Yep, he had a stent put in a heart artery a short while ago. And he’s due for another on Monday. But as per doctor’s orders, he’s resumed all his activities he prior was engaged in. (I sometimes wonder if the doctor really knew all he did.) Will wants to get the bandsaw mill up and cutting lumber for rafters, etc. for his new cow run-in shelter plus our friend, Mike’s, rafters for an addition he’s going to be putting on their cabin. We had some big pines which were dead/dying, fairly close to the driveway so it wasn’t too hard to get in there, clear out a spot and cut them down. Now there’s a bunch of nice logs in our yard, in front of the sawmill, ready to cut when the snow goes down a bit more.

Will has a nice pile of big logs stacked by the bandsaw mill.

The snow has been melting like crazy. Yesterday, it was 52° F, and today it’s 46. We’re really glad to see the snow going like mad. Our little donkey planter in the front yard has his head sticking out of the snowbank, where just a few days ago, it was just his ears.

It’s pepper planting time for me. So, tomorrow, on Will’s birthday, I’ll start filling up six-packs and flats of ProMix, sprinkle them with hot water then start planting pepper seeds. Will brought in a huge pile of flats from the greenhouse and I have three bales of ProMix. I sat down and figured out which varieties of peppers I’ll plant this year and mapped out where they’ll all go. I know I’ll have extras left over to go in the fields but that’s okay. More is best! The three varieties of Habaneros aren’t up yet but should be next week — they’re slow to germinate.

With waiting flats and six-packs, the three bales of ProMix will come in handy tomorrow for pepper planting.

Tuesday, we took our rescue cat, Buffy, into the vet to have her spayed. Unlike a lot of farmers, we don’t want a big bunch of kittens/cats running around everywhere. We much prefer to have only one or two, which are well cared for and won’t reproduce.

Buffy is feeling well but lonesome after being spayed.

Today, Buffy is her same old happy self, although she is not happy to be shut in David’s bedroom. We don’t want to chance her and Mittens getting into a fight and having her incision ripped open. She’ll stay in there for a week or so, then come join the family again. I do go in and sit on the bed with her so she doesn’t feel abandoned. I felt like an axe murderer when I put her in the cat carrier to go to the vet. I think she thought we were taking her away to dump her out somewhere again. That made me feel so sad. — Jackie


  1. Will, hope your second stent procedure went well yesterday. It’s the only heart you have, so let it mend and then tackle Spring with all that energy and enthusiasm you own! Belated Happy Birthday wishes to you, and I wish we could have shared a cake…mine is a March day also.
    Jackie, your organization is admirable! I put a lot of thought into managing my 1 garden, with rotating in different area each year, not having anything cross pollinate, watching for too much or not enough shade etc. But following your advice, I can plant without hurting my back, using the Earthway seeder you mentioned, and so many tips and tricks you’ve taught. Hope you know how many lives you have improved, by sharing your knowledge, and inspiring so many of us arthritics to keep going!

    • Aw, thanks, Erin! Will’s mending nicely, taking it easy in his favorite chair today. The procedure went easily and the doctor was pleased with the results. I’m so grateful!!

  2. I went to Menards yesterday to get ProMix potting soil and they said they have not received their shipment in yet!! Luckily I have some left from last year to get started with. I am writing from here in northeast Indiana in case anyone is wondering where the ProMix hasn’t shown up at yet. Good luck with all your gardening everyone.

    • Wow! That’s surprising. Or not. I ordered a new dryer from Menards a month ago. Today they say my dryer’s in but the part that changes the gas from natural gas to propane, which we have, isn’t there yet and it’s a “model specific part” so I can’t just switch from our old dryer or go to another store! Isn’t modern technology great! I remember crawling under the gate at the dump to get a thermostat for my electric dryer years ago and the one I pulled one out of was a different brand entirely!

    • Yup, like clockwork but boy did we sit around waiting before and after!!! My butt was petrified!

