Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012's results, 2013's hopes

I hope you'll forgive the all too common trick that's used by just about every media outlet to fill page space at a time of year when there isn't a whole lot to talk about, except maybe the weather or possibly about cliffs that are fiscal in nature.

I'm of course referring to all the articles recapping the year in review.  I did it at the end of 2011, looking at all of the seeds I had ordered and reviewing how well they did in my garden that year.  It's one of the most read posts I've done, so I suppose it'd be silly of me not to do it again.

And this year is significant in that it is ending much better than it started.  Last year at this time Gita was on her second chemo treatment, hair falling out, future in question, our family under a lot of stress-- life really was not good.  This blog was one of my few outlets, and I poured myself into it, and appreciated those who read and responded.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

winter composting in a cold climate

the new compost pile- still going
If you garden, and especially if you garden organically, you know the value of compost.

Making rich black garden soil from garbage is a feat that could be compared to alchemy.  You're taking what is virtually worthless and making it incredibly valuable.  At least that's how I see it.  That's how our backyard garden manages to be more productive each year, though we pull an awful lot of vegetables out of it.

Of course- we live in Minnesota, and one of the main climatic limiting factors when composting is the cold winter.  There are five months when the average low temperature is below freezing.  From November 4th to April 5th we, at least according to the averages established within the 1970-2010 time period, bottom out at or below 32F.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

love to the parents of kids now gone

So much of what we have is so fragile and so small and so temporary and so transient that it's hard to appreciate it when we have it but easy to mourn when it's gone.

Raising a child is so difficult.  Waking up every night, dealing with all the bodily functions that as adults, we've become used to doing for ourselves, but learning again fresh about them doing them for another little person.  The crying and screaming and the diapers and the exhaustion.

But raising a child is so wonderful too.  I've never felt so much love, and have never felt so loved.  I sometimes don't feel worthy of all the love I get from my kids.

Monday, December 10, 2012

snow day.

yeah.  that's my kid.  she loves snow.

So, last post I was bemoaning the lack of snow in Minnesota this winter.  Maybe someone heard me because now we have around 14 inches of it in our yard.  It's beautiful, as the first and usually second snows of the winter are.

And now tonight its going to drop below zero, Fahrenheit.  It's almost there already and it's not even that late.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

waiting for winter

one of the huge carrots from our backyard.  I accidentally cut it while digging it up

Today was a beautiful day for late fall.  Mid-40's, foggy, mostly cloudy, with a few breaks of sun.   I went for a long bike ride, put some leaves on my community garden plot, stopped by the rental place to check on it and tidy it up a bit, and checked out the new section of the Midtown Greenway that I haven't ridden on yet, though it was completed years ago.

Astronomically- that is according to where we are in our solar year- we're still in the fall.  Meterologically though- when one looks at the patterns of the weather- we're in winter.  Here, in Minnesota, the first snowfall usually seems to happen around Thanksgiving, and it did this year, just enough so the kids could go sledding with their cousins on Black Friday while other people were standing in lines to get gadgets with a picture of an apple on them.