Springtime on the Homestead

It's finally spring out here in the woods. After a long stretch of below average temperatures, way below average rainfall and mostly above average winds, I am finally able to transplant some of the many, many seedlings that have been suffering in the greenhouse.

The sunshine is nice, but I have to be aware of heat and UV exposure. It's easy to overdo when there are so many chores to get done, especially since I tend to push myself to get just a few more plants into the ground, do a little more watering and prep just one more bed.

I'm not the only creature out getting started on what is now a shortened growing season. Birds are singing their mating songs and building nests. A pair of roadrunners has been staying close to a large cedar tree where they've built a nest. Whitetail deer are moving in larger groups, but soon the does will go off on their own to prepare for birthing their fawns.

The frogs and toads have been singing most nights, trying to attract mates and we…

It's the Waiting

Things have been tough lately, what with having to prioritize. There are things that I would like to do, things I seriously want to do, things that have to get done soon in order to meet a goal, and things I need to do to meet obligations.

I would really like to get out and hunt for mushrooms, so I don't miss morel season again this year and I would like to build a small hugelkultur bed, just to try it out.

Then there are all those leaves and pine needles that I haven't gotten raked up yet. I have plenty in the shady corner of my garden, as well as between rows, but I will want more as things get big enough for mulching. Oh, and I want to prepare some beds out front for more pepper plants and a few other things

I've got to get tomatoes and peppers transplanted into the garden or I will have to repot them. Soon. But the weather forecast seems to always have just one more freeze before it's safe to set out tender plants.

That novel that was due on the 25th was moved up …

Rainy Season

The rains came and here I am without a working rain gauge. I'm keeping a record of what days I water and also, when nature waters. When it's me, I try for about one inch in the garden. It would be handy to know what nature is going for.

I started back last Fall keeping a written log of what I was doing, plus, I printed homesteading journal forms and began filling them out. Unfortunately, the forms asked for information I have no use for and didn't ask for some things I have since wished I had recorded. Like rainfall.

Last year's notebook helped a lot with this year's planning, but lacked some information that could have been useful. Once I started sprouting and planting seeds, I realized that certain specific information might really help me next year, but I had waited too long to recover lost data.

I started my pepper seeds with damp paper towels in plastic bags. It would have been good to have specific information on what germinated when, and when I moved those …


Lake Thunderbird
Some changes are good, like from winter to spring. Others are not so good.

Every time we have to go into Norman, the city is bigger noisier and the traffic is heavier. It seems like hundreds of acres of farm land become cookie cutter housing and huge apartment complexes every week. That's not just my imagination, others see it too.

And every trip into town, I notice more businesses shutting down. Not that that's always a bad thing. Long John Silvers, Arby's and Wendy's locations have been boarded up.

The Mexican Food Store is gone, and that probably isn't a good thing, since the International food store has been gone for awhile.

The highway out here has become four-lane for about half the way and that has led to more traffic. It's also the time of year when campers, boaters and fisherman flock to Thunderbird, which means we no longer have the lake to ourselves.

We also no longer have the big box garden centers to ourselves. I already have most…


So much of our lives we take on faith. It's an uncertain world out there in every way possible, but we take it on faith that tomorrow will come and we plan accordingly. The sun will come up tomorrow (or the Earth will continue to rotate overnight). We believe the seasons will continue to change (Spring is the season that really likes to test our faith--as in, will it ever get here?). We take it on faith that we still have five miles worth of gas left when the little gas pump-shaped light goes on.

It isn't faith that causes us to believe that since we've hit one red light we'll hit 'em all, that's pessimism.

Gardening is a real test of faith. To begin with, we take it on faith that we know enough about what we are doing to pull off some kind of crop. We even mistakenly believe that our garden will look just as good as the ones in the magazines, even though it's more likely to look like the poor, dried up kitchen plot from a spaghetti western.

Again, we take…

The Impending Apocalypse

Our future doom has been a frequent topic on this blog. I'm happy to announce that we are still on the verge of the end of the world.
A report a few days ago said that the Yellowstone super volcano is building pressure and is causing some concern among the geologists who study such things. That in and of itself is no big deal, but an article in the news last week quoted a stranded  alien time traveler from thousands of years in the future who said we should be worried. He wasn't clear on the details, but he seemed pretty sure that something is going to happen, sometime. I understand his confusion. I didn't pay attention in world history class, either.
People living on the East Coast probably feel that the end is near. They are currently getting two inches of snow an hour, on the heels of last week's big flooding event. We even have a new meteorological term: "bomb cyclone." It's sort of like getting a category one hurricane and freezing temperatures at th…

Dumb Things to Do

I cracked a rib last week and it hurts like heck. No, don't feel sorry for me. I don't deserve it. It's really stupid how I did it. I was sitting on the deck in one of the plastic wicker chairs and I dropped an appointment card I found in my coat pocket. It landed on the deck beside my chair. Did I get up and bend over to pick it up like a smart person? No, I didn't. I leaned over the arm of the chair and reached as far as I could with my left hand. With my fingers still six inches away from the card, reaching became painful. Did I get up and pick up the card like a normal person. Oh, no I didn't. I pushed past the point of pain and stretched until I heard something snap. Then I got up and picked up the card like anyone else would have.

Since I'm an old hand at breaking ribs, I didn't bother going to the hospital. Unless the rib is puncturing a lung, there isn't much they can do, except maybe give me painkillers, which don't work for me. I already …