Work While the Sun Shines

That was my motto today because we are now under a winter storm watch tomorrow – sad but true! When people ask me when I think it’s safe to put their plants outdoors, I always tell them to wait till Mothers Day – April is a fickle month and you just can’t trust it. Consequently I had only my new hanging fern to bring into the house tonight.

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There’s been lots of entertainment at my porch table for a couple days – much equipment, vehicles, workers, and tractors across the rode where they’re tiling.

It’s quite a process and one I’ve never given much thought to so I had to ask Rick my stupid tiling questions.

Today was grocery shopping and if I don’t write this blog post first thing in the morning, the day just speeds by. More cleanup today but not as much as Wednesday. Boy, I can’t do that again! But first a chicken picture – see those two smaller white chickens and one black one at the top of the photo? Those are the chicks from last January- the other two are just out of the frame. They’re nearly full grown and I still don’t know how many roosters there are.

This area is just north of the barn and late last summer I moved some peonies here.

Good thing I marked each plant because I can just barely see the new plants coming up – see that little red sprout?

Next to it is a corner of the barn which just looks messy – not bad but a rake would be good here.

Yup, I was right – a little cleanup was needed.

Keep going to the west to where the dead tree had fallen a couple weeks ago. Rick cut up the tree leaving the trunk for the goats and I raked.

Another messy job cleaned up – until there’s another one – ha! That’s just living in the country. One of the very best things about living in the country is seeing my chickens in the yard. No matter how old I get while still living here, I will always have some chickens. I just love seeing them up by the house.

And here is my most frustrating problem on 10 acres. After we finished remodeling 5 years ago I contacted a landscape company who just insisted that I couldn’t put sod down. I tried to explain that I had dogs who would be running across the yard which would be hard on new seeding. They simply would not put sod down for me even though that is what I wanted and was willing to pay for. They said sod would not grow with so much shade. They wanted to spray seed the area. I had to get fill dirt hauled in, spread, and raked level. They promised I would be happy. This is my “grass” today.

I want pretty grass. I love to mow the grass. I love to look at the grass. I’ll never forget one year during an open house, someone complimented me on the grass and exclaimed that it was weed free and that it was beautiful. That compliment meant a lot. My yard today just makes me sad.

45 thoughts on “Work While the Sun Shines

  1. Jackie Robinson

    Sorry for not having grass where you wanted it. If you had had sod you would of had grass..dang ole men..think they know what we want. All we want is for them to shush and do what we ask. But they know best..hahaha…are you happy with your grass..they promise you the moon..and bam..nothing…lol

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jackie Robinson – well, I appreciate your support – I just wish I had stood my ground but I thought they might be right.

      1. Mary Evans

        I just have to jump in and say, “invite those grass guys over to see the ‘great grass’ they put in. And make them give you a deal on sod…….and/or get someone else to sell you some sod!! Don’t give up!!

  2. Karen Gaither

    I always wait until after Easter in Dallas to plant my summer flowers.

    What are they doing across the street? Looks like the ditch is maybe getting flattened.

    I don’t know how you have so much energy to take care of all the animals, yard, house, quilt & cook. I know it seem like not much to you, since you are officially retired form the store. I can’t seem to get anything done around the house.

    1. Jim Kruszka

      looks like they are putting in field tile to help drain excess water from field.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Jim Kruszka – you’re right! That’s exactly what they’re doing. I did say all the equipment was for tiling but I guess if you’re a city dweller, tiling isn’t a word you know. Thanks for your comment!

        1. Mary Evans

          Ha. I thought you meant to say tilling and just mis-spelled it. Thanks to Jim Kruszka and you, now I understand!! LOL

  3. Jo in Wyoming

    You have been one busy person this week. The pictures are great.
    The pond, goat, chickens and Hazel..that’s a smile maker.
    I agree with you about sod. It’s so instant. And hardy and patchable. I’m sure there is a type that works in partial shade.
    With all those branches, my “branch manager” would have a blast.
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend and not too severe winter weather. Out planting is iffy till Memorial Day.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – I think the storm is going to miss us by dropping down just east of us. Yay! We don’t really need another snowstorm!

  4. ada

    Hopefully your grass will look better in another month or two and that none of those chickens turn out to be roosters.

