Weekly Photo Challenge: Down(er?)

The view on Saturday...


...vs the view on Sunday


April is the cruelest month….

Today was a day of service at work.  It’s April now in VA, and so I wore shorts, a sweatshirt, and my ratty Red Sox cap.  Totally appropriate, right?

Well, it’s April in VA, so I should have known better.  Temps barely topped out around 50, and I was outside on a metal ladder painting my heart out.  Also, if I had a quarter for every time someone asked me, “aren’t you cold?” I would be a rich woman right now.

And while I would never admit it to anyone but you lovely bleaders here on the blog, I was maybe just a little cold.  Shhhh!

Oh fickle, fickle spring, where are you?  The fine folks at the weather station are predicting snow showers and cold temps tomorrow, and sunshine and 60s on Sunday.  Mother nature feels slightly bipolar right now, and I am feeling more compelled to get the recycling to the recycling center.

So we here at the L Homestead are taking it easy this Friday–reading and writing and lounging on the couch.  Tomorrow we’ll probably tackle inside stuff, and I’m desperately hoping to get outside on Sunday.  The back garden needs to be tilled one more time, we need to start putting the boxes in, and I need to get some herbs planted in the side kitchen garden.  The clematis need to be strung up, and I need to start getting all of our newspaper and cardboard organized and looking nice for when we start mulching.

As Eliot said, “April is the cruelest month,” and between being tied up with work and this yucky cold snap, I’m agreeing with him.  But I am determined to conquer April this year–so here’s to day one of that challenge!



Be careful what you wish for…

Back in February I thought to myself, I wouldn’t mind just one more nice snow.  One more excuse to snuggle up with a good book by the fire, bake, and put the outside work off just one last little bit.  It sounded like an awesome idea, actually.

And then we started having 70 degree weather, things started poking up, and nothing sounded better to me than spring.  I fully packed away winter in my mind, and was heading full force toward our garden chores.

Now that we have new things planted and spinach and such starting to poke up, Mother Nature decides to send us a late season snow storm, one that’s threatening to dump 4 inches in our area.  So JGL and I had to get creative to help make sure our newest additions to the gardens.  Our weapons of choice?  Plastic water bottles that need to go to recycling–I cut the bottoms off and used those for the little seedlings, and used the rest of the bottles to help protect things like the clematis.  The beautiful cold frame is now on top of the strawberries.

Moral of the story?  Be careful what you wish for, folks….

Poor Man’s Fertilizer

I’m currently sitting the Philly Airport, and gardening seems to be the furthest thing from where I am right now.  There’s some pretty disgruntled travelers, a concrete jungle, and the threat of snow.  I, in the meantime, am trying to inconspicuously people watch while looking important typing away here on the laptop.

Because Facebook, G-chat and blogging are solving the world’s problems one post at a time, of course.  So very important!

The threat of snow seems to be what is on everyone’s mind right now, and while it seems to be thwarting my travels plans some, I really do love it.  It makes landscapes that can feel dead and dingy this time of year seem fresh and new; for me, it makes the holidays truly feel like the holidays; and as we discovered last year a good long and slow melt makes your garden grow.  And grow Big Time.

The year before last was a drought filled year, and many of our failures resulted because of it.  Even the “simple” task of tilling the soil became more complicated because the clay had hardened so with the lack of moisture.  Last year in the spring while we dreaded those tasks, we found they were made infinitely easier because the soil had softened with the two-ish months of snow.  And what we planted grew…and grew and grew and grew.  When sharing with my family how excited I was, my father eloquently reminded me that snow, for better or worse, is poor man’s fertilizer.

And as I sit here waiting for my flight, people are still buzzing about the blizzard that pounded a good portion of the Northeast only a few short weeks ago, and our beloved VA is bracing for a storm just as I get back, and I cannot be happier–as long as I make it to point a to point b 😉

Either way, if I’m delayed more, I’ll just have to sit back, close my eyes, and dream about what this weather is going to do to help me have peas on the table by April/May (and the fact that I’ll be here in April to enjoy it!  Another story for another day….)