Month: March 2004

Babyfour Update

Please see the update on babyfour.

Brrr II and birds

It’s early, and cold. We kept the fire going late last night, so it’d warm the house longer, and also make it easier to get it going in the morning. Good thing. When it’s down below freezing, it gets cold in here FAST. There’s a certain edge of chilliness that can’t be shaken from the main floor of the house unless a good fire is in the fireplace, or if the temperature outside goes up in the 60’s or higher with a couple of Sunny days to boot.

We aren’t using our air system at all this past Autumn and then Winter/Spring so far. It needs cleaned out and so we just decided to go with the flow for now. Natural with supplemental windows open or shut just enough, fires when needed, curtains or shades up or down when sun wanted or not. It’s worked out, but definitely showed us that we need a better thing than this silly fireplace. A stove would be a better deal.

Well, for a cold morning, the birds outside are still acting like Spring is here, which it is, just colder a bit today. There were a pair of twitterpated House Finches on the deck a while ago, and I just chased off a bunch of European Starlings which were bothering the Easter Bluebird couple. This is a nice arrangement. I watch out for them, and when I see Starlings hanging out by the Bluebird’s nesting box, I go outside and clap and yell “Shoo!” and the Starlings fly away. The Bluebirds stay. πŸ™‚

Today the Bluebirds were in one of the Apple Trees near the nest box, and Mr. Bluebird was very excited, flapping his wings wildly, while Mrs. Bluebird just sat there a few feet away on another branch.

There is activity in the nest box. They’ve been watching over it all along since last breeding season. I cleaned it out for them last week. There was a big Daring Jumping Spider living in it. They seemed to be thankful for my getting it out, as they now have a small circle of dried grass materials on the bottom of the box … a sure sign that they are thinking of building soon. From Mr. Bluebirds behaviour this morning, I suspect we’ll see lots more of that twitterpated flapping of wings over on the South side of the backyard now.

Brrr!

It’s chilly, only supposed to get to 57 degrees F. today. Much colder than it’s been for awhile.

It was officially Spring on Saturday (March 20th). We had our officialy recognized “Last Freeze Date” on March 15th. Yesterday afternoon it became chilly, as a front was coming through … which is introducing this chilly air. The house became “Too Cold” to live in overnight, so I finally broke down this morning, cleaned the overly filled up ashes out of the fireplace from the last cold spell, and started a fire, mid-morning. Oh, the cheery flames takes the edge off the late fingers of winter penetrating into our wonderful Southern Spring.

Tonight, temperatures are supposed to be around freezing and down to the upper 20’s in some areas around here. My poor Hostas, they are unfurling their leaves, so I’ll need to cover them. I’m not sure about other plants, onions and lettuce … lettuce may need covered, and the cauliflower I planted this past weekend.

We bought tomato plants on Saturday at the feed store. They’ll stay in the garage until a safer day to plant.

I’ll probably trim my chives, lest I lose the nice growth they’ve made the past couple of weeks. Good for cooking already. The Thyme will be fine. But what about the flowering Yoshino Cherry Trees … and all the other trees that have leafed out already? We shall see what happens, I can only protect a few things.

I hope this cold won’t get that cold too fast over night, that’ll give everything a better chance of surviving if it’s mostly only near dawn, but whatever happens is what will happen.

St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to y’all!

My Irish eye’s ain’t smiling yet … I’m too tired for that πŸ˜‰

Maybe later, when we have Corned Beef and potatoes and a Beamish to drink. OK, now I’m hungry.

(I LOVE corned beef!)

I’m tired and feel so fat. But those are my worst “symptoms” so far. I’m going to find out if I really DO like corned beef today, I mean I know I like it, but will my body say yes to it is another thing entirely.

a. I’ll be able to eat it and eating leftovers will be fine, and I’ll love it and get more to make until I can’t stand the sight of it anymore

b. I’ll be able to eat some of it, but then be filled and wish not to see it again *ever* (which will change after the baby is born at the latest)

c. I’ll smell it cooking and say “I’m not hungry afterall”.

That’s how this pregnancy is treating me thus far. Desire for food or not, loving one thing until I don’t want anymore. Or plain just not liking some things from the getgo. I’m happy to say no nausea or vomiting, none so far. Intense hunger — yes. Intense tiredness — yes. Food aversion — yes. Get stuffed too fast too. I’m feeling so fat, so very, very fat.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My heritage is partly Irish and therefore this is one of my favorite holidays, but it’s such simple one in how it’s traditionally observed. Maybe that’s why I like it most. Meat and potatoes kind of holiday. πŸ™‚

Birds around, and the gardening I’m doing

I thought it’d be nice to write about the birds and behaviour I’ve been noticing of late.

