Ahhh, the garden …

Yesterday was the day, finally, to get outside, put on the gloves and start cleaning out the flower beds and waking them up from their winter nap. It felt so good to have one’s hands in the dirt again, to breath the fresh air, to feel the warm sun on my face.  We cleaned up a mess of old leaves and old growth and every time we unearthed another little plant with it’s new growth struggling upward, it was a joy. It looks like most of the bleeding hearts survived wonderfully, the oriental lilies seem to be coming back strong, and my precious blue delphinium and orange poppies and pink hollyhock are all showing good signs of having wintered over well. But nothing is growing as well as the two clumps of bachelor buttons we transplanted from H’s family land in Lutsen. They have spawned a million little babies all over the place. And the climbing roses even have new leaves popping out all over!

Admittedly, the beds look a little bare today compared to what they have been looking like, but it’s an improvement. We even went out to our favorite garden store, Otten Bros. in Long Lake, and I bought a heliotrope (I like to get one every year but they are not perennial in Minnesota). And we bought a Victoria Red rhubarb plant. I miss the rhubarb I had at 21st Avenue and am looking forward to once again (in a year or two) making rhubarb cobblers and pies.

Of course, I am keenly aware of just how out of shape I am. There are parts of me aching this morning that I had completely forgotten about. I guess that’s what six months of staying inside will do for you. Who am I kidding? That’s what six months of not doing much of anything will do for you. Oh, well, even the ache feels kinda good today. It means we aren’t confined to the house anymore.  On Saturday we have a long-planned trip to Decorah, Iowa to buy our transplant seedlings of heirloom tomatoes and peppers from Seed Savers, a company we like to patronize.  They do such important work.  I can hardly wait!

The Yarn Harlot

OK, this all happened a week ago today, so I better write already!

Last Thursday a knitting buddy joined me to go hear The Yarn Harlot a/k/a Stephanie Pearl-McPhee at a talk she was giving at St. Thomas University under the sponsorship of The Yarnery, a wonderful St. Paul yarn store.  It was a dreadful night, weather-wise that is.  She more than made up for that bit of nastiness though.  You can click here to read Stephanie’s take on the whole evening and to see some fun pictures of the event, especially the moms and babies that were present.  One of the highlights was her “warm up” act, which consisted of the Yarnery Family Singers doing their revised versions of some favorite Sound of Music tunes.  Shelly Kang, the Heathen Housewife, has posted her recollection of the evening and some YouTube videos of the singing performances.  Go watch it.  Now.  I’ll wait until you get back …..

To say it was a thorough enjoyable evening would be a severe understatement.  I had a blast.  So did my friend.  I was sorta actually relieved when Stephanie stopped talking, because I needed to stop laughing for a few minutes an absorb it all.  She had a good and serious message, but she wrapped it up in such a thoroughly humorous and good-natured package that it was a pleasure through and through.  And it was such a delight to be in a crowd of hundreds of knitters, most of whom were working away on one thing or another, many of them socks.  Of course, there were some spectacular knitted things in the room that various attendees were wearing.

I highly recommend that you go hear Stephanie talk if she is coming to your neck of the woods.  You can view her travel schedule here.  You won’t be sorry.  Trust me on this one.

What a piece of work … {{{ whew }}} …

[wipes forehead and puts down pitchfork]

Well, I am certainly glad that that is done.  I have finally finished tweaking, configuring, customizing and generally messing around with my new blog.  I’m running on the new WordPress 2.5 platform, and just for the benefit of you technogeek types, I am running the following plugins:

  • Akismet
  • AskApache Password Protect
  • Hello Dolly
  • Ozh’ Absolute Comments
  • Post Notification
  • TinyMCE Advanced
  • WordPress.com Stats
  • WordPress Database Backup
  • WP-phpMyAdmin
  • WP-SpamFree
  • WP Grins
  • WP Security Scan

All of them can be located at the WordPress Extend Plugins directory or through a simple Google search.

Two particular plugin developers deserve a shout out.  Scott Allen from Hybrib6, developer of the WP-SpamFree  plugin was really great at helping me track down and imcompatibility between his plugin and the AskApache Password Protect plugin.  And the developer of Post Notification did a wonderful job of helping me figure out how to make their software play nice with my cool new theme.

Between all these developers and the cool theme I’ve got, I’m gonna owe some money to some people.

A new look, a new name

Sometimes you just want to mix it up a bit, you know. I was getting increasingly tired of Movable Type and the way it did certain things. While certainly a robust system (and there were many things I liked about it), I made the decision to jump ship and switch my site over to WordPress. I wanted more flash and I wanted it easier to get.  And I LUV this new theme from Tommaso Baldovino. In the process, I’ve changed my blog’s name and, obviously, its appearance. I’d had that old style for some time and it was time for something new, in different colors. By now you’ve guessed the new blog name, but if you forget and try to go to the old URL, you’ll get directed to the new site automagically.

What do the flowers you pick say about you?

Ohmigawd … has it really been almost a month since I posted anything on my blog? My dear, my dear, where does the time go? Well, all is well in the land of Tyrol. The snow has melted, the bulbs are growing each day, and everything is just mozzying along at near everyday perfect. So here are two tests for you.

What These Sunflowers Say About You

You are a truly warm person with amazing bursts of energy.
You bring happiness to everyone around you, and you are adored by many.
You’re bright, bold, and cheery. You nourish friends you with your optimism.

You Are Cameo

You are understanding and very empathetic.
You don’t tend to have acquaintances. Everyone is your friend.
And all of your friends tend to be friends. You have a knack for bringing very different people together.