Wherein Spring Is About To Kick My Ass

I expect I’m going to be in a full-on panic about ALL OF THE PROJECTS by the time I get to the bottom of this post, so let’s kick this one off with some good news…


The roof on the duck house is fixed!


The less good news is that apparently there are some rules my grandmothers HOA has about having structures or fences outside your house, and they gave her some grief for this.

Mind you–if we zoom in the the left– the junker with a flat tire and falling-off bumper parked in her neighbors driveway isn’t a problem, but apparently my lovingly crafted duck house is.


That makes sense.

But rules is rules (I live in the country specifically because I don’t like them), and even though my grandmother wasn’t provided any list of guidelines from the HOA when she moved in a few years ago… we’re going to comply. Nicely.

So the ducks may be coming up to the farm or going to live with one of my Aunts. The good news is we have a lot of options, and they’ll still stay with my grandma (and her extra-large cat) for a few weeks while we figure it out.


For my part, I’ve checked my very first project off the list this year (although I may have to add a few more line items if the ducks come up to the farm… small pond being high on that list!)


Annnnd, just a few more little things to do this year like finish the bathroom, and remodel an entire kitchen. No problem.


Before I even start to think about those projects though, I’ve got my regular holy-shit-it’s-spring ass kicking coming up over the next couple of weeks. Here are the projects I’ve got lined up:

1.) Build cold frames for the existing raised beds, and plant some things out doors. I’m going to try starting seeds outside instead of inside this year, and I plan to have this project done this weekend.

2.) Farm maintenance. I’ve got a barn that needs to be cleaned out, a mower that needs to be repaired, a tractor that needs a spring check-up, a trailer that needs to be re-wired, and some large animal living in my attic that needs to be encouraged to live elsewhere.

3.) Build hives and install bees! I’m super excited about this you guys, obv.


I’m going to a bee orientation class at the farm I bought my bees from next week, I’ll have the weekend to build a second hive, and then the bees will be ready the following week.

4.) Fruit tree planting. I’ve been talking about this for years now, and I’m going to plant at least a dozen various fruit trees this spring. No excuses. (And, of course, there will probably need to be another fence installation to go with it, otherwise those trees won’t last a week with the deer out there.)

5.) Build and install new raised beds. I actually cut the lumber for 6 more for a friend already, and she put them all together while I was working on the duck house a few weekends ago…


I’ve got 10 more to build and install for myself this year, plus a good 6000-pounds of soil and gravel to shovel in to place.

6.) Planting! If I’m in top form for the next 6 weeks, I should wrap everything else up just around the time I need to plant the corn, wheat, and hops this year. Might even get a little work done on the flower beds too.

And if you’re thinking “wow, this seems like an ambitious list for someone who didn’t manage to get one whole shower tiled over the course of the entire winter” uh, fair. But I’ve got that early-spring adrenaline rush going right now, it’s light out when I get home from work, and you know I’m always looking for excuses to ride around on my tractor.


Either I’m going to kick ass over the next couple of weeks or I’m going to get my ass kicked, but either way it’s gonna be fun.


20 Responses

  1. Just saw a picture of a chicken harness, when you absolutely need (or want) to walk your chickens or your grandma’s ducks on a leash! Have a visual image going here of your grandma trooping around her persnickety neighborhood with all her ducks on leashes!!!

    1. OH, & what were the HOA snoops doing looking in Grandma’s back yard, anyway. That is personal space and only a real busy body would be looking there!

  2. Good luck lady.
    I saw a post about a bee hive that actually had a spout to open in order to collect honey. I thought of you, but was too drugged (medically not recreationally) to remember to link it to you. Sorry about that.

    1. It’s called a Flow Hive. They’ve got an Indegogo campaign that’s almost about to end and have raised 11 million so far.

      We want to get bees and have been drooling over the Flow Hives but just don’t have the money for one right now…

  3. I have bees and they are a lot of fun and not too much work once you get them settled. You will love them. They are fascinating and fun to watch coming back into the hive with their little legwarmers full of pollen. It doesn’t hurt to have a glass of wine in hand while watching.

