Posts Tagged ‘learn new things’



June 5, 2010

Take a look at how much everything has grown.  I can’t belive it.  I’m learning a lot about gardening.  First lesson is that squash needs its own garden box.  If it doesn’t get its own garden box it just takes over everything that sharing the box it’s in.  My jalapeno plants are completely covered by squash leaves that are the size of dinner plates.  The lettuce will soon meet the same end.  We’ve been eating the lettuce already.  It has a nice, light taste and a good crispness to it.  Tonight we will be cooking our first green beans and squash.  I can’t wait!

this is one that I grew from seed

Oh No Here Comes the Giant Squash!

Roll that beautiful bean footage!

Me with dinner!


My New Garden

April 17, 2010

Robert built a huge raised garden box for me.  It is 4′ x 10′ and over a foot deep.  He filled it with a mix of sand, soil, and manure.  It took two truck loads of dirt to fill it up!  Last weekend I planted four tomato plants, and two green pepper plants on one side and seed rows of lettuce, cilantro, green beans and, jalapeno peppers on the other side.  Meanwhile, in the house we had already started the seeds of squash, basil, watermelon, marigolds and more jalapeno.  The squash sprouts went into the big bed about mid-week, the basil will be planted in a container on the porch and the watermelon will be scattered around the yard because they take up too much room to go in the bed.  I also planted seeds of Morning Glories in a container near the front porch on the same day that the squash sprouts went into the ground.  Every morning and every evening I go out and check on the progress. 

This morning is exactly 7 days from when the bulk of the planting got done.  The four tomato plants and two green pepper plants that I purchased look strong and happy.  I think I can see the first sprouts of lettuce starting to come up.  The squash babies that started from seeds in the house and were planted in the bed look really strong and already have a new set of leaves.  The Morning Glories are sprouting!

Previously, when I started the seeds inside for the watermelon, squash… I also had done tomato plants from seeds.  I had about 20 1.5 to 2″ tomato seedings and Two Toes, the cat, ate all but three of them.  I was so angry.  Of the three he left me with one is in a container on the porch near the basil and the other two will go to Cindy and Mom.  Cindy and mom are also each getting some squash babies and watermelon babies.  I had so many seedlings I was also able to give some to my friend Jennifer and my friend Darren.

I really wish I had taken Robert’s advice and started a journal from day one to track all this.  I’ll try to just start from here.   Well, I better get out there…I have watermelon seedings to plant!


Traveling With Pomegranates

March 4, 2010

I went to the library to get The Endurance on CD.  It is a book my dad had recommended about an expedition to the South Pole which turns into a story of how the ship’s crew survived disaster.  I have been totally consumed with wanting to read and discuss survival stories since I finished “reading” Deep Survival.  I was disappointed to find that the library had lost the CDs.  So, I picked out the next best thing that I could find and checked it out begrudgingly.  I needed something to listen to in the car.  The CD I chose was Traveling With Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Anne Kidd Taylor.  I had read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd a couple of years ago and remembered thinking I liked her style.  Traveling With Pomegranates is the story of mother and daughter traveling through, Greece and France together.  During their travels they both struggle with different aspects of their lives.  They alternate chapters back and forth.  I was so grateful to have gotten it on CD instead of in book form.  It was read by the authors themselves!  I was inspired by the struggles that each woman was experiencing and how they were able to cope through each other and their own inner therapists.  They have caused me to look a little deeper into my life.  I hadn’t realized that I was living without contemplation.

I’ve asked both my mom and my sister to read the book.  Amber wants the book version because she carpools to and from work and would not want to force her carpool partner to “read” anything.  So, I ordered it online and can’t wait for it to arrive.  I feel like I want to write something inside the front cover for her.  I don’t know what yet.

I’m going to the library tonight to renew the CD version and I’ll take that to my mom. 

I really hope they will enjoy the book as much as I did.  I know there is the chance that they will both not finish the book and wonder what in the world I thought they would like about it.  We are all such different girls with different tastes. 

Of course, right after I had pulled out of the library parking lot and headed down the road towards home the librarian called me to say that she had found the misplaced CD of The Endurance.  I almost turned around to trade back Traveling With Pomegranates.  How lucky that I was lazy and ended up “reading” such a wonderful book!


Deep Survival

February 20, 2010

I just finished “reading” a new book.  I discovered books on CD!  So, actually I listened to a new book this week on my way to and from work.  I’m completely addicted and will be visiting the library this afternoon to pick up the next book on CD.

The book was Deep Survival who lives, who dies and why by Laurence Gonzales.  In the past I’ve read a few survival stories.  I’ve read, Adrift and Into The Wild.  Both books detailed the experience of a man in extreme circumstances.  One lived and one died.  I had never thought about the two stories in comparison because one I read in high school and had all but forgotten about and the other within the last two years or so.  Gonzales’ book compares not just these two stories but many stories in which the central figures find themselves in a situation of survival or death.  The first part of the book discusses functions of the brain in depth and it was over my head.  I think I picked up the general ideas but, I’m sure that if I’d paid more attention in Biology or continued on to Anatomy I would have gotten more out of it.    The main idea seemed to be that people are governed by a small amount of rational control and a large amount of emotion.  The people who live through their ordeals are able to use both in just the right ways. 

