Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Watching the Homestead

My husband is visiting family while Travis, Arliss, and I mind the homestead.  I started thinking about all of the pioneering women who had to watch the ranch while their menfolk would take their cattle to market.  Sometimes the menfolk would be gone for over three months; how did they handle everything?
I am reminded of the movie "Old Yeller" and how Pa had to give last minute pointers to his oldest son, Travis.  We don't have many outside chores at this time of year, but it doesn't mean that there aren't things that need to be done.

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my starters
Every morning the beds need to be made, clothes picked up off the bathroom floor, and dishes need to be washed.  I also have the dogs and guinea pig to take care of and my sourdough bread starters to fed.
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snow, snow go away, come again another day
With the snow melting I can now find sticks that need to be collected and burned.  There are a few branches that need to be trimmed before the trees come out of their dormant stage.
some of the iris my m-i-l grows
I am also watching for signs of bulbs cracking through the soil.  It may be a bit early yet, but crocus and grape hyacinth are some of the first to bloom every spring.
My mother-in-law gave me seeds for poppies, wild Colorado columbine, and sweet william that are waiting to be sprinkled over the warming earth.  She has a garden that is amazing; having inherited her green thumb from her mom.  All around my in-laws' property she has planted hundreds of iris bulbs.  During the summer her flower beds are a constant floral fireworks display.
Carrots love tomatoes: secrets of companion planting for successful gardening [Book]
After the snow finally leaves for good, my dear neighbor, Mr. H., will come and turn over my garden, mixing in the cow manure I spread over it last fall.  I have planned my garden by using the book Carrots Love Tomatoes so I know which vegetables will play nice with others.  My seed packets are anxiously waiting to be planted.  I have a few places where I can put in hot beds to get a jump start on the seeds.

I have finished knitting my first scarf and will go back to quilting and sewing to occupy my time in the evenings. While my Dearest is gone I will be busy and counting the minutes until he comes home.

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