Fireplace Update & A/C Forecast

Our fireplace is still in use, and the part was supposedly ordered, but hasn’t come in yet.

It’ll be a couple more weeks of fireplace use, at least. Maybe more. Spring doesn’t look too far away looking at Accuweather data.

Then it’ll be back to the A/C to keep pollen to a minimum and hope for the best that the air will be cool enough throughout the house, but not too cold anywhere, and not too warm or hot anywhere else.

We got a new A/C system a few years ago and they had to repair a leaky outside pipe the next year, which showed us WHY it didn’t function (the A/C) very well the first year. I have more complaints about it though ever since. I despise the multiple digital zones we have. Master bedroom has the upstairs thermostat in it. That room gains so much heat winter or summer, and the attached bathroom seems like no air goes to it, just like before the A/C was fine-tuned (or was it really fine-tooned, that seems more fitting a name for it.)

The rest of the upstairs is much warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter.

The main floor has another thermostat. It’s OK, but the kitchen is still much more dramatically affected by outside weather, making it uncomfortable in their when cooking in the Spring through Fall, and miserable in the winter for the most part.

The basement has another thermostat in the hall. My office has a door and is the first room on the left, another room straight ahead, and the more open space of the basement to the right through french doors. It’s a cold hallway in the winter, with that heat turned on most of the time. My office though, it’s blasting hot in there and I HATE HEAT like that. The other room is a bedroom and kind of cold most of the time in the winter. The main basement is always either warmer or cooler, really not seeming to be much connected to the other parts I referred to before. Summer flips the switch and everything is opposite in the basement. I can tolerate colder in my office in the summer, but not so cold as it has to be to make it chilly enough elsehwhere.

My house needs per room thermostats, I swear it does. I don’t have much faith that it would even work well that way though.

So that’s what’s coming up soon. The no fires, A/C battle of pollen and heat.

Spring Already

Well, January is well into way, closer to the end than the beginning, but it’s not even Winter here anymore. It should be, though it’s not. It’s been very rainy, though it was forecasted that would be the case, a more mild winter, but overall, it’s too much like that.

We’ve had two thunderstorms this year, major thunderstorms, many rain storms besides those too. Today it was really rainy, quite rainy, hard, hard, hard, lots of thunder & lightening. Booming, wonderful thunder.

Today I remembered seeing daffodils springing up somewhere we’d been a few days ago, and so that sparked me to go out when the rain let up a bit and look at where mine are. Surprise, surprise, mine are coming up too. I was thinking that maybe the ones we’d seen had been planted by a landscaper (you know, commercial area, throw away plants or perennials? Hard to say unless you stake them out forever.) So anyhow, there are mine, some here, a few inches high, some there just peaking out, some other there, a bit more than peaking … tomorrow there may be more.

That’s early. That’s OK, but it’s not exactly something that has me at ease, I’ve seen what a late frost can do (April 2007) and this is way earlier than then, how it was in early spring (the still official winter by just a month! spring this year to compare to the early spring that year being into February …) usually spring happens in March, maybe signs in late, late February, but that’s what’s normal, March gives way to much blossoming and April even more and green leaves galore.

So we had it all happen a few weeks early last year. Now this year, even earlier. Just cyclical weirdness.

The U. S. A. has that all the time, has always, since before records were kept. Don’t quote me, it’s just my understanding of it, from billions of areas of life, not just one source, not source-able past that.

Crepe Myrtles in 2011

Our Crepe Myrtle didn’t start blooming until just this week, well, noticeable blooms forming the other week (finally!) and opening this week. It’s still a young tree, but had bloomed last year, the year before, and the year before that, and we expected it to bloom nicely this year.

In Georgia it’s notable how many Crepe Myrtles there are, looking at them you just can’t help but notice their showy full bloom splendor in the hot June, July, August months.

This year, I noticed other Crepe Myrtles not flowering, or flowering in a spotty, nastily skimpy way. I haven’t seen more than a handful of fully in bloom Crepe Myrtles (not that I’m a big traveler.)Crepe Myrtle Finally Beginning to Bloom

Our Crepe Myrtle is a Muskogee and is supposed to have a very long blooming period. Not starting until August (and not very much at that) isn’t even a short blooming period. 2011 = Very Bad Year for Crepe Myrtles

Gorgeous Pink Peonies: Eleven
Peony 2010 - photo taken May 14, 2010

Spring came early this year. It was absolute that many of my plants & trees did their Spring Thing weeks earlier than normal.

Gorgeous Pink Peony 1
Peony 2011 – photo taken May 1, 2011

With that impact noticeable it must have some sort of impact on Crepe Myrtles, I guess. Not enough “down time”? Not exactly, the Crepe Myrtle had no leaves for a long time, not too early at all, in other words. Pretty much when they usually do, I think. FWIW it’s just annoying, the one grace to a hot summer day is looking at lush, vibrant Crepe Myrtles blooming splendidly against a brilliantly blue sky.

