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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Friday Fun! (Spring!)

March 18, 2011 4 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  Spring has finally started to show up in New England!  Spring is always a conflicted time for me.  I love the warm weather and appearance of new life, don’t get me wrong.  I also, however, am seriously allergic to spring.  Even with meds, I still have to limit my time outside.  So even while I want to go out and run along the Charles River path and be completely ridiculous, I can’t really.  Well, unless I want to spend the entire next day in bed wheezing for air.  So my days in the spring pretty much consist of, “Yay! It’s 60 out!  I could go for a nice long walk……wait. No.  No I can’t.”  So spring is a bit of a Catch-22 for me.

On the plus side, now I get to plan my container garden!  Last year was my first year, and I learned a lot.  “Learned a lot” means that I only successfully grew one plant.  However!  Here’s hoping that this year I will be able to apply what I learned and get at least two successful plants.  Maybe even four.  Mhm.  I’m thinking of trying a pepper, a tomato, a zucchini, and some sort of bean.  I want to see climbing things in my kitchen!  So pretty!  Hopefully the cat will leave the plants alone.  She’s periodically good and periodically bad.  Just like a person. 😉

Other than that, life continues on as usual.  I have some of the most awesome friends in the world who I see as much as possible.  I’m getting in my gym time and ever improving the quality of what I eat.  I feel healthier every day and every week is a new adventure.  Of course, I’m also consistently reading.  My first passion in life.  Happy weekends all!

Friday Fun! (Gardening, Kindle App, Swiffer)

July 23, 2010 5 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  Thanks to my friend Nina, my tomato plant now actually has a cage instead of being held up by a contraption made up of random bits of my blinds, yarn, and my refrigerator.  It is surviving…barely.  It’s this tall gangly thing.  On the other hand, my peppers keep getting bushier but not blossoming.  Get on that, peppers!  The basil is behaving quite well.  I highly recommend it to anyone who forgets to water plants until they get wrinkly and then desperately drowns them with so much water that the dirt floats.  That might just be me.  In any case, the basil is thriving in spite of my abuse.

Oh in bookish news, I got the Kindle app for my iTouch, partly because it’s free, but also because I was wondering if I’d actually successfully finish an eBook if it wasn’t a classic.  So far all the ones I’ve tried have been classics because that’s what’s free.  Anyway, I heard that you can get some romance novels for free from Amazon via the Kindle app, and lo and behold you can!  So expect a review of reading on the Kindle app, and possibly the book, if I actually finish it.  I have yet to successfully finish an eBook, and I only plan on reading this when I’m standing up on the bus with one free hand or in line for something.  So we shall see what we see.

Also, pet owners, for the love of sanity get a Swiffer.  After battling the epicness of my own long hair combined with my kitty shedding non-stop this summer, I finally caved and bought one.  You know what?  It’s amazing!  It actually caught all the hair without sending any of it flying toward my nose.  My floors have not looked this clean in ages.  Plus, it took about a third of the time of regular sweeping.  I’m totally sold.  Although, I’ll probably still do old-fashioned mopping periodically.

Happy weekends all!

Friday Fun! (A/C, Rent, Gardening)

June 11, 2010 4 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  Last weekend saw a heatwave here in Boston that finally convinced me to buy an a/c unit.  My brother informed me that the new models use far less electricity than I previously had thought, and my dad offered to contribute some money toward one as an early birthday present, so one was acquired! Of course, the day it arrived was so chilly that I had all my windows shut, lol.  We plan on installing it this weekend in preparation for the imminent return of the heat. Long as we can find an electric drill to borrow somewhere.

My lease is up the end of August, so I wound up discussing renewing it with my landlord.  He told me he’s probably going to have to raise my rent due to taxes.  A friend reminded me that it’s a renter’s market, so that’s a bit odd.  However, I also just remembered that he gave me a deal when I first rented it, knocking $50 off the original monthly amount he wanted, so I guess that evens it out?  Either way, I really don’t want to move.  I haven’t been in one place for more than a year since I was 15 years old (15 through 18 consisting of switching back and forth between parents’ houses), and it would just be nice to have 2010 be The Year Amanda Doesn’t Move Anywhere.  Also, with the job hunt and graduation in January, I’m expecting that my entire financial situation will be very different in a few months, so I’d rather wait to move until that happens.  Anyway, cross your fingers for me that it doesn’t go up too much and that I’ll overcome my patriarchy-induced tendencies to not advocate for myself in monetary situations!

