Archive | March, 2012

Peony Bush

31 Mar

I wanted to show this picture of our Peony Bush. It usually has 3-4 flowers each spring, each one about 6-8 inches across.



I can’t believe it does so well where it is planted next to the house, on top of the old gravel driveway. The soil here is highly compacted and only about 6 inches deep. By all rights this plant should just up and die but it keeps doing pretty well!

Plant Propagation

30 Mar

I wanted to try to propagate some cuttings from some of our plants here in town to move out to the homestead. First I wanted some Forsythia, Corkscrew Willow, Japanese Maple, and another bush I don’t have the name of.


This is the Corkscrew willow, it has twisty, crooked branches that make good decorations in flower arrangements. I know this can be done with this tree because this one came from some cuttings off of a tree at my parents house. My Mom can root anything. She will just cut off a bit of limb, shove it in the dirt and come back in 2 months, dig it up and transplant it. But I, on the other hand, can take a high-dollar premium potted plant from a nursery, plant it and in a month it will be dead!


This is a Japanese Maple. The red leaves were grafted onto root-stock with green leaves. The green leaves are sprouting out and need to be removed, so I thought I’ll just try to root them. I don’t hope to have success with the Maple, if it was that easy the nursery would be doing this instead of grafting onto root-stock. But the shoots needed to be cut anyway so I’m giving it a shot!


I took a pot of potting soil and drilled some planting holes with this high-tech tool…


A wooden stick.


I used this bottle of rooting hormone.


I dipped the ends of the cuttings in the hormone and carefully placed them in the holes, then pressed the soil around the cuttings.



They don’t look too bad in this picture, but now all I can say is MAMA!


They don’t look good at all today, I need help! I need my Mama!

My neighbor came over and said he was getting rid of a 36 inch clump of Hosta if I wanted it.


We dug it up in 4 big chunks of soil. I took my home-made machete and cut it up into smaller clumps before potting it. This machete was made by my Grandfather over 50 years ago. He used an old sawmill blade for the blade and whittled the handle out of a cypress board. I don’t use it much, it is a family heirloom and I don’t want to ruin it.



I ended up with 7 pots of Hostas and I think they will survive OK, it is just the cuttings I have my doubts about. I’ll let you know what happens.

Firewood Racks

29 Mar

A few weeks ago, Sweet Thing came home from the grand opening of a new Big Lots Store. She had some metal Firewood Racks that were on sale for 1/2 price ($15) as a grand opening special. I thought to myself these things have got to be some real pieces of Made In China POCs. But after I put them together they actually were sturdier than I thought they would be.



Now, do I expect to get years of service out of them? Certainly not! Maybe they will hold up until I can build some sturdy home-made racks. They came with a cheap plastic cover to put over the wood, but I don’t think I will use them. I am afraid the covers will just make the wood mold and mildew more than if I leave them uncovered. Has anyone had experience covering firewood with plastic? What do you think?

Troy-Bilt Self-Propelled Mower

28 Mar

I recently purchased this new mower for the homestead.



This is a Troy-Bilt 21 inch self-propelled mower with a 7.5 HP professional Briggs and Stratton engine. This baby is Sweet! I took it out of the box, poured in the oil, poured in the gas, pulled on the starter rope and it started on the first pull straight out of the box! I didn’t want Sweet Thing to have to mow with some old ragged mower that is hard to start so I bought this new one just for her. See what a good hubby I am?


I wonder how long it will take her to mow all this, it might take her a half a day or better. She better get started!

Liebster Blog Award!

28 Mar


My Lunch and Dinner has been kind enough to nominate Doublebhomestead for the prestigious Liebster Blog Award. I would like to thank her so much for that. You can visit her blog at My Lunch and Dinner and see what she has on the menu today. Here are the rules as I understand them:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.

2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.

3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.

4. List your five blog picks for nomination.

5. Let them know you chose them by posting on their blog.

The only criteria I could find for this award is for the blog to have less than 200 followers. So here are my list of 5 deserving blog nominees.

