I woke up to the weather person on MPR saying that today is going to be looked at as when spring began in MN in 2013. What welcome news, because this winter was a DOOZY. I thought it would have been reasonable to expect all the winter-storm-warning-stuff to be done before the end of April (or the middle… or the beginning….), but this year, winter just kept hitting us.
And while I’ve been managing my expectations for this spring, I haven’t completely given up!
These plant babies are really helping me along, even though I know better than to get far too excited about putting them in the ground prior to the end of May (the last chance for frost around these parts). I am planning a major overhaul of the gardens this year. I’ve had two summers of raised bed vegetable gardens now, and I’ve learned things. The most important thing is that one of them does not get enough sun for anything other than lettuces (and cucumbers that hang over the end and really reach for the sun). And while the idea of a 4×8′ lettuce bed is really intriguing, it’s probably not the best use of space, time, seeds, and compost. So it’s gotta move. I’m also pretty interested in doing something more than 15 tomato plants that take up almost all of the space in the front garden that DOES get enough sun (ok, so it was only 8 last year. but you get my point).
I’ve been getting pretty excited about this garden re-do lately. I even borrowed my parents’ wheelbarrow so that I can move the 1.5 tons of dirt and compost from the back garden to the front gardens. And then this weekend, while I was visiting my parents, we were offered some barrels to use to make our own rain barrels. I’ve been looking at rain barrels a lot over these past two years, but they’re expensive! I’m really looking forward to these MUCH CHEAPER barrels, and now I feel as if it is time to get the roof redone on the garage and put some gutters up.
But here’s where I have the biggest problems with all of this. I am SO SUPER INSPIRED by thinking of spring and my gardens and TOMATOES and grilling. But I can’t do it all, so I can’t really expect to get it all done. So what is important here? I get to have rain barrels and I will have a better planned garden this year. What might not happen? the roof of the garage and new gutters. That’s ok, though. They might get done later this summer, but it’ll not be happening before the beginning of the shortish growing season here.
Inspiration and expectations for the garage: Managed. (next: get a grip …. again…. on my knitting and sewing expectations. that’ll be a little more emotionally complex….)
It’s been busy here this week. I’ve been knee-deep in refining my computer programming skills (for my ‘real job’), up to my elbows in working on those goals and resolutions (I’ve swept and vacuumed my livingroom THREE TIMES over the past 7 days), and working really hard to stay warm.
It’s been cold here – it’s cold everywhere, right? And I like it, because this is what January is supposed to be like in MN – COLD! We’ve had a few days with little to no exposure to temperatures above 5º F. And after a bit of an unfortunate incident with some frostbite on my stomach (of all places) during a run a week ago (before the cold really hit – it was 20º F, I think) I have taken a break from my running goals for the week. Signe is suffering more than I am in this department, but I can definitely feel it in my core (the soul-type core, not the muscle-type core) that I miss running.
What else has been happening?
Well, I made some new slippers.
This is the second time I’ve made this pattern, Prairie Boots by Julie Weisenberger, aka cocoknits. This is the second time I’ve used this pattern, and I’m much happier with this version. The pattern calls for Lamb’s Pride Bulky, and I used Berrocco Vintage Chunky the first time. The gauge was right, but it wasn’t the right feel at the end. They just felt too loosey-goosey, and the color (something along the lines of puke) wasn’t right. Hot pink (with glow-in-the-dark dots on the soles) is MUCH more my style, and the single-ply Lamb’s Pride holds up way-more boot-like…. Yeah. I said it. waaay. more. boot. like.
In all honesty, though, this pattern is awesome. The best slippers ever! They keep my ankles warm too, which is important when one has an aversion to pants (i.e. I wear tights all winter long. not socks and pants.) And as a final bonus, they’re bulky yarn, knit on US9 and US10s. A SUPER-fast knit!!!!
Julie Weisenberger has some other great patterns in addition to these slippers. I think my favorite is the Fleeced Earflap Hat – one of my girlfriends made this super-thrummed hat for her toddler son, and it is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. And so warm! I’d also really like to make a knitted skirt sometimes, and the Steffi Skirt is certainly on my short list of options.