Spring is here!

And you know what that means: time for my seasonal blog post! Just kidding. Maybe.

But seriously, spring time is garden time! Although I was little behind this year, I’ve got lots of seeds started inside including green onions, cauliflower, celery, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, kale, and marigolds. My whole garden has been under black plastic for about two months in an attempt to kill the horrible creeping grass, and today we finally took the plastic off. I’m not sure the grass was entirely dead, but it was at least severely weakened. I pulled up what was left in the beds, mostly around the strawberries, which somehow survived under there! Matt tilled the rest under.

We bought some plastic terrace board this year to put around the edges of garden to deter the grass. I’m going to cut strips of the black plastic I already have to put in the pathways and cover it later with wood chips or mulch, which I can hopefully score for free on craigslist. So the next thing on our garden to do list is digging a trench to bury the edging so grass can’t creep under. Here’s what the garden looks like after today:

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And if you’d like to see the whole plan for this year you can look at it here. I’m trying out a new garden planner website which I like better than the old one except for the fact that there’s a lot of zooming and scrolling involved. Also, the beds in my garden plan aren’t in the right places (to make the whole thing easier to see at once). So zoom out to 25% if you want to see the whole thing.

In other, even more exciting news, I’ve got a new job! I landed an internship at Mountain Meadows Farm. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for several years but only recently seriously looked into it, because who wants a farm intern that’s going to be out of the country for a month in the summer? I went out this morning for a trial workday of sorts and by the end of it they offered me the position. It looks like I’ll start sometime next month, and I’ll get to do some of everything from planting and harvesting to packing CSA boxes and working at farmers’ markets. There’s even a good chance I could stay on for the off season too. It’s also a full time position, so I’ll be making significantly more than I currently do. The only downside is that it’s a 35 minute drive away, but it was really one of the closer farms to us, so that’s ok. I’m so excited!

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day!

We had a great Valentine’s Day this year, although we actually celebrated it a day early. Ever since we moved to Knoxville I’ve been trying to convince Matt to go skiing with me at Ober Gatlinburg. Maybe the Winter Olympics helped me out, because he finally agreed to give it a try. And then, like magic, we got 6.5 inches of snow on Thursday and neither of us had to go to work – the perfect day for skiing! Before we left I got some photos of the winter wonderland that was our yard.

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We headed to Gatlinburg after lunch. There were signs up that the Ober parking lot was full, so we took the aerial tram up. After we got our rental equipment Matt went to the ski school that they offer.

20140215-231314.jpg I had only skied once before but I remembered being pretty good at it, so I figured Matt could remind me of anything I’d forgotten. I practiced on the training slope some while waiting on him, and then we went for the bunny slope! Matt was slightly traumatized and decided once was enough for him, so I went down several more times by myself.

20140215-231321.jpg I never fell (woo! still a perfect record!) but it was a lot harder to stop than I remembered. But we heard some of the other skiers saying that it was icier at the bottom than usual, so maybe it wasn’t just me. After we took to tram back to Gatlinburg we decided to try out the Bullfish Grill for dinner. We only looked slightly out of place wearing ski clothing in a steakhouse.

On real Valentine’s day I made some cupcakes. Neither of us got each other candy (maybe because we still have Christmas candy…) but something chocolate was required!

20140215-230316.jpg I used my favorite, favorite chocolate cake recipe, which can be found here. I planned to do powdered sugar hearts on top but it turned out we didn’t have any. Since the cupcakes were extra dark, cocoa powder looked just as pretty.

Hope you had a fun Valentine’s Day too!

Snow Day

Yay, snow day! We unexpectedly got three inches of snow yesterday, and neither Matt or I went to work today. Church choir was cancelled too, so we had the whole day free – to play in the snow, of course!

20140129-224619.jpg There’s a big hill behind our house that’s been begging me to sled down it, so this morning we bundled up and took the sled and the dogs for a snow adventure. It’s quite a big lot back there, so there was no danger of them running into the street. Not that Kate would run off anyway, but even Story was having too much fun to think about leaving.

20140129-225010.jpg She actually loves the snow and liked chasing the sled up and down the hill and running around snarling after Kate.

20140129-225150.jpg We brought Kate’s big purple toy so she could try playing a little snow fetch, and she thought that was a great idea.

20140129-225325.jpg And check out her hilarious face with snow on her tongue while I’m trying to take off Story’s useless rain jacket:

20140129-225456.jpg Matt tried sledding a couple times, but he didn’t ever exactly make it to the bottom of the hill… Story, on the other hand, rode all the down with me! I asked Matt to take this picture because it’s just like one I have of me and the dog I had growing up, Friskie.

20140129-225705.jpg Isn’t she a cute little snow dog?