Posts Tagged ‘garden’

The River Runs Dry

Every year, it is the same. Warm, hazy days arrive and my river of words dries up. Partly it is just that this is always an incredibly busy time of year for me. Work always gets immensely busy with rate case filings, discovery, motions, and such. There has been a noted uptick in FOIA requests too. Busy times at the office.

Then the SCA gets really busy between April and May every year. Every weekend there is some event I could (or should) be going to. I like it; no, I love it. This is the perfect time of year for our outdoor events. It isn’t until June that our season slows down for the heat and for Pennsic preparations. Add in that this year, I am running Sapphire Joust, and I am eating, drinking, sleeping, breathing event coordination and planning almost 24/7.

As a result of the all of this, the knitting falls off. Happens every year. Being mostly a knitting blog, with no knitting, there is little to write about. Remember those lightning fast April socks? The ones that are so incredibly beautiful and fast? I haven’t knit a stitch on them in a week. And the truth is, it doesn’t bother me. There are only 3 or 4 inches left to knit on the second sock and I could have that done in one evening’s hard work, but I just haven’t felt like it. When I have been knitting (which hasn’t been very much), I have been working on the second Serpentine Mitt or adding some stripes to the Son of Not Noro Scarf (as though I need a scarf right now. . . or wool hand warmers for that matter). A few rounds at a time the Serpentine Mitt is coming along. I have less than 10 rows of the cable pattern left to go, then an inch or so of ribbing, then pick up and knit the thumb, and bind off. They will be done soon. Not tonight. Maybe not this week, but soon. And I am okay with that too.

Then there’s the gardening and the running. Every Spring, even before bypass surgery, I found the motivation to take more walks or lift more weights. So far, this Spring is no different. I am just running farther (3.5 miles yesterday) and faster (in 40 minutes!) than any previous Spring. The veggie garden is taking off, just like every Spring, thanks to mild temperatures and lots of rain. Every day there is some weeding, checking the tomatoes and making sure they are climbing their cages right, and every weekend, there is some lettuce harvesting.

I am still hoping/planning on running the Half Marathon in November. I won’t actually register until next month just to be sure this isn’t some passing “I want something to fantasize about aside from Sapphire” thing, since I cannot get my $65 back once I have registered. I am spending a lot of time learning about longer distance running and racing. It can be as easy, I suppose, as lacing up your trainers and hitting the pavement for more than 13 miles, but to prevent injury and to try and make my goal of 2 hours 30 minutes (2:30), I need to know a little more. How to eat for fuel. How to fuel on the run. How to care for my muscles (especially since ibuprofen is verboten for me, and Tylenol really doesn’t help muscle soreness). What does “lactate threshold” mean? Is fartlek a dirty word? (It isn’t). Why do I have so much trouble with intestinal distress and how can I ease it or prevent it? What does one think about while running for 2.5 hours (I can’t spend the whole time chanting “You’re not gonna die” to myself!)? But more than needing to “know” how to run 13 miles, I have to simply get out there and run. My mileage base is still very low. I am trying to run 4 days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I really need to get up to 5 days (I want to add Sundays), but probably until Sapphire is over, more than 4 days a week is simply not in the cards. My target for starting my half marathon training program is Sunday, June 5th. In the meantime, I am just running, adding mileage, and getting used to the practice of running more days than not each week.

I have been very fortunate to stumble across the blogs of two weight loss surgery patients who have transformed themselves into very real athletes. This lady is training for an Ironman competition. She had her surgery just two months before I did. And this lady had her surgery just about 2 years before me and is a regular racer, and in fact just did her 3rd half marathon last weekend, finishing in under 2:20. So inspiring!

These ladies give me hope, particularly on days like yesterday when a 3.5 mile run felt like forever, making 13.1 seem like a pipedream.

I want to tell you how much I appreciate that you come here and read what I have to say, especially at times like this when my blog becomes a desert. I hope that you can take away something from here that is useful, inspiring, or thought provoking. And I am going to try and keep to my post-per-week challenge, even at times like these when I have nothing to offer you other than just random thoughts strung together, or excuses for why there aren’t pictures of knitting to show you. Thanks for stopping by!

