SPRING! Finally…On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!


It was a tough winter for most everyone-especially those north of here. We finally feel that we are “out of the woods” as far as more snow and cold comes. Some people never stop fixing things and working, though. Take for example, Glenn, my husband. He’s been at it since Jan.

We both did much inside this year but Glenn gets the prize for tough jobs! In Jan., we had very, very cold weather resulting in low temps in our garden room. I don’t think it’s ever been that cold in there. We got a newer heater but the real problem was above.

We use that all year and can look outside from this room. It’s a very pleasant area and we spend much time in there. I mentioned to Glenn that I didn’t think that we had insulation in the attic it as we only added to the house attic after we moved here 19 years ago.

When he checked, he said that there was only 3” insulation instead of the 6” that is needed for this area. In this deep freeze, Glenn got and did the additional insulation up there a little at a time over a couple of weeks. I don’t know how he was able to stand the 30+/- degrees. It got done and the temps improved greatly! AMAZING!

We keep that room at 65 degrees but it had been getting to 55-60 degrees. That is just too cold for me and the dogs, as well as, the few houseplants in there. Voila! 65 degrees was easily maintained at less electric cost. That cost us less than $100. for greater comfort.

I’m giving Glenn a “5-star” award for that!!!! Next Glenn began measuring, acquiring wood, priming and painting for Cabin parts. He removed and replaced wood on the shady side and back, etc. near the bottom. On the warmer days, he replaced the wood and sprayed for dormant carpenter ants there. Amazing again! It’s almost completed and it’s only April 2nd.

Before Glenn retired he wondered what he was going to do with his time. I told him then that there will be much to do here. I was right. There’s always something to do inside or outside in repairs, replacements, fixing up, etc. He also keeps busy helping me. At times we are both very busy.

Now that Spring has finally arrived, we’ll begin the outside work slowly to recharge our muscles. I’ve already ordered another veggie table for herbs. Too windy today to do what we planned but we’ll do some trimming before the birds make more nests.

I’ve ordered a new tool for the vine removal-fire rake. I saw this before but decided that this was better when I stand or sit in the walker than sit lower with pruners. Easier on the back. The teeth can be sharpened individually or replaced. There are still some spots around the plants in back that I didn’t get all of the ivy and the myrtle that expanded on the road-side of the house. We cut it back and spray Roundup on the stubs. That’s the best way to remove it.

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Who Can Resist This?


Velvet, I love you!

Velvet, I love you!

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We’re Freezing…Spring Forward?


Believe it or not, this weekend we “Spring Forward” to Daylight’s Saving Time. How is this possible? It’s NOT Spring yet. Think about this, in Fall we had “Fall Back” in Nov. but Spring doesn’t come until the end of March. Did the Spring date change??

I writing this to snow showers out my window. It’s not warm at all. Everything was covered with ¼” in. of snow on Monday morning. Even looking at garden catalogs gives me no hope at all that we’ll soon Unfreeze.

I think this is just a publicity stunt by some to get us unstuck and thinking about Spring. I’m not ready. Although we’d like the warmer weather, we just haven’t got the “Spring in our steps” with all this ice on our steps here.

Oh! To be sure, the dogs are ready to go out and run and play. They’ve been inside a lot and playing in the garden room. Since it take a couple of weeks to get used to the time change, we should be “awake” with the bulbs by Easter, April 5th. I’ll let you know if we’ve survived the frozen weather.

I’m cold and have been all winter. The fireplace gives nice warmth but we don’t use it every day. Glenn is in and out all day but even he says that he is cold and tired of it. The corgis don’t complain; however, sometimes they want to come back in right away as their feet are cold. Corky and Ginny are getting older now and much rather be inside.

Velvet and I take a nice, warm, cozy nap under the comforter and quilt where it’s toasty. We finally got a new hot water heater but the water is so cold coming into the tank that we have to draw is out slowly so as not to use all the hot water up at once. It is coming into the tank at 39 degrees…I want a hot bath so I guess I’ll have to draw it out slower. In the summer the water comes into the tank at 55 degrees from the water line underground.

Interesting information but I’m still frozen here. Not that the “Spring Forward” will make me warmer, but I guess just to give me hope that it won’t be long before REAL warmth is outside. Try the end of April and I’ll hibernate until then.

Still frozen...

Still frozen…

 

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Due Diligence-Snow Removal?


(Of course, this is NOT a legal blog post but a fun post 😉)

 

The Merriam-Webster definition is:

Definition of DUE DILIGENCE

1: the care that a reasonable person exercises to avoid harm to other persons (dogs?) or their property

2: research and analysis of a company or organization done in preparation for a business transaction (as a corporate merger or purchase of securities

Here, I am applying definition # 1 to Glenn and the dog-walks…

After each storm, Glenn shovels pathways all around the acre here. Some are on the brick, pea gravel, or grass. The corgis are dwarves and “low riders”. Last year, we still had Emily and she was walking in a cart so it was even more important to have cleared pathways on the brick walks.

He even shoveled all around the 8-square garden because he knew that Emily liked to walk there. I like to say that Glenn exercises “due diligence” to ensure the safety and well-being of our corgis. The deeper the snowfall, the more important shoveling the pathways become.

With Velvet here now, she’s a tiny corgi, a 5”- 6”-snowfall is deep. We are not the only corgi parents that have these pathways either. I’ve seen many videos where others do this, too. It’s fun to watch the corgis run and chase each other inside these “troughs”. They like to play “hide and seek”.

When we close off the driveway, we have a fenced-in yard for them to play. We’ll do that when out bitter temperatures rise to at least 30 degrees. Right now there’s too much danger of frostbite feet but I’m looking forward to watching them from inside my nice, warm, cozy rooms.

