I am back from a weekend in Troy, MI, where it was 14 degrees most of the time. Luckily I was in a hotel most of the time (at a science fiction convention). Now I like winter even less.

Regardless, we had a lot of fun at the convention. We were invited to our friends’ in Ann Arbor for dinner, and on the way we stopped at IKEA for a desk for Eric. We found what we were looking for and boggled at the rest of the store (I’ve been to an IKEA before but it’s been years, and this was Eric’s first time). Including pots, of course. And houseplants at $1.50 each. Only the conviction that any plant I bought would die of cold before I could get the car warmed up stopped me from coming out with an armload.

Well, that and the conviction that we have no money for nonessentials, as Eric has just lost his job. If I’d known then what I know now–that we didn’t get our last credit card bill and have inadvertently been racking up finance charges–we wouldn’t have gotten that desk, either. I’m calling the credit card company today to beg for mercy, and we’re lowering our thermostat and cutting out all unnecessary spending. Good thing I ordered my seeds early. (Though I argued that having the garden will cut down on our grocery bill in the summer, and Eric concurred–but my grow lights are in danger, not because of the price of the lights themselves so much as the electricity to run them. It’s possible I can put my greenhouse close to the window and turn the seedlings every day and do okay. If all else fails I’ll put my houseplants elsewhere for a few months and grow things on the windowsills. I did it last year; I just won’t have room for extras.)

It’s been a bad several days. The only thing that’s really made me happy lately is that it’s now basically light by the time I leave in the mornings. The solstice is past, the light is returning…someday the ground will thaw, the trees will leaf out, and I will plant broccoli and peas.