Thinking Out Loud, Mostly

The flags everywhere are at half staff.
Half Staff
I would genuinely like it if every news-carrying website I visit would stop showing two pictures: the first being the picture of Congresswoman Giffords being carried away on a stretcher, exposed in her panty hose; and the second is the mugshot of Jared Loughner and that horrible leer. You could say just stop looking at the news, but it is part of my Yahoo mail and my homepage. She deserves a better, more dignified image (to be fair, most photos of her are portrait shots, and much nicer), and he deserves no visibility, whatsoever.

It is a gorgeous, if chilly day here in the River City. One of those days where I am grateful to be wearing my wool socks. The sky is that January Blue; different than a July Blue, very distinct to me. The photo above is a perfect example of January Blue. Clear, cold, and crisp. A good day for a short walk.
Shockoe Slip
Starting next week, I hope to start running again. It was back on Thanksgiving Weekend that I sprained my knee. I would like to report that the knee in question is back to 100%, but sadly, it is not. After almost two months of rest the fact that it still aches, and sometimes quite sharply, tells me this is going to be a long time in healing and that it is going to hurt whether I work it or not, so I might as well get moving again. I sat at my spinning wheel last night, listening to my running mix on my MP3 player, and caught myself picking up serious speed on the treadle as various songs took my mind back to hot, humid days spent circling around the Canal Walk on my lunch hour. I felt the need to run again.

The Go With The Flow socks for January have come to a practical standstill. The first one was cast off last Friday, but I haven’t gotten more than an inch beyond the toe of the second once since then. I have been insanely busy at work, knitting on Ishbel, and believe it or not, spinning, as mentioned above. I received some delicious Colonial top from Ashland Bay for Christmas; 16 ounces total, and I am working on the peacock blue/green batch first. The color is divine and Ashland Bay’s products are always a joy to spin.

Speaking of Ishbel…
Kidsilk Haze
That is the Kidsilk Haze. The colors are inverted, but I thought the shot was a neat one. You can see just how fine and ‘hazy’ the yarn is. A perfectly fluffy yarn. Perfect for its intended recipient.

This weekend will see clear skies and warmer weather than we have seen in a while. The gardening bug has bitten me, same as it does every mid-January. I have spent an inordinate amount of time floating around the Baker Creek Heirloom seeds site, as well as making lists, planning imaginary measurements in my mind (they are imaginary until I actually get the measuring tape out this weekend) and thinking about things like “What does my family actually eat?”

I am thinking about things like Swiss Chard, green beans, cucumbers, carrots, and of course, tomatoes. I am pondering things like starting such plants from seed and the inherent difficulty therein. The selection at my local nurseries for started veggies is absolutely abysmal, and they have not always been more productive than stuff I have started from seed.

I don’t have any answers yet for what my garden is going to look like or how I am going to start seeds or what heirloom varieties I am going to try versus modern hybrids, but spinning my mental wheels thinking about it all is certainly not the worst way to pass these dark winter weeks. Every year I do something better than I did the previous year; every year I learn something I didn’t know before. Eventually, I am going to get this right.

Maybe this will be the year?

I Am Not Impressed

For having only worked two days this week, it certainly has been a long week. I got to enjoy a couple of vacation days in the middle of the week to spend with Grace because my mother needed the week off, so those were quite pleasant days. Now I am back at work and trying to catch up on emails, work, and blogging.

Now, staying home and watching Grace is not really conducive to knitting time, but I took my chances when I could and managed to make some headway on Miralda.
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You will notice that I have switched to straight needles, which I generally prefer. I enjoyed getting to sit outside with Miralda and knit in the very nice, very autumn-like weather we have been having. I sat on the back deck while Grace played in the yard.
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I think September is becoming my favorite month. It is warmer and more summer like than October, cooler without being chilly, and the world is still green. In fact, here is what came in from the garden on Wednesday.
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That is a Purple Wonder sweet pepper and it went very nicely with my lunch of liver and onions. The cucumber became a transportation device for roasted garlic hummus. Yum.

Earlier this week, I played with power tools and wood stain. We have a couple of old benches we use for the SCA, and they were in pretty awful shape. I volunteered to refinish the benches, but I have only gotten one done so far. It does allow you to see a contrast of before and after, though.
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I hope it is obvious that the bench at the top is the refinished bench.
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It is nice to see how far an orbital sander, heavy grit paper, and some new stain applied with more care can go on these worn out old benches. I am very pleased with the initial effort and hope to get the second bench sanded and stained on Sunday. Then next week, they can get a protective clear coat and be ready to go for our next camping event in about 3 weeks.