BOXWOODVELVET - WIN_20150217_112134 BOXWOODVELVET - WIN_20150217_112137

 

 

 

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Not and Appropriate TV show for…


As life would have it, I was in the hospital for a few hours for a medical procedure. Suffice it to say that I had not eaten in 36 hours. I’m in the room awaiting my turn and there’s a TV on the wall. What show was on for 1 hour but Rachael Ray. You ALL know who she is!

The theme of the program was FOODBALLS, on the pending Super Bowl game, and food to make and eat. The main food that she was cooking a Beef Brutus Sandwich (Sliced steak and Caesar Dressing subs). You can watch the Video here and see her recipe (copy and paste into your browser) :

TinyURL.com/njatyaa

The nurses and staff were busy so I guess that they didn’t pay attention to this…

As it turned out I had to be there and extra hour due to the patient ahead of me having problems. My stomach growled and I had to look at a close up of this juicy beef sub, spread with Caesar dressing, topped with Romaine lettuce, with Parmigiano-Reggiano shaved cheese curls….

Yes, and that was 36 hours without food and longer by the time I was out and to home and to EAT MY VERY OWN FOOD. I am reminded about the place where we all go for blood work and we have to fast from the night before. At one time, people were bringing fast-food, drinks, etc. and finally a sign went up. The smell of the food must have generated a lot of complaints.

So now I have a good recipe and just need the flank steaks, long rolls, and away we go.

Notice that I didn’t put the picture on this page in case you are reading it at an inappropriate time.

 

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Today is a good day to…


Work in the garden!

WHOA! Look at this! It’s 19° and light snow…I guess not…

Gardens Today 01/06/2015

Gardens Today 01/06/2015

 

Well, let’s go to Great Britain where being a gardener brings power and prestige, not to mention unknown adventures. I take you to the Borough of Hackney in London for an exciting day. A gardener near to the park found a 70-year old, WW II relic.

One never knows in London what they’ll find in the garden. That’s got to be more exciting than here in the USA! This is an on-going thing there and never seems to end. We here don’t realize this. They even developed new tech to prevent shrapnel from escaping…On rare occasions here, one finds an unexploded shell from the Civil War in areas where the battles took place. Not all battlefields are Federal Lands or under the National Parks. Some are woods and farmlands. But all this is much older than WWI and WW II in Europe.

Imagine, if you will, Glenn digging here for a post for a new vine (we are on a former peach orchard-pre-1952). He runs in with info that he hit something unusual. Of course he wants me to see it.

“Look at this thing. It’s rounded on the end. I hit it a few times with the sledge hammer but it didn’t move.”

“Glenn, what could it be? Do you think it could be something stolen from the old ammo depot a few towns over-like a bomb?” I say.

“Bomb? Your imagination is running wild…”

“Well, anything’s possible. I’m just analyzing the evidence, as usual.”

Glenn, who is more down-to-earth (literally) seems to figure it out.

“I know, it’s a small, tractor sprayer for the orchard.”

Well, so much for any great excitement here “across the pond”. We’ve a relic from 20th century, farming life…

So, that is a fictional story of what we could find here in our gardens. More exciting than fiction is what we’ll be doing outside soon!

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Velvet’s Inauguration Day!


It finally came-Velvet’s Inauguration and “First Day on the Job”. As with all the other elected officials being sworn in now, Velvet got her first taste of real work. She had on her ‘Hearing Ear’ vest and we were ready to go. We went to Joann’s Fabric Store on an off-day.

After getting a short talk, we got in the store only to have her put her ‘brakes’ on. That is, holding her feet firm, not walking, and saying,” I won’t go, I won’t”.

Oh! Gee… So I go around the aisle and sit in the walker seat and tell her, “Velvet, I know this is all new and it’s not easy. But after a few times, you’ll feel better.” Then a training treat. It worked. We slowly walked around and to where I wanted the items on the other side of the store.

In the process, Velvet felt more at ease. I say to her while walking, when I want to look at something, “Stop”, and she does. Then when I’m am ready to walk, I tell her,” Walk”, and she does that. We practiced outside here around the gardens and Velvet did well. Amazingly, we made it all through to the check out.

Now, the hardest thing to train for is ‘Hear Cars’ and that is the most important. It’s difficult and worse in parking lots than crossing a single street. It takes a long time. We get to the curb and I talk to Velvet again having her on my left and looking left, then having her on my right and looking to the right.

I have to first tell define a car as best as I can, then show her when it is clear to walk across. For the first time, Velvet did very well. Getting to the car, I tell her to stop working and she gets in.

“Velvet, thank you for working” and gave her a treat. (They work for food!) I always thanked Emily and I mean it with all of my heart. The service that they do is amazing to me. I took her to McDonald’s Drive-up and she had a couple of spoonfuls of vanilla frozen yogurt.

Velvet loves riding in the car and lays right down after she is hooked in to the seatbelt. When we get home, the other 2 corgis crowded around her and wanted to know where she went as they sniffed her all over. I took her picture with the cell phone, which was difficult because of the commotion.

We ate dinner and shortly after both of us took a long nap. Velvet was exhausted and so was I after just 2 hours out. It’s very stressful for us to train and be trained! Nevertheless, Velvet did surprisingly well for the first time out. Now we need to do that 2-3 times a week.

Velvet needs to come and be with me everywhere I go. The only real way is with ‘Paws-on’ experience. I’m very proud of her!

 

Velvet with her Hearing Ear Service Dog Vest on.

Velvet with her Hearing Ear Service Dog Vest on.

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