In container gardening news, one of my tomato plants is getting tall, and I’m wondering when I should stake it.  I’m a bit clueless about tomato plants.  The other one is kind of failing to thrive. It looks healthy, but it’s still only 3 to 4 inches tall.  I added some dirt and watered it, but I don’t know what else to do.  Thoughts on that?  The good news is, my pepper plants are doing awesome!  I may have discovered my gardening niche.  I also just planted some onions (yes, in containers).  I’m super excited about that, because they’re my favorite veggie! Unfortunately, two very sun-lacking days followed my planting of them, so I’m not sure if that’ll affect the germination.  Next up, I need to figure out some way (*cough* some free way *cough*) to raise my long container for spinach so it’s closer to the light.  I’m thinking using empty boxes since that’s about all I have laying around.

I have yet to decide exactly what I’ll be doing tonight and Saturday (but I guarantee some reading and some videogaming).  Sunday I’ll be doing some invasive species removal on the Charles River. Stoked for that! What will you be doing with your weekends?

Friday Fun! (Biking, Gardening, Wii)

Hello my lovely readers!   I hope your week treated you all well.  It’s finally feeling like summer around here.  You would think the summery weather would mean timely buses, but no.  The T has made me late just as much as it did in the winter.  I take this as a sign that I need to speed up project Amanda bikes to work.  Last weekend, I attempted the route with my gal pals Nina and E.  It turned out I was only able to make it 8 of the 12 miles.  I’m going to have to work up to it.  In spirit of that, I’ve been planning on biking to my bus connection to start building up the muscles. 🙂  I had  yet to do it this week, partly because of rain and partly because I realized I need to figure out something to wear under my skirts while on the bike.  However!  I am determined to bike at least 3 days next week.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I transplanted my seedlings, which are now plants, into their permanent containers last weekend.  The containers are a bunch of different vibrant colors, and they really brighten up the kitchen!  Now I just need to start my strawberry plants, transplant my flower into a hanging basket, and start either onion or spinach (I have yet to decide which).  It’s all lots of fun, and I can’t wait to see the produce I (hopefully) get in the end!

I played Kirby for the first time this week, and I now get the appeal of that odd little pink blob.  It’s a lot of fun!  I also downloaded one of the super marios (he’s in a castle and goes into paintings….) onto my Wii.  It’s one I didn’t really ever play as a kid, so it’s all-new to me.  It’s a lot like a predecessor of Mario Galaxy, so it’s a bunch of fun.  Of course, I can’t wait to try the new Galaxy when it comes out next week!

I hope you all have lovely weekends.  I know I’ll be seeing at least a few of you tomorrow at malibtweetup4!  Yay!

Friday Fun! (Finals, New Neighbor)

April 16, 2010 2 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  I’m smack dab in the middle of finals period, which for some bizarre reason consists of two group projects and two presentations (one solo, one group) this year.  I gave my solo presentation this week.  It was a database teach; I really enjoy those!  Oh, heck, I just enjoy a bunch of people listening to me talk.  It makes me all warm and glowy inside.  Anyway, the two group projects mean that I can’t procrastinate this time around like I normally do.  My team-mate for my face-to-face class is awesome, though, and she and I are motivating each other via GoogleDocs.

Over in my apartment, the painting guy came to check out the massive wall stains from the leak.  He says it’s still too wet to fix, and it’ll be another 3 to 4 weeks before repainting, so my apartment still looks like Big Bird’s blood was smeared up and down the wall.  In related news, my new neighbor moved in yesterday.  She’s my age, has cats, and isn’t married.  Even if we don’t wind up friends, that’s still a major step up from the we-got-married-and-immediately-turned-grouchy-and-started-acting-old folks who used to live under me.  My tomato seedlings are actually starting to look plant-like now, the herbs are all fluffy and adorable, and the peppers finally sprouted! I would show you guys pics, but I don’t have a good digital cameras so taking and uploading pics is mind-bogglingly frustrating.

