Today while out at Menards to buy some canning jars for the apple butter I'm making, I also stopped to look at the fall flower bulb displays. Our old house came with a little patch of tulips and crocus flowers, which delighted us every spring. Unfortunately after two particularly harsh winters, none of the crocus came up, and there were just a few tulips left. I had planned to dig up the remaining tulips to bring them here, but it just never happened. The one plant I did dig up never came back once it was here. So, I decided to pick some up to plant here. I'm not 100% certain where I'll plant them yet, but I bought seven kinds of tulips (Queen of the Night, Huis Ten Bosch, Nightrider, Friendship, Spring Green, Swan Wings, and Apeldoorn). I also got one container of Barr's Purple crocus bulbs, and ten mixed hyacinth bulbs. I'll have to figure out where to plant them soon so I can get them in the ground before it gets much colder.
Tomorrow I will be mailing off my official letter to request replacements from one of the online nurseries I bought from this year. I don't want to name names yet in case they do make it right, but I ordered hazelnut bushes, a weeping willow, a dwarf cherry tree, and 25 strawberry plants from them and not a single one came out of dormancy! Not one!
I already emailed the other company (again, not naming names, hoping they make it right), from which I purchased two kinds of raspberries and one kind of grape. Again, nothing came out of dormancy.
And before anyone thinks it's got to be due to the conditions in which I'm planting... The raspberries, blackberries, aronia bushes, grapes, and strawberries that we purchased locally and through Baker Creek are all alive and doing well. All of them arrived alive. Everything we bought this year that was shipped or purchased as "dormant" wasn't dormant at all; they were dead. 100% of them, bought online and locally. Many of them were landscaped into the orchard or garden spaces, which means I have a lot of work next spring to remove all the landscaping (mulch, landscape fabric, compost, etc) and then rip out all the dead plants and replace them with new ones. A frustrating set back for the first year on the homestead.
Worse yet is that many of the locally purchased trees that were dormant we lost the receipts for and therefore have no recourse and will be out that investment.
I have decided that I would like to get our barn cats spayed. Luna and Gypsy are fantastic homestead companions. They do their jobs well, we haven't had any mice in the house, the feed for the animals is secure, and they do catch a few little critters every now and then, so I know they're out there. We love them, but we don't want a million barn cats. We just want the two. Maybe a third at some point in the future (I wanted a calico originally and ended up with a tabby and a white kitty - so maybe some day we'll add a third). For now though, I'd like to get them spayed by the end of next month to prevent any accidents from happening. Our vet charges about $150 per spay, so I'm looking to save up $300. I am working on making some of my neat dish washing cloths, and Tony will be bringing home some hair ties after work tomorrow so I can start making neat hair things too. Then I will be selling them to make enough to get the girls fixed.
Baby Harry has been a little more lethargic lately than usual. He doesn't appear to be sick, but I am keeping a close eye on him. This morning #3 reported Harry was cold when she went in to check on him, and she warmed him back up. Last night we dipped down into the high 30's, and I accidentally left the kitchen window open. The heat is set to automatically come on if the indoor temperature gets to 60, but inside we hovered at 65 for a while before warming up as the sun came out. Not one to risk it, tonight the kitchen window is closed, and the space heater is in the bathroom with Harry to make sure his space stays warm enough that he stays comfortable. It's only supposed to get down to 47 tonight, but I'm not going to take any chances.