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This Week in the Garden

This Week in the Garden

Week of February 13

When the snow is still

blowing against the window-pane

in January and February

and the wild winds are howling without,

what pleasure it is to plan

for summer that is to be.

Celia Thaxter

The summer garden begins now,

even while the garden is covered in snow.

It is 17-18 weeks till the last average spring frost here in my zone 5 garden,

and that means it is time to begin planning for this years garden.

My vegetable garden plan from many years ago.

It is interesting to see how my garden has evolved over the years-

some things have changed greatly, yet many things remain the same.

The seeds catalogs have arrived, and they are a valuable source of information,

as well as an enjoyable read on cold wintery days-

how easy it is to get carried away in dreaming of new and exciting veggies to try!

Your own past years garden journals are also a valuable tool to refer to when planning this years garden.

Even though the garden is covered in snow, and it is way too early to be working out in the garden,

there are still gardening chores you can be doing about now.

Things to do now in the vegetable garden-

Garden Planning

You need to know what zone you are gardening in-what your last average spring frost date is,

your number of frost free growing days and the average date of the first fall frost.

I am gardening in zone 5.

Decide what you want from your garden.

Will you be growing just for fresh eating or having enough to can and freeze for a family?

(Here is a graph to refer to if planning on putting up for a family.)

Inventory the seeds that you have saved from last year.

(How to tell if those old seeds are still viable)

Decide what you want to grow.

Decide what seeds need ordered or bought-send that seed order in soon, if you haven’t already done so.

Order early for the best selection.

Use the different seed catalogs to comparison shop.

If you are inclined, try some new things this year.

Sketch out the envisioned garden plan, taking into consideration

the days to maturity, plant spacing, mature size, and habit.

Plan for successive plantings.

Save the seed catalog, so you can refer back to it when needed.

Set up the seed starting area if you plan to start seeds indoors.

Seeds of lettuce, celery, onions, leeks and early tomatoes

can be started this month under lights.

When the days are nice, you can prune your fruit trees and grape vines.

Pruning should be done when the red knuckles of rhubarb are pushing up

and that is now.

If you are really anxious for green growing things,

you can start some sprouting seeds!

Here is to a happy, successful growing season!


Exodus 15:2

The Lord is my strength and song,

he is become my salvation.

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A Sunday Prayer

Today’s Prayer


Photo credit-Breath

Today’s Prayer

What shall I pray to Thee, dear Lord, today?

What thing of good shall I from Thee implore?

What thing to brighten someone’s darkened way

With gleams of sunlight, never seen before?


Awaken, Lord, the heart of some sweet child,

Till it may make its early choice for Thee.

Oh, may it not by some loathsome sin beguiled

Cease innocence, but pure and lovely be.


Illumine, Lord, the heart of some fair youth;

By challenge set his noble heart afire,

And burn it up with holy zeal for truth,

And fervent love, and right, and Thy desire.


And, Lord, remember too the aging one-

Some weary pilgrim who has trod Thy way;

And may he see beyond the setting sun

The rosy tints of soon appearing day!


If you will grant this simple prayer to me,

By letting me the answer now begin,

I’ll do my best in effort, Lord, for Thee,

To see it done: and say, Amen!

J Melton Thomas


John 12:26

If any man serve me, him will my Father  honor.


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The Snow Moon

The Full Snow Moon

photo credit-C.L. Porter

Tonight….3 notable events are taking place in the night sky.


Tonight is the February full moon, known as the Full Snow Moon.

This is one of the snowiest months of the year.

With the latest storm covering the eastern part of the United States with snow,

the nights surrounding this full moon will be very bright with the moon and snow.

This moon is also called the hunger moon, as this was a time of little to eat

for the Native Americans.

And it is also known as the Trapper’s Moon.

This was a prime time for trappers of fur bearing animals,

the thick winter fur coats of foxes, beavers, etc. were at a prime.


There is a lunar eclipse tonight.

And three-

There is a new year comet.

If the skies are clear where you live you will be able to see them.


Winter Eyes

Look at winter-

With winter eyes,

As smoke curls from rooftops

To clear cobalt skies.


Breath in winter-

Past winter nose,

The sweet scent of black birch

Where velvet moss grows.


Walk through winter-

With winter feet,

On crackling ice

Or sloshy wet sleet.


Look at winter-

With winter eyes,

The rustling of oak leaves

As spring slowly nears.

Douglas Florian

Yes, spring is slowly nearing, and we are much in anticipation as it nears.

The days are noticeably longer, and how welcome the sun is!

Under the snow and cold, the earth is coming to life again,

as the red knuckles of rhubarb are pushing up,

and green wisps of crocus are appearing.


Psalm 86:4

Rejoice the soul of thy servant:

for unto thee, O Lord,

do I lift up my soul.



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Winter Days

We have passed the mid-point of our winter.  This has not been a severe winter for us here in south-western Pennsylvania, (so far!) and it is even beginning to feel like the stiff back bone of it has been broken.  Though today is a teaser of warmer weather to come,  it is still very much winter.

I do like the seasons of our part of the country, but the children really do love it.  I had 2 little girls at my house for the afternoon last week, and after snacks they informed me that they had their snow play clothes, and could they go outside and play in the snow?

They were not outside long before they came back in saying they were done.  Come out and look Grandma!

It has been a long time since there has been a snow man in our yard.

As I went out to photograph their work, I was informed that this wasn’t a snowman, it was a snowgirl!  Of course they were right- How could I make that mistake?

She will soon be gone, and we will be left with a muddy mess.  But spring is coming!


Psalm 84:12

Oh LORD of hosts,

blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.





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Back Home


The month of January is ending, and for us, it is back home to Pennsylvania, from our California trip, back to the regular routine of life, and back to blogging for me.

While we were in California, we got to be a part of the ending of their years-long drought…it was cold, windy and rainy…. while the weather back home (in PA) was unusually warm.  Not exactly ‘vacation’ weather!  Many days, when I checked the weather for both locales, it was warmer in California than in Pennsylvania.  Go figure!  But what ever, it is always nice to come home!  And Pennsylvania has greeted us with cold and snow.  As I type, snow is gently falling, covering all in its mantle of white that is so beautiful.

It is always so wonderful to see our California family. We were able to see everyone that we wanted.  I will be posting more later about our trip.

And it was good to see that everything was well cared for while we were gone. We are thankful to every one that helped carry the load  The church was in good hands.  And all the animals survived!

Unpacking is done and now to attack the waiting chores.


Psalm 138:8

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me:

thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever.





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Who am I ???

Child of God, pastors wife, mother of five, grandmother of ten (and counting), gardener, quilter, homemaker, reader, homebody and dreamer…

February 2017
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