Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Look Down

Thanks for all the well wishes from far flung parts. Fun.

It warmed up some and now it's cold again. I am so in love with my warm winter coat. Not in love with our bent ice scraper or our heating bill, but oh well - I am warm while I scrape with what is essentially a nail file and I can always wear my coat inside. These photos are of my columbines. Out of a frozen patch of unprotected earth, there they are mustering up the beginning of their spring show. I can't say how immensely delightful these little whorls are to me, I can even see them from where I am scraping the windshield and cursing. And once you look - the peach tree, the cherry tree, the forsythia, the blueberry bushes, the lilacs, even some of our bulbs - they all have begun to mark the beginning of the turn around. "Yes," I think. They know something about spring in a way that I can never know. I'll notice when the temperatures finally settle in the fifties and when the dogwood and cherry blooms arrive and when my pea sprouts pop up. But right now in the bitter morning I am left taking my cues from these tiny yet monumental efforts all around me. Bring it.

We are super tucked in around here. B has been cooking like a man possessed, braising pots of delicious smelling dishes and surprising me with blueberry crisps and other delights. Yesterday was the anniversary of our first date. B came over and we baked Pepparkakor cookies and talked for about eight hours and had a tea party on the floor at two in the morning (no, that is not a euphemism) and it was the best date ever. If you had told me then that I was going to marry that guy, I probably would have believed you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Spring Gardens

Well kids, we have emerged from the deep freeze over here. Seriously cold weather, but you know what? I kind of got used to it once I figured out what to wear to keep warm.

So. I love this time. This is seed buying and garden dreaming time. Evenings at the kitchen table discussing whether we were happy with the kinds of peppers and tomatoes we grew last year, and wondering whether the lettuce seeds we've been planting for years now will germinate this spring. Realizing that in less than two months we'll be sprawled on the kitchen floor potting up eggplant and squash and tomatoes and basil, and that for eight weeks after that one corner of our living room will be filled with a ghostly glow and an explosion of sweet greens. I love growing things.

As it turns out we are growing a few new things this spring. Some new short-day onions, some melons, a few new kinds of peppers and beans. But we are also growing something else new, something you might be able to chew on now and then but something that you probably shouldn't eat in earnest. Here's a hint:

Yup. This little family of two is growing a third. We are so stinkin' excited. He's due the day after our wedding anniversary in June. Quite an anniversary present, no?

Hope you are all well out there.

P.S. I went back to Johnny's. They got me with a $10 off an order of at least $20. The code is 10-1006, not sure how long it will last though...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Back in the Saddle. Almost

Well goodness. I have been off having a mighty good time, and I hope each and every one of you has been too. After the big snow storm we headed to Maine for a square week of favorite people, favorite foods, some cold weather, and general relaxation. It was great; probably the most relaxing trip we've taken in a long time. We then came home, rang in the new year with a good huffy hike, and I turned 33. Makes it almost sound like we've been doing something, doesn't it? Actually, B has been doing things. We (B) are tearing the house up, as is the Christmas break tradition. I am support staff, mostly called upon for insightful opinions, decisive color decisions, and high quality vacuum services. In a single day B installed shelves that literally quadrupled our storage space! In a closet-less house this is no joke, I still squeak when I put something away that once lived, well, not away anyway. After this latest round of fixing and painting we will have gussied up every room in the house but the spare bedroom. Sorry guests, we can't find the right shade of yellow for you, so gunky it is.

That's the inside. As for the outside. We are having one hell of a cold snap here. Like, holy shit, I actually bought a new non-vintage coat so that I can handle the 6 degree weather going on here. And that's without the windchill. Anyway, what with the chilly and the windy, our winter garden got its ass kicked, just somewhere here in the last five days. Sigh. It may not be over, but it looks pretty bad. Our new hoop design, while easier to access, was not as windproof as the original setup, and for some reason this year we decided that frost blankets were overkill. Ha. They're not. Anyway. Live and learn, it's been a busy winter. We'll see how the onions and garlic fare; I knew they needed another layer of straw but like I said: busy and out of town and more busy. I am mostly pissed about the rockin' head of broccoli and red cabbage that we didn't get to...

The chickens, if you can believe it, are still laying eggs. Two of our girls are only just now molting. Wtf?? It's SIX DEGREES OUT and now you go and loose all your feathers? These two are great layers, so they are losing their feathers fast and hard. Makes them look like hell, and I fret over them, but they troop around out there in all manner of temperature. But not snow. No sir. They will stay inside, thankyouverymuch, if snow is in sight. B is a rockstar and patiently moves their food and water inside when they get fussy like this. (Hey, speaking of rockstars, our neighbors are the absolute best chicken babysitters on the planet. Thanks, everyone.)

Ok, so my camera had a picture of the stocking fabric on it, the red stuff up there. Festive, no? Well hang on, because my ever lovin' family kicked in for some birthday camera dough and we should be up and running with a working camera here in no time. I am so psyched: thanks you guys.

Lucky over here. Hope you all feel lucky sometime soon too.