Tomorrow, we are driving to North Carolina (second weekend in a row of this) to go to a family reunion. The embarrassing part is I don’t even know which side of the family we are ‘reunioning’ with, but it’s okay. Grace will get to meet some extended family and I will get to see more of Byram’s relatives that I have never met. However, in preparation for several hours spent riding in the back of the van, I need a knitting project that does not involve nupps or beads. Or, if I can get through the last 10 or so rows of this shawl that involve nupps and beads tonight, then it can go with me. So the question tonight is do I cast on a new sock project or do I spend my whole evening getting through the remnants of the Miralda diamond chart, and that way tomorrow is mostly garter rows, some gathered stitches, and then onto the body of the shawl which is just the same 3 stitch pattern repeated a several thousand times? At that point, I will barely even need to refer to the charts at all.

Part of me is feeling a sock coming on. I have that Felici self-striping yarn that looks most excellent when just knit plain. I want to recover that yarn after the epic Jaywalker sock failure from back in June. I also want to knit the Leyburn socks for my Grandma for Christmas.

The other part of me is exceedingly wedded to finishing off Miralda. I am not usually so monogamous to any one knitting project. See the poor Beer socks, my single Ruba’iyat mitten, the Sienna Cardigan, or even most recently, the Peacock and Leaves scarf. Those are all projects I fully intend to complete, but just haven’t yet, and feel no heartache that another project jumped ahead in the line. But when I started the Pennsic shawl last month, I was all in, totally committed, and ready to go the distance without knitting a single stitch on a single other project; a task which I successfully achieved. Apparently, project monogamy has not worn off me yet.

Since I mentioned the Sienna Cardigan, I should mention that I am getting the itch to get back to work on it. I left off at the shoulder cap of the first sleeve. Once I finish that, I can do the second sleeve, and then go after the button band and collar, and then it will be time to sew it up. It is really not that far from being finished, except that I lost one of the needles. Really. I cannot find that 10″ 5.5 mm cobalt blue needle anywhere in the house. It just blows my mind. Maybe I will just start picking up the stitches to knit the collar and button bands with my 5.5mm circular. At least I would be making progress while I hunt down (or replace) the missing needle.

The weather is turning cooler and it is getting easier to turn my thoughts away from lace and more towards warm, solid knits. That’s really why I want to get Miralda finished and blocked. I am afraid I will lose the lace bug before I get this last shawl finished.

I think that just writing this out has helped me figure out exactly what I am going to do with any knitting time I have tonight. It’s time to finish that Diamond chart.

Now I just have to relocate the beads and crochet hook I have misplaced in the past 48 hours.

One final note. The NFL kicked off its 2011 season last night. I am a Minnesota Vikings fan, so be prepared for some lamentations as I suspect this is going to be a pretty painful year for my team. The picture below and the look on my face pretty much sums up my feelings about Opening Night.
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That look says “I am not impressed.”

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink and Knit, Which is Why I Wait ’till My Friends Aren’t Home

After being off for three weeks, I returned to my regularly scheduled runs on Monday. Monday was brutally hot and I accepted the suggestion of a “shadier” route from a very seasoned runner in the office, but that route was not so shady, and the terrain was much more than I was prepared for. Today, it was much cooler (84 as opposed 94) and cloudy, and my run was much more successful.

As I hoped, the heat has done wonderful things for my tomatos.
Grape Tomatos
Those are my grape tomatoes. One of my full size tomatoes (Jet Star) was an orangy-green yesterday, so it might be ready by this weekend. I hope we score a little rain out of the severe thunderstorm warning currently in effect tonight. I have been watering plants like a fiend, but we are barely keeping up. One of the troubles of raised beds and potted veggies is the severe need for water.

Last night, the girl child wanted to watch the Little Mermaid again, so I grabbed my Trekking XXL boot sock and determined that I only had 4 inches of 2×2 ribbing to go and that by God I would finish them.

Well, I did. And I love them with a great love. Except for that one little issue. Can you tell?

How about now? You see, ball bands can lie. I bought my two balls of Trekking XXL from a friend who was destashing and I made sure when I bought them that I was buying not only the same colorway, but the same dye lot. Check and double check.

