Monday, September 29, 2008
A couple of weird things set this in motion:
1. An anonymous weirdo commented on a friend's blog yesterday and left comments that make you remember that there are some angry, strange people out there. That creeped me out a little.
2. Yesterday evening all of a sudden the power went out in our family room and garage. We couldn't figure out why. So the room has been dark and silent, which has been weird, unusual, and kind of depressing. No TV, no music, nothing. (Fortunately tonight we got it fixed!)
3. Last night while I was downstairs at the computer I had a strange, subtle feeling that I was being watched or under surveillance or something. I had Peter come downstairs and stick around nearby so that I'd feel better.
4. This was weird! I was laying in bed last night, and my closet doors suddenly opened with a creak all by themselves. Peter got up to see if it was the cat, but it wasn't. I couldn't get to sleep for like an hour after that! Could my house be haunted? The former owner died unexpectedly in the front yard a few years ago.
5. There was overcast weather today, which normally I don't mind, but today it just contributed to that scary foreboding feeling I was having.
6. My car was beeping today while I was driving it and I couldn't figure out why. My seat belt was on, so it wasn't that. It was as if the car was trying to tell me, "Look out! Danger! Look out!" It creeped me out.
7. My dog and two cats have been acting a little differently, especially the cats.
It just feels like things have been knocked off their regular angle a few degrees. I hate this feeling! So tonight I found out something interesting: my sister's house up in Massachusetts caught on fire this morning, and the whole house could have burnt down if my sister hadn't come home at the random unusual time that she did. Could my foreboding feeling have been about that? Or was it the Dow's record fall today because Congress didn't pass the bailout plan, possibly putting this country on the path to a major depression? Or both, or something still to be determined? I guess time will tell. If I die in the next week, you'll know that I foretold it.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I don't really have much gardening experience, so I planted what I heard were easier vegetables to grow: tomatoes and zucchini. I planted four cherry tomato plants, but two of them must have been mislabeled when I bought them because they produced bigger medium-sized tomatoes. I also planted one zucchini plant. The zucchini plant failed and yielded nothing. Two of the tomato plants did quite well, but the other two (the ones with the bigger tomatoes) didn't do as well. The tomatoes they grew had weird spots and abrasions on them and didn't look all that appetizing.
I was pretty diligent about taking care of my little garden: I mixed the soil with some good, rich Miracle-Gro before I planted, tried to space them correctly and dig to the right depth, and watered regularly. I staked the tomatoes (badly) when the plants got tall enough. I need to do better staking next summer. Speaking of which, next summer I plan on doing tomatoes again, and one or two other things that might be more successful than zucchini.
These were the two biggest rewards of having a garden:
1) I love cherry tomatoes, and the best ones I've ever had were surprisingly from this garden. An earth-fresh vegetable that you've just plucked from the ground has a wonderful fresh taste to it that store-bought veggies seem to lose. I loved going out and plucking a ripe red little tomato off the vine and popping it right in my mouth when it was nice and warm from the sun. No pesticides to worry about washing off either. What a wonderful treat!
2) John actually ate a few tomatoes because he saw how they grew from our own plants. VICTORY! He also got to learn more about nature by helping out with the gardening, which he really enjoyed.
I went to Home Depot's Garden Center in mid-May, chose my four tomato plants, and planted them. Soon after that I bought some zucchini seeds and planted those too.
By mid-June, the plants looked like this. The zucchini sprouts are on the right end, and the rest are the tomato plants.
End of June. Note John's little broom I used for staking, since I didn't have any actual stakes to use yet! I didn't really know what I was doing.
The zucchini plant sprouted this pretty yellow flower. I've heard that those are edible, but I didn't indulge.
In the middle of July, we got a huge rainstorm, and it wreaked havoc on my poor little garden. Fortunately I was able to fix it back up.
Here's John in August, picking the ripe tomatoes.
Puttin' the kid to work!
This is the failed zucchini plant that I uprooted and tossed into the woods that day. Some little animal had a feast on this every night during the summer. Maybe that's one of the reasons why it didn't sprout any veggies. More likely it was my own ineptitude.
The sweet taste of success: He actually wanted to eat tomatoes! It made the months-long effort totally worth it.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
1. I can't stand to have one hand wet and the other hand dry. It feels so uncomfortable to me, especially if I then have to touch a towel to dry off the wet hand and the dry hand touches the towel too. Ugh, I hate the thought of it! So I always have to get both of my hands wet, not just one. This is very bizarre.
2. I make and maintain lists for just about everything: a daily to-do list, a monthly to-do list, a seasonal to-do list, a house to-do list, a "dinners to make this week" list, a Things to Buy list, a grocery list, and lists for clothes to get, books to read, movies to watch, places to visit, and more. I'm crazy about lists (in more ways than one!).
