Saturday, May 25, 2013

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Much as I hate to do it (I'm feeling twinges of withdrawal symptoms already), I'm taking a leave of absence from Blogland.  In truth, I'm considering not even turning on my computer for a couple/few weeks.

Somewhere, somehow, someway I need to gain extra hours in my day.  I've considered sleeping less (which makes Mama Pea a cranky girl), eliminating food preparation and eating (which would make not only me but that guy I live with VERY bad tempered let alone weak and unable to do what needs to be done) and a couple of other totally ridiculous ideas in order to have more time to be spent on gardening and the preparation of our winter fire wood supply.  And other things.  Like trying to find a balance in our lives.

Much outside work that would normally have been completed in the month of April simply didn't get done because of our crazy, late, heavy snowfalls.

We have yet to enter into warm weather that is conducive to encouraging green and growing things.  The continued cold weather has created unneeded complications for started seedlings and food production in general.  The last two nights we've dipped down dangerously close to freezing.  Highs during the day are only in the 50s.  On our warmer days.

Here we are at Memorial Day Weekend and the only thing I have planted in the garden is one bed of onions and the shivering cold frame-covered bed of transplanted salad fixings.

There is much to be done out there, Folks, and my highly-skilled crew of six has, so far, failed to arrive.

Although I will miss reading and commenting on all of your posts this late spring/early summer, backing away from the computer is necessary until I feel I've gained some control of the chaos swirling around me right now.

I may feel a need to turn the machine on and check e-mails every day or so, but I'm not even sure I will do that.  We'll have to see if I even remember how to function in LBC (life before computers).

Sending best wishes to you all in the next couple of weeks and hoping the remainder of your holiday weekend is spent just exactly as you wish.

See you . . . when?  Who knows.  Perhaps sooner than I think.  Perhaps not.  It all depends on that crew that seems to have gotten lost on the way to our place.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Checking In

After several days of rain (2" measured during one overnight period), we are finally seeing the sun this morning Yippee!

I found plenty to occupy my time indoors (imagine that) while waiting out this wet period.  Now my outside list is so long I keep tripping over it, but I know I won't be able to actually get in the garden without giving it some time to dry out.  (Days?)  There are still many tasks (imagine that) I can work on around the yard (squish, squish, squish) and will get going on them today.

My chives have finally grown high enough to cut and process for my annual stash in the freezer.

The lawn is knee-high.  (Not quite.)  (But almost.)

We've never been able to get more than that first coat of tong oil on the new raised bed frames which are still spread out in our back parking area.  And which need to be finished and put in place BEFORE I can plant in them this year.  The frames are definitely on the list for another (possibly two?) coating today.

Our wrought iron deck furniture which we stored under a big pine tree all winter was hauled out more than a week ago.  It was plastered with bird poop and needed a good scrubbing (or sandblasting).  Now after several days of hard rain, much of the wild bird fertilizer has disappeared.  I will wash it though, I promise.

I could truly go on and on with the list of fourteen (there are indeedy-do fourteen things listed) items on paper in front of me, but I'll bore you no longer.

Yep, plenty to do today out in the sunshine.  So what am I doing sitting here?

See ya!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ya Can't Keep A Good Man Down

We're having what looks to be a day of thunderstorms passing through our area.  Steady drizzle has been coming down since we got up.  Every now and then we hear thunder rolling around in the sky above us, then we get a heavy downpour of rain for several minutes.

Papa Pea went over to our neighbors' place a couple of hours ago.  He and D are working up and planting out a small meadow there with what we hope will be good browse for the deer in our area.  The guys got caught in a couple of the downpours but kept working until getting to a good stopping spot.

After coming back home and changing out of his soaked duds, he remembered he's been wanting to spread some wood ashes under our fruit trees for several days now and during this wet period would be a perfect time.

So back out he went (between bursts of the heavy rain) to do the job.  I have a feeling when he comes back in there will be an extra cup of strong coffee enjoyed this morning.  The outside temp is only 46°, and it's 68° in here so I've finally started a small fire in the kitchen wood stove to help keep away the dampness.  There's a pot of chicken soup with dumplings on the stove which helps chirk up the atmosphere, too.

