Chomping at the Bit

Chomping at the bit.  I think this is a horse reference, right?  I’m not a horse person but I’ve heard this phrase my whole life; I can see a horse chomping at a bit in my mind’s eye and I can certainly understand the feeling.  Something between your teeth that is driving you nuts and you can’t do anything about it.  I’m right there.

Although we’ve had a couple of superb days, the wait for days warm enough for gardening has been tough.  It’s been too cold (and/or rainy) to get out and do anything.  A few mornings last week as I was fertilizing and watering my bales, I felt like an idiot out there.  One of the mornings, it wasn’t even above freezing and it seemed like a fool’s errand to be preparing bales when I was sure it would be at LEAST 2 weeks until I could plant (I almost always plant on Mother’s Day). 

YA and I did hit Bachman’s on Sunday, but all the flowers and veggies are in their little pots, sitting on the front porch in those cardboard boxes that Bachman’s uses.  They’ll have to be watered a couple of times before we get to planting.

I’ve been busy enough at work that I couldn’t take any days off this week and both of my upcoming weekend days have an engagement right in the middle of the day!  So I either go out and get dirty, get cleaned up, then go out later and get dirty again or I only get work done in the yard in the morning or the afternoon.  Maddening.

What spring routines are you chomping at the bit to get to?

32 thoughts on “Chomping at the Bit”

  1. The original form is champing at the bit, though chomping has been accepted as a variation. Champing means gnashing or chewing, whereas I think of chomping as a more emphatic bite.

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    1. In my experience when a bridled horse gets excited it mouths on the bit. We used a horse to haul up wood by sleigh. A horse will work itself to death, or damage itself, to pull a heavy load especially towards the barn. So we had to stop the horse very 100 yards or so to make it rest and get back it’s wind. Sometimes when it did not want to stop it would toss its head and mouth the bit. I was never sure if it was annoyed by the bit or not. The bit does not sit on the teeth but behind them. Getting the bit to sit right and getting the right sort of bit is very important.
      If you watch horses going into the gate at a horse track, you will often see a more extreme form of that. Even foaming from the mouth. Race horses like sled dogs want to run. So I assume that behavior indicates or is thought to indicate eagerness to race.
      Clyde

      Liked by 5 people

  2. i grew up in bloomington when bloomington was the new outermost ring. across the street from my house the people who lived there had the farmers field in their back yard. corn got planted every year . the masonic home was at the end of the block and you’d cut through the woods there to get to the river for exploring across the street from the masonic home was the stable and paddock where they kept 70 or 80 horses. we used to go feed them carrots and lookin at their brown teeth
    i can see them working their teeth sideways eating those carrots as we fed them. hold those carrots out on your flat palm and the horse lips would goo all over your hands as this brown teeth would pick the carrots off your spitty hand. never hold the carrots in your fingertips or those teeth would bite them

    we wandered those woods all year long in the spring mud. winter snow summer lush and fall crisp seeing skunks and snakes and partridge and owls. we didn’t have the option to wait for the weather to be right. it was the only weather we had today. i think about my now 4 year old grandson who lives at the bottom of the hill from where i grew up a 3 iron away from the masonic home and how he would be in heaven if he could explore the woods but what crazy parent would let their kids wander in the woods? every 1960’s parent on the planet that’s who? what changed? get off that cell phone and find something to do… i never hung out playing games on my cell phone when i was a kid. don’t cross the street and stay in the yard
    the world is chomping at the bit these days, and google chrome has us by the throat

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I have trees in my back yard that have been marked for removal due to emerald ash borer. The city – bless their little hearts – sent over four companies for bid and is supposed to line up the work with the lowest bidder (though I get to pay for it – could have called my own, but it seemed easiest to let the city do that work). I have not heard yet, though, from the arborist to know when my trees will come out – it will be quite the production as they will have to get lifted piece by piece over the house and garage. And until that work is done I am loathe to do much more than basic clean up in the back yard (which I have also been holding off on until we have had a stretch of warm days to wake up the pollinators). I am worried that all the lovely shade plants I got from Baboons may now get more sun than they like… and I need those trees out so I know if I need to start moving things. Sigh.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Be careful of this process Anna. I actually had my tree guy come out and do my trees asche was cheaper than all of the bids that the city got for me.

