The 100 Things of Summer!

I love lists more than any sane person probably should.  After reading a To-Do List For Summer 2012 at The Provision Room I was inspired to create my own list of 100 things to accomplish personally, around the house and with the family this summer.  I can’t wait to get started!

  1.  Visit the Plumpton Park Zoo
  2.  Visit the Philadelphia Zoo
  3.  Visit Longwood Gardens
  4.  Visit Hagley Museum
  5.  Visit The Franklin Institute to see “The Dead Sea Scrolls”
  6.  Go ice skating
  7.  Sleep on the back porch
  8.  Make strawberry lemonade from the garden
  9.  Hiking at Lums Pond
  10.  Hiking at Iron Hill Park
  11.  Ghost Tour at Rockwood Mansion
  12.  Delaware Shakespeare Festival
  13.  Wilmington & Western Railroad
  14.  Cecil County Fair
  15.  Have a bonfire with roasted hotdogs and marshmallows
  16.  Make the boy child a root beer float
  17.  TCM Essentials, Jr. Family Movie Nights
  18.  Go-Karting
  19.  Batting cages
  20.  Miniature Golf
  21.  Walk 100 miles
  22.  Get certified as a NWF Wildlife Habitat
  23.  Make ice cream
  24.  Go berry picking
  25.  Watch a meteor shower (in July!)
  26.  Do at least 5 of the 77 Super Fun Date Night Ideas from Stay At Home Susie
  27.  Make Homemade Bodywash courtesy of Proverbs 2 Six
  28.  Brew my own Kombucha thanks to Delicious Obsessions
  29.  Make Homemade Natural Bug Repellant thanks to Frugally Sustainable
  30.  Make Homemade Sunscreen courtesy of Sustainable Life
  31.  Make an Important Documents Binder thanks to Your Own Home Store
  32.  Summer Reading program
  33.  Attend at least one extra activity at the pool this year (ie. Floating Movie Night, Wiggle Worm Night, Family Fun Night etc.)
  34.  Build a Fairy & Gnome House at the park on Sat. July 7
  35.  Pan for Gems at the park on Sat. July 23
  36.  Visit 5 State Parks
  37.  Have a sleepover for the boy child.
  38.  Camp out
  39.  Make sno-cones
  40.  Visit someplace we’ve never been.
  41.  Visit Booth’s Corner with DH
  42.  Make Strawberry Freezer Jam
  43.  Make a succulent terrarium
  44.  Stay in bed one stormy rainy day with the boy child watching movies and reading books
  45.  Picnic at the park
  46.  $1 Regal Movies
  47.  Watch fireworks
  48.  Go to a baseball game (the males)
  49.  Invent a new type of pizza
  50.  Make breakfast pizzas
  51.  Take flowers to mom’s, pop pop’s and Memi’s graves
  52.  Hooked on Fishing – Fair Hill July 11
  53.  Blackberry Festival – Milburn Orchard July 28
  54.  Read aloud 2 books to the boy child (titles to be determined)
  55.  Build a seed packet organizer
  56.  Make flashlight puppets
  57.  Stargazing and dessert at night
  58.  Let the boy child make dinner by himself
  59.  Take an exploratory drive to nowhere
  60.  Build a Mazon Bee House
  61.  Technology Free Day!
  62.  Take a walk in the rain… barefoot
  63.  Go bowling
  64.  Play race cars with the boy child in the driveway
  65.  Have a paper airplane race
  66.  Listen to 10 audiobooks
  67.  Swim… a lot
  68.  Lazer tag
  69.  Freezer cooking day at the beginning of summer
  70.  Make something for someone
  71.  Volunteer
  72.  Take an archery lesson with the boy child
  73.  Go to Washington DC
  74.  Go to Hershey Park
  75.  Start a gardening/herbal medicine binder
  76.  Read the Bible through in 99 days
  77.  Go out to breakfast
  78.  Write to my Compassion child
  79.  Spa day
  80.  Declutter every room in the house
  81.  Summer Home School
  82.  Watch the Olympics
  83.  Visit the museums in Old New Castle
  84.  Celebrate Christmas in July
  85.  Play balloon volleyball
  86.  Make banana bread
  87.  Set up Vermicomposting Bin
  88.  Have a picnic breakfast
  89.   Read 10 books from my shelves
  90.  Install a third rain barrel
  91.  Build and install rooftop garden boxes
  92.  Paint the bistro set and trellis
  93.  Install the bat box
  94.  Remove Weeping Cherry Tree
  95.  Plant Apple Tree
  96.  Have a garage sale
  97.  Finish the turtle pen
  98.  Organize photo albums
  99.  Whittle down the boy child’s clothes
  100. Pare down bookshelves

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First Real Harvest of the Season!

Things have been busy around Ye Olde Homestead lately.  Since my last post we have opened the rain barrels and had them filled, emptied and refilled by some pretty heavy rains.  We also went ahead with our plan to get a rabbit.