If we can stop thinking of outside jobs to be done (duh), looks like it will be a comfy, cozy day inside.  We aren't minding the rain at all, but jeepers, could we use some consistently warm weather about now.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Day to Rest My Body

Our area has been drying out fast.  Hard to believe, I know, after those big snowfalls we had late this spring.  But we haven't had any moisture fall on us since that last snow, so we've really needed rain.

It has been raining steadily, not hard but a gentle rain which is perfect for soaking in, all day today.  More of the same is forecast for tomorrow and Monday.

I think I can see that the grass has turned a greener color since first thing this morning.

We put on rain gear a couple of hours ago and went to pick up the six new blueberry bushes we ordered.

They look like strong, healthy plants and we're happy to have gotten them.  At $11 each, I think they were a good deal considering we didn't have to travel more than a few miles to get them.  (Gas has recently jumped to $4.41/gallon up here.  Can you believe that?  What's it going for in your area?)

Yesterday morning before we started playing in our new dirt, we got one coat of protective finish on the eight new raised bed frames for the garden.  Papa Pea is determined to do all he can to insure these frames last as long as they possibly can because replacing them is not one of his most favorite homestead-y tasks.  (Please notice Tucker in foreground helping.)

We're painting them inside and out with a tung oil mixture, wanting to get three coats on in total.  Right now they're standing out in the rain, but we can tell that even the first coat is doing some good as the rain drops are beading up on the wood rather than sinking in.

Unfortunately, with rain in the offing for a couple more days, this project isn't going to get finished as soon as we had planned.  There are some raised beds I can plant in right now, but the eight beds yet to be replaced with these new frames won't be ready for planting until . . . well, until they're ready.  Of course, we had planned on having this whole operation done in April of this year, but there was that rasty thing about the tons of snow we had to deal with in April that threw a clinker into our plans.

Today's rainfall has given me an unexpected day inside.  Probably a good thing because I seem to have a bit of a pain in my back between my shoulder blades that I suspect has a direct relationship to my carrying of 5-gallon pails full of black dirt yesterday.  A little rest will be a good thing.  (Just ask Martha.  I'm sure she always rests a day after carrying 5-gallon buckets full of dirt.)

Of course, there's plenty to do inside.  Unfortunately, the gray, dark, dreariness of the day has taken away all my get-up-and-go.  What I feel most like doing is taking a nap.  Therefore, I must get up from this chair and M-O-V-E.  

Hee-hee.  Maybe I'll M-O-V-E into my quilting room!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Every Gardener's Dream

Now I don't know about the part of the country in which you garden, but up here what passes for soil is primarily rocks and a little dirt (little being the operative word).  The dirt that you can find is either heavy, red clay or what the locals refer to as "rotten rock" . . . a label which does not conjure up visions of nutrient-rich, loamy stuff conducive to growing carrots . . . or much of anything else.

Last fall, hubby and I located a great, huge pile of lovely, wonderful, rich black dirt.  I told him, "I want that!  I want a LOT of that!"

So early this spring, we looked into getting some of it transported into our yard.  We talked with our good neighbor (who has the heavy equipment business) about hauling it for us.  It happens he and his wife have been wanting to get into gardening and have been developing a small plot behind their house.  Hauling some of the soil for us would be no problem, D said, plus he'd be interested in getting some of it for their garden area.  A win-win situation.  

We had to wait for the huge pile of black dirt to thaw.  This required a bit of patience since our cold winter weather lasted so long into spring this year.  But finally everything was in place and our dirt was scheduled to arrive.

This morning shortly before 8 a.m., we heard the rumble of one of D's dump trucks.

Oh, oh, oh!  Here it comes!  I was so excited!

Oh, my.  Will you look at that beautiful stuff.

A big bunch of that beautiful stuff!  (Suddenly, the soil we've built up in our pumpkin patch doesn't look so great, does it, Lisa?)

Five cubic yards of rich, black soil.  We got busy and wheelbarrowed it into all of the raised beds we replaced last year that ended up a little short on dirt.