  5. Beryl Hoff

    We have a 50% chance of snow tonight, rain/snow mix tomorrow and snow on Sunday with a high of 32!! We get snow any month of the year but we are all so tired of it now. The cool helps the snow melt so maybe no flooding here this spring. It has been so cool and cloudy and snowy it hardly seems like next week is May already. I have one Johnny Jump blooming! It looks so lonesome and cold. There should be more soon. I get so anxious to put flowers out but we still have mid 20’s at night so best not!
    Your chickens are so colorful, I love to see you pictures of them. And then all of the other animals running free! I wish I could let my two dogs run but they are just bait around here and they turn deaf when they are out so I have to keep them close. They love to be outside but just can’t do it.
    I think I would take a picture of your “lawn” and send it to the folks who did the work…let them see how well it has done and tell them you will be advertising for them! That is too bad, especially when you had to prepare the area and pay for the whole thing…NOT good.
    Hope the winter storm warning is wrong and you just get rain. We also have a high wind advisory with the snow and rain. No winter weather advisory though.
    Thanks for all the pictures, it is so fun to see everything coming to life. And all the work you do…oh my.

  6. Gramapama

    Snow is supposed to miss us here in our area of Wisconsin this weekend. We wait for planting our annuals until around Memorial weekend … usually safe from frost by then. We keep a close eye on the weather report for frost warnings though. I agree with previous comments to take photos of your grass for the experts who didn’t want to place the sod. It’s so good to see your before and after pictures of your yard. It is a beautiful place! Hazel and the chickens must be entertaining! Enjoy your weekend.

  7. Paula Philpot

    Closed 5 ads this morning…..I just love your farm and I know it is hard work. We worked in yard this week and got everything ready for annuals. I always plant zinnias too since that is what my mom planted. Do the chickens eat your flowers? Paula in KY

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Paula Philpot – thanks for closing those ads! The chickens do not bother my flowers. I planted zinnias last year by the barn and loved them. Such a sweet old fashioned flower – I’ll bet we all grew up with zinnias!

      1. Holly in Two Harbors

        I loved having chickens up by the house and I love zinnias. Pollinators love zinnias, too. A couple years ago we had an amazing amount of painted lady butterflies (but not a single monarch). I planted zinnias in pots on my deck and the butterflies swarmed to them. When I walked out the door there were so many flitting around me I felt like a Disney princess!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Holly in Two Harbors – what a good idea! Zinnias in pots – I’m going to try it.

        2. Deb Harrison

          Is Holly in Two Harbors, Mn? If so hello from one who has camped every year at Burlington Bay since the 90’s!
          Our favorite campground!

  8. Kathy in western NY

    There were little flakes of snow flying in the air when I took the dogs out this morning here. My daffodils are all done for now, tulips yet to open. We have a spot under a tree near our barn and goes all the way to the back deck that stays shady and no grass will grow for us. And of course the dogs walk thru that area before hopping on the deck to come in….I am teaching them to walk the path with blocks instead. But now I am wondering if we should find some sod for shady areas??? Let me know if you pursue that any further too. I like Beryl’s idea to let the men know their plan did not work.

  9. Sharon Lowy

    Waiting for snow here in Illinois today. I will go get some food for my finicky cat this morning so he will have choices.😁. I have a shady yard and can’t get the grass to grow. I have had it sodded, seeded with hay and fabric covering it and it isn’t pretty. Last year I had 22 trees removed so I am hoping it will look better soon. I only have 3/4 of an acre lot. I bought grass seed for a shady lot and it has Fesque seeds which come up and look like crab grass. Seems like I can’t win.

    I haven’t moved my plants out yet. I wait for mid May but I had my garage heated and my plants are starting to wake up. I had my grandson and granddaughter put my porch furniture out for me on Easter. I know the snow won’t stick around but I really don’t want anymore!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sharon Lofy – I know how you feel – so does Hedy – read her comment. I almost feel better knowing I’m not the only one with bad grass. But it still makes me sad.

  10. Hedy

    I have a yard where grass won’t grow despite much encouragement from lawn companies. Now I just live with it but I, too, like thick grass. I think the previous owner dumped soil from the area he was digging for our lower level and it’s not good soil.

  11. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    Love the picture with the January chicks in it. The two white ones have such interesting tails feathers. Last Monday a friend of mine and I went hunting for fields of blue bells (Virginia type, not Texas). They bloom around tax time. We found some and they are such a delight. They don’t last long. Maybe your grass will improve when it gets warm, let’s hope.