Not in 2011.

Daffodils are now Thriving

Our daffodil population is exploding. Every day more and more are popping up. Today our first white & yellow daffodils opened. They are lovely.

Gorgeous Daffodil

It’s very hot again, and this week the humidity went to Southern Summer types. Bad enough outside, but inside it is worse right now, our A/C is totally not working (only the fan will come on, or the Heat Pump [like we want that right now :roll-eyes] – it’s too old and needs overhauled — really needs to be hauled OUT. We need new, better, the one we have NEVER worked awesomely, never was up to snuff most of the summer. Too small and wrong for the space we have.

Crepe Myrtle killed back, waiting for re-growth

Crepe Mytle I’m awaiting my Crepe Myrtle to re-grow. In 2007 the April 17th-ish freeze killed back all the then Crepe Myrtle spring growth. It was rather far along with nice little leaves showing … then black goo from the two days of freezing temps. It did put out some puny leaves after that, eventually, that’s all.

Next year it had nice leaves, that’s all.

This year (2009) it was putting out little buds to open into leaves and then blam, an early April freeze, just barely, again. But this year the freeze was lesser than the 2007 April freeze by far and wide with the Crepe Myrtle very early into it’s growth for 2009, and noticeably affected just barely, but within a few days it was just brown dried up stuff where the leaf buds were. That nice new growth starting cut off. 🙁

I’ve looked online and found info from 2007 about freeze damage, and the basic consensus is to leave the poor trees alone, and when another warm spell of a few days lasts it’ll put out new growth again.

Thing is I’m hoping for more than growth, but nice leaves and actual blooms for once. I supposed it’s a young Crepe Myrtle and perhaps hasn’t liked where it is, in the South with the drought, and in the front with not full sunlight all day. It’s where the landscaper we hired years ago had put a Crepe Myrtle on our landscape plans, and we put it in finally a few years ago. It’s supposed to get lilac color blooms. We’ve had plenty of water the last few weeks, and that’s a plus, hope the Crepe Myrtle see it that way.

There are a few suckers coming up that I need to get rid of, and perhaps I could do a little tiny shape pruning, other than that, there’s not much I can do. I sure won’t top it off, no way. That’s a very mean thing to do to a Crepe Myrtle and I bet 75% of the Crepe Myrtles I see around the NE GA area are topped off every year. Horrid.

Cooped up and Projects

Things are greening up massively outside, Spring is here. I feel so cooped up though, with little access to the back yard, only through the dark hole like downstairs, which I despise to go through. It was supposed to be our “family room” but has just become a place where I don’t go, it’s dirty and junkier than I can stand. The children go down there and watch TV and spend time there, and just make the couch all dirty and make a general mess. We have things boxed up there too, with no storage in the house to speak of, so it’s a cramped space at best, and there is little light, so it’s a dark hole to me. It’s a concrete floor as well, so I do not care to try to make it seem nice, it just wouldn’t be for me and the baby, no matter what, for now.

One of these days we’ll get a new deck built and the sliding doors in the kitchen, then I will have back yard access again. 🙂 And sometime later hopefully we’ll have a patio by the deck, which the downstairs “hole” will open up out onto, and a new door there as well, to let in more light.

We have indoor projects to get done too though, getting a new floor laid for the main level and completing the floors upstairs (which are partially put in) and then all those floors will need sanded and finished (a true tung oil finish.)

Then getting the kitchen cabinets “installed” and countertops ordered and installed, and more …

There is so much inside that needs done, and outside, including the house needs painted in and out. All these things are big deals, take $$$$ and hard work together, which are not anything I can affect myself, so I feel cooped up. Living with the not yet.

Speaking of that, we are super watchful of the baby since he can crawl and cruise, he’ll be walking anytime now. We have to retrofit the stair areas so that we can install gates. It’s been so long since we had babies to baby proof for, and “back in the day” it was a nightmare getting the stairs “gated” and it just won’t work out this time to try without re-building parts of things.

Baby has to spend more time in his play yard now, which he just ain’t happy about. That’s the price he has to pay though, so he doesn’t tumble down any stairs. It really feels more like MY price to pay, since I have to listen to the wails of “let me out” for 70% of his play yard stays. He’s content to play on the safe floor for awhile, then remembers the stairs to up … and off he powercrawls and starts to climb, and after him I have to go to get him off the stairs. Then it’s play yard time, or sometimes baby swing time, or crib time.

Play yard time is wailing time, but crib time is wailing an screaming time, and oh boy that just never changes. He wants to be with me, free to hold onto me if he wants, not separated at all. He’s so active though, as well, and that makes holding him impossible, even when he seems to want to be held, so it all goes in cycles, hold, put down, play nice, then crawl to stairs, into my arms, too squirmy, into play yard, or swing or crib, cry, cry, cry, or add in screaming, stay there awhile, come out and start it all over again. Getting the stair areas gate-able will really help me out. So that, I think is the one thing we must tackle. It really should cost $ or at the most $$. It’s necessary, but we can’t do it until we have the money to do that, and we are going out of town when we next get paid, and so it’ll be us living with this for another week, then leaving for a few days, then coming back to this and hopefully having the money and energy to tackle the project.