Since the black dirt came from a swampy area, it was most likely on the acidic side so we spread wood ashes over the added dirt in the beds to add some alkalinity.  I'll till everything in before planting each bed.

There's still a lot of dirt left in the pile, but you can be sure I'll use every last bit of it . . . and be pickled tink to have it!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Winter Might Be Gone, Summer Might Be Here

We had the temp reach into the low 70s yesterday.  It was almost more than we could take . . . a great adjustment to our bodies that were getting used to wearing multiple layers of clothing long after usually necessary.  'Twas, however, a glorious day and even the stiff breeze couldn't damper our spirits working outside.  It was wonderful.  (But just imagine how warm it would have felt without the wind!)

Today was full of sunshine although not nearly as warm as yesterday.  I still stripped down to my short sleeve t-shirt while working in the garden.

Papa Pea cultivated the whole field garden for me so now I can get those taters planted and trellises up and ready for pea planting.

He also ran the cultivator over the area that we've been prepping for two years for more blueberry and possibly haskap berry bushes.  We have six blueberry bushes ordered that we should be able to pick up this Saturday.  They will go in the cultivated area behind the third white stake you see in the above picture.  The three white stakes mark our little haskap berry bushes we planted last year.  I'm delighted to report they all made it through their first winter and are putting out new buds and leaves.

Maybe I should hold a contest to see what you all think these newly constructed frames are for.  They will eventually go in the garden when they're completed.  They still need to have screening attached to the sides and tops.  Any guesses?

If you read in a previous post about our new (and hopefully successful) idea of protecting broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage from the dreaded cabbage moth that lays those dreaded eggs on such plants which hatch out into those dreaded worms that ultimately end up on my plate (eeeeeuuw!), you may have garnered a hint as to what these structures are for.

They will sit on top (and be fastened in some manner so they don't blow off into the next county) of 4' x 8' raised beds and the screening will keep the moths from getting to the plants underneath.  Clear as mud?  It will be more understandable once these contraptions are finished and in place.  I promise more pictures then.

I have now reached the bottom of my glass of white wine and I'm hoping I can stand up and make it into the kitchen to heat up some fish chowder for dinner.  Well, the chowder will be for my dinner.  When the chowder was served the first time around, Papa Pea saw a bone in a piece of the fish and will indulge in it no more.  (He had a really bad experience with a fish bone caught in his throat when he was a wee lad and it proved to be a traumatic experience for him.)  He has requested a cheese sandwich for dinner which I am glad to make for him.  If I can stand up and make it into the kitchen.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tired, But a Good Tired

Got a lot done as far as inside chores went this morning, and then worked outside in the garden most of the afternoon.

The first raised bed of the year is planted and snuggled under a cold frame as we speak.  Our temps are still hovering around the 40s during the day.  If the sun is out it feels great but if not it's darn chilly.

I transplanted seven 4' long rows of lettuce, two 4' long rows of spinach, a row of arugula and some kale.  Had enough room left in the bed to plant one row of Swiss chard seeds.  From some reason the chard I planted inside didn't germinate.  If this row I planted today is a no-show, I'll know it's the seeds.

We still have some raised beds that are around 15 years old and need the wood replaced (before I plant in them this year) so we're working on getting new ones made.

Last year using the hoops and Abribon over the beds worked very well to produce worm-free broccoli and Brussels sprouts (hooray!) but we had a lot of trouble keeping it fastened down on the sides and ends.  This winter we came up with a new idea for trying to keep those *%^&#! cabbage moths out of our brassicas, so construction on those was started today also.  More on that later.

I complained this past weekend that our stash of blueberries in the freezer was long gone so a dear friend gifted me with half a gallon of them today from her freezer.  What a treat!  I have a blueberry pie in the oven right now.  (Smells pretty good, huh?)

Still have dishes to do, a shower to take and some relaxing to do before bedtime.  Sure does feel good to be working in the garden . . . even though it is a bit of a late start this year.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Happy Mother's Day

My dear daughter invited me to go on an outing with a stop for a girls-only lunch today.

