Hard to believe that it was 1 year ago when I started this blog. My original intent for this blog was to document the road to what I thought was to be my hysterectomy last year. But it didn’t really turn into that for several months. So it evolved into more of a life blog, a journal really, where I like to share (first and foremost) recipes, gardening life, ski adventures, and other things that go on in my life. I didn’t really expect anyone to read this stuff, but apparently some of you out there find some of my posts interesting and worth reading, and so I would like to thank you for joining me on my life’s journey over the past year. The way I see it, this blog is like one-stop shopping for completely random reading: where else can you read about food, skiing, trail running, tap dancing, gardening, food, kayaking, food, chickens, hysterectomies (and inspired haikus), among other things?
This past Wednesday Hubby and I took the afternoon off to go skiing, as we’d planned on that previous Friday afternoon’s ski trip. The hill got 3 inches of new snow out of a little storm that blew through on Monday, and, as luck would have it, they opened my favorite lift that is normally only open on the weekends! The trails were not groomed on that side of the mountain, but it gave me a good opportunity to see if I could ski in some powder, some wind-slab snow, and a little bit of chopped up funk as well as I did the previous week. It turns out that I did. I surprised Hubby so much that he said, while riding the chairlift, “You should have a hysterectomy more often. It’s done wonders for your skiing.” Once was enough, thanks. But I am happy that for whatever reason, my skiing technique has improved leaps and bounds over last year. Unfortunately, my skiing days are incredibly numbered this season, I think. It is supposed to warm up into the upper 50s and low 60s this week, with no chance of precipitation in the forecast for the next 10 days or more. Bummer. I was just starting to get back into winter mode after the late January through mid February thaw we had while I was recovering from surgery.
Today was a very nice day, so I spent some time outside, starting some new compost in my compost tumbler, cleaning up the garden, and making some early season inspections. I had a sneaking suspicion that things were beginning to pop up out of the frozen ground, and I was right. A full month earlier than last year. I found some old scallions that survived the winter beneath a thick layer of leaves and pine needles, an entire bulb of garlic that sprouted up where my carrots were last year (it must be a holdover from 2 or 3 years ago!), and my rhubarb has awakened from its winter slumber as well.
An entire garlic bulb sprouted under a thick pile of mulch–should I leave it as is or break up the gang? I haven’t decided yet.
I decided to uncover one of my boxes so that the soil will warm up this week and I might just take a chance and plant some things in it next weekend if the forecast is looking to stay warm. I have artichokes in the basement that need to experience some winter (I repotted them today) so that they will set blooms this summer. I think I might be safe to put them out this week–with protection, of course. Because you can never be too safe.
I had 9 artichoke seedlings make it. I have no idea why I started so many seeds…I just hope I get to eat something off them this summer! I guess if they don’t produce, I’ll dig them up, pot them, and store them in the basement over the winter in the hopes that next summer I will reap artichokes. Gardening is such a gamble, but the rewards (and there are always rewards) are so worth it!
A haiku for The Stinker about our trails runs (we ran both last night and today):
A trail run we must / Stiff joints, slow, happy grin / It’s worth it, momma!
Stinker will be 10 years old in May. She has one titanium knee, but she insists on staying active. We must get out twice a day, or Hubby and I receive the death stare from her. So we go for a walk around the neighborhood (and sometimes find ourselves on the trail) first thing in the morning. Then every afternoon or evening we do either a hike, trail run, or, if Hubby and I are feeling lazy, another neighborhood walk. For the neighborhood walks, we let Stinker pick the route, so she gets to make it as long or as short as she wants. I figure that’s more than fair, and she really doesn’t seem to care so much about the length of the walk as she does about the routine of having gone for the walk/hike/run. She always has a beautiful, silly grin on her face when we get home, so I know she is satisfied.
And finally, chickens. The snow has melted in the orchard again, and the chickens are loving it. They can stretch their legs (and wings). In fact, the Araucana has been stretching her wings a little too much lately. She has been escaping. Three times in the past 2 weeks. Hubby and I are pretty sure she’s flying over the 6 foot fence because we had to take down the bird netting after a heavy wet snow ripped most of it down earlier this winter. Hubby wants to clip her wings, but I’m hesitant to do that just in case she does ever need to fly away from a predator. That’s the reason we put up the bird netting in the first place–I’m pretty sure a hawk got our Barred Rock last spring. So I think we are going to try to get it put back up this weekend. I don’t want to lose one of my best egg layers!