Things We’ve Been Enjoying Lately

I wasn’t ecstatic when the boys picked out this movie at the library, but it turned out to be great!  Enjoyed by all! - Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole.

Tasty homemade spaetzle and lettuce from the garden (what’s left of it after the local bunny population devoured most of it).

Monster Mini Golf - one of these just opened in our town.  Man - where were places like this when I was a kid???  CheezWaster I’m sure will want to have a future birthday party there (and the party room is killer - seriously - it looks like a haunted mansion - how cool!)

1001 Bugs to Spot - My mom spotted this in a store while they were on vacation and had to bring it home to The Destroyer.  He just LOVES looking at bugs (and unfortunately for them crushing them when he is done….hey…we don’t call him The Destroyer for nothing!)  Not only is this a great look and find book, it also lists all of the names of the bugs on the pages making it a great learning book as well.  If your kids aren’t into bugs, these books come in all different genres - 1001 Pirate Things to Spot, 1001 Animals to Spot, 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea, 1001 Things to Spot in Fairyland, etc.  There is something for everyone!  These would also be great for plane trips or long car rides!

Jem and the Holograms - THANK YOU The Hub!  My favorite childhood show makes it’s triumphant return! After telling the basic gist of this as a bedtime story, my boys think it is Totally Outrageous!  ;)

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Life Update

I apologize for the lack of posts this past week.  Life is hectic and stressful these days.

1) The crickets have again taken up home in my basement.  I don’t know how they are getting in or what it is about late August - perhaps the fear of the cold of autumn, but this year, it seems no amount of Home Defense Bug Killer can take out the mutant crickets because my husband and I had to chase this humongous (and super fast) cricket through the living room the other day.  In the battle for territory, I WON!

Mutant Crickets attempt to take residence in my house

2) My garden has pretty much bit the big one this year.  It has been so hot that my corn completely dried up after only giving us 3 crappy pieces of corn, my tomatoes have had a terrible case of stem rot all season from the heat and rain extremes and my cucumbers just never seemed to thrive after the first few heat spells in June.  The only things that seems to be holding on well are the paprika and banana bell peppers and the leek.  With the last batch of half-way tomatoes I picked, I’m going to make bruschetta in a jar (for Xmas gifts - recipe and details to come soon).  But hey - at least the kids are enjoying the peppers!  The Destroyer ate 2 raw banana bells peppers and a cherry tomato last night.  He’s our champion (and healthy) eater!

Yummy Peppers from the Garden

3) My husband is still unemployed, but is learning the ways of frugality (I’m so proud!).  These are his basement shoes - the ones he uses to work around the house or in which he’ll run out to take out the garbage.  Men truly can fix anything with duct tape!

Men can fix ANYTHING with DUCT TAPE!

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Preparing for Spring

Melissa & Doug Rake

Despite the falling snow here in NJ,  I’m gearing up for Spring!  (it has to be coming soon, right?)  I’ve been perusing my seed and plant catalogs and have begun thinking about what I’d like to plant in my garden this year.   Our garden not only provides us with vegetables all summer long, it is a haven for fun, peace & relaxation.  The kids love to help in the garden and I’m always eager to find kids’ gardening tools that aren’t plastic (our recycle bin is tired of broken plastic shovels).  Yesterday, I popped over to Toys R Us and found the most adorable AND functional metal gardening tools for kids.  They are made by Melissa and Doug and are sturdy and safe.  There are no jagged corners and no sharp ends.  The set offers a rake, a hoe, a shovel, a trowel, a cultivator, watering cans, as well as some other odds and ends like sprinklers, lawn games, gardening gloves, sunglasses, a gardening tote, umbrellas, and a bug magnifying glass.  I know a few items that are going to make their way into my kids’ Easter baskets.  Check out the entire Sunny Patch line here and THINK SPRING!

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Continued Summer Harvest

This week’s harvest is in…………

This Week's Garden Harvest

Beefsteak Mutant Tomatoes and All!

Mutant Tomatoes


Backside of a Beefsteak

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Early August Harvest - CORN!

Early August Garden Harvest

Tonight after my WW meeting, I headed out to the garden because it was plentiful with vegetables.  I picked our first corn of the season and in a complete turn around from previous years, this year’s corn is ripening at different paces.  So, we were able to harvest 9 pieces tonight and perhaps next week, there will be another 9 or so - this all from 4 corn plants.  That was a nice surprise because usually there is one corn harvest and then it is all done.  We also picked our first batch of tomatoes.  I don’t know how plentiful the tomatoes will be this year.  There has been so much rain which has been great for the plants, but horrible for my soil.  I just can’t seem to keep any of my stakes up.  The soil is so moist that the weight of the plants continues to drag down my stakes.  I’m trying to keep a watchful eye on the plants to keep any tomatoes from rotting as they hang low or on the ground.  We also picked some more banana bell peppers, paprika peppers and 2 cucumbers.

The Great Pumpkin

Is that the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown???  I transplanted this pumpkin plant from my front yard to the garden.  I suspect this little treat was due to the local squirrel population.  I wasn’t sure this little guy was going to make it at first as he didn’t have strong roots.  However, he hung in there and now looks fabulous.  There are several blossoms and about 4 or 5 small pumpkins growing already.  The above is the largest of the pack.  I’m very excited about this.  2 years ago, we got about 30 pumpkins from 2 plants.  Last year, we had 6 pumpkin plants and only got about 8 pumpkins.  Frankly, I’d just be happy with pumpkins for the front steps at Halloween, but it sure would be nice to share this bounty from the garden, too!

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