Signs of Spring!

I love the four seasons! It is one of the reasons why I love Indiana so much. And just like I get really excited about the snowfalls and seeing white, I get equally excited about the snow melting and seeing signs of spring.

As I walk outside there is still a bit of the white stuff hanging out in shady areas.polebarn snow

I look across the little run of snow and see the bird feeders that have been active with robins, blue jays and cardinals.

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My mucks have mud on them instead of slush which is a great thing! Mud season is here!

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And things are budding and blooming. My Japanese Cherry Tree is budding.

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The daylillies and tulips are popping up; I was so surprised to see these after the melt! Can you see them in there?

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Walking around to the front of the house, the weather is such that we can FINALLY get our last dormer sided. We were so happy to see our “boys” (as we affectionately call them) today! I know the temps are warming up when they visit!

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In the pole barn Ms. Tupelo is getting a new tire for the spring.

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My table has my heat mat and planting supplies ready for this afternoon!  Getting dirty in the pole barn while blasting favorite tunes is my TRUE sign of spring. This afternoon awaits…

seed supplies

My garden table is done and will be hauled outside to the lean to this afternoon! Oh my goodness!!!! It’s a beauty!

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And we can’t forget our buzzing friends. Our bees in the Trudeau hive have been buzzing around. We are so excited to see them. This is a critical time for the bees as we don’t have nectar flow yet so we will be keeping close tabs on them and supplementing with sugar water and pollen patties right now.

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What are the signs of spring in your area? What speaks spring to you?

Happy Unleashing Spring!

FGU

Birds, Bees, Gardens and the Dog

pretty treeWe (hubby, Jasmine and I) trekked out to the snow covered gardens, beehives and bird feeders today under blue skies. It is so beautiful and at the same time cold! Jasmine did not mind. Her favorite thing to do is to visit the bees and gardens. Her second favorite thing to do is to bark at all the birds on the feeders, so this was about the perfect afternoon geteaway for her! She led the way!

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to the garden

First the bees. It is waaaayyyy too cold to open the hive and check on them. But we did know that the snow had blown closed their opening. That is not good for their exiting for cleansing flights and it is not good for airflow so our first stop was there to open that up for them

Beehives

Hives with Snow Blockage

Hive blocked

Clearing

We got their entrance open. We also noticed dead bees in the snow. That however is not a distressing sign. I had a session leader at Bee School tell us that when he sees dead bees in the snow he rejoices because he knows there is life in the hive. A bee’s life cycle is short and seeing dead bees indicates that life is continuing on in the hive. Let’s hope so!

dead bees

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Up to the gardens we went. It was so beautiful. I had to pinch myself to make sure that YES this is really where I live! Jasmine knows this route and again she was in the lead.

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Garden Walk

There’s one of my scarepeeps!

Ms Scarecrow

And another friend!

My Garden 2

The gardens under the snow appear peaceful and sleeping. I know there is much happening under that snow and deep in the soil however. Life continues!

Covered Over

 

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A view back at our lovely snow covered home.

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Jasmine enjoying the snow and sunshine!

Tree and Jazz

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We began to head back.

Garden and Dog

Next the bird feeders! Jasmine led the way.

Jazz and Birds

Feeding Birds

I love feeding the birds!

Bird Love

It was a wonderful walk and great to get outside and see how everything was faring under the blanket of white

It was time to head back in; Jasmine again led the way.

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Did you get to enjoy some beauty today where ever you are?

FGU

Signs of Spring

Signs of spring??? Wait a minute…

  • We got more snow yesterday and last night
  • We have ice under the snow
  • I woke up to -1 degree windchill factor

As I trudged up the snow and ice covered stairs this morning in the single digit temps it would seem that spring would be a far away reality.

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But then I remembered my walk on Saturday before the snow had surprised me be revealing beautiful foliage from bulbs that were just peaking through!

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Aren’t they gorgeous? Don’t they simply represent a promise of spring? I was so excited when I saw these little guys poking through!

Today as I was dragging in snow and slush into the house, taking boots on and off, wearing my heavy coat and gloves to walk up to the office, I noticed something else that began to appear….

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Is that not the most beautiful blue sky blasting in the sky over the pole barn? It is another promise of sunshine, blue skies and spring.

Bulbs peaking through, robins eating at the birdfeeders, blue skies… yep spring is not only coming, it is making little appearances-even if some are hidden under the blanket of snow.

What signs are you experiencing?

