Monday, March 29, 2010
It is that time of year and planting has begun. I am nose deep in rose catalogs and compost. Both you need in quantity and quality. Good roses sources and good organic compost. I adore David Austin roses and have bought from them many times. They sell high quality roses that thrive and smell divine. Any color or scent you want, they have in some form. And now we have the room and space for Constance Spry a repeat bloomer and climber. So when I am not quilting I am outside in the mud making room for Constance and her beloved other English Roses in the Ozarks.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
If you want fish in your pond then you can't miss FISH DAY. We missed that day in February so we can't miss this one. A truck will show up full of fish you can pick from, like an ice cream truck type of deal. They put the live fish in baggies and fill with air for the trip home. We are hoping to get some catfish, bass and blue gill for our ponds.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Our wonderful farmer/neighbor came by and told us about planting time in the Ozarks. In the spring we should be getting the ground clear and the soil amended to grow our crops. He used to raise goats and he had "black gold" where his goat barn used to be. Old dark composted manure all we wanted if we came over before the rains started. So we drove our trailer to his barn and started shoveling. Then my dog Hickory showed up, he had followed us to the farm. The farmer owns two large dogs that would eat my city dog in a second; so I tossed Hick into the trailer for his own protection. Now we are ready for growing season with our share of black gold full of fat red worms.
Since we have some ponds on our property we wanted to have some fish in them. A next door neighbor offered us some blue gill from his pond to feed the larger fish. He let us borrow his fish trap and he placed it for us. We checked the trap two times but each time it was empty. We discovered his blue gill were too large to fit in his trap. So we are going to use fishing poles and worms and catch them that way. In the meantime we saw a clutch of bull frog eggs in the shallows. Very healthy ponds around here in the Ozarks!
This weekend we got more knowledge from a neighbor about firewood. After you cut your trees and logs you need to let the wood dry out for burning. Stacking wood in a lean to or garage is not a good idea. The wood needs airflow to dry out and a roof to keep out the rain. We stacked our wood in a lean to and it does not get dry enough to burn in our wood stove. These photos are of our neighbors woodshed. It is uphill, close to the house and open with a tin roof. His wood is dry and ready to burn or "seasoned". So we are going to have to build one like this for our property. Now we are leaning why people have so many small buildings on their land. Each one has a special purpose; especially the woodshed.
This weekend we went rifle shopping. If you live in the country you need a rifle. Coyotes, wild dogs, and other predators are some of the things you have protect your livestock from. We ended up buying a used a 243 WIN rifle from the local gun store.We needed to practice using this new gun safely and our town has a very nice Conservation shooting range free to the public. They provide the paper targets and 25, 50 and 100 foot earth berm ranges. These were well used ranges with a lot of spent shells to study. With bullets costing over $1.00 each we practiced with discretion. It was cold, overcast and the rifle was very loud! I am glad we wore ear plugs.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Living in MO means you have to go and see the famous St.Louis Arch. So this Saturday my husband drove us 4 hours into St. Louis to look at Amish furniture and tour the city.
It was a dreary rain cold day to begin with. We made our way over the Mississippi River into Waterloo to look at handmade furniture, but the place was closed! We had even called ahead to make sure they would be open. Very frustrating. So we drove back across the river to see the St. Louis Archway. East St. Louis is very industrial and ugly looking, lots of coal trains. We got into downtown and hunted out some hourly parking, then walked to the Arch. It is a very tall silver structure with a lot of tourist and St. Patrick's parade revelers hanging around. And there is a museum under the arch. And they have tight security as you enter the museum. Not a warm and cosy welcome to the gateway to the west. At least we got to keep our shoes on.
The museum was the journey of Lewis and Clark, with some artifacts from that trip, passages from their journals and huge photos of Indian guides and landscapes. There was a sculpture showing how the arch was made. The artifacts were neat, however they lacked titles and details about their purpose. It was not a well cared for museum, needs updating. And the park rangers working security there seemed very unhappy to be there.
We walked back to our car and got ready to head out for some Vietnamese food. Then, we noticed a terrible burning plastic smell in the car as we drove out of town. The brake light and the battery light were on and the car was loosing voltage very quickly. We pulled off the big highway and drove to a BP station that was open near an exit ramp. They had a mechanic still there on a Saturday afternoon. He said our Subaru alternator was shot and had to be replaced. Luckily he could get one installed in a hour! What luck! So after an hour we had a new alternator and were headed for a late dinner and Krispy Kreme donuts then three more hour drive back home.
You can keep the city life, I am very happy to stay in my Ozarks from now on.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I have been dreaming of getting a horse someday. Now we live in the Ozarks and have the land for a horse. My dream is slowly becoming realized at 40 of becoming a horse owner.
This past weekend at an auction I won an Aussie saddle. It is big and black and very comfortable. My husband and I can both use this saddle. We also won a saddle rack to keep the saddle clean and off the floor. Very exciting!
This past Friday at 6pm my husband and I went to our first ever horse auction. We signed up to bid in case there was a really good deal. We walked the holding pens to see donkeys, drafts, mules, minis and horses. Many were thin and needed to see a farrier. But there were some very nice healthy horses with owners willing to tell/show you their horse before the sale.
One I wanted a 13 year old white Arabian mare. The owner had too many horses and she had to go for any price. The mare was shod but was reluctant to lift her feet in any way.
The auction then started with all kinds of new and used tack for bidding. We looked over all the saddles and found an Aussie style one in good shape and size. We then met some horse people willing to explain the workings of the auction to us. People are so friendly here in MO.
After all the tack was sold they started to ride out each equine for bid. It was now 10pm at night, cold and the place was packed with people. Most of the healthy horses did not sell for their reserve asking price. Then some green broke horses sold fast in the $200 range. Then a lot of donkeys were sold. Some of the donkeys had foals with them and were sold as a pair.
We were looking for draft horses but the two we saw were in poor shape and did not sell. Finally at 1am on Sunday we called it a night and headed home. We did end up winning that Aussie saddle, some feed buckets and a halter. Mostly, we learned what to look for in future horse sales.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I finally got a some time to grind my own wheat and make sunflower seed whole wheat bread. It came out plump, hearty and super flavor. I am looking forward to date nut bread next. Making my own bread from scratch at the end of the day is very satisfying.
One thing about Missouri cats they are tough. Poppy is our first MO born and raised cat found in the parking lot. Poppy in an indoor/outdoor fixed male cat. He follows us out into the woods even when we are chopping wood. He jumps into the car or trailer to see what we have brought home. Poppy also knows how to rest. At the end of the day he jumps into a box of fabric to sleep until the next day's adventures begin. He is so relaxed we call him Floppy Poppy.
We bought a 16 inch Stihl chainsaw, protective gear and got chainsaw lessons. We walked into our woods to cut up some fallen trees for firewood. The chainsaw worked great with no problems and we cut several logs. Then reality dawned on us, how do we get the 30+ pound logs out of the woods? We put two logs on a garden cart and the rollovers began. Finally, after 30 minutes we were able to walk 3 logs out of the woods. No one told us how to get logs out of the forest. We don't have an ATV, mule or golf cart. We realized later we would have to cut the logs with an axe on site and pull the split wood out. We did get those 3 logs up to the garage to split into kindling. It was a lot of hard work and we got our workout that day. And now we have firewood for our home.