Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Thank you, all for the caring comments left on my last post.

This blog is helpful to me....that includes my reading of your blogs and your comments on my posts - you keep me motivated and inspired.

My days and evenings have had to be reorganized, of course, since Jim has been home now for about a month. It is wonderful to be able to share all my days and evenings with him - but it means that the time I used to spend blogging is now largely used in other activities.

We spend more time with our kids as a large group when Jim is home - partly because when he is home, it ISN'T WINTER!!!!

If you don't live in a cold climate, you may not appreciate how much less time we tend to spend indoors in the spring/summer. We are forced to stay inside for much of the winter due to cold weather and short days. Consequently, we gravitate to the outdoors when the days get longer and the snow is gone and the air warm and pleasant. Even when it is on the colder side, relatively speaking, we will sit outside just because it isn't winter anymore!

Spring also brings sports......when our kids were young, it was softball and baseball. Spring meant that we were at the ball field every. single. night. of the week.

Weekends included.

From mid-April until the end of July.

We had up to 4 kids in ball at one time....all on different teams. There have been a few years since our youngest quit playing, but this spring, our granddaughters are in soccer (we'd rather watch ball, but.....soccer is what is available in our small town)

Last night was the first game/practice for Emma (almost 9 yrs old).

We are laughing at Rob, who is a little panicked at realizing he will need to be at the soccer field 4 nights every week. His 3 girls are all on different teams. Of course, Grampa and Gramma need to be there to watch them play! (At least once a week, each). I'm looking forward to carrying my lawn chair and blanket (or winter coat) across the field to sit and watch my girls run around and learn team play. The good thing about soccer, is that the games are short...they are over before the sun starts to go down.

Emma is in a white jersey - in the center of the photo, wearing pigtails.

Last night, we needed sunscreen and sunglasses and flip flops were perfectly comfortable.

Tonight, if it doesn't get rained out, we will need warm socks, mitts, warm coats, and possibly an umbrella. The girls are young enough that the 'powers that be' probably call the game on behalf of rain, but when they are a bit older, the game will go on unless there is lightening.

We get sunburned and we freeze, but it is fun - and it is OUTSIDE!

Rob and Lana (with Titus strapped to her front) watching Emma learn to run and kick

This year, we have determined to plant a large enough garden to help with our grocery bill over the summer and through next winter. Since it has been about 6 years since we've had a garden, I've been studying about growing and storing vegetables for the last 3 months I wanted to refresh my memory and I've learned many new things over the winter.

I've started tomatoe plants, peppers, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, and watermelon. I've never started plants indoors before, so this has been a new experience - so far, it has been quite a successful experiment. Of course, it is not yet time to put the plants outside - our average last day of frost around here is May 25 - and that is just average.

One of the things I learned in my studying is that contrary to popular culture, I do not have to wait until after May 25 to begin my garden - there are many plants that actually do best if they are planted when the weather is still quite cool at night - even to just below freezing - as long as the ground is workable and the soil warms up during the day. We have finally arrived at that point....as long as it doesn't decide to rain for a week straight.

Last week, the stores finally had some seed potatoes in stock. We bought 90 lbs - going by the formula that 10 lbs of seed will give 100 pounds of potatoes. We figured we'd grow enough for 100 lbs for each of the kids and us, plus some left for seed next year.

On Sunday, Robert and Lana helped us cut them up into seeds.

This is what 90 lbs of cut up seed potatoes looks like:

Yesterday, Jim and I planted about 178 plants. Today, we finished filling our 'North Garden' by planting 4 more rows - about 200 plants.

We took the 'seeds' out to the garden in the tractor's bucket

Jim makes a shallow trench which will be our 'line' for digging the holes in this row.

Let me tell you, digging almost 400 holes and then covering them over, is a workout! Who needs Jillian, Pilates, or Tony Little? LOL. Plus, I got the added benefits of sunshine, fresh air, working alongside my hubby, and work accomplished.

This particular job works the shoulders, upper arms, forearms, abs (upper, lower, and lateral), and lower back. If you wanted to add cardio to this workout, you could try to run through the newly cultivated dirt on your way back to the beginning of each row. I did not worry about cardio - I was more concerned with being able to finish the job.

Although when I went to bed last night my body was hurting and very tired, it felt so good to have worked hard and accomplished something so tangible. I was not nearly as stiff and sore as I expected when we drove back out to the potatoe patch this morning, but my muscles began to complain as soon as I started to use them again. I tired much more quickly this morning, but as I concentrated on flexing the muscles I was using, I thought about how I was getting stronger with each pull of the hoe. This helped me to keep on keeping on - even when we had to dig one row twice.

We totally did not need 90 lbs of seed potatoes - there are still many left! We're going to try some in tire stacks, and try some in ground we've never planted in - just to see if they will grow - (this area has few weeds, making us think the soil is bad).

Well, this turned out to be totally not what I was going to post about.....but, this is what is on my mind right now - of course, the general feeling of weakness and the soreness and stiffness that are the symptoms of an old, fat, out of shape woman working hard for 3 hours at a time two days in a row kind of keep these thoughts at the forfront of my mind. LOL. It's hard to think of anything else when my hands, forearms, back, abs, etc are hurting.

But we'll all have potatoes for the winter!

As long as the root cellar gets a proper door on it, that is. LOL.


~TMcGee~ said...

Man, you all are awesome planting such a huge garden. And not only to feed you and Jim but your kids as well! I love your family "togetherness" please adopt me. :-) LOL
I definitely say that the workout you got would show Tony Little up any day of the week (that dude is a nut lol).
I do hope you will post pics of the garden's progress.
And the soccer game sounds like fun, I'd like to say on behalf of your grandkids, thank you for being so involved in their lives. I promise you (as a grand daughter who had an amazing grandmother) they will remember it.

arlene said...

Wow! I am impressed! I know how you feel about being happy to be sore, because you accomplished a big job. That work will benefit the whole family.
I love what TMcGee posted. I am always privaleged to see how you love your family. They are blessed!


Fat[free]Me said...

I am with you on enjoying being outside now the winter weather has gone - enjoy!

And well done on all that planting - fabulous work!

Anonymous said...

Man, I'd love to have a garden!!! I love living in Florida, but my yard is mostly sand. Not good for growing stuff. It looks like you have a close loving family. To me, that is the most important thing in life. I love going to my grandkids games. Especially when they're 4-6. They're hilarious!!!!

♥ Dee ♥ said...

I hear you about being stuck inside. Where I am it's because of rain, not cold. But the feeling still applies.

You have inspired me! I need to investigate my own garden this year! I did one last year, and talked about doing it again, but I do need to so some research. Mine will be MUCH smaller than yours. :)

Anonymous said...

Still amazed at all those potatoes!!

I have something for you HERE

Lyn said...

I sooo remember those days of baseball and soccer for hours on end! I miss it terribly now!

I'm glad you're enjoying the spring. The potatoes look like a lot of work, but well worth it for the yummy crop :)

jh said...

Looks like you are very busy in the spring and summer. Thanks for a wonderful blog post, you have made me want to get out there and plant my garden. I am a bit behind.

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