Posts tagged ‘weather’

I can almost taste it

One thing that helps keep me going is thinking of all the fantastic things I will get to do once all of this is over! I will technically still be working after I defend (my appointment ends in June, I believe), but I don’t intend to do anything too complicated because I definitely need a break! It’s so close now, I can almost taste it all…I am so ready.

First of all, I’m finally going to start cooking again. I do still cook as much as I can, but I’m relying heavily on simple, quick-fix meals in my repertoire that I don’t have to think too much about, or ones that DH knows how to cook, as he does a lot of the meal prep for dinner most days. Unfortunately, most of these meals get repetitive and don’t feature as many veggies as I’d prefer to prepare for us. It takes quite a bit of time to be creative and find new recipes that incorporate a variety of foods to keep things exciting. Once you get them down, they become part of the repertoire, but it’s a slow process for me. Plus, with spring and summer coming, new foods and cooking methods abound! Out with the endless soups and casseroles, in with grilled veggies and fresh fruit. Yum, yum!

Related to food, I also plan to tend a veggie garden again this year. The weather is unseasonably nice for March (usually our snowiest month), and while I don’t want to rush things as there’s always a chance for snow through May, it’s already time to get the garden beds ready. Once I am done, I’ll have time to plant veggies, sow in rotation for continuing harvests through the season, and water (or plan some sort of drip system, which I’m very motivated to do this year). I already have some lettuce coming up in a planter, too! I’m super excited for gardening and plan to enjoy it when I’m done.

I also plan to exercise! I am sick of sitting at this desk in this chair for hours on end. I am not the world’s fittest person anyway, but I do try to get out and do some cardio and strength training every week. That’s gone down the tubes the last month, but I will get back into it when my time frees up. With the weather getting nice, I have grandiose plans of becoming a runner, too (I’ve tried at different times, but I always get off track and never can climb back on). Then more strength training and flexibility and stretching. I know I’m so out of shape right now that it’s going to hurt to get started again, but I’m determined!

There are also a ton of craft and home projects I want to get back into, most of which are on my 101 in 1001 list. The top priority is painting most of the trim and baseboards in the house. I’ve been putting this off for three years, ever since we repainted the walls and thought we might get new carpet and didn’t want newly-painted trim to get banged up. I was a little sloppy with the trim thinking it would get done soon…oops. I just bought the paint last weekend, so I am ready to jump on it. My second project will be making a home inventory.This involves going room to room and cataloging what you own and all its value, essentially what it would cost to replace if your whole house burned down or you got robbed. Your normal home owner’s insurance policy covers some percentage of your home value to go toward personal effects, but you typically have absolutely no idea how much it would actually cost to replace everything, especially if you’ve got nice clothes, fancy electronics, expensive instruments, professional tools and the like. We initially wanted to do this out of curiosity, but it is really practical to know in case you need to adjust your insurance coverage, and better to do it now than after your house burns down or blows away. You can’t just assume it will never happen to you.

I am also determined to finish knitting this one blanket I started over a year ago. Maybe closer to two. It’s knit in individual squares that are then seamed together at the end, and I’ve just been so slow finishing it. It’s bright and colorful and just interesting enough without being too complicated; I have no idea why I haven’t gotten into it. I have had exactly 0 % knitting motivation recently, but I intend to get the darned thing done now.

I also want to get out and about! We’d like to take a trip this summer, but we’re just playing that by ear. Even if we don’t go anywhere big, I’m still ready to get out of the house and go explore Colorado or surrounding areas.

Since I still don’t have a plan (i.e. job) after I finish, I really don’t know how the whole summer is going to play out. Are we going to have to move and sell the house? Will we stay here a few more months, or few more years? So I do have to keep that on the radar. However, I think most of my plans I can do regardless of other circumstances. I’m just so darned ready to get some semblance of a real life back. I’d say it can’t come fast enough, but I still have a lot to do in the meantime!!

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Signs of spring

This has been somewhat of an unusual winter. We got a lot of snow early, then nothing until January. Since then we’ve had plenty, including record-breaking snow in February. Now we’re entering March, which to most people is finally the start of spring; for us, it’s traditionally our snowiest month. At least the weather gets much milder between snowstorms, but still. If our whole winter was shifted by a month, then we might actually be home free into summer! But I won’t hold my breath, though. :p

However, while I am skeptical about a milder than usual March, I can’t help but catch a little spring fever from the clear signs of spring I’ve seen. Yesterday, it was supposed to snow a few inches, but it didn’t do anything here. Now the forecast into the weekend is a slow drift toward 60, where it will be for a few days. I could swear I see a few tiny tips of green from new irises springing up in the flower bed. I’ve also seen my first baby calves recently, a sure sign of spring that I look forward to every year! The days are getting longer, too. While I remain realistic about the likely weather events we will yet have, I’ve decided to defy March; I’m hedging my bets and making a few tentative plans.

While the average last frost date isn’t until May 15, I have this insatiable urge to plant something now! And with some careful planning and ingenious tricks, I am going to outsmart March and get some stuff growing. My plan is to plant some lettuce in containers. Lettuce actually prefers the cool weather and won’t do well once the snow stops and the temperatures immediately soar (there’s no intermediate spring-with-no-snow period here). Therefore, sowing into portable containers will allow me to grow them on the deck during these sunny, near-60 days and pull them inside if it gets below freezing. Using three or four containers, I can stagger my planting so I have some plants maturing all the time instead of more than I can eat all at once. And then, when the weather is finally warm enough, I can begin to sow everything in our normal garden plot while already enjoying a few fruits of my labor. Clever, eh?

I’ve never grown lettuce before, but I eat a ton of greens, so this is quite exciting for me. I’m incredibly hopeful that home-grown lettuce will be yummier than store-bought, because, I’ll be honest, I eat it but I don’t love it. We’ll give it a try, though. Last year I tried spinach and chard, also greens I eat often. They did okay but not great, but I’m determined to give them another go. This morning I bought lettuce, chard, and spinach seeds at the local hardware store, so I am ready to get my green thumb on.

So maybe I can get a few seeds into soil this weekend so they can have a few warmer days to germinate outside. There is nothing like fresh, new life poking out of the dead landscape to give one renewed vigor and hope that this desolate time will soon be over. I could say the same about my thesis as well…