Just that alone will be a reassuring thing, safety is important.

Hennies 2008

Our hens began laying in mid-late February, and are now fully laying, I think. We were away most of last week, so I’ll spend the next few days starting to track when they lay, and get a pattern down on paper to understand it all.

One bad thing happened, on Saturday morning I looked out the window of the kitchen and saw one of my beautiful big Black Australorps loose, just pecking at the ground gracefully. I ran out and picked her up and got her back in the pen. I couldn’t see any reason for her escape, and the only thing I can figure is that the night before when my hubby went out upon our return, it was nearly dark, and somehow he might have let her out without knowing, as he collected the eggs.

No harm in that though, the Australorps are very gentle and calm, and whenever it was that she got out, she hung around.

The bad thing is this though: I went out on Sunday afternoon to look at them all and see if there were any eggs and to talk to them. I got to the A-frame pen and counted and freaked, one of the black hens wasn’t in there, as far as I could tell.

I got my DH and he came out and indeed, there was one missing for certain. We walked all around the yard, but found not one sign of her. It wasn’t one of the big Australorps, it was the other black hen that looks like them, but is smaller, sort of bantam but not exactly.

Later I just happened to be looking out the window and saw the dog hovering over a small black mound in front of the swingset, as if he’d just put it there. I ran out, gathering my DH as I went, and sure enough, it was the missing little black hen, very dead.

It isn’t clear how that happened, was she missing already when I got the Australorp back into the pen on Saturday? I don’t know if I counted, or not. I must have “felt that they were all there” to some degree. I have no actual memory of “making sure” though.

So when we discovered she was missing, was she dead already, or alive, hidden or hiding? The one place we didn’t look was under the small tractor that’s sitting in the yard. The only other possible hiding place was under the crawl space, which was accessible due to the “screen” falling off the foundation wall, a small thing that covers the masonry brick thing which is open to air out the crawl space, covered with the screen to keep critters out. Since it falls off all the time, and was off already, maybe a scared little hen went in there to hide, then came out later when the dog was out in the yard and he got her? Or maybe he got her earlier and somehow hid her from us? At the time we looked for her the dog was inside still, from the night before. We let him out later after we looked all around the yard without finding even one sign of her.

Oh well, it was sad. I felt so horrible when we found her.

So we now have 4 hens in the A-Frame and then 3 others in the SuperYard. We lost a bunch of hens all the sudden one after the other, from the bunch that are now in the SuperYard, but were in a different pen before, about a month ago or so. The three that are left are plugging along and laying now. They are Rhode Island Red types (maybe mixed to some extent.)

The A-Frame hens are the 2 Black Australorps and 2 Golden-Laced Wyandottes. These are hennies we’ve had for a long time now. Started with more, but lost them here and there due to different reasons.

So our total hennie population currently is; 7.

That’s a drastic reduction in the number of eggs I expected to get this spring. Oh well. We had about 14 or 15 hens at the start of 2008.

But the ones we have are laying and seemingly doing fine. Spring is beginning and trees are beginning to come “back to life” as well.

Allergies and house stuff

Goo … I feel miserable. My “normal” allergies have just been la, la, la all along this Spring, until about a week ago. They ramped up, but even moreso this week.

So here I am, 36+3 (wks+days) pregnant and it’s hard enough to get the energy I need to do stuff … forget it now. 😉

It’s my eyes, they feel big and swollen and red, just the rims look it though; my nose is goopey drippey stuffy, not dry, very, very wet; my throat is scratchy, it’s getting more sore on one side, as it does in heavy allergy times (like in my earlier years in Florida); my nose is itchy as well. I’m sneezing off and on and always, always dripping.

Hubby is coming home tonight and so I hope I can get some Benadryl soon. I have a small amount of liquid Benadryl that I have started to take itty bitty bits of here and there since yesterday. I only take small amounts of it in the first place, as a “usual dose” knocks me out or over. I take a child’s or even a half-child’s dose and it’s bad enough.

I need to get the house A/C filter changed out again. It’s an allergenic sort, with a high value for use, but this house is full of dusty dust blobs, so it needs to be changed out more often than it might in another house. It’s not as big a deal when allergies aren’t high, but when they are … it’s a huge deal to get a new filter sooner, way sooner than usual.

Today I’m getting all the bedding washed and changed, I hope. I need to. One problem I have is changing the bedding, it’s difficult for me usually, being smaller than most “Normal” folks, as well as now being bigger bellied 🙂 Another one is that our bed is a Queen size. We had used this one for awhile, then got a King size, and over the years the Queen size was rarely used, and the King size wore out, so we are using the Queen this past year or so again … hoping to get an entirely new setup ASAP from IKEA. As well, we have King and Queen sheets, and the labels are all worn down and so it’s like “Which size is this one?” and if hubby puts the sheets on the bed, he puts whatever on. If it’s a King bottom sheet, it’s too loose width-wise and comes off easily, which I dispise entirely. I am also realizing that the most sheets we have purchased in the last 5-years or more are flannel King sheets for the previous King size mattress set we had.

