As my oldest son, Bill, was sick last Sunday, he and his family came up this Sunday for our second, belated Easter family get together. My grandson, Mason, who is now 14 and getting ready for his driver’s license, drove up, to log on hours needed before he can take his road test. It seems like only yesterday when he was a little kid! I’m so proud of him. He played his trumpet on Easter Sunday for a full house at the Oak Lake Lutheran Church, our old country church, playing Christ The Lord Has Risen Today. Bill had it on a video so we could hear it, plus his solos at the school Jazz Band concert. We’re so impressed! He was awesome.

Ava made us all beautiful bracelets, and we got to choose the colors. Then she went out to the chicken coop to choose a hen to replace the one of theirs which had died. She picked out a nice Rhode Island Red hen and I hope it’s the one that’s been laying double yoked eggs for us. The last one was the size of a goose egg!

Ava and her new chicken.

I’ve gotten four flats of tomato seedlings transplanted and will keep at it today. Wow, that’s a lot of tomatoes! I’m sure Will is thinking “what was she thinking?” Sometimes, so do I. Finally, the snow is starting to melt again. After being 78 degrees F, having a foot of snow simply sucks. I was so looking forward to walking in the gardens again. Maybe next week?

Some of the tomato transplants. Whew, there are a lot of them!

I know the COVID pandemic is about over (yes, I know it’s still out there), and a lot of folks are getting complacent about preparedness, just like after the Y2K non-event. But I really think it’s so necessary to keep up our preparedness game. After all, we don’t ever know what it will be or when the next situation may pop up. It’s so wonderful to have a nice, productive garden, food, and essentials stocked up. We flew through the pandemic, content to stay home and enjoy our homestead as we didn’t have to go out into the “world” much at all. Such a relief of worry that is. So, keep planting that big garden, can up lots of yummy food, and always have a way to keep warm and well.

Be sure to plant a nice garden this year! This is one of our Gete Okosomin squash from last fall.

— Jackie


  1. I had a lovely time imagining your grandson playing the trumpet for Easter Sunday! Thank you for sharing. Nice tomatoes!

    • If you do YouTube videos, you can hear him. It’s on Oak Lake Lutheran Church, Kerrick, MN.

  2. Thanks for that serious note to prep. I really wish I had more storage area, but in faith, I believe God is behind all we do, and will make up for our inadequacies, like money or storage. I love the scripture, “In peace we will both lie down and sleep, for You Lord alone make us dwell in safety and confident trust.” The bottom line is always Christ. We step out to do our part and He meets us and provides. I like your writing about family, it is so important. After all, that’s why the Lord made us; He wanted “family”.

    • And He wants us to do well. I totally agree that God will help us though our trials. But I also believe strongly that he expects His children to get in there and do their part, too. We all do what we can and should remember to thank Him for His blessings every day.

  3. Jackie, those tomatoes are looking gorgeous! Do you have to supplement light at all, or is all that growth entirely from the windows?

    • That’s just from the windows. They did get a little leggy this year as we had very little sunshine. But they’re all looking good now and are happy in the greenhouse.

  4. I’m so glad you got to have a family Easter. That is the most wonderful way to celebrate!
    That looks like a very fine chicken Ava picked out.
    It looks like Sarge is in jail!
    Boy, I was huffing and puffing and could hardly get through potting up all of my tomatoes! You’ve got me beat there! It is a LOT of work. I’m so very glad and appreciative of the opportunity to grow a garden, even if it wears me out.
    I hope you are still healing and getting more mobile every day. Be sure and take breaks when you need to.

    • Sarge gets very excited, still being a 100 pound puppy, when company comes. He got sprung after an hour or so of visiting and then behaved very well. He’s still learning manners.

  5. I have upped my canning and dehydrating game quite a lot this winter. It is always worrisome when big chain stores suddenly start pouring cheap prices the way they are here the past couple of months pertaining to meat.

    My DIL has family in wheat country, she mentioned that the winter wheat crops didn’t do well and the spring wheat isn’t either because of so much rain and flooding.

    I have to container garden and am planning on more pots this year. Better to be prepared and stocked up than the alternative lol.

    Glad to hear you are getting better Jackie.

    • And I’m glad you’re serious about stocking up! Between the weather and the price of diesel fuel (semi trucks and tractors), food will continue to rise in price. I bought 3 hams at pre-Easter sale prices and will be canning them up soon.

  6. We started our seeds in house a few weeks back and have started moving the larger plants out to the greenhouse. Keeping the smaller plants inside for a bit longer. Snow has melted off but still having cooler nights and so we heat the greenhouse at night. All the plants are looking good. Aren’t grandkids just the greatest! Love seeing their accomplishments and happiness. Makes my heart full….

    • Me too! It’s always so much fun when everyone comes for a visit! We’re heating our greenhouse at night too. Just in case…..

  7. We had a bumper snow year in my part of the Copper River Basin here in Alaska so we still have at least 18” in the woods and gardens! Had a couple days in the 50s then back to highs in the 30’s. I figure on heating the green house in a couple weeks to transplant tomato’s and peppers and some odds and ends. The main problem is stoking the wood stove three times a night because propane is expensive. I was off my feet for 90 days over the winter so enough snow built up on and between my two hoop houses that they will be a little later than I would like. At least the chronic wound on my foot is healed! I don’t know if it is more important for up rural people to keep stocked up or the suburban folks. Stores are already closing in the nasty cities. If the supply chain is further messed up rural stores my not get deliveries but the suburbs may see incursions from urban areas looking for something to eat!

  8. Yep, have a garden, stored food, a heating and cooking source and a way to purify water!
    I think this year will bring more difficulties, so I hope to enlarge my garden and to focus on raising corn and sunflower seeds for my small flock of chickens.

    • Yep. David was even saying we should plant some wheat this year. Just in case…. But, I do have several hundred pounds of flour/wheat stored up, also, just in case.

  9. A lot of flood warnings along the MS river once it gets down to S WI and thru IA/IL. Will be curious to see how high it is when we cross it this weekend.
    Freeze warning in my area but honestly, besides potatoes, I don’t plant anything in April as it is just too early. But the nurseries and big boxes were busy during the couple weeks we were up into the mid-high 70s (and I believe it did hit 80 a couple of days).
    Sounds like your knee is a bit better each day.
    Yowza, Sarge looks like he barely fits in his crate these days.

    • Yep, we had to buy him a giant-sized crate just a week ago! We actually had one day that it got to 78 degrees F. But then, it snowed a foot. Boo hoo.

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