Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 42 - Sweet William & Other Updates

We're doing our best to stay cool here in Michigan. I hope everyone else is doing the same.

My dad called today to say that he and my mom are giving up TV for the weekend to support my efforts. A little humor there - they actually lost power and have been told it won't be back on until Monday. Hoping they find lots of interesting things to do to keep themselves occupied. I know how hard that is when it's 100 degrees outside. Not much to do but try find things to do inside. (A TV free Winter will be much easier for me, when I can sit by the fire and crochet, than a TV free summer where it's becoming hard to get outside and enjoy!)

A few updates from the week:

1) I worked the Farmer's Market on July 4th, and it was a scorcher. I sweated my buns off, just sitting at the booth doing nothing. The biting flies due to the rain the night before were a nice touch.

2) I sprayed another dose of organic repellent on my garden. A few more things seem to have been nibbled on, but I wasn't sure. I didn't dilute it down as much this time, and I could really smell that garlic as I misted it around my plants. My marigolds are loving this heat. I might not grow many veggies this year, but at least my garden is pretty.

3) I have two itty bitty teeny weeny green tomatoes started. I've been so busy trying to water and keep my plants alive, I keep forgetting that I may get to actually eat something, too. In the meantime, I'm spending too much money at the Farmer's market, indulging in fresh greens.

4) I remembered why I hate the French language. Too many things sound alike. I gave it a few weeks and then gave up. I've now switched to Italian. Less practical, but I majored in Classical Archaeology in college and took five semesters of Latin. I would love to go to Rome someday (my concentration was in the Romans, versus the Greeks, though I did take quite a few Greek courses too), and my husband is Sicilian, so it would be great to take a trip someday and use our Italian skills.

5) We've watched a few DVDs. It's damn hot. When you get inside, all you want to do is collapse. My brain doesn't want to work when it's hot. We've now watched 4 DVDs I think since the TV free effort began. Less than one per week on average. I still don't feel like it's cheating. We're within the rules. I just wish the heat wave would cool down so that we could spend more time outdoors.

6) I'm continuing with the couch potato to 5k. I've graduated to walking 5 minutes, then run/walking for 20 minutes, and then cooling down to walk another 5 minutes. During the run/walking, I'm now running 2 minutes and resting only one minute in-between sprints. My pace is about 4 miles per hour. Basically, I can run walk a 15 minute mile. Terrible I'm sure to real runners, but it's more than I was doing before, and less than what I'll be able to do later! When it's too hot out - like it has been for many days in a row now - I'm thankful that my parents have a treadmill in an air-conditioned house that I can borrow for free. (Sadly, I won't be using it until at least Monday now!)

7) I've started writing again. I finished the macro and line edit on the 2nd book that I'm publishing (for an Atlanta area author) and decided it was high time I write my next book. This one is a novel (i.e., for grownups), and it feels great to be back to writing for myself - not a paid blog, not web content for my website, not editing someone else's work - ALL ME. Maybe my Doc was right all those weeks ago. I'm filling my bucket with the right kinds of things now!

8) The Words With Friends continues. I'm starting to think I'm spending too much time on it. About 30 minutes in the morning with breakfast, sometimes during the day during lunch, and then more in the evening. I may be filling time with a fruitless endeavor. Therefore, I've started rejecting offers of new games. I'll get down to where I'm only playing a few games and keep it at that. Entertainment is good. Too much, and I'm simply replacing the TV for something else that prevents me from doing other more important things.

9) Last (and best) note -My hubby is very thoughtful. He found some 60 year generational Sweet William seeds on Craig's List - for free. He picked them up for me as a surprise on Friday, and even got the seeds out of the dead blooms (a little false advertising there) today. Looking forward to some beautiful Sweet William blooms - in two years. They are biennial. If you're not familiar with Sweet William flowers, they are annual in cooler temps and perennial in warmer temps. Below is a pic. They are just lovely, and I'm trying to decide whether to save the seeds for next year, or attempt to cultivate a few indoors and transfer to my yard in the late summer...

Stay cool!!!

I found this pic online. Aren't Sweet William flowers pretty? They come in white, pink, red, and purple blooms. I don't know what these seeds will produce. A variety would be great. They are good for borders and flower boxes and like full sun, but can tolerate some shade. Their hallmark is the frilly edges. I've read that they smell nice too, and longer varieties are great for putting in vases. I think what we have will be the shorter variety, based on the dried blooms hubs brought home, though it's possible they were simply trimmed to fit in the bag. Either height, I think they will be a beautiful reminder of this summer spent making things around our home better. All by turning off the TV.

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