Nice Days Mean WORK!

Two nice days in a row and I need many more to finish all the outside cleanup. Doesn’t a 60 degree day just yell out – summer is coming! But there’s so much that needs to happen first!

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First there’s Easter – we will have choir practice Weds. nite and a service on Maundy Thursday followed by the Cross Walk on Friday, Sonrise Service early Easter morning, breakfast and our morning worship.

And then there’s the Easter bunny named Harvey. Here’s Harvey from Brenda who said she bought the kit at our shop – I really love the shades of gray and I do not remember this kit!

And from Jeanie

And twin Harveys from Diane.

I did not have a good day yesterday. I stepped outside in the morning to see that my Chewy order had arrived. I had not heard Fed Ex nor did they knock on my door and usually the driver calls ahead so I can open the gate.

Yes, it was a huge order but since my driver always brings it to my garage, I was not concerned. This time, 4 heavy boxes that totaled 202 lbs. were left right against my gate on the outside. This gate swings OUT! I couldn’t begin to move 202 lbs. from inside the gate! What in the world was he thinking? I got my wagon, opened the power gate and opened the boxes where they sat. I loaded my wagon and went back through the power gate 4 times.

I know what you’re saying right now – but it was free shipping, right? Yes, it was free shipping but if I had gone to Target I would have had a cart to roll the stuff to my van and when I got home, I would have driven right in the garage. I quit ordering pet supplies from Amazon because they ship everything through the post office and those boxes end up sitting in my driveway outside the fence by the mailbox. Once again I have to cart it into the house and garage. So I think for the average pet owner either Chewy or Amazon are probably fine. For me, however, it’s just a hassle. And it’s a hassle that’s even worse than going to Walmart!

Yesterday I picked up sticks for hours and when Rick got home he helped me uncover the hydrangeas. Last fall when I cut them down I left the stalks on top of the plants – much to the dismay of several readers but I was willing to try it. As he pulled the stalks and the leaves off the plants many had buds on them.

As I loaded up the debris to haul away I started laying aside those stalks that had tiny green buds. I think if I plant them they might grow!

I laid aside quite a few and planted 6 of them in a pot as an experiment. Those I didn’t plant I put in a corner and covered them up with leaves again so they wouldn’t dry out before I got a chance to plant them. I still have about 1/4th of the row to clean off. I hauled many loads like this.

And I’m really tired tonight – I almost hope it rains tomorrow so I can do something else.

36 thoughts on “Nice Days Mean WORK!

  1. Marilyn

    The caption on the wagon tells the story…Workhorse
    I cleaned my yard Saturday and Sunday..Sunday night we had a tornado watch..lots of wind and lots of rain equals lots of sticks ugh
    Hope you get rain tomorrow do it gives you another venue

  2. Mary

    I miss working in my yard and clearing it out for the promise of greenery and flowers. I am mailing my check for Harvery. It may not get from CA to IA by Sunday.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary – I’ll watch for your check since you let me know it’s coming! I would miss ha Ina a yard very much. Mine is way too big but it didn’t used to be – I could really work hard years ago. Now I’m going about half speed! Ha!

  3. Pam from Waterloo

    Mary, I don’t think many of us could handle all the work that goes with having such a beautiful place as yours. It’s beautiful because you make it that way. The people who receive your emails don’t see most of the hard work that it entails. It was nice today to see what real work looks like. I hope those budding branches take hold and grow–were they from shrubs or trees? It’s heavenly to see the little green buds.
    Easter blessings to you and your family (and Reed too!)

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pam from Waterloo – thanks for those kind thoughts. Someone else asked about the buds so I went back and read what I wrote. Didn’t it make sense to you that the stalk that had buds on it was a hydrangea? I was talking about cleaning them off and cutting the stalk last fall. What did I say or not say that you didn’t understand? Not only you but others as well. I can’t write and not make myself clear. Maybe hydrangeas are just common around here – do any of you grow hydrangeas? Do you cut them down in the fall? I’ll post this tomorrow so I’ll get the answer. Thanks again, Pam!

