I decided to actually take my lunch hour today and spent it outside enjoying the warmth. I finished taking down the Christmas lights (excepting the tree which requires the ladder) and then poked around the garden some.
Behind the garage, two of the raised bed are free of snow. The raised beds further south (with no bounce off the garage) are still ice covered. Looking at the soil, I ran across the first growing thing of the year--a weed, which I promptly pulled. How I have missed setting order to nature!
The make-shift cold frame I built on the south side of the house seems to be working. The raised beds in the back yard are still frozen (although most of the snow is gone). By contrast, the soil in the cold frame is thawed as far as I could push this trowel in (maybe 6 inches before I lost leverage) and reasonably warm to handle. I'd say we're some time way from planting in the cold frame but this is encouraging!
I also see that the bunnies have kindly been fertilizing the other beds over the winter.
In the basement, the tomato seeds have not yet germinated (which is expected) but the rest of the seeds appear to have and are putting on a good show. I expect to pick up our bikes from their winter tune this week and then we'll see what is happening around the neighborhood.