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Chloe is a beautiful brown mixed-breed bunny with a perfect personality.  She has lots of energy but at the same time enjoys cuddling up beside me on the chair while I read a book.  Our original plan was to get a rabbit to put in a 4′ X 4′ “cubbyhole” in the Pollinator Garden.  It was a large enough space for a two-story hutch and a worm bin underneath to catch the rabbit pellets.  The area is very sheltered from the elements, is right up against the house and seemed perfect… until I saw her sweet little face and held her in my arms.  It was then that I knew I couldn’t relegate her to the backyard no matter how close in proximity she would be to the house.  My husband bought me a beautiful hutch that would fit on the enclosed porch and this is where she now lives.

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She has the run of the back deck during the day and is only locked up in the hutch at night. She took to a litter box almost immediately and we haven’t had any problems while she’s out of the cage.  This makes it easy to scoop out the pellets and toss them in the garden every day or so.  The first week that she was home with me over spring break I had her free-roaming all-day everyday.  When I went back to work the following Monday I left her caged up because I was nervous about leaving her out on her own.  BIG. MISTAKE.  She had grown accustomed to her freedom in just that short amount of time and decided to chew the bottom door to her hutch in protest.  Now that she’s out during the day and has a plethora of toys to play with, I haven’t had any problems with her chewing.  In the evening when I get home from work she will often be waiting at the sliding-glass door for me so she can come inside and hang out.  I am thoroughly head-over-heels 100% in love with her… and even though he won’t admit it out loud, my husband thinks she’s pretty darn cool too.

This weekend was huge on the garden-front.  I put in the last of the vegetable plants and seeds, weeded like a crazy person and procured some new additions.  It was also our first major harvest of the season.  My husband and father-in-law built me four of these really great A-frame trellises.  Two have chicken wire for vines and two have slats to hang watermelon hammocks.  These were placed in a section of the garden that used to have the turtle pen.  This area was sectioned off into 7-3′ X 4′ rectangles where a different type of green, lettuce or root vegetable is grown in each rectangle.  Then, to save garden space one A-frame sits inside of every second one of these rectangles.  I know that’s probably hard to envision so I’ll be sure to post pictures of it later.  Essentially, it’s set up so that the greens grow under the A-frames where it will be shadier and cooler as the season progresses.  I’m hoping this will mean that we can extend the growing season for these cooler weather vegetables.

On the A-frames I have growing cucumbers, lima beans and two types of watermelon.  Under the A-frames and in the three open areas I have spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, mustard greens, collards, beets and radishes.  The radish crop came up yesterday and I re-sowed that space with carrots.

In the garden itself I planted a total of 6 heirloom slicing tomatoes, 5 cherry tomatoes, 6 basil, 4 celery, 8 peppers (bell, poblano, jalapeno), 1 zucchini, 1 squash, 2 arugula, 1 parcel (parsley/celery hybrid), 1 swiss chard and a few other things I can’t for the life of me remember.

Over the weekend I planted 2 new blueberry bushes since we lost two to some sort of damage.  It appeared to be child related rather than animal.  I also planted a tomatillo, however, it appears that I need a second one to cross-pollinate with the first so I’ll be headed back to the nursery next weekend.  We thought we had lost the two fig trees that I planted last year.  On Saturday we went to the nursery and, since the fruit trees were on sale decided to pick up a replacement fig and an apple to go in the places where the ruined figs were.  Well, when we got home we noticed that BOTH fig trees had some new growth at the bottom and had leaves sprouting.  This wasn’t there last weekend.  After all that lugging we made one final trip to the nursery to return the replacement fig and give the old ones another season to see what they’ll do.  The apple, however, I decided to keep.  We have a weeping cherry in our front yard that is diseased and needs to come down.  The plan is to put the apple tree in its place.

While we were at the nursery I found myself drooling over the Hibiscus trees.  They were a whopping $25.  I wasn’t about to pay that much so I kept walking.  What I was looking for was some pink honeysuckle like I had seen earlier in the day.  Well, I didn’t find that but what I DID find was a clearance rack with a small neglected Hibiscus for $3.  SCORE!!!!!  I took that puppy home, pruned off all of its ugly bits and put it in a fresh new pot.  It’s going to be GORGEOUS!

As for the pink honeysuckle, I went to a different nursery and picked up two of those to go on the trellis that we used to have beans on.  Once the A-frames went in there was no room for the old trellis anymore so we moved it to a spot over the heat pump.  I wanted to put something on it that would attract pollinators since that is in my herb garden and is adjacent to the pollinator garden.  When I saw the beautiful pink honeysuckle I just couldn’t pass it up.  It’s going to look beautiful when it’s all full and lush.

This Week’s Harvest

.1 lb. chive blossoms
.5 lb. romaine lettuce
.6 lb. spinach
2.5 lb. strawberries
5.1 lb. radishes

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Dewey’s Read-A-Thon 2012 (Hours 12 – 24)

Location: Couch
Books Completed: 1
Pages Read: 594

Around 11pm and halfway through the third story from Pike’s “Thirst,” I finally crashed.  I am not a very nice person when sleep deprived so I knew this would inevitably happen.  This morning I was up in just enough time to finish the book before the bells chimed 8am.