      1. Patricia E Campbell

        I understood that you meant the hydrangeas were what you had cut back and were also the sticks that were budding!! Maybe we just think alike?! 😉
        Hydrangea come in two different types: those that bloom on old wood, and those that bloom on new wood. Yours must be the “new wood” kind. I had some of each when I lived in Michigan and found out the hard way that I couldn’t just lop everything off!! Oh well, live and learn!!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Patricia – the source of these Annabelle hydrangeas is over 120 years old – from my neighbor Emma across the road. Actually these must be the old wood since what was budding were the “old” stalks cut off last fall. I so hope they all grow – I’ll have Annabelles all over the farm! Wouldn’t that be fun?

          1. Patricia E Campbell

            Yes it would!! 😀
            When we moved from MI to AZ, I gave many of my favorite plants to family and friends because you never know what will happen after you leave to your gardens!! Well, I stupidly didn’t realize that Columbine would grow here in the low desert. I’m so sad I didn’t bring mine with me because it was a special blue-colored cultivar that my sister-in-law had given me that she had gotten out of her (& mt husband’s) great-aunt’s garden in New York State. Now none of us have them. Gardening here just isn’t the same!!


          2. CountryThreads Post author

            Patricia Campbell – but gardening with succulents would be exciting to me and they could live outside year round, couldn’t they? No, it’s not like gardening in the Midwest and I’m sorry you lost your special Columbine.

  4. Lisa in Washington state

    Ugh, so sorry about your Chewy order. If I order something and Fed Ex is the delivery company I cancel my order, they are always doing something stupid…Amazon always uses UPS to deliver where I live and they bring it right up on my front porch, I love my UPS guy! I’m tired tonight too, we worked outside all day. I love spring but it’s a very busy season. Tomorrow’s plan is planting my potatoes and Walla Walla sweet onions and filling all my pots with new dirt! After that it’s sewing!!! 😍😍😍

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lisa In Wa state – I wonder why Amazon uses USPS here because I love my UPS guy, too. Well, I’ve complained to Chewy and they left a complaint from me with Fed Ex but it’s water under the bridge now.

  5. Beryl Hoff

    WOW! My back hurts looking at those boxes. Maybe it was a different driver for some reason. that is too bad.
    Spring is coming slowly to Montana. We woke up to about 2″ of snow again this morning. I am so done with it!! It snowed til about 1 or so but didn’t stick, it was too warm and the snow was very wet. It is about all gone tonight! Now it says a wintry mix int the morning, we’ll see. The high is 46, 57 on Thursday and 62 on Friday with sunshine, oh and 60% rain too?? It is spring! I could see a hint of green on the willow bushes by the creek today!!! There are blades of green as the last of the snow melts. It makes me want to plant but not until mid May at the earliest! I will do some pots that I can move next to the house and cover. Hopefully won’t need to cover until Sept. again!!
    It will be about 30 for our 7 AM sunrise service this year!! The sun may peak over the mountain before we all head to our pastor’s home for breakfast. The service is about 1/2 hour so it won’t be too cold. The meadow larks are back so they will be singing in the background! I love all the songs the birds sing in the spring.
    I was going to order another pattern or two…will have to look for the list you gave a few days ago. Like I need another pattern! I could probably use up a lot of my fabric if I sewed some of the patterns!!
    Don’t over do!! Enjoy the rest of the week…it sounds busy!
    Thanks for all the fun pictures. I love your house and yard!

  6. Launa

    We awakened to fresh snow on trees and also on old unthawed snow. Was too warm to stick on our driveway and private road up here in north Idaho! Snow continued for more hours til the sun appeared.
    No complaints about our UPS driver! He always tells Pepper to wait til he puts the boxes near the door then he will pet her. Fed Ex won’t come the 2/3 mile to our house; leaves any packages at the gate house.
    Our first great grandperson was born in CA this morning…nice to see his picture with his mom and a couple more with his dad holding him, too. An exciting day!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Launa – a great grandson! Congratulations! I’ll bet you’re anxious for spring, too. I love my UPS driver – so considerate.

