While I don't actually mind snow, I have reached the point where it has worn out its welcome for this Winter. I'm running short on Sunshine doses and hoard them when they occur.
To that end I decided to start on some things that are Spring oriented. At least it gives me hope. The 2 major items are a Spring purge of excess stuff and putting in a garden. Preferably a raised bed garden. Currently I have the lumber, hardware and space. I have a promise from my neighbor to do some plowing and harrowing so I'll have readily prepped soil and another friend owns horses so fertilizer is available on a "Free-you load and haul" basis. All good. A week ago I got out my seed starter trays and wet down the little disks of growth medium and filled them up with seeds I'd purchased a week or so earlier. Minus any Rutabaga seeds. I wonder why there are none available in my area? I will check that out in my free time. It isn't a major loss.
It did not take nearly as long to set up the seed sprouting operation and my back survived nicely. I did - knowingly - over-plant the number of seeds to start. 1 - I wasn't sure how many would make it to plantable status, 2 - I have cats, as you all know, and the possibility of catly interference is always there. I did lose a couple seed pods to the cats the day after I finished the planting of the starter trays. So far no repeats of that accident - which it actually was - an accident. Today, 8 days later, I have seen sprouts from almost all of the varieties of veggies. Still lurkingg, unsprouted, are the green onions, watermelon and jalapeno peppers. I am not worried since most sprouting can take longer. So now I enjoy checking out the sprouts and how they're coming along. I will need to pick up some larger cups for an initial transplant as they get near outgrowing the little pod/disks. The garden is geared to a collection of freezable/can-able/root cellar-able (Probably won't find that word in the dictionary) varieties of veggies with just a couple items that will be a fresh treat come Summer. I am exceedingly fond of spinach salads. I have started some watermelons for picnics and things like Pennsic and other SCA events. I am hopeful that I will have at least some success with this project. Should I get carried away I will add some raspberry canes and strawberry plants. They can be frozen as well. First year gardens can have random results. Fingers crossed.
On another DIY front, for folks who want to be self-sufficient - 3 friends and I got together and made soap this past weekend. Not the melt and pour stuff but the 'from scratch, milk, oils, lard, lye and essential oils' soap. We had a BALL! We've done this before and we have a great deal of good conversation and always end up with lots of soap. It does have to sit and cure for a number of weeks while the chemicals break down the caustic aspects of the lye, but the soap that results is always nice. I doubt seriously that I'll have to buy any sort of bar soap for several years. This latest batch netted me 44 bars.
The other projects are all pretty much going to be scattered over the next 6 months - simply decluttering and thinning out the stuff in the barn, the underporch and a second round of thinning on the house. With luck, somewhere in all this I shall add a hen house and chickens. However, that isn't a top of the list item. Just something to look forward to when I can afford it.
All this is a simple continuation of restructuring my life and continuing on minus Himself. I continue to improve, as does life in general. Having a positive out look is a big help and watching those little seeds sprout helps that a lot!