Friday, January 23, 2009

Seven Quick Takes

Go check out other Quick Takes posts at Jen's place, Conversion Diary.



My computer should be here by Monday! I cannot even begin to explain the level of excitement I have. There are several posts worth of pictures to share, and things will get back to normal around here! The only thing I'm worried about is learning to use Vista since I've heard such complaints about it.


I'm spending my afternoon on organizing new work for the boys shelves. I took several things down not long ago and have been re-presenting some work because of poor use by Big Kid. He was ready for the next step of the binomial cube so I presented that this week as well. I think partly he stopped using materials properly because he's ready for some new things and I haven't prepared them for him yet. I'm going to get a few things done over the weekend to present next week.



I'm diving into the basement over the weekend with a little help from Superman. I want to try to clear out a few boxes at least. The truth is that we haven't really gone in to retrieve anything since the move last April, so we  probably don't need to hang on to 70% of the things in there. The things that need to stay are the seasonal items (mostly Christmas), sentimental childhood thing for me and Superman (a few boxes each) and the  little kid clothes and select toys (for the someday when we have another little one).



Anyone do the whole coupon thing? I'm trying to get back into it. I did for a long time but it has been one of the things that I had to mentally let go of for the last six months or so to do other things. Well, we need to try to save as much as we can right now, so I'm trying to get back into couponing for the things we buy. I'm not the type of couponer that buys just because it's a deal, and we do try to eat as fresh as possible for our budget, but the savings on things like toothpaste and laundry detergent is amazing. So back in I dive, and it feels much easier this time around.



The socks are finished! The second sock went so much faster than the first, and oh my goodness I love them! I'm going to start another pair soon. If I thought the boys or Superman would properly appreciate handknit socks I'd make them some as well. But seeing as how I can't keep regular socks on any of them I don't think I'll put the time into a project for them!



I think I'm getting close to knowing exactly what we'd like to grow in our container garden this year, but I'm not feeling very confident that I know what to do with getting seeds started and all that. Does anyone knows of a really good reference book that is more specific to container gardening? Superman and I are heading to a bookstore this weekend at some point to look for sources. I've searched a bit for titles so I have some titles in mind, but I always like to have a referral from someone that has actually used the book before, you know?



Superman has been doing very well sticking with his health goals so far this month- he's been to the gym at least two-three times a week and he's been drinking mostly water and tea. My big goal for right now has been keeping off of caffeine, and drinking mostly water. I've replaced my morning coffee with orange juice or cranberry juice and I'm eating a better breakfast so I do well through the morning most of the time, but by afternoon I crave soda. Keeping it out of the house has mostly worked, but I've had soda three afternoons this week, and then couldn't sleep until midnight or later. I'm not trying to give it up completely, but I'm trying to stop thinking of it as an all-the-time beverage. I'm going to try to treat those afternoon cravings with some decaf coffee this week and see if that helps.


  1. Many of the container gardening books are from England. Much as I adore them, they really do not work so well for me here in Ontario, Canada. Even the California ones aren't quite right.

    You may do better with a good magazine for this project, one that includes edibles. Often the term "container gardening" centers around foliage and blooms, not vegetables and fruits.

    I have already bought the seeds that I hope to plant. I have potting soil at the ready too. But it takes a while to read all the seed packets and determine when and where it is best to plant. Do you know the last frost date for your region? That is the important date to work back from. I have plant lights to get them started and frequently have insects to deal with too: white flies, aphids, etc. I hate to use products on things, so usually spray with water or hand pick off the bugs. I normally spend the last weeks of May carrying pots and trays outdoors for daytime, indoors again at night. (What a drag!) By June 1st I feel secure about them staying outdoors.

  2. I love knitting socks, too... and definitely would not waste the time on socks for my boys (or husband, for that matter). Only another of the female half of the population will probably appreciate them... I gave socks for Christmas to my mom, mother-in-law and step-grandmother-in-law (whew--that is a long title).

    I got some great sock yarn deals at

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I've used Mel Bartholmew's "Square Foot Gardening" for about 24 years now. I'm not in any way affiliated with him, I just like his book and used it for squares when I owned my own home. Right now, I use it for help with my containers. (I can't have "squares" here in my rented home, but I can do containers).
    Here's his website:

    I bought the book years ago and use it, however, I've never seen the need to purchase all the other stuff that is now offered. (Stuff that they didn't have years ago!)


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