Grit Blogs > Adventures of Old Nebraska Dave

Spring Has Come Once Again

A photo of Nebraska DaveOh, yeah, Spring has sprung here in Nebraska.  The sun's warm rays are inviting us to be outside.  The flowers are blooming.  The birds are tweeting their Spring time songs.  The grass is green and wants to be mowed.  Ah, life is good.  Don't you think?  It's a wonderful time to be alive.  Yeah, I'm feeling just a little pumped up today even though I can't get outside due to the misty nonproductive rain.   I wish it would just rain already.  This one and two tenths of an inch is keeping me from gardening.  I tried to get some things planted yesterday and only half the carrots and four Swiss Chard seeds were nestled in the soil before the rains came.  So the alternative is to make ice cream. 

 

 Bradley making icecream 

No seven year old worth his salt would be caught without a nerf rifle within arm's reach would they?  Here we are mixing up the recipe for Lori Dunn's grandma's ice cream.  After a taste or two, I convinced Bradley it wasn't for us to drink but had to be frozen in the ice cream freezer.  It was pure torture for him to have to wait the 45 minutes for the ice cream to freeze.  Finally the ice cream was frozen and the moment of truth came.

Bradley tasting icecream 

After a spoonful and then another and then another, I asked how it tasted.  He responded, "Oh, yeah, it's great Grandpa."  So, Lori, I guess it passed the critic's test and if a seven year old can make it, then anyone can.  We each had a big bowl and packed the rest away for another time.  Oh, yeah!! (My comment).Daffodils are blooming 

The Daffs are really strutting their stuff this year.  Over to the right just out of the picture the Tulips are budding up to try to put on a better show than the Daffodils.  Next up will be the Iris just around the corner to the left. Everything is waking up from the long winter slumber.  Soon these Daffodils will be long gone and the hostas will take over.  They beautify the flower bed in their own way and they don't even need flowers to do it. So there how about that?

Cindy, help me, help me, help me.  Tell me what to do with the wild bushes in the back of the Daffodils?  Do I just trim them off or just cut the long buggers or what?  I just want to cover the foundation blocks.  I'm hoping they will bush out.  This is about the fourth year for these bushes.  They were cute little twigs when I planted them.  Now I think they need a little trimming.  What do you think?

Most of you know how much I love plumbing.  Yes, this is another story about plumbing.  Back a few blog posts I wrestled with a simple plumbing project that turned ugly and ended up with a total cabinet, sink, faucet, and under the sink plumbing replacement.  Well, since that old sink drain hadn't been used for a decade or more, it didn't surprise me when it started slowing down when draining and then just stopped.  So here's old Nebraska Dave's way of drain cleaning. 

 Poor mans power drain snake 

Here is my version of a poor man's power drain snake.  I drilled into the drain about 10 feet and hit something hard.  After wrestling with it to dislodge what ever it was, phase two was implemented.  I really love wrestling with a drain snake in close quarters. 

 Water hose drain cleaning

You can see by the mess that it got ugly with the drain snake.  It definitely required some cleanup when this project was done. OK, this is kind of an invention of my own.  It's a compilation of pipe fittings to fit the drain pipe with an adapter to fit a garden hose.  This is one of those inventions that can either be the greatest thing since sliced bread or an oh, dog gone it why did I ever do that kind of a thing.  It's why I auger out the drain as best I can first.  Since drains were not intended to have pressure on them and old pipes tend to get weak in certain spots too much pressure can blow a hole in the pipe or connection real easy.  So I wouldn't recommend this procedure for the faint of heart.  Anyway, I turned the water on just a trickle to check if the drain was actually opened up.  My water meter gives off a clicking sound when the water is running and water flow can be heard.  Clicking was happening and water flow was heard so full force wide open water flow was implemented.  Ten minutes of water flow to flush out anything in the drain totally out to the main sewer line under the street seemed like the right amount for this job.  Everything went back together great as it should because it's all new and life is once again grand in the half bath.