The other thing is that there is one sheet set that I know is Queen. The bottom sheet I have on the foundation. So it’s unavailable (the foundation looks hideous and needs covered.) I don’t have a dust ruffle for a Queen either, and as well the foundation rests on the floor, we took the old H-frame out a few months ago, it was so rickety and I knew it’d be easier for me to get in and out of bed with it on the floor anyhow.

So yesterday I was in the hall closet looking for pillowcases & sheets, and found one ugly dark green sheet (which I had for a Queen futon “couch” that we don’t have a futon mattress for anymore) and one pillowcase for that, and another pillowcase from a nice white pair with a pretty eyelet thick edge but I have one covering a window.

I need more than that, and it comes down to looking and pondering and knowing that there must be more somewhere, but where. Ah, some are worn, ripped, or just hideous (as in “why did we ever buy that color, pattern, etc.”) and are probably in some of the stuff in the garage, or in the laundry room, buried.

Our master bedroom has no finished floor and is supposed to be quite the opposite by the end of this holiday (Memorial Day) weekend. This should aide somewhat in the dust and blech in the house. (The other thing is to get the basement ceiling finished!) We have 8″+ wide unfinished Heart Pine. It’s so pretty. We are going to do all 3 bedrooms eventually, as well as the hallway, but will just do our bedroom and the hallway for the time being. The children have Pergo currently and that is sufficient for the time being (though it’s not very nice IMO.)

That is that –for now. 🙂

April Freeze Damage

I posted the other day about the “freezing weather” and wanted to post an update on the situation.

When I looked at the back yard after the sun came up Sunday mornig it was obviously “frosty” out — the grass was not the bright verdant color that is usual of late. I waited awhile for things to warm up, then waited longer … and finally set out to spy the damage or not.

The apple trees are in a sad state of affairs. They did not have that blooming pink look from afar, and getting closer it was obviously brown droopy looking, the blossoms that had opened mostly all were affected from what I could see. There are many blossom that aren’t opened yet, and I don’t want to disturb any of them yet to check for damage.

The white dogwood (in the back yard too) looked sad, the blossoms just hanging there, the leaves mostly looked alright.

The Eastern Redbud tree is close-by the dogwood, and it was totally drippy looking, the blooms had already faded before the freeze, and it was leafing out so nicely, but the leaves were so delicate, they were black and drippy looking, gooey, icky. The whole tree is full of that black sludge which used to be sweet spring leaves.

We have 3 Autumn Flame Maples in the back yard, and they are done with their bloom and have been leafing out. They are not fully leafed out yet, and the leaves are fairly small. From what I saw they look a bit droopey, but not totally affected –maybe.

We have 2 Paperbark Maples as well back there, and their little fresh leaves that have been coming out lately are super-droopey.

We have other trees that are fully leafed out already and they faired fine.

Out in our front yard the 2 Cherokee Chief Dogwoods we have faire alright, their only blooms are high up and seem pretty much unaffected.

We had planted a new tree a few weeks ago, and it began leafing out just in the last week or so. It’s leaves are pretty much like the Eastern Redbud that I described above, drippy and black-ish. 🙁

My Hostas were coming up, quite large and lovely, and they are brown sludge now. 🙁

The peonies have been putting out growth and they seem alright, we’ll see later. There are a few buds starting and time will tell.

The little irises I have have been growing up, but they look a bit dippy, it’s just the “leaf” part, no buds or blooms started yet.

The Japanese ‘Bloodgood’ Maple is fully leafed out, but the leaves aren’t as big as they’ll eventually get, and they look a tad relaxed. Time will tell whether or not they rebound with strength this week.

That’s most of the damage.

The weather was forecasted to be very much below freezing last night, but I didn’t check the forecast as nighttime drew closer. We did not have freezing temps, probably 39 in reality as a low, if not a bit higher. So there shouldn’t be any further damage to what’s left.

I haven’t seen a Spring Freeze like this since being in GA, and before that I was in S. FL for many years. So I don’t have any experience regarding what will occur. I have seen trees drop their leaves in Summer from drought, and re-grow some later on, FWIW. We had long drought conditions in past years on this property, but that’s not been the case for a little while now. I was looking forward to a vigorous growing season all around, trees, flowers, garden, and it’s the phrase of April now, “time will tell” — time being “the progressive movement of the season” –not the ‘clock’ sort of time. 🙂

April Freeze and Gardening 2007

From Friday night to Saturday morning it was supposed to be really cold, just below freezing. I don’t think that actually happened on our property … yes it was cold, but not quite to freezing, from how the grass and blooms and herbs and such look in our yard(s) as of Saturday afternoon …

Now it’s the Saturday night to Sunday morning freeze warning time, and temperatures are supposed to be even lower, in the 20’s tonight/morning as well as tommorow night (Sunday to Monday AM.)

