Every day now, with temperatures in the sixties and even seventies, we’ve been able to do a whole lot. This past weekend, David’s friend, Jacob, came over to help him thin trees and brush, making a yard around David and Ashley’s new cabin. And after that was done, Jacob and David came to our place and helped Will put the track back on the Case crawler/loader. It had come completely off while Will was taking out more stumps on the new garden. That track is heavy and definitely not a one-man operation to put back on. Even with the three of them, it was a struggle.

Will, David, and Jacob struggling to get the heavy track back on the Case

While they were working on it, Ashley went to check our pregnant cow, Mystic. And soon there was hollering! “A calf! She had a calf!” So I went down to put the dogs away as mystic hates dogs and we were afraid she’d step on the new calf, dashing around to protect it. When I came back, Ashley said it was a boy. He was very active and healthy so we were relieved as that’s our last delivery this spring. The other calves are doing very well and growing like weeds. Mystic likes attention, so while the new calf nursed, Ashley scratched her and let her lick her hands. We like friendly cows, not ones that attack you when they have babies.

Here’s our latest new calf, born on Saturday.
Mystic loves to get attention from Ashley.

After getting the track back on the Case, David and Jacob helped Will move the two hoop houses out onto a spot in the garden Will had tilled up. With three guys, the hoop houses were easily moved and are now all ready for planting when the soil warms up some. Then Will got the entire main garden tilled with the tractor tiller.

The hoop houses are now moved onto freshly-tilled soil and Will is tilling the rest of the main garden.

Saturday I got the last 76 tomato plants transplanted as well as a small batch of peppers. I also planted both watermelons, and muskmelons. With new garden space, I can start more plants inside to grow on outdoors and yet keep pure seed. Wonderful!

Will and I also completed the final check for errors in the edited, printed proof copies of my latest Western, Spring of the Vultures. For those of you who are waiting for this book, it’s coming close now, so hold on; it won’t be too long. I’ll keep you updated.

Today, Will’s busy hauling manure to our various isolation gardens so I envision more tilling happening soon. How exciting! — Jackie


  1. Miss Jackie, You said the newest Jess Hazzard volume will bring some surprises. Twists and unexpected turns are great! But please never let Jess become a bonafide villain. Let some crazy lowlife fill that bill.
    Jess is my buddy, Zane Grey and L’Amour called em pards!!!! I sincerely look forward to another great read. Rick

    • Oh my! Jess will never become a villain or even a “dirty Harry” type. These surprises will be much less of a surprise as that! Heck, Jess is family.

  2. This past weekend, my husband moved the 10 chickens out of our greenhouse into their summer home and tilled the ground. Since the ground was already warm, with it getting to 90 degrees inside, I planted the tomatoes and peppers. Had to put frost covers on in the evening as it still gets into the 30’s here in Duluth, MN but so excited to be planting.
    So glad all your animal babies are born now and all went well. It is nice to have help to get those big projects accomplished. Take care.

    • Yep, we’re getting ready to start planting. First the peas and onions, than we start in on peppers in the hoop house and tomatoes (protected by Wall’O Waters of course) in the main garden. Whew, it takes me an hour and half just to water all those plants inside, nearly every morning. I’ll be glad to thin them out a bit!

  3. What author name do you use for your fiction works? I tried to search under Clay-Atkinson, but did not turn up your fiction. You may have said this before, probably did(!), but I can’t remember. I would like to read them!

    • I just use Jackie Clay, as that’s the name most folks recognize me as. When Will and I got married, I decided to do the hyphenated Clay-Atkinson to make it easier for folks to follow me but I do know it gets confusing at times. Sorry about that. You can find the books on my website, http://www.seedtreasures.com or through my publisher, Mason Marshall Press. Or go to Amazon and check out the Jess Hazzard series under my name.

  4. We made it up to 50 today. We have huge puddles all over and still can’t walk on th garden. Been prepping hoop house beds. It was 26 last night. I sttarted squash plants today and plan to start my bean plants next week. We transplant our green beans through IRT plastic mulch into a bed in the hoop house. It’s the only was to dependally get beans here. Glad you’re making progress.

    • We are too. I’m going to start some of my beans, especially limas, which scarcely ever make it to seed here, inside. We’re getting rain and it cooled down a lot. In the low thirties tonight and tomorrow night. So it’s not really spring, yet.

  5. Here in Iowa, we are also having wonderful weather, but our standard amount of chance of tornado weather, with hail possibilities. What a wonderful relief to open windows and the bugs are not even out yet! Yaaa!!

    • I sure don’t look forward to hail; the bane of the gardener, for sure. Yep, I sleep with my windows open every night. I love to hear the frogs and owls.

    • Thank you. I hope you like the newest Jess Hazzard book, Spring of the Vultures. It’ll bring some surprises.

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