While folks in the Twin Cities were experiencing blizzard conditions and lots of snow, we woke up to a bit of wind but only about half an inch of snow. That was a surprise, but a happy one. At this point, we have had enough snow for a while. Nevertheless, Will had hauled extra big round bales out to the cows in the training ring, where they have access to a barn, had hauled in extra firewood for both the living room and kitchen wood stoves, plus filled both 350-gallon water tanks in the basement. Just in case.

Even with no snowstorm, we were glad Will had brought in extra firewood!

My wonderful amaryllis I bought before Christmas just had another two blooms. This one is white with a little greenish throat, so is “different” from my normal red ones. The two from last year and the year before are also putting up green shoots, and I hope they, too, will bloom. It’s so nice, in the winter, to have a few pretty blossoms to take your mind off snow and cold.

Here’s my new amaryllis blooming.

Yesterday, while we were in town, we picked up three big bags of ProMix from our friend, Diane, at the Watering Can. Last year, I used the bigger bales of ProMix, which is a different variety than these bags. And I was really unhappy with it. True, it did produce nice seedlings and plants. But there was a whole lot of debris in the bag. Pieces of tree branches, big chunks of bark, roots, and so forth had to be picked out while I filled my containers. I ended up throwing away a gallon of them! Diane says they use the white bags and there isn’t much debris in them at all. They are more expensive, however. But we bit the bullet and bought them as it will be so much faster to fill containers this year. And it won’t be long before we’re doing that!

This is the ProMix we will be using this year. However, all ProMix products have worked well for us.

— Jackie


  1. Hi, Jackie! You seem to be doing better! I’m back in California loading last of stuff in a moving truck and the storm hit with a vengeance. No snow where Im at but rain and really high winds. Trees down, branches every where, some roofing off in the street. Cold temperatures for this area of central California in the almond growing area had folks up all night. They didn’t lose trees but metal roofs were savaged. The place I’m moving from was cold. Power is off so I got out my propane heater. Its rated for indoor use with shut off feature in case of tip over. Makes it so much better when you have a warm place to retreat to out of the cold. You and yours take care. I don’t think winter is done with us yet.

    • You’re right there! I really like those little LP heaters that are UL rated for indoor use, like the Big Heater Buddy. Sounds like you really had a nasty storm! Stay warm and safe.

  2. We’re on top a 1,500 ft mountain and got 15 inches of wet snow, Feb. 23-24, overnight. Down in town, only 4 inches. First time in 3 years; drought, don’t you know. But, maybe things are changing.
    Regards from far north California

    • It’s strange; we’re at 1,500 feet and are pretty flat! I hope all that snow helps relieve your drought.

  3. so nice to hear your storm asnt. ours….16 (yes You are used to it :) here sometimes 60! as last week at 59)
    continue to heal and enjoy the seeding in the good soil

    • Thanks Mary. So far, we’ve been dodging the bullet. But, I’m sure we’ll get some more nasty weather soon. Hey, it’s Minnesota!

  4. Just a quick thought for those that want to keep their cell phones charged when the power goes out. Amazon has several solar powered lights that have a USB port that not only are a very bright light but they will keep your cell phone charged as well. Very inexpensive and the several we have work well and are dependable.

  5. I was thinking the storm might have left you alone as the blue area on the weather maps didn’t seem to go all the up to you. Still, you were prepared and that counts!

    It’s been about 81 the last two days with 60’s wake-up temps and will stay in the 70’s the next 10 days. After consulting my historical weather data here, these February warm spells happen regularly. No big deal. But Old Man Winter isn’t done with us yet.

    Meanwhile I’ve got 2/3 of the brassicas planted out, the potatoes went in a few days ago and 144 row feet of Wando peas were sown yesterday and today. The area Carolina Jessamine and wild callery pears are blooming. Spring is here.

    • Oooh! To be planting stuff! Right now, we have two feet of snow over frozen ground. But, hey, spring will come!!

  6. Well, I’m glad the snow missed you as I am sure you need a break. Here in the southern middle Tennessee area we got a cold rain. It was a sunshine filled 88 degrees yesterday and mild; but we woke up to 40 degrees, drizzle cold rain and dark gray clouds. Its late afternoon and still the same. Hurry springtime!

    • Boy, isn’t it hard when you get such a sudden nasty cold snap?? I’m agreeing with you; hurry spring!!