I get a three day weekend this weekend since Monday is Patriot’s Day.  I know that’s not a holiday you get off in most of the US, but here in Boston it’s also the marathon day, so if you work nearish the marathon route, you get it off.  Yay!  Happy weekends everyone!

Friday Fun! (Movies and Gardening)

April 9, 2010 3 comments

My apologies for no book reviews this week!  The reason is three-fold.  First, I’m reading a graphic novel series, and I wanted to just review the whole series in one post.  Second, my regular book I’m reading is really long, and I’m not enjoying it that much, so I tend to wander off and play Plants vs. Zombies on my iTouch instead.  Finally, the auudiobook I’m listening to is crazy long. We’re talking a grand total of 7 days worth of audio. Like whoa.  However, all three will be finished next week, which means you will be inundated with reviews!

Last weekend, I attempted to see Hot Tub Time Machine.  About 3/4 of the way through the movie, the fire alarm went off.  We all evacuated and were puzzled to discover zero employees anywhere in sight.  Finally, a fellow movie goer took the initiative to call the fire department, as the alarm was still going off.  The firemen showed up and went in the building and miraculously an employee finally showed her face.  We got free passes to another show, which means I can see a 3D movie even though I’d only paid for a 2D one. Score!

While I was in Home Depot getting my huge planter pots for when my seedlings become, y’know, big plants, I noticed people buying seed pots.  Some of these babies even had complex clear plastic covers to simulate a greenhouse.  I feel that I should at least save my readers from this marketing scheme.  You really don’t need to buy seed pots!  Look in your recycling bin.  Empty plastic food containers make excellent seed pots.  I currently am using hummus containers, cheese spread containers, and a yogurt cup, but pretty much anything that’s about that size and plastic can be used.  Put the dirt in it.  Add a bit of water and stir it up.  Put the seeds in it.  Now, take the plastic wrap you’ve got in your cupboard, put it over the top, and hold it in place with a rubberband. Voila!  Nearly free seed pots.

Happy weekends everyone!

Wolf Bite Wednesday (Gardening Is Not Elitist)

April 7, 2010 4 comments

I’m sure you’ve heard the people claiming it’s elitist to backyard or container garden.  The “reasoning,” apparently, is that because other people in the world have to farm to subsist, doing so when you don’t have to is rude to them.  Or something like that.  Excuse me, but the assumption that farming is something you only do until you can afford not to is what’s elitist.  It’s looking down on farmers.  It’s looking down on people who are actually willing to get their hands dirty to sustain themselves.  It’s looking down on everyone who works along the line to make the packaged, processed foods these so-called humanitarians eat.

There is, of course, a place for production farming.  It’s a great way to produce a lot of food in a short amount of time at a relatively low price to feed a bunch of people.  It’s obviously far more logical to have a large farm of rice paddies than for me to attempt to make my own rice paddy in Boston.  I’m laughing just thinking about it.

But what about your backyard that is currently just grass?  What about your balcony that’s decorated only with chairs and a few garden gnomes?  What about the 3 feet of space in my kitchen that’s too small to fit an appliance or table in, so is currently just wasted space?  If I grow vegetables and/or fruit there, I’m:

  • Using space that would otherwise be wasted for a valuable purpose
  • Lessening my environmental impact, which is a benefit for everyone
  • Becoming more self-reliant, which is always a good thing
  • Maintaining important knowledge to help pass down to future generations

These people seem to think that big business manufacturing is The Answer to all societal problems, but it isn’t.  It isn’t too hard to imagine a future where no one knows the basics.  Where no one is in touch with the earth or with their food or with their clothing or with the animals.  We’re practically living in it now.  Just look at the obesity epidemic, the violence, the general feeling of ennui permeating modern life.  We’ve become so caught up in the power of manufacturing that we’ve forgotten even good things are bad if they aren’t in moderation.  It’s great that I can get rice and tofu in the store–those aren’t exactly things that I can grow in my backyard.  But it’s also great that I can grow a tomato in my kitchen.  Nothing teaches you where food comes from quite so well as planting the seed, nurturing the plant, and harvesting the fruit yourself.  It’s empowering.  It’s understanding on a close, personal level what we as people are capable of with our opposable thumbs and big brains.  Gardening isn’t elitist.  It’s bringing a sense of humanity back to a people whose culture continually tries to rob them of it.