When I cast on for the second sock, it took only a short while to figure out I was in trouble. They are similar. They are beautiful colors. And they are distinctly different. What could I do? I let them languish, is what I did. Discontent typically means a project goes into the knitting bag and disappears for a while. I was pretty discontent with them for a while, but honestly, that has evaporated and I don’t care that they aren’t a perfect match anymore. The whole time I was knitting the first sock, I was imagining wearing them hiking in the mountains with my husband. I imagined how cool they would look worn under a rugged looking pair of hiking boots. I would be the E-PIT-O-ME of cool in these socks.

Well, you know what? Rugged and cool looking hiking boots will hide most of the color issues and honestly, who cares if there is less blaze-orange on one sock as opposed to its mate? I am happy they are finished.

Anyway, it is cold enough in my office that I am still wearing my woollen lovelies. And my feet still seem cold.

So, I finished my sock at the same time I finished a glass of wine, and was overtaken by the need to cast on something lace. And Peacock themed. Last year, I bought Proud Peacock roving from Gale’s Art at the Fall Fiber Festival in Montpelier. It was spun into a gorgeous laceweight, and while I was rummaging through my stash in a very tipsy sort of fashion, I came across it. I grabbed it and whacked my head on my book shelf, knocking my copy of Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush onto myself (seriously, a little wine goes a LONG way with shortened intestines!). I opened the book straight to the Peacock and Leaves Scarf (Rav link, sorry), and it seemed just too coincidental to be an accident. A peacock themed laceweight yarn met a peacock themed lace project all in one tipsy encounter.

The Fates had spoken.

I drunkenly guestimated that I probably have enough yarn to make a go at it and also drunkenly cast on.

And ripped it back shortly thereafter, after starting the wrong chart first (in my defense, I assumed that the chart that came at the top of the page would be the first chart worked!).

And cast on again.

And miscounted and ripped it off again.

And cast on again.

At that point, I was beginning to sober up (counting to 81 several times will sober anyone up), so I went and got a little more wine, just to fortify myself really, and made a few rows of progress into the scarf. Just a few. Not enough to cure me of my Peacock fetish (oh, the Google hits that should bring), as I am ready to go back tearing into my scarf tonight.

It is not Peacock Feathers. It is not a shawl the size of a bedspread. It is not the Midnight Rainbow silk/wool blend I cannot afford.

It is small. It is my own handspun. It is beautifully colored. It is lace. And it will have to do.

Pictures soon.

(What beer sock?)

Veggie Tales

I have had about a dozen things I wanted to write about, but have lacked the motivation/skill to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, as it were.

So, first off, I have lost 50 pounds! Fifty-two to be exact. I have dropped from a size 24 to 18. I do not think I can express just how happy and grateful I am in words, so just believe me. My life is so much better for just those 50 pounds being gone.

Today is the end of the first week of April and yet, the weather is similar to mid-June. We broke down and turned on the AC this morning. 95 degrees is just too hot. However, the dramatic heat has done wonders for the seeds we have been starting. Mom and I have squashes, melons, and Brussels sprouts all springing up and raring to be planted. I took a vacation day on Monday and spent the day tempting the weather gods by planting tender summer veggies. Nothing brings on a freak frost like planting before your Last Frost Date. So far, the 10 day forecast looks promising.

My low raised bed is mostly still devoted to lettuce that I sowed way back in December, but I think with all this heat, I am not far from it bolting. My hope is to bring in a large quantity this evening, which will make more room for other vegetables. I have one rogue strawberry in that bed that is doing well so far, as well as one rutabaga that I ran out of room for in the tall bed. One of the four peas I planted in March survived the squirrel raids, though it germinated fairly far from where it started. I transplanted it back to where I want my peas and started a few more pea seeds under cover. I might plant them tonight since they are thriving. I also planted three peppers in the low bed. They are a bit crowded by the lettuce, but as I mentioned, the lettuce is short-lived at this point. I want at least three more pepper plants.

In the tall raised bed, I planted 8 rutabagas. I adore rutabaga and hope mine turn out well. They may not tolerate this heat, but I was never expecting 95 degrees in early April when I planted them over a week ago. Monday, I put in 6 tomatoes. Two Celebrities, one heirloom beefsteak, one Roma, and one called Jet Star, which I had never heard of. The internet speaks well of it being a heavy producer of good looking and mild tasting tomatoes, so we shall see.

In between the two rows of tomatoes, I tried this seed “tape” of Detroit Red beets. The seeds come pre-spaced and contained in a tape of paper reminiscent of heavy toilet paper. All I had to do was dig a 1 inch deep furrow the length of the row, lay the tape in, cover and water. So easy it seems like cheating. I will let you know how it goes.

