away from the middle of town. But in just a few short weeks, it will all be worth it. We'll have a pretty, brand new, much safer, easy to get around, main thoroughfare through town. And it will be wonderful.