Saturday, April 25, 2009

To Hike or Not To Hike

We had planned to spend the day today out in the fresh, spring air hiking. A mid-day break and a nice little lunch in the tiny dining room of a grocery store/restaurant down in the end of the county where we planned to go exploring. Stretch those leg muscles to get them in shape for the upcoming work-outside season.

The day dawned damp, gray, and heavily overcast. The temperature was in the 40s with 25-30 mph winds. Go ahead. Call us wimps. We caved. Decided to change our plans. Just couldn't screw up the gumption to brave the dampness accompanied by the high winds since the area we wanted to hike included one of the highest elevations in our area. If only the sun had been shining, I'm sure we would have gone 'cause we'd been planning on this all week and were really looking forward to it.

Plan B: Home day. So I tackled a little task that I've put off longer than my conscience feels comfortable about. We've got a fantastic whole foods co-op in our little town. It's staffed by a few paid employees but member volunteers keep the larger-than-you-might-expect operation going. Members can pick from a huge variety of jobs and accrue credit hours that go toward percentage discounts on purchases. A highly technical job that requires scads of training, expertise, and talent (I can hear several people laughing hysterically right now) is hemming towels for use in the co-op deli, general cleaning, and such. I seem to have earned the title of Rag Lady. Sort of like Bag Lady except with much more lint.

The co-op receives towels donated by our municipal swimming pool and many of the motels in town. Older towels that may be less than pristine white any longer or have begun to ravel. They're plenty good for recycling and we're glad to get them at the co-op. Because of their size, they need to be cut into smaller pieces and then hemmed so they don't unravel in the laundry. The batch I have to do this time is small, only two shopping bags full. Last time I had two big, black garbage bags to work through. Now THAT was a lot of cutting and stitching. And, oh yeah, a lotta lint to clean out of my sewing machine.

Roy decided to cut our small hay field he had let go to seed last fall. I told him he'd better take his snow shovel with because there was one corner that would need the snow removed before he could cut it! But he was anxious to get started on the job before the little green shoots grew too high among the old, dead, standing stuff so he said he'd work around that spot for now. First he had to take the snow blower off the Gravely garden tractor and mount the rotary mower.

Here he's just attacking the removal of the snow blower. (Sure hope we're not tempting the fates to dump another 6-8" of snow on us now. The way this spring has been going, it could happen.)

Of course, wouldn't ya know it, the sun came out bright and beautiful about 2 o'clock this afternoon. But it was too late to revert back to "Plan A: Hiking." We've got a date to go to a play at our local Playhouse tonight and it would have been too much of a rush to get gone, have a nice hike and get back in time.

Besides, the wind is still blowing and it's only up to 44.5 degrees now at 3:30. I think I'd better go put another small log on the fire. Br-r-r-r!


  1. Oooh, tractor envy! (I probably would have caved too, with such raw weather. I don't mind the dry cold of midwinter, but the damp, raw cold of early spring just seems to work its way right into one's bones.)

    I think your towel-reclaiming project is great. At the food bank/ community center where The Piper works, the local elders' craft group has taken on another sort of reclaiming: they take unwanted t-shirts, sew across the bottoms, cut off the neckband and most of the sleeves, and hem the ragged edges or just leave them as-is. These become "shopping" bags for the clients of the foodbank. The Bagpiper's really proud of this program, which she started on Earth Day a couple years ago, when she said, "I'm tired of the idea that 'going green' is just for rich people. I want to show my clients that they can take action too."

  2. Super-kudos to The Piper's t-shirt recyling project. What a cool idea! We could ALL do so much more if we just gave it some real thought.

  3. Only in Minnesota can a guy use a snowblower and lawn mower on the same day! Happy Spring!

  4. Hi, Ruthie - Don't forget an ice scraper for the freezing rain on the windshield!