Garden 2019 ~ Part 1

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So, I got the Fellow to agree to scrapping our current blue bucket garden and build two raised beds. This will give us more planting space overall, and I like the way they look much better. We went to Lowes, twice. Once to buy lumber and again to return the pressure treated-lumber we had bought because my folks said it contained arsenic. (The guy at Lowes says it doesn’t anymore, but I’m sticking with Daddy knows best.)After our return trip, the Fellow cut all of the boards to fit the corner blocks my MIL had given us, and we were ready to get started. Now, if I was in charge of this project I probably would’ve just set the beds up, dumped dirt in them, and called it a day.However, this is not my rodeo. The Fellow wanted to edge out the garden to be better able to level the ground and also to remove the grass from the garden

soil. Since our lawn is the bane of his existence, we tried to salvage what grass we could and move it to the sparse space around our house. We figure it’s a long shot if it grows, but if it does, great! If not, it’s extra soil around the edges which will help keep the basement from flooding.Next is to start planning plants and decide if we’re going to try to start things inside or just buy seedlings. How are your garden plans going?

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Chocolate Milkshakes

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You know when there’s something you like, but you don’t get it often? Then one day you decide, “Hey, that sounds good?” and you get it. And the next thing you know you’re on a downward spiral of eating that thing all the time?

Well, ever since that delectable milkshake at Annie’s Country Creamery, I’ve been on a chocolate milkshake kick.

Little J loves Uber Eats and Door Dash, so if she’s ordering, I’ve tacked one on to her 5 Guys order a few times, but mainly I’ve been making them at home when I really need a sweet fix.

The other night though I asked the Fellow to make one for me.

Y’all. How do you not know how to make a milkshake?!

I laughed so hard.

He told me that he didn’t know what he was doing, but I just kind of dismissed it saying you put ice cream and milk in a glass and you stir it. It’s not that hard

Apparently, it can be.

I neglected to tell him how much of each item needed to go into the glass. I’m almost certain that he poured a full glass of milk, threw a scoop of ice cream into it, tried to stir it, realized it was a sloshy mess, and abandoned the entire effort until I was able to help!

Clearly, we need to have some milkshake-making classes!

What’s your favorite sweet tooth treat right now?

Garden Plans

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Guys, we made it. It’s officially the first day of spring!

I can’t even tell you how happy I was to see that little note on today’s date when I went to mark off some squares on my calendar this morning.

After all the nice weather last week, I’ve been clinging to the promise of spring, and I just flat out refuse to bundle up in my winter coat anymore. So I’m glad to see the forecast showing temperatures slowly creeping up for the rest of the week.

We took advantage of the good weather and broke out the grill for the first time this year. Now, for us, a good steak is paired with perfectly grilled veggies and that led the conversation to how are we going to handle this year’s garden.

Last year the Fellow did our gardening in blue barrels from my brother’s farm. When we originally started kicking that idea around last spring, I said I wanted to paint them so they weren’t such a distraction. Unfortunately, we got a look at someone else’s garden using the same buckets, and the paint hadn’t held up well being outside. It was chipped and weathered very badly, so I ended up just leaving them as they were.

While they served their purpose, I never quite enjoyed the glaring blue buckets in my yard. This year we’re planning on limiting the blue buckets to possibly some potatoes, and instead we are building raised garden beds.

Right now we’re starting with one 4×8 bed and will possibly build a second one. I want the Fellow to see how much space that actually takes up in our yard and  to work on placement before we buy the lumber for the second box. I have a feeling he’s underestimating the amount of room it will take up and just how much we will end up planting. Not to mention the amount of dirt we will need to fill them!

We plan to plant a few varieties of tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, onions, lettuce and possibly start strawberries.

What are your garden plans?

Barefoot

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“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” Have you heard that quote?

I always forget just how true it is.

March is almost halfway over, and soon it will be April and time again for the Ramps and Rails festival. Where did the time go?

The weather has been beautiful this week, and yesterday I spent my entire lunch hour with my shoes kicked off, lying on the patio at work, soaking in the sun and the warm breeze. I’m sure the people on the 3rd floor were laughing at me.

It seems like every year when I crawl out of my winter hole of sweaters and fuzzy socks, I resolve to do more in the coming months. Start running again, go hiking, travel. Go to more festivals, see people, do more things, but all that ever seems to actually happen is life.

Things come up, and Saturdays get filled. I think this year I’m going to try to do just one outdoor thing and count anything else as a bonus.

I’m going to try to read on my porch. Detach from my phone a bit more and just sit and enjoy new worlds while being surrounded by birds chirping and a breeze.

There are few things as peaceful that I enjoy as much.

What’s something you miss doing that you want to find more time for? Let me know!

Spring?

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My mother gave me a picture a while back to keep on my desk and help beat off the winter blues. It shows a few green tips popping up from the snow-covered ground. At the top of the page, it says, “Winter always turns to spring.”

