Wednesday, April 10, 2013

~ Spring ~

It was long in coming, but my favorite season has finally arrived . . . springtime in all its beauty, freshness, and color! The warm, sunny days, the fragrant flowers, the green of growing grass, flower buds opening on the trees, birds singing cheerily from branches that are beginning to leaf out, doing chores in short sleeves, fresh breezes, open windows, spring peepers peeping away . . . happy sigh . . . these days have been very much enjoyed!

Daffodils blooming by the bench

Strawberry plants beginning to poke through the straw after Mom removed the top layer of straw.

Tiny white flowers blanketing the ground in the orchard

"Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and let all that is within me, bless His holy name."  Psalm 103:1

How often this Psalm has come to mind as of late as I have 
been enjoying the beauty of God's creation! 

Leaf buds on the lilac bush

 The faithful rhubarb that keeps coming back year after year

Even the spring rains and storms that we have had last night and today are welcomed after the contrast of last year at this time when we were already in a drought. Though the storms will be followed by colder weather for a day or two, but thankfully, it shouldn't last long! Once it warms up again, I'll finish tilling the garden and then plant, plant, plant!

Due to the unusually long winter, I started planting the garden much later than last year and so far only have onion plants in the ground, peas planted, and then Leah and I planted potatoes as well. 

Newly planted onions

This doesn't look like much now, but hopefully it will before long! I planted peas along all three sides of the chainlink chicken pen, and then ran a fence on the inside of the pen about a foot from the edge. The idea is that the peas will crawl up the fence, the chickens can't reach them to eat the plants, and maybe the chickens will be able to help keep the bugs down!

The stakes in this photo mark the potato rows . . . and the green in the right foreground is the overwintered spinach. It looked a little poorly in this photo, but it's greening up more now.

I had also planted out all of the 48 broccoli, cauliflower and purple cabbage plants that I had started, and they had been doing well until one night when it got much colder than what had been forecasted and my poor uncovered plants were frozen in low 20 degree temps. Sadly, they are no more. At least I hadn't planted the green cabbage plants yet, so those are still alive!

We have so been enjoying our newest little goat kids! While their birth was a little more involved since Leah had to go in with each kid and rearrange it, everything else has been so smooth. The kids were both walking and eating on their own shortly after birth and are sturdy little things! And hungry. :) It seems like all they do is either sleep or eat! Aurora is a wonderful mama goat has been taking great care of her little ones. 


Aurora and her doeling

The doeling

 The buckling

Once the weather is decent again, they'll all get moved out of the barn and then Chase will be moved to the vacant stall. Chase is due next Monday, Larkspur tomorrow, and Lacy a few days after Chase!

 Do you think Chase has gotten over her dislike of Dixie's kids?! :)

Larkspur in the left stall, Lacy in the 'stall' we made in the walkway, and then Aurora is in the stall on the right. Lacy was brought in early in order to keep Aurora company as those two are very attached and have a hard time when separated. Poor Lacy will be relieved after her kidding . . . she is huge and quite uncomfortable!

In other news, I have been working on another cross-stitch design and kit . . .


This one has been fun to do! I also 're-wrote' the instruction manual a bit for this one since the other booklet was more specific to the Scripture verse cross-stitches.

Last week, Dad and I did our first full inspections of the year on our three beehives, and they each look really good! One hive already needed a honey super put on it, and I'll be putting another honey super on a second hive next week. The bees have certainly been busy now that flowers have started blooming again!

All three hives 
(and the gray 'things' on the sides of some of the boxes are the remains of the duct tape that I had used to attach the robber screens last fall . . . I found that duct tape does not come off easily!

 
The honeybees on the hyacinths were enjoyable to photograph! I laid down on the grass right by them and just snapped away. Not only was the photography fun, but it was a delight to watch these busy and fascinating little creatures as they went about their work!


Other than all of this, the days have been full of household tasks, 
baking, sewing, and a host of other things.

 Another doll finished and listed this week . . . it's nice to have springtime 
flowers to include in the photos now!

As we have begun to enter the busy season with the garden, kidding, milking, etc., I have been giving a lot of thought/planning to scheduling, time management and the like. It can be difficult to accomplish all that needs to be done, and I am finding even more so than before that organized lists are a huge help to me!

And as these fruitful, enjoyable, and busy springtime days continue, I am looking forward 
with anticipation to all that they will hold!

12 comments:

  1. Lovely photos, Sarah. I especially liked the ones of the honeybee and hyacinth. And the set-up for the photo of the doll was beautiful as well.

    Two questions: do the goats stay all night in those hoop shelters, or are those just for shelter during the day? And regarding the dolls, cross-stitch kits, etc.--how do you arrive at a selling price for these items, and others in your Etsy shop? I'm never sure what is a good price for selling a homemade item.

    ~ Betsy

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  2. Sarah, your post is so lovely and Springlike with all the pretty colourful photos. The bee on the hyacinth is beautiful. God's creation!
    I wonder if your chickens will be able to resist the peas!

