Reveling in Spring!

Wild dogwood tree in our back yard

Wild dogwood tree in our back yard

It’s planting time!

Wild birdsfoot violets in the front yard

Wild birdsfoot violets in the front yard

I haven’t had a garden the past couple of years, and this year the urge is irresistible.  I’m starting with a micro garden in Earth Boxes.  Later I’ll get the raised beds cleaned up, reinstall the irrigation system, and plant them, too.

I also got pink caladiums and pink and white oriental lilies planted in a 3′ x 3′ planter.  Almost everything I plant has to be in raised beds as our ground is solid clay and white quartz rocks.

The trip to Coleman Lake tamed the cabin fever monster, so now we are back to our original travel plan for this year.  Camp within an hour of home for a week once a month and get all of our bills except the mortgage paid off in October!

Wild Stars of Bethlehem after an encounter with the lawn mower

Wild Stars of Bethlehem after an encounter with the lawn mower

We are planning to meet up with friend Peggy for 3 days in late April at a state park in NE Georgia.

I’m planning to get the Casita washed and shined next week as Peggy has never seen it.  🙂

I have lots more planting to do.  The seeds I started a few weeks ago should be ready to go into the ground next week.

This is the most heady, glorious season of the year!

Wild crabapple blossom

Wild crabapple blossom

Dianthus in Earth Box by the back door

Dianthus in Earth Box by the back door

Earth Boxes with radicchio, peppers and patio tomatoes. I have a total of 10 Earth Boxes.

Earth Boxes with radicchio, peppers and patio tomatoes. I have a total of 10 Earth Boxes.

I planted pink and purple impatiens around the hosta pot.

I planted pink and purple impatiens around the hosta pot.

 

 

 

This poor hosta has been in the same big pot for several years, and faithfully comes back each spring.  Maybe this fall I'll remember to divide it.  :)

This poor hosta has been in the same big pot for several years, and faithfully comes back each spring. Maybe this fall I’ll remember to divide it. 🙂

 

The square foot gardens-to-be

The square foot gardens-to-be

 

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Looking Ahead

Yesterday afternoon I finally got around to calling Casita to order the parts I need.  They have a new phone system so you can bypass the overworked receptionist, which is a big improvement in how they do things.  So I left a message for the parts department to call me.

Very unlike Casita, they did not return my call.  So today I called to leave another message and got a recording saying their mailbox was full.  That is TOTALLY unlike Casita.  So I called again and dialed O for Operator instead of 3 for the parts department.

A very nice man answered, and explained that due to the ice storm, the plant was shut down yesterday.  He took my name and number, and later, I think it may have been the same person who called to get my parts order.  I wonder if the factory was still mostly shut down and he was just doing what he could to help catch up on the backlog?

Anyway, I ordered 6 new cabinet latches, 5 sets of hinges to replace the ones that are rusting.  And a new cover for the cable connection.

This turned out to be a little too much hat for me.

This turned out to be a little too much hat for me.

Around the house I am doing whatever I can to beat the spring-is-never-going-to-come-and-I’ll-never-be-able-to-go-camping-again blues.

I went to Hobby Lobby the other day and got some pretty material and lace to make new valances and a table skirt for my bedroom.  I also got some of their silky *I Love This Yarn* brand yarn.  It is so soft and works up like a dream.

A couple of my friends knit or crochet head warmer hats for chemo patients who have lost their hair.  I’m not sure if I want to commit to it, but I did try one of their patterns to see how it would go.  I’m not too thrilled with either the pattern or the colors I chose, but it is a very soft, warm hat.  I will probably use it as a camping hat next fall.

Hope

Hope

I don’t think I’ll do a big garden this year, but I would like to do some Earth Boxes and maybe a small square foot garden.  So I started some seeds last night.  Maybe when they sprout and start growing a little I will feel more like spring will really come this year.  🙂

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Candlelight and Music

I’m making great progress on cleaning and organizing the house.  Almost have my craft/camping/junk room in perfect order.

Today I fertilized one of my square foot gardens, then planted tomatoes and peppers (with buried eggshells to prevent blossom end rot).  The plants are big enough and our season is so long, we should have all the tomatoes and bell peppers we can use.  I need to plant some cilantro and one other type of pepper still so I can make fresh salsa.

