lolaraincoat: (green (rosemary))
One of the ways that I know we had a warm winter by local standards is that so much survived in the garden that I expected would not. It was our first full winter in this house, so I'm just getting used to how our grounds work. Maybe our excellent soil, good light, and -- at least in the back garden -- relatively protected site had something to do with it too?

Anyway here's what made it through the winter in the front gardens )

And here's what survived in the back )

My goal for the garden, eventually, is to have mainly perennials, front and back, and to replace as much of our front lawn as possible with flower beds. With that in mind, we planted these flowers: )

But that still left us with a lot of room in the back. We filled up a little space with rhubarb plants and a rasberry bush, which are perennial and will take up more room in years to come -- a lot more room in the case of the rasberry if we're not careful. Most of the remaining space, though, is filled with vegetables and herbs. ).

We planted all of that over the last two weeks, which probably explains my sore back. Well, that and the weeding -- the thistles also survived the winter, curse them. There's still a little patch of the vegetable plot open, waiting for the heirloom tomatoes, and quite a lot of the shaded flower bed which will need ... something, but I don't know what yet. And some pots in the sunshine which I'm thinking of filling with morning glory and nastursium.

It turns out that watercress is a member of the nastursium family, that's what I learned yesterday. How about that?
lolaraincoat: drawing of a kettle with text, "better" (kettle)
After the big snowfall last night and this morning, we celebrated Valentines Day by skiing along the series of mini-parks underneath the big powerlines by our house and then shovelling out the front stoop and sidewalk. It was beautiful and so, so cold. Fingers don't just go peacefully numb -- first, they hurt. It all gets better if you just move faster. I put lip gloss all over my face to cut down on the windburn, and that did help. So did the multiple layers of microfiber. Still, 5 degrees (Fahrenheit) and very windy is just about the limit of weather I can be outdoors under any circumstances at all.

But this really is my idea of romance. I'd rather have an afternoon tromping around on skis in the middle of the city with Fishwhistle than all the chocolates in the world. Not that I would turn down chocolates, mind you.
lolaraincoat: (snowshoe hare)
In case you ever needed to know what $500 looks like? It looks like turning on the tap in the downstairs bathroom and having no water come out, because somewhere in the walls, the pipes have frozen.

This has happened twice in ten days. I didn't even bother posting about it the first time, because of the helpful perspective offered to me by all the other worries I was worrying about: a problem you can fix with money is barely a problem at all, as long as you have some money.

Although Fishwhistle is now attempting to fix the problem with spaceheaters instead. Brave, manly Fishwhistle! If no water flows by noon we're calling the plumber all the same.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Which is to say that winter is here at last. We went skiing for the first time in two years on Saturday afternoon. Just doing the easy trail wiped us out, though for me this was after Saturday morning karate class (brave, manly me!) so I had a good excuse. And the woods and fields were lit with that sharp winter light I'd forgotten. It wasn't even terribly cold once we got moving, although every time we stopped I was ... not so much shivering as doing a full-body shudder and panting involuntarily to keep warm. It was great!

Then yesterday I went to pilates class and had half an hour of kata practice before that. Also this weekend featured hanging out with a visiting friend, watching a movie (okay, a DVD, but still) with Fishwhistle, trekking all the way to Waterloo for what turned out to be a so-so concert of sax/piano duos, sleeping for eight hours for two nights in a row, and doing no work at all. Let me repeat: I did no work this weekend.

Now, I know that some of you do no work every weekend, but for me, this is huge. I didn't work! All weekend! Wow! I feel so balanced and healthy! Go me!

Now I did have nightmares all last night about unanswered emails and the job search I'm running, so not entirely sane yet. But still. A weekend! A whole weekend! Maybe I should try it again next year sometime, what do you think?

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