Here’s Wolf Road, David and Ashley’s driveway which branches off of ours about ½ mile away.

Thankfully our projected freezing rain and 8 inches of snow turned south before reaching us today. That’s especially nice as yesterday David was able to throw together his very own storage barn. Well, a temporary one, anyhow. He needed a place where he could store material and tools, under cover so he didn’t have to spend an hour or more ferrying his stuff to the building site and then back again. Now he just has to add a bit of touch-up siding and a front wall and it’s accomplished. He and Ashley have already bought all of the treated plywood subflooring and most of the OSB for the walls for both downstairs and upstairs. Add that to their on-sale-really-cheap windows and they’re off to a great start. With no debt!

David built this storage building Sunday so he would have a dry place to work and store his material and tools.


Here’s the big pile of treated plywood subflooring, all protected from the weather.

And Will has been working on thawing out our frozen barn well. It’s a lot shallower than our 375-foot house well with its 200′ of water line, buried 8′ in the frozen ground. As the barn’s line is always drained, the frozen spot had to be right at the well casing. Yesterday, Will built a fire to help thaw out the ground around the casing. It worked. But it did melt the insulation off the wires down in the well. So today he’s trying to get the pump pulled so he can replace the wiring. And he said there’s water down in the well so that’s great. If he can get it thawed and working again up to the barn, we can run a hose up to the house and keep our water storage tanks filled. Wow, would that be nice!

I’ve already made two trips to the Idington spring with 5-gallon water containers. Either I’ve gotten old or water’s heavier than it used to be! Yep, the water must be heavier … Then I made a run early this morning to wash clothes in town. I really hate that! Especially all those quarters the machines quickly ate up.

More of the peppers are popping up and those first ones are sure getting nice. This afternoon I’m planting some snapdragons as I’m sure spring will come … sooner or later. Flowers are always nice. — Jackie


  1. Glad yall dodged the storm! We are finally having sunshine today in TN. It surely does lift everyone’s spirits after so many rainy, gloomy days.

  2. Here in Oklahoma, the garlic was in before Christmas and the onions are in now. My fingers are itching to be in the dirt but I will wait for another week and a bit before I do any more planting. Take care of that back as I have to take care of mine. Love reading your blogs.

    • Wow, onions is already?! How exciting. I still have two feet of snow in the garden. But underneath, I think I hear the soil humming….

  3. It seems us northerners are experiencing about the same weather patterns with the cold-warm-cold spells. Such a tease for spring from Mother Nature! Too bad about the well and water shuttling necessities. Bet Will will get that going quickly. Hurray on the house progress for David and Ashley! Thank you for the update too.

  4. Jackie, love your posts. My 5 gallon buckets of chicken feed have gained so much weight that I am considering looking for smaller buckets!

    • Heck, do that! If you use two 2 1/2 gallon buckets, you’ll be better balanced anyway. (Well, it sounds good, anyway.)

  5. Jackie, could you post a list of all the plant seeds that you have started. I know you have peppers and now snap dragons. I can’t seem to get my holly hock seeds to germinate. Do you have any special instructions for them. The one year I did get some to grow they never reseeded themselves. Hollyhocks were my grand mother’s favorite flower and so it became mine.

    Our weather here in Nebraska has been very bipolar this Winter. Below zero one day and couple days later in the 50s has been the pattern all Winter. The coldest day of the year was New Year’s Eve with -27. That’s the coldest I’ve ever seen it in my city. That Canadian blast lasted most of January.

    You and your family are very ambitious with all your building projects but in the end with no debt makes it all worth while.

    Have a great Spring is coming day.

    Nebraska Dave

    • So far, I’ve just planted petunias, snapdragons and peppers. In two weeks it’ll be tomatoes and celery. Then about 4 weeks before our last (expected!) hard frost, will be melons, some squash and a flat of late season corn which we’ll set out as transplants.
      Hollyhocks can be a bit stubborn but I generally have luck by just planting them about 1/8″ deep in flats and covering the flats by sticking them in a plastic bag and holding in a very warm spot until they germinate. Otherwise, usually you can simply plant the new, dried seeds in the fall where you want them to come up in the spring…and they will. I love hollyhocks too!

