Thursday, February 16, 2017

Drizzle and gloom outside

It's slushy and wet and slick outside, so everybody is staying in. The snow is melting. Two or three weeks of this and we might see bare ground.

I'm always glad to see the snow in the fall, just to brighten up the grey streets and brown fields. But enough of this bright white stuff already!

I fed the chickens (collected three eggs), fed the dogs my leftover oatmeal, finished my book, and cleaned off a countertop in the kitchen.

The roof leak across the hall is dribbling pretty good, but is flowing down the floor drain so it's OK. I need to get in there soon and fine-tune the buckets and plastic, but the floor is slick with ice so I think I'll leave it for now. I usually scatter sand before I take a step. This time I might bust out the cramp-ons, too.

We're working on a list of jobs for spring.

First up, have the storm-drain boxes (sumps?) on the roof rebuilt or replaced, and the lines cleaned out. And find the dry well, dig it up and fix or replace it. That will all cost money, but our bank set aside some bucks for the roof when we bought the place. We won't hire out the digging – C. says why let anybody else do the fun part? She's weird.

We'll need to borrow Richard's Ancestral Rototiller, and till up the rest of the knapweed in front of the building. That will nearly double the size of the garden. We'll be widening the garden paths for me, and still want to grow the usual stuff, plus more amaranth, corn and sunflowers.

We'll need some kind of watering system. My attempts in the past have been unsuccessful. Pathetic, even. And C. will lay down a drip line before she plants each bed. I'm serious about this.

I definitely want to plant apple trees again. I need to collect scion wood from our three trees in town  when I see the GP next week. I'll graft them onto rootstocks bought from Raintree Nursery on the coast. I solemnly swear to effectively protect them from goats and deer this time. Not sure what I can do about the effing gophers.

We need to get the Craftsman riding non-mower running and adapt the Billy-Built wagon into a trailer for it. That will mean we can move manure and mulch from the barn to the garden easily, which will be a huge improvement.

We got our tax refund, and now have to agree on how to spend some of it. I vote for spending about $100 putting in a couple of those frost-free farm faucets, one at the barn and one in the lower garden. C. says we can get by without spending the money. She wants to get some kind of $150 gadget for cleaning the wood floors. I'm skeptical. I guess it's too late to vote for not adopting leaky old dogs.... I suppose a labor-saving device for the one of us that can still labor is worthwhile. And they are good old dogs. Harrumph. Oh, let's buy a battery for the non-mower. Yeah.

All this planning is making me hungry.

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