Sunday, April 27, 2008

Farmer's Market

Ever since we came to Wisconsin, I've heard about the Dane County Farmers Market. It's held on the grounds surrounding the Capitol in downtown Madison, and is famous as a great Farmer's Market.

We both had a rare Saturday off, so we decided to check it out. The mild weather turned cold again, and the high on Saturday morning was about 43! The Farmer's Market starts at 6am (Burrrrr!) but we waited until about 9 to get there. We were dressed in multiple layers so we could be comfortable if it suddenly warmed up (wistful thinking!).

We parked many blocks away, and began walking toward the Capitol. Wow, there seemed to be a lot of people, many in running gear, heading in the same direction. When I saw numbers on them, I remembered that today was the Crazylegs Classic race. Guess the race was starting in the same vicinity as the Farmer's Market.

When we got to the top of the hill there were people everywhere!

The runners were milling around in the street, and the Vendors were lined up on the sidewalk on all four sides of the Capitol. We pushed our way through the crowd and started trecking around to see what was for sale.

The season has just started, and I didn't think there would be much for sale, since we're barely getting leaves on the trees. I didn't expect produce for at least a month. I was surprised! Several people had spinach for sale (cold weather crop) and one woman had a full table of lovely red tomatoes! Of course they were raised in a greenhouse, but I was impressed just the same.

Mostly people were selling things other than produce: Baked goods, honey, cheese, salsa, jerky, fish, bison, more cheese (this is Wisconsin don't ya know!), plants and flower starts for the garden, fresh flowers, popcorn and many more things I can't remember. The rule is that to be on the Square, you have to produce the goods yourself. Across the street are the people selling things made by others.

We had seen three sides of the Market and found ourselves near starting line for the race. Just as the sun peeked out for the first time, the first wave of runners started. Every minute they started the next wave of runners. They announced that 17,000 people were running! No wonder it seemed crowed!Once all the runners were gone, the Farmer's Market seemed quiet. We finished our walk around the Capitol and went home. It was a great introduction to the Farmer's Market, and I'm looking forward to watching it grow, as crops become ready for market.

Just now I need a nap to recover from all the excitement!

Friday, April 25, 2008

April Showers

We have Leaves on the trees! The grass is greening up and some of the early flower bulbs are in bloom! Everything is new and alive and it feels wonderful! Turns out these aren't leaves. They are blossoms, complete with pollen! But it sure is pretty.

We're also getting some rain. This is more than April Showers. During the night we had thunder and lightening that woke me up and kept me awake. It stopped for awhile, but now we're getting the beginning of a storm that should last for hours. More thunder and lightening and a steady, light rain.

Guess we'll be having more of the temporary flooding, and the ground is already saturated. The neighbors yard looks like a small lake again.

It's nice to be home, all warm and safe, watching through the windows. My story will change, no doubt, when I have to get out in it to go to work. But that's HOURS away. For now, I'll just keep watching.

Monday, April 21, 2008

THE Day has finally arrived!

Well, it's happened again. We had a day that was warm enough to require lighter clothes, and where are my cool weather clothes? Lost somewhere in the mess of things that keep getting moved around because of the flooding!

I found something to wear, but had no shoes. They are also down in the basement. It took forever to get dressed, as I had to keep changing the individual pieces to accommodate for the things I needed from my bins downstairs.

Loren, the smarty pants, had been down the day before to scout around and find HIS warm weather clothes. When I asked why he didn't find mine he told me that I've always done my own (true) and he hadn't had time to look in every bin.

Yes, the bins are all totally mismarked. The first time we marked them, when we moved from San Diego, we had trouble getting any sort of labels to stick to the bins. Then, once I got some labels to stick, the contents kept changing. I could remember what was in each bin, despite the label, for about 2 changes, but now....they are all hopelessly mismarked. When we want to find something, it's like playing a memory game. As we have about 20 bins, it can take a lot of time and effort to move them, look in them, close them back up and look in the next one.

I can hear some of you saying, "why don't you relabel them?" and have a ready answer. Because!

Because the labels still don't stick. Because the labels that DO stick have been written over and renamed so many times that you don't know which writing to believe. Because it's too much trouble. And/Or Because I LIKE playing the Memory game.
Ha, Ha, Ha.

Last night I had the next part of my "THE Day has finally arrived" experience. For a few weeks, it has been difficult to find comfortable bedding for sleeping. Most nights a quilt is enough, but occasionally it got cold enough to require the down comforter. Last night was so warm that I needed the light weight blankets. Guess where they are?

It was a revelation to realize just how warm it was in the bedrooms upstairs last night. I actually opened the windows for some cross ventilation, and Loren had the fan on. It isn't even hot yet, so I doubt we'll be sleeping upstairs during the warm weather. When I went downstairs this morning, it was COLD! So I imagine we'll be spending most of the summer downstairs.

Which means that we will have to clean up and reorganize all the stuff that got moved because of the floods, move the bed downstairs, and figure out where the computer will reside. It can't get reception in the basement, and there is no cable down there. Hummmmm, guess I'll figure that part out after I find my clothes, and shoes, and bedding...

Guess it's time to get off the computer and begin the process. Ugh! But on a happy note, this effort means that nice, warm weather is coming. Yeah! Now I'm going to go find some Labels!!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

First really nice day!

At the first hint of actual warmth people turned out by the dozens! Everywhere there were people running, and biking, and playing all types of ball and frisbee. Picnics were packed and smiles abound!

One thing I noticed across the board, most of the men were in shorts. Most of the girls were in capri's or short sleeve tops. The female population didn't change into warm weather gear. I wondered why and realized it's a female thing. We're always colder, so it has to be genuinely warm to put on sleeveless or shorts. Another reason is that females are vain, and we have no tan to our legs and arms, so they aren't on display! Men don't suffer from these compulsions, so they put on their shorts, took off their shirts and enjoyed the sunshine!

As I drove to work, I saw a sight that made me laugh. In the park at the edge of Lake Mendota people were out enjoying the weather. What made the sight funny was that the lake is still frozen, and there is snow along the fence line that protects the town from the winds coming from the water. That didn't stop them from running and jumping and throwing and catching.

There is no green yet. The grass will probably green up first, but still no sign of it. I long for green, for color. The bulbs have sent up their shoots, and eventually we'll have flowers. Patience is REALLY hard to come by just now!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hopes are High!

At 2:30am I was awakened by a noise I couldn't identify. I sleep with a cool mist humidifier right next to the bed, and block out most sound with the white noise it makes.

I didn't really want to wake up, but this new noise was persistent. Coming a little more out of the sleep realm, I wonder if there are mice running across the rafters in the ceiling above my head. This thought brought me a little more awake, so I stopped to really listen. At first I couldn't identify what this sound was, and then I knew. It was raindrops hitting the window. Very gentle, no particular rhythm, but loud enough to catch my attention and wake me up to notice.

As I went back to sleep I was smiling. Rain, not snow was falling. When I got up, it was raining for real. With the temperature in the 40's and a steady downfall, I figured the 6 foot pile of snow at the edge of the driveway might just melt!

This week we're scheduled for daytime temperatures in the 40's and low 50's, with some rain. So, I think Spring might finally be coming!!!!

When I went outside at 5:30am to go to work, I knew we were finally into Spring. Even though it was still dark, there were birds singing and chirping everywhere. Guess that eternal Spring impulse is finally at work. Thank Goodness.

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