We are all thrilled here in central North Carolina because the weekend’s highs are supposed to be in the 50s-60s. I’m going to get out into the Back Forty this weekend, do some cleanup left over from last year, and prepare some beds for spring planting. I have heavy wire hoops in place over a few beds for plastic and Reemay. Maybe I’ll buy some and try to do some salad greens in the winter beds.

Sandy and I are cooking together now on weekends. Last Sunday I made goat cheese omelets, then he joined me in the kitchen where I was making spaghetti sauce for the coming week, and I guided him through making beef stew in the slow cooker. Most of the ingredients were local and/or organic.

Later that evening, we made a scallop pasta dish that I don’t have a recipe for – it is one of those dishes that has developed through the years out of ideas from other recipes. We marinated the scallops in olive oil, lime juice, and garlic, sauteed broccoli florets and sweet onions in some of the marinade, added a cube of frozen basil and pine nuts, added the scallops, then topped it off with feta and parmesan cheese. This is a dish that we save for special occasions.

I turned 49 years old on Ash Wednesday, and celebrated it on Facebook all day by posting the things that I would give up for Lent, which included:

sobbing in my office
crack
watching NASCAR
fried butter
Bud Light
running from the FBI
saying the word “durn”
kumquats
self-denial
pretending that your behavior is not slightly disturbing

I could have gone on like this all day every day. In real life, however, I am giving up birth control pills. We’ll see how THAT goes after 30 years of estrogen supplements! What are you giving up for Lent?