Sunday, March 20, 2005


Spring has finally arrived! We’ve slept the past few nights without ever turning on the space heater! We’ve gone without the radiators throughout the day! We’ve been able to work in the garden and talk walks during the day! As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered that we need to walk a little earlier in the day so that we don’t get too hot!

I’m so relieved that I planted the rosebush during the one nice weekend we had in February. If I hadn’t, I don’t think I would have been able to plant it until this past week. I’ve see the first few sproutings on it, and I hope that means it’s settled in okay.

I turned the entire vegetable garden over, and then we covered the area where I want to plant the tomatoes with black plastic to help warm the soil. The rest of the garden we covered with layer upon layer of newspaper.

The moon will be getting larger from the eighth of April, so I can buy the plants at the weekly market in Marsciano on Monday the eleventh and plant them right away. Once the tomatoes are in, I’ll replace the plastic with layers of newspaper. The plastic is only large garbage bags, and I don’t think the plastic is heavy enough to last the whole season. Maybe I can bring some heavier plastic back from the states…I’d love to try that red plastic that’s supposed to help the tomatoes ripen faster.

Because we’re leaving on the twenty first of April and won’t return until the end of May, I need to get my tomatoes in the ground before we leave. In order to protect against an unexpected frost, I have a plan.

We’ve been saving two liter water bottles like crazy, and plan to fill them with water, then place them around each new plant. The idea is for the water to heat up during the day, and then slowly release the warmth at night, thereby protecting the plants. Once the danger of frost has passed, Adamo will then have a supply of water, should the garden need it. Last year it rained the while time we were gone, but who knows what this year will bring.

I think I may also throw some basil seeds in the ground…something I’ve never done. I’m curious to see how they do. And I also bought some sunflower seeds! I know that my few plants won’t have the same dramatic effect as the huge fields, but at least I’ll be able to enjoy them every day.

The garden, although larger than last years, will still be small. I think we’ll have three salad and three plum tomato plants and enough basil plants for plenty of pesto…maybe ten? I also think we’ll put out a few pepper plants, some eggplant, and maybe some onions. Nothing too ambitious, but enough to keep us well fed through the summer and fall. I wish we could afford to buy a small freezer for the garage. I could freeze the tomatoes for sauce, and I’m maybe I could find out how to freeze the eggplants and peppers.

I’ve also started to hang clothes outside…what a wonderful smell! The clothesline that’s attached to the house is fairly short, and even though there are two lines, they’re not separated. I try to hang heavier stuff on one line, thereby making it hang lower, then I use the other line for small stuff like socks and underwear. We also have a folding rack that I keep outside during the summer.

This rack is indispensable both inside and out. During the winter months, the radiators become clothes driers, but for larger things like sheets and tablecloths, I need the extra room the rack gives me. During the winter months the guest room usually becomes the drying room. It’s the warmest room in the house, and of course the least used, so it keeps the drying clothes out of the way.

In the back yard I’ve cut back the red and yellow twigged dogwoods, but most of the other plants won’t get cut back until after they bloom. I know I’m going to miss the forsythia again this spring! Although I have seen it here, it just doesn’t seem to be as prevalent as it is in Louisville. If I had the room, I’d plant one myself, but knowing how much room it needs, I guess it’s just not possible.

We’ve also started to walk. The first day I started out with a sweatshirt over my long sleeved turtleneck. The sweatshirt came off fairly quickly, and the turtleneck was way too hot. The next day I wore just a long sleeved tee shirt, but I think I may actually be able to break out the short sleeves…at least when I walk. This is the time of the year when it’s cooler inside than it is outside, so I’ll end up putting my sweatshirt on when I come back into the house after my walk!

Another benefit of the warmer weather is that the market is Marsciano is not only more enjoyable from a comfort point of view, but also because more and more vendors are returning. During the winter there obviously aren’t as many trucks selling fresh fruits and vegetables. The artichokes are coming in now, and the spinach should be here soon. I was surprised not to see any last week, so I’m hoping they have some next Monday….I’d like to make cannelloni with it.

In eight days we’ll go on daylight savings time! Italy starts a week earlier that the states, which is okay with me. I’ll take all the daylight I can get, and having that extra hour at night means that we can take a short walk after dinner too. We’ve both got to lose some weight. I’m too embarrassed to admit how much I’ve gained, but I’m’ wearing my “fat” jeans and none of my summer stuff will fit unless I get busy.

In all honesty, I have to blame most of our weight gain on our trip back to Louisville. We ate out way too much, and as you know, the portions in the states are huge. I think we had that “vacation” mentality…you know, what you eat on vacation doesn’t count? That usually worked when we went on vacation to Europe, because we were walking all the time. In the states most of our walking consisted of walking to and from the car.

We both know to be much more aware when we’re in the states this time, and I hope I can figure out a way to get some exercise while I’m there. Maybe my sister has a space cleared in her basement for the TotalGym.

Anyway, spring is definitely here. I realize we may have a few cold spells, but we’ve definitely rounded the corner.


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