I called my oldest son, Bill, today and asked how pheasant hunting went yesterday. He and grandson, Mason, went down to southern Minnesota to join his friend, Scott and his kids at a game preserve to hunt pheasants. It was Mason’s first trip hunting with the 20 gauge he’d gotten from Dad last year. They’d practiced at home, of course, but shooting quick, live targets is a bit different than shooting cans or clay pigeons! They did well, despite that and had a very good time outdoors. The big but is that Bill said there are five people out with COVID where he works. Yep, he’s vaccinated and boostered and takes precautions but wow. (David had a guy at his work who was in his thirties, who came down with COVID and ended up on a respirator. (No underlying health conditions either.)

The successful pheasant hunters.

I’m not only filling seed orders to send out to folks who are planning their spring gardens but also sorting through my own seed bank, deciding on just what I’m going to be planting. Yes, I have a notebook, filled with diagrams and garden rows. For all six gardens, plus a new one I don’t dare tell Will I’m planning, next to the new barn. (Don’t read this blog Will!) I’ve got to break it to him gently.

We have to laugh at the positions Buffy sleeps in. Take a look at this!

We’ve been working past 11 PM each night, making sure we get the seeds mailed out to folks the day after we receive their orders. When I take a break, Buffy jumps up on my chest and takes a snooze. She must think she needs a rest too! It’s pretty funny. She doesn’t just lie there but turns upside-down and stretches out. Who needs a TV? — Jackie


  1. We freaked out because of the Omicron and took the kids out of school for a few weeks. However, it seems to be a less virulent strain compared to the previous ones. Which is marvelous news. We personally know several people who have had very bad adverse effects to the vaccine. My friend’s husband was hospitalized after getting the Pfizer shot. And when this happens you’re on your own, nobody takes responsibility. So I say, each person should analyze their own risk-benefit balance and refrain from judging others’ decisions.

  2. I got your seed catalog and thought I’d sit down and shoot an order back. Holy moley, so many tomato varieties!! I went through and marked all the ones I thought I’d like to try but still need to go back and narrow it down. I CANNOT plant all I want to try!!

    • Neither can I. Last spring, we planted 157 varieties. We love trying new ones and find new favorites every year. This last year it was Red Rocket, Sasha’s Altai and Mexico Midgets. And, of course, there were others that were not so hot so just got turned into tomato sauce, with no seeds saved.

  3. Greetings from the Cities, Jackie & Will! Can you email a weblink, PDF, or Word doc of your seed catalog? I’d love to save you the postage!

  4. Received my catalog and sent
    The order today. Just thinking
    I will have to send another order
    For those items that were Not on
    My “”Have to Have This “”list. So
    Many wonderful choices. Admire
    Your work and accomplishments.
    Keeping me inspired Always look
    Forward to your new updates

    • Although the seed business is often hard work for us, it’s a huge blessing to be able to send out all those seeds to folks who will be growing great gardens and feeding their family wonderful food.

  5. I received my seed package this week, thank you so much. I put my girls on alert that we have a ton of plants to start. Do you have any idea where I could get open pollinated wheat? One of my daughters has a gluten sensitivity, Im hoping if we can find a wheat with a higher protein level and less starch as we find in wheat hybrids she can tolerate it. again thank you so much for my seeds. God bless and stay healthy

    • Maybe Jovial’s einkorn? Or organic einkorn wheat berries should still be viable, no? Just ideas. No expertise over here, just thinking out loud so to speak.

    • Try Annie’s Heirloom Seeds, Maine Potato Lady, Great Lakes Seeds. They all have nonGMO, heritage grain varieties. Ive ordered online from all of them and been very satisfied with what I received.

  6. Wow, up till 1130 is something I havent done for years, lol. Where do you get your energy? I have been looking at my seed catalogs and trying to decide what I want this year. I am going to try a method I recently read about called winter sowing. It works by using milk jugs with lids removed and cut mostly in half leaving a hinge. drill drainage holes in the bottom and side and put moistened potting soil in. Sow some seeds, mist and seal the cut edge with duct tape. Set outside and and let nature do its thing. Once the seeds sprout cover with a blanket if the temps drop below freezing. I think I will start mine around mid February to trial this method of seed starting as I am very limited on space. Any thoughts?

