Friday, March 16, 2012

Middle of March Already?

I just do not know where the time goes.  In trying to turn over a new leaf in this life of mine, I've been attempting to reform myself from a Night Owl to a non-feathered person who goes to bed at a respectable time.  Unfortunately, going to bed early cuts into my time for writing and also for reading the blogs of all my fellow gardeners which I love to follow.  I know an earlier bedtime is better for my health, but sheesh, I sure miss everyone!
The only flowers in our garden, and yes, they are over the septic tank, lol.

I try to get up with the chickens every morning, but I know they are up long before I get the coop door open.
Ebony is enjoying the warm March weather.

The mornings are completely taken up with my exercising.  Yes, I'm still 'walk, walk, walking' with Leslie every day for an hour. The pounds are coming off, very slowly to be sure, and though I doubt I will become a skinny-mini anytime soon, I do feel better.  I have one of those fancy-shmancy pedometers that keeps track of mileage and so far since the first of January I've walked 489 miles, which kinda surprised me until I realized it averages out to about seven miles a day.  489 miles sounds much more impressive than it really is.

I've been working on stretching on a daily basis too, and found a book called 'Pain Free' by Pete Egoscue.  The Egoscue method is not a new trend, it's been around for quite some time, but it is new to me.  I have a tendency to walk with my feet everted (like a duck) which causes foot and knee pain and my posture isn't too great either.  We gardeners all know how physically demanding gardening is, so these exercises are helping me to become more flexible and strengthen muscles which had long ago gone missing.
Estella knows the pain won't just go away.  You can run, but you can't hide from sore muscles.

The only problem with stretching exercises is the amount of time it takes-- over an hour, but I have to look at this from the standpoint of how it will help in the long run instead of fretting over things I coulda shoulda woulda be doing while I'm stretching instead.  I've never been to one of the Egoscue clinics, but for around $10, I bought the book that illustrates the 'E-cises' recommended for every ache and pain in the human body. I've been doing them for about a month now, and though I'm not completely 'pain-free' I'm doing a lot better than I was.  The first exercise I tried for foot pain was amazing, and so simple.  I didn't think it would help, but it surely did. So, now you know what's been taking up so much of my time.

So, enough about that......oh, last week was my birthday and just looky here at what showed up coincidentally!

This dump truck full of (you guessed it) ROCKS arrived earlier this month.  Oh, be still my heart.  Our excavator friend was digging a basement about 40 miles away and hit a bunch of big rocks and called me to find out if we wanted them.  Duh!  Of course we did.  For the cost of the hauling, we are the proud owners of yet more rocks.

 I know.  We're nuts.

Since the lane was still snow-covered and slushy, we decided to have the rocks dumped on the end of our second driveway. 
This big granite rock was the first one out of the truck.  When Carl came home I had him pose in front of it. 
That's my shoe for comparison.  Yes, that's right, I was standing around in stocking feet taking these pictures.  (Note to self: the ground is squishy in the Spring.  Ewwww....)

This warm weather is so bizarre for us here in Wisconsin.  I'm very uneasy.  I know I should be celebrating the warmth and yes, it's nice, but I don't trust it.  Bulbs are popping up, trees are budding out but I'm afraid it's too soon.  We could still have snow for another month yet, in abundance, and some very cold weather.  I sure hope I'm wrong, but Winter doesn't usually give up without a fight up here.  I hope the plants keep that in mind too.  We've had years where the daffodils and even some early tulips were all up and blooming only to have a heavy, wet snow plop on them and flatten everything out, not to mention what an intense cold snap can do to tender green leaves.  Maybe this year will be the exception....maybe not.  Last year in April we were treated to over a foot of snow on the 17th and it lasted for almost two weeks on the ground.  Talk about a late spring!  This coming week we are expecting temperatures in the upper 70's.  The pessimist in me says we'll pay for it.  Let's hope I'm wrong.

Carl had a burst of Spring Fever tonight and since Joel was here to help, they set to moving the rocks around and putting them on pallets.  Eventually we have to get the lane clear so we can drive back there to work on the yard, though right now, it's a muddy mess.
The 574 was put to work hauling rocks up to the house.  We don't know where else to put them until the yard is dry enough to drive on, so we're making piles all over the place.

Carl and Joel worked on the rocks until dark tonight.  It's a lot bigger pile than we thought.  We're not sure where we're going to use these new additions, but I'm sure some idea will materialize.  In particular, the big granite rock is just begging to be placed somewhere special.

We could get back to work on Castle Aaargh as long as the weather is cooperating, but we have to keep in mind the possibility of frost and fresh mortar.  Maybe we're too cautious, but we'd rather be safe than sorry.  I finally ordered all of my annual seeds this week, so pretty soon they will be arriving in my mailbox.  I usually don't plant anything until the first of April, which I know sounds late, but I've found it works out well enough.  We're thinking about setting up the greenhouse this weekend and then I could be getting the flats filled with potting mix. Putting up the greenhouse is a big job and will take the better part of a day to do.  Despite the work involved, I like to take it down when it's not in use.

 The crocus in the River Bed have formed a close knit colony.  I should plant more crocus.  I say that every year, but do I remember to in the fall?  No.  Maybe this year.

Something else sprouted up in the River Bed.

What is it?  And is that a chicken impaled on it??

No chickens were harmed by the Alien Allium-replica.  Carl welded this stainless steel allium sculpture for me for Valentine's Day this year.  It looks really neat with raindrops clinging to it and encrusted with frost or snow.  He has plans to make a few more of these in his spare time.