We drove up to a rustic, favorite restaurant of ours situated on the shore of an inland lake.  Lunch was as good as we had anticipated, and we got caught up on much talking, talking, talking.

After we ate, we took a walk out onto the floating dock into the lake.

Poor Tucker (who was with us but waited patiently in our vehicle while we ate) did NOT like the way the sections of the floating dock rocked back and forth, up and down.

This is a shot across the narrow bay we were on.  Yes, folks, it is the opening weekend of fishing up here in Minnesota.  Some of the lakes we saw were a little more open than others, but none were free of ice.

On our way home, we stopped at a lake that is a favorite of ours to fish and canoe.  I think it's safe to say that no one launched a fishing boat in here today.

It was a slow, fun, lazy, totally enjoyable day for this mom and her daughter.  Hope you had a good day, too.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Saturday That Feels Like Sunday

You know how it is when you get confused as to what day of the week it is?  Like I am today?  Although more often than getting my weekend days confused, I'm likely to say a Wednesday (for instance) doesn't feel like a Wednesday.  (Hmmm, just what does a Wednesday feel like?)

* * * * * * * *

One of the things we've been working on lately is getting the fruit trees pruned . . . a task that needs to be done every year, usually in the spring before the trees bud out.  (Incidentally, Tami over at 
500 Dollar Tomato had a post today that contained a link to a good video on thinning "fruitlets" that led me to another video on pruning fruit trees.  It made me wonder if we've been doing it wrong all these years.  Geesh.)

During his high school years, my hubby worked for a man who owned a huge apple orchard and who vehemently maintained there were 52 days each year when you should never prune the trees.  Sundays.

* * * * * * * *

What's our weather like today?  C-O-L-D.  Our high temp was 44° which isn't too bad but couple that with a stiff wind, only a few quick glimpses of sunshine and it feels not nice out there.  Plus, we've had snow flurries during the cloudy periods on and off all day.  Yep, honest-to-goodness snow flurries.  Nothing that has mounted up on the ground but it's making everyone shake their heads and 'bout give up on the hope of warm weather ever arriving.

* * * * * * * *

It's now 5:30 p.m. and I have no idea what to fix for dinner.  For company last night I served a large chicken pot pie made in a 9 x 13" pan and, silly me, had hopes we would have leftovers for today, but the five of us polished it off with very little trouble.

Grilled cheese sandwiches, anyone?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Getting My Fresh Air . . . and a Winner!

Thanks to all of you who entered for the chance to win the Go Wild with Quilts - Again! book I offered.  It was great to see so many of you eager to have a new quilting book.  Almost (but not quite) as good as getting some new fabric!

But just to raise the level of suspense a little before announcing the winner (remember I live in the woods and don't get out much), let me first tell you what's been going on around here during the last couple of days of nice weather.

Tuesday I got the whole strawberry patch cleaned up and weeded.  I think it was the first time in years that I've done the whole job in one day.  Lots (and lots) of bending, crawling, getting up and down to empty the weed bucket into the compost, and digging with a trowel.  I'm lucky in that my back rarely bothers me, but Wednesday morning I thought my right wrist might be broken.  All the trowel work, you know.  No, it was nothing as serious as that, but the wrist did give me a little twinge every now and then all day.  But only when I moved it.  We still have to go get several bags of wood shavings from a local sawmill to use as mulch, but that finishing up part of the job is simple compared to what had to be done before the shavings can be spread.

Wednesday Papa Pea and I attacked the raspberry patch and just about completely denuded it.  Actually, all we did was to cut out all the old, dead canes, but as usual, it looks as if the canes left won't possibly be able to produce an ample crop of raspberries this summer.  (Have no fear, as they will, prolific little plants that they are.)  Yesterday we spread some lovely compost at the base of all the canes and then I retied them to the supports in the hopes of keeping them contained in some sort of organized manner.  However, when those canes get growing they have a mind of their own, and I've found it's hard to keep them from forming an impenetrable jungle out there.

