Friday, February 27, 2009

A Few Farm Pics

A couple of farm pics - proof that signs of life are appearing! Here's the MacGyver greenhouse - note the rosemary and jade plants basking in the sun and waiting for some cohorts:

And here are the larkspur seedlings just starting to pop up outside - I've got one raised bed that I let the larkspur reseed in, and the fact that these little guys are coming up in spite of the dogs' affection for galloping through that bed is pretty much a miracle.

There are a couple of good new crafty things going on too - in the next few days I'll get some pictures up.

In running/sickroom news, I think the strep is being beaten back by the antibiotics - a classic struggle of good and evil. I'm going to try a couple of miles tonight and see what happens. And then Clark and I are having a *real date* (in other words, Sam's got a night with the grandparents and we're heading out for some Italian.) Woo-hoo!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just Call Me Typhoid Mary

So yesterday I finally acknowledged I was getting a cold - not just some odd "sinus thing" - but I felt pretty decent so I ran 6 slow miles and they felt fine. But then last night I started getting the dreaded "my skin hurts" symptom, and was pretty drag-ass. Uh oh. So I went to the doctor this morning, and I have some random virus to go with my case of. . . strep. Seriously. How weird is that? Apparently my throat is quite the sight to behold - the doctor literally took a step back after looking - but it doesn't particularly hurt. But it did seem like a good idea to lie down across the chairs while I was waiting for the doctor, so that's no doubt a sign that something's not quite right. At any rate, I'm now on antibiotics, and I'm laying low today. Actually sick - go figure.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Seedlings, Snaps & Massage, Oh My!

I started two trays of seedlings on Saturday, and Eureka! some of them are already germinating. I LOVE that. It's that magic thing again. Plus I think seeing evidence of real seedling after three days is evidence that the MacGyver greenhouse works. Well. . . I'll give it unconditional support for germination, but truthfully it could have a bit more light for growing on. It's an old sunroom in my parents' basement, but the glass roof always leaked so they finally put a solid roof on it, and now it's got two glass sides, a fourth side that's a solid wall, and the third side that opens into the basement. (Huh - funky numbering on my part.) It pretty much faces south, so it does get a good bit of sun, but only for things that are right-up-next to the window. This year I've gotten a bunch of utility shelves so I can stack trays up against the window. I could get some lights, but frankly that opens a whole new can of worms because I think I'd have to have some rewiring done to support them, so for now I'm sticking with the system. Anyway - back to the good germination - I use mini-blocks sitting on a capillary mat (which is really just an old moving blanket that I cut up), and cover it with black plastic for things that like to germinate in the dark, or clear plastic for things that like light. And this system works not only for tiny little flower seeds, but also bigger stuff like chard and tomatoes. Oh yeah - the most important thing - I also run a portable heater set at 70 degrees, and block the sunroom off from the rest of the basement with a couple of old blankets (yes, this is a high class operation. I'm waiting for Modern Gardener to come do a photo spread.) So then the trays of miniblocks go on the top shelf, up where it stays warmest, and voila! Seedlings.

I got my seed order today - and it included my Snapdragon seeds, which I really should have ordered earlier, but oh well at least I have them now. So I started a tray of snaps today - they can allegedly make it through a fairly light-ish frost if you use row cover (not that I got them started early enough last year to find out), so I'm hoping they get going rather quick-like. I also started 53 Lisianthus seeds. This is something of a farcical endeavor, since I haven't yet actually gotten any Lisianthus (which is notoriously finicky) to the field, but last year I did have some seedlings that might have actually made it if I hadn't gotten distracted and left them in their cell packs too long. So I'll be watching the Lisianthus with baited breath.

In non-farm news, I got my massage this morning and it was fabby. My legs felt great, and the massage guy said they actually felt pretty good (yay yoga!). So then I got home and realized that despite all of my attempts to convince myself otherwise, I'm catching a cold. Bummer. But I decided since it was just in my head and not in my chest I'd try to run, and slogged around 4 miles. Somewhat oddly that was actually about the best I've felt today, because at least my nose was working. Now I've turned into a confirmed mouth breather, and I think I'm about to call it a night.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's Official - The Blog Has New Home

It's official - I'm moving the farm blog over to blogspot (aka where you're reading it right now), and going to make an attempt to keep it updated. (also, let's be honest, it's not really a farm blog, it's more of a whatever's-on-my-mind-right-now blog.) But previously I've used the blog function on iweb for the mac, and while extremely easy to use I think my computer's getting QUITE CRANKY about having to store all of the blog information (or something like that - I don't really have any idea about how that works, but I do know iweb's gotten slower and slower as the blog's gotten more and more entries.) So I'll try to figure out some way to make a clever link on the side of this blog for the old archives (so the hordes of people that keep up with this blog can read them), but from now on it's all blogspot all the time.

In real farm news - started my first seeds yesterday! Woo hoo. A little early, but am trying to make it to the first market date on April 18, so would like to have some seedlings along. I'm going for herbs and a few flowers that can take the cold for the really early stuff. Was fun setting up my MacGyvered version of a greenhouse (imagine if your parents had a sunroom in their basement that they didn't really use anymore, and you had a few sets of shelves, a small portable heater and some blankets to block of the sunroom from the rest of the house, and you'll get the idea.) In other farm news, just put up an electric fence around the larkspur bed so the dogs will stop doing time trials through it and it maight produce some actual flowers. Actually have little tiny seedlings coming up - so exciting. There's a certain element of magic about farming that I find hard to resist. If you'd seen the dogs rampaging through that bed all winter, and now saw teeny tiny little seedlings still making their way to the light, you'd know what I mean about magic. Because god knows it wasn't my horticultural skills that produced those plants.

In totally not farm news, the marathon prep is continuing pretty well - except for my f&*#ing calf, which is pretty cranky about running very fast. Or I should say, seems game for the actual running, but cranky on the back end. Am getting a little worried, since ideally I'll be running the marathon at more than a shuffle, and don't want to do it with one calf on strike. I'm upping the yoga (my cure-all for everything) and I think I'm going to break down and find a real sports massage person to dig into it, although that isn't exactly in the budget right now. Also have read rave reviews of the triggerpoint therapy products, so may break down and order the kit in an attempt to keep muscles loose between massage visits. (who am I, Levi Leipheimer?? I'm really not the sort of person that generally tries to get from massage visit to massage visit. I don't even remember the last time I had a massage. Which I guess might explain the current calf problem.) Anyway - aside from the cranky legs, had a good week. Did 38 miles this week, with one interval workout and one marathon pace workout, also went to swim team (aka Tri Club swim workout) twice for a total of about 4200m, which to be my nonswimming self is a pretty big deal. Go ahead, laugh, I know it's the equivalent of running a 5 mile week.) Am now off to try to restore order to the house - you know it's my day off from everything else when cleaning actually climbs to the top of the list.