Who wants to volunteer?

(Ye olde patio.)

The special (heh) delivery arrived yesterday afternoon and work on the new project will begin any minute now (or once the rain stops).  The old patio, pictured above, has to be taken apart first.  The patio isn’t old in terms of age.  M built that a summer or two after we moved into this house (which was in 2002).  The bricks were once part of the kitchen that we gutted and had remodeled.  Their sole purpose (besides taking up a good amount of space) was to house a “built-in” oven.  It probably looked pretty cool when it was new but it was outdated when we bought the house and that space is now occupied with cabinets and shelves, a much more efficient use if you ask me.  And we got a patio out of it.

(The Stuff.)

M took a masonry course last fall to get ready for this project.  Hopefully he now knows what he’s doing.  I should take that “hopefully” out.  I have great faith in him, especially when it comes to these marriage-testing projects.  From first glance, I’d say the thing we’ll need the most help with will be moving and placing the flagstones (you can see those sitting to the right of the cinder blocks).  All volunteers are welcome.  Feel free to sign up in the comments section of this post.  😉

What you don’t see in either picture are the rocks (mini-boulders) I bought for my garden.  There really aren’t that many of them but they will take a little work to haul up to the garden.  Once we realized how cheap they were, M and I both later thought that we should have bought more as I will likely need more for the garden and any leftovers can be used to line flowerbeds around the house or something.  We can always find a use for them.

The guy that delivered the goods was kind enough to bring his truck around to the back so we won’t have to spend the next week hauling bricks, mortar, etc.  Three cheers for the delivery dude!

I’ll leave you with a pretty picture.  Enjoy.

Garden notes:  We’re getting some much needed rain today.  Supposed to keep raining for the next few days.  Did some chipping and shredding this afternoon, adding to our large pile of mulch.  I was hoping to harvest some asparagus but it’s still not ready.  Might be able to get about 6-8 spears tomorrow.

The trees are finally bursting out with leaves.  The apple and crabapple trees are blooming.  The azaleas and lilac buds are about to pop.

Stress and tension

(028:  Another look at the stolen peonies.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Good thing I took a bunch of pictures of the flowers.  That way I can still enjoy them.

There’s a little tension and stress in the house today.  Debates about proper etiquette (dress code, bascially) for the rehearsal dinner, snappish replies to questions, and lots of little accidents (stuff being spilled, a burn on my arm from ironing, etc.).  I did my Muscle Max workout this morning.  I can handle anything!  Hahahahaha.  <– Read that as insane laughter.

M the Younger’s bachelor party is today.  The original plan was to go to a big amusement park about an hour away that has big roller coasters.  The weather didn’t cooperate.  I’m not sure what the guys are going to do now.  Just hang out, I guess.  M the Younger is not a drinker so it won’t involve hangovers, and it’s unlikely to be too wild and crazy.

My parents and my youngest brother will be arriving today.  M’s sister will be arriving today, too.  Then we do a musical beds thing tomorrow where my parents and brother move to a hotel and friends arriving tomorrow will stay here.  Gonna be lots of sheet washing going on at my house.

I’m still working my way through the monstrosity I call a to-do list.  As far as today is concerned, the end is almost in sight.  I will still have plenty to keep me busy tomorrow and on the wedding day.

Who needs a roller coaster when you have the ups, downs, and curves of life?



(019:  Bella in bed.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

That’s Bella, cuddled up in the waterbed next to my pillow and under the covers.  Both Izzy and Bella like morning cuddles, but Izzy will stay on top of the covers whereas Bella really likes to snuggle in.

I did Cathe Friedrich’s Muscle Max workout this morning.  I’m going to be hellasore tomorrow.  Or the day after.  It’s usually the day after the day after that’s the worst for these things.  It was a killer workout that challenged me to the max.  I was feeling pretty shaky and weak by the time I finished the entire 63 minutes (or whatever amount it is over one hour).  To me that’s the sign of a good workout.

We have friends dropping in for dinner tomorrow, on their way home from wherever they went.  I’ll be making chicken enchiladas.  I seem to have a Mexican food theme going this week.

Another rainy day.  It’ll be a good day for me to concentrate on all the indoor work I need to do.

Move 2008 and the County Fair

(Morning ablutions at the county fair.)

Time for another look at how the mileage and Move 2008 are going.

Could be better, but all things considered, I’m doing ok. I had some pain last week (back, hips, and shoulder) from an almost-fall, and that slowed me down a little.

Here are the stats:

  • Mileage for the week: 12.535 miles
  • Total for the year: 717.825 miles
  • Strength training: x2
  • Yoga: x3

I’m feeling better so I should be able to pick up the mileage this week.

You may (or may not) have noticed that Body For Life is on the list of what I’m currently reading. I intend to start the 12-week program on September 22nd. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll have to tweak things a little to suit my lifestyle and my fitness level, but nothing major.

The Exquisite Emma and her parents came for a visit this weekend. As always, I enjoyed seeing them. I can’t believe how big Emma is getting! She’s lost that toddler look and is beginning to look very much like a girl instead of a baby.

Sunday morning Emma and I went out to my garden where she got to look at the empty robin’s nest, pick some tomatoes and flowers, and rub her hands across the asparagus ferns (she said they’re soft). She brought her camera with her and took some photos of the Queen Anne’s Lace and the Black-Eyed Susans. We walked down to the sunflowers so she could take a few photos of those, too. Then she helped me fill the birdbath and water the flowers out front.

That may not sound like everyone’s idea of a good time, but I certainly enjoyed every moment of it. It was nice to have her there for company, and to spend a little time in the garden showing her the vegetables and flowers.