  7. Tina W. In Oregon

    After working in our yard yesterday and helping a friend clean and rearrange her store today, I know I’ll be sore tomorrow! I’m glad our yard isn’t as large as yours!
    Years ago when I had a hydrangea, sometimes I’d prune it back and other times I wouldn’t. It always came back and had beautiful blue flowers. I used to make wreaths after drying them. They’re pretty in a vase too. I think it’s too cold and/or dry for them where we live now.
    Everyone’s Harvey’s are really great!

  8. Diane in Central Ohio

    That’s too much for anyone to carry. Your delivery person should have known better! Our UPS guy knows most of us and pets the dogs as he delivers. He’s great. The Fed Ex guy is in and out in a HURRY. I’m sorry to see the end of the Harveys; it was fun to see how each one was different, yet the same.
    I’d like to know what the twigs with buds are, too. I have black thumbs, but a green thumb husband which is great:)
    HAPPY EASTER to all in Iowa and around the country:)

  9. Sue in Oregon

    I have several hydrangeas that did not get cut back this year and they should have been. Now they are leafing out and growing like mad. They will be way too big by summer. I think I will cut them anyway and then they will bloom in the fall. And, that’s okay. I have started them from cuttings that I just stuck in the ground. We don’t have hot summers, though, so don’t know about yours. I think they root quite easily.
    The latest Harveys are wonderful and will be joining many families for Easter dinner. Nice.
    The box story is very maddening. I know I would have been so upset.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sue in Oregon – I am thrilled to hear you have started hydrangeas just like I thought would work! I can plant them so many places here on the farm! They really need a fence to support them however since when it rains on those big blooms they tend to collapse. Not pretty then. My little doggie says “hi”.

  10. Diane Bauer

    I wondered, too, if maybe you had a new driver for that delivery, but sounds like you’ve had issues before. Someone was not thinking to leave a stack of boxes like that on the outside of a gate. I love Chewy and have had great service from them, but I also live in town and that seems to make a difference with deliveries.
    Can’t imagine the amount of yard clean-up you have in the fall and in the spring. I have a regular sized yard, but lots of trees and plants, and there is always a long process to get perennials and decorative grasses cut down and the leaves raked in the fall and bushes trimmed in the spring. I’m grateful Windsor has a free spot to drop yard waste. I always cart a Pilot full of bags of leaves there in the fall. I’ll be anxious to hear if the hydrangeas take and grow again! I don’t often see them out here.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane Bauer – this type of hydrangea is common in North Iowa – I’m wondering if I could plant them in a huge pot in front of my house. I think it would be beautiful. I’m not as successful with grasses but I wish I were.

      So how are all 4 dogs doing? They probably love being together. And how is Pete? I wonder about him and his recovery which I hope is complete.

      Chewy has been great about this and if I could have reached Fed Ex as easily I would have complained directly to them but have you ever tried to navigate their website? Virtually impossible to state a question to them.

      It’s raining today so I’ll run errands instead of yard work. My old body needs the rest. Haha!

  11. Beth Laverty

    I am currently recovering from Rotator Cuff surgery and will be sitting on my couch for quite a while yet to come. They tell me it will be at least a month in a sling and then quite a lot of physical therapy. BUT I needed it so I did it. I hope to be able to sit at sewing machine soon to get back to my piecing for my 9 patch quilt. I will have to learn to NOT use my left arm much at the machine.
    My husband started the yard clean up yesterday. We had several tornados in our area and a LOT of wind so LOTS of sticks. I have had tree hydrangeas (in Maine) and the ones that are more like bushes here. I only do small bits of pruning in the fall.
    All the delivery people that come here deliver to my back door. We live on a main road with lots of folks walking and running by (a college just down the road) so they know not to leave stuff out front!!! I did have to “train” a new mail person as my last mail guy retired. If our property was a bit bigger we might need one of those “workhorses” LOL

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beth Laverty – I had left rotator cuff surgery in 1999 and arthroscopic on my right shoulder a few months later. I remember that the physical therapy was painful but necessary and look at me today! I’m a “workhorse” again – haha!

