Sunday, January 06, 2008

Unseasonably warm

As out-of-touch as I am with the cycle of the seasons of late, I am pretty certain that 54F is unusually warm for a January evening. Tomorrow we're slated to get into the 60s, which is downright ludicrous. Anyhow, given the balminess and the fact that the Munchkin took a three hour nap this afternoon, I decided to take on some long-overdue cleanup outside - specifically, cleaning up all the pots on the front porch. It's really easy to get blasé about them, since they are under cover and the odds are pretty decent that they would survive the winter anyhow, but the pots of dead plants (and a decidedly ex-pumpkin) just made the house look abandoned. Anyhow, the pots are now happily ensconced in the garage, and everything else is in the compost pile. If the weather holds for Tuesday, I might do some pruning around the yard. What else do real gardeners do in January warm spells? I also made brisket tonight for dinner. Other than using an extra garlic clove and substituting a few shallots when I ran short of onion, I actually stuck to the recipe, which is really unusual for me unless we're testing something for Cooks Illustrated. Anyhow, it was amazing. I'd chosen this weekend to do it because it takes four hours or so and I thought it would be nice for the cold weather. Well, it works in warmish weather too. And the beef was spectacular. If we ever get some freezer space back, I'll be ordering another one. Meanwhile, perhaps seconds are in order?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Should we talk about the weather?

My recollection of Januaries growing up is that it was always very cold and extremely snowy. Now maybe it's the result of global warming, or maybe it's because I've moved a few hours south (not a significant change in a lot of ways, but far enough to move us out of the reach of the lake effect). Or perhaps my memory of the winters of my youth has been colored by the blizzard of '78. Whatever the reason, I suspect the Munchkin will have a different memory of how winter goes. "Yeah, it was always cold and sunny and snowy on weekdays, but then on the weekends it would rain and all the snow would melt." Such is the curse of the child with a new sled for Christmas.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Of Blogs and New Beginnings

Once upon a time, I had a blog. It was one of those all-purpose blogs where I would jot down things about my life as they happened. Then, as so often becomes the case, life got busy enough that I ran out of time to post. Actually, that's not quite fair - it was not just that I was too busy to post, but that the things that were happening either seemed too big or too small to commit to the interwebs.

In the intervening months, while I was on this unplanned hiatus, a whole lot of life happened. In no particular order, I had a child (now more than 8 months old), that child acquired a few cousins, some friends got married, others got separated or divorced, I stopped teaching in the interest of actually getting my thesis done, cut back to part-time at school, and seriously questioned whether or not I want to continue in musicology after the MA. I still enjoy musicology, love teaching (except the grading), and sometimes really enjoy research, but I felt like I was missing out on too much of the Munchkin's life, and frankly too much of my own.

Looking back on some of my posts to the old blog, although many still ring true (the quality of student papers is an eternal headache), many seem to have been written by someone else. I no longer have the urge to post about politics or social causes, much as I still care about them. At some point I'll no doubt want to write about music for fun, but at the moment it's a job, and I like my blog to be an escape of sorts. I'm no longer teaching, so I cannot really write about that, and while motherhood is turning into quite a journey, the ins and outs of diapers, breastfeeding, sleep problems and the like are really only interesting if it's your child. Besides, I know how embarrassed I am by some of the home movies my mother took when I was a baby - can you imagine having all that detail out there in the ether for eternity? The Munchkin would be in therapy for years.

One goal for the new year (I refuse to call it a resolution) is to pay more attention to the changes around me as the seasons progress. What is in bloom, what is poking up through the ground, what is dying off, what birds are visiting the feeder, what fruits and vegetables are at their best? This is where I will be doing that. It may eventually turn into a real garden blog, as the yard eventually turns into a real garden, but that will undoubtedly be a slow process. It will, I hope, be interesting.

Happy 2008, all.