what’s goin on!

thunderstorms woke me up this morning, so i was awake about an hour earlier than i wanted to be. so now i’m sitting on my couch in my log cabin living room watching a weather front come in and listening to the wind in the trees.

have i mentioned how much i like my new house?

anyway, some life updates for everyone.


i’ve been getting really fatigued lately while i’m running, and i’ve gone from “this is tolerable” to “this is miserable.” i did some research online, and it seems like i might have low iron, which apparently is a common thing for women who run. so i have started taking some iron supplements, and i actually might go in to the doctor to get my iron levels tested. in the meantime, we’ll see if the three days of supplements i’ve been taking affect my run tonight.

oh, and i guess i’m running a ragnar race. :/


summertime is always a little less hectic at work, which is nice. it’s a time when i can focus on things that’ve been sitting on my desk for months and work on bigger projects. i’m also working 4 10-hour days, so i’ve got a 3-day weekend every weekend. unfortunately, i always feel rushed in the evenings – i get home at 6:30, try to eat supper right aways so i have some time to digest before i go on a 45-min run and get in before sunset (i run on a 55-mph highway, so that’s almost imperative). i don’t want to eat supper late in the day, so that’s what hanging me up there. not sure what the answer is. 

one thing that’s happening that’s kind of cool is i’m helping present on an eorientation project we did at a national conference in washington dc. so this wednesday, i’m flying out to DC for four days. we’ll go to some of the conference, but we’ll also make sure we see some of the big stuff – monuments, smithsonian stuff, museums, etc. i’ve never been out there, so this will be exciting!

(actually, i’ve never been east of indiana [thanks liz], so this will be a real departure from my regular vacay destinations [westward ho!])


garden is blowing up! i love that it’s RIGHT THERE and it’s LARGE and i have tons of stuff in it. probably too much. we’ll see how the squash does. i planted four potato plants just because i like the occasional potato from the garden, but i don’t really keep them over winter. 

let’s see, what else: broccoli, kohlrabi, spinach, lettuce, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, cukes, peppers, onions. butternut squash and pie pumpkins. that’s a lot. oh! and green beans. we’ll see how it all does. i’ve already got to get in there with my tiller to get rid of weeds.

i also got rid of my two “cemetery” trees that were next to the house. last fall, an ice storm pretty much ripped them in half and they were dead. i was like “ugh, where am i gonna find a chainsaw,” when i was out for a run and heard/saw (haha) my neighbors two doors down chainsawing in their backyard. i came back and they had moved to the front. i introduced myself and asked about some chainsaw services. they happily agreed! he even pulled out the stumps with his truck, which helped a TON. 

took them to the city compost and now i’ve planted two lilacs in their places. MUCH better.

(i also got two raspberry bushes while i was at the nursery and planted those on the end of the garden. excited for that!)

that’s all i’ve got. i might try to blog about DC, but we’ll see how tired i am at the end of the days. the weather front is closer, but it’s still rumbling thunder, so i’m not sure how long this will take. we need the rain, though! 


1. last weekend i found a tiller on craigslist, so i bought that baby. $100 for a $300 tiller. not too shabby.

2. we’re ready to get the garden bed torn up! (or “tore” up as the local yokels say). friday, a guy i work with is coming over with his tractor and getting a 36’x18′ piece of yard tilled up so the grass will die. then he’ll come back and roll it all out. 

2.5. speaking of tilling, i dug up a little piece of dirt to see what we’re working with, and omgarden, it’s beautiful. no clay, a little sandy, grass roots not too deep. throw some compost in that bad boy, and that’ll just be fantastic.

3. meanwhile, i’m going through some brush around the house, and there are these vines all over the place. it’s very weird. they crawl up the trees and i’m assuming try to choke out the trees. so i’m going to have to do some research on that and figure out how to get them to stop propagating. 

4. meanwhile, peppers, brussels sprouts, and tomatoes are starting to grow. i’ve got to get them out in the coldish garage to start hardening up. 

so, i guess i’ll leave you with an april haiku:

greenery almost
longer sun, warmer days, but
april has an R

it’s starting…

i’ve got sweet peppers popping up, some brussels sprouts, and i just put tomato seeds in my dirt the other day! i’m hoping to get a guy in here to dig up a piece of ground for me, otherwise i’ll be renting a sodcutter and ruining my shoulders for a couple day this spring. 

march is such a blah month for me. not as blah as february, but it’s such a swing month. last week it was -10 overnight, and then 60 on saturday. come on! and usually it’s muddy and slushy and gross, but we didn’t have a ton of snow this winter, so i feel like that bullet was dodged (though it will probably have an effect on my gardening this summer unless april showers get all up in this business). 

i’m really looking forward to my garden this summer. it’s gonna be huge, in the sun, sans black walnut trees, and right out my back door. AND with my fancy pants new shed, i’ll have plenty of space to put my gardening junk. 