    • No. It’s hot water but not hotter than I can touch. The hot water absorbs better than cold and warms up the soil for a nice seed bed to start the seeds germinating.

  3. Wishing Will a successful procedure. Glad he feels well. Sometimes Doctors don’t know what a person’s lifestyle is to give appropriate instructions! The doctors told my senior mom in years past to resume her normal activities, I think assuming she sat in a rocker crocheting doilies! She didn’t…had to be told to stay off ladders, don’t stand on chairs to change light bulbs, etc.
    I think you and Will are doing more than what a lot of folks your age do and I enjoy reading of your activities.

    • I know you’re right Katherine! We constantly have to tell our doctors we farm and lead a very active lifestyle or they pat us on the head and treat us like “seniors”. Bah!

      • Senior here, too. My doc says I need to walk more for exercise. I tell him I garden and he says that doesn’t count. He should follow me around some day.

  4. You are such a wonderful person, wish you were a neighbor! Glad to hear Will is up and at it again. Can’t keep the fellas down long. Happy Spring!

  5. Happy Birthday Will! Glad to see he is feeling well enough to be outside working. Seed starting time is such a fun time of year. It gives me hope of warm weather and growing wonderful tasty food. Have a blessed week.

    • Thanks so much Marilyn! Today the sun’s out and it feels SO very good. I’ve got six flats full of newly planted peppers in behind the wood stove right now.

  6. My husband has been playing with his mill too, getting boards made for a couple of projects, slab wood for next years burning.
    Sap is running so there is that also.
    Starting some seed that I got from you.
    Life is good

  7. Happy Birthday Will!! Praying for you Both this week!! All is well. Thank you for sharing yourselves with all of us:)

  8. Happy birthday Will. And
    Prayers for your surgery.
    Totally agree with your
    Cat protocol. We don’t
    Have farm cats everywhere
    Have them spayed and
    Neutered. We have 5 and
    That’s an interesting mix.
    They are a happy family.
    Exciting to hear your
    Spring plans and the timing
    Of seed starting for gardens
    In the planning. Appreciate
    You sharing tips and information

    • thanks, Joann. Buffy’s recovered well from her surgery but is so tired of being alone in David’s bedroom. Soon, she’ll be back downstairs, in the flow of life again.

  9. Happy birthday will and prayers all goes well in monday..rick has his band saw mill running i’m going to make raised bed as my back is so messed up. I miss visiting with you Jackie please let David know we are so happy he has a family have tomatoes and green peppers planted toms peeked through today

    • Wow, Tacey! It’s so good to hear from an old friend and neighbor from Montana!!! Sorry to hear your back isn’t the best. I hear you. Mine, along with both knees are toast. But I just work slower. Some days, a lot slower!!

  10. 2nd try! Happy birthday, Will and good luck on your upcoming surgery.
    Jackie – thank you for posting the picture of the pro mix, it was a big help. A couple of days ago, we went to home Depot and found they carried two kinds. One was a dark wrapper, about $17.00, and the other was a yellow package, about $15.00, which we bought because it was for starting seeds. But see you are starting seeds in the one called premium all purpose mix. That will work just as well? Prices Are southern California prices. Thanks for the help – Bev

    • All will work well. I especially like the one with beneficial soil microbes added but couldn’t get it this spring. You’ll really like the results.

  11. Happy birthday, Will.

    Every time your email comes up, I get excited to read what is happening on your homestead. It spurs me onward in more ways than one. Happy Spring. We made it through winter, according to the calendar.

  12. Happy birthday Will! I’m figuring on planting peppers in the next couple days. I use an Alaskan made product called fishy peat which is a little finer texture than promix. I did the celery last week.

    • Will says thanks! Yep, I’m finally in planting mode too. I did five flats of sweet peppers, which are now behind the wood stove and will keep moving onward soon.