On the deck, Mom has several herbs growing, including basil, cilantro, and stevia. I potted some lavender because I think it will be nice to keep lavender, and not for any other reason. I also put two tomatoes in containers: one cherry tomato and one grape tomato. I know from experience that container veggies are tricky; water is absolutely key to their survival as they are less protected from temperatures and evaporation. I am hoping for the best and planning very simple drip watering systems small enough to fit in the pots when it is extra hot or I will be away for a few days.

The new bed out by the shed still lies fallow, but it is (in theory) waiting for it to be warm enough to take on yellow squash, winter squash, and melons. In theory, it is all of the sudden plenty warm enough for those plants, but I am not tempting fate quite so much.

I have pictures of our trip to Agecroft Hall from Saturday, but real work calls, and I still have so much more I want to write about. So stay tuned and get out and enjoy the weather if it is nice where you are.

Mountains

Lent is petering out. Thursday begins the solemnity of the Triduum, the three holy days leading up to Easter Sunday. Spring is in full swing here in central Virginia, and it has been a welcomed change. It was a long, dark winter, which has made the past six weeks that have rung in Spring that much more precious.

Mom and I plan to hit the Great Big Greenhouse this week for a look-see (that is a technical term, of course), and possibly, if they have some good stock, to bring home some vegetable starts. Since our last frost date is still 2 weeks away, it might be too early, but I have noticed in the past 5 years or so, our last frost date is in reality more like April 1 than April 15. Climate change, global warming, or just good luck, I don’t pretend to know, but I like being able to start earlier.

On Sunday, I cleared out an area of the back yard that has lived for at least six years completely natural. Covered in vines, we do not mow it, rake it, or do anything with it. Since the neighbors on the east cleared all their trees, it is now the one sunny spot in the back yard we do not use to park cars on, so I realized the dream of creating a small garden plot back there. It is very small; a mere 8×10, but in clearing that spot, I essentially doubled my current gardening space. I hope to dedicate that space to a few summer squashes, a couple of cucumbers, and a few winter squashes. That way, I will have room for more tomatoes, peppers, and peas in the raised beds on the side of the house.

I think the new bed will do well. The first 3 or 4 inches of the dirt was wonderful, black and beautiful humus thanks to the years of being untended. If it does get enough sun and produces well, then next year, I might expand it into an ‘L’ shape around the side of the shed back there.

Saturday, we drove west for a friend’s baby shower. Now, being a Chesapeake Bay girl at heart, with salt water in my veins, the mountains have always been a source of mystery and fascination for me. I could not resist trying to snap pictures of the scenery as we flew by at 70 mph.

That is Afton Mountain. You have to pass through Rockfish Gap and go “over” Afton Mountain (the Gap actually more or less skirts the mountain) to get to Waynesboro, which was essentially our destination. It is a beautiful view.

On the way back, we pulled into the scenic pull-over and to get a look at the valley. There was a bit of haze that kept it from being a perfect view.

Since I had it with me, I brought Laminaria, now properly dressed, out for a few shots.

I could not see my view-finder very well in the bright sun, so I could not tell how blurry the image was. Sorry.

I modeled it briefly as well, but the pictures did not come out very well either.

Then I got Grace and her Daddy to pose for me. There are some large boulders there at the pull-off and Grace was sure she was climbing a mountain when she climbed up on the boulders.
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We were all impressed with the view, but I think Grace was most impressed.

So that’s all the news that is fit to print. It is Holy Week. Spring is here. We even have some very warm days coming this week (mid-80s!). I may not write the rest of the week, especially during the Triduum, but you never know. Last year, I was quite inspired and if words worthy of print come to mind, then you will be the first to see them.

Otherwise, enjoy your week, have a blessed Passover, and Happy Easter.

Sprung

Achoo! Spring is here. It brought me a cold as well, but I am recovering. Finally. So, let’s see if I can cover just about everything going on.

So, knitting first, since this is a knitting blog after all.

My Laminaria Shawl is nearing completion. I am about half way through the first edging chart. Then, 12 rows of the second edging chart, then bind off and dressing. I took a couple of pictures over the weekend, but the camera made its way out of my bag. I have a goal now. I recently found a pretty green paisley skirt and a gray-green pull over sweater top (I have a sincere weakness for three-quarter sleeve pullover sweater tops) to match, and the colors go perfectly with my Basil colored Jaggerspun silk/wool yarn. Now, I would like to wear this outfit, complete with lace shawlette, to Easter Vigil in about 10 days.

