right now

right now

Jan 30, 2010

Snow Day

Morning came early today, at about 5:30 since the kids woke up and looked out the window... I think this is better than Christmas presents to snow-deprived children! So here's some photos and video of our day today. I apologize for the copious amounts of video, but Daddy's out on the ship and he checks the blog so he doesn't miss out on our daily life here. The day started out with dry, powdery snow, easy to shovel. Then the winds kicked up to about 30-40 kts and it was a mess. Later in the afternoon it changed over to wet heavy snow, and it is still coming down fiercely now at 6 pm with a lot of wind, and I am noticing the power lines are starting to ice over. Not good. I have shoveled the back deck twice today, it appears to be somewhere between 10-16 inches so far, I think it started snowing about 2 or 3 am last night. This was all grass less than 24 hours ago!

The back deck - the door was snowed shut!

Loch & Finn

Driveway has been shoveled 3 times today! We are the only ones on the street with a snow shovel, so we have to keep in inside so it won't get stolen, can you imagine?

Check out Finn's little mini-tantrum while shoveling snow, also, love the clip with the random blue-jacketed kid that walked through and decided to whip a snowball on his way cutting across our yard! The other one is of the neurotic dogs loving the snow.

Other big news on the "learning to knit" front... my first real project was completed at midnight last night! Just in time for the snow, and I will say it kept the blowing snow out wonderfully! No, it's not the best thing you've ever seen, but I am quite proud of myself for accomplishing it! I don't know how to do buttonholes yet so I cheated and attached a magnetic closure and stitched a faux toggle button on the front! I am so tired of practicing swatches and crap I just wanted to finish something without hitting a snag, so I will learn buttonholes the next time! This was originally intended to be a scarf but I wasn't able to get more yarn in the same color, so I just used one entire skein and I like this better, it even looks good worn indoors.

neck gaiter in action in the snow

I am starting another project this evening after the kiddos go to bed, not sure what yet. I got a couple of knitting books and have just been drooling over cabled sweaters today, but I need to get real and find the beginner projects tonight. You cablers and sock knitters are amazing, now that I know what goes into them!

As I was writing this, I just found out that apparently Finn decided to put snowballs in his bedroom... hours ago... oh, I can't wait for bedtime for little boys!

Jan 29, 2010

Snow and Subaru Love

Have I said lately how much I LOVE my Subarus? I have owned a few since the early 90's and honestly, it's probably all I will ever drive. Here are the current residents in all their glory...

Daddy's Subie

Mama's Subie

They run forever, have tons of room for us and the dogs, get incredible mileage for an SUV, and climb the dunes and traverse the snow right alongside pickup trucks. But my love today has nothing to do with the above. It has to do with my visit to the gas station today.

I roll up on the gas station, and egads!.... about 20 people in line at every pump. What's going on I wonder, is it the 70's again? I look, and nobody is in ANY of the left side pumps. So I roll up and ask the guy in the disgustingly big SUV across from me what's going on. "Winter Storm's a comin' in, everrbuddy's fixin' to get ready". Oh, that... keep forgetting I live in the South where they cancel the city at least 24 hours before the first anticipated flake. And if I forgot I lived in the South, I was sure reminded when he said "fixin' to get ready".... does that mean they were actually going to get ready, or just scope out the pumps while they thought about getting ready? Anyways, they are all staring at me in my SuperSubaru as I rolled up, gassed up, and rolled out of the left side pump while 20 cars were waiting on the other side, and they weren't nice stares, either. So, gas caps on the right side of the car.... that's Subaru Love. Subaru should have been filming a commercial during this. And as I drove away I couldn't help think of when people used to drive normal size cars and would just get real, real close to the pump and stretch the nozzle around... guess they kind lost out on that technique when they decided to drive the big 'ol SUV.

So that got me thinking, jeez, I better get fixin' to get ready for the impending "Winter Storm". 8-12 inches expected tonight through tomorrow, which is a big deal here, I guess. So my version of preparing involved me with son in tow hitting up Trader Joe's for some convenience foods and snacks, then heading to the craft store for some yarn, then to the used bookstore for a knitting book.

When we got home, I dragged this out of the shed, which I might add was all the way up in the loft where no one goes except mice.