1. Small Holding

2. The Frog and PenguInn

3. Eden Hills Blogspot

4. Edifice Rex

5. Simply Living

I really enjoy all of these blogs and I visit them on a regular basis, so check them out, I think you will enjoy them too.

Old Medicine Bottle

27 Mar

One of my farmers called me all in a tizzy. “You have to come look at my wheat, the weeds are taking it over, I need to know what to do!” So I went out and looked at the field, I knew what the situation would be before I ever left my house.


At first glance you just see a pretty field of wheat with a little country church in the background. But when you walk out into the field you can see a solid mat of Annual Bluegrass underneath the wheat. I told him, sorry, but it is too late to spray anything now. You should have put out the chemical we discussed last fall. Then he replies “ I was too busy with harvest and then it got wet and muddy and I just couldn’t find the time. I need to do something now.” Well, it’s too late now. The train has left the station, the cow is out of the barn, the ship has sailed. Unfortunately, sometimes we need to do things when we need to do them, not when it is convenient for us to do them. And what does this have to do with old medicine bottles?


As I was walking in the wheat, I crossed an old house site and found this old medicine bottle laying there.


You can tell it is old because it is before the days of screw-on caps. You would need to use a stopper to seal up this type of bottle. It has some letters, numbers and symbols on the bottom of the bottle. After I get it cleaned up I may get inspired to do some research and try to look-up what it may have been intended to hold in the past. I find lots of things of interest in old house sites such as coins, buttons, marbles, metal toys, old tools, and silverware. I have also found a lot of Indian artifacts such as arrowheads. I’ll take some pictures of them someday and show them to you. Until then, stay safe.

Tuesday Tunes, Rolling Stones

27 Mar

Hey Mr. Peabody, let’s set the wayback machine for 1965 and see the rolling Stones perform “Satisfaction.” Mick Jagger looks like a baby in this one!

Mississippi River

26 Mar

I was out working near the Mississippi River yesterday and I took a few pictures with my phone. I was out looking at the weeds growing in the fields to see what needed to be done to get the fields ready for planting.


I guess Spring really is here, these are some volunteer soybeans coming up. It is at least 3 weeks ahead of the time we would plant any soybeans even if we wanted to be super aggressive.


I found this old tractor partially buried in the sand. The flood last spring must have uncovered some of it because I go near this spot many times and this is the first time I have noticed it. You can tell the tractor is very old because of the spokes on the back tire, we haven’t used anything like that in many, many years.


This is a picture of the Mississippi River taken from one of the adjoining fields. I always enjoy gazing out at the “Big Muddy”, I have lived near the River all of my life.


If you look closely, you can see a partially sunken barge on the river bank. At some point, the owner will come fix the leak in the barge, pump it out, then tow it away for repair or salvage.


This is a channel marker buoy that broke loose and drifted up on the bank. They anchor these buoys along the river to mark where the water is deep enough to give the barges safe passage.


These are some barges loaded with gravel, or rocks, or dirt and sand being unloaded on the riverbank. This is where my load of crushed limestone came from by the way.


These are some ditch bank weeds blooming profusely. They were just full of honey bees looking for nectar, another sign of Spring.

Barbeque Beanee Weenees

25 Mar

Since Sweet Thing fussed about the extra pantry items I brought home, so I thought I would help use some of them up. I told her “ You worked hard out at the homestead today clearing brush. Why don’t you just go take a long hot soaking bubble-bath and I’ll fix dinner.”


I sliced up the remaining Circle B Smoked Sausages, put them in a skillet with those Pork and Beans, added some of the generic barbeque Sauce and voilà. You have home-made, better than store-bought, Barbeque Beanee Weenees. I just let them simmer for 30 minutes while she took her bubble-bath and then “Dinner is served!” After we eat what we want tonight, I’ll freeze the left-overs and have a quick and easy “man’s meal” in the near future.

Newest Followers

25 Mar

I would like to welcome my 2 newest followers. FiveReflections has a literary blog where he discusses books, short stories, poetry, or just reminiscing about days gone by. How The Cookie Crumbles is a young-hearted senior with an irreverent view of life. Give them a visit if you get the chance. And once again thank you both for following my blog, you are welcome and appreciated.