Dirt Therapy

I’m ready for spring. I’m tired of school, I’m tired of snow, and I’m tired in general. The sun was shining today, and I had two precious hours of time alone before I had to head to class. I figured it was as good a time as any to start decorating the house for Easter and to   start my seeds inside.

There’s something about playing in the dirt that always makes me feel better, even if it’s just standing at the kitchen table in my pajamas scooping potting soil into tiny paper pots. Feeling the earth is so good for my soul. I had to do a little research to see when the best time to start indoor seeds is in Wisconsin, since this is my first spring here. Most people recommended the middle of March, so I’m only a week early.  This morning I started English Lavender, Chives, Hungarian Wax Peppers, Cilantro, Basil, and Lettuce. Every 3 or 4 weeks I’ll sow another round of Lettuce and Cilantro, so that we have a continuous supply over the summer. I’ve got two kinds of tomatoes to plant as well, but I was worried that if I started them now they would be too big before it was warm enough to set them out.    Unfortunately, space is limited. I’m craving a greenhouse.

With the seeds planted, I began decorating for Easter. It’s one of my favorite holidays so I decorate early to enjoy it longer. When I was young, my family had a giant Egg Hunt each year and I always looked forward to it. I’m talking hundreds of eggs. I love celebrating spring, growth, life, and nature. I’m all about it.

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I’d love some spring, but right now I’ll have to be content with sun and snow.

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Sunny Weekend

We finally had some sun this weekend, as well as a house guest! Ad’s dad drove all the way from PA to visit us, so we took him around Madison and did all the fun stuff that we never do because we live here. I don’t know why it is, but we never seem to do interesting things in the places we live until a guest from out of town comes. We went to a free art museum on campus, saw a free movie on campus (go see Argo if you haven’t), and had lots of yummy meals out (including food from Afghanistan).

We gave Ad’s dad a walking tour of the campus…

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We also went to the Mustard Museum!

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Mmmm vintage mustard.

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For those of you who don’t know, I really hate mustard. Hate it. Can’t even stand the smell of it. I’m standing in front of a cabinet full of vintage mustard beauty supplies and medicines. One of the tins says “Mustard Bath” and clearly I was saddened by this.

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Before Ad’s dad left today, we took a morning walk at Picnic Point, and stood on frozen Lake Mendota.

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Picnic Point is a long thin strip of land that juts out into the lake. About midway across the point is a Native American burial mound. The spot is beautiful and you can see why it was chosen as a place for something so meaningful.

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And here I am, looking vaguely normal and sporting my new sausage-esque coat. Clearly I chose warmth over style.

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Hope your weekend was just as fun!

 

Long Weekend

It’s the last weekend before the semester starts, and thankfully it’s a long one.  We celebrated Ad’s birthday, took a chilly walk, ate some yummy food, and I wallowed in crafty goodness.

We’ll start with the birthday fun. Here’s the man of the hour, tearing open his presents!

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And blowing out his candles on his fancy home made cake! I found the recipe for the cake here, and it’s a real doozy. Rich, moist, chocolatey  and of course – very easy. You start with a boxed chocolate cake mix and add to it.

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We went to Mickey’s, a local bar, for supper. Our friend Sean surprised Ad with this snazzy Mickey’s shirt!

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Today we took a very cold post-birthday walk. We saw some brave ice skaters, and some even braver ducks. It was 16°F.

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Back to our toasty warm house.

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And of course, I did some crafting.

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Ad fixed some delicious food in his brand new toaster oven, but he’ll tell you about that later!

Nesting

I’ve gotten a bit behind on blogging lately, so I’ll double up this weekend. I’ve had a few requests from people to see more pictures of the house, and I’m happy to share some now that it’s finally coming together.

I’ll show the living room first, since exciting things have been happening there! We had house guests a few weekends ago, Melynn (Ad’s Mom) and Ross. At one point during the visit, Ad and Ross went off to check out a futon frame found on Craigslist. They came back with a couch! Apparently the futon frame was too rickety, but they couldn’t resist a free couch that they found sitting on the curb. The couch was nice and clean, and even smelled good! Yeah, I sniffed it. But there was a problem….after about 20 minutes of struggling it became clear that there was no way that couch was going to fit up the stairs to our second floor apartment. Not to worry! With Ross’s help and rope tying expertise, we hauled the thing up and over our deck (again, on the second story), through the bedroom door, and into the living room.

Ross and Ad, preparing the couch for it’s aerial adventure. This photo was shot from the deck.

Success!

Here are some less dramatic pictures of the living room. I love our built in book shelves.

The view from our living room window. Just behind those houses is a lake!

On to the kitchen. There’s not a lot happening here, it’s a pretty big space that I’m having trouble decorating. It’s all so white! I neglected to get a picture of the cupboards and counter top, probably because there were dirty dishes everywhere. But here’s our table and chairs, a $30.00 thrift store find…

A house is not a home until the fridge is fully decorated.

And now to the bedroom. There’s still some work that needs to be done in here. I’d like some nice curtains, not the subpar ones that I made because I was getting tired of not having any. We could also use another rug, a bed side table, and maybe some more throw pillows, but all in good time. First you get to see the dresser, another curbside freebie that we couldn’t have managed w/out Ross’s help. We were on our way somewhere else, when we saw the dresser and pulled over. We loaded it into the car,and since there wasn’t room for the four of us and a dresser, Melynn and Ad took it back to the house while Ross and I waited for them to come back and get us. While we waited, the woman who had put the dresser on the curb came out and gave us the original hardware. She had taken the drawer pulls off off because she was worried the dresser would just end up going to the junk yard, and she didn’t want to see the lovely hardware go there too. It pays to loiter!

Here’s Ross using wood glue and rope to put the dresser back together. It was in a pretty sorry state when we picked it up.

And here you can see the finished product. That giant Boston fern was only $8.00 at the farmers market. A bargain!

And lastly our bed, another Craigslist purchase. It has some beautiful carvings on it, and it must be quit old because it had to be lengthened at one point to fit a standard sized full mattress.

I’ll post some more house photos in the future, maybe when the Christmas decorations are up! It’s taking all my strength to wait until after Thanksgiving for that.

Devil’s Lake Hike

After a week spent sitting in offices and classrooms all day, I desperately needed some time in the woods. Ad had been to Devil’s Lake once before, and he knew it was close, so we packed a lunch and headed there for the day.

Ad checking out the Baraboo Quartzite

Lichen, or as Ad likes to say, Nature’s Doily

Our tasty picnic lunch, please note the charming heart shaped banana pepper on the pizza.

Matching Merrells!

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We’re moving to Madison! But not for another 3 months. We’re excited! Here’s why:

1. We’ll be in our own apartment.

2. There will be thunderstorms.

3. Fall will smell like fall.

4. There will be actual snow.

5. We’ll be living close to a lake.

6. We won’t be living under a flight path.

7. Ad gets to study rocks!

8. Alison gets to study social work!

9. America’s largest produce-only farmer’s market.

10. We’ll have a yard.

11. We’ll live in a neighborhood with sidewalks.

12. Closer to family.

13. New state!

14. Hopalicious…Ad will explain in a later post.

15. Free bus passes, courtesy of UW Madison.

While we’re happy to be moving on, there are certainly some things that we’ll miss about the Pacific Northwest…