Wednesday, March 11, 2015

a change in the air

There we were, less than a week ago, doing everything we could to stay warm. 
From camping out in the sunbeams
to crawling under the covers and bundling up,

we were bracing for Snowmageddon Philadelphia 2015. And it did come. We had such a lovely snow day with between 8-10 inches of snow falling, then Friday and Saturday - very cold.

And now? We find ourselves with a high of 61°F! Ha! 
I went for a bike ride this afternoon.  In shorts. 
I was not the only person with this idea, there were a ton of people on Kelly drive. 
When I got home I could not bear to go back inside, so in spite of the few glacier-ettes still hanging around my yard
I did some general maintenance and re-acquaintance with my garden. I finally pulled the sunflower stalks down, cleaned up the trash that had been hidden by the snow, picked up all the poop Jacques and other four legged critters "hid" in the snow. (Too bad that doesn't just melt away with the ice.) I pruned the roses a bit and discovered that 'everyone' is waiting in the wings. Little green shoots everywhere, tulips, daffodils irises and crocuses. It is such a wonderful time of year. The forsythia at the art museum is in full bloom. Tomorrow I will hack away at mine. It needs to be whipped into shape. I think it's a bit late this year, but it was just too cold in February. I also need to start thinking about starting some seeds! 

I am on spring break this week - meaning I took the week off. Somehow it is already Wednesday evening, and I still haven't done half of what I wanted to do. But I did finish one thing I've been working on since January - designing my perfect backpack. 

 For over a year I've been searching for the PERFECT BACKPACK. I want something that can carry my laptop, all of my other stuff, have good accessibility, and yet not look sporty. I don't want all the buckles, and clasps, and dangling straps. That's fine for the mountains, but for the office I want something a bit more elegant. Not finding anything to my liking (never mind price range), I decided to try to design my own. And while elegant, this one jest ain't... it will do for what I really need it for at the moment: picking up my farm share. 
Even though it's not perfect, this back pack has some great features. 

I made extra-expandable and deep pockets to the sides so that I could put 1/2 gallon bottle of milk on one side and a dozen eggs on the other. The pockets are held close to the bag with elastic so that when they are not in use, they aren't flapping all over the place.
It is also possible to convert the backpack to a shoulder bag. The straps are clip-on. They can both be clipped to the back pack side, or clipped one on each side for the shoulder bag.
The top zipper is a jacket zipper, so it separates completely. I really like this feature. Zipping it back up is fine too, the only problem is that I'm always losing the zipper puller. Maybe if I put some sort of lanyard or bauble on it. 

And of course, the pocket configuration on the inside is vital:

On the top is the laptop compartment and on the bottom side is a wide pocket for a wallet maybe, a narrower pocket for cell phone or sunglasses, and an ultra narrow pocket for a pen or toothbrush.

All in all a pretty nice travel backpack. It will be perfect for small trips etc. But for everyday it is cumbersome. Nothing is available at my finger tips. It will be fine for shlepping my farm share first to school and then home. Although I did realize I should probably make some reusable drawstring bags so that the pretty yellow lining up there doesn't get totally dirty. 

Conclusion? The backpack has been inspected and approved...
but not by me. 

Back to the drawing board.

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