Eighteen below

Or -19°, depending on which weather service you believe. School is canceled again…two days last week for frigid wind chill temperatures. More than likely there will be more cancellations later this week. They’re predicting double-digit negatives at least two more nights. February is set to go down in the record books as the coldest ever. March isn’t looking too good, either, at least not for syrup making. It’s probably going to be a bust this year. We’ll have really cold weather, and then all of a sudden, it will be hot. I hate it when we have little or no spring. It just isn’t right.

I’m hoping to get a vegetable garden started this spring. We’re probably going to use part of the front yard, because it gets the most direct sunlight in the summer months. Don’t worry, it will have a decorative fence around it, so it won’t be too tacky. We’ll be all Martha Stewart here, minus all the minion gardeners. It will be us doing all the work. Raised beds will be the way to go. The soil here is awful and needs years of amending with compost. I started a new compost pile as soon as we moved in, but it won’t be ready to use by spring, so we’ll have to buy a truckload. I’m itching to get outside and dig in the dirt.

I also need to work on the landscaping beds around the house. The plants there are well established, but they need more. I think they landscaped with low maintenance in mind.There’s a river birch beside the patio that I love. It’s right beside the hot tub. I want to add a Japanese maple like the one we had at the other house. It had the most beautiful red fall foliage. The irises need to be divided. I should have done it last fall, but it didn’t happen. We had a bunch on the east side of the house that bloomed in October. I’ve never had irises bloom in October.

I hope you enjoy this little song from Franklin and Friends (a children’s TV series). It says exactly what I’m feeling right now.

11 thoughts on “Eighteen below

  1. It’s been so long since I was Fahrenheit that I had to look it up – all I remember is that my zero is your 32 and -40 is the same across the board. Sooooo, it’s -27 in my language and that’s pretty bloody awful. Stuck in the house with kids who have cabin fever – lucky you!! I’m betting that you get baking at times like these.

    I too am itching to garden, but not here. It would be really nice to do something more with the French garden, as in grow things to eat, but since we’re never here in the summer it’s kind of pointless. Our roses grow all by themselves, though, as well as dahlias, lilies, oleander and the like. When I first moved here I had big plans for more flowerbeds but that led to some fairly serious disagreements about what would and would not grow here. Coming from a zone 4, I figure anything is better, and what’s not possible in the So of Fr? Apparently lots. Quite dry and can be super hot in the summer, so that limits what will thrive on its own.

    Calgary, on the other hand, is dying for some attention Now that the giant dog has moved out, I have some hope that what I do in my tiny back garden might actually not be trampled and peed upon. A few years ago I put in some nice grass around the patio, which lasted exactly one season before the dog ruined it. I agree with you about raised beds for practicality and they look nice too.

    Fingers crossed that your cold front lifts soon. It’s even on the news over here.


    • Yep, it was definitely freezin’ ass cold. Thankfully, it warmed up during the day to 20°F, and the sun was shining for most of the day, so the two middle kids went outside to play in the snow for an hour or so and worked off some steam. It’s not as cold this morning, 18°, so I’m sure they’ll go to school today. I didn’t bake, because we’re all getting fat from the lack of activity and the baking, so I’m laying off for a while.

      It does seem kind of a waste of time for you to plant a veggie garden with you off gallivanting all over Europe all summer. Nope, not jealous at all. Not one bit. Unh-uh. 😉 Our garden last year was a bust. What with the moving, the crappy weather, and the damned stink bugs, we barely got anything, except for the Swiss chard. The tomatoes were pretty much a total loss, and that’s my favorite part. The stink bugs poke their stupid little mouths into them all over and ruin them before they get completely ripe. Apparently, they’re the new plague in the US, and there’s not much to be done about them. They’re resistant to most pesticides, which I wouldn’t use anyway, and they’re disgusting. And they get in the house just as bad as the damned lady beetles. I guess insects are going to take over the world.

      When did the giant dog move out?? Did the giant son move out with him? What up, lady?