  7. We ended up with 13-14 inches – about ten inches less than predicted! The wind blew it into big drifts in our backyard so the squirrels can just walk right up over the baffle. LOL! Thankfully, we didn’t need the national guard and we didn’t lose power here. My Christmas cacti continue to bloom, so that’s it in my house for fresh blooms – oh, and my African violet is going to town now too. So refreshing in the midst of snow. At least our lakes and rivers will be filled once it all melts off – thankful to God for that!

    • Amen, Jeanine! Those empty lakes and pitiful rivers sure are sorry. Drought’s hard on everything and everybody. A few cheerful blooms are such a blessing this time of the year.

  8. Have your seed catalogs gone out yet t? We live in California and so look forward to it. We so enjoy your posts, glad that you’re healing is coming right along, your positive attitude is always an encouragement to the rest of us.
    Blessings, Bev

    • Yes, they have gone out. If you don’t get one, please email me so I can send you one. Sometimes they go missing in the mail.

  9. I too have an amaryllis that I purchased at Christmas send up a new shoot and bloomed a bright red. Such a lovely sight for a cold rainy day. Take care. Bette

  10. We had a non-event here in Maine as well. We might have gotten 2 inches in my area, no wind, no power outages so we are all happy. I use the same Pro Mix with good results. I saw on your last blog that you were stuck at 100 degrees. That happens but you’ll get past it. Just keep doing what you are doing.

    I plan to order your canning cookbook in the next couple of days. I have a friend who wants to begin and the book will be a starter gift for her as it is the easiest to follow. My copy is well used and it practically opens up to the green bean section all my itself!

    • I LOVE Jackie’s canning cookbook – many of my friends now have it too. The recipes and instructions are so reliable, and even canning newbies can be successful.

    • I got to 115 last time at rehab. So, I was sure happy. Now, I’m looking for 120…..

    • Which of the canning books are you getting? She has a couple different ones. I am interested to check them out.

  11. Our event was a bit worse than expected. A lot of power outages (including us, my Dad, and my sibling). Sibling and I finally got power back late afternoon (I have a bone to pick with our persnickety generator – I will be lobbying for a whole house generator. Local relative lost power on Wednesday but has a whole house generator). Sibling and spouse got Dad set up so he can run his furnace and a few things in the house. First time all three of us had an outage at the same time.
    A stretch of main road was closed down as a large antenna became unstable in the wind plus ice. Power still out in that area and some poor folks may not have power until Saturday (if not after that). Ice alone was nasty, never mind the winds.
    Wood stove kept us warm and upside of winter power outage is frig/freezer did just fine. I do need to obtain a “jump pack” cell phone charger. We did go into town aka kept phone charged (I do *not* like it getting even close to 60% charged).
    But glad you had a non-event – Twin Cities not so lucky however. While a bit early for me to start any plants (no hot peppers for me), glad I didn’t have any started. While Buffy and Mittens might leave your plants alone, not sure sure my newbies would if I had to put them in warming range of the wood stove! Newbie #2’s curiosity is still on steroids – as in everything is a cat toy.

    • We’ve been on a whole house generator for a long time; back up to our solar power when needed. Sixteen years ago was $7,000, last year replaced for $9,000. Went to purchase in Oregon so didn’t have to pay exorbitant California sales tax. Trees took out the town’s power during snow, but we have off-grid generator. Yeah!

      • I will be lobbying again. I don’t care if it runs once a month as a test run – worth the money. Dad *finally* got power late this afternoon – out almost 2 days but has family close by to help. So many seniors don’t have that “luxury”. Plus we’re not getting any younger. I can budget for the cost. Not so much of an issue in the summer (our back-up generator can’t run the A/C but we have a basement).

        • While we can’t afford a whole house generator, we did buy a multi-fuel generator which is now hooked up for propane out of our 1,000 gallon tank. We just need it occasionally, on cloudy weeks, to run the well pump, charge the batteries and help out with the washing machine. Luckily, we don’t have A/C. Sometimes!!

    • Just a suggestion on that generator. My daughter and her husband had a propane generator installed in a small shed and it’s hooked up to a huge propane tank. The tank runs their fireplace and cooking stove. They live up on the slopes of MT Hood and have experienced week plus long outages because of downed trees as well as snow and ice.

    • I didn’t think our cats would leave my plants alone, but for some reason, they do, plus they didn’t trash the Christmas tree either. Neither did Sarge. Whew!!

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