We worked on our fall garden Monday and Tuesday evenings. The plants we transplanted looked great. Until the full sun hit them, which is the sunlight exposure the info that came with them said they should get. They look like they’re about to die! Of course, I was told that if I planted them from seeds now, they wouldn’t produce anything before the frost kills them off. It’s like a catch-22. I guess all I can do is make sure they get plenty of water and hope for the best…
I’ve wanted a fall garden for two years. Last year, I started looking into it too late. In the fall. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that to have a fall garden, you have to plant in late summer…
This year, I looked into things earlier and found that for our area, prime planting time is August 15-September 15. We are right there! Only this year, I didn’t realize that some things need to be planted during the early days while others can wait until later. It’s a continual learning experience!
The boys and I made a list of the fall garden plants we want to grow: spinach, mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and garlic. On Labor Day we went to buy our seeds. It wasn’t that easy. Lowe’s didn’t have much of a selection; a local nursery was closed for the holiday; and Tractor Supply only carries a Burpee’s display when the seed company sets one up. We struck out!
Billy suggested I look online and order what I wanted, so I looked at Burpee’s and Ferry-Morse’s websites. Then I compared those to what I could find on Amazon. All the seed packets were more expensive than what Lowe’s charges for them, and I’d have to pay tax and shipping.
I realized it might be cheaper to try the local nursery again, so Jacob and I went by the next day to see what they had. Boy, was that ever a great idea! The lady who helped us gave me a list of fall garden plants with the suggested planting dates for our area. Turns out I should have planted broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts about a month earlier. She recommended I try a larger nursery in town for transplants of those.
After looking over the list and seeing what was still timely to plant, I decided on spinach, mustard greens, and turnips. I’m not a fan of turnips, but Billy likes them. I like the greens, and I’m willing to try turnips again since the last time I ate them was probably when I was in elementary school. I told the lady what I wanted and she put a few scoops of each kind of seed in little pouches for me. The seed packets were heavy, and I was wondering how much it was going to cost me after remembering what the online prices were. My total cost came to $3 plus tax! I will definitely do my seed shopping there from now on!
A few days later I called the other nursery to see if they had the transplants I was wanting. They did, and they cost $1.99 each. Not bad. We went by Friday afternoon while we were running errands. I found the broccoli and the cauliflower, but there were no Brussels sprouts to be found. We picked out three of each of the others and went to wait at the counter to be checked out. I asked the lady helping us if they happened to have any more Brussels sprouts transplants, but she said she had sold the last two that morning. Too late again!
Our goal was to pull out the old garden plants, add some nutrients, mix the soil, and plant our new things on Saturday evening. I started supper later than I had wanted to, and things ended up taking longer than I had planned, so we had to plan for another evening. Sunday night was out because we would be at church for the AWANA kick-off. Time is ticking, and our transplants will only last so long in their little containers. Tonight is the night. We will do it. We will not be late!
Today is a day full of firsts! The first first was that I cooked breakfast (for one) at 6:30 this morning. I rarely cook breakfast, and when I do it’s usually for supper. But it’s Caleb’s first day of (not home) school, and they don’t get a snack break. They get to eat when it’s time for lunch, and I know my teenage bottomless pit of a boy will be starving by then. He needed something more than a bowl of cereal or a Pop-Tart, so I toasted him a waffle and fried an egg to go on top. It’s something he loves to eat, but he’s not yet in the habit of eating breakfast quite so early. He did well to eat 2/3 of it. I hope that’ll hold him! At least he got some protein for the morning.
It’s also Jacob’s first day of school – at home by himself. He has always had Caleb around, so it’ll be quite a change for him to be doing this “alone”. I’m hoping he’ll grow and mature over the course of the next year or two. He really acts like a totally different kid when Caleb’s not around. It’s going to be an interesting year!
And it’s the first day of our new produce co-op rotation. We took a hiatus over the summer, with the exception of one shop day in late July. Let me tell you, I have really been missing my fresh fruits and veggies! I’m sitting here now, waiting for our Facebook group’s notification that it’s time to pick up. I can’t wait to see what we get and what my menu plan for the next week or so will look like!