I'll leave you with a question.  I have been working at Terra Nova Gardens.  I have it plowed up; smoothed out with a disc; and ready to start the fence building.  I have discovered some kind of plant beginning to sprout up.  Let me give you a picture and see if you can tell me what it is.
Mystery flower

I thought I saw some evidence of daylillies under all the weeds last fall when I was scouting out the property.  Could that be what these are?  If so, I've found another treasure that I can use.  It has been a great treasure hunt on this property for sure.  My grandson is convinced that we will find gold some where if we just keep digging.  Wouldn't it be funny if he actually found some?  Well, I'm not holding my breath for that one.

I hope everyone is enjoying the official arrival of Spring.  I know I sure am.  Be safe in the garden.  Warm up those muscles before the heavy digging or lifting and I'll catch up with you next time.  We will sit and chat a spell; have a cup of coffee; and solve all the gardening issues of the day.

nebraska dave
3/24/2012 2:33:37 PM

Lori, the icecream certainly was a hit with both Bradley and me. The best part was that I had all the ingredients except for the salt and ice right in my storage cabinet. That's the first time that has happened. It was great to be able to just go to the cupboard and find everything needed for a recipe. My goal is to be able to do that more and more. My basement storage area can be used even though I'm not finished with the total project yet. The area itself is completed but the wall and door have not been built. I expect that will be down the road since spring has arrived and all my time is spent either outside or entertaining a seven year old. My raised beds are ready to plant and I actually started to plant when the rains began. I have a few carrots and four Swiss Chard planted. I'm real tempted to buy one of those early tomato plants at the big box store and stick it in the ground just see what happens. This crazy weather just could stay warm this year and it would be great to have some early tomatoes out of the garden. Have a great outdoors weekend.


nebraska dave
3/24/2012 2:23:54 PM

Allan,thanks for leaving a comment. It's always good to hear your thoughts about my experiences with life. We are finally done with the rain for a spell but the forecast promises a return on Monday. Arrrgh, I'm not wishing the rain to stop but just give me a little more of a break to start fence building. It really difficult to dig a hole in mud. The icecream did ease the torture a bit but then a sugared up seven year old cooped up inside during spring break was a real challenge. Old grandpop is glad that school is back in session on Monday. I just can't wait for summer break. (big sigh) As for the plants, I'm not getting good reviews that's for sure. The word is that they are wild daylilies and words like ditch lilies, invasive, and not for gardens keep popping up. However that's exactly what I'm looking for to surround the outside of my garden fence. It's tough, rugged and doesn't need any attention, well, except to contain. I just need something to keep the rabbits from digging under the fence and that they don't like to eat. Maybe this is it. I'll let everyone know how it turns out. Yet another challenge. I love challenges. I'm hoping to get the yard mowed for the first time this weekend. Have a great weekend too.


nebraska dave
3/23/2012 11:08:51 PM

Arch, the secret is definitely in the salt. Dont' be chintzy with the salt and it has to be course salt not table salt. I usually put a layer of ice maybe six inches and dowse it with salt. Then another layer and salt and the final layer of ice and salt. Then as it is freezing a couple more salt sprinkles and ice up to the weep hole. Still it will take about 45 minutes to freeze the icecream so a little patience is required. Not really something my grandson has much of. I hope that helps with the next icecream freezing. Hostas are mostly planted for the leaves and although they do have teeny tiny little flower stems, I've always been told to pinch those off to give the leaves more color. I am indeed partial to those flowers that just kind of take care of themselves. I am sure you will get your flower plans worked out. The compost can be turned into the soil anytime. If it rains the nunutrientsill just soak into the soil below so it doesn't hurt the compost any. I'm looking forward to reading your blog. Have a great day in the garden.


nebraska dave
3/23/2012 9:21:46 PM

Mary, I'm definitely thinking about it.


nebraska dave
3/23/2012 9:20:04 PM

Cheryl, Dad bought a acreage of 114 acres when I was in high school. Since I only had one more year of high school, I just accidently neglected to tell anyone I had moved out of the city. Dad bought a herd of milk cows (13) for us to milk (translated me to milk). It gave us a huge supply of milk and if we wanted almost unlimited cream. The liquid part of the icecream we made was all cream. It was heavenly. I'm not sure what else we put in it but it most likely wasn't all that good for us but is anything that tastes great ever good for us? The strawberry patch was the best. The strawberries weren't all that big but they were bursting with flavor and not like the steroidal tasteless strawberries that are purchased in the stores these days. Yeah, it was a total memory recall for me to tantalize my taste buds with homemade icecream. Oh, Arch, I'm with you on the icecream smooshed between two cookies. It's one of my favorite things to by from the T.C.B.Y. store. Yeah, I'm getting all hungry for a taste of icecream and cookies. :0) Have a great homemade Icecream day.


nebraska dave
3/23/2012 6:30:53 PM

Cindy, you are so funny. I thought you might just say to rip them out. I sure could have used some of your wisdom four years ago when I was looking for a good bush to plant there. What are your recommendations if I should decide to rip them out? I'm really not too happy with how they are growing. Orginally there were some really tall thick bushes that were trimmed right below the window. I'm not sure I want a bush that's up that high. I made it a real pain in the neck to get behind the bushes when it came time to paint the house. Maybe I'll just trim off the tall suckers and see what happens next year. If I could send everyone some icecream, I sure would. There's nothing like a good bowl of homemade icecream. If anyone has a favorite recipe, I'd be interested in giving it a try. Well, as soon as this one has been gobbled up which won't be long. Next up to try will be Lori's cookie dough bowls. It make a good bowl for icecream. Don't you think? Yeah, I'd have to limit Bradley to every other day with a sugar cookie bowl and icecream. I wish there was some way to harness all the energy when it starts coming out. Are you getting some of those record breaking temperatures in Michigan? It's been in the 70s for the last week and a half here. The average high for this time of the year is about 50 degrees. The night time low hardly goes below that temperature. It's starting to look like another weird gardening year for sure. Yeah, I thought those wild flowers might be the obnoxious kind. I think I will try to corral them around the fence and keep them in check with the rest of the garden. The challenges just keep coming with this property but hey what would life be without challenges. Have a great day at the nursery and thanks for the advise.


nebraska dave
3/23/2012 6:11:23 PM

TRF, ha, Bradley would most definitely agree with you on that. I have to say that the recipe I used was awesome. It still is nice and creamy after a few days in the freezer and tastes just as good as when it came out of the icecream freezer. It practically melts in your mouth. I recommend the recipe to anyone that wants to make icecream. We only had one issue and that was with Bradley. He gets really wired if he consumes too much sugar. Well, after a big bowl the first day and another the second day, he could hardly stay in his own body. So now after a day of no sugar, only one scoop of icecream a day. If you have an icecream freezer, try it you will like it. Have a great day in the garden eating icecream.


nebraska dave
3/23/2012 6:03:40 PM

Mary, thanks for the comment. I noticed we had similar headings for our posts too. I guess great minds think alike, huh. I am really tempted with the way the weather is acting to just throw in a tomato or two and see what happens. Can you believe that the local nursery has them already. Our frost free date here is May 15th. However, I looked back at my garden journal for last year and my first mowing of the lawn was April 23rd but this year is going to be today March 23rd. What's up with that? The plumbing is once again working great. Ah, the joys of owning an old house. It wasn't all that old when I bought it but after living here for just shy of 30 years the old hacienda is starting to show her age. I'm thinking the hot water heater is getting a little sluggish so that may be the next think on the replacement list. It's about 15 years old. Since Lydia and Bradley moved in, hot water has flowed at a much higher volume than when only one load of wash a week and one shower a day was the routine. Have a great day with the hooligans.


lori dunn
3/23/2012 4:45:34 PM

Nebraska Dave, So glad the ice cream was a hit! We always love it on this end! Spring has sprung here as well, and I just love it! I've been enjoying clearing out flowerbeds and working on getting the garden ready to plant. We have raised bed garden boxes that are more than a few years old now, and they need replaced. This year we will be setting up a new, temporary garden space to use till hubbby can get new garden boxes built. I love the daffies! Mine are blooming too, along with bunches of other stuff. I was just out taking photos of it all. I think the plants coming up in your photo are a wild daylily that we refer to in these parts as sh__house lillies! Another name for an outhouse, if you get my drift! They grow everywhere along roadsides here. They are pretty, but I wouldn't want them in my veggie garden. Now it's back outdoors to enjoy this gorgeous weather! Have a great gardening weekend!


allan douglas
3/23/2012 3:19:02 PM

Great news about spring arriving, Dave! A bowl of home made ice cream should take the sting out of being exiled from the garden for a day. I've got one of those "light rains" going right now - and it's keeping me from digging in garden boxes for my expanded empire. Those mystery plants look a bit like the calla lilies we get around here - I'd bet they're some sort of Lilly. It just keeps getting better doesn't it!


mary carton
3/23/2012 2:40:07 AM

PS. I agree with Cindy, rip the yews out.


arch guptill
3/22/2012 5:37:49 PM

Homemade ice cream smooshed between two fresh from the oven cookies! (Pick your flavor) Makes this fat boy very happy!


arch guptill
3/22/2012 5:35:40 PM

You know as a kid I could make ice cream with an ice cream maker but as an adult I failed misserably! lol I don't htink I had enough ice and salt to get the temp low enough. I whipped some using heavy cream and froze that after I disolved some fresh caramel into it. Bradley tell your grandpa drinking it is just like a milk shake! Dad always planted daffodils, tulips and Hycinths i think in the same place mixing the bulbs up. That was in Utah though and I don't thik Hostas grow there... So the Hostas don't kill out the bulbs through the year huh? I might have to try that. I've got a nice big flower patch waiting for some color. Course my fiance will have it full of whatever strikes her fancy if I don't move soon! Lots of clay in our ground here. New construction... I think they stripped all the top soil off!!! I turned it once and then just before the rain I put 440 pounds of compost out but didn't get it turned in before the rains! I'm going to fire up a blog on our community garden. I'll post the link to you so you can monitor our progress and kibitz as you will. Happy Thursday Dave and All!


cheryl aker
3/22/2012 2:48:53 PM

Nothing compares to homemade ice cream! When I was a kid, the best was making it from milk fresh from the cow and then topping it with wild strawberries (itty bitty things but they burst with flavor if you catch them at just the right time!). Sweet memory!!


cindy murphy
3/22/2012 2:43:14 PM

"Cindy, help me, help me, help me. Tell me what to do with the wild bushes in the back of the Daffodils?" Rip 'em out, Dave! HA! No, no, no - just kidding, (I'm not a big fan of yews). Just cut off the longer branches and shape them to give them a more uniform look. They'll bush out more if they're pruned. And yes, those are daylilies coming up at Terra Nova - by the scattered way they're emerging instead of a clump, I'm guessing they're ditch lilies (common orange). Depending on where they are (close to your planting area?), you might consider moving them (good luck with that - they'll be coming up for years to come). Common orange daylilies unlike their hybridized cousins, are considered invasive; great for a garden on the wild side, but not so wonderful in a veggie garden. Oh, and by the way, I charge for my advice. That'll be one cup of homemade ice-cream, please - I'll take it in either drinkable or frozen form; doesn't matter at all. (Just kidding again....about the charging for advice part, not the I want some ice-cream part.)


trf cullers
3/22/2012 2:16:02 PM

Hey, there's nothing wrong with drinking ice-cream! ;) I'm with Bradley on this one!


mary carton
3/22/2012 1:47:35 AM

Thought it kind of amusing that we had similar names for our posts this time. I planted corn today, my heirloom tomatoes are up, the 2 I over wintered in the garage are ready to be planted, but I'm going to hold off a little bit longer until after the 15th. I'll put them outside to get sun and green them back up. My daffodils and tulips are just about finished. I noticed a couple of iris should be open in a couple of days. I'm ready. Good luck on your plumbing adventure. I wonder what happened to my ice cream freezer. I haven't seen it since the move.