One clue for “how cold is it right now” that I employ to reason about what’s going on outside is the heat pump, which sits outside on the ground with pipes going into the house and up the wall into the attic space … and that’s right behind our master bedroom, right where the bed is situated, of course (the only “real placement” for the bed, unfortunately.) When it’s really cold the heat pump doesn’t do a good job, the closer it gets to freezing, there isn’t enough “warmth” in the air to pull it into the house for warmth inside via the houses air system. It makes a horrid racket when it’s actually freezing or lower and the heat pump is running.

Friday to Saturday it sounded similar to how it sounds right now. It’s the Saturday to Sunday time currently, 5:30am approx. and accuweather “says” right now it’s 28 degrees. Well that’s not exactly right, since our property doesn’t have a weather station nearby, and when I have had a decent temperature gauge for outdoors I was able to compare and know for sure that our temps here are not the same as what ‘they’ say (nor actual weather, like clouds, rain, snow, etc.)

So we are waiting for the daylight hours to see what it’s like outdoors, and I hope things will be alright. We have three dwarf apple trees that don’t always bloom so nice. Guess what? They sure are THIS year, ALL THREE of them at the same time. So it does figure that we have the first late cold snap ever since living here … this late, April.

Not only that, usually the two trees that are alike, Liberty variety, don’t actually “bloom” with their opened blossoms until later in April, and the third tree, MacFree variety, blooms after that (which isn’t really helpful since two varieties are needed to fertilize for apples.) There was definitely something funky going on with the MacFree and I was finally able to prune out major parts of it last year, when they suddenly got such long branches growing, it was obviously the root stock trying to take over. What’s is left untouched now is the real MacFree, as far as it seems, and this Spring 2007 is the first time it’s actually produced masses of buds.

We planted these trees in early Spring of 1998, and then did move them to another area a few years later. In any case, the Liberties have blossomed well in the past, but given us few apples. The MacFree never did blossom very well, though when it did better it was not of use to the Liberty trees. Last couple of years there were a few apples on the MacFree (so there is something else in the area that bees are using to fertilize my trees, obviously.)

Such promise I put in the apple trees this year, and then the Spring was so warm, and the trees started to form buds in March. That is not usual. We didn’t have a freeze in March really, it was regular last freeze around March 15, but nothing major, and temperatures were very warm most of the time, very warm indeed. Last (2005/2006) winter was a warm one, and things were so very mild, but the apple trees still didn’t set blooms until into April in 2006. This past winter (2006/2007) was fairly mild overall, and we didn’t have much “weather” in the way of ice or snow, no major storm at least. We did have rain more often than usual, though not so much overall. In any case, everything has been blooming so nicely this year, and that includes the apple trees, and unfortunately for them it’s not a good thing this year. 🙁

Dogwoods are blooming right now too. The Cherokee Chief variety we have in the front don’t have a lot of blooms, but where they do is at the top and they are lovely (we need to do some work on those trees, pruning.) We have a white dogwood in the backyard and it’s in full glory of bloom. It’s gorgeous. Driving around the area, Dogwoods are bursting forth in massive color and bloom. It’s a grand year for Dogwoods. Or it was. We’ll see later on. 🙁

So many other plants are past bloom already and in the process of leafing out, some leafed out in full already (like our Japanese ‘Bloodgood’ Maple tree, our Weeping Willow tree, and our wild Blackberries are in full leaf and actually setting blooms and some are opening already.)

As I write this the heat pump is starting to struggle for the first time this night-time. It’s not super bad, but does sound bad enough, so it’s near 32 or below a tad … but doesn’t “sound” like it’s in the 20’s, while currently accuweather says right now it’s 28, oh I just loaded the page again and now they say “30” but that’s where anyhow? Miles away.

Hubby did put a blanket on my herb garden (which doesn’t have much in it, but does have a super-duper verdent perennial Chives that is just about ready for harvesting — already!) — it’s the whiskey barrel garden. I have lots of new herbs to plant in it, we got them last weekend, but I didn’t plant them due to the weather outlook. So they are in the garage awaiting their time to transplant.

I have lots of seeds to start and since it did snap so cold I’m fine with the fact that I haven’t even started my seeds yet –it is something I do need to do in the next couple of days, though.

Northern Mockingbirds June 2005

Northern Mockingbird Nestlings

On June 2, 2005 the Northern Mockingbird’s in our backyard Autumn Flame Maple Tree fledged. They do not really fly right away. They come out and hop around on the ground.

