Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Winter break can feel so long and strange, especially since I see these breaks between semesters as a time to accomplish, and the bitter Minnesota cold has kept me indoors a bit more than I'd like. Sub-zero temperatures just aren't so very inspiring.

What I've been up to these days:
- Working on my submission for The Milkweed Project. Trying to find the rest of my cream yarn to finish the project. Finding a box of Christmas presents I meant to send out this past holiday in the process. Still no yarn (where on earth did I put it?).
- Getting stuck in the snow at the end of my driveway. Jabbing at the ice around the wheel with a garden shovel, spilling that dog-safe sidewalk salt in the crevices. I feel an odd sense of accomplishment, an awful smell of burnt rubber, the knowledge that I know how to rock the car without having to step outside. I feel very Minnesotan.
- Ryan and I are insulating the basement. That space, that "vortex of hell," as a friend dubbed it, is extraordinarily creepy, which makes sense, given it's a dirt basement in a house built in 1890. Two nights ago, Ryan shop-vac'ed the beams of cobwebs, dead spiders and centipedes, and we hauled out all the rotting wood and broken glass in preparation for the plastic-laying that is to occur this evening. Soon, we will follow with the actual insulation, which Ryan hopes will draw down the heating bill. Ridding ourselves of the wood, the glass, the rusty pipes will be the second worst task. The worst is when I do actually crawl into that space, the one that will likely fill me with nightmares.

What I would like to be up to:
- Generating more poems. One of my friends and I exchange poems twice a week, brand new snippets, but I need to focus more, and I definitely need to read more. Less for escape and more for craft.
- I'd like to tick off one of those goals for the year, perhaps that loaf of braided bread.
- I also want to learn to snowshoe, and I've been poking around websites, finding options both modern and traditional. I'll have to see if there is somewhere nearby with rentals, just to test it all out. I found this resource on cross-country skiing in Minnesota.

This Thursday, Ryan and I are headed to Magers & Quinn to see Alex Lemon, a graduate of my program, read from his memoir Lucky. This weekend, my parents are coming for their first visit since my wedding.


Angie said...

Snow shoeing - you guys can borrow ours, if you want, for a test drive.

Vortex of hell - sounds like what we did late spring 09. Yes, it did help the temp in our crawl space. Since I was measuring it for a possible root cellar I know for a fact that it was below 30 degrees at the outside temps we've been having. This year, its about 50 degrees! That has to help the temp in our bathroom, right upstairs (same as you). We also found 2 dead mice when we cleaned it out. Better than live ones, I must say, when you're kinda closed in the area!!!

shari said...

we just have the basic LL Bean winter walkers and they work great. it's just like walking...you don't need to learn anything. just go for it.

Molly said...

Angie: We'd love to borrow yours! :) And yes, I just got back upstairs after laying down the plastic... wasn't fun. I pretended like I was spelunking, which made it a lot less freaky.

Shari: I'm such a klutz; I feel like I need to order a half dozen books on the subject before I tackle it. But I think, with Lane and Angie's kindness, I'm just going to do it and see how it goes!


Rachel said...

I'd love to see what you did for the milkweed project...I'd not heard of it before!

Definitely don't read books on snowshoeing...it really is as easy as just walking except so much more fun and tiring! Take pictures!

Angie said...

May I also recommend that you not take the dogs on the initial outing? I know from experience that dogs love to step on the backs of the snowshoes and make it difficult. That is, if they are leashed, of course.

My 2 cents.

Molly said...

Angie, those are two incredibly welcome two cents. Fortunately, our dogs can be leashless, but I don't think I need to deal with that kind of crazy when I've got new apparatuses on my footsies. Especially with Mr Bowling Ball.