garden already behind

Even though I grew up in a place where spring came earlier apparently I have acclimatized pretty well to MN and the late [or nonexistent] springs. So even though I thoroughly relish the really delightful spring we are having [still 3 weeks until official summer] part of me just wasn't ready to get with the planting, weeding and mowing any earlier than the past 10 years.

In fact, I am not sure how it happened but somehow the early spring resulted in putting things off in a big way. That seems backwards but still that is what is happening. Case in point; it is June tomorrow and only about 1/3 of my fairly limited garden is planted. I have plants that I must get in the ground. Also we are so far behind in the mowing but part of my brain can't figure out why, it's like I can't really equate all that cool, rainy spring weather with all the grass growth, even though I should.

The garden also gave me several surprises. My tarragon, oregano, thyme, lavender all came back. [first time ever] But my rosemary and dill didn't. I would have thought that the last 2 would have been the hardiest... the mysteries of nature.

Quick notes:
Ten more days until the first CSA drop off.
Still running, still writing.
Tomorrow night with friends Evelyn Evelyn [Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley] at the Cedar.

I hope everyone is having a stellar wrap up to the weekend. Happy June!

Running report week 3a

Well that was a waste of a good rant. But it certainly set up a good laugh for me.

Full of glowing self care I did running week 3A of my own devising. Since I didn't have the podcast to give me timed cues, I did it by distance.

So the good [great] news is I have been running a whole mile [not continuously], a modest increase of a quarter of a mile [or so] from the week before. But something changed when I started paying attention to distance...or perhaps it was just a super tiring week so I ran slower?
Imagine my wonder, chagrin, then amusement when I looked at how long it took me to run my 1/6 and 1/3 mile intervals. About 2+ and 4+ minutes, which gave me an estimated total of 14 minutes total. That was quite the surprise

Those of you who are into numbers and have good memories are probably thinking; hmm, 9 to 14 minutes is in itself a pretty big jump and also 14 is really not that much less than 16. You are right. This was the source of my laughter. Fueled with righteous indignation at C25K asking too much of me, I made up my own week and then it ended up not being all that different.

It also made me realize that I am going way slower than the average C25k runner. My pace certainly not up to 1.5 miles in 16 minutes yet.

I do think week 3A was a good thing. Those 14 minutes [1 mile] pushed me a lot and I don't think I could have done more. It ended up being a good increment for me. Perhaps I can do more than I realized. It's so hard to know when to push and when to take care of yourself, especially when you are doing an activity where you could injure yourself.

We spent some time up at the cottage the past week [one of the reasons for lack of blogging] and I ran outside for only the second time. The packed dirt/sand, barely traveled roads were comfortable for running. The humidity was not though. I need to be much more aware of the weather if I am going to run outside, do it earlier. So onto week 4. I am still a bit nervous about it [not sure why] but I'm going to see what happens.

writing weekend

Due to other life stuff and schedules, I met with my WP on Friday and Monday. I thought quite a bit about my story over Saturday and Sunday My wrists are a bit sore but my word count makes it worth it.
word count=78,416

I am near the finish of my first draft. Now since I haven't written it yet I don't know how many words I will end up with in the draft....but I am so excited.
and my writing partner is right, I am proud. I am working full time, having a life, wife, family and friends and I am still making time for this writing.

It's been pretty awesome. I hope I can take this fun, learning forward into other areas of my life. I really appreciate all those who have been cheering me on.

weekly rituals

I have my fair share of yearly rituals. I talk about them here quite a bit.
I even have a couple of monthly rituals since a) I belong to a moon ritual group and b) I'm a woman of fertile years.

But weekly not so much. [although my weekly writing with WP may be one] A woman that I adore, in that online, impersonal, weird but great way, has weekly rituals that I admire. One is called the Friday Chicken and in it she reflects on the good and bad of her past week. I like this idea of a weekly reflection, it reminds me of the the 10th step where you reflect on your day.

That is what this week is calling for [but I don't have a meaningful name for it]:

the ugly:
-2 migraines in one week. Really the pits. I can't think of the last time that happened.
-The most incredibly tight psoas muscle ever leading to much crabbiness then guilt
-Crying in a parking garage because I was so overwhelmed with grief/stress

the bad:
-The great cast on [and unravel] of knitting projects continued
-I needed to abandon a project I loved because I just couldn't force it to work.
-Work announcement was made and though not a surprise it still depressed me
-Many painful letting gos
-Rain and rain and rain
-I realized I wouldn't be seeing my Dad on his 85th birthday.

the good:
-Date with wife, saw play Relatively Speaking and enjoyed the utter lack of seriousness
-I finally made a decision about fest this summer and there was much joy
-Some parts of knitting fantastic fun
-I'm grateful it looks like my Dad will be celebrating his 85th birthday [and 63rd anniversay]
-Work made me even more confident in my decision to look for other gainful employment.
-Fabulous new jacket and tlc from wife
-A productive writing afternoon
-I got some emotional relief from writing letters I will never send
-I got lots of lovely sympathy and support from many lovely people.