I was expecting them to be ready anytime then and through that weekend. In the morning we found one baby out of the nest under the tree. Frank put the baby back into the nest, as we know that is alright when not sure if it’s “time” yet. Not too long later there were two babies out, so that was it. 🙂

There were 4 babies that hatched and grew, but only three fledged. I got out the ladder after three were out but no other sounds coming from the nest for awhile.

The fourth baby was there, maybe strangled trying to get out? In any case, it was fully as grown as the others, and limp, dead, head wedged in and out of some sticks … poor thing.

We watched the birds all that day, and the most energetic baby popped under a low spot on the fence line and dissapeared. The remaining two babies stayed in the yard until late in the day, then they too dissapeared.

We haven’t seen them flying about yet, hope to see them, or some other baby Northern Mockingbirds sometime soon!

The pictures above are of the nest and the babies in the yard. Three babies in total, just different views of them. Forgive the blurryness, my digital isn’t so hot on close-ups sometimes. 🙁

Categorized as General Tagged

Deep Pink Peony

This is one of two peony flowers to open up already. It’s early. The other peonies are still growing. This plant is producing dark pink flowers. My other peonies produce light pink flowers. This seems to be the first-time for this plant to blossom. There is at least one other that should be a first-time blossomer this year as well.

Spring Flowers

These photos were all taken on April 19, 2005

Dogwood – Cherokee Chief blossoms

Peony – Blossoms forming

Flower – reappearing after Winter’s sleep – forget what it is, obviously a perrennial!

Apple Trees will bloom soon

Our Liberty Apple trees will be blooming soon. The buds are setting and two on one of the trees opened today. I supposed many will open tomorrow and Monday. The problem with this is that the tree that needs to bloom so that the Liberty blossoms can be fertilized is our MacFree, which rarely has put out more than a handful of blooms and usually those only open when the Liberty trees have nearly finished there bloom. It’s frustrating since we bought these trees through a catalog nursery which said these two are good together for making apples. Hmph. We do need to trim down the MacFree, it may be growing all wrong, from the root stock more than from the MacFree. These are Semi-Dwarf apple trees. So really I want to get Crab Apple trees … they’ll do the job of looking nice and helping out the Liberty Apple blossoms. We don’t have any plans to get any Crab Apple trees installed though, at this point.

One day I hope we can move from this property and I’ll be sad to leave these Apple trees. I’ve wanted to do good by them and get sprays and helps for them, so far they are au’ naturel except for some pruning and fireblight spray help in past years. It costs money to upkeep apple trees. Money that we would have had but didn’t have after all the job changes in the past years since we got the trees. So we got the trees with good intentions.

If we are able to go sooner than later, or perhaps get some land first that we will build upon … then we could move these trees, but I wouldn’t want to do that later than sooner. I’d feel better about it moving them to another place where we would be with them for longer, while we still had this property and could replace the trees here with something else before selling. It’s a sort of silly attachment to the trees that I have. I don’t think they are doing as well here as they would do on another property. We got the trees right when I first was pregnant with Victoria, and we planted them after we had just known for certain our second child was on the way for a week or so. They have special meaning therefore. I chose them for the type and name and they ended up being more special due to baby stuff afterthefact.

So it goes that we have another year of Spring Fertilization beginning and little hope of a nice apple crop once again as well. If the bee population is higher it would be helpful, and if there are other apple trees in the area that could be a help under higher bee population conditions. I would have bees on our own larger property, for fertilization of apples and veggy garden, and for honey. I won’t get into that sort of thing in our little subdivision though. So we are dependant on whatever conditions prevail … and that will be blessed by God this year I hope, so we can have some apples in September, just a few would be nice. Liberty apples are so crisp and sweet. So very nice. We have had only a few but never enough nice ones to have for long. Just a few for a day or two’s use, then none. Or not even that. Disease and yucky who-knows-what kind of things take most of the apples that form. So I’m anxious for the day when I can have pro-active sprays to increase yield, and bees and other trees to aide fertilization!

A thunderous weekend expected

It’s been very warm and late Spring-Like today. Right now temps outside are supposedly in the high 70’s. Tomorrow temp high is supposed to be about 66 degrees F. That’s more like early Spring 😉

We are also supposed to be getting Thunderstorms later tonight and tomorrow. That’s very Spring-like. Volatile weather. I do love those kind of storms, but don’t like it if they cause damage, of course, but that’ s just a fact of life since The Fall of Man in the beginning. Something that must be understood from the Biblical View that is correct … something that Man rejects without being stirred by God, since the Fall disconnected the spirit of Man from God, as Adam and Eve had direct communion with Him at first.

God is shown to us in nature. Thunderstorms are one of those sorts of mighty things that shows God’s work and truth. But this is not enough to make man recognize Him and Who He Is. But it is not His fault. It is the hardened peoples fault. It is enough, should be enough but is NOT since the plan from the beginning was for man to come to God through Jesus Christ. His shed blood for our account is what is needed. Whomever comes to Him is saved. Why? No man comes to the Father lest he be called. No dead man stirs himself. Only a quickened heart may beat alive and answer the call.

