Hello Spring!

Last week we had a drop of 10″ of heavy, wet sludge we now call snow as weather changes continue to occur. I was grateful to have a grandson who cleared that for me because I was a little down and out at the time.

Temps have warmed up a little and have been running in the 40’s. Some of the ground out in the open can actually be seen, but those snow piles that measure 52″ may take a while longer to melt. Bottom line though is we’re on our way out of winter.

To celebrate the changing of the seasons, I started some flower and veggie seeds on Saturday. Growing plants from seeds is not hard, but it does involve some equipment and space. My gardening friends with basements usually have a shelving unit with four or five shelves and lights hung from the shelf above. Seed starting mix, seeds, and other supplies can be stored there as well. My challenge is I don’t have a basement so I need to make arrangements because working with starting mix and potting soil is fun but messy. 🙂

Sunday found me late in the day picking up my fertilizer order from NOFA-NH. One of the items I picked up was Tea Seed Meal which is being used to combat the invasive snake worms. I asked if it had been a big seller, and the coordinator just smiled and said ‘well, one gentleman bought 50 bags just for himself.’ The bags were 25 lb and cost $43 each. Now, that’s a gardener with a goal in mind. If you’re looking for up to date information on those critters, there is a good webinar coming up with our local VT expert, Dr. Josef Gorres. Link.

This morning I’m on a Zoom call to talk about the 2023 plant sale. Gardening – it’s a wonderful season.

What is not wonderful is the price of eggs. While at the grocery store, I saw these eggs which were $9.99 a dozen.

My grandparents raised chickens, and my daughter has had chickens for about the last 15 years or so.

I enjoy taking them left over veggies and fruits. It’s a wonderful benefit of living on a small farm, and the results are eggs that are farm fresh but definitely don’t cost $9.99 a dozen. 🙂

Happy Monday! Happy Spring!


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March came in like a lion with three snowfalls in a week. We moved 16″ along with a lot of ice chipping to be able to do that.

The sun is shining today, and there’s no snow in the forecast which definitely brings a smile. I can use a break from ice chipping, snow blowing, and roof raking. I read the average snowfall for NH this year so far is 71″. I’m thinking that’s good, Mother Nature, it can stop right there. 🙂

The 21″ Toro Single-Stage Self Propelled Gas Snow Blower with Electric Start was a good buy. It has been a learning experience with regard to where to start first, but I’ve got it down pretty well now.

The maple sap is running because of warmer days and cooler nights. NH and VT Maple Syrup is a wonderful thing, and if you haven’t had the ‘real’ thing you’re really missing out. We tapped our maple trees a couple of years so our grandkids could have the experience, and good friends also had their own sap house for many years. They had a full scale operation and produced some exceptional Maple Syrup.

Here are a few pictures.

I’ve been sewing on a twin sized quilt top, started a fabric barn quilt, and just finished reading C. J. Box’s latest Joe Pickett adventures in “Storm Watch.” That was the perfect title of a book for last weekend. Now, I need to begin thinking about starting some seeds. Ah, hands in the dirt. 🙂

Have a great week.

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Floral Friday

My Walking Iris had two blooms this week which was a very welcome sight. I have several more buds so more beauty to come.

If you aren’t familiar with the Walking Iris, the Laidback Gardener blog recently did a very good post on it.

I’m not a big house plant person. There are three pots of Walking Iris in that rattan planter with the middle pot containing about a dozen small plants that I’ll pot up individually and donate to our May plant sale. The plant on the right is 45 years old, and I’m beginning to think it will outlive me and have to be willed to my daughter. 🙂

Happy Friday!

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How cold did it get here in New Hampshire this past weekend? It went down to -48°F, and ‘wicked cold’ doesn’t quite cover it. Double-pane windows and good doors with storms just can’t handle that kind of wind and cold. Everything leaks air, and a furnace is not equipped to be very efficient at that temperature either. The entire house was cold including the floors and the walls even with the furnace running full blast to try and keep it at 68 which isn’t all that warm to begin with.

We made it with no major issues. Vehicles started, main water pipes didn’t freeze because we took great efforts to keep that from happening, but small pipes freezing/melting and leaving water behind couldn’t be avoided.

Monday morning found us at the hardware store buying weather stripping and new thresholds for doors. I hope to never experience that kind of cold again, but it sure brought out weatherizing issues that could be updated.

A local gardening friend lost both her honey bee hives because of the cold, and Mount Washington recorded a recorded -108°F over the weekend. I’ll leave the ‘cold’ summary right there.

Yesterday was sunny and in the 30’s, and it sure felt balmy after the weekend. I took advantage of it and picked up another truck load of downed tree branches. I couldn’t get everything because many of them are still frozen into the icy snow on the ground. Once the ground is not covered in snow and ice, I can get the rest, and we have two trees that have major branches that need to come down but require planning to make sure they land correctly.