OH. and here’s the best thing i found out a couple weeks ago when i perused the property: i think have RASPBERRIES. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ 

it’s the little things.

like the deserts miss the rain*

File_002i have a deck. vegetables are in. sunflowers to come (charlie…). next weekend, i’m hoping to relax. 

tonight i came back up to central via mankato, which means i dipped into west central mn before getting into true central mn. i headed up the minnesota river valley for bit and then hit lake country. i visited two biomes on my way up here. and vastly different parts of mn. 

for the record, there is something weirdly different about west central mn versus southeastern mn. i’m not sure what it is – perhaps the farms are farther apart and seem a little more industrial; maybe it makes no assumptions about what it could be, what it really isn’t (southeastern mn does that a little bit): it knows it’s farmland and it will always be prairie. it’s a little more desolate. a little more hick. a little less “our poo don’t stink.”

i need some blogging ideas. what do you all want to read about?

MNbiomes*the title needs a little explanation. remember that 90s song – “and i miss you; like the deserts miss the rain…and i miss you…. like the deserts miss the rain.” etc etc. it’s a song called “missing” by the band  everything but the girl. i actually didn’t know the name of the song until i just now looked it up, because my HS friends and i called the “the biome song.” weird? yes. we had just learned about biomes when the song came out, and my friend chandra said that since it mentioned deserts, it would be the biome song. 

and minnesota has four biomes in it – tallgrass aspen parkland, prairie, deciduous forest, and coniferous forest. i drove through two, as i mentioned above. this explanation took up more space than the blog post itself did. wow. 

and we’re off

i’ve got four sweet pepper and two ancho (hottish) peppers up and peeking through. i was hoping for some of my green pepper seeds i saved from two years ago to do something, but so far nothing. oh well.  here’s hoping they’ll be getting bigger in the next week. i’ve got to get my tomatoes started! 

i’ve got a new plan this year for my seeds i’m starting. put them in the cold. apparently i’ve been coddling my veggies and they need some tough love, otherwise they die. so it might be a matter of putting them in the garage unless it’s 32ยบ out or less. right now they’re hanging out in the basement, so i’ve got to figure out a space for them in the garage.

ok, enough with a gardenblog update!


not good

i’m really sucking at blogging every day this year. i can’t even bring myself to post-date my blog posts so it looks like i’m blogging every day. 

i had a long weekend last weekend, and the most productive thing i did was plant my pepper seeds. that’s pretty pathetic as far as a three-day weekend goes, but huzzah for spring starting! once these seeds are up and transplanted out of the flat, i’ll start on the tomatoes. hopefully this year my seed starting will fare better than last year. charlie got me a great gardening book for christmas, and it’s already given me some tips, so here’s fingers crossed. 


little of this, little of that

i need to inventory my seeds so i know what i need to get for planting this spring. i know i have enough bean seeds, and i have some tomato seeds. i also need to figure out how to make tomato seedlings that actually survive outside ๐Ÿ™ 

i’m hoping to have another plot this spring – i haven’t gotten anything from community ed yet, but here’s hoping. $15 was well worth the space. 

this year: tomatoes, cucumbers, beans (not as many this year), pumpkins (big ones!), squash, potatoes, peppers, kohlrabi, broccoli, try onions again, carrots (? maybe), rotating lettuce possibly. i threw in some flower seeds at the end, and that was really nice! it was pretty!

that’ll be a nice thing to get started to get through winter doldrums.

in which i pontificate on my garden

oh, weedy garden. somehow i’ve gotten you back from the brink and you’re producing vegetables!

yesterday, i pulled a ripe cherry tomato from my plants! it was delicious. there are green beans ready to be picked, and my kohlrabi are sprouting up! my squash selections are going nuts, and i’ll have to thin them out eventually. 

it’s raining today, which we needed, so tomorrow if it’s not too muddy, i’ll try to get out and take some photos of the vegs. 

garden update

because i had to flex my hours from commencement as well as tomorrow’s late work day, i took wednesday off. since it was a decent weather day and i had 1800 square feet to dig up, i went over to my community garden plot and got to work.

after five hours on wednesday and about four yesterday, it’s mostly put in. unfortunately, some of my tomatoes have already kicked the bucket. thank goodness we’re still early in the season and i can get more. 

charlie requested more cucumbers, so i’ve got to put more of those in, and i’m waiting for sweet potatoes (!) to show up in the mail. i also ordered a few more tomatoes in the mail because i want a certain heirloom variety that you can’t find any old place, mostly to replace the ones that died and also to have a few more. 

so, this year we’re going to have copious amounts of:

  • tomatoes – big boys, early girls, celebration, cherry, green zebra
  • peppers, hot, sweet, and boring
  • cucumbers, eating and pickling
  • green beans
  • leeks
  • kohlrabi
  • onions
  • carrots
  • sweet corn
  • popcorn (!)
  • lettuce
  • potatoes
  • butternut squash
  • summer squash
  • another winter squash i can’t remember, heirloom variety
  • pie pumpkins
  • jackolantern pumpkins
  • cinderella pumpkins
  • cantaloupe
  • watermelon
  • loofah squash
  • flowers
  • more flowers

whew. the hugely unfortunate thing about this community garden is there is no water source, so i have to haul it in. hopefully i’ll be able to mulch it well enough that nothing dies.