  4. Well, on the plus side it looks like you’ll be too exhausted every single night to lie awake worrying about your list.

  5. Wow, that is too bad they won’t ignore the rules for your beautiful duck house – I’d say it makes the place look even better. But it sounds like you guys have a good attitude about it.

    How tall are you going to make the fence for your fruit orchard? I’ve heard deer need something like an eight foot fence to keep them out…

  6. Yes, that is EXACTLY why I live in the country. Sorry your Grandma can’t keep them. I am anxiously awaiting some bee keeping stories!

    I feel so overwhelmed with my Spring preparations!

  7. The snow finally melted here and spring preps are awaiting… but I threw out my back. So it’s pain meds to dull the pain, get on the mower and mow a section, and then stop because the pain meds don’t work as well when you keep shaking up your spine. Who knew! I look forward to hearing all about your bees, ducks, and of course the donkeys and nugs. Love your blog!

  8. I didn’t realize the ducks were intended to stay at your Grandma’s. Are they her ducks?

    This kind of nonsense if why I’d never live, given the choice, where there’s a HOA or condo rules. I would love to live next to ducks. The lady down the street from me where I lived before had ducks who free roamed part of the day, and they cleaned up all the snails in my yard.

  9. So…… Buy a junker, park it on her driveway. Make a hole in one of the doors and wire fencing to corral the ducks to the yard. Yeah, would work 😉

    In retrospect, no… the ducks deserve a nicer place to live than a junk heap! Like a lovingly crafted swanky hand built with love duck house…

  10. I just finished a three week bee keeping course given by the extension office and taught by an actual bee keeper. He absolutely makes fun of those flow-hives. It’s not taking care of the bees and the way it’s advertised you will end up with dead bees before the first winter is over. The first winter is the hardest for a new keeper but even an experienced on will have dead bees. At the least you will lose $$ on the bees & the hive but it also means poor bee keeping. They might be bees but they are still alive. kwim.

    The beekeeping outfit – according to the teacher a keeper cannot really tend bees easily with big honking bee gloves 🙂 They end up being gangly and smash bees. A smashed bee emits a scent that tells the other bees “danger attack now” and you really don’t want that. The first time I went into my sister’s apiary I was decked out full scale but now all I need is a bee veil (hat). It sounds crazy but if you move slowly, don’t block their doorway, and don’t look like a dark hair animal – after a smoke they are pretty laid back. Good luck – it’s addicting to say the least.

  11. There were rules in the community which I never received about fences and extra buildings. The guy who let me know the bad news, said” why didn’t the guy who delivered the house tell you no extra buildings?” I was glad to tell him that my grand-
    daughter made and delivered the house and never heard about that rule. So, it is my fault I never thought to ask. The ducks do not need a lake. They are happy with a small kid’s swimming pool , but they will go to another daughter and may, eventually, end up with my amazing grandaughter. Who knows.

  12. Suburban rules bite ass and I live with an HOA so I know. My neighbor friends and I like to sneak around the rules whenever possible. Like building a tall fence inside the regulation fence. Anyway, I’m super sorry that grandma doesn’t get to keep the ducks. But seriously, why have we never seen that giant cat before the last post? That thing is fluffy! I’m fascinated thinking off all the ducks and the cat together. I loved your mom’s “wedding” photos too.

  13. I’m so glad to hear that you’re getting bees! I’d like to do this in the next year or so and I’m going to need all the advice I can get. 🙂 Also, can you tell me where you get the soil for your raised beds? I’d like to put all raised beds in my garden but not sure where to turn to for soil in bulk.

  14. It sounds like the ducks might not be coming to your place, but if they do, know that an old bathtub or half barrel or kiddie pool would be sufficient solutions. Probably temporary because I know you really want a proper pond for them, but they’ll totally be fine with a smaller swimming area.

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