~garden notes~

At our elevation (about 6,300′) it’s a little early to do much gardening… we still have at least a little more snow to look forward to and the possibility of freezing temperatures. Since we’ve lived here we’ve seen snow every month except July and August…

The average date of the last freeze for this area is about May 20th… so I don’t set my tomatoes out, or plant my other warm weather seeds, before then.

But there is still plenty I can be doing…

We’re moving ahead with the plans for the new pumpkin patch fence, and have the area all laid out and staked… Unfortunately we’ve had to postpone having the post holes drilled twice because of the weather. Now it looks like they will be drilled Monday and we can start setting the posts. I’m so excited to get that project moving!

I did enlarge the pumpkin patch a little, leaving enough room between the new fence and the pasture fence to drive our little lawn tractor through, but no more… so if we have to drive a car or truck around to the back of the property, we’ll have to go through the pasture now.

I enlarged it because, by the end of the summer, the pumpkins always take up that much space anyway. I usually end up patching together some combination of cattle panels and field fencing to temporarily fence off (from the deer) the pumpkin “overflow”. With the garden itself being larger the pumpkins should have enough room now. I also squared it up with the little bit of fencing the runs along the front of the house, which should look a lot better…

(the string line in this picture doesn’t look straight… once we put in the stakes it wasn’t needed, and it’s been loosened by all the wet and snow the past couple of weeks)

Making way for the pumpkin patch fence, meant moving the iris’ Joe’s mom gave me a few years ago, and a peony bush that grew in what had been the outside border of the pumpkin patch, but would now be in the patch or under the fence…

I separated the iris’ and moved them under the maple tree out front (still plenty of south sun)… and around the little bird feeder.

You can see the first of the sweet williams coming up too..

(Yes, I’ve got old sprinklers and things stored under those steps… I guess I should have moved them before I took the picture!)

The peony I moved around back into the “remembrance garden” with the other peonys…

I’ve been working in the kitchen garden too…

I spread a good layer of alpaca manure on the entire garden and got it turned into the soil which was a big, stinky job! (I’m glad it’s over…) The rhubarb is growing, and huge… but still a little droopy from our last snow storm.

The chives are growing like weeds…

…the strawberries (in the big trough planters) are looking good…

…and the mint is up. (I use mint like ground cover… letting it grow around the flagstones in the remembrance garden and cutting it with the lawnmower each time I mow. I let it grow long around the edges for tea, etc.)

I’ve got the carrots, lettuce and some butterfly flower seeds planted, although most of the garden is still “resting”…

And finally… I’ve planted pansies in the trough/planter out front, and in the back window boxes. I’ll fill in the window boxes with more flowers later, it’s just too early in the year for anything but pansies (but I did have a yearning for a bit of color..).

The pansies in front are “caged” because the deer LOVE them so much… it’s either make a cage over them or move into the front yard to keep the deer away!

Anybody else doing any early spring gardening?

Quick update on M: We saw the orthopedist yesterday (who specializes in hips) and were referred to the UCHSC Spine Clinic… So we really don’t know much more than we did last week.


CA trip

WP won’t let me embed the image for the fundraiser site, so you have to go here to see Grace’s site where she is raising funds for a trip to CA. Every little bit helps, but an encouraging note is nice too!

Fox, bank

We did some school then headed over to an early lunch at SAME cafe’. They were having 4 cheese or 4 meat pizza, 3 bean or citrus salad and green chile chicken soup or lentil soup. Then we went to the Fox theater to hear some poetry, spoken word and songs from Su Teatro. From there we went to a co-op at the Young Americans bank. They showed us around the bank and we did some exercises involving money, goal setting and budgeting. We planned a budget and looked at how much things cost as well as set up a goal to save for. They have free one day classes in the summer and I’m going to sign up the girls for them (Bethany is too old, they are for ages 8-13.)

We went swimsuit shopping for Grace and Hannah, I hate swimsuit shopping. They both wear the same size and I don’t know what we’re going to do next year (or whenever they need a new suit.) There isn’t a suit for pre-teens, just a kids section and adult with padded bras or skimpy suits section. I guess we’ll have to shop on-line and order 3-4 kinds to try on and send back the ones that don’t fit. It’s a bit ridiculous. They get to wear the new suits tonight when we go to the gym, I hope they last awhile.

our not quite spring weather (and an update)

Yesterday’s snow is almost gone already… We went from having an icy wonderland outside the window in the morning, to sticky mud everywhere by afternoon, to, in the evening, the ground already starting to dry out.  We lost no branches during the storm, but the fruit trees were just starting to bud and I’m hoping the hard freeze didn’t finish off my harvest (again!) this year. (We didn’t get a single apple off the trees last year thanks to a late freeze…)

The pastures are greening up, Murphy and Tucker are losing their winter coats, and I’ve planted pansies in the little trough/planter out front…but I’m pretty sure winter isn’t quite done with us yet.

It didn’t look too spring-y the other day when I took this picture of R, in snowshoes a neighbor lent her, making her way across the front yard.