Go unleash some spring!

Happy Unleashing!

FG

Snow is Beautiful!

DSC_0791Yep I said it.  Snow is beautiful! I love how it blankets everything in white and it is so peaceful.  I know it is cold and windy and our windchill is down to -14 degrees today, but I still love looking outside and just staring at it.  It also offers a great excuse for boots, baggy sweatshirts and lots of hot tea. So a farmgirl has got to ask “what is wrong with that?”

We took some pictures of our home with the snow that covers it right now. We have named our homestead “Big Sky Acres” since we can see sunrise and sunset from either porch; Big Sky Acres (BSA) is covered in white and well I just could not be more pleased to see this sight.

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The sunrises and sunset are so gorgeous amidst the sea of white in our view. Don’t you agree?

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Our driveway is pristine as no car can enter or exit!

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Here are some outstanding snow pictures from all around BSA.

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Jasmine loves the snow but she does contemplate the cold before venturing off the porch.

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As I look at hubby’s mom’s 1960 something VW Bug, I wonder if this is the coldest it has seen; somehow I doubt that.

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The shingles for the new sunroom are waiting for warmer days to get installed on the roof.  Right now they are in a deep freeze.

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And Gus the Rooster is standing tall and looking regal on top of the pole barn.

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Our deck is not only covered in snow but that is my commute every morning.  My office is above the garage and the entry point are these outside stairs.

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It is windy heading up there as you can see!  It is a short commute, but I am bundled up traversing it.

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And while I am enjoying a true winter, I love all the seasons.  As I look dreamily out over the white, I fantasize about green and vegetable starts and sweaty days in the garden.

If you are in one of the 31 states that is in the deep freeze, stay warm today. I hope you have a fireplace, a furnace, a hot bubble bath and some hot tea.

Happy Unleashing (to stay warm),

FG

Fall Birthday Day Trip

DSCN3540I love having a birthday in the fall!  It is such a beautiful time of year, weather is great and the season just screams for a day trip.  Being in Indiana, we ventured to Brown County and Nashville Indiana for a day to celebrate my birthday and the fall.  Brown Country has parks and trails gallore.  And Nashville is a wonderful craft filled town with rows of shops and yummy places to grab a bite or treat.

 

 

The weather was perfect for our venture and we started by hiking and just taking in the view.  Leaves are turning and falling from the trees.  I could not have written a better script than what was given to us that day.  Simply beautiful.

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On our hike we stumbled upon this great outdoor amphitheater.  We must look up to see what goes on here.  Isn’t it lovely?

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We went into Nashville then for an afternoon of browsing and shopping.  Nashville is what I like to refer to as an artsy town.  There is so much creative energy flowing.  It inspires a “non shopper” like me to shop and gives me oodles of ideas to try at home.  Here is hubby with his new found friend. that welcomed him into her shop to view (and buy) her wares!

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The shops show off their merchandise inside and out.  Isn’t this so cute?  It makes you want every single item on your porch at home!  I will show you pics of my selections at the end of my day when I unpacked at home! (so keep reading)

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On the way home, we stopped to buy pumpkins.  This barn was awesome.  You can also pick your own pumpkins here.  We were a little late to do that, so we just got some that were already on display.

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The real surprise however were the alpacas that they have!  Aren’t they wonderful?

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We headed back home and it was so fun to unpack my goodies that we had gotten.  Since I have a new found love for chickens, but we don’t have any yet, I have been finding other ways to enjoy them.  (Remember Gus the Rooster on my pole barn?).  Take a look at these cuties for my kitchen:

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BUT the craftiness doesn’t stop in Nashville.  I received awesome gifts from my daughters for our gardens.  Look at these great veggie markers from spoons, corks and hemp.  I love them and cannot wait to put them outside.

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Also for our garden are number markers.  I have 7 beds currently and I am starting to get them confused!  Here are a couple of the bed markers so I can keep them straight.  How great are these?  What wonderful gifts for my gardens and me!

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And what would a day trip be without a visit to Life is Good and a new T shirt?  Look at the PERFECT one that I found!

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Appropriate for our muddy cool weather are the great MUCKS that hubby got me!  I cannot wait to slosh around in the dirt with these babies!

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So happy birthday to me!

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And Happy FALL to ALL!  Thank you for reading and sharing in my fun day!

 

 

 

Fall Images

DSCN3520We had such an amazing weather weekend.  I continue to say that we are in transition between summer and fall here in southern Indiana and that was never more true than this weekend!

