Thursday, May 28, 2009

Good Thing We're Waterproof

Because I think I was wet pretty much all day yesterday. Decided to bike commute even though it was raining (because really, if I wasn't willing to ride in the rain then I wouldn't have been on my bike much this month), then got to the farm and *very gingerly* weeded for a couple of hours in the rain, then went to lunch with my dad in the rain (but fortunately it wasn't raining inside Frank's Roman Pizza, which has the best cheap lunch around). Then the sun came out for a few hours and I had a lovely ride home and Sam actually had a baseball game (couldn't believe the field held up - but it looked pretty good.) Then it started raining right after his game. That's a whole lot of water for one day. Fortunately our fields drain well (at least one of them does anyway), so I was able to get in and do a bunch of weeding this morning. Until it started to... rain. But all in all we're in good shape, unlike a farmer I talked to this afternoon who lives in Old Fort. She said they've had 8 inches of rain since Saturday. At that point you pretty much need to start building an ark.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In Which I Try to Grow a Pair

Yep, it's time for me to put on the big-girl pants and grow a pair (and only in Asheville would that sort of mixed metaphor actually kind of make sense.) Because my tri swim group ends at the end of this month (as in, tomorrow), and I need to find another group to swim with. This swim group has been kind of like preschool - nurturing, with good education and low expectations. In other words, perfect. But now I've kind of gotten a feel for the process, and I think I might need to head off to elementary school (especially since preschool is closing down and kicking me out). But I can't find elementary school - all I can find is college, in the form of the Asheville Masters Swimmers, and to tell the truth I'm not quite sure I'm ready for that.

Ok, really there are two issues. The first is just that I'm not sure I'm ready to swim with them, even in their slow lane. And the second (and honestly probably the bigger impediment to me going and finding out if I can keep up) is that they meet at freaking 5:45 in the morning. In. the. morning. And yes, I get up earlier than that for market, and once the flowers are in full swing I'll get up earlier than that to go harvest. But still, the idea of that being my normal schedule is a little daunting. But I still think I'm going to suck it up. Will report back.

So yesterday my internet seemed to be running really sloooooow. It has been for days, but yesterday it finally got to the point that it bugged me enough to call Charter. So we do a speedtest, and it's full-on running slower that dial-up. And I'm supposed to be on a 3 Mbps connection. And Charter can't even tell that I'm online at all. Problem. So they offer to send a tech out today, and of course I say great, because I'm addicted to the internet. Problem being that I haven't done a thing at the farm in two days, because Clark and I were celebrating the holiday weekend with a whole lot of hanging out and doing not much productive (unless you count running and biking, which apparently we do.)

So I had planned on today being insanely productive, to counteract the weeds that are threatening to take over the farm. Instead I realized I had a 10:00 dentist appointment and a visit from the cable guy between 1-3. So my day looked like: (1) drag self out of bed. consider doing something productive. instead just curse slow internet. (2) go run. achilles feels good - yay! (3) go to dreaded dentist. hate going to dentist. escape with decent report and a small flossing lecture. (4) zip over to farm, figure I'll get some good work in since Charter's supposed to call an hour before they come. (5) work for 20 minutes until Charter calls at 12:37 to say they'll be here between 12:30 and 1:00. Take 4 minutes exactly to change clothes, load up dogs and exit farm. am home by 12:52. (6) wait on Charter until they show up at 2:10. rat bastards. except it turned out to be a no-charge call because their modem was dying, and the guy that replaced it was super nice, so I retract the rat bastard comment. (7) take Sam to swim class at YWCA. they have the best swim classes, but it's about 105 degrees sitting beside the pool and 98% humidity. I have now finally drug myself home from my swim-class-induced coma, but you'll notice a distinct lack of daily work in that schedule. Figure I'll try again tomorrow.

The farm work is definitely taking on a distinctly different flavor from last year. Last year it was all about watering. How do we water, when do we water, where do we actually get the water (the answer to that turned out to be giant rain barrels under the barn downspouts, and an electric pump in the pond.) But this year, since the answer to "where do we get the water" is "the sky", it's all about weeding. And trying to get things dry enough to put out more plants. All in all I'll definitely take this year's issue, but those weeds are getting a bit daunting out there. That'll teach me to take two days off for Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Market Day, and Trial Run of the Wetsuit

Was a happy market day today - happy as in, I'm happy so many people like to come shop at the City Market! It was a mob scene - all of my flowers (of which there are not yet as many as I would like) were gone by 10:00. And the market's open until 1:00, so you can see that there was quite a bit of lost sales opportunity there. But we sold about a zillion tomato plants, a bunch of other starts, some seeds and a bunch of crafts...

we sold vegetable baby rattles, and ...

and a few pairs of booties, among other things.

So a good day, and I left Clark alone for a couple of hours of it. Because for the first time this year I actually made it to a... Tee Ball Game! Cutest sporting event ever. I'm pretty sure the other parents were beginning to think Sam had divorced parents that split custody of him, because Clark and I never showed up at the games together, and I'm usually the one who takes him to practice. And I guess we still didn't show up at the game together, since this time Clark held down the fort at market, but since I was trying to finish up a knitted dog (like this one) while Sam was playing, it sparked some conversation and they at least figured why I'm not at all of the games.

