Saturday, April 19, 2014

Brush done - and I'm bushed

It's been a couple of days outside this week and I had to have help with all the fallen branches, but it's finally done.  The Spring Cleanup.  All broken branches (tons), all dead stalks, all grasses, all, well, you name it. If it was dead, it was dragged.  This pile is huge.  You can barely see the 5' tall dwarf Alberta spruce behind it.

But it was worth it.  The gardens look tidy - at least for now.  I made myself some new help this year and I'll post about it on the Garden blog soon.

Click to enlarge to really see all the daffs.

For now, it's time to sit back and enjoy the flush of daffs. I love when they all fill in like this.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A taxing day

As predicted Monday night's rain turned to sleet by Tuesday dawn and within an hour it started to snow.

Temps went from 75 on Sunday to 28 Tues a.m.  (on it's way down to mid-teens overnight).

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Spring in Ohio is NOT for wimps!

I just hope that I won't lose all the magnolia buds/blooms like last year.  *sigh*

I also hope Mr. Toad is well tucked under the broad bean bin bed. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

I toad you it was too early!

While working in the back yard bins, this big fella kept a close watch.  I felt so bad for him - sure the weather was nice now, but it's going to down into the TEENs Tuesday night.  Thankfully, when he got startled by my presence, he made a bee-line for a little cave under one of the bin beds.  He should be safe there over the nasty weather.

As for my garden updates, you'll have to check out the flower and vegetable side bar blogs for details.

Want access?  Email me for an invite at Melissa.Majora A@T Gmail(that's the one) DOT COM.  (use the bold info - rest to thwart robots)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pepped and prepped

Tuesday a.m. was cool and very rainy.  That's what they predicted, so I wasn't bummed.

Then, around 11:00, the clouds broke, the sun shone and the breeze dried things out.

Well yowzah!

After lunch I decided it was warm and dry enough to do some spring maintenance.

Loading up the wheelbarrow with gas, a full tank of compressed air, the battery from the basement, wrenches, etc. I headed back to the shed to see if I could revive the Snapper.

Back there I inflated the tires, filled the tank, checked the oil and installed the battery.

Fingers crossed, I jumped on and turned the key.

Nada.  Again.  Nada.  Third time?  Nada.  Just a whirring sound.

The battery was dead.  Now you'd think that would irritate me.  But no.  After all, the thing went through 2011, 2012 and 2013.  For a mower battery that is akin to Methuselah.   (I float-charge every year over winter.)

Besides, I had backup.  The Snapper has a manual starter too.  So, hoping my arm would hold out, I tried a couple of pulls.  Nada.  Still, it seemed to be trying to catch.

Probably the gas hadn't gotten to the carburetor.  I rested the arm for a couple of minutes, then tried again.

VROOOOOM.  Happy happy joy joy.

So I drove the Snapper up to the garage and pulled out the snow blower.  Okay, I'm probably taking a chance, but I went and drained the gasoline and folded up the handles.  It's now tucked away for the summer.  Hopefully I won't have to get it out again this season.

Last I did was inflated all the other tires: wagon, wheelbarrow and yard cart.  That done, I went and got a new mower battery (they were on sale that day!  woohoo!).  Installed it, tried the key and VROOOOM.  What a lovely sound.

I was so happy that I took 30 minutes to run the mower around and under the 2 sweet gum trees to corral those spiky gum balls off the grass.  They are trecherous to walk on, like ball bearing, to my weak ankles.

There.  Not a bad use of a gift of a nice day.  Maybe we WILL get some Spring after all?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A wonderful gift!

Tuesday was our warmest day in the last 6 months!

Temps soared to mid 60s.

The humidity was only 30%.

The wind, while fierce (40mph), it was warm and dry.

I took advantage of both the warmth and dry air to turn off the heat, open all the windows and let the winter air blow out of the house.

Within an hour inside temps rose from 65 to 70 and the humidity dropped from 48% to 33%.

The house smelled fresh again.

And, to my surprise, I found 2 little clumps of crocus in bloom.  I've planted hundreds of crocus over the years, yet these 2 clumps under the front bay window are all that survive.  What a treat to find them!   

With the lovely weather, I was also able to put out a delivery of rooted shrub cuttings I got on eBay last week:

10 Japanese boxwood and a baker's dozen of bridal wreath spirea.

All are in good health, well rooted and only need some hardening off (they came from Florida) and consistent warm temps before I put them in a nursery bed.

Temps will fall the rest of the week - into 40s and rain at least 3 days.

But I'm thinking Winter is BROKEN.

I know I should have done a TON of outside cleanup yesterday, but I spent the morning running errands, then in the afternoon I just vegetated like a plant.

I sat in the sun.  I sipped tea.  I gazed at blue sky and busy birds.  I basically just soaked up the day, enjoying every spring-scented breath.

Sometimes you shouldn't use up a day like that with busy stuff.  You should just immerse yourself in it - especially since we'll not see one like that in the near future.

A day like that - it was a much needed gift to the spirit.  Yard work will wait.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Not again!

We got an inch of rain on Saturday. 

It just poured down.

Temps were in the high 30s.

I took this photo around 5:30pm

When I looked outside about an hour later, I was floored.

Temps tumbled.

Wind was fierce.

And SNOW was piling up!

Sunday morning:

Snow over ice.

I give up.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Another freaking blizzard

Tuesday was almost lovely - mostly sunny; up to 36F; no wind.

The kind of day that, combined with the calendar, makes one think towards Spring and all that entails.

Even the birds were in full song. Tra la!

Then, around 4:00 pm, it got darker.  The winds picked up. And up.  And UP!

Before you know it they were blasting at 30-40mph.  And it started to snow - sideways.

Temp tumbled from 36 to 23 within 10 minutes!  (It eventually bottoming out near 10F last night.)

Meanwhile the snow kept coming.  It plastered the sides of the house and trees.

More and more snow - whiteouts for 30-45 minutes.  My one leaky window whined and whistled from the persistent wind.

Finally, around 7:00 pm, things seemed to have settled down with about 1.5" of snow.

There, I thought.  It got it out of its system.

But NO.   It snowed again in the night and I found 3+ inches on the ground this morning (almost 6+ over at my Mom's - just 4 miles away).

Oh good grief!

Have I ever mentioned how tired of winter I am. Have I?   HAVE I?