And speaking of spare time, NO the laburnum stained glass shade is still not done yet.  We got sidetracked with all the warm weather and rocks arriving and this, that and the next thing.  Carl has it nearly all on the form though and hopes to solder this weekend.
Here he's putting the top row of glass on the form.

Joel set up the time lapse camera for this process and when we have it ready, I'll post it.  It's fun watching the pieces all appear on the form as if by magic.

So, there you have it, this is what's been going on around here.  Over the next few days I hope to get around to see what's going on with everyone else and play catch up.

I need to utilize all my time.  (Oh, boy, it's much for early to bed.)

Maybe if I got a personal trainer, exercise wouldn't take me so long?

(And yes, alas, I still have more in common with the Walrus than the cute little trainer.)


Anonymous said...

Hello Lovely Lady,
Wow! That’s a lot of walking. Well done. It’s lovely to see your crocus putting on such a lovely show. Carl is such a sweetie what a lovely valentine gift. Hope you had a fabulous Birthday. More rocks to play with ummm I can see you twitching with anticipation to get out and play!
Lesley and I are off for a walk now.

Sandy said...

The Rocks are coming, the rocks are
It's hard to believe you will be
back in rock mode soon... Winter
was fast and much too easy this
year.. thank you!
So glad your still walking. I
bet your feeling great!
I want chickens!!
Happy Spring

FlowerLady said...

Belated Happy Birthday dear Karen ~ How nice to get another load of rocks at that time. Can't wait to see where you put that huge granite one.

489 miles ~ my goodness, either way 7 or 489 sounds like a lot to me. I'll have to see if I can find that exercise book at the library, it sounds interesting.

Love your allum, what a neat gift and especially because Carl made it.

Your lamp shade is coming along. That is a lot of tedious work and being able to get outdoors for a bit is a nice break from it.

Glad you are all doing well.

Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

Junebug said...

Missing in Action is back! Well I can see you have been up to a lot of action, 489 - Wow! I wish you could send some of your fortitude my direction! I so need to get moving and stretching.
What a wonderful gift, rocks! To tell you the truth I love you valentine gift more.
Take care and keep up the good work!

Charade said...

Seven miles a day average is phenomenal - and oh-so-good for you. Congratulations. I absolutely love the stainless steel allium - and can't wait to see the time-lapse video.

El Gaucho said...

489 miles sounds like an awful lot to me, good work. I'm with you on winter not being over yet. Even though I'm a fairly new upper-Midwesterner, I don't trust that there's not going to be any snow or freezing temps in the next 4-6 weeks.

Alison said...

Welcome back to the Blogosphere, Karen! I've been wondering what you've been up to. All that exercise. Yeah, I think one reason I've been putting it off is because it does eat into my internet time. Congrats on sticking with it. And congrats on all those new rocks! I would love some temps in the 70s. We've barely made it into the 50s here.

Kudos to Carl on welding that allium. Last year people were paying big bucks for something similar at the flower show.

Zoey said...

Whoa--7 miles a day is a lot of walking! Congratulations on all the exercise.

I love Carl's allium sculpture. He is so artistic!

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Congratulations on all your walking...AND keeping up with it! So proud of you!!
Where has the time gone? it passes so by so seems like I've accomplished nothing. Between trying to find a job and stressing about his criminal court being postponned so many times....I'm still here hanging in limbo.
The lamp is simply beautiful. It will be awesome to see the time elapsed pics.
Take care and LOVE that big rock!!!
Your gonna be 'rockin' in no time! ;)

Lona said...

You have walk a lot of mile girl. Just think of the vacation spots you could have walked to with those miles. LOL! The weather is getting so nice. It won't be long now until you can work on the castle again. I never seen anyone get so excited over rocks. LOL! Have a terrific weekend.

Beth said...

Hi Karen, Your crocus look really beautiful! Congrats on your walking program - you're doing very well and it will pay off in terms of health! By the way, I really like your header photo! Have a nice wknd and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

myomyohi said...

Your new pic of the purple coneflowers and the butterfly is so pretty. Congrats on the walking. You're doing great. I wish you could motivate me. Of course you know I have rock envy :) and LOVE the alium sculpture... Is there anything Carl can't do? He should make you some fish sculptures for your quarry. I can hardly believe it's mid March and the weather is so beatiful and warm. I'm hoping to get my motorcycle out today and go for a ride.

HolleyGarden said...

Seven miles a day is fabulous!!! I've never heard of the Egoscue method. I'm going to look it up. Love your faux allium. It's a great sculpture, and your crocus are amazing underneath it. They are so thick! I'm hoping mine will be that way one day. I really had no idea what was in the truck until I read 'rocks'! Duh! Soon you'll be out there playing with them, and looking trim and feeling soooo fit!

Underworld6667 said...

Hi Karen, Sadly, I have more in common with the walrus too! I need to do just what you are doing and get walking. I have always hated running, but like walking. Your crocus shots are stunning. I wish I had such lovely drifts of purple in my garden. Can't wait to see what creative things you do with the new rocks!

Jennifer said...

In case your wondering about the Underworld guy who is leaving you comments, that was really me, Jennifer. I did not realize that my son had signed me out and signed himself in!

Donna@GWGT said...

That is a lot of healthy walking, and you must be proud of yourself for doing this. You do so much work on the farm that walking seems like a relaxing thing to do rather than exercise. Ebony is a mighty fine looking chicken.

Indie said...

Happy Birthday! And what a great birthday present of rocks! I should take a page from your healthy lifestyle - I too am quite the night owl, which doesn't mix well with little kids who like to get up early..

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