Spring Has Arrived!

Yesterday was the official first day of Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere at precisely 12:57 pm EDT . Did you know that for a few minutes around that moment, you can stand an egg on end? A few years ago a friend of mine and I tried it and sure enough it worked!

stand-eggs-on-endOf course, I can’t prove it to you today, yesterday was the vernal equinox, but check it out next year!

Most of the United States has experienced the hardest winter in decades and all of us are happy to see that date on the calendar. Many of us have looked at the prices of food in our local grocery store and the shock has made us look to our own backyards for relief in the form of a home vegetable garden. I am certain that the number of gardens will increase this year as food prices are expected to continue to rise. This is certainly a great time to pick up a hoe and start gardening.

This is one of the reasons that I have recently finished a pdf booklet Vegetable Gardening in the Shade and am currently working on a longer Kindle e-book and paperback called Simply Vegetable Gardening. The Kindle copy of Simply Vegetable Gardening will be out around April first and the paperback version will be out soon afterwards.

If you haven’t yet received your FREE copy of Vegetable Gardening in the Shade, do so now by clicking on this link and receive a FREE subscription to my newsletter Cygnet’s News as well. In this newsletter, you will be able to keep up with events that I will be attending, updates on my books, and articles that bring the conflict of the American Revolution to life as well as timely gardening tips from what to plant, how to plant it using organic methods, how to keep it growing and how to use it after harvest.

Battling the Storm

Last Thursday morning, I was on my way back to Missouri from Pennsylvania where I attended my brother’s funeral. The temperature when I left Pennsylvania was 51 degrees F, which was the same as when I left my home in Springfield, Missouri the previous Monday. The major winter storm was wreaking havoc in the west and it was expected to be hitting Springfield on Thursday, so my two brothers (who live in Missouri too) decided our best option was to leave right after the funeral rather than waiting until Thursday morning as we had planned. We rode all night. During the majority of the trip, the weather was fairly clear. There were a few times when it would rain a little, but it was not freezing. It was not until after we reached Missouri that the temperatures finally did go below freezing. I was wishing that I didn’t have to take my brothers home because they live down in Oregon County which was expected to get freezing rain, which I think has to be the worst kind of weather to drive in. At least, I was driving during the daylight. The freezing rain hit us when we were on J Highway which was about 30 miles from my brothers’ home. The roads were still warm at that point so the ice was not freezing onto the road, but the temperatures were dropping, so I knew I had to get out of there as fast as possible. I dropped them off and started on the final miles of my trek alone. The weather was getting worse. I made it into their town and headed toward the highway. The snowplows were out on the highways and would continue to do whatever they could to keep the roads clear. Ice began to accumulate on the roads, but I kept my head. If I just plugged along those one hundred miles, I was going to make it. Slowly, but surely, I made it to Springfield where the freezing rain turned to big fluffy snowflakes. I determined that I would pick up my daughter before heading home. I was not about to go out in that mess again until I picked up my husband Sunday morning. I had to wait for her to get off the school bus, and during the half hour that I sat waiting for her to get off the bus at her friend’s home where she had been staying, it snowed almost 2 inches. We had to brush the snow off the car to take it the mile to our house. I thought we were home free. I didn’t realize that the worst part was going to be trying to get up our inclined driveway.  I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, but after three tries of slipping and sliding, spinning tires, I was able to safely park my car inside my garage. I had no time to go to the store. I was home and I wasn’t going anywhere.

The infamous driveway actually is steeper than this photo indicates.

The infamous driveway actually is steeper than this photo indicates.

The following day, my daughter didn’t have school, so we spent the day watching television together while the snow continued to fall. Saturday dawned cold, but the sun was out so we spent a good portion of the day clearing the snow and the ice from the driveway. I didn’t have the proper snow and ice removal equipment, so I used a broom to clear the powdery snow, but there was a good half inch of ice under that snow so I had to find some way to clear that as well. We didn’t have any rock salt or snow melt, nor did we have a snow shovel or anything normally used to scrape snow, but I have a good old heavy duty professional grade rag mop handle and the metal mop part was strong enough to scrape the snow in strips across the driveway then used table salt along those strips to melt the ice. By the end of the day, our driveway was cleared.

Where there is a will there is a way. This snowman was made with snow that doesn't pack easily, but somehow my daughter was able to make it work for her.

Where there is a will there is a way. This snowman was made with snow that doesn’t pack easily, but somehow my daughter was able to make it work for her.

That night it snowed again and Sunday morning I was supposed to go get my husband from his OTR truck. I was still exhausted from the day before, and my daughter was staying at a friend’s house so I had to clear the snow myself before going and getting him. It was early morning and I was scared that I would slide down the driveway into my neighbor’s car that they inconveniently parked on the street directly behind my driveway, if I did any sliding as I came down my driveway, I would run into their car. Of course, I would be the one responsible for any accident even though they thoughtlessly parked there. I am such a wimp when it comes to these situations. I see everything that could go wrong, but all is well that ends well. I made it across town to where my husband’s truck was and now he is home. Today again (Monday) there is no school. I am just glad to know that I have survived to write about it.