Saturday, March 21, 2015

Planning Our Garden Now

Summer 2014

Spring has started here in New York with a fury of cold weather and snow. That is not unheard of. Though most people forget that. I take this time to get some chores and projects finished in my house since soon I will be into gardening season. I am making a lot of plans for our new garden. We are adding some fruit sources to our homestead this year. I regret doing it so late, but better late than never, as the saying goes.

Some of our raised beds

This morning I took the time to make a list of the herbs and flowers I need to add to our garden. I have spent so much time cultivating the vegetables that I don't have any area devoted strictly to the medicinal and culinary plants we need. One stone raised bed has two trees in it and I am hoping my husband sees it in his heart (with all the other projects he is waiting for the weather to warm up so he can tackle)  to take those trees down. One tree has my clothesline attached to it. He wants to change that set up so that is no problem.

The Snake Bed

That raised bed we refer to as the snake bed, not because it has snakes (though it does), but because of the shape. Long and curling. I think it would be a good spot for the medicinal and culinary plants. And one section for the asparagus bed. This year I plan on increasing our greens and salad vegetables. I don't even know if I will bother with squashes as I have a huge amount canned. If I do, I will plant only one or two plants of winter and summer varieties. Probably zucchini and one winter type.

Nutmeg's Garden

I have a special bed (called Nutmeg's Garden) for lemon balm because it takes over the whole bed. Last year it got plowed under by mistake and I didn't have much of a crop. That was okay though, as the years before it was too much for me to harvest or handle. I am thinking that if I have it growing that much again, I will offer it for sale. It is a good medicinal plant. The leaves can used fresh or dried for fevers, period cramps, headaches, colds, insomnia and other uses to many to mention here. I wrote about it in a past post, Lemon Balm: Food or Medicine. What special plans are you making for your 2015 garden? Don't forget the herbs!

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rabbit Loves A Challenge


I wrote in my previous posts about our pet rabbit. I learn from him (and all my pets actually) every day (I call it  Pet Lessons.). He loves a challenge! He will keep at something over and over until he accomplishes it. Many people don't do that. Rabbit hated the bathroom being blocked off from him. I had put a board in front of the door (that I thought he couldn't jump over.......silly me!) and he kept sizing it up for a jump. Soon he was over it and I took the board down. One challenge over, time for a new one.

Working with Rabbit

Our stairs are pretty steep in our house. Sometimes, I can't go up them due to my bad knees. I never pictured Rabbit going up and down the stairs. Soon he was halfway up. A few days later, he was all the way up. He hasn't gone back up there, but I think when my husband moves his studio up there, Rabbit will up there a lot more. He likes to lay near my husband's feet (like a dog does) when he is on the computer. The thing I learned is to never give up. This little guy has been through a lot in his short life. Does it hold him back? Nope. He does what he must to accomplish whatever he is trying to do.

Jumping Down

The day before yesterday, Rabbit had a new goal. He wanted to jump onto my husband's lap while he was on the computer. He tried twice, but fell. Both times my husband wasn't paying attention to him and wasn't able to help him. Rabbit kept at it until he jumped right up on his lap. He bumped his head on the desk, but he was very happy to have made it. After that, he concentrated on the jump down. He didn't want my husband to put him down. He had to do it himself. Then it was up and down a few times that day. His day yesterday, was a whole other story which I will share soon.

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A House Rabbit? Yes!

I shared my story of our newest pet, Rabbit, in my last post. Since that post, that was back in January, he has become a house rabbit. It was way too cold for him out there by himself. If he lived with other rabbits he could have cuddled up for warmth. It got where 10 and 20 below zero was the normal temperature here. Not just one night, but for a number of days in a row. The daytime temperatures weren't much better. Very cold for this little guy.

I was worried how he'd handle the change from running free outside to being confined in the house. Not to worry. He took to it fine. I bought him a  special rabbit cage on Amazon. He doesn't seem to mind being in it. At first, I only took him out to clean it and he didn't seem to like being held. Instead of putting him in a box while I cleaned it, I set him on some paper nearby. While I cleaned, he seemed happy being out of the cage. Really stretching his legs. The funny thing is that he would not step off that paper. Later I told my husband about it and he suggested letting him out of the cage and see what he does.

We made a little litter box for him out of a cardboard box. He loved it! Soon he was running and jumping through out the house. Both of us were enjoying the antics of our little man. I researched online and found out that many people have house rabbits. I am learning little by little on how to take good care of him. The one thing I didn't realize is that him being a male, means that he will be marking his territory. Always near my husband! Not a good situation.

Needless to say, next week Rabbit has an appointment with a vet. I dread it and look forward to it at the same time. The reason I dread it is having to put him in the kitty carrier and take him in the car for a long ride. I tried to find a local vet, but they don't know how to treat rabbits yet. I worry about the procedure and hope he comes through it fine. I look forward to having this step behind us soon!

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole