...to make you appreciate home! I left work Friday and drove straight to San Antonio to spend two days with my kids. It was my daughter's birthday and they just found out they are expecting their first child in September, so the plan was to have a weekend to celebrate. But my daughter is having quite a time with morning sickness, so I mostly just kept her company. I assured her it's all part of the package and will be worth it in the end. When she's a little further along and feeling better, I'll go back for some intense shopping trips.
I loved being able to spend time with the kids, but I missed being home with Yeoldfurt too. He was getting over a cold when I left last week and it seems to have settled in his chest now. I'm off work tomorrow (MLK Day) so I can take care of him all day. I'm off Wednesday too (John Gault Day) so he'll get plenty tired of being doted on this week!
With so much time off this week, I'm hoping to start organizing some of my spring projects too. It's too early to start seeds for the garden but I could start my lemon tree seeds this week since I will keep them in pots for the first year or two. The variety I have is a Ponderosa lemon which bears a huge (grapefruit-sized) fruit. It's not as tart as some of the smaller lemons but has good flavor and should do well here. By growing them in pots until they are two or three years old, I will be able to protect them in cold weather until they are mature enough to withstand our mild Texas winters.
I have decided to start an indoor pantry for our food stores as well. Right now, we keep normal amounts on hand in the kitchen and our stores are out in the shop. Sometimes it isn't convenient to trek down to the shop though so I want to have an indoor pantry as well. The formal dining room in this house serves as my office and includes a good-sized walk-in closet with four deep shelves on all three walls. There are already some prepping items in the closet ...my pressure canner, canning jars, the Foodsaver and a dozen or so empty two-liter bottles that will be used to store dry goods or drinking water. But it also has my craft and sewing projects, several crates of who-knows-what, some board games and miscellaneous office supplies. The crates of who-knows-what will be the first to be purged. The rest of it can surely be organized to better utilize the space. My goal is to use one wall of the shelves for food stores, one wall for equipment and fit everything else on the remaining wall.
We have several projects on the agenda outside too. We will be planting our peach trees next month and I've been looking into some berry bushes as well. Dewberries and blackberries do well in this area. They like full sun and we have some long stretches of chain link fence along the driveway that might be a good place to start them.
I love this time of year. It's not springtime yet, by any means. But spring comes early in Texas and there is much preparation that can and should be done in these last weeks of winter. Maybe I'm just giddy about the prospect of a new grandchild, but I feel more optimistic in general than I have in a long time. I am grateful for my family and my friends and grateful for my husband and the life we share together. It feels good to be smile again.