Tag Archives: container gardening

5 Thing Friday

2 Aug

1.  Since Christina and I will have flipped our second house on Tuesday, we decided it was time to upgrade to a better house.  We’ll be slumming it here until further notice:

CarnegieLibrary

I wish.  Except I’m almost sure this building is haunted.  Liberty and I made it a point to pass by this place, The Carnegie Library of Homestead, yesterday during our walk.  It got me thinking that I might want to rejoin the athletic club.  They offer no-contract memberships, where you can pay month to month for $35 a month.  This includes access to the pool and all group classes (which are mostly geared towards Silver Sneakers).  Still, its quite a deal and they do have some really nice equipment.

2.  I’m like practically a farmer now.

jalapenoharvest

Last night, when we got home from working on the rental house I noticed that my jalapenos were starting to get these dark patches on them.  I assume that means they are ready to be picked, considering they are approximately 3 inches long.  I’ve still got around 4 peppers not quite ready to pick, so if I messed up it won’t be a total loss.

3.  This morning was my first attempt at a kale smoothie.

kalesmoothie1

It was delicious, but I won’t be sharing the recipe until I like it better.  The kale was not quite processed enough and to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the yogurt/almond milk base that I used.

4.  The Great Race offers a free running clinic for racers, which I of course signed up for.  I am excited to head down there tomorrow and find out what kind of running shoes I should buy.  I know my current shoes are the reason for my horrible shin splints and I’ve put off getting new ones until I can talk to someone about my pronation.

5.  All week long, I’ve been taking one of the dogs with me on my runs/walks.  It has made all the difference in the world.  It’s so much better than running with another person – different paces can present problems and I prefer solitude.  My little buddies go at my pace and stop when I want to stop and take breaks when I want to take breaks.  Their enthusiasm and excitement never wavers.  And honestly, I’ve taken far less walking breaks this week because I can see how much they love to keep going.  On top of all these reasons, its good for them.  They are cooped up inside most of the time, aside from running at the dog park every other week or playing with each other in the backyard.  It’s been a great change for everyone!

Judywalking

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Winning At Life!

19 Jul

OMG YOU GUYS.

THIS.

newfridge1

I don’t even care that it’s mostly full of beverages and condiments.  It’s MINE.newfridge.2

Bonus:  We got it in the scratch and dent section (it has one little dent in the freezer door, which is barely even noticeable) for oh….almost $1200 off the original ticketed price.  I feel like having a Duck Tails moment and rolling around in gold coins right now!  Bwahahahaha!  I’m winning at life!!!  And…done.

Here’s another reason I’m winning:  When I got home from vacation, Mother Nature + my MIL had taken such excellent care of my plants that they are doing great.

jalapenos.318

It’s day 44 for the container garden and everything is blossoming.  Both jalapeno plants look just like this, I’ve got one small bell pepper and the eggplant just flowered today.  We’ve been eating leaf lettuce for weeks!  In August, I might try my hand with some more lettuce, spinach, peas, and either rutabagas or kohlrabi.

And because two potential forever homes had to back off at the last minute, we’ve still got this little nugget hanging out with us!

lilboydoodle

He is perfect in almost every way.  He’s very smart and listens so well!  It makes me wonder how his brothers and sisters are doing at their forever homes.  We’ve gotten a few photo updates, but no calls.  He is also house trained, which will make his transition that much easier.  The more time he spends with his parents, the better.  They are teaching him all about being a good boy.  He is especially enjoying all the QT he gets with his daddy.

doodleanddad

Sorry for the blurriness, I was afraid that if they noticed me they might move!

What’s going on in your neck of the woods?  Are you dying from the heat wave as well?

5 Thing Friday

28 Jun

Writing this so late on Friday night seems like cheating but….I MAKE THE RULES.

abbyleemiller

1.  Unless you live in your family’s old Y2K shelter (see how I dated myself there?), you have heard the excellent news that the Supreme Court ruled DOMA unconstitutional.

via Hollywood Reporter

I cried.  I cried even though Pennsylvania doesn’t yet allow Christina and I to tie the knot.  Not that she’s made any moves yet.  AHEM.  I don’t even care – I’m just so happy that the country I love is one step closer to equality.  According to Human Rights Campaign, 30% of gay Americans now live in states where they have equal rights.  I hope that you realize how epic this all is.  We are living through the next wave of the civil rights movement.  When we have children, we will get to talk about them how we fought for our right to love against all the odds.  P.S.  I can’t stop looking at the cover of  The New Yorker.  That rules.

