It's that time of year when rain and snow both fall from the sky. Most days, the sun's light is obscured by a veil of clouds, and the world feels grey and cold. On occasion, perhaps once or twice a week, the drizzle stops and the sun shines brightly. Patches of gravel are visible in the driveway, like dry islands in a sea of slush and snow. Birds are chirping again. Some of the people walking around town have shed their winter jackets. Nobody is out in shorts yet. The Spring Equinox has passed, but it doesn't feel like spring. It won't be spring until it stops snowing. 

My mood is heavily influenced by the weather. The worst time of year for me is the middle of February, when it's cold outside almost every day and the backyard is still full of snow. Spring isn't far away by then, so that's when I start counting down the weeks and then the days until the official first day of spring on March 20. I'm always hopeful that the snow will stop falling by then, even though I know it probably won't. It is now March 26 and of course, a fresh coat of snow covered the ground again today.

I need the sun. I need to see the grass, to be able to walk on pavement and dirt roads. I want to dig in the garden and plant the mache seeds that are supposed to germinate in low temperatures. I'm going to buy one or two straw bales. I'll set them up in a box formation with an empty space of dirt in the middle. I already have a cold frame "lid" that I made out of wood and clear, thick plastic. That will go on top of the bales. I'll get a soil-thermometer and use that to determine when I can plant the seeds. Then, I can experiment with growing food in cold weather. I think it'll probably work.

I'm also planning to get back to my regular running routine. I struggle to get out there in the winter, and I hate treadmills. Our town has an indoor track, but I don't like that, either. I need scenery. Also, I can't do any sprinting in the winter; I don't want to risk slipping on an ice patch. That means I have to keep the "zombies chases" option "off" when I use my zombie-themed running app. I can't do speed workouts, either. No hill sprints or strides for me just yet. I've managed to go out for a run once every couple of weeks or so. That's better than nothing, but it's not enough for me. I need to get out there at least once or twice a week or I'll go insane. 

My apartment is starting to feel more comfortable. Up until recently, I had boxes and containers of stuff all over the floor. They looked ugly and took up space, and they'd been there since I moved in last June. I've been chipping away at them for the past eight or nine months, slowly deciding what to donate, throw out, or keep, and making regular trips to the second-hand store to drop off bags of donations. The pile finally shrank enough that it looked like I could finish it up in one or two days, so I dealt with it. It's gone now. It took five days instead of two, but I got rid of it all. I feel much better now. My brain doesn't function well when there's too much clutter around.

Now I can focus more on things like making my own spice blends and deciding what food to dehydrate. I'm going to make my own dried meal kits for camping or for nights when I'm too tired to cook. The camping kits will only need water. The kits for home might use canned or refrigerated food like coconut milk, lemon juice, and so on. I'll make them high enough in protein and carbs to keep me fueled when I'm hiking or running. I've already made my own vegetable broth powder, an Italian mixed seasoning, and poultry seasoning. I'll test them out this week with pasta and rice. Then I can start adding sundried tomatoes and some sort of protein like lentils or chopped nuts. I'm really excited about this project. 

I've had other things going on that are taking up space in my mind. These thoughts are important to acknowledge and to process but, like most people, I don't like dealing with my problems. Let's just say I'm trying to accept certain things that happened in the past. Also, I'm starting to think I might actually be able to pull off a career goal I've had for a while now. I need to make a decision about that soon, and it's stressing me out. Anyway, I'm starting to get my sleeping and eating schedule back to normal. I now have a homemade yogurt parfait in the fridge that I'll have for breakfast tomorrow. For lunch or dinner, I'll make cilantro pesto and serve it with pasta and roasted asparagus and cherry tomatoes. If it's not raining or snowing, I'll go out for a run. I'll get up at a decent time, and I won't stay up too late tomorrow night. When that sunny day gets here, I'll be ready for it.