Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spring Ain't Far Away

Every year about this time I feel the tension building in me as to what has to be done to change seasons... shift into a higher gear. The feeling starts when the daffodils stick their green spikes up from the leaf mulch. Spring peepers begin to sound off in the evening. The camellia buds begin to swell and the clueless Japanese Magnolia are in full bloom just waiting for a freeze.

Every morning more and more birds singing when i turn the coffee on. Wild Geese, Robins Wrens, Blackbirds, Yellowhammers, and Downy Woodpeckers are coming to life. Blue Birds already fighting over the few boxes left standing after 15 years. Oops, might be too late to build more this year...should have done that this winter instead of writing this blog. Ain't hindsight 20/20?

I  have two big projects this spring. Rebuild the wood kiln, and consider some kind of temporary structure to dry the garlic in the "new" lower field.  

Janice and I went to Spartansburg and picked up a load of kiln shelves to lay as a floor in the new kiln last week. We been meaning to do that for six months. We bought a load of fire brick last fall. I procrastinated. I was waiting for it to get cold. There ain't nothing worse than standing on a scaffold in the cold, piling bricks on top of one another. Well, it didn't get cold this it was true procrastination.

David, my kiln guru, wanted to wait until March to rebuild it. Trouble is; he's as busy as I am.  We'll see how it goes. Got to be done, with or without David's help. I'm gonna' get one more firing...that makes 142 we got out this little jewel. That's a lot of firings for a little fast fire Olsen kiln.

I expanded the garlic patch last fall, and not wanting to see seed stock go to waste, planted about 5000 more in the "new ground". They are doing well.  I'll sell most of it as green garlic this year, so there won't be much to mature. Probably just put up my 10X20 "garage tent", and build temporary racks to handle the overflow.  I doubled my planting of garlic this year. Only way I know to get bigger in this economy... "Here's your sign!"

All the shops are in a state of flux. I need to centralize things. I been working on Volvos as you know, and I have tools, cars, campers, old Blue, and a host of other junk in the garlic drying barn. All that will have to go somewhere when harvest starts. I still have the wood shop to deal with.., got put back together last winter. Sawdust. car parts, oil, tools and all the other stuff around here are in one shop ain't working.

By the way, has anyone figured out why we have cars with some Metric and some SAE nuts, bolts and fasteners? Were not my engineer buddies thinking? Were they all engaged in a study entitled " SAE vs Metric Tools: Their Effect on Language of the Modern Mechanic." I have four tool boxes...Metric, SAE, sockets, specialty, and junk. They weigh about 20 pounds apiece, and I can never find What I need, WHERE I need it, or WHEN I need it. It's a bother!

The above brings to mind another in my series, "Law of the Universe... "One never has enough covered, or horizontal space."

Started putting bee hive boxes and loading frames with foundation yesterday. Hope it's a good honey flow this year...I got none last year...nobody I know got much. I'm gonna' try to set up the top bar hive his year. It's an entirely different management system and I have no experience dealing with it, except what I read.  Just what I need, something else to deal with.  The bees have accomplished one thing. A lot of the neighbors have jumped on the band wagon, and are getting bee hive going. I'm helping any way I can to help propogate more bee hives and "keepers". 

There are about ten trees that need to come down. These are dead standing, or trees that will interfere with my "covered surfaces" when they fall. Probably have to get a  boom truck in here to take down one over the house... less expensive than a new roof, or house. Thank you, Lord, for not making metric trees requiring European/Asian tree specialist and equipment.

Grandson Jacob and I have pulled a lot of Privet with the tractor. He's the "chain monkey", crawling up under the Privet through the green briars and brambles...and hooking up the chain to the trunks. Most come out pretty easily, but a couple are refusing to give up there ground to more useful enterprises. I would like to see my 15 acres clear of Kudzu, Fireants, Russian Olive, old fences, Canadian thistle and Hawthorne for at least a week.

The Spring Panic feeling is starting to ebb a bit, after writing this. It's raining today, something we need. I'll work in the pottery shop; get some pots made. That will make Janice, and the bank happy.

Will it get all done this spring.

Hell no! Never does!

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