Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Goodbye, January! (And Good Riddance)

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Repeat after me:  "Spring is right around the corner!"

Here we are on the first day of February and I can confidently say that I'm not going to miss January's cold and snow one bit.  Of course, we woke up today to about an inch or so of snow on the ground.  With a forecast of possibly 5 to 10 inches more on Monday, it doesn't seem like February will be much different from it's sister, January.

I just changed the almanac forecast for our region (Region 5) over on the sidebar and it sure sounds different from the weatherman's comment that "February will be the coldest and snowiest month this winter."  Ugh, it pains me to even type that.  I am so ready for Spring that I'm bursting at the seams. 

Speaking of almanacs....I've always been fascinated with them since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.  My grandfather bought and used them religiously, planting his garden based on what they said the weather would be and the phases of the moon.  We always had a great garden so it must make a difference right?  I can remember sitting on the picnic table "reading" the almanac (looking at the pictures) at a very young age.  And I buy them every year. 

Recently, I came across someone that was selling a crateful of almanacs that included almost everything since 1900 + many dating way back into the early 1800's.  I just had to have them. 

It's interesting to see how the almanac's have changed over the years.  As you can see, the newer ones are larger and much more expensive (20 cents in 1838, 35 cents in 1966 and $5.95 for the 2014)!  But the content has changed significantly also.  Gone are the local stories, proverbs, and poems.  For example, here's a page from the 1838 Almanac:

 The old almanacs are kinda hard to read until you understand how they're organized.  For example, the weather forecast is indicated in italics (see above where I've underlined the different forecasts with different colors.)  They usually had a poem for each month and then a story or two on the side.  I thought it was interesting that they noted George Washington's birthday on the 22nd, so I checked the 2014 Almanac and it's there as well.  And, while there are other famous people's births referenced on their respective dates, Washington's is the only President's birth that is still referenced in the Almanac.  I wonder if that's a nod to the history of the Almanac?  Interesting, huh?

I should close with the good news that we made it on the guest list for the Department of Conservation's Maple Sugaring class on March 1st (the one I tried to get into last year and it was full on the first day!)   A big "thank you" to my MIL who I'm sure had her finger poised over that redial button until she got someone to answer.

Well, I'm off to go clean and organize a little bit before sitting down with the gardening catalogs.  Stay warm, my friends...spring is coming!


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