We had four out of five of our tractors broken down! That has to be some sort of record, doesn’t it? Will got the big International kind of fixed, putting a plug in the hole where the broken power takeoff shaft had been. At least he could then use the tractor to feed the cows without it spewing out hydraulic fluid. Then he got the Ford 660 started and running well. These were all fixed during cold weather. But the worst broken down tractors were our Olivers. One, we call the Hulk, has a throw-out bearing gone and the other, a hole in the block. Both require taking out the engine, which is a big job. Well, I looked out yesterday and saw my adorable husband out there, with tractor parts lying on the ground all around him, by the Oliver with the throw-out bearing gone. It was a nice, sunny day and he had even taken his shirt off. Wow, that was a shock. Lots of white Will out there! Today, he’s all set to pull the engine with the help of the front-end loader on the 660.

Sarge is busy, “helping” Will work on the tractor. He guards him from tigers, lions, and elephants.
The sun was so hot that Will took off his shirt to work. Whoa! That’s a lot of white!

Meanwhile, I’m continuing transplanting and planting. While we were in town, I picked up some bags of various roots/bulbs, such as peonies, cannas, begonias, etc. With such a short season, they must be started inside in order to get blooms earlier in the season. When just planted in the ground in June, they barely have time to flower then it freezes. The peppers are growing like mad, as are the tomatoes I’ve already transplanted. I still have to do the cherry tomatoes and more peppers, but I’m slowly getting there.

Meanwhile, I’m still transplanting. Just look at these habaneros!
I’m also planting some flower bulbs and roots in the greenhouse to get a jump on summer blooming.

Outside, my daylilies, tulips, daffodils, and other spring bulbs are starting to poke up through the ground. It feels so much more like spring! We’re supposed to get rain for a few days and that will be very nice. I’m hoping our drought has broken. Will heard the first frogs croaking in the beaver ponds last night. But I missed that. I’ll go out tonight to listen! — Jackie


  1. I was in Florida this winter and took my ProMix potting soil with me to start my seeds down there. Used the 5″ tall plastic cups and found some discarded refrigerator drawers to use carrying them back to Indiana. My plants are small yet but growing. Happy I met great people like you and started using seeds instead of spending so much on plants.
    Have a great summer my friend.

  2. My daughter has an Oliver. She is trying to sell it
    She lives in Helrna, Montana and it’s just too much tractor for what she needs. It has a bucket on it that the previous owner put on.

  3. Gotta love Spring! I have decided that the tulips out front are coming out because I am tired of feeding the deer here. I anticipate the pretty blooms, then ugh!.. the next morning they were munched during the night. But my daffodils are happy and cheerful, so I will plant more of those in the fall;)
    The baby red current bush made it through its first winter so I hope that the deer don’t eat that someday. Perhaps I should put up a barrier/cage around it? That red current jam is something I really look forward to ;)

    • I understand about feeding the deer. I put no strawberry plants in last year after deer ate them to the ground. When my better half decides he wants his precious strawberry fruit so much that he builds protection for the strawberry bed, will I replant! Until then I have a book about planting only typical area plants that are deer proof!

  4. Your Will is truly amazing! You two make the perfect pair. You are both such knowledgeable, hardworking, resilient people. I for one feel so lucky that you share yourselves, your knowledge, and your seeds with us!
    That Sarge is such a fine looking dog!
    I’m so excited to see your beautiful flowers when they get blooming. You have motivated me to plant more flowers!
    And those peppers! Gorgeous!
    Enjoy your spring. I hope you both have a priority to fit some rest in your schedule.

  5. Spring is in full force here. Yellow jasmine and wisteria blooms are a thing of the past; it’s now azaleas and dogwoods. We cut the first broccoli two days ago and the asparagus is about done. Meanwhile the early cabbages are wrapping and we’ve been eating kohlrabi.

    I’ve been prepping beds with the broadfork and the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are hardening off on the porch. The planting surge is about to happen. Within the next eight days all of the above plus corn and beans will be in. Sweet potatoes and watermelons will wait until early May.

    Here’s to Will and his fantastic mechanic skills and hopes for no skint knuckles!

    • That’s so cool. I love hearing from all of you folks from different zones. I haven’t even started my cole crops inside yet and here you’re eating broccoli! I really love wisteria. Grandma had a huge one over her backyard fishpond that was just gorgeous in the spring. There’s only one hardy one (zone 3) that I know of, and I can’t find a source so I can buy myself one.
      Happy gardening!!

