Wednesday, April 15, 2015


   We moved to a new house in March. We've officially been here a month, but it feels like forever. In a good way. When we looked at this house initially, it was the end of December. The second time we looked at it, we actually had snow. Now that we've moved in and spring is here, we're beginning to see things begin to bud and bloom, and it adds another layer of love to this house. It's been such a blessing. My mind struggles daily with the heaviness we're walking through, yet every morning I start the day at the literal crack of dawn out in the yard with the puppy, and I see new beauty and new life. For example:

Forsythia, Redbud, and peach tree last week.

Cherry trees this week.

The Myrtles and Dogwoods are working on their buds so we know they'll be in bloom soon, too.

We've also been working on adding some lovelies of our own to the property, like blueberries! Two Northern Highbush and two Southern Highbush. The Southerns came with leaves and blossoms(blossoms we pinched off so the bush can focus on growing for now), but the Northerns were little more than green sticks protruding from a pot of dirt. I noticed on my early morning Cooper walk yesterday, though, that the Northerns are starting to get leaf buds, too. I am SO excited. 

We also planted a lilac bush for our Asher. It's a little bit of a family 'tradition,' as much as such things can be, to plant a tree for passed babies. My brother was two days old when he died in 1982, and he was buried beneath a sapling that is now a glorious 33-year-old maple tree. When we were waiting for Asher to be born I told my husband I wanted to plant a tree for him. Lilac was the kind that came to each of us. Not only is it beautiful and my husband's favorite flower, but it is prolific, so should we ever move we can take smaller shoots with us to plant where ever we go. My family contributed toward this memorial tradition with us, too, and it was such a sweet blessing. 

Within hours of bringing the thing home it became very apparent that it had a black fungus gnat issue(Grrrr, Lowe's!), but we attempted to nix it with peroxide in the soil around the base of the plant, and it's perking up nicely. 

We're also working on a garden. One of our goals in the house-buying process was to not only have land, but cleared land(surprisingly hard to come by here in south-central VA) so we could have a large garden and land to grow on to work towards self-sustainability. A homestead, to use the trendy word. Not because we're trendy, but because we like to be organic, we like to be self-sufficient, and quite honestly we don't trust the establishment. No, we're not Doomsday Preppers, we're just smart. We're critical thinkers who can see there are HUGE discrepancies in the establishment, and we want to take care of our family ourselves. But I digress. Garden. There is no established garden plot, so we chose a spot on one corner of our acre and designated it as the 'to be transformed into a 30'x30' garden this year, and expanded in the future.' Last week the kids and I actually went out with a measuring tape and corner markers scavenged from the woods, and staked out the plot. We have no tiller, though, so the hand-tilling it is. My built-in daily work-out! In the mean time, one of my pantry shelves has been turned into a nursery where the seedlings grow. Seventy-two seeds planted, and 1.5 weeks out we have one flat of 36 that is a small forest:

And one that is trying to be mediocre(apparently we chose all our later germinating plants for this flat):

I'd tell you what they are, but, well, my marking system did not last well(pencil on a biodegradable crate. DUH!) so I'm getting a vague idea as they sprout, and am relying on them to all live so I don't have to replant before each seedlings lets it be known exactly what they are. 

Speaking of mysteries, there's one in our yard. A whole circle(literally, a circle. It's odd) of eight bush-like Cousin It beasts that are a mystery to us. Here's half the circle- Any help, horticulturists? 

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