Sunday, January 13, 2013

Is it really winter?

Yesterday was warm. Too warm for January. I turned off the heater and opened all the windows in the house, and then went outside to work in the yard. I decided to focus on the upper bed on the side of the house. This time of year, the beds are covered with fallen leaves and seasonal plants that have died off.
As I worked, I could hear my younger son working behind the house at his forge, singing one of his Irish ballads.  In the front yard, my older son leaned against a dogwood tree, playing his banjo and watching me work.
It was perfect gardening weather - a high of 73 and a little overcast. The ground was wet from the rain we've been getting and easy to dig in. Normally I don't start this work until early Spring, but I couldn't bear to miss this opportunity. I gathered up bucket after bucket of dead leaves, tore out the brown remains of the lilies of the valley and dug up weeds that are merrily growing when they should not be. All of this went to the side of the road for the city to pick up.
I only stopped when I did because I'd promised my kids we'd go to a restaurant where my son said he'd found the best thing on the menu. We all got the same thing - mojarra veracruzana. A whole tilapia pan-fried and covered in a tomato shrimp sauce. And it was, in fact, delicious.
All told, I worked for about five hours yesterday. Unwisely, as it turned out. All those hours of beding and twisting to yank out weeds just outside my reach took their toll and when I woke up this morning, I knew I was in trouble. About a decade ago, I hurt my back to the point of needing physical therapy for a herniated disk. I know from the telltale pain along my sciatic nerves that I've done it again. Friday I was out running but today even sitting up is problematic, and I am walking with the shuffle of a nursing home resident. I can laugh about the foolish mistakes I make in my personal life, but this sort of thing just ticks me off at myself.
Live and, with any luck, learn. I'll be taking breaks more frequently and reaching a little less next time. But I'm uneasy about the weather. It's eerie for it to be this pretty when winter ought to be just hitting it's stride. It's not that I don't love it, but it's like being given a beautiful piece of jewelry knowing it was obtained in a mugging. I want to tell the daffodils to retreat, but I know they are just responding to the too-warm ground that houses them. Tell them global climate change is a myth.

47 comments:

  1. nice...wow that tilapia looks and sounds amazing...it was in the 70s here today...crazy...def not winter....have things blooming and then the frost will kill them...

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  2. Yikes, the same thing is happening to my daffodils. I'm afraid they are going to regret their early emergence into the world. Hope your back is better very soon.

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    1. They probably don't thin about it much, but I know that I'll probably regret their early emergence.

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  3. It warmed up to -1 here today. If I hear more talk about 70's and daffodils.........
    I'm going to find a local witch and send this south and east, about 2k miles.......

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  4. "Yesterday was warm. Too warm for January."

    I know, hasn't this been the strangest winter? It was the same here yesterday. I was actually sweating while walking around the city taking photos. It was soooo humid!

    It sounds like you had a great day - gardening, music, and some awesome food.

    Hope you're back is better real soon.

    X

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    1. I was running in a tank top and shorts! Crazy.

      I'm being careful, so I hope to mend more quickly this go round.

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  5. Well, now I don't feel so bad about my little moan! You'd better watch out---that dental post could be just around the corner!
    But I do sympathize. One day you're kayaking on the river, or in your case, working in the garden, the next you're all clenched up and shuffling towards the old folks home! And the weather is making me very uneasy too---76 degrees F at five this afternoon....It's supposed to be chilly, at least for a few weeks, this time of year. Hope you feel better.

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    1. WHen I get to the dental complaints, I'm going to stop blogging. :-)

      It should be quite cold here, with snow on occasion.

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  6. Your high yesterday was higher than ours and that's not just not right :) We "pay" big money to live in Southern California; we shouldn't be at 55 for our high :) But glad you had a chance to get some things done; I do hope more normal temps return soon to not confuse the plants to bloom early. That fish looks interesting; its literally a while tilipia, wow! I bet it tasted delicious!!

    ouch on your back; that's one of the joys of getting higher numbers on each birthday (I refuse to say getting older). I hope it feels better soon!

    betty

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    1. It WAS delicious. Really well cooked and flaky.

      Oh, I'll say it - I'm getting older. I just have a hard time adjusting accordingly!

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  7. glad you got to enjoy a beautiful day and your sons enjoying things that make them happy. sorry to hear your back is protesting. i've certainly had my share of back pain and it does suck the fun out of life.