And I can’t wait for Caleb to get home and tell me all about what his first day was like…!
I just finished listening to the audiobook Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. It’s an excellent book! It’s one I’m seriously considering purchasing for my own bookshelf. (I’d like to actually read the book since I’m a visual learner and likely missed or forgot some of the information after just hearing it…)
I was in the market for a weight-loss book that wouldn’t just give me strategies for weight loss but would also touch on the why’s of my behavior. Instead of being preachy, this book did that in a fun and entertaining way. Wansink describes in detail the various experiments and research strategies he and his team used to uncover the mysteries behind mindless eating. Since I enjoy the learning about the psychology behind certain behaviors, this was right up my alley.
He pegged me in several instances. One that stands out is the fact that when I eat, I always save my favorite food for last. According to his studies, that’s typical of only children (which I was for eight years) and people who come from small families. It boils down to the fact that I didn’t have to worry about my favorite thing being eaten up by others. (People who eat their favorite food first are among those who are the younger siblings in their families and likely came from larger families where food was stretched a little more.) It also boils down to the fact that I’m more likely to overeat. Because I don’t want my favorite food (or any food for that matter) to go to waste, I’ll clean my plate.
I also liked the points he made about dieting. It doesn’t work, especially if you deprive yourself of the things you love. Deprivation leads to frustration and binging, which leads to guilt, which starts the cycle all over again. Who needs that?!?
I didn’t agree with all the points Wansink made. He looks at leftovers in a different light where overeating is concerned. He sees it as evidence that too much food was prepared, thus indicating a natural bent toward overeating. I see it as an opportunity to save money and time by not having to cook at least one night a week. We save up the leftovers for a few days, then have a leftover buffet one night. Very little goes to waste that way.
All my life I’ve been a mindless eater. I just never paid that much attention to what or how much I was eating. When I was younger I never had to worry about it, but now it’s come back to bite me in my ever-enlarging butt. Bad habits left to run free in younger years lead to continued bad habits that are hard to get rid of when you’re older. Not impossible, but very difficult. That’s why I’m trying to teach my boys good eating habits now while they’re young. I hope they are able to appreciate this and follow through when they’re older so they won’t have the same weight struggles their dad and I have…
That’s not to say I never pay attention to what or how much I’m eating now. Often I do. Sometimes I really work to be diligent in not overeating. Other times I just don’t care. Until I step on the scale again and see the damage I’ve done…
When I came across this title in my library’s ebook collection, I snatched it up. The timing was perfect. I had been okay with controlling my eating, paying better attention to things – then I went with several family members on a vacation to Florida. We didn’t eat out much. Instead we cooked our meals in our condo. And boy, were they great meals! That in itself wouldn’t have been so bad, but there were also tons of sweets – both prepackaged and freshly baked. That, plus the road trip snacks we ate on the way there and back sent me back into the deep end of mindless snacking.
Now that I’m leaning back toward more mindful eating, I’m going to follow Wansink’s recommendation to set three guidelines to follow to make my mindful eating more of a habit than eating mindlessly. He made several suggestions throughout the book, but he acknowledged that everything won’t work for everyone. How true! What works for one person won’t always work for me. What motivates another person doesn’t necessarily motivate me. I have to pick and choose my own battles.
So what three guidelines am I setting for myself?
1. Drink a full glass of water at the beginning of every meal. (This helped me before, but then I quit doing it… I intend to be more mindful of it now.)
2. Do not snack straight out of the box/bag. Put a portion in a small bowl and eat only that amount.
3. No second helpings at meals. And no increasing first helpings because of it! I guess that also includes finishing off what my boys leave on their plates… Thankfully that’s not too frequent! Seriously, it pains me to have to throw food out.
These small strategies – as long as I’m mindful to follow them – should help me start losing weight without having to go on a diet or exercise ferociously. As Wansink says, “The best diet is the one you’re not on.”
I’ve been going through some boxes of old stuff, trying to decide what to get rid of, what to put into storage, and what to keep around. (Watching an episode of Hoarders will do that to you!) As I was going through a box, I came across five or six old word puzzle books: variety puzzles, math and logic puzzles, sudoku, etc. One is from as far back as 2005; others are from 2008 and 2010!
