Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sign of life

I apologize for the fuzziness of the photos, the sun made it tough for me to see if I was in focus. What you are looking at are my first sprouts in the plot; snap peas and butter crunch lettuce. I stopped by briefly on Saturday to water and discovered these little green buds pushing through the soil. I also found out that the water has been turned on in the garden, so I no longer have to tote it from home.

I had a busy weekend between derby practice and driving to NH and back. I hope to do some more work this weekend, weather permitting. I also have to go apartment hunting. At least this time I don't have to worry if there is no yard, I have my garden to escape to when I need a little green scenery.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

First post on Derby

In February, I started skating with the lovely Skate Free or Die Roller Girls of NH. New Hampshire's first Roller Derby league. I was inspired to join them after attending my first Boston Derby Dames bout in November of last year.

First, before I go any further, let me clear up some common misconceptions about Roller Derby. Yes, we do get to knock each other down while skating around a track....BUT there are rules and regulations. My league is training to play as a member team of the Womens Flat Track Derby Association, better known as the WFTDA. No, we are not allowed to elbow people in the face. Go educate your bad self more at: http://wftda.com/

Tonight I attended my first outdoor practice. Normally we practice at a roller rink. Now that the weather is more favorable (and New Hampshire is no longer buried in snow) we found a park with a nice patch of concrete to hold skate practices. It was a small gathering tonight. I went mostly to work on, and hopefully pass, my level one assessments. Yes, we have levels and assessments. Derby isn't just all skating around in outrageous outfits, knocking each other over.....it invovles skill too. I'm proud to say I passed my level ones tonight! Thanks to the other girls who coached me and encouraged me tonight. Below is the level one assessment sheet.

level 1

can begin doing contact in practice after passing and at least 4 practices

# of practices attended

Pass Fail
Skating Posture

bends at knees and hips with shoulders back

swings arms fluidly


has steady, confident, fluid strides

uses both feet to push forward on straight-aways

Stepping (from a standstill)

forward and backward

side to side in both directions

Squatting while skating

squat and coast through the entire straightway and turn

squat and propels self on straight-aways and around turns

Fall safely

single knee

double knee

figure 4/baseball slide

180 degree turn single knee fall


Perform one-foot glides with each foot for the legth of the straightaway

Has the ability to propel self while keeping all eight wheels on the floor

Can move easily and fluidly from one side of the skating lane to the other


skater must come to a complete stop from a brisk pace, using proper form and without loosing balance


Dragging toe stops


performs smooth crossovers while skating at a brisk pace going into and coming out of turns

uses both feet to push during crossovers

Now being a level one skater, I am now able to participate in contact exercises. Yes, that means I can bump into the other girls, or in derby speak: take and receive hits. I'm excited. P.S. Don't tell my insurance company.

And one last thing. My derby name was accepted by the national register. (you have to clear a name with the registry before using it. There are over 11,ooo names on the register, http://www.twoevils.org/rollergirls/). I am now known by my teammates as "Cruelia Child" #13 Baker's Dozen

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I spent about 2 1/2 hours in my garden plot yesterday. I finally remembered to bring my camera with me and took some before and after photos. I turned most of the soil over yesterday creating two rather large sized beds and one smaller one.

Earlier last week, I stopped by on my way home from work to sow some snap peas, spinach, butter crunch and romaine type lettuces. So far no sprouts. The weather has been nothing but glorious since Monday. Sunny skies and highs in the 60's. This also means no rain. I was told by an older gardener last weekend, that the city does not turn on the water to the garden till May 2nd. In the meantime, I've been filling a small tupperware container and taking to water the seed plots.

My seedlings at home are doing great and I'm considering moving them out of the flat into separate peet pots so I can start planting more. I still want to start some carrots, onions, squash, more beans, and maybe some more Zinnias.

I do worry a bit that I am trying to do too much for my first "official" garden. BUT I've never had so much space before and I hate to let it go to waste. I figure I might as well try and see what happens, I can always make changes for next year. Besides my container gardens in the past have faired well, so why should a little ground in a nice sunny spot be any worse? :-)