God uses nature’s witness to make man understand who He is and answer that call. It’s one of His methods to make man see what his heart condition is like. It’s not the only thing though. The PRIMARY is the Gospel and that is through HEARING the WORD. Is that what saves? No. It is GOD who saves. Hearing the word isn’t magic. IMO it’s the ability to hear the Word that is PROOF of a quickened heart. It’s recognition software, in other words. It’s the truth that drives man to God on his knees. It’s the utter ability to hear and understand, all because of that inward quickening and call.

So the hearing may also then hear the thunder and understand that God’s Might Power is real. This confounds the wicked, those who are of stone hearts. They will explain it in any way they can, but fail to acknowledge God. That is purely the point we turn on constantly. It is not man who comes, but God who calls. It is still though man’s own fault for not coming. Man sinned. Man needs God. God chooses and calls, and those who do not come stay dead, they aren’t called. It’s not for us to grasp and understand. It’s the way it is. God’s Way, not mans. Thank God for that. I thank God for the calling of His Children and for that being the thing that He does in families, not some whim here and there, but a steady wind … ever widening.

I look forward to the rain and wind and lightening and thunder. I pray for the safety of God’s children and things. We should all pray for the safety of His children, but also that God’s Truth may be made known to more souls through the challenges they are presented with in storms such as are marching across the southern U.S. this weekend, as well as other weather damages throughout the world past and future.

Spring continues to break out

It’s another wonderful Spring day. A commenter yesterday was jealous of the weather here. 😉 Surely that is a good thing! For now. Another day I’m sure it would be quite not that. Wait until a month or two has passed and temperatures will be hotter than hot. :veryshocked:

Spring growth is occuring in more places now. Weeds are springing up mightily and faster than that. Just two days ago there wasn’t as much “green” out there, what we call our yards, that is.

I did a bit of work, not much, just a bit, in my herb garden. That’s a great big task to hack at later. The weeds are nasty around the edges, I must move them back and get some sort of brick border installed. I bought a Sage plant and installed that today. I moved some Thyme around too, there are woody dead looking parts, and that’s what I moved. To see if it would come to life over there, fill out another corner, or not. If not, no big deal, it’s in the back, not as primary in view as where it was previously.

On the opposite end of that square of herbaceous-supposed-growing-grounds are two areas with “for show only” value. They are perennials and haven’t started to grow back up to the sun as of yet. No hurry, I say. The weeds are thick throughout that area, and I don’t want to battle them out with tender shoots coming up. Purple Cone Flower is one type, the other I keep forgetting, a Giant “A-something-0r-other”, butterflies love the pink flowers on it. It gets fairly large.

The Yoshino Cherry Trees are starting burst out into flowery beauty. A few of the buds have opened today, first day of Yoshino opened buds. 🙂 All the buds, or most of them, are very pink and getting fuller and fuller and I hope to get a good photo when they all burst out into glorious song!

The area around the October Glory Maple in the front yard is needing work. I have to get more flowery plants out there sometime. The grassy weeds are encroaching where I don’t want them, but can’t get them out of there at all. It’s the area that we are naturalizing with … um, you know, star, or burst, or fire, oooh, the name escapes, little perennial bulbs that grow each season and get bigger and bigger. They grow tall green spikes and unfurl their little blooms top down, firey crimson beauties. Onions and grasses are there when the main livers go dormant. That’s late fall through early Spring. Every Spring new little plants spring up. These plants are super producers and naturalize easily. Right now that’s what is happening. Under all the weeds, little cuties are getting green and popping up to become bulbs eventually, if they get that far. The ones that are older are bulbs and will begin to put up spikes again fairly soon.

The pussy willow bush is there too. It’s not really going further, just waiting for something … or … ?

We have so much work to do outside, and not quite enough rescources to fill in what we’d like to. There is renovation work too that we’d like to do, but don’t know if this is the year we’ll be able to, rip out the ocncrete sidewalk and put down a new paver one from a different point and path to the door. That is in accordance to our landscaping plan we had drawn up some years ago. It would give more useful landscaping space outside of the house where the current dining room is. Right now it’s just a 2 foot wide space of dirt and weeds and wildflowers, then concrete sidewalk. I don’t like the sidewalk there. People show up right in front of the door so fast with no warning that way. Talk about shocking an introvert :veryshocked: It’s an efficient walk, to a degree, but not ergonomic nor asthetic. It could be rip out and forgetten easily. A graceful curve from further up the driveway would be nicer, and with a branch up towards the road to the mailbox. Foot traffic then would come down through the property, not down the side and out of view of the occupants of the house as is now.

Plants and dirt and mulch and other things cost so much, so we’ve had to do what we can when we could in the past, and are still doing that. Some years ago we did have some extra $ and we had to decide what to do. We had to put trees in, and had to do that first, so that they could grow and anchor into the land and be the corner posts of all the landscaping. The support framework, whathaveyou. That kind of thing was important to us as we had no trees except for the Locust on the side-line of our property and the neighbors, by the garage. It was the one lone tree.