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  3. Love all the spring-y pictures! Your yard is looking similar to ours as well - although I think you might have gotten more planted. :) Did you get a good rain today? We did! I was able to get our onions planted and a few other things finished up before it reached us. :)

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  4. Uh-oh. You know what that means right? Once you cross-stitched Spring picture, everyone wants the other 3 seasons cross-stitched pictures too. Have you start thinking about it in case anyone ever ask? It's a beautiful picture.

    But what I love even more is your doll! She's so cute! I still want to make a doll someday but the only thing that keeps me from doing it is the face. The pattern I have involves paint eyes & mouth. I'm not good with painting. I prefer sewing but if I did that, I highly doubt the eyes would be even across instead of crocked. If I ever make a doll someday, can I mail it to you and you do the face for me? Just kidding! Well sort of. But shipping would cost me a lot of money just for that silly reason so it's totally not worth it. Do you have any suggestions on how I can do the face? Thanks!

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  5. Hi Sarah,
    All your photos are so pretty! So sorry you lost some of the plants. The weather has been so different this year. I haven't even started the garden yet. I am weeding the flower beds and even some of the flowers are not doing very good. The daffodils were sparse and the tulips are struggling. I've noticed that the pear and apple trees are blooming and leafing out at the same time. Usually the blossoms come first. Unusual stuff ~ guess because it's stayed so cold for so long. Hope you all didn't get any of this past weeks storms.
    Your dolls and cross-stitch are so cute. :-)
    Enjoy your Sunday!
    Blessings,
    Anne♥

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  6. Hi Sarah,

    Your beautiful photos of spring have caused another pang of cabin fever. We received 8" of snow yesterday! I am disappointed that it will be several more weeks before we are outside planting our garden.
    Thanks for sharing the beautiful spring you all are experiencing. Hopefully, ours will come soon.
    Mrs.B

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  7. Thank you, Betsy! The hoop house shelters are actually inside of the goat's pen. So they go into them whenever they like . . . usually during storms, at night, or sometimes during the hot days for shade. Most of their time is spent out grazing, though, or lounging around somewhere else in the pen.

    Pricing is a challenge! Basically I figure out the expense per item, the time for the labor, and then decide how much I would like to be earning per hour while also keeping in consideration how much people might be willing to spend on that item. Hope that helps to answer your question!

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  8. Thank you, Elizabeth! I am glad that you enjoyed them. God’s creation is amazing, isn’t it?!

    I’m hoping that the fence will be far enough away to keep the chickens from being able to reach the peas . . . if not, I hope they’ll be able to resist! :)

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  9. I am glad you enjoyed them, Nabila! Yes, we did get a good rain . . . several inches over a several day period in fact, which led to some flooding around here. Between all of the rain and the spells of cold weather, I still haven’t gotten anything else planted in the garden! Which is probably a good thing since we are forecasted to receive snow tonight! Hopefully next week will be more promising for planting.

    That’s great you were able to get some things planted! It’s always exciting to be able to start the garden. :) I hope it produces very well for you!

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  10. I think you’re right, Leah! :) I was actually already considering doing that. It sounds like it would be fun!

    Thank you for your kind words about the doll! Making doll faces is challenging. I embroider all of mine and mark just the edges of the eyes, nose, and mouth with a washable fabric pencil and then embroider them. After doing so many it has gotten easier, but I still find that I need to take out stitches sometimes and redo them.

    Yes, shipping would make the doll face rather expensive! Though, I would be happy to it for you. :) As far as suggestions for doing a face, I would recommend trying to draw out a simple face (eyes, mouth, nose) on paper first, and then once you get it the way you like, transfer the markings to your fabric. (I pin the pattern to the fabric, then fold it up part way and carefully trace underneath of the lines on the pattern – I’m not sure if that makes sense or not! It’s kind of hard to explain.) Once the pattern is transferred to your fabric, then you can just embroider along the lines. I hope that helps!

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  11. Thank you, Mrs. Anne! The weather certainly has been different this year. We have snow in the forecast for tonight!

    We haven’t gotten anything else planted in our vegetable garden either . . . though, like you, we have been able to weed in the flowers which is nice! The flowering trees around here have just started to bloom in the last week which is very late for them. And like what you mentioned, several of trees are leafing and flowering at the same time!

    I hope you'll be able to start planting your garden soon! It's hard waiting and especially with May just around the corner.

    Thankfully the bad storms just missed us, but we did get a lot of rain. After last year, though, I am grateful for all of the rain! I hope you all haven't had any bad storms!

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  12. Thank you, Mrs. B! Though I’m sorry about the cabin fever. :) If it makes you feel any better, since my last post, spring has been at a standstill with temperatures dipping below freezing a few times and some days not even climbing out of the 40’s. There is even snow in the forecast for tonight!

    Needless to say, nothing else has been planted in our garden, though we’re hopeful that maybe next week that will change!

    I hope spring does arrive for you soon!

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)