While the book was quite the disappointment based on what I thought it was going to be, it at least did finish better than it began.  I don’t know that I’ll bother with the other two in the series though.  I’m a bit deflated at having only finished one book over the entire course of the Read-A-Thon but given that said book was just shy of 600 pgs. I can’t be too let upset.  Nevertheless, it was fun.

End of Event Meme

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  Probably the 3rd or 4th hour when I realized that the book I was reading was going to be a dud.  Then around hour 15 when I started to really crash.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
    More information EARLIER!  I never saw any information on the website or Facebook on the Read-a-Thon; I had to go digging for it on my own.  That was very frustrating.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
    Everything was pretty much the same as every other Read-A-Thon.
  5. How many books did you read?
    Just 1.
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    “Thirst: Human Urges.  Fatal Consequences No. 1” by Christopher Pike
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
    N/A
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
    The one I read.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
    N/A
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    I will definitely participate as a reader again

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Dewey’s Read-A-Thon 2012 (Hours 7 – 11)

Location: Back porch
Books Completed: 0
Pages Read: 402
Current Read: Thirst Book 1 by Christopher Pike

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I am a bit of a masochist at heart for I cannot seem to lay this book aside in favor of another.  I’ve finished the second of the three stories and actually came away with some worthwhile quotes.  Mr. Pike you have not completely disappointed me.

“Mortals have always exaggerated the difference between hate and love.”

“The opposite of love is not hate.  It is indifference.  That is why so few people find God.  They go to church and talk about him and that sort of thing.  They may even go out and evangelize and try to win converts.  But in their hearts, if they are honest with themselves, they are indifferent to him because they cannot see him.  God is too abstract for people.  God is a word without meaning.  If Jesus came back today, nothing he said would make any sense to those who wait for him.  They would be the first ones to kill him again.”

“Faith is a mysterious quality,” he says.  “On the surface it seems foolhardy – to trust so completely in something you don’t know is true.  But I think that trust, for most people vanishes when death stands at the doorstep.  Because death is bigger than human beliefs.  It wipes them all away.  If you study a dead Jew or a dead Christian or a dead Hindu or a dead Buddhist – they all look the same.  They all smell the same, after a while.  For that reason I think true faith is a gift.  You cannot decide to have it.  God gives it to you or he doesn’t give it to you.”

For this break I decided to stop by Fictionally Inclined and participate in the quote challenge.  It seemed fitting considering the above.  🙂  On to that last story!

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Dewey’s Read-A-Thon 2012 (Hour 6)

Location: Back porch
Books Completed: 0
Pages Read: 260
Current Read: Thirst Book 1 by Christopher Pike

Clearly I should have chosen shorter books.  I’m about halfway through the first book, which contains three 200ish pg. stories.  So far, this second story isn’t as bad as the first since the Krishna talk has tapered off quite a bit.  That first story was brutal.

Last time around I participated in quite a few challenges.  This year I’m not feeling it.  We’ll see how many I get around to doing.

Back to the reading!

 

 

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Dewey’s Read-A-Thon 2012 (Hours 4 & 5)

Location: Back porch
Books Completed: 0
Pages Read: 200
Current Read: Thirst Book 1 by Christopher Pike

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Weary!  I am growing so weary of this book.  I was looking forward to it and now I’m not sure if I can trudge through the next 400 pgs. without setting it on fire.  The dialog is kind of atrocious and the plot is just… well… stupid.  When I picked up a book about vampires I wasn’t really expecting this whole back story involving Krishna.  There’s really been very little vampire-y about it but there’s also been very little teen angst or drama.  The two people who have found out about the the main character’s “condition” have been totally cool with it… like learning that this hot chick that sits next to you in Biology who you just met like yesterday is a vampire is a completely normal occurrence.  Seriously?  Where is the human emotion?  I’ve finished the first book of the three-in-one.  I may go on to the second one or I may just skip to a different book.  We’ll see what happens by the time I make it back downstairs. 

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Dewey’s Read-A-Thon 2012 (Hour 3)

Location: Back porch
Books Completed: 0
Pages Read: 112
Current Read: Thirst Book 1 by Christopher Pike


Still plugging along slowly but surely.  A lot of distractions have interrupted this hour of reading.  I’m very jittery and can’t seem to sit still.

This hour’s Mini-Challenge is brought to you me us whatever by Reflections of a Bookaholic.

 

For this challenge, you must turn to page 32 of the book you are currently reading (or the nearest page with text on it) and find the most entertaining phrase to complete the following sentence:

“I would rather read than ________ any day!”


For example, mine might say: “I would rather read than spend hours at that windows, staring at the garden any day!””

 

My sentence is:  “I would rather read than give us your thoughts on the French nobility any day!” From page 32 of “Thirst: Human Urges. Fatal Consequences No. 1” by Christopher Pike.

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