Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring is Remiss

I planned on returning home from a week away to find that Spring had descended upon Poplar Ridge in my absence.  Well, the "best laid plans of mice and men often go awry," so the poem goes.  We returned to cold weather and frozen ground.

The first flowers are blooming here, despite the cold!  My crocuses are lovely and bright, lining the still sleeping flower bed.  The bees were swarming around them in the sunshine today, since they remain the only blooming things up here!

Although I still don't feel prepared to commit the next 6 months to gardening, I was planning to plant my peas this weekend.  I am already behind, as St. Patrick's Day has come and gone, and my peas and taters are still in the house, still unplanted.  I do have 2 trays full of happy, green seedlings:  squash and tomatoes and peppers.  They have to hang on until the ground is a bit warmer out there to move into the garden!

Notice the clean window and screen!
My next project is to try to get a couple of our hens to set on eggs.  I transferred a couple of likely candidates from the chicken barge to the egg cart'n today.  These 2 ladies were sitting on nests full of eggs when I checked on them, and one pecked me when I stuck my hands in to grab her.  Their move was apparently a bit stressful.  They spent the afternoon, exploring their area and picking out all the greening grass in their tiny yard, but spent exactly 0% of the time ON THE NESTS.  I'll give them a day or two, and see what happens.

Lonely eggs!
Instead of gardening, I pulled the window screens out of storage and washed them today.  Tonight, all of the windows have been washed on the inside, and most of them have been washed on the outside as well.  The screens are in, and we are waiting for some warm days to open up and blow the stale, winter air out of the house.

There is much to do after being away for a week anyway, I didn't need to add gardening duties to my list.  The mountains of laundry have been tamed, as have the stacks of mail.  L's new Language Arts books have arrived, so I switched out the old with the new, and briefly familiarized myself with the new curriculum.  J was out on "educational leave" for the first time ever last week, so we have gathered together all of the materials she worked on last week, studied for a couple of make up tests, and discussed a brief report of her week.

It was a busy week!  We visited a Natural History Museum with friends one day.  They had a huge exhibit of Legos.  We learned, through trial and error, that the best way to build a wall that will withstand attack, is to make it thick, to stagger the bricks, and not to make it completely straight.

Another afternoon, we played at a Science Factory, where we experimented with magnets, force and gravity, and then tested our brain power on multiple brain teasers.

We visited my cousin one day, and while the girls played with their second cousins on the farm, I held my sweet and snugly 1 month old baby cousin-and-a-half.  We peeked into the milking barn during the evening milking, and discovered one cow that gave 54.8 pounds of milk!

One final Natural History Museum allowed us to learn about dino poop, (also known as coprolite),  and examine hundreds of birds and many varieties of birds' eggs.

We had Indian food with my sister and brother-in-law, and mountains of Mennonite food at the all-you-can-eat-buffet.

The week pretty much wore me out, so I guess that in retrospect, I'm almost grateful for the continuing cold weather.  I needed a breather this weekend, and I will need it even more if we really get another snow storm tomorrow night.  But by next weekend, I PROMISE to work in the garden if Spring will really and truly come to stay!

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