Seed Starting


This evening we planted White Mountain Cabbage Collards, Early Flat Dutch Cabbage, Evergreen Hardy White Bunching Onions, and Yellow of Parma Dry Bulb Onions. We hope it is warm enough and sunny enough in this south facing bedroom. It seems so odd to be starting seeds when there is a bunch of snow on the ground. While shoveling out on Sunday we realized that we got at least a foot of snow on Saturday. Looks like we might get a couple more inches tonight.

Winter Blast


Not the first time we’ve woken up to very low temps this winter. And it is forecasted to be below zero tomorrow morning.


Our sensor is right by the house. says it is even colder. And look at those daytime temps. Yikes! A winter blast has hit Virginia!


Looking out my sewing room window.


I read about people spending days like this planning their summer gardens. I’ve been dreaming about it but so far haven’t done much in the way of real planning. We measured the barn garden and you can see here Dave did a drawing on graph paper. He seemed excited to pull out his engineering rulers. What a geek gem. Last winter I read a lot of gardening and hobby farming books and I’m not even into doing that. So much of it is science and rules and I find that kind of thing overwhelming and in some ways taking the fun out of the process. As far as planning on graph paper, I can see me doing it and ordering the seeds and then one day I’ll go out to the garden and Dave will have planted everything according to a plan he just made up on the spur of the moment. We already have a lot of seeds so maybe I’ll just order a few things we don’t have that are on my wish list – like yarrow – things I know we ran out of – like spinach – and sweet potatoes slips. Is this a plan?

Snowy Day

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Yesterday, it snowed most of the day – a pretty fluffy snow that didn’t accumulate quickly. We got about 5 inches. I went outside around 7am to let the ducks out of their house and it was the first time they didn’t rush out. I brought them food and water and they eventually ventured out of the house but stayed nearby. I’m not sure if they felt vulnerable or what. Later in the morning they left for the creek and by then the sun was out and the temperature had risen considerably. The kittens, Eartha and Smokey, were cute playing in the snow. Freda, their mom, wanted inside. I’m allergic to cats. They spend the night in the cottage with Damian and he lets them out very early. With the cold weather Freda wants back in while Damian is still sleeping so we’ve let her in the house for a few minutes to a couple of hours. On my bed is a big no, no so she didn’t stay there long. I’d love to have her in the house so it is hard to say no to her but we must. Anyway, her job is outside hunting moles.

Extremely cold temps – like below zero – are expected soon. Possibly more snow this weekend. We have a toasty fire going in the wood stove, the freezer is full, I have a baby quilt to make and some good books to read. I’m ready!

A Good Day of Work


Damian shifted the kitchen garden compost so it is tucked into the corner more and turned the pile while he was at it.


This gal wanted to help.


The ducks were definitely having a heated discussion this morning. One of the females seemed to want to stay behind and the others didn’t like it. At one point she was in the boxwoods by the front porch. We wondered if she was going to nest there. She didn’t – finally following along with the flock down to the neighbor’s pond. I searched online for duck nests and we put together this one with an old drawer and scrap wood. This would be the safest place for one of the ducks to get broody. We’ll see if one agrees.


Damian put up the bluebird house.


The ducks spent a lot of time in the yard and down in the creek on our property today. I think the wild geese are taking up residence at the neighbor’s pond and this isn’t agreeable to them. The one duck really enjoyed the newly turned compost pile.


Dave worked hard cleaning the wallpaper glue off the walls in the bathroom and started putting up the bead board paneling.


I hung a picture and added a few more quilts to my quilt ladder.



Sorry, Duke, I couldn’t get your head in the photo. You’re too big!


Goofy Duke had never met a cat in the suburbs. They just weren’t around. I guess because most cats in the suburbs are house cats. Now, he has three cats who roam his backyard.  I still need to introduce Frida. She is momma cat to Smokey and Eartha. Frida, with reason, thought Duke was a threat to her kittens and would attack Duke if he came too close or if she just felt like it. They get along okay now. Eartha will hiss at Duke if he looks at her, but Smokey never picked up on this animosity.


Smokey is the only one of the three cats who will rub up against Duke. Duke wants to play with Smokey like a dog by grabbing him in his mouth. This was what got him in big trouble with Frida and us so he knows he isn’t to do it. Instead, he stands there and you can see him shaking slightly. Every once in a while he’ll make a quick move but then Smokey runs away. Duke doesn’t want Smokey to run away so he tries to stand as still as possible. It’s too funny.


Though they are not the best photos – we are in the mudroom – I’m glad I finally got some photos of it.