2.  How have I gone my entire life without trying spaghetti squash?  It’s basically the easiest thing in the world to make and it tastes like al dente angel hair pasta.  It’s like the perfect pasta substitute.  I’m not a huge fan of pasta…it’s just so heavy.  So from now on, when the wife is craving pasta I am fulling whipping myself up some spaghetti squash!  I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds just like a pumpkin, and laid them core side down on a cookie sheet covered in water.  I baked it for about an hour at 350F.  You know it’s done cooking when you squeeze it with a towel and its soft.  Then, you shred the flesh with a fork and it looks just like spaghetti.

spaghettisquash

3.  Remember when I impulsively threw myself into container gardening?  Not too shabby, right??  Well just like the gays, all of the plants are beating the odds!  Below you can see a side-by-side of my lettuce on the day I planted it and today, day 24.  I’ve even harvested some and it’s still awesomely bushy.  There are all ready jalapeno peppers growing, the bell pepper and eggplant plants are starting to show blooms.  Fingers crossed!!

lettuceprogression

jalapenos.day24

4.  Oh haiiiiiiiii.

labradoodles.week8

Don’t mind us, we are just 8 weeks old and practically grown!  By Monday, 5 of the puppies will be with their forever homes and my heart will be just broken.  It’s all part of the process.  If you want to read some updates about their lives up to this point, click here or here or here.

5.  The Senate missed the July 1st deadline to vote on student loan rates.  Now, student loan rates are doubling to 6.8%.  What the hell.  Whyyyyyyyyyyy are we continually punishing for earning an education.  Banks get bailed out, people live of off welfare, and now I have to pay 6.8% back on a money I borrowed to pay for some overpriced state credits.  Pssshhhh.

graddegree

Chicken Burgers + My First Lettuce Harvest!

10 Jun

Don’t you love it when you make something that tastes so incredibly good and you don’t feel bad about it because its healthy?!  I love when that happens.  No doubt this would be “cleaner” if I had omitted the cheese, but….who the heck wants to omit cheese.

chickburgerfinal3

First, throw this into a food processor:

  • 4 oz. wilted spinach
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 green onions, roughly chopped

ChickBurg1

ChickBurg2

Try not to drool into the food processor when your kitchen becomes overwhelmed with the smell of fresh garlic and onion.  Then, stir this mixture into 1 lb. ground chicken  and add:

  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 t. soy sauce
  • 1 t. lemon juice
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese

ChickBurg3

Then, I added about 1/2 c. of Panko (NO EGG!), mixed it all together, and formed them into patties:

ChickBurg4

I refrigerated these for about 2 hours prior to dinner.  It allowed all the garlic and onion to release into the meat.  Also, the soy sauce and balsamic are super flavorful – more so after a few hours in the box.  You could grill or broil these, but I chose to cook them in my 10″ skillet.  Then, I WALKED OUT INTO MY FRONT YARD AND HARVESTED LETTUCE, Y’ALL.  No, really.  How cool is that?

chickburgfinal2

Recipe inspired by Super Pickle

Impulsive Container Gardening

4 Jun

Remember that time I said I wasn’t going to plant a garden this year?  Because I should do some research?  And how I said I didn’t have any idea what I’m doing?

Well sometimes you just have to dive in.  Sometimes you are just impulsive.  Sometimes you just need to fuss over something because you’ve taken two weeks off of running and are going crazy.

Once upon a time (last week), Christina got me some free containers:

containers

On Saturday at the farmer’s market, I couldn’t help but be tempted by all the lovely plant starts.  I mean, how convenient would it be to walk outside and grab lettuce instead of having to drive to the store?  Right?  So, I bought some green leaf lettuce starts and some resilient looking jalapeno pepper plants.  Then, when I went to Lowe’s to grab some potting soil with fertilizer (because, remember the lack of composting I’ve been doing) I grabbed a red bell pepper start and an eggplant start.  Why didn’t I grab these two at the farmer’s market?  Um…because I was trying to talk myself off the ledge.  I second guessed myself the entire time I was carrying the darn things around because I can’t even count the number of plant homicides and/or assisted suicides that have happened at my house over the years.

When I got home, I waded through the creek in the back of my house and grabbed some miscellaneous sized rocks to put in the bottom of my pots.  Apparently, it helps aerate the soil?  See that…research.  Then, I planted everything but the eggplant and watered them.  Now, I have no idea what to do with myself except for fuss over them and worry that they are going to die.

plant starts

Why didn’t I plant the eggplant?  Because my mother randomly mused that eggplants won’t produce unless you have two.  I muddled over this all weekend because the internet was down and I am too lazy to wait for things to load on my phone. For everyone’s information, this is false.  I think.  At least according to BonniePlants.  Also, I had no idea that eggplants grow tall like peppers.  I thought they spread like squash.  Hopefully this kind of eggplant does well in a container because he’s going in tonight after work!

I feel bad for them, but somebody has to be my lab rats.  If I can keep these plants alive for a few weeks, I might buy some others to fill the rest of my containers.  Their chances of survival are moderately higher than the ones that came before them.  For one, they are going to be in the front yard.  There is more direct sunlight in the front, there should be little to no dog interference, and the hose is 5 feet away.  So there’s that.

Wish them,me, and us luck 🙂  I’m pretty sure we are going to need it!

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