Sunday, February 19, 2012

Winter arrives in Nebraska

Winter finally arrived in Nebraska with a force to be reckoned.  Freezing rain and snow pelted us with two inches of freezing slush and five more wet snow on top of that.  The weight was similar to shoveling heavy sand.  I broke out the smaller snow shovel.  The temperatures dipped into the single digits with wind chill below zero.  Gone are the 70 degree days with bright sunshine.  We all knew the hammer had to fall some time but were sad to see it happen.  The good news is that it's 28 days until Spring.  Oh yeah, I'm anxious for that to happen this year.
I have to correct a grave mistake that I made in the last post.  My grandson was aghast at my utterance of building a Megatron Lego Transformer.  I must apologize to those Transformer folks out there.  This is not Megatron but it the mighty Sentinal Prime the once leader of all the Autobots who turned over to the bad side in the last Transformer movie.

Anyway the mighty Lego Sentinal Prime stands guard over the kitchen table as this picture is taken.  Can you tell Bradley is very happy about the great achievement he and grandpop have made.

I've started spring cleaning.  It's not that I thought it would make Spring get here any sooner but that Spring is always a busy garden time and spring cleaning just adds to it.  I thought I'd get it done early and not have to worry about it.  I've finished up the deep cleaning of the kitchen except for scrubbing down the floors.  My daughter has cleaned her room and Bradley's room so we are well on the way to gettin' ur done.

An update for Terra Nova Gardens is in order.  I haven't been able to work on the property because of the  snow and cold weather.  The soil there is what my Dad would call gumbo.  It's a rich river bottom soil that gets real sticky when it gets wet.  My Dad told me a young age that this soil is the best for growing any thing you want but just don't rush it when it's wet.  If any machinery is brought on the land, it will just dig down and bury itself.  If that happens walk away until it dries out and then it can be dug out.  Even though my Dad is gone, his wisdom still lives on through me. It's pretty amazing actually.

While walking over the property looking for hidden treasures, I came across a huge chunk of concrete about the size of a pickup truck bed.  It appeared that a project in the neighborhood many years ago involved concrete.  The left over portion in the truck was dumped in Terra Nova Gardens.  I spent an entire day with a pick axe and a sledge hammer breaking up the slab into manageable chunks. 

People of the neighborhood wave as they drive past and I'm starting to recognize a few that have talked with me.  Apparently there must be a city lot close that stores sand for the winter roads.  A huge yellow machine the hinges in the middle to turn and has a bucket big enough to scoop up my Ford Ranger if it wanted, passes on occasion.  I always wave and the driver waves back.  Once I got the big concrete slab dug up and busted up, along came the big yellow machine.  I happened to be sitting on a chunk of tree that made for a nice thing to sit on while resting and was contemplating just what to do with all those chunks of concrete.  The driver waved as he passed and came to a halt about 50 feet down the road.  He started backing up until he reached my position.  The window flew open and he popped out his head and asked if I wanted the concrete hauled away.  I was a bit surprised but said that I sure did.  He scooped it all up and put his finger to his lips with a Shhhhhh and off he went down the road.  What great fortune and acceptance I've had from the neighborhood.

               Click on the picture for a better
               look at the design.

After numerous revisions, the design of Terra Nova is starting to come together.  I'm not going to say this is the final design but with a little help from my friends at GRIT with their awesome garden designer, the plan looks pretty good.  Now comes the labor part which is to actually do the work.  After struggling with a concrete slab, I'm wondering what other treasures will I find as the garden beds are prepared.  Understand that this is a many year plan and I'm thinking it will take about four maybe five years to complete this plan.  That is if I don't find too many more assets to recycle.

I had another round with cars.  My daughter came home last week and informed me that the bakes were grinding on her car.  Nice. :0(  Parts were bought and work began.  I do not have an inside place to work on cars so the driveway becomes the workshop area for such things.  All went well until the test drive.  The grinding noise when the brakes were applied was eliminated but now a continuous rubbing noise replaced it.  Removal and inspection of the new brake pads revealed that one of the pads was defective.  The other set of pads were used and all was well.  The brake pads on the other side of the car looked new.  We bought this car very used about two months ago so we are still working out the kinks.  Ah, the joys of buying a used car.  Oh, I forgot to mention that it was snowing and dark while working on the car.  It took five hours for what should have been an hour job.  I love working on cars. :0)

There's more but I think I'll leave that for a later post.  Have a great pre Spring day.  Gardening season it not far away now.

Leave a comment about what's been happening in your world.


  1. have exactly 8 days to get rid of the snow and cold before we head off to go birding near Kearney. So, move along--get rid of it. And yes, some 70's would be very nice!!!!

  2. Dave,
    We are supposed to get another round here, (North Platte) with snow/rain? whatever, 3 inches? On Monday. :").
    I am so ready for gardening. I am sure, that every blog I have read had had some life issues, including me, I'm sure we are all star-crossed, but I did manage to start some seeds for my early mescluns and some bunching onions. It felt so good to handle the seed mixture and the dirt. Got my seedling pad out and away we went.
    Your garden layout looks marvelous, Dave. I have ancient river gumbo also, I have a couple of small beds that I amended with the river bottom and some compost, the rest of the garden is done in my ghetto buckets.
    Have a wonderful weekend, Dave, and go play with Lego's and bring out your inner child and play. Does a body and soul good.

  3. Hope you are surviving the return of winter. Brr. We've been up and down temperature wise with threats of winter precipitation but none actually happened.
    Thanks for clearing up the Lego character mix up! :-)
    Hope the spring cleaning goes easy. I gave up springing cleaning a few years back--too much to do in the garden. Now, we clean a different room each month or so. That way, the whole house gets cleaned each year, but not all at once.
    So nice to hear you've found friendly people at Terra Nova gardens. Always good to make friends with people who have big toys.
    I like the layout of the garden beds. Lots of access to the beds and very nice looking.
    I need to start figuring out how I'm going to squeeze everything I want to plant into my beds soon. We pruned trees yesterday. Spring is coming!

  4. I love your garden layout. Now you have me thinking about changing mine!

    How nice for that man to haul that concrete away. That sure saved you a lot of work!

    Hopefully winter will leave you soon!