Early Spring

I wrote my last post on March 18. I haven’t meant to ignore you all, dear followers. I have been very busy crocheting from morning till evening. I had to make a Torch Lake Monster and six dolls–three girls and three boys–for a customer before Easter. The six dolls have the hair and eye color of her grandchildren with clothes in their favorite colors. The pattern I used was for a girl doll only but I adapted it to make the boys. I think they turned out rather cute.

I still have to make a bib, bonnet, booties set, but I’m taking time to write as I drink my morning coffee.

My eye collection. And a few noses.

The dolls used up most of my smaller eyes so I’ve had to order more. My usual on-line source seems to be wonky. They are out of some of the colors and my payment doesn’t go through. I wonder if they are shutting down the site? Whatever, I’ve had to look elsewhere. I think I found a better source–more eyes for less money. Sometimes I feel sort of like a fairy tale witch because I live in a forest, grow  herbs in my garden, have black cats, and have a collection of eyes and a few noses.

Once I get my current orders finished, I hope to spend a little time setting up more of my e-store. I have it basically set up, but there is still more I’d like to understand and do.

Spring has sprung! Ok, so there is snow in the forecast for this weekend but the daytime temperatures have been warmer, the sun feels stronger, and most of the snow on the ground has melted. Best of all, the driveway is no longer snow-covered or icy so I don’t have to worry about our vehicles getting stuck in the snow or me falling on the ice and breaking a bone when Hannah Joy and I walk down to get the mail.

I haven’t yet gotten around to putting away the bird feeders, but I have stopped filling them because, uh, you know: Bears. Although I’ve never seen any bears, I’ve heard reports of bears in the area. They are attracted to food sources–like bird feeders–so I make sure to stop feeding birds and other critters before the bears wake up in the Spring.  I hate when I have to stop because I love to watch the animals–the non-bear ones–up close. They stay hidden in the forest during the warm months when there is no food to draw them out.

Last week I mucked out the chicken coop. It’s hard work shoveling out the winter’s accumulation of dirty straw. It packs down and actually provides insulation during the winter. Or so I hear. In the Spring I use a hoe, flat-edged shovel, and rake to chop, push, and pull it out. It comes up in layers like an old carpet. It’s hard work and I can only keep at it for about an hour or two at a time.  I spent about 2 1/2 hours over two days cleaning out the coop. Then I spread fresh straw in it. The chickens happily spread it around.

Chickens in the garden.

The chickens hate cold and snow so they don’t venture out in the winter. With the nicer Spring days, however, they have come out of the coop. It’s nice to see them wandering around the garden once again. Once we get the garden planted in early May, we will have to shut the gate so they can’t get in and kill the plants with their scratching. The fence encloses both the garden coop and we can close a gate between them so the chickens can’t get into the garden section. However, until we get the garden planted, they are welcome to roam through it. Their scratching in the dirt actually helps prepare the garden for planting. 🙂

Image result for rooster coffee
Crowing roosters make me feel like this.

With the chickens outside, I can hear their cluckings and crowings. I don’t know why people complain about roosters crowing. I think the sound evokes a sort of warm nostalgic feeling of days gone by–sort of like Norman Rockwell paintings or like the picture at the right.

The chickens have begun laying eggs again. Searching for their eggs each day is a bit like an Easter egg hunt. EJ has a guy at work who wants to buy a dozen every week. Our eight hens provide more eggs than EJ and I can eat so it’s nice to be able to sell the extras. At $2 a dozen, we won’t get rich, but it might help a little with the cost of poultry feed. I supposed that if more people wanted our eggs, we could get more chickens, which would require more feed. I think that I’m content with the chickens we have.

EJ’s birthday was last Wednesday. When I asked, he said that there wasn’t anything he wanted for a gift. He said that if he ever wanted anything, he can just buy it. However, early Wednesday afternoon I drove down our snowless, iceless, and nontreacherous driveway to the local grocery store and bought him a cheesecake and some candles. I thought about buying a small carton of Moomer’s ice cream, which is made locally and is the BEST ice cream EVER with flavors like “Carrot Cake” and “Blueberry Cheesecake” Mmmmm! However, we have to watch our health so I figured the cheesecake was enough. EJ agreed–too much sugar causes him to “crash.” Plus, it’s easier to resist temptation if I don’t have any Moomer’s at all. If I eat any, I think, “Oh, my goodness! This is DELICIOUS!” And then I want more and more and even more. So I just pretend that Moomer’s doesn’t exist. It’s sort of like doing a Jedi mind trick on myself. I tell myself, “This isn’t the ice cream you are looking for” and I walk right past the freezer in the store.

Last night when I went out to shut the chickens safely in their coop, I saw a huge fire burning a few hills beyond our back property line. Concerned, I went in and got EJ to come out so he could determine if it was the beginning of a forest fire or someone’s huge bonfire. He saw it and yelped, “Holy Cow!” because the fire was so big. He stood and watched it awhile, and then determined that it was people either having a bonfire or burning a pile of brush. He could hear voices and the sound of a tractor out there. The fire was so large that it looked as if it could easily get out of control, especially if the people didn’t make sure it was completely out when they went to bed. However, while we can see smoke rising this morning, our house is still safely standing.

Well….I’ve got to get back to work!



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