    • I often have to look hard for any energy!! Yep, I read about that too but I’m going to stick to the tried-and-true methods, myself. If you do it, let us know how it worked for you.

  7. Hi Miss Jackie, I had to laugh at the cat’s position. Ya gotta wonder how they can relax and sleep like that. At my house I have been kicked out of my recliner for the last month as the cat wants it for herself. You are correct…who needs TV! Pyro

    • We can’t believe the positions that cat takes when sleeping. Maybe she’s doing yoga…downward facing cat? Her dog brother, Hondo, is just as bad. He sometimes sleeps in front of the wood stove, with his head up on the stone hearth and body on the floor. It looks SO uncomfortable!

  8. As always I enjoy receiving your comments and adorable pictures. Just as a side note, are you having a “get together” sometime this summer? If so, I want to get it on my calendar before anything else gets the spot? Just for your information I was vaccinated so I would not give COVID to my contacts and family. Plus, I have traveled overseas and have received several vaccinations just to be able to get into the country. And, in my job as an RN, PHN we had to have certain vaccinations every year so I guess you could say I am used to be vaccinated.

    • You sound very well vaccinated Bette. We are going to try to have a one day alumnus get-together in August. Don’t have a fixed date yet but will try to get that soon. Even though you’re not a true alumnus, we’d love to have you come as you did try to come!!

  9. My order is on its way to you!! It’s always so hard to decide with all of your choices– makes me want some of everything!

  10. Good evening Jackie.
    Wow your always busy doing all this delightful stuff-sending out seeds, catalogs and planning for gardening.
    Will can be surprised when you finally tell him lol
    The kids-young and older look quite pleased with their hunting trip and their success. Thanks for sharing their picture.
    Buffy looks very comfy sleeping upside and content as can be.
    I attempted to take a nap this afternoon by the fire with one can on the arm rest and one on the foot stool and a dog on the couch next to me. The sheltie is happy to stay on the floor stretched out but was a good nap till one barked and cats scattered to investigate the cause lol
    Have a great night and look forward to your next post even if slow to get here to read

    • Buffy is so funny. I no more than sit down for an instant when up she comes. It’s her signal to take a cat nap.
      Yep, all the hunters had a great time. It was the first time Mason had hunted birds although Bill has hunted grouse since he was old enough to carry a shotgun. He had a great time too! It’s always fun to get out and hunting with your kids.

  11. I am sad to say my sister just died from Covid..she did not believe in the vaccine..was on a respirator for 3 weeks..your blog is a real bright spot in my life..just stay safe Jackie and Will..

  12. A lot of my family in spit of being vaxx has had covid twice.
    So far my husband and I have dodged the bullet.
    It’s like waiting in the dark for a monster to grab you.

    Funny cat….

    • Yep, you can sure still get COVID, despite being vaccinated and boostered but, hopefully, we won’t die of it. I agree; it’s sure a scary thing.
      We laugh over our cats every day, especially their not-so-friendly interaction. You should see when Buffy, who really doesn’t pay attention, runs smack into Mittens. You can about hear her say “Oh s*#@t!!!” while she does a backflip.

  13. I love how Buffy sleeps on you! We are also experiencing big disruptions in work and school and our healthcare where I live due to Omicron – I guess closings and disruption were inevitable, just a matter of whether it was planned or random and chaotic as it is now. Hope you are all able to stay safe and healthy!

    • I agree. The disruptions were inevitable and probably will get worse before they get better. That’s why I advise everyone to grow a nice big garden this year and can, can, can. You stay safe too.

  14. I always look forward to your blog, Jackie. Your pictures are always a great bonus! I’m sad others are sick. I apply my faith to listen and receive the promises of God. Makes for a lot of reading and studying to find those promises. They sure pay-off. I asked for a seed catalog, but haven’t received one yet. Will re-apply right now!