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      1. The lowest bid from the city did not seem unreasonable – I checked it against similar work a friend had done last year, so I took the path of least resistance. The high bid – oy, That was about 3X what the low bid was and if that had been all the city-requested bds, I would have gone on my own.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The highest bid that the city got for me was 12 times what I ended up paying my tree guy. When I called the city to say WTF, the gal who answered the phone gave out a big sigh and said “I wish they would just tell us if they don’t want the business rather than do this.”

          Liked by 1 person

  4. We need to start cabbage and canteloupe seedlings when we get back home on Saturday. Today we are in Norfolk, NE on our way to Brookings for a couple of days. Tomorrow we take care of our grandson. A Westie, and a pesky Cesky.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I will do very few flowers on our patio. Maybe only 3-4 pots instead of a dozen. I had all those flowers for Sandra to look at from her big chair. At the home they have a nice paved patio outside her window. She is champing at the bit to just be outside. They have flower beds raised on stands to waist height for residents to plant and tend flowers. They are eager to get that started. Waiting to see how Sandy reacts. Getting hands dirty was not a pleasant thing before, but she has changed in many ways. And she can have an allergic reaction to dirt.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Taking the plastic off the windows. We uncovered a few windows much too early this year, we were so eager for warmer weather (again, we never seem to learn!). My roommate just announced she’s taken the plastic off all the windows in her room. I’m going to wait a bit longer, as I feel cold more than she does and there are lots of gaps around the windows, thanks to the house settling.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Took inside cover off standard apartment in wall AC. Outside one still on. Starting to see tinges in my messy delightful woods. Birds still come hoping to see feeder up. House finches sit in ends of branched looking in at me in my chair. Do it often. Do they know I am source of feeders?

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I am not a ‘horse person.’ When I was very young, I was riding with my sister. She had me in front of her on the saddle. The horse tripped and I started to tumble off. My sister grabbed me and steadied me, so I was never in any real danger but I was about 3 and that small incident scared me quite a bit. When my ex and I did a Smithsonian package tour of Egypt (getting there is another tale all by itself!), one of our cultural guides rode Arabians as his hobby. He offered to the group, that for $40 per person, he could arrange for a horse rental and we could go riding with his friends out into the desert, behind the pyramids, after dark. I looked with a bit of trepidation at my ex and she said, “Oh, we’re doing that!” Sensing it was one of those golden opportunities that probably wouldn’t come along again, I agreed. When we picked up our horses, the gentleman we were renting them from looked at my hat (which is an outback style hat that most people think is a cowboy hat) and said, “Oh, you must be an expert. I’ll get you one of the good ones!” I replied, “Don’t let my hat fool you. I’ve never been on a horse and I would like one with three hooves in the glue factory, please.” He laughed and gave me a very old mare, which suited me fine. Our guide and his friends dashed and sped around, while us tourists plodded along but that was just fine with me. In fact, our guide’s horse threw him off, then ran over to the horse my wife was on and nuzzled her as if to say, “Look what I just did! Hee-hee!!!” Our guide knew an old guy who lived in a tent out in the desert. We stopped there for a break. Our host put down blankets on the sand and made us sweet tea. So, for about an hour we just sat and looked at the lights of Cairo behind the dark shapes of the pyramids and the stars. When it was time to leave, we all kind of mixed up our horses and I got one that was a little more willful. He wanted to run, I didn’t want him to run. He wanted to go out further into the desert, I wanted him to go back toward Cairo. I was really having problems until one of our guide’s friends rode over, grabbed the horse’s bridle, yanked it hard toward the rest of the group, and smacked him as hard as he could. The horse filed in with the rest and trotted back to the stables. So, yes, I’ve been on a horse that was chomping at the bit.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I started two trays of seedlings way back in early March. The nasturtiums are now long and stringy and their leaves are a little too pale. The decorative kale simply gave up and croaked. The morning glories are hanging in there and have been responsive to being transplanted into clay pots as well as a couple of days of sun on my warmer than average deck. I’ve been trying to transplant some of the nasturtiums into clay pots in order to save them but I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose over half of them. I was way too eager back in March. It was so cold through January and February and I was very ready for spring on March 1. So I started seeds. I have plenty of seeds so I’m not too worried about losing the plants. Today I’m going to plant beet seeds in my deck garden. I’ve already planted more kale seeds, spinach seeds, chard seeds, and some of the stringy nasturtiums that were already started. I do love gardening but I am limited to my deck garden and some pots due to the condo association rules.

