Sunday, January 31, 2016

Spring Dreams

The house is very quiet this morning. The HG packed up his ice fishing gear and left me Friday. He will be back sometime today, so I am on chore duty. Boone went to doggy day care because he is still a challenge to look after.

We had  a bit snow last night and this morning it is very cold, 27 degrees F with a chill, brisk breeze. The sun is shining, but the breeze will make it feel colder. I don't mind so much going out to feed the horses and hens, even in the cold. They are always so appreciative. Much of the snow that has been on the ground since Christmas has been melting, so the spots where there isn't any lawn or mulch are very muddy. I am so thankful that the HG got the graveled path between the barn and chicken house finished so that I don't have to slog through the mud.

Pop looks pretty grumpy this morning as he walks away from me with his little ears laid back, translated, "I' not in the mood. Its cold and I'm hungry. I want my breakfast now.'' He'll soon be 27, so I guess he can be grumpy his wants.

Even muddy and shaggy the prince is always handsome.  He'll turn 21 this spring. 

The water leak was found and repaired. Monday's Mosaic, neither pretty nor romantic, tells the story.

 The HG hired a leak finder fellow to come find the leak. After listening to the pipes in the basement, he was fairly certain where the leak probably was. He had an odd instrument that he carried in his hands along with headphones. Some place out by the barn, he added a gas of some sort to the water line then listened to the line just beyond the garden wall at the back of the house where he suspected the leak was. As he told us, water travels down; gas travels up, explaining why we had to hire hime because the HG could never find any wet spots in the snow covered ground. Once he had the leak isolated, he had the HG put his ear close to the ground where he cold hear the gas hissing out of the ground. That will be $350., please.

Next, the HG had to find a plumber with a really big digger. He called a few locals with not the best results: none answered their phones. Finally a plumber called back with the name of a company who could help. A father-son team showed in the afternoon with their Big Digger and we had water by the end of the day, well worth the $600+.  

We will have a ness to clean up this spring. They did an excellent job of removing the pavers that shape the wall for the garden and took great effort not to destroy any plant material. While we could have saved the sod, we decided not to take the time to cut it out since the ground was frozen. We will replace the sod next spring. On a more cheerful not, there were pesky perennial weeds that I couldn't seem to get rid of in between those pavers. I don't think they will be much of a problem this spring.

The leak, by the way, was caused by faulty workmanship when the line was installed in 1996 with a wrong sized PVC elbow which had not been primed properly before gluing. We are left wondering what else may go wrong underground.

Even though Spring won't arrive for a while, Spring Dreaming has begun. I hope the catalog companies, Dutch Gardens and White Flower Farms, along with Better Home and Gardens' Country Gardens newest issue don't mind me featuring them in my post.

I have always been successful with the dinner plate dahlias, so I will add them this year. In theory and good garden practice each tuber should only grow one dahlia to get the largest size, but I never prune off the other buds, opting for more but small blooms. Do you prune to get the dinner plate sized bloom?

Which is your favorite color? Always shades of pink for me and maybe a yellow one, and white.

Gladiolias are another favorite and do very well in the vegetable garden. I have to remember to plant them in stages so that they don't all bloom the same week to prolong the color. I love to cut them and bring them in. I'll chose a rainbow of color and hope to plant about 50.

I am wanting to expand my collection of lilies. I am looking at the pink L. Specious Rubrum. And more Asiatic lilies, too, especially the star gazers. 

Will I order from the catalogs? I don't know. Lillie perhaps because the varieties are hard to find in the garden centers and they will be shipped at the appropriate time for planting. 

I am getting excited to plant. Are you?

More snow for tomorrow. This time the weather people predict (and that 's all they can do) a Massive Storm. 12-18 inches for Denver. Maybe we will get some, probably a skiff. We get all worked up over nothing.

Now that holidays are over, I have started work on the Blue Farm House again. The third level will have the nursery with some naked babies, twin a boy and a girl, with an older sibling in the crib and a music room. I have updated Ann's Dollhouse Daydreams blog, featuring the American Girl type dresses I made for Christmas gifts. You can keep up with dollhouse progress by email if you sign on. I don't tend that blog much, but visitors are always welcome.

I am intrigued with idea of creating a music room. My grandmother had a baby grand piano, so this will be a tribute to her. Right now I am just playing with how to design and decorate. 

