Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

The Homesteading Zone

The Homesteading Zone

I hit the ground running with both feet this week. Snow tires were supposed to be off cars by May 31, but I still had mine on when I got back from Seattle, so getting the summer tires on was one of the first items on the list. The husband only goes grocery shopping under duress and we were out of food. Fixing his e-mail has been an ongoing process; the account is working again, but I thought I would swap out the Mac Mini he’s been using for my old Mac tower, but then remembered that the tower is old enough (early 2008) that it doesn’t have an internal Wi-Fi card. I had it hooked up to the Airport base station via an Ethernet cable. That won’t work now because the router is in my office and his office is in the basement. We can’t put the router down there because then the signal won’t be as strong in the rest of the house. My computer guru, Greg, is going to install a Wi-Fi card in the tower today.

I got some new piano music and have been devoting time every day to working up some of those pieces. I get just as tired of playing the same stuff over and over as people in church probably get of hearing it.

All of the beans came up while I was away.


I weeded that patch on Wednesday before going to the chiropractor for one more quick adjustment. We had our first salad with lettuce from the perpetual lettuce patch. Our neighbor, Mike, had given us a bunch of Jerusalem artichokes a few weeks ago. The husband planted them before I left and stuff has come up in that bed, but I wasn’t sure what to look for. Mike sent me a picture of the ones in his garden so I would know the difference between them and the weeds. They look like this:


I am looking forward to eating them.

The currant bushes are thrilled with their new spot in the garden and I think I’m going to have a bumper crop this year. I’ve got to get out and cut some rhubarb. The grapes—oh, the grapes. I have no idea what to do about them. I pruned them last year and they went nuts. I am hesitant to prune them again.

Potatoes are up.


The peas are starting to climb up their new trellis. The tomatoes look happy and the husband said he saw a garter snake out there last week.

This goofy parsnip is clear on the other side of the garden from where the row was originally:


The herb garden needs to be cleaned out again. I told my neighbor Elysian to come over and dig up whatever she wants out of there. Interestingly, my hops plants seems to be struggling this spring. I think they didn’t like the extended weeks of subzero temps last winter.

I may have a broody hen! One of the Black Australorps has planted herself in a nesting box. The husband said she was there all last week and she’s been there since I got back. She gets pretty testy when I come by to collect eggs from the nearby boxes. We’ll see if we have chicks in another week or so.

The new baby rooster is very entertaining. He has escaped the little chicken enclosure a few times and gotten in with the big chickens. He watches what the big roosters do and tries to imitate them. His crowing is getting better. For a while there he sounded like a rusty gate.

It was warm when I got home, but yesterday was cold and rainy and this is supposed to continue through Sunday before getting warm again. We desperately need the rain as the long-range forecast is calling for warmer and drier than normal.

And all of DD#2’s stuff is put away and my cutting table is back up in her room. I’ve got a list of projects that need to get cut and worked on. Yesterday, because it was raining and I couldn’t work outside, I quilted half of the Moda Figures charm square quilt. I’m going to try to finish it this morning. I decided it would be a good quilt to practice meandering on. When I took that class from Angela Walters in April, she drilled it into our heads that we couldn’t get better at certain types of machine quilting patterns unless we actually did them, and how better to practice than to work on an actual quilt? I still think my meandering looks more like wavy seaweed fronds, but it’s smooth and I am happy with it.


I still prefer loops. I also want to try some claw-type and leaf patterns. Sewing, though, is going to be relegated to evenings and bad weather days. I need to be outside working when the weather is good.

A Sewing and Date Night Weekend

A Sewing and Date Night Weekend

The London Sewing Machine Museum

The London Sewing Machine Museum