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    1. The worst is that my job requires me to sit for long periods of time, which is remarkably painful. And pain meds are out because I have to be attentive.

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  8. Enthusiasm about gardening can be painful. :(

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    1. Enthusiasm about many things can be painful!

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  9. We had three very nice days, though rainy, but it's back to cold and snow this week. I cannot handle a whole fish on my plate; I'm very wimpy that way. How is your back today? I'm hoping you feel better.

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    1. It turned cold and rainy here today.

      Then you wouldn't have appreciated waiter's joking instruction to whack it with our forks if it wiggled. :-)

      (Back still hurts, but I'll live.)

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  10. Hi there, clandestine blogger,

    I am a fan of www’s and idly scrolled through her blog list, finding someone called nick and then on nick’s blog a comment of yours. (Sorry about this long-winded explanation)

    Anyway, I’ve come to congratulate you on that comment; if I had commented myself, that is exactly what I would have said too.

    Take care of that back of yours. I know all about gardening until you ache all over. As for winter, I doubt that here, in the extreme west of England, we’ll ever get one again; or summer, for that matter.

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    1. Oh not at all - I always like hearing how someone arrives here. And thank you.

      I love gardening so much that it's hard for me to rein myself in.

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  11. I know what you mean about overdoing the gardening without realising. I've strained this and that by getting a bit carried away. Luckily nothing as serious as a disc problem.

    Temperatures still pretty wintry here but lots of bulbs coming up even so. No banjo players in evidence though.

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    1. I need to learn to move instead of over-reaching. And to stop once in a while!

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  12. lucky you!:) here is snowing like crazy!

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  13. I hope you feel better. Funny story about the kids and their music.

    I have Kindle on my cell phone so I am never caight without reading material.

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    1. I can't read on my phone - it's just too small a screen. I do have a ereader I like, but don't always have it with me.

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  14. You're so lucky to have the musical accompaniment to your gardening. I'm very sorry about your back, though. Will you have to go to the doctor?
    It has been unusually cold for this area lately. Things are just a mess in the weather dept.

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    1. I AM lucky - it was really very nice hearing them play and sing.

      I am hoping not to go to a doctor - I am just following the recommendations for stretching and so on I got the last time i did this.

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  15. yummmy ...I am glad that you did enjoy with your son on a perfect weather & did go out.

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  16. Your unseasonable warmth might be doing something in Africa and your flowers could get killed by a frost for having been fooled by the weather, but up in Montana it's just the kind of Winter we'd expect. It's 18F out there right now.

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  17. I love the picture you draw of your sons and the music and your dancing in the earth with your hands but don't like the price tag of this at all!

    I hope your back improves. I've had sciatica and it is crippling.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. Really, the leg pain is worse than my back. But I'm much improved!

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  18. I can see where you would get lost in outside work with the mild temps and the instrumental entertainment.

    I hope your back feels better. Hearing people talk about similar injuries that required PT, I can't imagine that sort of pain.

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    1. PT is uncomfortable when you are doing it, but I'm a believer.

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  19. The weather is off the charts here too! Now I haven't seen any flowers blossoming, but I did see a jogger in a Tshirt!

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    1. I was running on Friday in a tank top and shorts!

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  20. I love that photo of your son playing the banjo and leaning against the tree.

    Sounds like you did get a lot of work done on your yard! I hope your back feels better soon!

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    1. I loved how casual he looked.

      And thanks, I'm nearly mended.

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  21. The fish looks killer!
    Even though Tilapia is a little too bland for my taste.
    GREAT presentation.

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    1. This had a good light breading and was really delicious.

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  22. I am so with you in finding the unseasonal weather unsettling. It's wrong. It's hard for me to face a future where every winter feels "wrong." We've had rain here, turning our snowpack into ice rinks, and it's been in the 40s some days when it should be -40. Ick. I want it "right."

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    1. I want it right, too, as much as I enjoy the warm.

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  23. the fish looks good :) tilapias are great to play around with strong flavoured sauces. in malayisa, the fish is very cheap.
    my dad usually steams it with fermented spiced soy bean paste and it is to die for. yums.

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    1. I like tilapia - very delicately flavored.

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  24. Awesome description of the mild temps in what should be winter. I always feel like that too - like I'd rather it just stay cold and wintery till it's over for good. No teasers needed.

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    1. I can't decide which is worse. I do admit I enjoy the warm days.

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