Spring is here!

Ok, so maybe that’s a bit early. Let me live in my fantasy.

The days have turned warm, in the 50s and sunny, while the nights hover near the brisk freezing mark. I’ve been seeing numerous honey bees already, although there is nothing blooming for them yet. The telltale Robins have been in the yard, and you can hear the songs of the birds in the early morning when I go out to pickup the newspaper from the driveway.

The other day I spent an hour or so planting seeds in starter pots. Each pot was labeled with a popsicle stick bearing the seed’s name. They will sit in the sunny south windows of our shop until they are large enough to go into my little makeshift greenhouse outside. It’s not heated, but by then, what I have should be enough protection from the cooler nights. It was a relaxing time, reviewing our garden plan, what to plant and where. I never realized how scientific gardening was. You can’t plant broccoli next to tomatoes. Corn, beans and squash are beneficial to each other, so plant them together. I figure once I have a plan all charted out for this year, I will use the same chart each year and just rotate the whole thing through the different planter boxes I have. That way the tomatoes won’t go into the box the potatoes were in for a couple years. Now I just need to remember to water them, but not too much.

With our shop being MOSTLY done (said in the same voice as Billy Crystal’s Miracle Max from the movie Princess Bride), my thoughts and energy have turned to the landscape of our property. The lawn areas were prepped last year, but the rain saturated ground really settled in a few places. We will have to bring in some more dirt to fill in some craters, and then loosen up the top of the dirt just before we hydroseed in mid May. The calendar had to be consulted to find the perfect spray date. We have Passover, the day of Firstfruits, and the feast of Unleavened Bread coming up the last weekend of the month for a week. Then seven weeks later is Pentecost/Shavuot. All of these include large group gatherings in our shop with lots of kids that love to run around in the dirt. We wouldn’t want to try to control that, so we will spray after the early May gathering. There aren’t any other gatherings until Fall. That should give us some cool time to get the seed started before the summer heat hits. Hopefully we will have a decent lawn by the first of July for our family reunion we will be hosting.

I have checked my garlic bed for signs of life, but haven’t seen any yet. I admit, I have been accused, or rather described, as being impatient with my gardening. I know we aren’t supposed to plant outside until there is no snow on our bellweather mountain, but we have a short growing season in this part of the country. I have been known to plant outside and cover my plants with large five gallon water bottles (with the bottoms cut off, and the open top, they make perfect mini greenhouses), and hope for the best.

Our little kittens, who are now grown Tom cats, seem to sense it is spring too. They spend a lot more time staring out the windows in the mornings, in between wrestling and and playing floor hockey with a small, sisal rope ring. The black one is itching to explore the outdoors. I can tell, because he wants to scratch the screens and tried to crawl between the screen and the open window the other morning. The grey tiger is content to sit in the window and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds from the comfort of the indoors.

Spring used to mean a few days for me to get away and join a bunch of twice a year lady friends for scrapbooking at a beautiful local church camp on the lake. This year, with all the virus restrictions, staff cuts and more, the large group is not allowed, and the camp doesn’t have the staff to plan retreats. You can plan your own retreat, but are limited in numbers and have to follow strict virus protocols. That’s a hard pill for me to swallow. So, I opted to join a mid sized group in a hotel nearby. The organizer and I became acquainted last year, and I was graciously invited to join their group. It will be twice the cost of the other retreat due to the hotel room costs, but no restrictions to comply with. It should be a fun time. And, since I am not able to travel to see my daughter yet, I have some extra money set aside. It is usually a relaxing time when I can sit at my computer and really focus on getting pictures made into books. If I am inspired quickly, I can get one book done each day of the retreat. Now I have to decide which books to work on. My own yearly albums (I am finally up to 2012)? An album of photos our daughter sends of their family? A start to finish photo journal of the home building process?

Spring is a happy time for me. A time of excitement and expectation. I hope that spring is filled with joyous expectation and hope for you also.

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