    I fed birds on my deck all winter and stopped the first week of April. I only feed birds during winter months, starting in November and ending at the end of March or early April. They do make quite a mess of my deck and it needs serious cleaning before I feel comfortable cooking and eating outside again. So I’ve been scrubbing and using bleach whenever the weather permits. I usually have the deck cleaned by the end of April so I feel like I’m trying to catch up on it now.

    I’m having a couple of friends over for lunch on the deck next week. It does get really hot on my deck. It’s supposed to be much warmer next week. I would be happy with 65 degrees but it sounds like it’s going to be much warmer. So it goes.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Not a routine but I am chomping at the bit to travel. 2 years cooped up is enough! Maybe Washington DC before it gets too hot and humid and protesty.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. HI-
    I need to get outside and do some fieldwork and get my little bit of oats planted before it rains again! I’ll fill back in later tonight I hope. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Yesterday I got my filthy deck scrubbed and put out some of the deck furniture. My Hosta (in a large pot) gets cut way back and sits in the garage all winter. I put it out on the deck a couple of weeks ago. Today I saw the first little bud peeking through the dirt. I’ll wait a bit longer before planting the other pots.
    Like Wes, I am chomping on the bit to travel. I have done three short domestic trips in the past 11 months but really want to get out of the country. I do have the Antactica cruise coming up in December but that seems sooooo far away.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Isn’t there a nursery rhyme about 20 white horses on a hill. First they champ, then they stamp. Then they stand still. I think it is about teeth.

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    1. It’s a riddle.
      Thirty White Horses upon a Red Hill
      Riddle

      Thirty white horses upon a red hill,
      Now they tramp, now they champ, now they stand still.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Well, on Monday the thing I needed to do the most was done with this hip. It got so, so painful and needed an intervention. Interestingly enough the surgery does not hurt much more that the arthritis. Then today I slayed two more dragons—I took a shower and I walked to the end of the driveway in my walker. That was fun because all my plants are up. Big day here. Linda, I saved the cartoon you posted the other day and have sent it around. It is a good one and is making people laugh.

    Now we must have a tree taken down—also ash borer, and our neighbor is having one taken down, too, so the tree guy is giving us all a deal because he only has to wedge his equipment in here once. Now we will plant the cold frame which I usually plant the second week of April. It is so far behind due to this cold spring. I hope I am mobile enough to attend several plant sales coming up the weekend of May 14 Birch Woods sale by Pica here in Eden Prairie, and the Master Garden Plant sale in Hopkins Pavillion. The MG sale was entirely cancelled during the pandemic and the Pica sale was downsized, so I hope to see a full range of plants this year.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. We finally got out and started planting our little side garden yesterday – Husband has been turning over a few rows of it on warm day, but we actually put in onion sets, and some rows of things. Hope it’s not too soon. Also did yard clean-up by the garage, now on to the front, which I’ve left intentionally for the pollinators.

    I too am yearning to travel, but instead, my sister is coming here with her granddaughter at end of June for a few days. That should be fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The green ash on my boulevard will get treated by the city this summer. After that, the city is pretty much throwing in the towel on the ash trees, but has offered homeowners the opportunity to take over the treatments. I got a permit for my ash, so starting in 2024, I’ll be arranging for the innoculations every other year.

    I am okay with spring being slow to arrive. I hope it won’t get really warm too soon. I like the slow unfolding of the spring foliage and the orderly blooming of the perennials.

    Liked by 2 people

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