Friday was a sunny day that hit the mid 80’s.  I was in the garden and after a few hours I had to come inside to do some inside farmgirlin’!  I was just hot and sweaty and it was simply wearing me out after a few hours out there!  Not at all like a few days prior when it was in the 60’s and I went 10+ hours outside piddling in the dirt.

Saturday brought clouds and rain.  AND lots of it.  We went to an art fair and when we left we were soaked!  We ended up stomping in puddles and totally enjoying the sloppiness of the situation.  The ride home was drippy!!!!  Sunday we had 5 inches of rain.  Pools of water everywhere and cool temps. A little thunder arrived with it.  I must admit I totally love storms and rain so Sunday felt like a cozy fall day to me and I really enjoyed the restful feeling  that it  brought.

Sunday evening the clouds and rain moved out and we got views of a spectacular sunset and leaves beginning to turn.  I love that we have such a great view.  We have dubbed our home “Big Sky Acres” because we have tremendous views of the sky all around us.  It lends itself to beautiful sunrises, sunsets, seeing storms moving in, clouds rolling across it and endless stars on a clear evening.

Here are some pictures from Sunday night.  I just could not get enough of the view and I hope the view makes you smile and feel like fall is a coming too!

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We thought we had seen it all, and then a double rainbow appeared in the sky.

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 The weekend was such a symphony of colors, temperatures and weather fronts! What is happening your way? Full fall? Snow?  Warm temps?

Happy unleashing today as you enjoy whatever the season is bringing to you!

Sunflower Bird Feeders

fenceWe had beautiful sunflowers in our garden this year thanks to our daughter.  When she got married last spring she gave everyone sunflower seeds.  Her showers, rehearsal dinner and wedding were are themed with them so it was so great to take some with us.  They made me smile all summer.  Some were so huge, I could not even see their blooms except from afar.  As summer began to wind down, they did also and slumped in submission.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a great idea on using the sunflower heads for bird feeders.  Unfortunately I cannot recall where I saw it– a blog I read, a blog shared on the blog hop, Pinterest, Facebook…. I don’t know.  BUT I remembered the idea of them and set out today to make them.  IF this is your idea, PLEASE claim it and let me know.  I thank you for such a great idea!!!!  

Here we go!

First I clipped off the flowers and left about a foot of the stem.  If you look close you can see the sunflower seeds.  I buy bags of these for my little birdies that I feed, so I am so excited to give them these.

I lined them up and then I gathered them together with a tie wrap.  I just get these at the hardware store or home improvement store.  They hold permanently together, and I use them for everything!

 

preptie wrap

 I added some hemp and left it long enough to use to hang my feeders.  I added ribbon then to some of them.  Just a bow.

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Then I hung them all over the place!  Aren’t they awesome?

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That was so much more fun than opening a bag of sunflower seeds and feeding the birdies.  I think they will feel special and like they have a gourmet meal now.  What do you think?  What are you doing with things from your garden that are loosing a little of their liveliness to keep them giving you pleasure?

Happy Unleashing!

 

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #128

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Welcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

We are very much in between seasons here in southern Indiana.  One evening I will be cuddled up in flannels and blankets and the next day I am in sunshine and 85 degrees.  I am getting food from both summer gardens and fall gardens, so one day it is soup with squash and potatoes and the next day it is Tomato Pie!   I love, love, love this time of year.  It keeps me guessing, but one thing I know for sure is that cool temps, colorful leaves and eventually snow (yeah!) will arrive.  I am enjoying the warm air, sunshine, tomatoes and cucumbers while I still can and savoring the fall temps and flavors when they manifest!  How about you?  Living in 100% fall weather yet?  What do you love, love, love about this time of year?

So much to enjoy on last week’s blog hop.  Since I am looking forward to one day being a chicken mom myself, I loved 5 Common Mistakes First’Time Chicken Keepers Make on Fresh Eggs Daily.  I have a feeling that I will make more than 5 mistakes when that time arrives, but knowing the top ones may help me steer clear of one or two.  In the meantime, I have Gus the Rooster sitting on top of my weather vane on my now COMPLETED Pole Barn, for chicken inspiration!  Thanks Fresh Eggs Daily and Lisa for a great blog that you shared here.

So whether you are sitting in warm or cool weather today, it is time to blog hop!  Are you ready?

