The past few years have fed an underlying anxiety. Being an introvert, I have always had a level of anxiety that invades my being. There are many factors that play into it’s underlying cause from surviving a sexual assault while in high school, the Cuban Missile crisis at an age when anxiety runs high anyway as you realize you are facing making your own choices, leaving home for college or job, new relationships and still wanting to be protected by the adults in your life. There have been health scares for kids, grandkids, hubby, and me.

Then on the political front, watching this country take giant steps backwards from the advancements toward racial and sexual equality to the “Make American ‘White’ Again” movement. Our state going from progress to exclusion again.

And there is the pandemic. Living in an area where the majority didn’t and still don’t take it seriously, or even believe it is real. Mask mandates lifted as the CDC says they are still needed indoors in some areas, ours being one of them, but seeing them now, they are few and far between. Only those of use with underlying health condition, age, or having an immune compromised family member or members wearing them at all.

To add to all of this, a total madman has invaded an innocent Democracy, targeting civilians, firing missiles at apartment building, hospitals, and infrastructure and lying to his people about what he is doing and why. The constant flow of devastating news and the fear of nuclear war rising, adds to this level of anxiety.

Last night, my system couldn’t deal anymore and I escaped to a hot bath and a book in bed, hoping to get a good night’s sleep.

The nice weather is allowing daily walks, some work in the garden during the day, all efforts to avoid what I cannot change.

Ready for spring

A notice that the hydroponic pods will be received tomorrow, sent me on a flurry of activity yesterday and this morning. The Komatsu was pulled from the hydroponic unit and planted in the garden beside the overwintered spinach and covered last night with a plastic bin. This morning the lettuces were removed and potted with hopes of moving it also to the garden after tonight’s temperature drop into the 20s. The unit was scrubbed out thoroughly, refilled with fresh filtered water and fed. Once the pods arrive tomorrow, they will be seeded with two types of tomatoes and two types of hot peppers to get them started.

The local nursery opened yesterday and a stop made to pick up seed starting pellets for the starter trays for other veggies and seed starting medium for the transplant pots as the tomatoes and peppers outgrow the hydroponic unit and before they can go in the garden.

While we were out for our walk today, the wind picked up strongly as the front started moving through, dropping the temperature and clouding the sky. The plastic crate that was my mini greenhouse wasn’t large enough and a stop was made to pick up a larger one or a sheet of plastic to put over the hoops, hoping to get more spinach, Komatsu, and some lettuce and radish seed started in the garden. My search led me to this 3 X 6′ mini greenhouse.

Putting the frame together was easy, it took both of us to get the cover on it in the wind. It was tied to the frame and rocks placed along the inside edge of the cover that folds to the interior. It is still very light and I feared the wind would carry the entire unit away and damage it. To solve that problem, 6 nails were hammered in to the garden box and para cord strung over in three places, hoping to tie it down. If I leave it in this box for the spring to allow greens to grow, the garden plan will have to be altered, but that is okay too. There are two boxes that it will mostly fill, but as some of the greens are already there, it is a good place to leave it. The other box will have peas in it and they will be gone by the time to start the fall greens. I think the greenhouse cover can be removed and the frame covered with row cover to allow cole crops to be grown without cabbage worm damage. With the cover in place, the season can be extended both fall and spring to get more use from our garden.

I’m ready, knowing it is too early to get too deep in the garden yet, winter isn’t over, spring is still teasing us. It will be cold tonight, cooler than today, tomorrow, then warming up for a few days. Next week we will have cooler weather again. The local weather blogger recently posted that March is the only month in the 100 years that weather has been tracked that we have had both a 90 f day and a foot of snow. March is fickle.

Just Us Again

Our weekend with the kids ended a few hours earlier than originally predicted. Their Mom and companion quit skiing at lunch time yesterday and headed home arriving about the same time as Granddaughter’s bus, so I left them with the dinner I had planned and came home to prepare dinner for hubby and myself. It was great having the kids this weekend, they got off to school yesterday with little intervention on my part. Hubby met me in town for lunch and a walk and we parted company again so I could meet the buses and be ready to prepare dinner. A lot of reading got done, not much spinning and no knitting, though all were taken with me.

We have been very good about walking this winter. We feared that when it got cold, we would wimp out, but we haven’t and have encouraged each other on days when one or the other felt indifferent to the idea. It helps that there is a community walking group that self reports the week’s progress to “our leader” who sends out weekly updates with pictures, or information on other Newport’s around the world if we have accumulated enough miles as a group to have “walked” there. At times, I have been a poor reporter, even when we were doing the walks, but am keeping a log now so that I report as soon as his weekly post from prior comes out. His posts are about two weeks behind the current week to give everyone time to get their mileage turned in.

When we walked today, there are Snow Drops blooming, the Forsythia in town is already in bloom, the crocuses and daffodil greens are up. There are ahead of us as far as development of spring time, but today was near 60 f when we walked and there are no “cold” days in the 10 day forecast. Winter isn’t over, there will be frosts still, we have even has snow in March and flurries in early April, but buds are forming, you can see the change in color from flat winter gray to reds, pinks, and greens as the trees in the woods begin to develop their flowers and new leaves. The heat will run less, the grass will green up and mowing will have to begin again, but winter will be in the rear view mirror soon.

Within the next couple of days, the tomato and pepper seeds will be sown in starter pods, maybe a bit later as an order for the pods for the larger hydroponic garden has been placed. I was out of them. It will continue to provide us with lettuce and komatsu until they arrive. Last year’s success starting the plants in the hydroponic has encouraged me to do it again that way this year. Most everything else will be direct sown and those plants that I would like to give a headstart other than tomatoes and peppers will go in starter pots in a tray in the sun.