Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

In the Garden: September 2014

Usually my garden is winding down in September (the cucumbers are certainly finished). We've already had cool nights in the 50s (10-15° C) so I know the end is near. But! I have bean plants and strawberries that aren't ready to call it quits. 

The strawberries I planted are some odd variety that produce fruit twice per season (I had no idea they even existed until I started to notice a lot of fruit on my plants and looked it up). They've put out a ton of runners this season so I think the harvest will be even better in 2015!

And the bean plants I planted in late July are still growing. No signs of bean pods yet though. I knew I would be cutting it close by planting mid-season, so next year I will definitely plant them in the spring.

Check out this volunteer tomato plant - it's growing out the side vent on the compost bin!
It has 8 green tomatoes on the vine, ha! Mr. G is pumped.

Oh, and while this isn't from my garden, it fits nicely here:  I bought a crate of honeycrisp apples over the weekend (our favorite). No plans for applesauce or pie are in my future. We'll just be eating these as snacks. 

How's your garden faring? Do you have a favorite apple?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Transformation Photos

One of the women I follow on instagram occasionally posts "Transformation Tuesdays." This is one of my favorites:
Impressive and inspiring! I love how stunning a visual her progress makes. 

I know I've improved since I started yoga just from being able to reach a bit further or hold a pose longer, but both are difficult to quantify. So I took some pictures of myself in various yoga poses . . kinda like the one I took in tree pose a couple months ago.
And in another few months, I'll take some more and see if I notice anything. It also got my wheels spinning . . how else could I use this? Wouldn't it be nice if the bank put all the money from my retirement account in a big stack and sent me a photo of all that cash? :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

End of August 2014 Goals Update

Hello September! Time for a goal check-in. Not much to report on this month, just the mortgage and what I've been reading.

I was able to work a few extra hours this month and decided to put that toward the mortgage payment for September 1st. It's not money I normally have (or count on) so it won't be missed! My 2014 total is now $2600 - far more than I thought I'd have paid by this time in the year.

August was a superb month for reading. I read 9 books, so I've officially passed my goal of 50 for the year! My secret? Get poison ivy on your face, take off from work, and hole up in your house, reading all day ;)  
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - Anna is forced to spend her senior year of high school attending a boarding school in Paris, and she's not happy about it at first. But then she meets √Čtienne St. Clair and things start looking up. All in all, a well done romance. 
  • What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World by Henry Clark - A cute middle grades book about three friends and the adventures they face after finding a rare zucchini crayon in a couch. An easy, entertaining read.
  • The True Blue Scouts and Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt - The scouts in this case are raccoons, and trouble is coming to their swamp. In the form of wild hogs and alligator wrestlers, haha. Enjoyable storytelling, but things seemed to fall in place a little too easily for my taste. 
  • Torn Away by Jennifer Brown - This is the story of Jersey, a teenager whose mother and sister are killed in a tornado, followed by her stepfather sended her to live with her father (who abandoned her at the age of 1) and his parents. I felt the first 3/4 of the book was heaping one awful thing after another on Jersey - a tough read.
  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - Lara Jean writes letters to all her crushes, then hides them in her hat box. All is well until someone finds the letters and mails them, followed by some awkward encounters, fake dating, and family bonding. The weirdness includes the ending. 
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart - The premise here is promising. No one takes Frankie seriously because she's a sophomore girl and she's also upset that she can't join the boys-only secret society at her boarding school - so she starts playing pranks. Unfortunately, it takes 200 some odd pages to get to the good part, and it's over far too quickly, rolling into a lackluster ending. 
  • 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff - Delightful. This street was mentioned in the book I'm currently reading, The Bone Clocks, which gave me a little thrill. 
  • The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry - A group of well read children and their journey to finding/creating a loving family. Lots of references to children's literature that I appreciated.
  • Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty - Second in a series, as you may have guessed. I reread the first one in anticipation of checking this out from the library and adored it all over again. I'm looking forward to reading the third one soon :) 

Lots of long titles this month, eh? How was your August?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Coatrack

Do you hang coats on hooks? We tried using the hall closet (around the corner from the door), but this is much quicker and then we can use the closet for out of season items. But this particular coat rack has seen better days.
At first glance, it seems fine. Several hooks, a little space to rest things on top. Then the hooks started breaking off one by one, followed by the whole coat rack falling off the wall. Good times. 

So we replaced it. And by we, I mean Mr. G :) And not that I'm wishing for an early winter, but I am looking forward to loading this with heavy coats and winter hats.
coat rack coat rack
We're saving the old one for now, because we may be able to salvage the hook portion and use them elsewhere in the house for lighter items (I'm pretty sure the weight is why they were breaking).

Where do you hang coats?
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