Our big Cedar Feeder, installed on a pole in the yard for a few years, fell over on a day that was compassed by many large gust of wind, and the day after as well, if I recall rightly. (It’s been a very windy March as well!)

The feeder rests on the deck now, until I figure out what to do with it, it needs some ajustment and repairs. So since my feeder is down-and-out, I decided to bring the birds in closer … I decided this on the “snow day” we had this year. The birds were out searching for food that day, so I sprinkled seed on the deck railings that were covered with snow. Some birdies came. The day the snow melted the seeds slowly sank to sit on the actual railing, very neatly. That day and the next, the birds really came to eat.

It’s been a treat to have the birds so close up. Mostly we’ve had Chipping Sparrows, House Finches, and Savannah Sparrows eating. An occassional visit by a Northern Cardinal or a Northern Cardinal Family is a bright event. They don’t seem to hang out long with this set-up though. That could partly be a result of this being straight “wild bird feed” and not the stuff I usually do– mix in a heavy portion of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds. In the “old days” the Cardinals would come and eat in the feeder often.

The Eastern Bluebirds are around, as usual, but becoming twitterpated. Guarding their nestbox vigilantly oft times, but not building a nest as of yet. European Starlings bother them sometimes, and the Bluebirds valiantly defend their spot. Spring is a wonderul time to witness how courageous and bold Bluebirds are.

Eastern Pheobe’s are about as well. Both these and the Bluebirds do not ever come to the feeder. Starlings either (if they did, I’d chase them off, as I do Brownheaded Cowbirds.)

Off and on a Red-winged Blackbird will show up.

All in all we haven’t had a large variety of birds, but we have had many Chipping Sparrows, and seeing them up-close makes me appreciate them more. I can see differences in them at this short distance, see them going from winter to breeding phase, and also see the first winter birds, actually distinguishing them from the other Chipping Sparrows. πŸ™‚

Oh, we’ve had some butterbutts too, the nickname for Yellow-rumped Warbler’s. They should be around more soon, as well as American Goldfinches (I did see one coming into breeding color last week, and one drab one, but not at my “feeder”).

This is the year of the Robin, I must announce. In our yard, and the yards around us, we see more American Robins this year than we ever have anywhere in Georgia. (we’ve been here since late 1996). Their bulbous bellies plod around the yard, they are here at morning twilight, 25, or more, easily in view at a time, but they are so busy running here and there and lobbily flying over there and back … there are a lot of them, and counting isn’t something one gets too serious over.

Bluejay’s are around across the street, but occasionally we’ll have one in the back yard for a few mintues. They are my second favorite bird, second to the Eastern Bluebird. Is it because they are both blue? Yes and no. It’s so much more than that. I do love blue though!

I’m hoping we’ll see some Blue Grosbeaks this year. Last year we saw one male, once. πŸ™ Years previous have had regular visitors. Also Indigo Buntings, but I’ve not seen one since 2002 probably.

I did see a Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female) last year, and have a picture or so of her on my photo log. I have never seen a male of that bird in person though.

Well, Spring is springing up around here, so more birds will be coming through on their migrations soon. I look forward to the first Ruby-throat Hummingbirds (already have their feeders out and filled) of 2004.

Peonies and Hosta have spiky thick shoots coming out of the ground, still close to the ground, but definitely out. My Purple Coneflower plants in the herb garden are sending up leaves, and other plants are doing things too. Pussy Willow has STILL not bloomed though. One of these days.

We were at Home Depot this evening, just looking, and the herbs and veggies they have out are nice, inviting, and I hope to get several new herbs in my garden this year, and lots of tomatoes, and do some potatoes, and sweet potatoes as well. The green beans of course, and some kind of peas, perhaps. Baby delicate peas I can stand. Sugar Snap Peas in stir fry are good too. I’ve not grown them yet though. This Spring has lots of things going on in the garden, bird nest box, and in our home as well. πŸ™‚

Clothing, clothing, baby and mama’s

I am so tired of late, of course, being in the first trimester of a new pregnancy. I’m finding it hard to do so many things, motivation to cook is fairly nil. I’m not having “morning sickness” but just feel anti-to-making-food. πŸ™ Well, that’s alway’s worse when the night before is a bad one, or, as in the case of yesterday, I didn’t get a nap and when on a ride with Frank on a couple of appoindments he had … the whole family went, of course. We stopped in a little store we’d seen before, that has nice clothing for babies, and up to size 6x in girls and 7 in boys, plus nice wooden toys and such kinds of stuff. Then we decided to go to the mall and see what kind of maternity clothing was there. Ah, the bad day afterwords is alright, for I know how painful the journey was and the worstmentless of it, or doing it again.

