Finally, after a long time of having things that were “unworking,” Will has the water system fixed very nicely as well as the oven. Finally! Thanks to our wonderful readers, he checked the ignitor and found that although it was working, it was not close enough to the gas outlet to actually get it burning. He simply moved it a little closer and voila, it lit every time! Only you folks can know how much having a working oven means to this homesteader family! What a huge blessing that was.

And, finally, I was able to get my first pepper seeds planted. They are all long-season peppers like habaneros, which require over 100 days of growing season following transplanting, in order to produce viable seeds. Of course, I won’t be starting my “regular” peppers (like those in the catalog) for a few weeks. And, folks, please don’t read this post and go ahead and start your regular peppers now, seeing I did the habaneros. They will just get way too leggy and floppy unless planted in extremely good light or in a greenhouse with heat.

I used various small containers to start my habaneros as I had as few as two seeds per variety.
After planting the seeds, I covered each flat with a plastic bag and put them behind the living room wood stove as peppers need very warm conditions to germinate quickly.

I’d like to give you an update on those emergency light bulbs we bought. They include a rechargeable battery. When the power goes out, like when our battery bank gets too low in the evenings following a cloudy day, they remain on, letting us walk easily to the flashlight and front door to turn on the generator. They would also be perfect for folks on grid, should the power suddenly go off. They continue providing light for hours. A very good investment, although they did cost about $10 each.

Here’s one of our four rechargeable light bulbs.
This is a box of the rechargeable lights so you can see the specs. We’re really impressed!

My knee is doing better every day but this morning I put my back out, just turning over in bed. So, after a very long and hot shower and resting all day, it seems to be doing much better. Holy cow, I hate being laid up. But I know spring is coming and much better days are ahead. Hooray, I can’t wait! — Jackie


  1. so glad your knee is doing well! :( about your back, seems as if everything starts falling apart after the 60# birthday!- at least my body parts are!) yep, dont start them seeds yet if you’re living in winter conditions. high 50’s till Tuesday now high 20’s n still snowing hard here in the pacific northwest . good rest and healing the back soon Jackie

    • My back is a long-time problem. I broke it when a horse fell over backward on me when I was 17, then compressed two vertebrae when Will and I fell off the barn roof a few years ago. But, today, it’s much better.

  2. Happy Valentines Day Will and Jackie! I’m so glad to hear things are up and running again. Doesn’t having an oven make a huge difference in cooking. I love baking a roast or chicken and it helps heat the house and makes a wonderful meal that doesn’t require a lot of hands on. I’m so glad your therapy went better and you are feeling well enough to do some planting. I love the light bulb idea. I think I will check into those for my Dad, especially for his basement and hallway Thank you for sharing that tip with us. Sending prayers for a blessed week and continues healing.

    • We love those light bulbs. Sometimes our battery bank unexpectedly gets too low, and the power shuts off. It’s so nice to be able to walk through the entryway without tripping over dogs or stuff! It seems like after our oven got fixed, I’ve used it every day.

  3. I have not planted any of my tomato or pepper seeds and am feeling like I am WAY behind. Of course…… Average last frost date here is mid March. Getting the plants out that early here is decent if one wants production…… Before the triple digit temps. All I am suggesting….. Know where you are and what your average last frost date is and act on that. :)

    • I concur. I live in far north California. I start my seeds , some of them, in January, sow and plant in April. Our last frost date is end of March. But, my plants dont seem to do any growing until temps hit 90F every day in May. Maybe in April they are growing good root systems and it just seems like they are doing nothing.

  4. I know all about putting your back out turning over in bed wrong. Gets the nerve pain I get going some nights! Glad you are doing better. I had to postpone my foot surgery because of -40 weather so with the new date as 1 March I hope I can be on my feet enough to get seeds started in time for green house planting the first week of May! We do much better using some heat to extend the season while we have good light. We loose light too fast in the fall to try and extend it much into October. Keep healing.

  5. Being laid up is a downer. But, you should be recovered by spring. In a way it’s good to have a knee done during the “down time” of winter. When I had mine done in July my gardens suffered. For me there is always something that needs “fixin”. It keeps life interesting. The more you can do yourself the more you save. Keep “trucking “.

    • I’m hoping I’ll be all ready for spring planting. That’s why I set the surgery date for early January. I sure couldn’t do any planting now, other than a few containers of seeds indoors.

      I’m so happy Will is so very handy!!

  6. Happy to help with the oven! I felt awful without mine. I was SO happy that hubby could fix it! New gas stoves are crazy expensive! Hope you’re back is better 🤗

  7. Well the saying many hands make light work also applies to many minds offering life experiences.
    Glad to see you’re on an even keel (yeah I’m a bit superstitious lol). Will be a while before I even thing about starting any seeds. AND when I was out in the yard this past weekend, I saw Hostas, some other green plant, and maybe a tulip (based on location – next to a south facing building wall) peeking up out of the ground. For cripes sake, it was only February 10th! A few garlic plants popped up but they are still buffeted by leaves. Leaves which still continue to fall – some trees just refuse to drop them all in the fall – yes hickory trees I am talking to you!

    • I totally agree. It sure helped us.
      We’ve sure had weird weather, all over the country! We still only have a couple of inches of snow on the ground instead of many feet, which is normal.

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