I completed my first boot sock in the Trekking XL yarn and I absolutely adore my sock. However, I have not cast on the second yet because the first sock came out with a fantastic striped pattern that I fear I cannot replicate. My OCD desire for perfectly matched socks has tripped me up. There are perfect reddish-yellow bands around the instep and mid-calf. The heel, and JUST the heel, is the only section of the sock that is a single color; it is perfect in its tealness. It looks very much like I planned for the heel to be teal and reddish stripes to be at the instep and middle of the calf. I did not. Now I desperately want to replicate these little lucky perfections, but I cannot find the exact point where the color pattern begins all over again, at least not in this remains of the first ball. I haven’t examined the second ball yet. Into perfectionism-limbo they go for now.

The second beer sock is cast on but . . . you know the song and dance now. Let’s just move on.

I picked up a copy of Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia from my library, which is a wonderful book! It inspired me to get moving on Laminaria again, and now I have several new lace projects I want to tackle in the future. I recommend it.

Speaking of books, my other read right now is Shadow of the Silk Road, which has been a very neat read so far.

Saturday was the first day of Spring, which I celebrated by sitting pitifully on my back porch, sniffling, and knitting. Not much in the garden could get done in the condition I was in. Our official Last Frost Date is April 15, so I still have a little time to catch up, but the next few weekends are shockingly busy. I have composted one of the raised beds; the other is full of nice looking lettuce that needs to be brought in before it is too tough. Then I can compost that bed. I have blood meal to throw down on both. I also decided to create a normal garden bed in the back yard, in the one area that gets some sun and we do not drive on, behind my shed, where I can put large, spreading plants like summer and winter squashes (my single butternut squash was SO good last year that I would like to plant several of them this year), melons, and cucumbers. All that needs to be cleared out, tilled up, composted and fertilized, and soon if I hope to get anything growing back there by late April/early May. But with that bed created, my little raised beds on the side of the house can then be devoted entirely to peppers, tomatoes, peas, and the like.

My lettuce and spinach that are in containers on the back porch were raided not long ago by squirrels. What was left, however, is growing strong, and the squirrels at least saved me the trouble of having to thin out my spinach. I have a pot and soil ready for a cherry tomato plant. I also picked up a lavender plant, since I love lavender, and I will pot that for the summer like I did with my herbs last year, then transplant it somewhere appropriate next winter. Last year’s herbs were transplanted last month, and already the variegated mint and lemon thyme are coming up. The rosemary is doing fine, not even dying off in the pot during this very cold winter. I have a specialty mint, chocolate mint, that is not yet showing signs of life, but being mint, it probably will come back.

The other project I really need to tackle is probably some kind of netted covers to put over my raised beds and my containers. We have a real problem with squirrels and rabbits ,and last year, they devastated my already pathetic pepper crop, destroyed my blueberry bush, and snatched any strawberries before they were even close to ripe. I have one plan to deal with the squirrels head on, but I cannot . . .”disappear” them all, so covers might be necessary, at least early on. They will take anything; I planted four snow pea plants and they snatched the peas out of the ground before they even germinated. I need something to protect my hard work.

My roses are leafing out and I am looking forward to blooms in late April at the earliest. Even more exciting is that my Lenten Roses (or hellebores) are going to bloom for the first time this year. They are finally two years old, which really is how long they take to mature and bloom, and I am excited to see what they will look like after two years of waiting and hoping.

Finally, the SCA season is really gearing up again. We will be traveling a lot in April: coastal North Carolina and Charleston, West Virginia are the big ones. Byram and I are stepping down from our leadership roles (Baron and Baroness of the Richmond area group) on Memorial Day weekend. A whole new world is opening up for us after that. What projects am I/are we going to take on? Maybe none, maybe some, I just don’t know yet. I will need a little time to adapt to my new “freedom.”

No matter what, I really need to sit myself down at the sewing machine and crank out some new garb. I am not going to have enough garb to wear even for a long weekend, like Memorial Day, much less something 10 days long like Pennsic. Much of my garb is ratty anyway and none of it is going to fit. Some of it can be taken in, so at the least, I need to sit down and do that.

So there you have it. I have a LOT going on. Please forgive the lack of photos; I will come up with some soon.