That one lone tree was once small, but is very big now. It has produce many offspring too. Under our deck is one growing since last year. It’s small, and needs to be moved. Just a foot high, still dormant right now. I think I’ve written about the tree that needs moved that’s in front of the gate … it’s the first big offspring of that big lone Locust tree. It’s really large now, and must be moved this Spring.

I’ve spied new offspring this week too. Little division leafsets coming up. They are peculiar and very noticeable. Thick and definitely not a weed. I’ve grown some of them before, but not to adult hood. I wasn’t a good waterer and they died while still in small containers. I did the same to some baby maple trees. I just don’t have the right area set up to propogate little trees to bigger-hood to then plant in permanent place. But I’ve had fun working with them and seeing what’s what. I will have better success if I can get just a little bit of other stuff done this year.

So I did take those tiny new sprouted Locust seed growths and put two of them in better spots of the back yard, and put a big stick as a marker by them so they won’t get trodden or mowed over.

Two others I have in a little pot, I can’t leave them there, I will kill them if I do :shocked: It’s just a holding tank, for lack of other termage. Once they start getting bigger, putting out roots … they’ll be hungry and thirsty and need to be in the Good Earth.

I’m thinking of veggies now too. I need to get some tomatoes out, and get some seed and grow some tomatoes to put out myself later in the season, for the second half. So I need plants to set out first. I haven’t had good fortune with the ones I had last year. I’m not sure exactly where I’ll get the plants, or where I’ll put them. I’m itching for some good home grown fresh tomatoes though, with sea salt and mayo. Mmm, Mmmm, Mmmmmmmm!

Besides all that, it’s Spring and a happy time of the year, or should be. But it’s a sad time for me. This is the week that is the one year anniversary of miscarrying our 4th baby, and I just can’t get rid of the images of it all. It has nearly split me into two people. One is depressed and one is not. But we are one, not one is truly depressed, only that one is bright and happy, the other is dark and saddened, more sensitive and ouchy, just touched to the very quick of my soul and changed forever. I’m sensitive to this and it’s like a beacon … marking out a place and strobing light hit’s my eyes every so often. It’s empty arms right now when they would have been full, and seeing others that are alive, it just reminds me of the deep pain I carry and am not supposed to unmask for anyone but God. But here it is, that’s the truth and it’s the one year anniversary this week. I can’t help but write about it and put it into the dear Springtime bloomings things.

I’m moreso reminded of it as well because of the place where we get our hen feed from had a fire and one of their barns burned down. Many animals that we looked at and petted just a few short weeks ago lost their lives, and among them a black Ewe who was pregnant when we saw her, and gave birth to twin not long after that, they died in that fire. It haunts me, as do the deaths of this past year and a half that so heavily marked the time for me. Animals and people. My own baby being one of them. So much pain and sorrow. When God wipes the tears from our eyes, we will rejoice, and until then, the tears will fall. When time is no more, sorrow will be no more.

Spring is the season of coming to life. So it’s a happy/sad time for those who have seen death in this time. I’m encouraged by seeing the Yoshino Cherry trees getting ready to bloom. They sang a dirge for me last year, and now break into song again this year. Time marches on.

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Spring Plant Profile

Our trees, etc:

Autumn Flame Maple – 3 : blooming
October Glory Maple – 1: nearing readiness to bloom
Weeping Willow – 1: leafed out and getting longer
Apple: 3: waiting until April
Yoshino Cherry – 3: getting ready to bloom soon
Cherokee Chief Dogwood – 2: getting ready to open blooms
The mystery tree we forgot the name of – 1: blooming and leafing out
Various other little trees are starting to grow and put leaves out, no blooms on them.

Pussy Willow bush is ready to go, but isn’t yet.

Peony bushes are pushing up their burgundy spikes still.

Hostas are pushing up their purpleish spikes now too.

Iris – several plants – are growing more again

Lambs Ear – 1: is getting new growth going and extending itself further

1 unknown bulb is putting up leaves, but don’t know what it is. (it’s never flowered in previous years, it’s something left from something I planted there a few years ago that never did anything)

In my herb garden the two varieties of Thyme there are growing more, the Spring Thing! I gave them a hair cut the other week as well.

BeeBalm is getting a bit more spunky, expect it to start growing upwards again soon.

Chives are getting spunky too, starting to put out bigger greener Springy tubes.

That’s not all, there is more, but those are the main plants. It’s Spring!

Spring Begins!

It’s officially Spring now! Today is the first FULL day of Spring.

I am hoping for a decent small garden of tomatoes and peppers and whatever else. May God bless my gardening tries this growing season, and give a bountiful harvest and help me fend off the pests throughout. I pray He will allow things to be gotten for the garden, whatever it is we need. I dedicate this growing season to Him. He is the creator and the one whom controls all, to His Glory is this growing season!