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Winter made a comeback this week with cold and wind that would not stop. Today it is snowing. It will remain cold enough for the next few days for the snow to stick around before it warms and melts at the end of the week. The Dashwoods got to be out and about this morning before it began snowing and then they got closed up in the run with a cabbage for company.

Thanks to Danielle for telling me about a documentary called Chicken People. It’s like the movie Best in Show only it’s chickens and real people. It is magnificent! Take a look at the trailer:

The seed starting operations continue apace. Today I started seeds for cumin and black black cumin, French marigolds, basil, shiso, and garden huckleberries. The garden huckleberries aren’t really huckleberries like the woody shrubs. These are annuals in the nightshade family and you grow them in similar conditions as tomatoes. The fruit is only edible when fully ripe, toxic if eaten while still green. The fruit is used for pies and jam. I have never grown these before or even tasted them so I am really excited to see how it all goes.

Hard life being Waldo

The tomato seeds I planted last weekend have sprouted up really fast. The broccoli did too. The eggplant has yet to emerge. I have never started eggplant from seed before and the packet indicated the same indoor start date as tomatoes, but clearly they need some extra time so next year I will make sure to start them the same time I do the peppers.

The grow lights seem to be working great. The little sprouts aren’t long and spindly and all leaned over trying to find some light like they did when I only had windows to grow them in. I’m pleased so far. Hopefully they will be strong, sturdy plants come mid-May when I can put them outdoors. If not, I’ll have to figure out what I did wrong and try again next year.

Dickens has it even harder

Meanwhile I am getting antsy for the Friends School Plant Sale catalog to be released. It seems like it had already been published by this time last year. I keep checking the website every few days and am disappointed every single time. I should stop checking and try to not think about it. That way when the printed version appears in my mailbox it will be a wonderful surprise. The anticipation is getting to me though!

With the time change last night and “springing forward,” Waldo and Dickens decided it was all too much. Today is laundry day so I didn’t make the bed this morning and when I returned to change the sheets I found the cats had made themselves cozy. I wish I could have gone back to bed, I could use some extra sleep!

I wish I had a real life bike like this

My training for the 200-mile race August 5th is going pretty well so far. I increased my trainer time yesterday to seven hours with no mileage goal. I figured it would be about 130 miles/209 km but I managed 137.5 miles/221 km at an average speed of 19.8 mph/31.8 kph. Not too bad! Now if I can only duplicate that when I get to ride outdoors I will be doing really well!

I feel like I am doing lots of preparing for both gardening and cycling. Good preparation is important, but I am really looking forward to being outdoors and putting all this preparation to good use. Gardening and cycling are both constant lessons in patience.

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