I didn’t intend to be cryptic when I wrote in last week’s daybook about the results of M’s CT scan. Unfortunately, the results of the scan are confusing to me… I can’t seem to track down enough information (that I can understand!) to feel like I have a good picture of what’s going on.  So I didn’t post anything about the results, hoping to have a better understanding first.

They only scanned his lower back, so the CT didn’t give any new information about the mild scoliosis in his upper back found on the x-ray. The results of the CT scan show something called “focal sclerosis” at his L3 and L4 vertebrae (this is instead of the spondylolysis, not in addition to it). This type of sclerosis apparently causes an abnormal hardening of the bone. I don’t know what impact that hardening has on his spine, the long term prognosis, etc.. I haven’t been able to find much of anything about this problem, especially in a young man, online.

I emailed his PCP on Friday asking her to clarify the results… but haven’t heard back. M has an appointment Thursday with the orthopedist who did his second hip operation… hopefully I’ll get more information then (and probably a referral to the UCHSC Spine Clinic).

So that’s the latest… hopefully I’ll know more by the end of the week.


Learning patience in your homeschool brings you closer to your preschoolers.

Finding patience is a journey. One which every parent undertakes…by choice or force.  Homeschool children are masterful teachers and will teach you patience.


I must have really wanted it to be April yesterday. I told the girls to write poem 2 and they were like, but it’s April 1st! So, no poems today.

We’re heading out to a co-op in a few, a nice day for an edible plant walk.

Snowy day

It blew in around 12, just an hour ahead of what the weatherman said. We don’t often believe the weatherman, so we waited to see about park day – but then the snow started flying. We did some school, watched some TV and I made honey mustard chicken with green beans and salad for dinner. Hannah’s drum class was cancelled, but it happens once a month, so we’ll just catch it next month. Here’s the back yard and Maisy’s tracks (the wind blew open the back gate, fortunately the girls were out playing in the snow and grabbed her.)

As quickly as it came, the snow is gone and blue sky is breaking from behind the gray clouds.

Tomorrow we’re having lunch with James, doing school and Bethany is making wind chimes at the library.

Simple woman’s daybook



Outside my window…Maisy is happily chasing a squirrel while getting as dirty as possible, someone is not coming into the house for quite awhile…

I am thinking…about the busyness of the week and trying to put some quiet time in it.

I am thankful…that my husband has a job and provides so well for our family.

In the kitchen…dinner is lemon tilapia, snap peas and salad, the fish is thawing.

I am wearing…my comfy black dance pants with a bleach stain on them and a gray top.

I am creating…nothing at the moment, other than this post.

I am going…to make camping reservations for April.

I am wondering…how long the girls will sleep-in this morning.

I am reading…40 Chances.

I am hoping…it doesn’t snow tomorrow for park day.

I am looking forward to…a quick trip to Pueblo next week to play at the museum, see the raptors and go to Lake Pueblo.

I am learning…about Marine Megafauna with Grace, it’s been interesting.

Around the house…I need to Swiffer today, the dishes are done, the bed is made, the laundry is put up, the only sound right now is the clacking of my laptop keys and the hum of the fridge. Evil cat is up to her usual evilness.

I am pondering…how to be a better person (evil cat says not calling her evil would be a start.)

A favorite quote for today…’Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.’ – Albert Einstein

One of my favorite things…is definitely not orange Metamucil.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I’m looking forward to a drumming session, just Hannah and me, I’m also looking forward to seeing lots of friends at a co-op this week.

A peek into my day…I do love my gypsy curtains, they make me happy.

Back to normal

I got all the laundry done and put up, we went grocery shopping, the fish tank got cleaned out and some school was done. That was yesterday. Today I helped Bethany with some school stuff, Hannah and Grace watched TV, we went to the library for Presentation club (but we were the only ones there) then we went to the park to play. It was a gorgeous day considering that it snowed last night. We got up to 50 and it was sunny, so almost all of the snow was gone from the playground. I made green chile pork stew for dinner and when James gets home we’re going to the gym to workout/swim.

Grace has a paper to write for her Coursera class and a quiz to take tomorrow, Bethany has papers to write and Grace has a doc appointment with NJ. Hannah is starting a unit study on Egypt by reading the following:





We also have this read aloud for next week:


And I’m reading this:


Bethany has testing for 3 days next week, so the girls and I will be reading and doing some fun things without her (and we’ll be doing some fun things with her too.)


Our on-line school was down for most of the day today, but we have plenty of off-line things to do, so we did that (and I entered the on-line portion later.) Bethany’s work is all on-line, so it’s a good thing she’s ahead. She ended up doing some science when we got home. We went to the $1 movie to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, such a cute movie. I just want to squish that little talking strawberry. It was just as cute and funny the 2nd time around.

We dropped Valentine’s off at the homeless shelter for the kids there. The ball got dropped by someone at the SA for us to have a party there, but at least the Valentine’s got delivered. We drove by 2 parks to check them out for park day, but they were both lacking. I need one more park, preferably more north, but I have a few more months to check out parks. I’m thinking Wash park might be the one.

Dinner tonight is Italian sausage with noodles. Dinners for the rest of the week are: shrimp gumbo, chili, chicken and veggies and Taco Bell for Valentine’s Day.