29 January 2010

Floral Report

We have had freezing temperatures, ice, snow, wind, and rain, rain, rain. Even though we are in an El Nino pattern, we have been getting plenty of rain. I mention it only because when you have a “water intrusion” as the building trades like to call it (aka a leak), you do notice the unremitting rain.

However, all is not dreary and gray! No indeed, with the above average temperatures that El Nino brings, we are starting to see early spring flowers popping up. I should be worried about them; they should be worried about themselves. It’s really too early to be bursting into bloom. February is known around here as the ice storm month for good reason. But, I am so happy to see them!

In my yard, the winter blooming jasmine is sporting sunny yellow flowers. OK, it’s a winter bloomer, not a sign of early spring, but I love it anyway. Cheers for the jasmine! Thanks for the joy!

My neighbor’s yard is rife with daphne, and they are just starting to send out their heady fragrance. Do you like the smell of daphne? It reminds me of Froot Loops cereal, so sweet!

There are bulb-borne flowers starting to push out of the ground, strong, sturdy, sword-like leaves are cleaving their way through the soil. Tulips, hyacinths, daffodils.

Even the hydrangea is showing new leaf buds on its winter scarred branches. I wasn’t sure we’d get any hydrangeas after that cold snap and snow storm. It is such a fibrous plant that it dies right back in the cold. Ours seems to have survived.

Some planting guides suggest that we can put peas in the ground now (snow peas, I’d guess), but I’m going to wait just a little longer for that. That would be tempting fate, tempting the weather gods just a little too much.

What are your favorite spring flowers? What’s blooming in your yard or neighborhood?

07 January 2010

New Year

I went to an early morning workout at my gym yesterday and wow! I am sore all over!

I'm not going to call it a New Year's resolution because that feels too compulsory to me. I have been intending to get back into better shape, lose some weight, and just feel better for some time now. I guess the turning of the year is merely a symbolic time to start.

I am not especially inactive. I teach martial arts to kids three days a week. There is always some running around in those classes. But, teaching the class is not the same as taking the class. You get a much better workout taking the class.

My job is very sedentary though. I sit in front of a computer all day long, five days a week. My home life has become rather sedentary too. Way too much time spent sitting on the couch watching tv, or sitting and reading. Don't get me wrong; I would rather read than do just about anything. But, it's not contributing to my physical wellness.

My martial art school also has a gym. I love it because you can get an amazing workout without all the spandex attitude. The first time I took a fitness class it was taught by an artistically tattooed dyke wearing cut-off plaid men's trousers and a tank top. She kicked our butts!

One of my support staff team members also works out there. I asked her last week if she would be interested in going to the early morning 'boot camp' class two days a week and carpooling to work afterward. She loved the idea. We went yesterday and we're going again tomorrow. It feels so good afterwards!