I looked through them and decided which ones I’d worked as much as I could (logic problems) and which ones still had some good left in them. Those few in the latter category have been keeping me company in my recliner the last few nights. I’ve tried new kinds of puzzles that I wasn’t interested in (or didn’t want to try to understand) earlier. They’ve been fun! I’ve even finished old puzzles I had given up on before.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to play word games and work all sorts of puzzles. (I guess it should come as no surprise that I’m playing the maximum number of games Words with Friends will allow…) In my earlier days, I did word search puzzles. It didn’t take me long to graduate from those into harder things like crossword puzzles, fill-it-in puzzles, and cryptolists. Then came logic problems and sudoku.
Word puzzle books were always standard equipment for road trips. The old ones I found are left over from past trips, ones I had put away after returning home. (Apparently a few moved with us in 2009…) Now that I’m getting ready for another road trip, I bought a new variety puzzle book. I’m not letting myself start working on it until the trip, though. In the meantime I have those oldies but goodies to keep me occupied.
I’m an avid reader, and I’m always in the middle of two or three books. Or four. Or five. Seriously. I carry one with me all the time because you never know when you’ll have some spare time/wait time. I like to be prepared.
A few years ago I tried using Billy’s old Sony eReader. I downloaded a book from the library and managed to read it all, but it was kind of boring (the reader, not the book) and not the easiest thing to use. Besides, I just like the feel of a book in my hand… The eReader went back into a drawer. When I pulled it out again (probably a year later) to give it another try, the battery was dead and I couldn’t readily find the cable to charge it. I eventually returned it to Billy with a sigh that I’m just not ready for that technology yet…
Last summer I got an iPad, and it didn’t take me long to download a Kindle app. My sister had a Kindle Fire and she kept telling me all the great things about it, all the books she could get, etc. Still, I couldn’t really get into reading on it. I used it to read a few library books, but I always went back to bound books.
I guess I really changed my opinion about ebooks when we took a short road trip and I didn’t want to pack a lot of books to take with me. I took one that I was almost finished with, but instead of packing another two or three to choose from, I just relied on what was on my Kindle app. That was the turning point. Since then, after finding out about Christian Fiction for Your Kindle, I’ve downloaded close to 60 free or inexpensive books onto my Kindle – and I get a few more new ones every week!
A few months ago, I downloaded Overdrive Media on both my iPad and my iPhone. I use the iPad app for non-Kindle books that I want to check out from the library. The only ebook I’ve read on it so far has been Jeremy Camp’s autobiography I Still Believe, but I have many more on my library wish list. I use the iPhone app for audiobooks to listen to while I’m driving, cleaning house, or working on projects where the TV would distract me. So far I’ve listened to Carol Burnett’s This Time Together, The Bridges of Madison County, Three Weeks with my Brother (a memoir by Nicholas Sparks), and Fahrenheit 451. I started listening to The Invisible Man but I lost interest in it. I’m looking for some sort of tuner/receiver so we can listen to audiobooks over the car speakers via my iPhone on our beach trip in a few weeks.
I also found out about a free ebook reader app through Christian Book Distributors (CBD). I downloaded it and was able to find several free ebooks through their site. I’ve read one so far – Invisible by Lorena McCourtney. I enjoyed it so much, I checked out the second book of the series (of 4 books) from my church library.
Just yesterday I downloaded the Nook app. I don’t know much about it yet, but I figured that would be the way to go if I (hopefully!) win a Barnes & Noble gift card from our public library’s adult summer reading program. I have 10 entries so far, but I’m hoping to get my name in a few more times before the program ends. The top prize is a Nook, which I have promised to a friend if I happen to win it – which I seriously doubt. The second prize is an iPod Nano. The individual library branch prizes are the B&N gift cards – my preference!
Lately I’ve been thinking about downloading an ebook reader of sorts onto the boys’ iPod Touches. I don’t want them having free access to any book, so I have to look at my options carefully. I also don’t want them having the ability to download a book through an app that’s tied in to a credit card. Since their iPods are configured to not bring up Internet pages, I need to see what I could do from my computer. I guess it’s homework time…