While picking up and loading branches, I stopped to notice some of the interesting things I was handling.

Have a great week! 41 days until Spring, and if you’re wanting to plan for the upcoming season, Smithsonian Gardens has a great library of webinars.

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Hello February

Is it just me or did January seem like it was on a fast break?

I spent a fair amount of January mornings removing snow or branches. So far, I’ve taken nine truck loads of pine branches to recycling.

A couple of the branches broke fence piece. The pieces were salvaged, and I hope we can patch in the spring because they don’t make that fence style anymore.

The raspberries along with everything else were loaded down with snow and ice.

The new Toro snowblower arrived, was put together, and when the icy snow came off the barn roof, it cleared it quickly.

We have two trees that were damaged with the heavy snow and winds. They need to be trimmed and cleaned up as the weather permits. Last year, we sold three huge chainsaws that I could barely lift and that needed a manly approach to get them started. We bought a 10″ Craftsman battery powered saw that I love. That little saw and I can do a lot of cleanup. It’s a simple tool – one screw, one cover, one chain, one oil receptacle, and slap a battery on it. I take it apart and clean it after every use and just replaced the chain. Highly recommend it.

I finished two paper pieced table toppers. Small projects sometimes take more time than large ones, and this was certainly the case here. I always learn something, but I sure was glad to be finished. With paper piecing, you sew on the lines of the paper with the fabric on the back and then trim excess fabric. The second photo shows the fabric sewn on the back for pieces 1, 2, and 3. You trim after each piece is sewn on.

We’ve got an arctic ‘breeze’ coming in this weekend with actual temperature of -18°F / -51° with windchill. Now, that’s what even we New Englanders call ‘wicked cold.’

I’ll be inside with hot coffee, sewing, and reading Archie Mayor’s Joe Gunther series based in Brattleboro VT. Good mysteries, and it’s always fun to read about towns you actually recognize and have visited.

Happy February everyone and stay warm if you’re in the Northeast!


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Winter Wonderland

It’s snowing today, but it’s winter in New Hampshire. We have a good three (no, actually six once I got out there) inches on the ground with about the same due to arrive again this afternoon. I see two rounds of shoveling in my future. 🙂

Before I head out to get some steps, it’s a good time to do a tool review.

I bought a Ryobi 21″ battery snow blower the end of December and had a chance to give it a try on two snowfalls that were probably about 2″ each. I really love my Ryobi lawnmower and hoped this snowblower was going to work out, but it didn’t. It starts, runs almost silent, and works like a charm, but our recents snows are wetter than years past, and it just could’t handle wet snow. The chute would continue to clog up, and it just wasn’t worth the cost. If you live where you receive dry and fluffy snow, it might be a good choice.

Now, I’ve got a Toro 21″ gas snow blower on order, and it will be in next week. I’ll let you know how that works on this wetter snow.

How wet is the snow we are now receiving? Well, a recent plow driver was quoted on NHPR as saying ‘you can’t plow a puddle.’ 🙂 In the meantime, My trusty scoop shovels will do just fine.

After a while out in the cold you welcome a hot drink, and we certainly are enjoying our new Keurig with frother. It makes great coffee, and I can’t imagine my day without coffee.

Ice fishing is a pretty big sport up here, but the weather hasn’t been real cooperative this year. When I drove by our reservoir and saw guys out in the middle while there was running water on the sides, I stopped and tried to grab a photo which was difficult because of all the open water. The local news this week reported a couple of guys in another town had fallen through the ice and had to be rescued. Dedicated ice fishing enthusiasts or stupid?

Have a great weekend – stay healthy and enjoy the last week and a half of January wherever you are. 🙂

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North or South

2023 will find us in the North. We have things to attend to here, and it just works out better to stay local. Once we made this decision, we bought a new snow blower to make moving snow easier.

We have a Ryobi battery lawn mower that we really like so it made sense to try their 21″ snow blower. Batteries are charged and waiting. We may get to try it out the end of the week, but mid week we’re going to almost hit 60.

The temperature have been in the 40’s-50’s, and I’ve actually gone out and done a ‘little’ branch clean up in some areas. I for sure haven’t tacked that big tree that is down, but I’ve made some progress in the surrounding areas. Because of the warmer temps, there are tulips coming up, and that’s not a good thing in January.

What’s keeping me busy? Right now I’m working on a paper piecing pattern. Paper piecing is when you follow the numbers on the paper pattern and sew the material right on the paper and then remove the paper when you are done. It keeps the brain firing because you have to pay attention.