Yesterday afternoon I did some more repotting of started seedlings.  (Isn't it amazing how they keep outgrowing their little pots and seem to multiply under those lights at night?)  I am waiting to get through this weekend (ice and snow supposedly coming . . . yep, kinda unbelievable, isn't it?) before putting a lot of the seedlings out under a cold frame.

Okay, I know some of you are getting really tired of not hearing what you came to hear.

Drum roll, please.  Wish I had a dozen of these books to send out so each and every one of you could have a copy.  But I don't so had to draw just one name.  The lucky winner is . . . 


Michelle, if you will go over to the Contact Me button on my right hand side bar and send me your mailing address, I'll get the book off to you asap.  Thanks again to all of you who left a comment for this give-a-way.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

We Have a Give-A-Way!

I know it's not exactly the right time of year to be thinking about spending time with your sewing machine and stash of fabrics, but I have a great quilting book that wants to go to a new home.

The title is Go Wild with Quilts - Again!, written by Margaret Rolfe and put out by That Patchwork Place.

We have birds.

We have wildlife.

We have water creatures.

And much more.  

Ugh, please excuse the poor quality of these pictures.  I had to ask hubby to hold the book open for me (so I had only one shot to get each picture) and we're both flyin' kinda low this morning.  This looks like it will be our THIRD day in a row with sunshine so the daily list is full of outside projects involving a paint brush, pruners and possibly tiller!  Wa-HOO!

If you're interested in receiving this nifty 8-1/2" x 11" soft bound book, leave a comment saying so.  Just for fun, also tell us what was the last thing you sewed on your sewing machine.

I'll draw a name as the winner tomorrow night (Thursday) 'round about 9 p.m. and post the winner Friday morning.  Good luck!

Monday, May 6, 2013

First Day in the Garden!

We were involved otherwise this morning so I didn't get my laundry started until after lunch.  Since we had had sunshine ALL MORNING, I got a little crazy and hung the clothes out on the line for the first time this year.

Gotta say it was dang cold on my hands handling the wet things (our high temp didn't even reach 45° today), but it did feel good to be hanging the wash outside again.  (Never did dry, but that's beside the point.)

I told Papa Pea I wanted to get the strawberry bed uncovered today and he said he'd help me.  Whadda guy.  He dropped what he was doing in the garage and came to help.  'Twas much appreciated!

Because we were short on straw, I had covered the berries this past fall with evergreen boughs from a couple of downed trees.  I don't like using boughs as much as a nice straw mulch but have done it a couple of times before and it works well to keep the plants protected over winter.

I did a preliminary cleaning of the strawberry patch once the boughs were all carted away.  Now I'll let the rows dry out for a couple of days (hope rain holds off) and then get in there and take out any sprouting weeds and get wood shavings spread as a summer time mulch.

I uncovered and cleaned up the rhubarb plant.  Last year, I took my first cutting of rhubarb on May 11th.  It's gonna be a lot later this year!

I spaded up the raised bed in which I want to put my started seedlings of lettuce, chard, spinach and arugula.  (I did need to take off that heavy jacket in short order!)

Then with hubby's help I put a cold frame top on the bed.  I'll leave it that way with the cover closed for a couple of days to warm up the soil before I set out the transplants.  (Doesn't it look kinda like a real bed?  With a mattress on top?  No?  Huh.  Must just be me.)

Above is a picture of one of the worst garden mistakes I've ever made.  Pictured are the last three sunflower stalk stumps of all the ones I removed today.  My garden glove in the foreground was to try to show the size of the stump.  The other glove at the top of the picture is by one I'd already dug out.

Last year I planted two rows of Mammoth Sunflowers because they were touted as producing the best seeds to feed to your wild birds.  Well, they grew to mammoth size, no doubt about that.  But the heads never matured (our short growing season, you know), so no seeds did we get.  We had to cut down the thick stalks with a hatchet (we should have used a chainsaw) but could not get the stumps that were left at about ground level out of the ground.  We tried digging but the soil was too compacted last fall and that just didn't work.  Papa Pea used the hatchet to try hacking the stumps to pieces.  That proved futile, too.  We considered dynamite but vetoed that idea.  He thought if we left them until this spring, they just might decompose a little.  Today I noticed no decomposition but I could get a shovel into the damp soil and managed to dig all the remaining stumps out.  Uff!  A real job, but I'm so glad to have those things out of the garden!