After Emma and I finished our trip around the yard, we all hopped into the car and headed to the Randolph Fair. It’s a good thing we went early as the day heated up quickly and by the time we left (near 2:00pm, I believe) we had all just about melted.

I have lots of photos from the fair, but little space for the month left in my Flickr account so the photos may have to wait until next month (or maybe I’ll figure out how to resize them on my own so I can get them posted before that). As you can see from the above photo, they were celebrating 150 years of fairdom.

I entered a jar of my pickled hot cherry peppers. I didn’t get so much as an honorable mention, but I was expecting that since this was my first entry. It gave me a chance to look over the other peppers, especially the winning jars, and now I know what the judges are looking for and will alter my methods accordingly. The jar of peppers I entered wasn’t what I really wanted to enter because the peppers were sliced rather than whole or cut in halves. But we’d already eaten or given away the peppers that were halved before I thought about entering so I went with what I had available. The judges seem to prefer whole peppers. That’s cool. I have admit: They are prettier that way.

I forgot to post this yesterday.  And forgot where I was headed after the pickled peppers.  That’s ok.  It’s tomato season now and I have plenty to keep me busy for at least today.

All sorts of stuff

We had a fun weekend.

Friday evening we went to Akron where we met up with some friends at 69 Taps and hung out for a while. We had an excellent dinner at Crave and then watched some of the fireworks that were shot off after the Aeros baseball game.

(Kathy’s fruit salad. YUM!)

I spent Saturday in the kitchen, prepping and freezing beans and peppers, then making a salad or two to take for our picnic dinner at Blossom. We went with friends and had a good time, enjoying the Empire Brass as well as the fireworks afterwards. Blossom’s fireworks were much better than the Aeros’.

(Sourdough bread and some of Mary’s cheese. Also YUM!)

(Fireworks. Oooooh!)

In addition to the fireworks, we watched the full moon come up over the pavilion at Blossom on Saturday night. Beautiful. Unfortunately, my photographs are not so beautiful. It’s been a while since I took photos of the moon. I need to practice. I haven’t done this poorly with moon shots since I first got my digital camera.

(Full moon coming up over the pavilion at Blossom.)

Today I have to get to work on a bushel of peppers that I got from Hilgert’s farm on Saturday. They are big, beautiful, gorgeous green bell peppers.

(Green bell peppers. More YUM!)

Once those are finished it will be time to get ready for canning tomatoes. The Romas are in and I hope to can at least as many as I did last year. More, if I have the time and energy.

Move 2008 stats: Not great. Here’s my total mileage for the year:

  • 703.29 miles

A little less than 300 miles away from my goal with 4 months to finish. That’s really not so bad.

However, the past 2 weeks or so have not been so good. My weekly mileage is down to about 15 miles/week and I usually don’t manage more than one yoga or strength workout.

Last week a lot of that was due to sleep deprivation attributed to watching the Olympics. The Olympics will have to continue on without my late-night viewing (perhaps I can catch up during the day) as I plan to get back on the Move 2008 track early tomorrow morning. That means going to bed at a decent hour tonight.

Move 2008 — Week 31

I’m still moving, but have not been doing a good job of keeping track (or updating, obviously). To top things off, I’m been feeling pretty run down for the past few weeks, something I only noticed when I began to get my energy back over the weekend. I’m assuming the anemia has been playing a role, and the iron supplements kicked in on Saturday, thus making me feel better.


Here’s the stats for last week:

  • Total for the week: 18.00 miles
  • Total for 2008: 668.22 miles
  • Strength training: x1
  • Yoga: x3

Now that my energy is back, I should be able to improve on that this week.


Audrey II, Move 2008, and Orange in the Bogs

(A head of romaine lettuce growing in my garden.)

This photo of romaine lettuce was taken a week or so ago, and it reminds me of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. It appears to be saying “Feed me!” in this picture, but it’s looking more like romaine lettuce these days. I’ll try to remember to take my camera with me when I go out to work in the garden today so I can get a current shot.

Time for my Move 2008 update for Week 27. It was an excellent week. My best for the year in terms of walking mileage.

  • Mileage for week 27: 31.35
  • Total for 2008: 584.72 miles
  • Strength training: x 3 (using 10 lb. weights)
  • Yoga: x 5

I’ve also been working outside around the property with M. That counts as strength training as far as I’m concerned, especially the sawing I did yesterday. We have plenty of downed branches from the various ice, snow, and spring storms. The small stuff ends up in the chipper/shredder to become mulch. The big stuff is cut to use for firewood, and I was doing that cutting with a handsaw.

One thing the guys (husband and youngest son) have teased me about over the past few years is how wimpy I am when it comes to “real” work that requires strength. I spend all this time working out with weights, building and toning my muscles, yet I have little real strength from those workouts. Doing some of the heavy work outdoors builds, tones, and strengthens me and my muscles. I’m going to try to do that more often.

And now for a few orange flowers, as requested by TPGoddess.

These are tiger lilies:

They come in a variety of colors. We have orange and pink. You don’t want to let the cats near lilies of any kind. All parts are toxic to cats, so says the ASPCA.

These are day lilies (this particular one is known as the common day lily which can apparently be turned into wine if one so desires):

When Johnny Appleseed made his way through northeastern Ohio, he must have brought day lily bulbs with him. They line most of the back country roadsides, their blooms turned towards the sun.

Our meadow and lawn are filled with a variety of little orange flowers. Some are really tiny. The jewelweed, also orange, should be blooming soon.

The orange-red-yellow flowers in this picture of a praying mantis are jewelweed. They tend to look more orange with the naked eye than they do on close-up with a camera lens. Jewelweed colors can also vary from orange to red to yellow. I believe this variety is called the spotted jewelweed.