We had been praying for our injured friend hard. But a couple of days ago, we were told he had passed away due to the severity of his injuries. We are so sad and can’t quit thinking of his family and how hard it is for them. After losing my late husband, Bob, suddenly, to a brain bleed, I know just how much they are hurting.

We were due snow and this time it came by the inches per hour. We ended up with 18 inches on the flat. Will waited until the three-day storm had passed and started the plow truck and began plowing out our mile-plus long driveway. He made a pass in and out, up to David’s drive, then a tire blew out! He was able to limp home but could plow no more. Our yard had not been plowed yet. So, he went down to the barn and got the Kubota, which has four-wheel drive and a bucket. He started clearing with that. Then he disappeared. Half an hour later, here he was with a big plow blade chained to the Kubota’s bucket! It was something he’d picked up at a farm auction for $20, thinking it was too good to go to scrap. Well, that blade did miracles! In minutes, the yard was cleaned as well as our lower part of the driveway. Yea Will!

Will started out using the Kubota’s bucket to remove snow from our yard.
Then he switched to the “junk” snowplow blade, which worked much faster!

My tomato seeds all popped up within 3 days! Holy cow were they happy little guys! Amazing.

Today, our friends Dara and Sherri are here, and Sherri brought me a really cool lid lifter to remove the lids from many size jars, including canning jars. She knows I pry the lids off with my fingernails, often breaking them, sometimes painfully, in order to save the lids from dents in the rim. (Yes, I save them for emergency uses.) That lid lifter pulls the lid up with no effort (or broken nails!) and leaves them in pristine shape. Here’s the link on Amazon, where she got them. I had never seen one like that before! Very cool!

Here’s my new lid lifter from Amazon, on sale for less than $20.
This is the box so you can see the name, etc.

— Jackie


  1. Sending prayers for your friends family. They must still be in shock and hurting desperately. Way to go with the snow plow Will. Where there’s a Will, there’s a way, lol. (Pun intended) I planted potatoes in grow bags on Friday so I could say I planted potatoes on Good Friday. I planted strawberries on Thursday. I found plants at a Mennonite store for 25 plants for 12.95. I bought a variety called Brunswick which is supposed to be good for home gardens. We will see. Its supposed to be quite a bit cooler this coming week, so no more planting till the soil warms up. Sending prayers for a blessed week.

    • I planted mine Good Friday also. Been plenty of rain here and even if good friday falls as late as possible, always the chance of snow in my area – we might get a bit tomorrow/Wednesday.
      Good deal on the strawberry plants. I prefer June bearing to ever bearing. Besides the fact I think the berries are far superior, I was raised on June bearing. After that, other garden plants start kicking in (as well as the never ending weeds – ugh).
      I won’t be planting anything else until mid-May at the earliest. While climate change is here, I’m still in an area where Mother Nature calls the shots on her own schedule.

    • Thank you for your prayers for us and our friend’s family. All are much appreciated!! We’ve got warmer weather now and the snow is melting off fairly fast. The beaver ponds are thawing out, with open water in the middle of the ice. Horray!!
      We won’t be able to (probably) begin hauling manure and tilling our gardens until May as I’m sure we still have some more winter weather lurking out there.

  2. I, too, save lids if they aren’t bent. Most work great for vacuum sealing my dehydrated veges in glass jars. Prayers for you & yours in your recent loss.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your friend. Hope the family finds the strength to get through this terrible time.

    • It’s hard for all of us. But most of all, his family. In time, the pain eases. If you read Starting Over, you’ll know it did for us.

    • Thank you Jan. Yes, he is. But we miss him very much! Today I found a frozen moose roast he’d given us and it brought it all back again.

  4. I’m sorry about your friend. I’ll pray for his family and those who loved him.
    Wow, you are getting winter snow almost in April. We got snow again after several days of warm weather, 40s mostly and freezing temperatures at night. The snow was really heavy at times. A friend of ours looked out the window and remarked ” well, we almost had spring.” That made me laugh, hope it does you. Great find at the auction and good for Will and his ingenuity!