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A MEMBER OF THE FARMGIRL SISTERHOOD to join the FARMGIRL/BOY FRIDAY BLOG HOP although I highly recommend you check it out if you like the idea of earning badges for all the fun farmgirl activities you already do, and the new ones you will try your hand at in the future!  I love being a part of the Farmgirl Sisterhood and finding MJs Farm helped me and is helping me discover and embrace all the things I love!  I am going to venture into the badge earning process; it looks like lots of fun!

 

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Everyone that plays in the dirt, craft room, kitchen, farmyard (and pole barn) are welcome– whether you have seen frost this year or not!  So get ready to hop and link up!

So, who are your hostesses? Be sure to visit them and say “hello!”

Here are some rules:
1.) Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals,  quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!
2). Leave your entry in the  Linky tools space to your  Farmgirl Friday post.
3). Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
4.) Enter up to three entries per hop!

DON’T BE SHY~

Be sure to leave a note if you’re new to the hop! If you haven’t clicked that follow button yet, please join us and be sure to stop by our FACEBOOK page and like us there too!

As always, thank you for your continued participation and welcome to our new friends and followers! Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! See you on the hop!

PS. This is a blog hop, so please share it with your friends by copying the code at the bottom of this post and including it into your weekly entry! 

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Saturday Musings: Rain

Rain, rain go away, come again another day…..

That was the verse we grew up with and chanted as felt that the rain ruined our plans–couldn’t play on the swing set, go to the pool, play ball, ride bikes– it pretty much meant we were inside.  Of course we did not have cable or internet or even a phone that was not attached to the wall so options were limited inside.  We built tents, colored, played barbies, but we really just wanted it to stop raining so we could go outside.

Fast forward to adult life and commuting in the city I sang it again “rain, rain go way, come again another day….” That was because rain meant a 2 hour commute to and from work (yep 2 hours each way); it meant accidents, it meant nothing but trouble! It was an inconvenience and made me groan in the morning if I heard it was to rain.

It rained last night and this morning and I was so excited!  I did NOT sing the famous verse, but was rejoicing because I planted my fall starters in the garden yesterday. While I was planting them it started to sprinkle. I did not scramble inside and I certainly did not hope that it would stop.  Just the opposite.  I wanted it to come on and rain.  Planting in the mud is not only good for the plants but really fun for me too.  So it rained gently, I planted, the dog laid next to me and it was peaceful and good.

I came inside and was thrilled that this gentle rain continued.  I knew the plants were happy; I was happy.  This morning, I hopped on my tractor while it was still threatening some more rain and visited my newly planted friends and they were upright and bigger than they were yesterday afternoon.  They were happy, their roots are settling in, they are getting a drink, and they were smiling.

Rain in the country doesn’t always mean happiness and peace though.  Sometimes we get too much- not because of a commute but because of other reasons.  Sometimes newly planted plants get too much, they flood and just don’t make it. Sometimes your pole barn gets delayed by a few days because concrete cannot get poured (experiencing that one).

But I have found my relationship with rain is different.  It is just part of the seasons, weather, life. Sometimes there is not enough, sometimes there is too much, and sometimes it is just right.  I have learned though that you cannot control it, grumbling doesn’t help, you just go with it.  And when it is just right, like the last 24 hours, you smile along with your plants.

Hope you smile today whether you have sunshine or rain!

Happy unleashing!

Buzzing with Excitement!

I did it.  I have registered (along with Mike) for Beekeeping School in October!

BK school

I cannot tell you how excited I am to take another step in my journey of simplifying, providing for myself and creating the homestead that I have been dreaming of and manifesting in my head and heart for years.

We have been reading some bee books and I am absolutely intrigued by the live and ecosystem of bees.  Their breeds, their roles in the hive, the community spirit that they live for (and die for). I simply cannot wait to don my white coveralls, gloves and hat/veil combo and get my first package of bees in a few months and welcome them to their new hive while I am working my smoker.  

I am living in a constant state of fulfilling the answer to the question “what do I want to be when I grow up?”  It is never too late to ask this question.  What I want to be is what I have been hiding for a long time.  She has been buried but is coming out.  That is what Farmgirl Unleashed is all about!  Creating a homestead, doing things for myself and others, getting real, getting simple and getting in touch with the cycles of life in nature and life.

Beekeeping is my next step on that journey…. I will continue to read and dream and experience.  Bees will be part of this new life and much else is to come!

Beekeepers out there?  Share your tales with me!

Happy unleashing!