    • Yep, Elizabeth, we sure apply our faith too. I figure God prompted the design of seat belts so we always belt up instead of just relying on him to save us in an accident. There are so many of God’s promises to be found, to be sure! And not a day goes by that we don’t give hearty thanks for all of our blessings.
      Yes, email me with your address; the mail has lost 11 catalogs of ours, already. I’m sure it’s the disruption business. Or maybe postal workers decided they needed gardens too and were too lazy to ask for their own catalog? lol

  15. Here Covid is bad I had a neighbor die he was unvaccinated. We would talk about vaccines and I told him “you vaccinate your cows”. He made a bad choice. Thanks for the seeds. I could never get broccoli seed. Thanks for your suggestion of earlier planting. I go nowhere due to the virus and still doing maintenance on equipment. Plenty to do and avoid exposure. Besides I’m happier at home.

    • Except an awful lot of vaccinated/boosted are still getting it. A friend who’s a respiratory therapist said 45 hospital workers were out with covid–the hospital has mandatory vaccinations and “about 70%” of those hospitalized have not been vaccinated; that means 30% HAVE BEEN. She also has 2 family members, vaccinated and boosted, fighting for their lives, one on respirator and one they were going to check for brain activity. No one knows yet how this covid works, so please don’t jump on bandwagons when WE JUST DON’T KNOW, and what we are told is not necessarily what’s truth (who has fact-checked “news” lately)!

      • I don’t jump on any bandwagon. I don’t fact check the news but have several friends who are doctors and they don’t lie to me about what’s going on in the large and small hospitals they work at.
        If folks choose not to vaccinate, it’s fine with me. I’m not going to argue and try to push them into seeing things the way I do. It’s like I have good friends who are Buddhists, Muslims, and other denominations of the Christian faith than me. And you know what? We all visit pleasantly and love each other instead of trying to push each other into viewing things the way we do. It’s too bad there’s so much anger connected to vaccination against COVID. A whole different ballgame then when they came up with a vaccination against polio back when I was in school. Then, everyone was happy to get it and now there’s very little polio, worldwide. Please don’t be angry. Be kind.

    • Yep, we are too. I have to take seed packages to the post office nearly every day but I am SO careful. I only go in if there are fewer than two people in there, mask up and use plenty of hand sanitizer when I come out.
      I’m so sorry to hear about your neighbor. That’s happening a lot in the hospitals around here. They say that 90% of the COVID deaths are in the unvaccinated. So sad.

  16. Just received my seed order! Thank you so much! You really do a good job of getting them filled fast. Stay safe and healthy!

    • You’re welcome, Lynette. We try very hard to send the seeds the day after we receive the orders unless it’s on a weekend of holiday when we have no post office available.

  17. I am at the point where I have no sympathy for those that can be vaccinated but choose not to do so. My goal is to be in the “I never got Covid” club.
    I was not surprised to see Buffy sleeping that way. The newbie is finally stretched out enough after sleeping on the streets as he’s just started sleeping curled up. Established cat is (still begrudgingly) accepting newbie is here to stay.
    Like Will doesn’t know you’re always scheming another garden lol..
    Pheasants have made a come back in our area. One summer we had a male hanging out. He eventually moved on but was well nourished and hydrated on his search for a mate (I presume).

    • Oh you must be one of those “Christian” democrats that wants to put the unvaxxed in concentration camps, huh? Through with Jackie Clay. I come hear to get information on homesteading, not covid propaganda. History will show who is on the right side of this issue. I can show you just as many examples of people that have been vaxxed and still got covid and even died from it.

      • Her blog is a blog about her life on her homestead and her life. The good, the bad, and the ugly. COVID is the ugly. Get vaccinated or not. I didn’t see where she urged anyone to get the shot. Being rude is uncalled for.

      • Holy cow, Jane, settle down! If you don’t want to vaccinate, please don’t. I’m not telling anyone they MUST get vaccinated. Even we Christians are entitled to their opinion. Yes, many people that have been vaccinated get COVID and even die from it. Fortunately for the vaccinated, many fewer of those who are vaccinated and get the virus die or end up in the ICU because of it. Our local doctors told me that 90% of COVID deaths were in unvaccinated people. They have no “agenda” or political party sameness.

  18. Agreed – Omicron is spreading fast and furious. The school district I work in is being hit really hard. We are taking all safety steps and we are still seeing the following numbers. Between January 3-14, we documented 3,149 positive student cases in our District and 547 positive staff cases. Granted we are a big district but still.

    • We think so too. Where she came from? Who knows. Just that she was the thinnest cat I’ve ever seen after 22 years of working as a veterinary technician. And she was lost and scared.

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