As we have watched the news coverage this week of Pope Benedict’s passing, it brought back memories of our trip to Italy and the opportunity to visit the Vatican and see him in his motorcade.

Some travel destinations hold a special place in your heart, and this was certainly one of them.

Here’s hoping you have a healthy and happy new year, a good book, great gardening season, your sewing machine or needles hum, and your travel plans come to fruition. 🙂


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On Friday, we woke up to flashing blue lights, no power, and downed trees. I’m thinking my Craftsman battery saws aren’t going to be able to tackle this clean up.

On the plus side, it didn’t hit anything. On the down side, it isn’t even our tree. 🙂

We were extremely grateful to only be without power for about six hours because there are still over three thousand waiting for their lights to come back on. Thank you, Eversource employees, for working through your holiday in wicked cold weather.

While we waited for the power to be restored, we also waited for a propane delivery. Because of supply and costs here in the Northeast, the last two times we have needed propane, they let the tank go down to a level so low we thought we might run out. We were very grateful for the Christmas Eve delivery of propane, but the ‘gift’ of heat has become quite expensive these days.

Like a lot of things, we tend to take electricity, heat, wifi and all the other things we use on a daily basis for granted. When we have an interruption, it certainly drives home the need to be grateful.

Hope you all had a nice holiday weekend and that your Christmas or Hanukkah celebrations were warm and lovely.

Did you get a gift that you especially loved? We received two – a piece of artwork our granddaughter did for us and a wonderful coffee machine from our daughter and family. For grandparents and coffee nerds, it doesn’t get much better than that.

If you were like us and looking for a movie at some point, take a suggestion from our friend, Marty at Snakes in the Grass, and check out “This Beautiful Fantastic,” a 2016 British romantic drama, on Prime. It’s a good movie with several messages that we can all use as reminders. We also watched the first episodes of the new Jack Ryan on Prime and 1923 with Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren on Paramount. Ford and Mirren are certainly good together.

All these streaming services are interesting with their various menu offerings. Each one seems to have a couple of shows you’d really enjoy, but who wants to pay a multitude of fees? We’ve had Prime for quite a while, and right now we’ve got Paramount for free. I like free. 🙂

Happy last Monday of December, enjoy the week, stay warm, and travel safely if you are on the road.

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A while back, I was scrolling Netflix and wondered if there were any Jesse Stone movies I hadn’t seen so I googled.

I was a little surprised but had myself a good hearty laugh when I read:

“CBS canceled the series after eight films, all of which starred Selleck. But not because Jesse Stone had fallen out of fashion with the audience, but because … too many geezers were watching the series.”

My husband and I have had many chuckles since then about geezers. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t hear a word I have to look up like because I don’t have a clue what it means.

One thing I’ve used this week while I wrote old-fashioned Christmas cards that made us both laugh is an address book. Yes, we use contacts on our phone, but we also still have an old address book, and for some reason on the inside cover I wrote the year I bought it – 1995. It’s 27 years old!

So, just for chuckles, let’s compare – do you do anything or use something that a geezer might?

Hope your week is starting off well. Mine sucks – my iPhone is locked up and not working, my truck is at the garage, and I need a snow shovel this morning. At least my coffee pot worked so I’m caffeinated. 🙂

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Under the weather

I started not feeling well last week and after questions, exam, and tests, the medical diagnosis wasn’t exactly what I had expected – Flu Type A. I’d had the requisite fall flu shot, but apparently it doesn’t cover this strain.

I’m still finishing up the Tamiflu and antibiotics, but at least the chills, fatigue, sore throat, and constant headache are gone. I’m still dealing with the chest congestion and coughing, but it gets better each day. The #1 thing I’ll be grateful to get rid of soon is wearing a mask all day in order to not share with other family members. For the past couple of years, I haven’t really minded wearing a mask, but wearing one all day, every day gets a little claustrophobic, and my ears are screaming to a break from the elastic. 🙂

I’ve finished a couple of books including Lee Child’s new Reacher book, “No Plan B.” It was a good read. I watched several gardening webinars and caught up on end of year tax paperwork. I wrote nine MG posts to close out the year and my time. After six years and 729 MG posts, I’m stepping back as of the end of the year. Since there is no one interested in blogging, that one will gather a little dust. Trying to find volunteers is a real challenge as any of you know who work within a group setting.

I also did a little sewing once I could find enough energy to do so. When I’m finished with the large panel I’m done for this season. I sandwich these panels with batting and backing fabric and then trace all the lines with matching thread. Lots and lots of thread. I also don’t use the machine to backstitch at the end of each line so that it doesn’t leave heavy thread on the top so it also requires knotting the thread at the beginning and end of each line. Lots of knots.

Happy Monday, have a great week, enjoy the holiday lights, and by all means stays well!

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