Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's a Garden Party

Kimba over at A Soft Place to Land is holding a garden party. I thought this would be a perfect time to blog about my new vegetable garden.

First off, I should plainly state that I am not a gardener. I've dabbled with some landscaping in the front of my house only because there was none when we moved in. What makes that statement worse is that our house desperately needs landscaping in the front due to the fact that the foundation sticks up about 2.5 feet. Uhhhh-gly. Enough of that though - that's for another post.

What I have done this spring is started a vegetable garden in my backyard. My hubby trimmed back some of the trash trees back in March/April, and while I am appreciative, it brought forth an eye sore that was "magically hidden" behind the trees. I say magically hidden because apparently it's been there the entire time in "plain sight" (says my hubby), but I've just been overlooking it.

Anywho, I discovered that I have a very ugly sewer manhole right along my fence line. What's a girl to do? I can't put anything permanent over it so I decided to do some container gardening.

If you squint hard you can see the edge of the manhole to the right of the tomato plant in the middle of the picture. Unless you knew it was there, however, I don't think it's all that noticeable.

What I have growing:
  1. Lots and lots of herbs - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, & Thyme (and yes, I listed them in that order for a reason - I am a music teacher, you know. :-P ), Sweet Basil, & Italian Oregano.
  2. "Homely Homer" tomatoes. And no, I didn't give them that name - that's the name they came with. They're ugly tomatoes, apparently. I have 7 growing right now, but none of them are ripe yet.

  3. Green Bell Peppers - I have 4 growing right now.

  4. Broccoli - I didn't research the sun patterns in my backyard, and I know the whole yard gets a bit of sun and a bit of shade throughout the day, so I didn't want to commit a whole patch of yard to a garden that may not flourish.... so, I didn't actually plant anything in the ground. My broccoli are planted in one of those under the bed storage bins, sans lid. If I do this again next year, I will need to poke some holes in the bottom for drainage. Nothing has died yet from heavy rains/standing water, but.... you never know.

  5. Zucchini - I already have one growing! Isn't it cute?

  6. Cucumbers & Spaghetti Squash, both growing up the chain-link fence. It has been my daily chore to make sure that the veggies grow up the fence and not through the fence. Our neighbors have a pristine lawn and I would hate to have the little feeler-tentacle-thingies spoiling their yard. No pics of these, but I think I finally have my first spaghetti squash growing. The cucumbers are still MIA.
  7. Thistle - What, you don't have thistles in your garden? :-P While I didn't plant this, neither my hubby or I had the heart to mow it over. He's Scottish and our wedding last year had a Scottish theme to it - he was in a kilt and I had (silk) thistles in the flower bouquets. I'll have to post pics of those at a later date. To give some perspective to the picture, though, you should know that the thistle stands about eye level, and I'm 5'9".

Ok, I think I've written waaaay more than I needed to. Oh well. Goodnight. :-)

I Won...

Something! I'm participating in the Tip Junkie Going Dot Come Birthday Bash going on this week, and after only one day of the party, I've already won something! Don't know what it is yet, but I'm super excited - I never win anything!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Giveaways Galore

Tip Junkie has just turned 2 years old (I love this site!) and Laurie is having giveaways all this week - 10 per day!

Go check out the
Going Dot Com Birthday Bash:

The Nester over at The Nesting Place is also having giveaways - 1 per hour all day is what I hear.

Check her out as well:

I'm Convinced

I had my first garage sale-ing experience this past Saturday. I can't count how many I ended up going to. I made quite a few note cards with addresses and mini-maps with the times each garage sale was open and whether it was a multi-family or not. I didn't even get to all the ones I put on note cards though, because I found so many others along the way that hadn't been listed on garage sale tracker or craig's list. That's ok - I did have an enjoyable morning (even if my body wasn't ready to be up that early).

So... here is what I found:
pink "toolbox"?: $1
mail sorter: $2
beanie babies: $0.25 (each)
red organizer: $0.50

total: $4

Best thing about all of this is that my hubby totally approves of my new hobby - and he's always weary of my spending habits. Fortunately he saw that I showed some restraint (I didn't fill the entire car with crap), and that I really enjoyed the hunt. So.... I'm convinced that not only is this worth my time, but it's fun too!

Edited to include:
I just linked up for the first time over at Southern Hospitality. Check out Rhoda's blog and see what others have found.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Spin Class Kicked My Butt

Ok, so I did it. I signed up for a 2-week trial at Butterfly Life with the intention that I'll join their 6-week Move It or Lose It Challenge next week. That way I get a no-hassle, no-commitment way to see if I'm really going to stick with this whole working out thing. With this program I get full use of the club, access to a weight loss portal online, 2 meetings with a personal trainer to set my goals and follow up on my progress, and a few other things that I can't remember off hand. I'm hoping that this will kick my butt into gear.

Speaking of kicking butts, mine was kicked at spin class. The ladies showed me around to all the equipment, took my measurements and let me participate in a spin class today. Man am I out of shape - and I must have looked like I was going to have a heart attack because the spin instructor went out to the lobby and fetched me a bottle of water. It doesn't help that my rosacea goes haywire when I get my heart rate up. It's been 45 minutes since I stopped cycling and my face still isn't completely back to normal. Oh well. Maybe once I'm in better shape, I won't get so flushed. One can hope, at least.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Making a Change

I've been trying to lead a healthier lifestyle lately, but I find all my healthy choices in food to be boring. I'm a chocoholic/candyoholic/get the largest size because I just love the way food tastesoholic. Yeah, you read that right. Well, my in-laws bought me a Wii fit for my bday back in March and I have enjoyed using it, but I find that I'm not keeping up with it as much as I should.

Today I went into a local woman-only gym called Butterfly Life and got some information about membership. I like the way they have their gym setup (a circuit like Curves + dvd classes + live classes + cycling) and they offer a 2-week trial offer. Hubby thinks that we can swing the monthly fee if I actually use the membership. While this totally makes sense, I feel a bit of weight on my shoulders to commit to this. I really want to do this and I really want to succeed. I need to lose 20+ lbs. to be out of the overweight category on the BMI chart and 40+ lbs. to get to my "ideal" weight.

In any case, we decided that I should at least do the 2-week trial, possibly sign up for their weight-loss summer program and then decide on a contract at the end of the summer. We'll see I guess.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Final Touches

Well, I gave my blog a total overhaul - new blog address, new title, new design. The design is always the fun part. I've been dabbling in web design since I was in college, so.... for about 5 years??? now. I've come a long way since I began. I've got just a few final touches and tweaks and then I'll be totally finished - this makes me both happy and sad - like I said, the design is always the fun part.

Here's to hoping that I'll actually use this thing this time.