Monday, February 15, 2016

It's the Sugar Creek Gang...

Every week day at 4:15, myself and my brothers, and our best friends who lived around the corner, would come running from whatever corner of the house or yard or woods we were in. We'd huddle around the radio, hit record if we had a tape player that worked and a tape to tape on, and listen to the Sugar Creek Gang. How frustrating it was when Prairie Princess or the Parsonage Family was on instead. In vain I have searched for the Sugar Creek stories we used to listen to. The version with a guy just reading doesn't hold a candle to the radio drama versions we listened to. No one has them. Anywhere. Moody Radio "does not currently have these titles available for sale or plans to do so in the future." Bah. But then one day, inspiration struck and I though to check the Archive site that has Ranger Bill episodes (another childhood favorite)- Bingo! Only 3 stories, but finally my kiddos could listen to the same Sugar Creek Gang stories I did, and listen we have. And even though I was more interested in the adventure part as a kid, the mini sermon in each one is phenomenal. The importance placed on praying always, honesty and integrity and obedience to your parents and to God. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! (clicking on these should take you to the link, also for the Thief in Town, episode one is actually the second one down. Episode 10 is listed first)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Planning and Plantng

There are a lot of things I should be doing right now (overseeing the kids afternoon chores, grinding pork for supper (sausage gravy and biscuits), folding laundry, trying to get Mr. Crabby-pants down for a nap, planning a bridal shower for my sister, working on baby shower stuff for my sister in laws shower), but I decided writing a blog post sounded like more fun, so here I am.

It's supposed to be 50 for the next two days, but then back to cold and snow again. Just in time for Sprouts visit to the ortho guy. (Sprout discovered that he cannot fly off the bunk bed ladder and spiral fractured his tibia about a month ago. It's been lots of fun.) The snow has melted and while it doesn't smell like spring, I have spring fever. This has been a very mild winter so far and it's not helping that spring fever one little bit. I've had my pot of seeds (see that yellow pot off to the side? That's what I keep everything in at the moment. I'm so organized...) sitting in the kitchen waiting for a chance to sort through and see what I have and what I "need". Need being a relative term. Garden catalogs suck me and I "need" *everything*. I do not have enough garden space to plant everything I want to, so I guess I'm going to have to get creative. There is a difference of opinions amongst the adults of the house regarding gardens and I'm not pushy enough to argue. But if I had my way, I would have separate gardens devoted entirely to pumpkins, squash, garlic, onions, and different types of beans. And I feel like a perennial garden is going to be a must this year. My herb garden is mostly established, just a few changes need to be made here and there.
I'm starting seeds for my raised bed tomorrow so that once it's warm enough for cold weather crops, I can put in plants instead of seeds. They may have a fighting chance then. The weeds in that bed come up so thick and so fast that everything gets choked out before it has a chance. This is the last year I'm trying it. If I can't keep the weeds down with mulch and paper this year, I'm taking it out. It's not worth my time.

Which brings me to: what have been your most creative and successful garden beds? Has anyone tried hay bale gardening and if so, what gardening zone are you and how did it work? What about potato towers?  Vertical gardening? Hugelkulture and permaculture sound interesting, but I think we have too much other stuff in the way.  Our land slopes and holds water and we have to be careful of where we dig and till because of underground drainage pipes and drain tile. Plus I don't completely understand it. I need layman terms and everything I'm finding is technical. Attractive and raised is probably going to be where I need to go. Oh, and we're zone 5, but I tend to incorporate zone 4 stuff too.
Hit me with your garden wisdom folks, I'm in need!