  6. Here in Copper Basin, Alaska I have had a couple days of 50’s when the sun shines but when it stays clear at night it’s down to 20 or high teens! More snow than last year so it is shallower but by no means gone and who knows if the part of the garden that was too wet last year will dry out this year! I’m behind on starting stuff but my peppers and tomatoes are up as well as some early cole crops for the hoop houses. My main problem is I had another surgery on my foot has been delayed healing by a post op infection! In addition I managed to tweak the hip on the other leg carrying too much of my weight on it and some days I can barely sit up long enough to eat much less plant more stuff. Hope it gets resolved soon because I should be in the green house in four weeks! Glad Will is a mechanic for all the old tractors, I only have one fairly new on because my mechanical abilities end at checking fluids, changing oil and grease. Good luck with your gardens this year!

    • Boy, I sure hear you, Howard! My knees are still pretty sore. No infections, thank God. Then, my bad back has been complaining about all the transplanting. Hang in there friend. We’ll all pray you heal up fast and get to enjoy spring. When it comes!!

      • My better half commented a few years ago that after one knee surgery, he noticed another body part causing him pain. That was fixed and yep, another body part gave him pain. What hurts the worst tends to mask other pains.

  7. Hi, looks like Will is feuding with the tractors. None of them want to work and he’s insisting they will work. I swear machines have a mind of their own at times. We made it up 55 the other day and the snow is melting fast. Our mountains still have a fair amount of snow on them but now we have to worry about flooding from the snow melt and bouts of rain. We have a large storage building, a two car garage here and discovered it leaked in there and got books and stuff wet. We’re still sorting out things in the house and the snow was deep enough that my bad back made it difficult to shovel to the building there. I’m keeping my water logged books. It was mostly my quilting books. They all need to be sprayed with mold killer. I want a snow blower! I’m going to have surgery on my stomach, my hiatal hernia is causing a lot of problems for me. Mostly choking on liquids and food causing me to inhale whatever. I’ve a few more tests to do. I can use prayers from everyone, please. I’ve got to finish up the seed planting as soon as I can. Short growing seasons are new to me and the learning curve is steep! Y’all take care! Cat.

    • Yep, I swear vehicles of all kinds have a mission to keep us broke and crazy. I’m so sorry your books got wet. I sure hope you can save most of them. A snow blower is a huge help!! I wish I would have thought of one when we lived in the mountains, in Montana. We had to shovel about 1/8 mile, down a hill, to the main trail. Ugh!

  8. I have planted my cole crops now and picked asparagus. The asparagus was so delicious! We have been having severe weather today. Tornado watches and threats of hail. So far so good, and I hope it stays that way. Looks like Will may have his work cut out for him. Your peppers look fabulous! Spring is a wonderful time of year! Sending prayers for a blessed week.

    • Isn’t that first asparagus wonderful?? I can eat it three meals a day! Here’s hoping those tornadoes fizzle out. They’re sure scary. And hail isn’t much better.
      We’re thankful for your prayers!! Back at ‘cha.

  9. wow! How those habaneros grew!! I’m still looking for potting soil other than the ucky mirclegrow that s around here. Isn’t spring a wonderful time of year! enjoy your coming rain. its always welcome

    • Do you have a Menards anywhere around you? They are carrying Sunshine mixes, which are nice. We sure enjoy spring and all the renewal it brings.

  10. Still have a few late blooming daffodils popping out, the early ones – survivors of a couple rounds of snow, are fading out. Tulips are kicking in – somehow a gorgeous multi-orange ended up in an odd spot in our yard but it looks quite nice.
    It was 84 yesterday – I worked up a good sweat hand cleaning the asparagus patch. Only managed to bust off two very small shoots. We ate the first harvest tonight – I’m not sure if the first asparagus or the first BLT is better.
    Sarge guards against heffalumps and woozles too lol..
    Have a plethora of red dead nettle this year. It is on overdrive (but not in the edible gardens). I’m hoping it crowds out garlic mustard! May apples are coming up like mad.
    I’m sure a lot of folks hit the big boxes (and nurseries), planting way, way, way too early for our area. While I commend them for wanting a veggie garden, I wish they had a bit more knowledge re: growing season.

    • Isn’t it fun when something pops up like that? We have some crocus that popped up under our lilac bush that I haven’t a clue where they came from. Our daffodils are just starting to pop up and with the coming rain, they should do well. I got busy and spread fertilizer over my flower beds so, hopefully, the rain will wash it in to help everything bloom better.
      I hear you about folks buying flowers and veggies at the big box stores. I feel so sad because I know they’re setting up for a failure and I sure hate that!

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