This week includes a  routine major medical screening procedure for the HG, one we all endure every so often, a trip to Denver next weekend; while he attends a meeting, Heather and I will visit Norm's Dollhouse store. I'll clean another hidden spot in the house, the hall closet perhaps, and do more Spring Dreaming. 

Have wonderful week and thanks for stopping by.


  1. It is a worry having leaks under the ground...or floor. As we had in the hall just after we had laid a new wood floor. Glad you are all repaired now.

  2. I'm sure after all that upheaval you will look forward to spring. I enjoyed seeing your grown up coloring sheets. I learned intentional doodling this weekend (tangling). Same idea as coloring. I love your little grand piano!

  3. What a costly horror story because somebody didn't do their job properly way back - glad it's fixed though. I was surprised to read about your hubby ice fishing, because of the ups and downs of the weather and how mild December was, the ice fishing is still on hold for our inland lake.
    Like you, I've been pouring over the catalogues that have come in the mail but I really prefer to have a look at plants before buying. Hurry on spring!

  4. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your water woes. You will have lots of planting to do. I've looked at a few catalogues, but I usually go to the nursery to choose plants. That can be a problem because I get easily sidetracked and come home with entirely different plants!

  5. I admire your life--very different from mine and with all of your hard work, I'm sure it's very rewarding. I, too, have been looking at the gardening catalogs. Do you store your dahlias over the winter? I've often thought of planting those and gladiolas. Not really sure what to do with them when winter comes along.

    Sorry for your water/pipe problems, we had something similar at the lake. Terrible.

    Have a great week!


  6. Your dollhouse looks so pretty Ann, a nice hobby for these snowy winterdays. What a trouble can give a leak under the ground, glad it has been repaired but the mess.....
    Icefishing sounds interesting but cold, better to stay in dreaming about which bulbs to buy or order. When I see your dahlias and gladioli catalogue I feel like to order some new ones.

  7. Hello, your horses are so sweet. I love Pop and Prince. I know you are so happy to have water again, the price was not as bad as I would have expected. Wells, water and plumbing work are a scare for us here, never know what we can expect. I am looking forward to spring and seeing flowers blooming. Happy February, enjoy your new week!

  8. I too love the dinner plate dahlia's and no I can not bring myself to cut of blooms! just seems to much a shame not to let them bloom! We had a water main line break a few years ago, what a mess and lost some plants because it was in Jan. Now I have grass in my one bed from the work, dang it! It was in the 60's here in IL this weekend, what a nice change. Have a great week.

  9. Dreaming of flowers in the Spring for you and green, lush grass for Pop...nice!!...:)JP

  10. Planning the next summer is always fun. Enjoy!

  11. It's always something...isn't it? That's what we always say. Love the photo shot through the barn door! Hugs!

  12. Oh dear - if it's not one thing it's another - glad it's all sorted. I haven't even begun to think about plants and seeds yet but will have to put my mind to it soon - spring will be here before we know it. Have a good week and enjoy your time in the dolls house shop - your dolls house is coming along wonderfully.

  13. I am so glad you found the leak and it is repaired....and our snow is finally melting. I can't wait to get my glads and perfect in the garden!

    and LivingFromHappiness

  14. So glad you got the leak fixed. The seed catalogs have been arriving almost daily. We had a few in the mail while we were gone. My daughter and her husband are living outside of Denver, haven't talked to her in a couple of days. Snow is falling right now but it came hours after the predicted time of arrival.

  15. Beautiful photo's of the snowy landscape. You are right to sit comfortably inside and make plans for the coming gardening season. Enjoy!

    Madelief x

  16. Hi Lynn,

    I'm so sorry to read about all your leak problems; that seems to be one of the perennial hazards of home owning. We had two major leaks within one year in a kitchen pipe, and they caused a lot of damage in our finished basement room. We still haven't replaced the paneling or carpet there because other things need our attention first. It certainly sounds like you hired the right man, because leaks are notoriously hard to pinpoint.

    Love looking at your flower catalogs -- my goal is to plant some hydrangeas this year, and not sure what else at the moment. Yes, Pop does look a bit grouchy. :) We had horses for several years when I was growing up, and the laid-back ears are certainly a warning sign. Just the opposite of our dogs, I've found.

    I hope you have a great week!!



  17. What an expensive mess you've been dealing with! No, I'd never prune my dahlias down, that's just silly. I'd much rather have multiple blooms. Like you, I usually pick up pink, purple and yellow dahlias. And I never bother to dig up the tubers, I just buy new ones each year.