After that I put rosemary/garlic chicken on the grill along with some yellow crookneck squash halves.  And then the thunderstorm hit.  It was ferocious.

Ron went out in the storm to take the food off the grill, while I waited inside with a towel and a dry shirt for him.  But dinner was superb… worth fighting the storm for!

Then the lightning fireworks started in earnest!  Sunny raced to the window, barking to scare the thunder away.  And then the power went out.

So…. I lit candles, got out my ukulele, started playing with fingerpicking patterns, and simply got lost in the beautiful ambiance of candlelight and music.

So nice to be able to entertain and enjoy myself even in the dark of a power outage!

At last the electricity came back on.  By then, it was welcome because the candles were making it hot inside, and the air conditioning felt heavenly!

I figure another couple of days working on the house, a day or two on the yard, then it will be time to start work on the camper.  I’m in no hurry now.  Just thoroughly enjoying having projects to do!

Spring Garden and Woods

Ron digging chickweed out of our square foot gardens

I really can’t say I am ready to get back into gardening again.  Camping and travel remain my dearest loves.  But the season beckons.

We will probably not go anywhere this month, but do plan to meet up with my sister from Texas at Mom’s place in May.  Taxes hit us hard enough this month to wipe out this month’s travel budget.

Spring in the woods is irresistible, though.  I am posting way too many photos today, but wanted to share the glory of spring in the northwest Georgia hills.

On edit…. I did get an identification on the strange red growths on the leaves pictured below.  Click here for the explanation.

Blooming dogwood branch

Dogwood flowers

The back side of dogwood blooms

Wild Indian Strawberry flower opening

This is really odd. It looks like some kind of plant that is a leaf parasite. I have not noticed this before.

A closeup of the leaf parasite (?)

Some leaves have a lot of them.

These litter the forest floor. I think they are maple seeds, but am not sure.

Tiny flowers on a shrub in our yard.

Onion flowers are blooming in an Earth Box

A violet bloom emerging in the woods

Soft moss makes me wish that I was barefoot. 🙂

Unknown flowering tree. I just noticed that if you expand this photo and look at the leaves near the bottom left corner, you can see some of those strange red growths (fungi?) that are pictured above. (On edit -- it's a black cherry tree.)

Unusual green and white wildflower. On edit, a blog reader identified this flower as a Star of Bethlehem. Thanks, Evan!

Wild crabapple blossom

Baby plums on our Japanese plum trees

Heading Home Tomorrow

1923 Ford owned by one of the campers here

Our lovely vacation is drawing to a close.  Tonight’s our last night camping here at Indian Springs State Park.  We left winter weather behind and enjoyed seeing spring arrive during our month-long escape.

We feel as though the camp host, Dick, has become a dear friend.  And we met some wonderful campers.  Kathryn and Albert helped me search for a lost wallet —

Rear view of the 1923 Ford

which Ron later found in my jacket pocket after I had called the bank and canceled my debit cards and was on hold to cancel my credit cards.  So glad I had a long wait on hold.  🙂

And we really enjoyed meeting Virginia and Danny who were on their first outing in their new-to-them Shadow Cruiser.  They weren’t aware of the America the Beautiful Senior Pass that gives a 50% discount on camping fees at federal campgrounds, so it was our joy to share that

Beautiful proof that spring has really arrived!

information with them.

So now we will head home.  I’ll do some maintenance on the Aliner and probably put in my square foot vegetable garden and some flowers, and settle back into everyday home life.

But we will still plan on getting out for a week long camping trip each month.  Maybe we can make it to the Blue Ridge Mountains to cool off  in July or August when the weather is  really hot this year.

Sparkly rocks found down by the lake.

Hopefully I’ll get the Aliner paid off in July and start saving for a nice down payment on a Scamp 5th wheel, which is the larger camper Ron and I have decided would work best for us and our 6 cylinder truck.

We did go fishing this afternoon.  We didn’t even get a bite, but did enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery from the fishing dock.

And tonight there is a bright moon and beautiful stars in a clear sky.  So it’s the perfect ending to a very good trip.

Redbud trees are bursting into bloom all through the woods.