It feels like it’s almost starting to happen. It’s still cold, but there are a few warm days thrown in among the cold. There’s almost a hint of warmth underneath the breeze, and I’m itching for back porch sitting and bbqs with friends.

What are you most looking forward to about spring? What’s the one outdoor thing you can’t wait for?

Lore

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I’ve mentioned here before that most of my days I listen to a podcast at work. I figure, I may as well be learning something while I’m putting in my hours. Usually those podcasts are entrepreneurial in nature, discussing marketing strategies and changing social landscapes. However, sometimes I have to take a break from ingesting only marketing podcasts.

My favorite podcast to listen to during these breaks is one called Lore. It’s written by Aaron Mahnke, has a phenominal soundtrack, and it shares spooky folklore stories from around the world.

A few of those stories have centered around some of my favorite creepy places and tales in my dear West Virginia. They are done without being incredibly negative or harmful to the Mountain State, so that always makes me prone to love something.

Listening to Lore is almost the equivalent of sitting around a campfire and hearing ghost tales. It’s slightly spooky and just creepy enough to make you a tad nervous, but it is so well researched, I almost always find myself googling stories or places to learn just a bit more.

If you’re like me and love a good myth or legend with a creepy twist, you should absolutely check out Lore. It’s also an Amazon TV show and a book series. Aaron Mahnke also produces two other podcasts with a similar vibe that I haven’t gotten a chance to check out yet, but I’m excited to listen to those as well.

What’s your favorite distraction podcast? Let me know so I can check it out!

Dream Weaver

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Do you ever have a dream so realistic it sticks with you after you wake up? Like somehow bits of it clung to you as you made your way back to reality and haven’t quite faded away yet – just lingering around you making you question if you’re really awake?

I get dreams like that from time to time, and it always throws me off.

Dream worlds can be absolutely amazing or terrifying. When I have a hyper-realistic dream, it tends to be more of a nightmare. They are never the wake-up screaming type, but definitely the wake up with a cold sweat and adrenaline rushing type.

Now, this doesn’t happen often (anymore), but when I was in high school I would often have dreams that were so detailed and frightening that if I could’ve plugged a USB cord into my brain and downloaded them they could’ve been sent straight to the big screen as a horror film.

Often the subject of my dreams would be friends or family and some strangers cast into some type of life-threatening situation from which I had to save them, andway too many times that danger was Zombies. I would constantly find myself walking into the path of danger to help someone else avoid it, and if I died (which I know you’re not supposed to be able to do in dreams, but, hey, my mind is weird), I’d pop back up in a new location and continue on.

I have spent a lot of time reading into interpretations of dreams, and it’s interesting how many people have the same dreams or who have similar dreams. Enough that folklore has assigned meanings to situations and figures that occur in our dreams in order to help us make sense of what our sleeping brains may be trying to tell our waking selves.

Thankfully, those scary dreams have become less of a nightly occurrence for me now and are more or less limited to stressful periods in my life, weird food combinations, or a full moon, but every now and again I still get a real doozy of a dream.

What type of dreams do you often have? Do you dream in color or black and white? Are you yourself when you dream or someone else? Share your dream world with me in the comments!

Umbrella Academy

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Considering how far behind the Fellow and I are on all of the superhero movies out there, you’d never guess that we actually enjoy a good comic book movie.

We hadn’t been watching many things together lately. It’s hard to find something that we both want to watch. I’m not a fan of straight out space movies, and he doesn’t like British dramas or crime shows. But we do have good luck on most Netflix Originals.

That is why I was SO excited to see The Umbrella Academy pop up on the “Recommended for You” tab.

The Umbrella Academy follows the stories of 7 children who are adopted by an eccentric billionaire and raised in his private academy where he trains them in their “powers.” Now that they are adults they have to overcome things from their childhoods, stop the oncoming apocalypse, and save the world.

I love the diversity of the characters, and the actors really do an amazing job (especially Klaus). I will say it’s a tiny bit predictable, but as with most superhero stories, you don’t really need to be surprised by the identity of the villains. You just have to know that the hero will defeat them.

One fun thing to watch out for is the show’s logo during the opening scenes. Maybe I have a soft spot for umbrella imagery after Gilmore Girls, but I LOVE the little surprise each episode. I won’t say more. You’ll have to check it out for yourself!


Our Deepest Fear

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February is Black History Month, and I’ve been active in its activities at work. During our rehearsals, I’ve gotten the opportunity to hear a reading of Marianne Williamson’s poem, “Our Deepest Fear.” Somehow this is the first time I’ve heard this beautiful piece. I think this is something we all need to hear, so I decided to share it with you.

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking,

So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest

The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,

We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we’re liberated from our own fear,

Our presence automatically liberates others.

What is your favorite inspirational poem or quote? Let me know!