The computer is back! Something went wrong with our monitor and it needed a new part. I was surprised how much I missed having a desktop around - guess I've become dependent, despite the computer in my pocket. I also missed making our weekly video. I can't do one this weekend either, but next week hopefully I'll be back to routine.
Meanwhile: Rain. And more rain. As you can see in the above photo, our back patio is mostly under water, the row covers are sodden and bedraggled (at least the beds can be open to the weather, as it's been in the 50's at night and low 60's during the day), and though everything is green, there are signs that it's just been too much water for the earth to handle. The creeks around us are flooded, trees are down everywhere, our street is literally a river, and I cannot believe the amount of water in the foothills. Our house is mostly dry but I've discovered a couple new roof leaks in the garage and the corners are full of water. We haven't had this kind of rain in twenty years, and I'm guessing we won't again for another twenty. Oh, how I wish I had put in several five-thousand gallon tanks this summer. Opportunity missed.
We've got empty fire rings waiting to be filled with soil, which I won't order until I'm sure the rain is mostly over, or at least until we have a dry weekend where I can wheelbarrow it all from the driveway to the beds. I'm also noticing that there are patches in the wood chips that need replenishing (they've been washed away or decomposed), so I suppose we'll have to get a pile of those delivered as well. Our spring will be very busy.
I did manage to transplant some broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower from the greenhouse into the beds, but it looks a bit peaked in this latest rain. The kale, chard, braising greens, spinach, radishes, turnips, garlic, and onions are all doing just fine, and the new sowing of peas is just starting to emerge. I'm glad I got annual native wildflower seed down in the pollinator beds before this latest deluge, I'm sure they'll pop up quite happily in this weather. At some point the sun WILL come out, and I'll be sure to make my way into the hills and open spaces to see the flower show that will surely be incredible this year.
School is kind of kicking my butt. Well not school per se, I am enjoying my classes a lot and learning so much every day, but the homework has been more time-consuming than I expected. I am often stuck working at the kitchen table for hours, on the days when I am home. I'm trying to cram a whole new language into my brain. I wake up at night after nightmares about nomenclature or vascular bundles. At school I take pictures of every example, every sample we look at in lab. When I take a break from homework to walk in the rain, I find myself ID-ing every weed in every sidewalk crack. My 49-year-old brain is racing to absorb everything and regurgitate it on command, and it hasn't had to do that in quite a while. I suppose it's good for me, kind of like how doing crossword puzzles or sudoku is supposed to be good for aging brains. The only difference is that a professor isn't waiting to hear how you did on your crossword puzzle.
Sometime last Fall, I signed up for a native plant propagation class that took place this past Saturday in a wonderful garden near me. I was reluctant to attend as my head was already stuffed full with regular school stuff, but I forced myself out into the wet day and I'm so glad I did. The class took place at Judy Adler's house and some nearby gardens that she has established, on public school property (with the school's permission). Judy has it all dialed in - low water-use landscapes, native plants that are also food sources for local wildlife, environmental education for children in the area, and a vast knowledge of plants that grow well in our area and climate. I learned so much, and came home with many cuttings to propagate in my own garden, but what I enjoyed the most was being with Judy, trying to soak up her enthusiasm for this world and all nature in it. She is a vibrant, active, fascinating teacher and I would highly recommend taking a class with her.
As for seed starting, I've only got one tray inside under the lights; I'm dying to start tomatoes and peppers, but it's just too early, and who knows how much more water will fall from the sky. So I am holding myself back. I've got celery starting, and Iceland Poppies, and Chocolate Lace Flower. In the greenhouse are more brassicas, growing larger before being transplanted, and the sweet peas which are getting a very slow start. At least we are getting some fresh greens from the garden a couple of times a week, as well as spring onions anytime we want them. Everything is yearning for sunshine. I might put myself under the grow lights. Maybe that will help me learn my schoolwork faster.