I can't tell you how good it felt to be out actually doing some productive work in the garden today.  I can hardly wait for another day to play out there again tomorrow.  If it doesn't rain.  Shhhhh . . . 

Monday Morning Mope?

I have to confess that I'm suffering a smidge bit of depression looking at all your lovely pictures of green grass, spring flowers and gardens taking shape.

No early spring here for us in northern Minnesota this year, that's for sure.

It's still very cool, only getting into the 40s during the day, and our lack of sunshine for almost the whole past week isn't helping warm up the soil.  Or dry up our many standing puddles.  (We will just avoid mentioning piles of snow still in evidence.)

I have seedlings of cold weather crops that could go out under cold frames, but first I'll have to put the cold frames over the raised beds to warm up the soil enough so my little green sprouts don't suffer hypothermia and die when set out.

I've never started lettuce, spinach, chard, arugula and such inside before, but this year something told me to do so.  (It could definitely have been the increased cost of seeds [and many less seeds in each packet!] and realizing I couldn't sprinkle them as liberally as I usually do directly into the garden beds and then thin, thin, thin.)

Our forecast for this coming week does hold promise of warmer temperatures (60s even!) . . . but also more rain.

I know one of these days, it will turn warm and stay that way and then . . . let the gardening begin!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Waiting for Sunshine and Warm Weather

The good news is that it's stopped snowing.  (Oops, did I say that too loudly?)  The flip side is that it's been raining, drizzling, misting or otherwise making everything very wet for several days.  No sun which equals no warmth.  Our high temps are averaging in the 40s.  But we're so late into the season now that once we do get some sunshine and warmer temps, stand back because everything outside is going to ess-plode!

Early this past week a neighbor down the road a piece stopped by to chat.  Papa Pea was outside so they stood in the yard talking.  Then Chicken Mama coming after work to pick up Tucker joined them.  I was inside cooking dinner (or maybe I was just lying on the couch eating my pre-dinner bon-bons) so was keeping half an eye on the scene through the kitchen window.  Our neighbor left driving down the driveway and out of sight.  Only a couple of minutes later, he returned and handed Papa Pea and Chicken Mama this.

He said he found it in the middle of our drive and thought it might be injured as it wasn't able to walk very well.  The funny-looking little guy was checked over and seemed okay.  My two took him down to the pond where he immediately plopped into the water and began swimming around.

We think he was a Pied-billed Grebe.  They are like loons in that it's difficult for them to walk on land.  He was offered some grain but said he wasn't hungry.  (I think I read they are fish eaters like loons.)  No grebe was in evidence the next morning so we're hoping he took off and reunited with the rest of his kin.

I'll sign off with this picture.  You know you've had plenty of moisture when a seagull starts visiting your bird feeder.  (And, yes, that is still a good-sized drift of snow down at the end of the yard.)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Still Learning . . .

Yep, I'm still learning the ins and outs of this new computer, but also having a lot of frustration.  My computer guru daughter says I am learning and I am making progress in figuring things out, but this morning I am discouraged and grumpy.

I just tried to get some pictures from camera to computer for a blog post . . . but got nowhere.  Sigh.  I know Chicken Mama very patiently showed me how to do this and I even took notes, but they're not helping me right now.  I'll have to wait until she has time to walk me through the process again.  She's been giving up a lot of her free time lately in helping both me and her dad in our struggle on the learning curve, and we're both very grateful to her.  

This process of getting my pictures into the computer (like so many other processes with this new system) is more complicated and requires more steps than on my old computer.  Being a very simple minded gal, I prefer the old way. 

We've been told these upgraded computers would be so much faster in operation, but I'm not finding that true.  And I don't mean because of my fumbling in learning the system.  I'm talking of actual speed of the computer.  In all honesty, part of that problem could be with our older router that we may have to replace.