I suppose the sheer fact that I even own this stuff is strange enough here. As I put it on the deck, Finnegan says "what kind of shovel is that for?". Ha! "You'll find out tomorrow, Finn... it's a surprise"! And I didn't think I would get the chance to make my kids shovel snow. Heck, I even moved the Subarus out of the driveway in order for them to get the full effect. :)

Bring it on!

Jan 27, 2010

Seedlings 2010...And We're Off!

First Sprouts of 2010!

36 hours, Boxwood Basil!

36 hours, Mizuna Oriental Greens

48 hours....WAIT FOR IT.....


Close-Up of the Mystery Seed...

I know, I know, you're thinking Basil, but I really don't remember getting any seed, and the fluff seed hulls that were in with the seed didn't seem Basil-ish to me!

I really think we need to start a tradition of sending Mystery Seeds to each other, it's actually a lot of fun, the kids are getting a kick out of it!

Stay tuned for the next episode of Mystery Horticultural Theatre, episode 2, "The First True Leaves"

Jan 25, 2010

No Kidding!

Stumbled on an article entitled "British Society is Frightened of Gardening" this morning while reading my gardening news. Pretty funny, considering the history the Brits have with gardening!

Notable sentences include:

"...people have become frightened of battling the elements or waiting for something to grow. Children are so used to meals from packets they do not know where vegetables come from."

"We are used to things on demand, we are so used to being in charge of everything," he said. I want a strawberry now! But, realise what you are going to have to pay for it not only in pounds and pence but in losing the anticipation of seasonality."

And my favorite:

"And Mr. Titchmarsh, who was once voted as the sexiest man on television after George Clooney, insisted gardening skills can even make you sexy."

Come to think of it, have you ever heard the comment "wow, I can't believe you can grow that stuff" or similar? I noticed many times these comments come from those many would view as very smart, successful, or otherwise competent! Are gardeners really that amazing? I think so, and apparently we're sexy, too!

Jan 24, 2010

First Seed Flats of 2010

Not that I was looking forward to flipping on the garish lighting in my kitchen, but I am so happy I finally got my first flats of the season started! While it's still too early for most of my veggies, I started 2 flats this afternoon, mostly herbs and a few flowers that need a good long start. Even though I start my main crop of lettuces and mesclun by direct sowing in the garden, I thought I would start a few indoors also since I have the lights up anyways - that way they can just continue to grow inside and give us some good baby greens while we wait for Spring.

2 Seed Flats, Heat Mat, & Lights

I need your help here... I saved some seed last fall and have no earthly idea what it is, apparently I forgot to label it! The first photo is on a salad plate to give you an idea of its relative size, and the second photo is a close up of the seed & hulls. Any ideas? I was thinking it was a flower, but it reminds me of an herb seed. Does anyone think this might be cilantro? The seeds are tiny and round. I had tons of cilantro last year and it is possible that I saved some as I was ripping it out. It has no scent like dill does, do Cilantro seeds smell like the herb? I don't remember!

Mystery Seed

Seeds started today and # of cells for each:
  • Artichoke - 6
  • Basil - 9
  • Rosemary - 3
  • Thyme - 9
  • Marjoram - 6
  • Oregano - 9
  • Giant Parsley - 9
  • Lemon Balm - 9
  • Verbena - 6
  • Chives - 9
  • Leeks - 6
  • Spinach - 3
  • Val D'Orges Lettuce - 3
  • Mizuno Oriental Greens - 3
  • The Mystery Seed - 3 (this should be fun, maybe it's a new tradition!)
It may seem like alot of herbs, but I only keep a few in pots on my deck for kitchen use and all the rest go into a large area I have for my birds, butterflies, caterpillars and bees. Many of the herbs I plant are perennial here, so every year it gets easier. I will also be putting my Artichoke, Litchi Tomato and Ground Cherry here for some taller interest as well as getting them out of the way since a few are thorny.
That's all for now! Big day for me today - as a Minnesotan you know what I will be doing tonight. No phone calls will be answered!

I don't have any little girls in the house so I am deficient in purple hair ribbons for Marley to show her Viking Pride. I had to settle for light purple bands out of the kids' weaving loom set! There is no chance of Sprocket the puppy wearing hair ribbons, she would just eat them. As a matter of fact, she has probably already eaten Marley's off her head!