Technically it is not yet spring. But Spring is breaking out all over anyway. Early in February we got a couple inches of snow but not enough to call in a snow plow to clear the driveway. I did call up the plow guy on February 10th to clear a path through frozen snow to Old Blue, our 40 year old Chevy Pickup, so I could help Rick at Quillasascut Farm clear out the goat feeding barn. Three huge truck loads later the barn was clear, there was a ten ton pile of manure next to the garden, and my back was a little sore. Two days later the pile was steaming and my back was more than a little sore.
But my back is fine now (after a visit to our chiropractor, Peter Roesler) and the snow is gone. Chickadee’s have started their mating songs. Turkeys are fanning their tails and fighting, grass is rising up from the very flat and wet earth. Tulips are poking up from the flower barrel in front of the house and the filbert trees are adorned with catkins of pollen. Of course all of this means that it’s time to get out and prepare the garden and prune the grapes. Cheryl has leek starts growing inside, but I haven’t quite started pruning yet.
I got the bottle shed organized and now have close to 2000 wine bottles sorted by type, color and size and stored in wine cases ready to wash and scald. I did get three of my best wines from 2014 bottled, Marechal Foch, Luci Kuhlmann and Baco Noir. I also bottled some apple wine from 2012. All of them are wonderful and I got a chance to share some of them with hundreds of people at the Hunger Coalition Dinner, February 26th.
Another spring cleaning project was to reclaim the wood shop from all the tools and supplies stacked on the floor. There is more to do sorting screws etc. but the shop is ready even if I am not. The office/tasting room bathroom project is done for now and includes new linoleum on the floor. But the office is a bit of a mess because I have been jamming on a new guide to rock hounding hot spots for the annual Panorama Land Gem and Mineral Show, which closed yesterday – and was a big success. And I got the first draft of the chapter in my father’s biography, “Raising a Family”, off to him and my brothers and sisters. If I can get another rock club newsletter done by the end of the week and have the first meeting of the Heritage Network organized by the next week, then I can do the slide show and grape catalog for the Home and Garden Show the weekend after that. Things happen quickly in the spring.
Having my Samsung Tablet take dictation for my diary has been fun. Sometimes it takes awhile to figure out what I really said. It translated “evaporated milk” as “vampire rated milk”. It called my Pend Oreille County book “pond or a book”. When I talked about visiting Cheryl’s cousin Pat and Allan (her husband ), it wrote “I visited pattern islands”. When I mentioned that while cooking dinner I screwed up the cornbread and kale, it wrote “I screwed up the cornbread and the girl that went with it.” When I said that I put suet in the feeder, it wrote “I put some saw it in the theater.”
The tablet was not the only technology giving us fits. I spent hours with Norton support getting both of our computers on the same plan, but saved over $100 in the process. We spent even more time tracing down all the routers that Providence’s online patient medical information website bounced to before becoming lost. But we got Hughes Net to give us information that we gave to Providence and they not only got us back online, they fixed a problem that scores of other patients were having.
We’ve also been watching episodes of The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan. He “rehabilitates” dogs by training humans to be “calm and assertive”. It’s a lot like Zen. Spring is hectic but don’t worry, be calm, assertive and happy.