    • Thanks so much for your prayers. Yep, we got more snow with this last storm than we had as a total, all winter, so far!! That’s weird.
      Will’s like Dad was. Mom used to say he could make her a dress out of sheet metal if she needed one. My kids called him “Magic Grandpa” because he could fix anything they had that broke.

  5. So sorry about your friend Jackie. How devastating

    Thank you for the jar opener link. They sell one here in Canada too and Ove added it to my wish list.

    • Also, isn’t Will just brilliant. What an amazing partner in crime you have. Always thinking outside the box. The two of you together are a force to be reconned with 💕💕

      • I love my jar opener!! I was showing it to my son, Bill, on Easter, and he pulled out his multi-tool and showed me HE had one too. Ha ha ha!! His worked well, also.
        It’s great that between the two of us, we can usually figure out something. Sometimes kind of strange, but working.

  6. I’m so sorry to learn of the death of your friend. What a tragedy. Life is short. When this happens we experience emotions of loss. My tomatoes haven’t popped up yet (I planted the same day). I have pepper plants where a few of the lower leaves are turning black. I’ve never seen this before . Will got a real bargain. I hope your snow melts off soon.

    • Life is short. And we never know when our time is up. It gripes me when people worry and study about things they have absolutely no control over, wasting precious relationships and time that could be spent on more worthy things.
      My tomatoes are coming up gang-busters. The peppers are still slow. I’m hoping with warmer weather, they’ll come along soon, too.

  7. Jackie,
    I’m so sorry for your loss of a good friend and the pain the family is experiencing. Prayers to all of you.
    Your Will is such a a handy fellow!
    When I clicked the link for your lid lifter it showed the one I love and bought all my friends down below it. That one is made with a 3 d printer and works like a charm too.
    Your tomatoes are up already WOW! I haven’t even planted mine yet. Probably better get with it!
    Take care and thank you for the updates.

    • Thanks for your prayers, Toni. They are much appreciated. We have to get our tomatoes going early as we plant so many different varieties to save seed from and don’t have help, transplanting, etc. So, Jackie needs more time!!

  8. Nothing wrong with saving for emergency use and appears to work far better than the old school bottle/can “plunger”. I remember the ones that you could use to pop a top on one end and put a triangle shaped hole into a can (like Hawaiian punch or apricot nectar). Hardly see them these days. I’d bet a diet coke my folks still have one in the kitchen lol.
    Sorry to hear about your friend. Sad to say no way to avoid a freak accident.
    Well we’ll be planting taters tomorrow – Good Friday is Good Friday despite the date. A bit more rain in the forecast come Sun/Mon/Tue but I don’t think we’ll get another two inches. All the greenery that popped up during the very unseasonable weather seems no worse for wear, including the garlic. I think the asparagus had the good sense to stay underground. We’ll be burning off the patch here soon.
    Still too early to put away the snow shovels. And I refuse to put away/dry clean any winter coats until June 1. Even then, we went to a baseball game in June one year and yes, I wore my recently dry cleaned coat. Ballpark sold far more coffee than beer that night. Might have even sold hot chocolate!

    • Hi Selina. Do you burn your asparagus for quick clean up or bugs/mildew etc

      On the farm I never battled anything in my patch. Newer patch here in town and last two years we got mildew/ mild on the nature asparagus fronds.

      • We burn to deal with dried stalks and any “grass” that cropped up after my last weeding. Haven’t had any mold/mildew on the fronds here or at our other house. We have *a lot* of trees and even if we didn’t use leaves to amend the soil (we don’t till them in the perennials patches), leaves land where they want.
        So I guess the answer is quick clean-up.

    • Thanks, Selena. Wow, you planted your potatoes? So cool. Our ground is still frozen tight and we have a foot of snow still on the ground. No Good Friday planting for us, here in northern Minnesota!! Don’t I wish!
      I have one of those old can openers too, in my emergency bag. The do work well for many different things!!
      We mow our asparagus patch with the riding mower to chop up old plants, etc. That makes a mulch a bit, too. I also mow the corn and bean plants leftover from fall. Fast and they’re gone!

      • Your patch is much larger than mine. And one “end” is a catnip/asparagus companion area. Plus sedge seems to like both also and I really need to get the sedge transplanted elsewhere.


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