The previous weekend sure was eventful. It started off with a gunman on the loose who wound up in our community. That is not something you ever want to face. A police helicopter circling our neighbourhood in the black of night and all the unknowns of who and where and what were a frightful thing. I prayed a lot and called in a bunch of prayer reinforcements and we were so, so grateful to hear the news the next morning that he had been caught. God looked after us, our community and the police who were working so hard on the case and no one further was hurt. My heart does go out to the family of the man who was shot in another town beforehand and I pray that they will find peace.
The next morning we were hiring a rotary hoe to dig up the front lawn. This was really exciting until the above events occurred. The Husband and The Little Fulla went off to get it, not knowing at that stage whether the suspect had been caught or not, although it was very quiet. I could just see and hear the black helicopter slowly moving around in the distance, which was far better than in our immediate vicinity. I needed to put stakes in the lawn out the front to mark out where The Husband was allowed to dig up. Otherwise, he would probably dig up everything. It was eerily quiet outside. No kids were out playing, no one was working outside with tools or equipment. It reminded me of the morning after the first Christchurch earthquake. Back then, people looked at The Husband weirdly when he started mowing the front lawn. Well, you can sit around being scared or you can carry on doing the things that need to be done, within reason. I walked out the front, all eyes and ears, to hammer in the stakes with my tool of choice – a small axe. Not much later, the media release came out with the good news – the suspect had been caught. Life carries on, although we can never erase events like this.
The Husband did a great job digging up the large patch of front lawn, which will henceforth be referred to as the Front Plot. We didn’t use that piece of lawn for anything before. It meant a lot of needless mowing. Now, the plan is to grow mostly corn and pumpkins in there. But first I need to rake out some clumps of grass and work in some compost. Unfortunately, the rain has not been cooperating.
After lunch, The Husband set the rotary hoe onto the bit of ground beside the front carport. It had gotten a bit weedy, but mostly I wanted to loosen the soil around the remaining small camellia stumps to help us dig out their long roots. Now there’s just one, the biggest one, left to dig out from the middle of the patch.
The chicks are all doing well and growing fast. I made a smaller 5L bucket waterer for them, which will also be useful for a breeding pen with just a few chickens. They can use water nipples like this from about 3 weeks of age and it keeps their water so much more clean and low maintenance.
I wasn’t planning to grow potatoes this coming season since there are so many other things I want to grow, but I decided to grow just a few in the old plastic compost bin. I bought a bag of five Agria seed potatoes and set them in an egg carton to chit.
Upon checking through my seeds I discovered that the giant pumpkin seeds I had saved from one of last season’s pumpkins had gone quite mouldy. Nooooo! I obviously didn’t give them enough time to dry out. This put me in a bit of a pickle. We had thrown the last giant pumpkin into one of the chicken pens not too long ago so I went to see if there were any good seeds left in it. Most of the seeds weren’t looking in good shape but I chose the seven best and, since they were already showing some signs of mould, I set them to germinate by paper towel method in the hot water cupboard. Somehow, all of them germinated. That was good, except for the fact that it was still winter – way too early for pumpkin seedlings. Well, at least I had some and they are now potted up in small pots. There are bound to be some pop up in the chicken pen so either way I think I will end up with some plants at the right time.
The Billington plum blossoms were the first to come out and the tree is now smothered in them. Spring is well on the way! And it seems like it’s set to be a turbulent one, with wind, rain and hail.