3. I'm a little obsessed with time management. I tend to structure and plan my days in such a way that I will be able to get as much as I can out of every minute. I often fall a little short, especially in the evenings. Like right now, I'm blogging instead of doing other things I should probably be doing. But it's the end of the day and I need a break!
4. Just about every drawer and cabinet in my house is really organized, because I'm a neat freak. I'm very particular about where things go and how they get put away. It's a little scary, even to me, although I don't think I'd want it any other way.
5. Misspellings and grammatical errors bug me. It's the detail-oriented, oversensitive editor in me. When I'm reading something and I spot a mistake, if there's a pen nearby I actually sometimes write in the correction. It just makes me feel better, like somehow I'm making the world a better place. At least my world, anyway, since I guess I'm the only one reading the correction.
6. I have lifelong brand loyalty to a few things simply because of positive associations with them from my childhood (I think this is a reason why children get so heavily marketed to). For example, I'll only ever get Snuggle fabric softener sheets because I remember the commercials from when I was young with that cute little Snuggle bear and it brings back happy memories. Plus, that's what my mom used. So it's worth it to pay the few extra dollars, even though it may be a little impractical.
I tag: Barack Obama, Michael Phelps, and anyone else who wants to do it!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
This lovely purple flower bush in the backyard leads things off. When I look out my kitchen window in April and see it starting to bloom, I know spring has arrived. I love the yellow buds on the trees in the background too.
No flowers here, just the beauty of nature and my little boy at the edge of the woods in the backyard.
Flowers that bloomed in summer
I love this dogwood tree. When it's in bloom (July), all I can see when I look out my front bedroom window are its pretty white blossoms and verdant green leaves.
This orange flower is all over the place in New England during the summer.
Giant hostas that line the front walk. Here they are before they bloom, when they're still pretty tame:
And here they are after they bloom. They get so huge and droopy, and then they shed their petals all over the place.
Sun-drenched greenery that I can never get enough of.
I really do love these flowers, plants, and trees. Nature puts on such a stunning show every summer. It always reminds me of what a masterful creator and artist God is.
Although summer is my favorite season, I can't deny the intense beauty of fall's red, yellow, and orange foliage. I'm definitely looking forward to that happening in the next few weeks!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Ha ha! Here are my other favorites, from http://www.darlingmummy.com/:
I may not make the bucks that a sugar daddy does (or any bucks for that matter), but I am kinda sweet. My blog title even says so. Besides, I love cupcakes!
For the ardent/OCD recycler in me:
Perfect for that time of the month!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Every summer for as long as I can remember, I've gotten tough, hardened heels and calloused, bumpy toes, and by the end of each day the bottoms of my feet have been dark and dirty. I know, it's not attractive imagery. My house is almost all hardwood floors and ceramic tile, which is pretty to look at but not pretty to walk around on all day. It certainly doesn't help in the pursuit of good-looking feet.
This summer, however, ugly feet didn't happen to me thanks to this wonderful pair of flip-flops I decided to try out. I wore them every day just around the house as my house shoes. They protected my feet from the hard floors and helped keep my feet nice and clean during the day.
They have soft, pillowy footbeds that are so comfortable, and unlike many other flip-flops, they easily stay on my feet. I can't walk around the house now without them on. It's so nice to finally have decent-looking feet, and healthier feet too! My legs haven't gotten any aches and pains this summer because they've been so well supported. And these are pretty cheap, only about $25, so it's a good investment and one that has proven to be totally worth it. My feet say thank you Adidas!
Posting this photo on a public blog shows that I have no shame. On the left are the pair that I wore all summer. They got pretty grimy and disgusting by summer's end. Better them than my feet! The pair on the right I just got as the replacement pair. They are currently on my feet right now as I type this.
The Queen of the Flip-Flops!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Cooking the seafood required special pots that are best used outdoors. The grill was used to cook steaks for the non-seafood lovers (crazy people that they are! I love a good steak but lobster is a rare treat). Peter is in the blue shirt and that's his brother Paul. They do have a sister, but her name is Ruth, not Mary. (ha ha)
John liked the lobsters. I felt so bad that they were going to be dead and on our plates soon. Despite my guilt, they tasted very, very good. They had a lot of meat on them this year.
With Uncle James (Peter's step-brother), and a lobster that John took a special liking to (which didn't help my guilt!).
The mussels were so delicious. The bowl of melted butter is for dipping them in. This picture makes me crave them all over again.
Arielle and Elizabeth (2 months old), John's cousins
John and Andrew, cousins and look-alikes!