* * * * * * * *

We haven't received the large amounts of snow the middle and southern parts of our state has (can you believe 16" in May?!), but we've had a few days of scattered flurries with about an inch of accumulation.  Very gray, damp days but the ground (miraculously) continues to dry out little by little and more snow disappears each day.  Sure is a cold first part of the month so far though.

* * * * * * * *

I'm traveling down the road this afternoon to pick up the newly reupholstered cushions for the glider rocker.  I still haven't made up my mind on the fabric for the second chair.  The gal who is doing the work said my decision might come quicker once I have the first chair put back together with the new cushions.  It may be easier to see how it all will look with that one piece done.  Hope so.  I do want this reupholstering job (and expense) to be one we can live with (and like) forever!

* * * * * * * *

Lots on the fire in the way of things to do today so I'm off.  Or . . . no more than usual, as a good friend of ours says.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What's On Your List For Today?

I had a down and draggy day yesterday.  Don't know whether the heavy rain in the morning did it to me or what.  Do you ever wonder if some days, no matter what you do, your body rhythms are simply in a state so that your body (emotionally and physically) can't be all chirky and chipper and in a happy place?  Maybe those are the days when we should just put a bag over our head and schlump through the day without fighting it so much.  Along with the bag over the head, perhaps a sign hung around the neck that says, "Nobody's home.  Please don't attempt contact," would also be helpful.

At any rate, today I'm full of energy and made a list this morning (totally unreasonable that it may be) and am ready to whip my weight in wildcats.  (Jjust how much does one wildcat weigh?)

Here's my list:

All first-of-the-month things - This entails about an hour's worth of paperwork.

Start seedlings - Time for the Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, zinnias and cosmos to be started.  Probably should repot the tomatoes, too, as long as I'm playing in the dirt.

Clean ashes out of both wood stoves - Boy, has the frequency of this job dropped drastically.  (For which I am sincerely thankful!)

Make list of computer tasks for daughter - Chicken Mama is giving me some time tonight to continue the setting up of my frustrating new computer, and I need to make a list of what I would like to have done first, second, third, etc.

Pick out fabric - I'm in the process of having two living room chairs reupholstered.  One is currently in the shop being worked on as we speak.  (I hope.)  The fabric for the second chair was on back-order for six weeks.  You can guess what the news was that I received this past Monday.  Yup.  It's not on back-order anymore.  Now it's officially no longer available.  So back to the drawing board, or rather sample books, to find another fabric.

Wash rugs - Futile task that this is this time of year here in The Land of Mud, I can't stand it anymore and have to launder a batch or two of throw rugs.

Bake rye bread - Doesn't take a lot to keep my husband happy, but homemade rye bread goes a long way toward that end.

Clean the refrigerator - What can I say?  It's a job that just must be done once in a while.  (At least every couple of years or so.)  What the heck goes on in there that makes all those gooey drips, splats and . . . and . . . dirt?  (Yes, some of it looks like gritty dirt.)

Make up bee sting kit - The season for our wonderful, delightful little honey makers to be buzzing around doing all kinds of good things in my garden is fast approaching.  But their stings have been increasingly causing more havoc in and on my body so I've done some research over the winter months and come up with some "new" natural remedies to have all set and ready to go should I need them.  Gathering everything in one place with specific directions for use seems like a wise idea.  I've also gotten an Epi-pen and both Papa Pea and I have practiced using it so that's ready should it be needed.

Change keyboard - This new keyboard that came with my frustrating new computer was obviously designed by a guy with stubby fingers and a bad nail biting habit.  Both daughter and I have noticed that the keys are in such a flat, level configuration with the board that if you have any length of fingernail at all it's nearly impossible not to hit the wrong key or slide off the correct key with every third stroke.  I am an extremely fast typist . . . but not on this keyboard.  The backspace key to delete mistakes is nearly worn out already, I'm sure.

Don't know how it happened but it's nearly 1 p.m. now . . . but I do have a couple things checked off the above list.  It's remarkable how easy it is to make a list first thing in the morning . . . and how hard it is to get it all done.  Life (and blogging!) seems to get in the way.