What a week. What was yours like I wonder?

Running report wk 3

It was a strange 'week 3' [8 days] in running land. I had my first almost stitch. ow. Also I hadn't paid attention to what the interval change was going to be for week 3 so the first time I listened to the podcast I almost walked into a wall.

2 [90 sec] intervals and 2 intervals of 3 minutes?! Basically my totals don't change, I am still only running for 9 minutes total but the duration of the interval doubled for 2 of them. I am thinking my notion of gradual increase is not the same as other people. The whole 5 minute warm up I grumbled to myself 'why not an increase of 5 intervals of 2 minutes' but then I went for it. It was hard but doable. It felt fairly discouraging though to be working so much harder and to not see my totals really change, although I think my distance went up from 2/3 of a mile to 3/4.

After the first grueling week 3, run one, run two was fairly easy. At least I knew what to expect. I had a nice long rest between them so that helped. Week 3, run 3 I did yesterday and it was back to grueling. I was also conflicted, 'should I start week 4 the next time?' 'should I keep at this pace for awhile?'. I knew I couldn't handle another big surprise so I went and looked at Week 4.

2 intervals of 3 minutes and 2 intervals 5 minutes in length, increasing the total running minutes from 9 to 16 [running about 1.5 miles] and decreasing the amount of walking recovery. In fact by the end of week 5 I am supposed to be running 20 minutes [2 miles] with no break at all.

This is when I knew that C25K's idea of gradual and mine had widely diverged. So I am moving on to week 3.a of my own devising. Since I will no longer have the wonderful podcasts to time things for me and tell me when to run or walk I will need to pay attention more to distance than time, although I will keep track of my over all time. [if I can remember it]

So I'll start with a 5 minute walk and then do my intervals by track length hereby referred to as TL. I'll run =1TL, walk=1TL, run=2TL, walk=2TL, then repeat those intervals, then cool down walk. That should have me running about a mile, and each interval is a slightly longer run. This is more my idea of a gradual increase. I hope I'm not aiming too low, I do want to keep on with this, but I am just not ready to jump to their week 4.

I am really going to miss those podcasts this week. Wish me luck implementing this, it requires way more brain power.

thrift store score

I easily and quickly get shopped out. I love to buy at second hand stores. I have noticed that these two statements do not go together all that well. In order to get the best finds you usually need to visit thrift stores fairly frequently, this just doesn't work for me. [see first point]

My wife does not like to shop much...except at the thrift chain store Savers. She always finds lots of stuff at great prices no matter what she may need. I swear employees are looking out for her in the parking lot. I can imagine the furtive mumblings;
'did you see who just pulled in Joe?' 'you bet! time to get all the good stuff out Sam, and let's mark it all half off'. It quite uncanny and I have found myself feeling wistful as she unloads her bag hoping there may be a goody for me in there.

Yesterday however was stellar. By cell phone I find out my wife has stopped into Savers after work. It crosses my mind that perhaps I should mention I am looking for a brown jacket, she may run across one but I decide against it. I am just too tired to be specific about what I mean by 'brown jacket'. I do ask, I hope not pathetically 'see anything for me?' 'Maybe' she answers 'I think it might fit.'

An hour+ later [thrift shopping cannot be hurried] she arrives home, and out of her bag comes the most beautiful brown suede jacket. Before she can finish the sentence "I am not sure if it's your size" I have it on and it fits perfectly. She is pleased and says 'I figured it was worth trying since it was only $9.99, well actually $5 because it is green tag day.' Please don't hate her, she is not this good at everything I promise. She is quite fantastic though.

So not only did my wife find me something fabulous and she did it when I didn't have the energy to tell her [psychic?] but she gave me a reason to be happy it will be chilly all this week. I do know how lucky I am.

springtime gold

As we enjoy this lengthy gorgeous spring I get to revel in so many wonders. A week ago the world was dizzy with the smell of lilacs. Beltane was duly celebrated. And over the weekend we saw morels in season at the coop.

These are truly like gold, because of the price, but so worth it. We had a simple saute of them along with our hamburgers last night and they were sublime.

-clean carefully
-heat olive oil and butter
-cooked sliced mushrooms for about 10 minutes until tender
-deglaze pan with water or white wine
-add fresh chopped thyme and enjoy

Their rich fragrance lingered for hours after they were gobbled up.

creativity slows down blog

That title just seems wrong doesn't it? But it's all too true. Remember last November during nanowrimo and all the snippets. I just wish I had realized I was basically in the same position this month. Although this time the culprit is not writing but knitting.

