Saturday, April 9, 2011

Deep Breath!

Lots to be excited about in this here part of North Carolina. The dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom and the weather is being spring-like. 66 today and 90 tomorrow. Plenty of rain and wind are keeping the yellow haze that is spring at bay. For those who don't know- we have so many pine trees down here that spring means you keep your windows closed so you don't get pine pollen on everything you own. We consider how a new car will look with pine pollen all over it before we buy...the lyrics of Jimi Hendrix' 'Purple Haze' get changed to 'Yellow Haze'. We think Coldplay wrote "Yellow" just for us. ' In short- it's a mess. But this year we have had a couple wind storms and two or three day long soaking rains that have washed a good deal, if not all, of the pollen away. That's a good thing.

We are also excited about our garden this year. In light of world events- recession, gas prices, radiation in Japan - it just seems to be time to pay attention to being able to do at least some of the providing for ourselves. I found an article about straw bale gardening last year, and never got it together, but this year, we are on track for tomatoes, green peppers, beans (green and dry-able), squash and potatoes- as well as some pretty flowers grown on straw bales. So we don't break our backs with double tilling rather poor soil- and doing battle with weeds. We are going to get at least one and maybe two rain barrels, and hope to be able to keep this going through the hottest days of summer. And that will be the real test. This method of gardening should be successful if we have a moderate amount of rain, but I get lazy when it's 100 degrees out and hasn't rained in weeks.

My nephew, Greg, has started a Facebook group- The Green Gardener for those of us who like this sort of thing- check it out.

We also moved our compost barrel inside the fence so we can get to it easier. (We have been known to throw away perfectly good bunny poop instead of composting it). The round table discussion of whether to build a chicken coop, like our two neighbors have-has resulted in the decision to eat other people's eggs. I think I've done my share of nurturing small creatures, and it wouldn't be fair to Walter. He doesn't like chickens, much. And he'll end up taking care of them. I know myself that well, anyway. The bunny is evidence of that.

I also wanted to talk about how hard spinning is. I got a spinning wheel about 3 weeks ago, and haven't managed to get yarn on a bobbin yet. I know it will come. I'm just stubborn enough that I want to teach myself, but I may have to find some help. My wheel is a little, shall we say- different looking. It's called a Hitchhiker and was designed as a traveling wheel for those who really know what they are doing- or as a good beginner wheel (so I'm told...). There are whole groups of people who have this wheel and make lovely yarn on it. Those talented people let me lurk on their forum postings, cause I don't know enough to contribute. It's ok. I like a challenge. When we stop learning, we stop growing. I don't plan on stopping my own growth- so there you go. When I get good enough to actually produce some yarn, I'll tell you all about it. For now, however- just wish me well on this part of my journey.
How about you? Have you got any new things going on for Spring? Have you shaken off the winter doldrums and started anything new, challenging or interesting? Leave a comment!

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