After market we headed back to the farm, and I was dying to try out my new wetsuit (like this one, except larger and with less beefcake in it.)

So I squirmed myself into it (no easy feat) and launched into the lake. And it turns out everything I've heard is true: (a) wetsuits can mask a lot of swimming issues, since the bottom half of your body just floats along behind you - major thumbs up, and (b) practicing swimming in open water is a good thing (less freaky this time - last time I got in, took a few strokes in the mucky water, and yelled back to shore "If anything shows up through these goggles I'm going to lose my sh!t!!!!!" This time didn't feel quite as much like a snapping turtle, a snake, or the loch ness monster was about to pop up in my field of vision.)

So I did a little swimming, we rounded up Sam, who was about knee deep in mud at the edge of the lake, and we headed home with lofty ideas putting in a bunch of plants in our yard (plants that have been living on the bench on our patio for way too long.) In fact I smugly marveled to Clark that market days just don't seem as tiring this year as they did last year. And then it hit me and I drug myself into the house and have barely managed to stay upright while typing this. Clark (the show off) is out planting flowers.

One last funny note about market mornings - we had to drag Sam along with us at 5:30 this morning because my mom wasn't feeling like hosting a sleepover last night, and as Clark carried him downstairs Sam yells "I don't know how you guys live like this!" Drama king.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dodged the Bullet

Looks like we dodged the frost bullet - everything was looking perky and happy by the time I got over there yesterday. So I cut a bunch of flowers, planted a few more, had a little communing time with the crazy terrier in the flower garden, and headed home. Pretty good day.

Total change of subject - here's my latest favorite gizmo. (well, not really, that would be an iphone, which I am having major envy issues over (and think how much better this blog would be! Pictures all the time!) but that's a gizmo who's time is coming in 11 months when my T Mobile contract is over, so back to our regularly scheduled program.) Ahem - my second favorite latest gizmo - is I think it does a bunch of different things, but my favorite part is the route mapper. You can sit in the comfort of your own home and map out a running or biking route and it'll tell you exactly how far your route is. So if you want to do a 6 mile loop you could do it on time if you have a good guesstimate of your pace, or you could decide you're too anal rententive for that and need to know exactly and then set out in your car tracking it on your odometer only to realize 5 1/2 miles into it that you needed to pick up more distance somewhere back around mile 2, and start all over, cursing this stupid process the whole way, and throwing in an extra tenth here and there for the places where the sidewalk looks like it's covering more distance than the road (seriously, some of those sidewalks take very wide turns.) Or you could just sit at your computer and map it all out ahead of time in a couple of minutes and then save all of those routes so that six months from now you aren't trying to remember exactly what street in Montford you're supposed to cut down for that one 4 mile loop. And that, my friends, is where Running Ahead comes in.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Once Again Trying to Work Up Some Nerve

But this time it's the nerve to get over to the farm and see what sort of frost damage I've got. Just talked to my dad and he said there was frost on the house, frost in patches on the grass, but he thought the plants in the ground looked ok. He wasn't sure, but that's what he thought. And now he's off to play golf and I get to go stare at them myself and see what they look like as the day progresses. He did say some of the big sunflowers are looking wet and droopy, though, and that doesn't sound too promising to me. Eek. Will report back.

In totally unrelated (and therefore distracting from my frost issues) news, I ordered a wetsuit yesterday. I'm hoping it makes me look like catwoman. I'm thinking reality may be a big disappointment. Why am I ordering a wetsuit? Because apparently otherwise I'm going to freeze my ass off when it's time to start the tri club swims at Lake Logan in June. And also they are quite helpful to the not-so-brilliant-swimmers such as myself. Bouyancy and all that. Looking forward to getting it. Seems like a rather unlikely thing for me to own, and therefore most intriguing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Trying to Work Up the Nerve

to get on my bike and head over to the farm. It's just that I've gotten soft. Weak. All of these 80 degree days with 65 degree mornings have spoiled me. And now 50 degrees seems awfully cold. I'm about to suck it up and put on another layer and head out the door, but then it hit me that it's crucial I start updating my blog more often. Starting right now. It'll probably warm up another 10 degrees in the 15 minutes it takes me to do this.

And judging by this odd weather it's maybe a good thing I still don't have all of my plant starts in the ground. Because it's looking like it might frost tonight. Which is totally crazy, and will devastate a lot of farmers out there if it's true. I'm not toooo worried, because most of the plants I have in the ground are at the top of a big hill and likely to be ok if it's borderline frost (what with cool air falling to the lowest spot and all that), but the plot that I'm getting ready to plant in is at the bottom of that big hill, kind of nestled in a little valley where all of the cool air likes to hang out. So that plot will not be getting any plants for the next day or two, and in fact all of the plants that are still in flats are going inside tonight. Rather unusual for this time of year, but I'm looking at it as an opportunity to work on candles and knitting today.