Yes, eBay is the place for shopping for maternity clothing!

I have been going through my stuff, and having a hard time with most of it, memories, but I will not wear most of it again. I only wear dresses now, and hate wearing “shorts” or “pants”. (plus, my stance on modesty keeps me happily in dresses!) I do wear tights or leggings under dresses, that’s just not the same as “pants” or “shorts”. So then, I have a nice black jumper from 1995/96 Motherhood Maternity, it needs dry cleaned. Then I need to find my blouse I usually wear with it, but probably need a new one. Anyhow, that was one of my farorite things to wear in the past pregnancies, and I find now, looking at it, that it’s rather short πŸ˜‰ My tastes have changed remarkably. Anyhow, it’ll work alright, as it is below the knees.

Another favorite is a dark blue dress with white polkadots. It’s a long dress, nice coller,swingy skirt, and it’ needs dry cleaned too. It was folded on a shelf, and I took it down and was looking at it, and found a funny spot of white on it and there next to it was a worm (the white must be a webby thing that it hached out of). Uh Oh. It was probably about to start eating clothing. Yikes! Good thing I was prompted internally to look at doing something with my maternity clothing.

So that leaves me with shirts and weird stuff.

I have three things coming to me that will be great to wear out and to church. eBay, another “of course”. Very good deals, all of them.

I’m watching another auction right now, and it has 4 dresses in it, and oh I’m hoping to get it. They’ll be the things I wear at home or some of them also out.

I’ll be seeing about putting some of my stuff I don’t want up on auction soon. Plus I have a load a particular brand of Chr. Romance books that I’ll sell in one or two huge lots.

What I make in those things is funding for other eBay purchases.

All things listing on eBay are more difficult for me now that we don’t have a digital camera again (the one is out for repair, hopefully warranty in full effect and coverage!) So that’s why I’ve not been listing things since the first few I did, as the camera has been unreliable when it was here, and now is gone. I may gather a great amount and take the fewest pictures I can muster with my film camera … a thing I don’t want to do.

I find it interesting that I was starting to sell baby clothing, and considering how much of it to sell … when the camera was then oblesy not working right, and then one buyer left a nasty feedback without contacting me … and my heart wasn’t in it anymore … then just some weeks later, I find that selling my good baby clothing isn’t the best thing to be doing πŸ˜‰

I’d been wondering for a couple of years if I should give away or sell my baby things … and was reticent to do anything about it at all until December finally. Hmmm.

This is mostly due to our belief of leaving our family size to God’s planning. We don’t “try” to have more children, nor “try not to” have more children. Considering that, we at this point have 3 children, and one on the way, in over 12 years of marriage. It’s wonderful that God is blessing us with another child, which I’m so thrilled with, as I love babies and “at least four” is what I’d considered all my life long as “being right for me”.

So all this coming together, baby clothing, feeling able to give it up finally, then finding I will need it afterall if all goes well. It’s just very interesting to consider.

Another thing, I had the crib set up as a daybed in our bedroom last year. We moved our bedroom furniture around over New Years, and the daybed has been apart, and I was going to set it up in the dining area. I hadn’t gotten to it yet. With the resent advent of our news, I now can save that set-up time and just put it up elsewhere as a full fledged crib instead, later. πŸ™‚

Please understand any mis-spelling I’ve done in this post particularly. Sometimes I just don’t spell well, my fingers fly and my mind speaks the word, but my fingers spell it wrong. Pre-old-age-disease? Lack-of-mineral-or-vitamem? Not-enough-good-literature-reading-these-last-few-years? Ah, my new excuse — Pregnancy-brain? πŸ˜†

I’m too tired right now to attempt spell checking, when my spelling don’t work so well with any spell-check I’ve got on my computer πŸ˜‰

I’m in need of posting. I’ve done very little the last week. So here are my thoughts! It feels good to get them down on a page of something, whether paper or internet. I love blogging. πŸ™‚

New part of this site

Click here for the newest part of this site. Officially opened on March 6, 2004 …

Fried eggs: the right way

I’m making myself breakfast right now, and boy oh boy how I have missed my home laid eggs!

I’m using the first two eggs laid, brown ones they are, and frying them as I normally do, in hot butter but on a low heat to gently cook them. They are gorgeous!

We have bought the best eggs we could in the store this winter, as we used to before having hens … and this time is even more noticable at to how much better backyard fresh eggs are. We aren’t into Spring grass yet, so it’ll just get better than this.

My eggs are lovely to look at, orange yolks sitting high in their bed of whites, firm yet delicate. Nearly too good looking to eat … nearly πŸ˜‰

How many eggs I’ll have to share this year is still up in the air. I’ll do it if I can, but I sure will use the ones I need to and not be using any more store eggs if possible, as last year we did.