Friday Fun! (Visit to VT, Gal Pals, Wii)

April 2, 2010 4 comments

Although the reason for my visit home last weekend was sad, I had a wonderful time getting to see my dad’s side of the family mostly together for a change.  My aunts, uncles, and cousins were all wonderful, although it’d been so many years that I did shock a few by having beer at the wake.  Hah!  Apparently, me being 23 snuck up on them.  I also got to see my nephew, who is now talking in complete sentences.  I was shocked at how well he remembers me, as well as at how much time he wanted to spend with me.  It was fun!  Apparently, I like toddlers.  Who knew.  I also got to meet my niece for the first time.  She’s got her daddy’s red hair, so she’s bound to be a bundle of trouble. 😉  Really, though, she’s looking quite good for all the time she had to spend in intensive care at first.

Back in Boston, I hung out with my ever-lovely gal pals, Nina and E.  I, shockingly, got to introduce them to the infamous Telephone music video, which they naturally fell in love with.  Bonding occurred over Thai food, and Nina sent me off with a bottle of vodka.  The gal knows me so well.  🙂  Meanwhile, all three of my herb plants came up and seem to be doing relatively well. *fingers crossed*  Also making an appearance is the seedlings from the mystery seeds I got from Old Navy.  I have no idea what flower it’s going to be.  We shall see.  I’ve been playing my way through wii’s Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess.  It’s the furthest I’ve ever made it in that type of game.  I will say, getting to swipe the wiimote in the air and having it kill troll things on the screen is AWESOME.  I think if I ever actually manage to defeat this, I’ll have to try another game where I get to wave my arms around and kill things.

Happy weekends, everyone!  Here’s hoping the gorgeous weather holds out!

Friday Fun! (Nina’s Back, Refunds, and Gardening)

March 5, 2010 4 comments

This was a busy, but overall fun week for me.  One of my closest friends, Nina, was on a two month trip to Israel, and this week she returned home!  (She kept a blog of her trip, check it out!)  She and one of my other good friends came over Wednesday night, and we all cooked together.  Well, Nina and I did. E was the cheering squad. Also, she brought the chocolate.  Nina made tehini the way they do in Israel, and we had that with whole wheat bread for an appetizer.  It’s a lot like hummus, only more bitter.  For dinner we had whole wheat crust pizza topped with vodka sauce, marinated tempeh, shredded carrots, avocado, onions, spinach, and cheese.  You guys, vodka sauce lends such a nice sweetness to a pizza.  Swoon.  Also, Nina brought me a lovely tapestry from Israel.   I believe she said it was made by the tent dwelling Arabs, but I was also tipsy when she gave it to me, so I could totally be wrong about that.  Although it is many colors, it is predominantly a vibrant shade of red with hints of black, so it will go really well with my living room.  I’m so happy Nina is back, and she and E are going to be roommates, so I’ll be seeing much more of both of them.

In tidbits of news, my state refund came in, so there’ll be a bit of shopping this weekend.  I was going to get a Wii, but I think I’ll wait for my federal refund for that.  Instead, I’ll probably get a new tv, mostly so I can finally hitch up my mac to it and stream Netflix.  Also, what’s the point of having a Wii if you’re playing on an old tv?  (Don’t worry, budgeting types, some of the money will be going into savings and some into the terrifying undergrad debt).

I’ve decided (partly spurred on by my librarian friend, Kristi, check her blog out), that come hell or high water I will get some gardening done this year in spite of the fact that I have neither yard nor balcony and a kitty who is very determined not to share windowsills.  I found a windowbox that is a bit sturdier and fits on the windowsill better, so hopefully she won’t knock it off.  I’ve also got some other ideas up my sleeve (such as the topsy/turvy planting thing).  I’m planning on growing tomatoes, herbs, peppers, and strawberries.  I’m also considering potatoes via an indoor method Nina learned about in Israel.  I am, however, known to have a brown thumb, so hopefully this pursuit won’t be in vain.

Happy weekend everyone!