  6. Miss Jackie, We have robins! Weather folk are talking about snow showers the next 3 days. I’d rather putter about in my plastic enclosed front porch. On sunny days it is 80F in there I use it as a greenhouse by day and bring em in at dusk.when everything is watered I sit there and read a garden catalog. We have a few yellow crocus open on the south side of the house and 1 white one out by the barn! Come on frost free days! There are tomatoes in my future…………..Rick

    • Robins….! SIGH. We don’t even have Canadian Jays or Redpolls; they’ve gone and migrated farther south. But I did see pussywillows blooming. Yep, really. There are a few bushes which always bloom in March, way ahead of any other ones in the area. It sure perks one up.

  7. I am not sure about water getting heavier,but I learned the ground is getting harder after camping out with the grandkids last summer.

    • Yep, the ground IS getting harder! I used to be able to comfortably wiggle around and settle in for the night right on the ground. Now I sure like my thick mat.

  8. Funny how things get heavier as we age! I’m noticing it with my fire wood! It was much lighter 10 even 5 years ago! I love wood heat and won’t give it up til I can’t carry it, so I just bring in smaller armloads now! Being a senior I appreciate many things about ageing,but there are some draw backs! I’ll carry on til I can’t!
    Thanks for your lovely posts- I really enjoy every one.

    • We switched to using a wheelbarrow to bring in firewood. After Mom and Dad passed we kept the ramp. Now we find many uses for it, not handicapped related. Like rolling in the new refrigerator my son gave us…and the firewood hauling. Love it. An old-timer once told me he’d keep on carrying on till they carried him on. Yup!

  9. My seeds from Seed Treasures came today. I’m so excited! Here in north Missouri we got a little rain and thunder last night. We are still way behind for moisture. Our pond is dry and we now depend on rural water for our cattle. Thankfully I don’t have to carry water in jugs as I am positive they weigh far more than a few years ago. Looking forward to starting my seeds! Take care of your back:)

    • Thunder? Wow that sounds good. I hope you get plenty of rain with it and future rumbles. Drought sucks; been there, done that. I remember spending way too much time watching oncoming clouds, hoping, praying, they’d bring even a little rain.

  10. I hear you about the water getting heavier. We haul about 50 gal two or three times a week from our local public (pay for a key) well. I stopped using the seven gal jugs a few years ago. I got some 2.5 gal white plastic jugs on amazon a couple years ago that I use for bath water and some five gal jugs for kitchen water. We have plastic gal juice jugs for table water. If the old back starts complaining I’ll either hire a teenager or stop filling the five gal jugs full.
    Glad you missed the storm. We came back from Anchorage Saturday through a little snow. There were six cars in the ditch when we came through, no reason I could see. We got home to find out that there had been forty two accidents on that stretch of road for the day!

    • Two and a half gallon jugs are just right. I’ve gotten so I only fill those 5 gallon ones 2/3 full. Luckily, Will got our barn well pumping and we hooked hoses all the way to the house. I took a long shower this morning! Have you checked out those battery operated showers? We have one for camping. You can either heat water with the unit via propane or like I usually do, heat a canning kettle of water on the fire or stove then hang up the nozzle and shower. You get a nice, although not driving shower, with very little water and a shower is SO nice.
      It seems like some folks always drive WAY too fast when the roads aren’t real good. They always pass me, doing 65 when I’m going 45 (thinking I’m speeding, at that!). But then on down the way I see them in the ditch. Gee I wonder what happened????

      • We have a battery powered propane shower unit we use to heat the bath. Put the pump intake in one end of the tub and the output in the other and recirculate until it’s at the desired temp. Beat lugging buckets or canners of near boiling water all hollow. My wife doesn’t like showers and I mostly pan bath in the sauna.

  11. Thank You Jackie for always Posting. I have always followed you for years, and I continue to enjoy following you. I had to laugh about the
    the Laundry Mat…… because here in Oregon, my well goes dry in late summer. Man do I hate going to the laundry……so I now know it isn’t
    just me. G

    • Heck no! I really hate spending all that money and wasting so much time. At home I can do a couple things while the clothes wash.

  12. My hubby has almost salad growing down in our basement as we have snow flurries outside and chance of blizzard tonight. Oh joy, Iowa sure has had a heck of a winter,just when we thought spring was here last week at 60 degrees and sunny!
    Great worl you all are doing and boy, I bet water is a lot heavier these days! Sure would be for me,Jackie!

    • I’ve given up on getting lettuce going in the garden once again. But, I’ve got lots growing in flower pots!

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