Store eggs, ANY kind, bleck! (I haven’t been eating eggs except in quich and other dishes all winter, so to eat them breakfasty like, fried, scambled, french omlet — got to be backyard laid!)

Lion and Lamb

Tradtion says that if March comes in like a Lion it’ll go out like a Lamb, visa versa.

That’s what I learned as a small child in Pennsylvania.

It’s not a useful saying in The South though. In any case, March 1 and 2 have been blustery, windy, but nice days. Lots of wind gusts and high breezes, warm temperatures. Clouds and sun. We may have some showers today, it’s rather overcast now, but a high overcast, not that low oppressive type.

If you’ve seen my eggreport you know that we have eggs being laid now. Just the fourth day in a row now. For us it’s a true herald of Spring. Last year, our new pullet Leghorns began laying in March. This year, our Wyandottes (brand spanking new hens, not pullets anymore!) started off the second to last day of February, and the first Leghorn hen laid today.

Our Weeping Willow tree is putting out green leaves, won’t be very long before it’s flushed out full. That’s a sight I love.

All the other trees are getting their buds ready, won’t be long there either. Peonies have magenta nubs coming up from the ground, some other perenials are showing their growth as well.

My herbs, I transplanted some from my regular garden into my small herb garden. I’m filling it in piece by piece, and hope to do a lot of work on it this Spring. Well, my Chives are starting to take off just the last couple of days since I’ve moved them. It’s the weather, the time to do it. I moved them by disturbing them the least I could, I transferred them as large chunks of earth and roots, into loose-soil filled holes. This is their second seaons on growth. I bought them as a 4″ pot Spring 2003, and divided them into three parts. I decided to do that as an economical way to get three distinct plants going, but not expecting them to be huge for quite awhile. Start small, wait for full development in time.

As for time, I also have a few varieties of Thyme. I transferred my German Thyme from the regular garden as well. So now there are Wooley, English and German varieties. They were all new small pots of herbs in Spring 2003. I expect them to take off better this year. All the herbs that survived the winter kept growing some during the winter. I also have Curled Parsely, still in the regular garden — it’s supposed to be an annual, but stayed small and green all winter, and is super green and growing in size now the last week. I ‘m debating on moving it or not. I think I may leave it be. I have my lettuce right next to it. I’m doing things this year that I haven’t done the past few that I’ve gardened with purpose.

I’ve wanted to do lettuce, but didn’t do any. Finally I have four little leaf lettuce plants out there. They were planted yesterday, and should be ready in 5 weeks. It’s not as cool as maybe they’d prefer, this week anyhow, but we shall see what happens. I have six Walla Walla onions set. 110 days, maybe they’ll work, maybe they won’t. I have to be careful and figure out what to feed them, so that they’ll stay sweet. High maintenance? Maybe. I *usually* garden au naturel, not feeding, just planing and watering as needed, and treating for worms (started that last year) if need be. I intend to figure out what to plant where for best pest deterent stuff naturally, and to figure out what’s good to follow in the same spot next year. Right now, I’m just winging it. The way I do too much πŸ˜‰

I want to get some pole beans started soon, and be sure to plant some more in stages, to have beans sooner and later, and see what’s the best, and all that in terms of planting when, etc.

Tomatoes, I want to find plants that are heirloom, not starting them from seed myself (I just like some things in plants better than fooling with seed) I’ll put them in a different place than I did last year. Whatever tomotoes I find to plant.

I’m going to put some veggies next to the deck too, where I’ve let scraps go to rot over the years (and had tomato and canteloupe and onion sprout themselves nicely). So I’ll see what I can do about a narrow garden that can be tied to the deck for trailing beans and such. (easy pickin too!)

I’ll be throwing sunflower seeds out in some places to get flushes of them, in stages if I can do that. I’ve grown to really love them. I just use the bird seed I buy for the birdies, black oil sunflowers. Maybe I’ll get fancy and get something special in a packet to try as well. (the birds always plant some sunflowers themseleves around the feeders, as well as millet) Last year I accidentally spilled a bunch of sunflower seeds around the big feeder in the back yard, and it was a circle of wonder not so long later.

Out front I scattered extra under the feeder, to get more flowers than we had the year before. I’ve got to get some feeders cleaned and fixed now. Our big backyard one fell over a couple of weeks ago in a wind storm. I’ll be trying to install it on the railing of the deck instead now, once I get some areas re-nailed. It’s done-for on the post in the ground.

Well, that’s a slight garden/weather update, I feel like I’ve written some of this before, but I sure couldn’t find where … not that I looked very hard, mind you. So if there’s duplication of data, please don’t fret.

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