I have 2 knitting projects that are due this month and seriously I don't know if it's going to happen. I knit incredibly slowly especially for someone who has been knitting since age 9. Also I apparently have no ability to read patterns, follow instructions or remember what I have just read 5 minutes before. This of course cannot possibly be my fault, I place the blame squarely on mercury retrograde. The true cause of all my spaciness and poor communication skills as well. It is all fine having a planet to shoulder the shame, although I have to wonder what I am going to do come May 12th when that sucker goes direct.

Writing has been going well although I have been short of time again due to knitting. But still the first draft is going faster than some of this knitting.
word count= 76,276

you should buy tickets now

If you live west of the Mississippi go now and see if Kaki King is coming to your town on tour. I am happy to wait. [buy tickets immediately]

Ok, seriously if she is not playing somewhere near you I am so, so sorry. I went with my BF last night and Kaki King was beyond awesome.

Before I forget, the opening act, An Horse, was strong, but I have to admit the very atonal style of the lead singer was not my thing. I enjoyed them more when they weren't singing. Ah well. I appreciated a chance of checking out a newish Australian band.

Back to the main, this was the third time I have seen Kaki King live and seriously the woman just keeps getting better. Last night was an awesome mix of band tunes and solo work. Her back up band of drums and EVI were stellar. I wish I could be objective and really review this show, but I am finding that I can't. I had been having a really hard day before the show but I was just transported by her music. If only I could articulate what makes her so fabulous, I have heard a lot of stellar guitarists live in my life including Phil Keaggy [a name known to guitar geeks] but really her risk taking combined with her superb playing is just breathless, uplifting and rewarding. I feel like I am throwing a thesaurus at this page which I guess is a sign that words can't cut it. I just hope you can go experience Kaki King for yourself. One great thing, she is only 30, we should get decades more of her work to enjoy.

I think my BF friend summed it up best as we walked out of the venue euphorically high as kites: 'god, that woman gives good show'

Running report wk 2

So here I am all set to give the week 2 running report. It's been rather cool and rainy, wonderful spring.

The first thing I noted was that week 2 didn't really change my totals too much. It seemed like a nice incremental increase. Week 2 is 5 minute warm up, (90 seconds running followed by 2 minutes walking) x 6 followed by the 5 minute cool down. 9 minutes running instead of the 8 in week one. And when I calculated my distance about 2/3 of a mile up from a half. Seriously it seems so strange to type those numbers. Me? really? I am running 2/3 of a mile? That must mean I ran 2 miles last week. huh.

The 'week' only lasted 8 days this time, so my body is either acclimating better or I am just handling all the strangeness better. I stopped lifting weights with my legs, I am going to hold off on that until I feel stronger. Upper body weights continue. I have structured my exercise more carefully so as to not double up on stuff on the wrong day. I had a fabulous massage where she worked out the pain in my knee by rubbing quad muscles. That gave me more confidence that any knee discomfort was muscle related. Knock on wood there has been way less of that this past week. I also did a vigorous 3 mile walk with a friend, dancing one night, and a fun spinning class without burning my body out.

So basically I am very please with my level of awareness and self care with the whole running + other exercise in 'week 2'. I appreciate how no matter how sluggish I am the running seems to get my heart rate up to the zone I need. Makes my life a bit easier. The podcast was motivating and all went well. So I am onto week 3's challenges. Perhaps I'll get a run outside if the rain periods cooperate.

Of course I have no idea still if I like running

breezy Beltane

Please do not ask me why blogger decided to jam the last 2 postings into the same day, because really I have no idea but I dislike it. Looks so weird.

Anyway happy belated Beltane to all pagan types out there and spring lovers or FOPs [friends of Pagans]. My holiday was really a stellar one.

Woke up early, did some errands with my beloved wife and felt grateful. Some much needed early mowing also got done. The Lilacs are already open and the air is dizzy with scent.

Had a fabulous time with some other pagans in which we chanted, bound our desires to us for the next 6 months, noshed, talked and so forth. There was more cheesecake. This time with a hint of maple and strawberries. There were conferences in the garden. It was extremely windy so we did our work inside, but it was still spring and beautiful. Again there was much gratitude

After the weavers left to go on with their evenings I listened to some Tara Brach and took the 3 refuges. Then my wife and I had tickets for the sold out late show at the Bryant Lake Bowl. First time we have ever seen Chris Pureka with a band. Good although a bigger venue would have been better for this but they wouldn't have the awesome mock duck rolls you can eat right at your seat. Gratitude rests gently on me like a mantle.

It was an excellent holiday. It was so full I didn't have time to make it to the parade at Powderhorn today. I wonder how the giant puppets did in all this wind? I hope May is starting out well for everyone.