Tuesday

The Garden Fence: In Progress

 Our garden fence is finally underway. Last week we put in the corner posts and roped off the entire area- which is approximately 115 ft by 100 ft. Rylan and I measured where all the fence posts would go on Saturday and marked them so that the post hole digging would go a bit quicker.


On Sunday we rented an auger to drill the 40+ holes. Paul, my brother and a friend manned the auger and got the holes dug fairly quickly. Between rocks, roots and hard-packed soil some of the holes had to be finished with the  manual post hole digger to reach the correct depth.


 We are using locust fence posts that are about 7 ft long. I really love the rustic look of them and how they are all different. I think they add a lot of character to the fence row.



 You can see most of the entire area to be fenced in the picture below.  It's big and I can't wait to fill it up with plants!


We still have to tamp down a few more posts, hang 2 gates and run the wire. But hopefully we can get that done by next weekend so I can start planting!



This post is linked to the HomeAcre Hop, The Homestead Barn Hop,

Saturday

Printable Blog Planner Review

In the past my blog planning consisted of whatever happened to be in my head at the current moment. On a good day I might have a few posts scratched out in a random notebook somewhere. For the most part it worked, but I tended to get into trouble with posts that were a little more time sensitive- such as reviewing items for companies. So keeping track of all my blog-related stuff in one place started to sound like a good idea.

Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations  has created a a 60 page printable blog planner that has all the necessary parts to be totally organized. It's got month-at-glance pages, weekly post tracking pages that include social media reminders, lots of extras to keep track of all the little parts of blogging and plenty of room to make notes and ideas.



I'll be honest, making changes is hard. I had to constantly remind myself that using a planner was a better idea than scratching random notes or relying on my memory. But after using the planner for a few weeks I can see definite improvements.

What I liked most:

  • I really liked the extra pages included in the planner such as those to keep track of weekly blog hops and twitter hashtags. There are so many of those to remember that no one can keep them all straight!
  • The Stats tracking page. I have never written down any stats and usually only check them sporadically, but writing them down and seeing progress is a definite push to work harder.
  • The full month-at-a-glance calender. I tend to post in spurts, which is something I have wanted to change. So when I see that I might post 4 times in a week and then not again for another week and a half, I am more likely to take steps to spread the posts out. It's also a gentle reminder to get writing if you haven't posted in awhile. 
  • The social media reminders. Social media is big right now and it's a lot to keep track of, so being able  to check off all the places as you share your posts is great. 

Was there anything that didn't work for me? Of course. Everyone's organizational style is different, so there were a few things I would change if I were making my own planner. But overall, this planner is just what I needed to get more organized. I will note that this planner might not work really well if you are just starting out in the blog world as it might be a little overwhelming at the very beginning, but once you've gotten your blogging-feet wet, this planner would be just perfect.

If you'd like to get your own planner, visit  Homeschool Creations to download it today. It's free!

Want to know what other bloggers think about this planner or the many other available planners? Visit Mosaic Reviews to see more!



Thursday

Garden 2013: Spring Fever

 I have a serious case of spring fever and the fact that my seedlings are beginning to overfill our shelf isn't helping. My self imposed deadline to get the garden ready for planting is fast approaching, so this weekend, weather permitting, will be a busy one. Fence building, tilling, soil amending.

Here's how my seedlings look now. They are growing fast! First up is the Ragged Jack Kale. They are growing the fastest and hopefully can make it another week in their little pots. Growing Kale, when you have a son named Cale, is the source of constant jokes. And apparently the thought of eating your brother for dinner is hilarious!

Ragged Jack Kale

We started about 18 tomato plants to get an early start. They are looking really good and will have to be trasplanted to larger pots before too long since they still have a few months before they can be planted out.

Heirloom Tomatoes

 I was so excited about this one. Of all the things I want to grow, lavender is at the top of the list. I have tried time and time again to sprout it from seed with no luck. But I have 5 little sprouts now! They still have a ways to go, and I have been known to kill a large plant as well. But I am determined to have my lavender field one of these years.

Lavender

The eggplants are off to a slow start. Our seed shelf is on our bedroom, which stays around 64 degrees most days and colder through the night. The eggplant seeds are not happy with this arrangement. Rylan's yellow egg and my black egg and Turkish Orange didn't sprout at all. I planted a few more today and put them in the living room near where the woodstove is and hopefully they will germinate better.

Apple, Ping Tung and Purple Long Eggplant

The cabbage- both green and purple are also looking really good. I am starting to collect as many vegetarian cabbage recipes as I can, so if you have any to share I'd love to see them!

Cabbage
You know how when you plant seeds it is recommended that you plant 2 seeds to ensure germination? I usually ignore that when it comes to things like peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant because I am stingy with my seeds. But with the Brassicas we went ahead and doubled up, since the seeds were plentiful. So a few weeks after planting, things start to get crowded and you are supposed to pull out the weaker of the 2 sprouts. Yeah. I can't do that. I am incapable to throwing any plant out. Ever. So below you see a flat of the "weaker sprouts." I pulled them up and stuck them in the soil filled flat and hoped for the best. They all made it. So now we have double the amount of what we planted. I do the same thing with suckers. Tomato suckers I will pinch off and plant and do the same with raspberry suckers....


Here is our shelf from top to bottom. All 3 shelves are pretty much full. The Kale is about as tall as the lights will go. If I could find a chicken safe place outside I would put them out there, but I am still working on finding that chicken-safe place.


Happy growing!


This post has been linked to The Homestead Barn Hop,

Thursday

Through the Years

The other night, Paul was out of town and I stayed up way too late. I ended up going through old pictures. I have always taken way too many pictures so I have many boxes and many albums stuffed full from the days of disposable cameras to somewhere in 2004 when I got my first digital camera. I realized I need to get better about taking pictures of Paul and I. Somewhere around 2001- when Rylan was born- I disappeared from 99% of the photos and ones with Paul and I together only came around about once a year. I couldn't even find one of the 2 of us for 2004, though I am sure it exists somewhere in the depth of the basement or on my old external hard drive that I can't access at the moment. 

But here's to almost 17 years and half my life with my love. Happy Valentine's Day!

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Linked to Think Back Thursday

Sunday

Weekending


The week started out beautifully- warm and sunny. We spent the Monday working in the yard and Tuesday afternoon at the Arboretum. But the weather turned bringing more rain, wind and cold.

So this weekend was spent mostly indoors...


cooking. painting. playing. cleaning.



This morning brought snow showers. And the boys were out playing and making snow balls. It didn't snow long or stick for long, but they had fun while it did.



How did you spend your weekend?