Friday, March 29, 2013

Status Update ...

... Mr.B is on his way home from a business trip.  Yesterday, he phoned me from the Godiva Chocolate store front to inquire about which boxes of chocolates he should bring home.  He also notified me that he was able to find one of AB's favorite childhood treats, which we'll be sending him for his upcoming birthday.

Are you wondering why I'd find this to be something worthwhile to post about?  Well, it's because when one moves away from the conveniences of a large city to the isolation of the Montana prairie, it doesn't take much to get excited.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cabin Fever

Cabin fever is a term I've often heard but never genuinely experienced ... until now.  I'm not suffering to any extreme, as some people have described their symptoms but I am anxious for warmer weather and green pastures.  About two weeks ago, Mother Nature teased us with an entire week of bright sunshine and warm 50 degree F. temperatures which melted all the snow and the frozen stock tanks and seasonal creek.  EJ and I witnessed a flock of geese returning home for spring.  That was just enough to "wet my appetite" for summer weather.  Last week Old Man Winter unleashed another round of snow and cold temperatures that are not really any colder than before our warm spell but, now, seem bitterly cold.  We are buried under 8" of white, haven't seen 20 degrees F. in days and it's snowing again today.

Since moving to the northern prairie, I've sincerely enjoyed the change of seasons.  The cold winter and snow has not yet become the inconvenience that it seems to be for so many others.  However, living all but 6 years of my life in the south, my internal seasonal clock is telling me that it's spring and my garden should be planted, I should be mowing green grass every Thursday, the sounds of window fans should be whirling in the background of all activity and the rain barrels should be filling up from the spring time rain showers that lull us to sleep as it falls on our roof at night.  My internal seasonal clock is telling me that all should smell fresh and new and my world should be bright with a full rainbow of colors. 

I keep telling myself that we have only a few more weeks until green buds appear on the trees and the pastures begin turning bright green.  Only a few more weeks until I'm soaking in a hot bath each evening to relieve my aches and pains from 12 hour days of hard manual labor planting our vegetable and herb gardens.  Only a few more weeks until we are dining "al fresco" and roasting hot dogs and smores' over campfires.  We also have a list of projects that are patiently waiting for warmer weather.  Last week's church sermon was on patience.  It seems the Lord has incorporated the assistance of  Mother Nature and Old Man Winter to further develop my patience.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Although It Didn't Seem Right ...

... I did it anyway.

Despite the blowing snow we were experiencing on Saturday, I set our little indoor green house up in our mud room and planted seeds for our garden starts.  Last night when the wind was howling and the temps were dropping to 3 degrees Fahrenheit, it was hard to believe that within 8 weeks, Lord willing, we will begin putting in our summer garden.
Last year we planted a 30' x 70' vegetable garden.  This year we are excitedly planning to expand that by another 60' x 140' for a corn patch and potato patch.  Our starts include jalapenos, 3 varieties of bell pepper, 6 varieties of tomato, broccoli, green cabbage, and 3 varieties of cauliflower.  I also started cilantro, parsley and chives to indoor pots adding to my year round herb collection.  In addition to the above we plan to grow pumpkins, red & yellow onions, spinach, lettuce, carrots, Swiss chard, beets, English peas, cucumber, yellow squash, zucchini, cantaloupe, sugar baby watermelons, strawberries and numerous outdoor herbs.
We've also been researching the cold hardiness of various varieties of fruit trees thus, hoping to see the beginnings of an orchard this year.
Where are you in your garden planning?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Caffine, Anyone?

We do not like nor drink coffee.  Our sweet tea and hot teas are decaffeinated.  I consume only 1-2 colas per month.  We NEVER consume energy drinks, especially after learning that a close friend of Grandpa's survived a type of stroke directly linked to the consumption of energy drinks.

Although I do not like to indulge in caffeinated beverages, after updating my calendar this morning I can certainly understand why so many Americans simply can not make it through the day without their morning pot of coffee and afternoon 20oz. cola or large mugs of coffee. 

Mid March marks the beginning of our busy spring season.  Yesterday marked a considerable amount of time spent updating the household calendar.  It is quickly being filled with baseball & softball practices/games, 4-H meetings/events, music practice/completions, garden prep/planning, church activities/commitments AND driver's ed classes every weekday evening for the next 10 weeks.

Not only will I most likely find myself joining the majority of other Americans by consuming more caffeine loaded colas than I should, I also expect that blogging will be moved way down toward the bottom of the priority list.  I will check in and update when and if our schedule allows.  Most importantly, I will try to remember to carry a camera and snap some photos so that when I do find a few free moments in our schedule, I will be able to share our activities with you all.

Blessings to you and yours.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sensory Overlaod

It has been 18 months since we moved to our little farmstead out here on the Montana prairie.  Since our closest neighbor is 1 1/2 miles away, we do not hear traffic noise, car stereos blaring, children playing in the neighbor's backyard,  neighborhood dogs barking, etc.  We do hear birds chirping in the mornings, our roosters occasionally crowing, our dogs bark  acts as an alarm to look out the window to see who's decided to visit, many days we hear the wind and if the wind is blowing just right, when outside we might catch the faint sound of  the Burlington Northern Santa Fe's whistle echoing across the prairie.

Since we live 60+ miles away from the nearest city center, we do not visit it often.  I have found I am no longer accustom to crowds of people, hordes of cars racing to beat stop lights, huge discount stores and shopping malls with isles upon isles of merchandise, or restaurants with high ceilings that cause sounds of music and chatter to be amplified.

Last week the littles and I drove into the city to do some shopping and have lunch.  The food at the restaurant was good, but the loud atmosphere made me feel anxious and I couldn't wait to get out of that place.  The large discount retailer really sent me into sensory overload with it's glaring fluorescent lighting, hundreds of shoppers, noise, hunting isle after isle of merchandise for the items on my list, and my littles expressive excitement over being in such a lively and stimulating place.  After being in the city for only 2 1/2 hours, I was frantically scrabbling to get out.

As I drove home I found myself pondering how I  tolerated living so close to the 4th largest city in America for nearly 20 years.  I honestly don't know if I could handle a visit home to Houston or Dallas.  The soft sounds of nature and the friendly smiles of locals in small little shops have become more my speed.  It's hard to conceive that we've been here only 18 months - it's starting to feel like this is where I should have been all my life.