      • Got fed up with the giant son’s habits, including but not limited to his inability to ever notice that there was dog poop all over the back patio. Everything came to a head one night last August and I, lamentably, let him have it in a non-nice way. They moved out a week later to live in a house full of grown boys, including his big brother. It was a bit awkward with him for a while after that, but we’re back to being good now. I am so relieved that he’s not under my roof anymore, and found by total coincidence the perfect, and I do mean perfect, replacement for him – a young woman who is a combo boarder/house sitter. I enjoy not wondering what the state the place is in.


  2. Well, there’s no work for me today, either. Right now, here on the sunny, warm Texas coast, it’s 38, with a wind chill of 24. That stiff east wind will do it. There were reports of snow flurries north of Houston, and a bit of freezing rain. A blizzard it isn’t, but it keeps us sympathetic to those of you who have to deal with real misery.

    Yesterday, I decided to look around for projects that could fit in nicely with an indoor, gloomy day. I finished my taxes, and flipped my queen-sized mattress. How’s that for productivity? For once in my life, I sat down and thought about that mattress-flipping, and engineered it perfectly. It took five minutes, give or take. I was astonished.

    That’s really too bad about the syrup. Maybe things will straighten themselves out next week, and everything will get back on track. Wouldn’t that be nice? I just hope it doesn’t shoot up to 50 degrees where all that snow is heaped up. The last thing anyone needs is ghastly flooding.


    • I heard that there was freezing rain out there. I can handle some snow, but I don’t go out in the ice. I don’t know if I could handle six FEET of snow, though. I don’t know what they will do when all that starts to melt. Hopefully, it will be a slow melt.

      I have been so lazy this winter. I guess with all of the time spent with the toddler, when I do have free time during his naps, I just want to read or knit or catch up on the TV shows I have recorded. It will be better when we can go outside to play.

      David’s looking at long-range forecasts, and it doesn’t look too great, but they can be wrong, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.


  3. Rick’s veggie garden is in the front yard for the same reason. I’m trying to convince him to grow corn but so far, no go. I think this year he’ll make it bigger — last year the brussels sprouts crowded everything out — and it was a gloomy year for tomatoes. Sigh. I can’t grow things to save my soul except in pots so it’s all herbs and grape tomatoes in my potager. I’m glad he shares!


    • Oh, gosh, it was awful for tomatoes here last year, too. The weather and the danged stink bugs pretty much ruined our tomatoes. Two years ago, I made the mistake of planting two tomatillo plants (you have to do two to pollinate), and they took over the entire garden. They’re like giant weeds. No need to replant the following year, because they also reseed. They made really good salsa though. 🙂


  4. When we lived at Dad’s we used to walk around the neighborhood a few times a week. I always looked forward to this one house that had a vegetable garden in the side-front yard. I know it seems like an odd place for a garden, but it was beautiful. It had a fence and interesting poles and even arches for beans and such to climb on. I was tempted to jump the fence (or make H do it) and steal. 🙂

    Oh, my! you are having quite the winter, aren’t you? It was 10 here this morning and we aren’t used to that. I know what you mean about short springs. Sometimes it’s cold as blue blazes here and then suddenly hot as blue blazes. I hate that. I also hate to get a short fall. Fall is my favorite time of year. I don’t like getting cheated.

    Hang in there. Spring will come eventually, but don’t quote me. But I really do think it will. 🙂 Those kids are going to be going to school in July.


  5. I’m thinking of putting a couple of trellises in mine, too. I’m not a huge fan of pole beans, but they do look pretty growing. You know what irks me about this area? You have all these people who have five acres, and they mow every bit of it. Why not put in an orchard, or a vegetable garden, or just let the habitat grow up for the animals? Well, anyway, that’s me, not them. I plan to grow a lot more variety of herbs this year. I bet you could have knocked on those people’s door and they would have given you some of their bounty. 🙂

    I love that you use homilies that I use. 🙂 Blue blazes, being one of them. I agree with you about fall. I really love spring the best, though, especially after a long, cold winter.

    p.s. I would be writing a longer comment, but I’ve got three people up early, and getting into my alone time. 🙂


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