The second part of the book detailed out several stories of survival and pointed out how the survivors made it out alive and why the ones who didn’t died.  He used the experience of Steven Callahan, who wrote the book Adrift, to define the perfect survivor.  Steve was alone at sea in a 6 man raft for 76 days.  Steven was able to survive because he used his rational brain to observe his environment and come up with a plan for his survival.  Observing and planning played a big part in not only Steven’s survival but also many others who found themselves is similar situations.  Another key seemed to be taking responsibility for ones own situation and survival.  Many of the people who’ve died did so because they gave up or just waited without action for rescue.  Gonzales mentioned that rule followers do not do as well in survival situations because they aren’t willing or able to let go of the plan when things go wrong.  Survivors are constantly having to adjust to changing environments and circumstances.

I had a difficult time with this book because the author was overly poetic for my taste.  I think if I had been actually reading it I wouldn’t have gotten all the way through it.  However, I’m really glad I did finish it because I found so many inspirations in it.  The spirit of seeing beauty in the world and your situation no matter how extreme and, the ability of people to never give up no matter how discouraging the circumstances were two themes that I was specifically moved by.

There is a show that comes on Animal Planet called I Shouldn’t Be Alive.  The show interviews people who have lived through an extreme ordeal.  I had never seen it before I started reading Deep Survival but, now when I watch it I think I get so much more from their stories than the viewer who has not read Deep Survival. 

Gonzales does mentioned that he has found that may times someone who has all the perfect attributes of a survivor can be overtaken by circumstances and die.  Also people with no survival skills can get lucky and live.  But, I was really drawn to the stories of the survivors especially when they would make a decision to take a risk and either live or “die well”.

So much to think about…..what would I do in an extreme environment?  Would I be a survivor?


America’s Prophet

February 7, 2010

I just finished reading America’s Prophet Moses and the American Story by Bruce Feiler.  I really enjoyed the read.  It was very well written, educational, and entertaining.  I had only ever heard the Moses story.  I have never actually given it much thought.  If someone had asked me about Moses I would only have been able to remember that he led the Israelites out of Egypt.  Maybe I would have remembered something about the plagues.  But that would have been it.  I’m surprised to learn about the extent to which that story helped shape American history.  Feiler traces the inspiration of the Moses story from the Pilgrims, the Revolution, The Civil War, Civil Rights, Superman, and on into present day.  The story has been envoked at every turning point for inspiration and justification. 

I was also surprised at the many aspects of the story.  Leadership, risk, balance between freedom and laws, teaching, and ultimately a mixture of failure and success.  I think that is why the theme is so recognizable in our history.  The story can be told a million times and emphasis be put on a different lesson each time. 

I would recommend the book to anyone who finds American history interesting because this author is able to put a new perspective on events that we’ve learned about since kindergarten.  It’s refreshing to look at history in a new way; reinvigorates a craving for learning.



November 19, 2009

Our dog, Chester, is an eating machine.  He seems to be able to eat any thing in any amount.  It amazes me because he’s a small dog.  He only weighs 25 lbs.  He can’t be all stomach.  There has to be room inside his skin for a heart, lungs, bones, muscles….but the things he consumes must take up space.  It’s crazy!

Things he’s eaten in the past:

A banana.  The whole thing.  The only part he left was the 1/2″ stem you use to pull back the peel.

A stocking full of Christmas candy.  Just assume wrappers are always included.

Bags of used cat litter that he’s pulled from the trash can.

Coffee grounds also from the trash can.

A large bar of 72% dark chocolate and subsequently about 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide.

A plate of “welcome to the neighborhood” cookies.

Most recently a loaf of bread.  He only left the heal.

A few of those items were accidently left out within his reach and we learned to put things away, we also got a new trash can with a tighter lid, now we are finding out that he can reach things on top of the kitchen counter.  So, now we have to push things back towards the wall so that he can’t pull stuff down.  Unbelievable!


A few videos

May 12, 2009

Today when I got home from Kroger I put away all the groceries and I was going to start some laundry when I noticed something unusual.  Two Toes had a sticker on his face.  I had to get a quick video.  He is so funny.  It was the sticker they put on the items too big for a bag.  It says, “I’ve been Krogering”.

Here is a video of me giving fluids to Cosmo.  He has to get them every night due to his kidney failure.  Its a long video.  I’m want to keep video taping this event every night until I get a good one then maybe it can help other people who have to give their pet fluids.  I remember when I first started doing it for him I would shake and cry and really freak out for an hour before hand.  It is difficult to get over the mental block of not wanting to stick my cat with a needle.  My neighbors used to come over and distract me for a while and then help me with Cosmo.  They are GREAT neighbors.  Whooo Hooo Mike and Dale!!!!