  12. Roxanne

    I also like the idea of sending the landscapers a photo. It seems that if you had good grass there before you should be able to again. Either they need to work on this or possibly talk to other landscapers until you find one you like.

  13. Mrs. Goodneedle

    No seasonal planting until after Mother’s Day? Wow, that sounds like living in New England where I was raised as a child. Being in North Carolina for the last 44 years has made me soft. We have had temperatures up and down and wild, violent storms with the temperature fluctuations as we launch into spring but our frost danger has passed. Thanks for sharing your farm and your precious animals with us.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mrs. Goodneedle – it’s clear why we love spring and summer so much, isn’t it? This is almost my favorite time of the year because I know the best is coming. By fall I begin to get sad knowing what will also be coming. Weather certainly does control our lives, doesn’t it?

  14. Sue

    Ack! Weather person said we could get a dusting of snow overnight tonight. I hope not! Hope you don’t get any, either. It was beautiful when I woke up this morning, but it’s clouded up again as more rain is on the way. We had so much Thursday that our favorite Chinese restaurant is flooded as well as our river walk (our small city built a walkway along the river from downtown out to our big park, about five miles, all told. ). Parts near where we live are flooded…we live a block from the river, but we’re on the high side. The ground is saturated, though, hope it’s not much rain.

      1. Sue

        We live in Marion, Indiana, home of The Quilters Hall of Fame. Yes, THE QHF. Fons & Porter are being inducted in July so all you Iowa folks need to come and support them! Celebration is the third weekend in July and we always have lots of fun!

  15. Linda Baker

    If you’re smart, no planting here until around Memorial Day. Husband learned the hard way when he lost everything in the garden and had to start over. 2-4 inches of snow tonight, but it should melt fast.
    Love seeing your pictures and hearing about your latest adventures. You make my day every day!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda Baker – we have lost young seedlings as well. One year we didn’t get the pumpkins planted until June 20 and still got pumpkins that year!

  16. Diane Deibler

    I would send them a picture of your “grass” and then find another landscape company. There are a lot more around these days.

  17. Deb Harrison

    Oh, sure, Mary, give Butler County the snowstorm! Ha! Had to move my plants from Tx, last night. Taught two the rudiments of quilting this winter, and next year, three of my card playing buddies ( one quilter) want to go with me on a return adventure to the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange. Have told everyone about Country Threads, the Iowa Quilt Museum and Iowa Shop Hop.
    We have many small branches to pick up from our aging maple ( est. 70-80 yrs). Losing bark off limbs, lots of scarring from lightning strikes. Only other shade tree is a walnut, which is why we have “squirrel wars” on our deck!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Deb Harrison – I envy you the trip to the TX Quilt Museum! There is joy in having large mature trees But it also means lots of twigs to pick up. Mine were all picked up until the wind today along with the storm. Ugh. Good thing your plants moved in – today is not Texas weather!

  18. Julie stancato

    I always wait until Mother’s day as well. My sons always chip in for Mother’s day and take me to the locally owned garden center, which I love. I’d rather buy from a family business whenever I get a chance. And sometimes I don’t even put them in the garden until after Memorial day, just leave them out on the back porch and bring them into the garage overnight if temps are predicted to drop. Better safe than sorry, and I’m usually glad I waited!

  19. Frances Carter

    I love your chickens! Your two white chicklets, so they have black tails, or is that just a shadow? They have grown so much. I can’t imagine thinking of snow this time of year. Everything is booming and colorful here in Virginia.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Frances Carter – yes, the two white chicklets have dark tails – not deep black but gray. Who knows what they’ll look like as adults! Haha! Love em!

  20. Gloria

    This NE gal sure enjoys my IA friends blogs! Thank you, ladies. We started raising chickens last spring and enjoy them so much! Zinnias are my favorites, too! I have lived in CO the last 50 years and long for the midwest every day. We spend 8 months a year in S. Texas so the husband can escape the snow. This year made for a great escape. Enjoy your spring and summer times!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gloria – what kind of chickens do you raise? 8 months of the year? My mom and dad went to Edinburg for many years and after Dad died, Mom went alone – she loved it at Orange Grove!

  21. Diane, Squeak's mom

    Two LaCrosse games today so will just say, I closed 7 ads today because I clicked something and a whole new bunch came up:)

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