  13. Happy Birthday Will and I will be saying special prayers for your surgery on Monday. Take it easy and add a little work at a time. My Granddad had a heart attack around age 50 and the docs said he would never be able to get out of bed, much less work again. He bed rested at first and then added a little more activity each day just to keep sane. He lived to be 97 and had a full happy life. You will too!

    • Wow, that’s amazing that your grandfather overcame the doctor’s predictions. Thank you for your prayers and birthday wishes! And Happy Spring!

  14. Happy birthday to Will and sorry to Buffy!! I can’t wait to get in my greenhouse and start planting but since I have no heat I’ll have to way a couple more weeks. Good luck with the peppers.

  15. Happy Birthday Will. Jackie, so enjoy reading you. Hubby started peppers and tomatoes I got from you last year. Still alot of snow up here in northern Wisconsin but we are getting there! Thank youz for being responsible with little Buffy! Have a great weekend.

    • Yep, we still have a lot of snow. But, it’s melting real fast, although the forecast is for it to slow down drastically. It’s kind of early for starting tomatoes but I hope yours will do great. I’m not starting mine for another two weeks.
      Happy Spring!

  16. Happy Birthday Will! God bless you both! I’m so inspired when you tell your stories!! I can’t believe how much you both do in a day🙏And❤️

    • Will says “Thanks, Debbie!” And he’s out the door. The sun’s shining and it’s really warm. It’s hard to stay inside when it’s so nice.

  17. Happy birthday Will. I too had a heart attack 2001. Take it easy. My peppers are up and today boiling maple sap. Temp 32 and light snow. Soon tomatoes to seed. I love seeing the pepper seeds I saved growing. I isolate the varieties to prevent cross pollination. I wish I had a greenhouse. Not in the budget now. I did get some cheap windows but the are for a cabin overhaul. The trees look great for lumber. Slow and steady wins the race.

    • That’s for sure, Everett. We were thinking about all of you folks who are gathering and boiling maple sap. Perfect weather, so far! Yep, the greenhouse sure is a wonderful addition to our homestead!

  18. I too was apprehensive about how our newbie would deal with the carrier. I got it out and propped the door open. He checked it out and hung out in it a bit. Come the day of the first vet visit, he walked right into it. Never had a cat that willingly did that. Then came the true test – into the car. No issue and I think as long as he can see me, he’s fine. Hard to confine Buffy but best for her as well as you guys AND Mittens.
    Over half inch of rain the last 24 hours with maybe a quarter inch more coming. Roller coaster weather starts Sunday lol. We’re officially in mud season.

    • We are too! Yuck. Like a duck. Buffy’s doing great and will soon be out with Mittens and us again. Now she loves her carrier, sleeping in it at night. Go figure.

  19. Happy Birthday Will! I have to get started on my seeds next week. This week just brought too much activity, but these warm temps made my greenhouse accessible again, and we are drawing up plans to make it suitable and usable!

    We have a house chicken, Chickenletta, whose been house bound for about three and a half weeks. She got frostbite really bad after getting caught in a feed sack string, and so she has been recuperating in the house. She is going to/has lost her feet, but we are hoping for a full recovery so she can rejoin the ranks outside. It is almost a mission for us to keep her going, as my husbands grandfather is having surgery as I write this for the second time for gangrene in his leg.

    Many people I know think I’m crazy that she’s been just living in the living room, but my kids love her, and she is my favorite chicken of course. I couldn’t just cull her when she had a fighting chance at life.

    Anyways, have a wonderful, warm weekend! And happy planting, of course.

    • Good luck with Chickenletta! Our granddaughter, Ava, has a chick which was hatched in very late fall. It’s been in and out of the heated garage and house all winter, as it, too, ended up getting frozen toes and losing them. Ava babies her and takes her all around the homestead. Now she’s back in the coop with Mom (the chick, not Ava) and doing fine. Sometimes such a chicken has a mission.

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