Had a beautiful day for market on Saturday - not a ton of people there (I think maybe some of the regulars were at the Montford Arts Festival, which is indeed a rather good time), but fun all the same. And berries are starting to come in - we, along with some others, had strawberries in, which is always such a delightful sign of good things to come. And it looked like more produce is starting to trickle in.

After market Clark and I went running together (because young master Sam was spending the night with this grandmother), and it was lovely if a little sluggish. Turns out standing around market for several hours isn't the best way to energize your legs, but it still feels like a sneaky little victory to get out and move around on a Saturday - I usually write those off once market starts. And speaking of sneaky activity, I went to a beginner yoga class Friday morning on my way to the farm to get ready for market. A beginner class because I'm slowly dipping my toes (and gimpy achilles) back into the yoga water. And this time I'm trying to be better about not doing anything stupid, which means going to a class. I swear you should have to have a permit to do yoga at home, and I should never be granted the permit. I don't seem to possess the necessary moderation gene, and instead act all crazy. Such as the downward dog splits that I was convinced were helping the plantar fasciitis (and I really think they were) so I just kept doing them until I had a gimpy achilles. Really, how smart do you have to be not to do that?? Apparently smarter than me, hence the class. It was way fun, though, and I was sore in all sorts of places that I haven't been sore in a long time (my posterior, for example), so I'm guessing it was a timely endeavor.

Uh oh, the sun's really out there now. No more excuses, time to grab Pippi and head off.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Actual Planting!

Some actual planting occurred today - most exciting. Still no sign of Glenn and the tractor, but we made do with the tiller to get a few rows going (our tiller is a little on the elderly side, and definitely not up to prepping a whole field.) It was fun - one of those days where I flop down in the dirt and start planting and ruminating on how lucky I am to be doing this, and how much happier (if poorer) I am than when I sat on the 48th floor of the Bank of America tower in Charlotte. No lie, I would spend a lot of time staring out of the window and wishing I could fly. Away. That's really not a good sign for job satisfaction.

After getting some starts in (perennial sunflowers, shasta daisies, eucalyptus) I then set about unearthing my pink larkspur. It hasn't come in quite as vigorously as the section of the bed that has the blue and purple, and it was about to disappear under a bed of weeds. So I was down on hands and knees separating weeds from the fledgling larkspur, and that's really a pretty satisfying task. Talk about immediate gratification - it's like mowing the yard. An hour of effort and then poof! it looks perfect again.

After all of the farm-type stuff I had a fabulous lunch with my friends Paula and Stephanie, to celebrate Stephanie's selling of her first two novels!!! To a really great publishing house and editor!!!! It's soooo exciting to see someone follow their dream and actually catch it. Plus she's funny and clever and too much fun to read - check out her blog to see what I'm talking about.

I ran 3 miles last night and the gimpy achilles made nary a peep. Most exciting. I'm really enjoying turning into a quasi-swimmer, but there's something to be said for feeling like you actually sort of know what you're doing. Coming home again, as it were.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Loving the Rain - but maybe just a little dry??

So I'm loving the rain, I really am. Everything is lush and green and beautiful. This includes the barley that is our cover crop. And the fact that you can still see the cover crop in a couple of fields means that it's been too wet for our neighbor to get his tractor in and disc. And this is problematic to a person that has a lot of starts that need to go in the ground, and a lot of seeds that need to be planted now for there to be much hope of summer flowers. A person like, say, me. But I'm hoping Glenn comes tomorrow. And that it's not tooo wet. In the meantime, though, I've decided not to stress about it. It's not like it would fix it anyway. And besides, the delay means I've noticed that I actually have a lot of volunteer sunflowers. How cool is that?

In athletic-type news, I'm typing this with an ice pack on my shoulder. And I know, you're thinking, does she ever actually exercise, or does she just pretend to exercise until there's a new malady that requires ice. And that's a particularly appropriate question right now, because the problem that I'm icing is a result of... stretching. Yep. Stretching. If you want to feel like a complete dumbass then go to swim practice, be swimming in a fairly convincing fashion, be standing around waiting for everyone to finish so you can start your next set, decide you might as well stretch your shoulder a little like the real swimmers, do a yoga stretch that is normally no problem - and then have burning pain the likes of which you have rarely experienced [except for that small incident with the horse, the broken ribs and the chest tube] hit your rotator cuff and streak on down to your elbow. And then stand there while you're trying to look like nothing is really going on (because really, personal drama is best kept personal). So it finally went away a little (while I'm mentally chanting "I'm sure this is just like a sprained ankle where if you can stand it for a minute or two it's going to feel much better.") And then I took it easy last week, and swam half of the workout last night, and I actually think it's ok, just a little grumpy. But seriously, no more shoulder stretches like the big kids do. The bonus was that last night I swam the timed 1000 with fins so my shoulder would have a little break. I *love* fins. They're like turbochargers. I sort of dawdled along last night with my happy fins and took about 10 strokes to get from one end of the pool to the other. It was almost worth the ice.