      1. Beth Laverty

        Mary you give me hope!!!! I had arthroscopic on other shoulder several years ago because of bone spurs. It was an easy recovery.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Beth L – don’t give up! There is life after shoulder surgery – smile!

    2. Patricia E Campbell

      Beth: I had that surgery – actually, both at once on the same shoulder hahaha – last year in March. I had 6 months of P.T. My surgeon told me that recovery from a rotator tear is much more difficult than even hip replacement and to not rush recovery. Go to p.t. as long as your insurance covers it. In fact, as long as you can afford it!! I also got approved for a STIM machine at home by my insurance. That’s something they use on you at p.t. if you don’t know. It’s a bit strange, but amazing. Definitely ask for your own!! Good luck!!!

  12. Marsha Ransom

    I am always puzzled when we have packages delivered that some will put them on our back (not covered) stoop or in front of our garage door, where, if it rains, the water will pour onto the package from our steep roof, when the majority of the front of our house has a large deep covered porch – I have started adding special delivery instructions whenever possible – it’s so simple, just put them on the front porch by the front door. Thankfully, the post office also will deliver all of our parcels and other mail rubber-banded together onto the table on our front porch. Of course, our long driveway doesn’t have a gate, since we don’t have any animals or reason for a gate.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marsha Ransom – the fact that he left them outside the gate doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that he piled them directly against the gate that swings out – bad decision all the way around.

  13. Lois Palmisano

    Hi Mary that annual farm cleanup my be the reason that many folks move away from the land.
    Lois in omaha

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lois – yes, it would be a contributing factor in many cases and my problem is that I’m so impatient I work too hard and just want to get it done. As I get older I’m going to have to learn to spread out the cleanup – not my choice – ha!

  14. Gayle Shumaker

    I love hydrangeas and have several plants that have only bloomed a couple of times. I’ve tried clipping them off to the ground and the deer have also helped with that a couple of years, they still don’t bloom. I’ve given them 20 years I think that’s enough if they don’t bloom this year out they come.
    For your Chewy delivery is it possible there was a driver covering for your regular one who may have been ill or on vacation?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gayle S – yes, it certainly could have been a substitute driver. I wonder why your hydrangeas don’t bloom. Where do you live? And what location are your plants? Discouraging for sure!

  15. Debra C. Voigt

    Your sprouting sticks amaze me! I never know the right time to cut back my hydrangeas. Last year was the first in MANY that we had blooms; as a result, I did NOTHING to them last fall and the new growth that is taking form now looks healthy and promising. Fingers crossed. I simply cannot believe the extra work incurred by that ill-placed delivery, someone CERTAINLY wasn’t thinking. Hope you’re not aching too bad today. All the Harveys are fabulous!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Debra V – not aching at all really – spring work can be brutal – the raking and the picking up sticks! Those heavy boxes just came on a very bad day but I hope I never get another Fed Ex delivery for awhile.

  16. Polly Perkins

    FYI… I had a problem with Fed Ex delivery of my Chewy. I took pictures of boxes that were tossed off the truck at the blind side of my garage door ..instead of my front door. Called Chewy and the associate told me he’d take care of it and if I had a picture to send to him that would be great. I have never had another issue with delivery again. Needless to say I tried to deal with Fed Ex myself to no avail.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Prolly Perkins – I had those pictures – I wish I’d been asked for photos. But Chewy told me Fed Ex will not go through a gate system. My other driver did. I told Chewy that the only reason I am fenced with a double entry is to keep my dogs safe – the dogs that are going to eat the food in the boxes – haha!

  17. Felicia Hamlin

    Mary, I have lost hydrangeas due to planting them too late in the year or being wrong for our zone. I have an Endless Summer that gave us beautiful blooms, but in the last few years have become lazy. I never cut then in the fall, I will try fertilizing it this year and see what happens.

    Happy Easter!

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