Today Tony brought home a small dog kennel that we have set up in the entryway. It's already -15 out (windchill -30) and it's supposed to get colder yet tonight. The forecast shows double digit negatives on Saturday night and possibly Monday night too. We can't have the barn cats in the entry way running loose anymore, as they don't have the best house-manners (they are barn cats after all). So tonight I set up the new metal crate, used the separator wall as a shelf, lined it with cardboard, and added a litter box to the bottom. The cats will be staying in this more confined space, in the entry way, on the especially cold nights. Next year we will have a better insulated shelter for them out in the barn and they'll be full grown by then, so it won't be such an issue. They're still kittens now, so I worry when it gets this cold and they're in the barn with no insulation or heat.
I have been using this website where you can buy and sell stuff to earn or spend credits rather than real money. If you're interested in joining, check it out HERE. Recently I've bought cow horn okra seeds, Giraffe and Minerva amaryllis seeds, Siberian (dark purple) Iris seeds, a topaz ring, fire and ice hosta seeds, sinister minister tomato seeds, white ghost (bhut jolokia) pepper seeds, lavender Rose of Sharon seeds, and a live philodendron plant (which I hope makes it safely through the cold weather). You can fill out surveys to earn credits, so I've been doing that in my spare time. I could always sell some stuff on there too, but I find it easier not to have to deal with shipping and postage. Surveys it is!
I also hit up some eBay penny auctions. Of course some of them I thought were especially neat finds, so I paid a little more for them prices were 1-cent up to $1.35 per listing). Coming from eBay we should be getting Saturn Peach pepper, Electric mix morning glory, moss rose, naughty boy gourd, wizard coleus, Dusty Miller, white muskmelon, painted tongue, Brighton Rock snapdragon, cypress vine, Farewell to Spring, and Love Lies Bleeding (red) amaranth seeds, in addition to a claw ring, and some mini foam mushrooms (to decorate potted plants).
Total investment for everything (eBay and the freebie finds bought with credits): $10.08. Just over ten bucks for six edible varieties, fourteen flower or ornamental varieties, one houseplant, two rings, and a bunch of little mushroom decorations. Oh, and I got a "random lot" of seeds from the freebie site too, so it'll be interesting to see what they send.
If nothing else, #3 is enjoying the sudden influx of flower varieties. I've never been one to actively seek out flower varieties. I have planted marigolds and zinnias in a scatter garden purely to attract pollinators to my vegetable garden, but now that we have moved to the homestead, I think it's time to do more with flowers. Since #3 has taken over the flower collection, I'm hoping she can focus her attention on researching some of her favorite varieties and maybe find some places throughout the property to start adding in both annual and perennial flower areas. I would love it if we could get some patches of annuals to self-seed every year and become big patches of flowers over time. Even if it's off further into the property where we don't always frequent. There's a clearing further off to the north west of the property and it's hard to get to. This would be a great space to add flowers to. It would encourage pollinators, not just in the yard and areas we frequent, but in the area in general. If we could do wildflowers or something that will self-seed year after year to naturalize, even better!
Oh the ideas!!!