Archive for August, 2010

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back to school anxiety time

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Back to school is here. It’s everywhere. It’s in the commercials on TV and the radio. It’s in the advertisements at my local grocery store. I saw school buses on the way to work today. And I know my sister is prepping to send her kids off very soon. My mom teaches and she is also starting back to school soon.

I hate back to school. I don’t want to see ads for backpacks and 5-star notebooks on TV. I don’t want to compete with lumbering school buses that slow me down during my morning commute to work. I don’t want to admit that days are getting shorter and the morning air is getting crisper with that back-to-school smell to it.

It all culminated for me last night because it was not only “back to school”, but it was a Sunday. And the two together are pretty unbearable. I did not sleep well. No shocker there.

I don’t know why I still get that awful, uneasy feeling about school and Sundays. But I do. I am not in school anymore. I survived. But, wow, those feelings of panic and ickiness linger. How am I going to handle myself once I have kids? The Sunday routine of making lunches and doing homework and picking out an outfit. Too much! Too much!

But I guess it’s really no different than getting ready to go to work, right? Sunday nights are just blah all around, then.

So, how do you ease that back-to-school Sunday anxiety feeling? What works for you? Do you have a set routine that helps? Or do you live in Sunday denial like me?

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settling in

Friday, August 27th, 2010

This has been a much better week I am happy to report. It feels good to be back into the swing of work (finally!) and making dinners and watching movies and reading and getting to bed earlier. Maybe the last 3 days of steady rain have something to do with this, but a little rain is nice now and then. It makes me nesty. And seeing as how we’ve had next to none all summer long in New Hampshire, I’ll take what rain I can get!

I also think my outlook has a lot to do with running. Been running regularly over the past two weeks and I feel pretty good. While my starts and fits of running over the last few months have definitely impacted my overall fitness, I know that not all is lost. I definitely have something to build on. It is so easy to get out of the running routine, but baby steps back into it are worth it. Running makes me happy. It makes me more mentally alert. It calms me down. The first 20 minutes of a run might be pure awfulness, but the lasting effects are bliss. I haven’t lost any distance, but I may have slowed down just a tad. No biggie. I will get back into the groove and accelerate at my own pace.

So, happy Friday! Hope you find the time to eek out a run or whatever you can do to give yourself a breather.

And let’s enjoy the end of summer and savor every last bit! Can’t believe the end of August is upon us.

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Posted in The Daily Balance | 1 Comment »

how to harvest potatoes

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

It’s time! The potatoes are finally ready! We started harvesting them last weekend.

After potato plants bloom, the leaves start to turn brown, and eventually the potato plant part dies. You can begin harvesting potatoes any time after the plant blooms (new potatoes!), but waiting a week or two after the plants turn brown helps the potatoes to develop thicker skins if you want to keep your potatoes around for a little while.

We pulled out a mini hoe, shovel, and wheel barrow and began to dig away!

digging potatoes

Here is our little potato patch.

digging potatoes

We planted 6 different varieties of organic potatoes this year, and you can read more about how we did it here. As we started digging, it was so fun to see what color the potatoes would be!

potato in soil

Hi potato! There you are!

potato in soil

Is it a cranberry red or red cloud? I’m not sure.

So you remove the dying potato plant from the soil, and then gently dig down into the soil sifting through to pick out the potatoes. Some of our potatoes were pretty big, some were very teeny, and just one was a little rotten. Ewwwww.

red potato

The rest came out quite dirty, but nice and firm with skins intact.

We have harvested 4 plants so far, and here is our bounty.


I love the color of the purply-blue ones. They are called all-blue.

We are quite thrilled with how our first year of growing potatoes has turned out! It was a nice harvest last week.

august harvest

While our squashes failed this year, so far in August we have gotten tremendous amounts of bush lake beans, roma tomatoes, melons, and beets.

Now what to make? Should I roast the potatoes? Warm potato salad? Home fries? Scalloped? What is your favorite fun potato dish?

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Posted in The Growing Season | 4 Comments »

here’s to a fresh start

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Last week was really rough for me. I had a terrible time transitioning back into work. I was grumpy, sleep-deprived, anxious, and pretty miserable all around.

But I did manage to squeak out 4 great runs last week. And that makes me happy. I will build on that this week.

I also got an amazing haircut and am very happy I broke down and finally did it.

after haircut

My head feels much lighter now. And I finally have my layers back!

I bought calimyrna figs for the first time on Friday, and they make the most delicious snack.

Craig and I dogsat this weekend for his sister’s pooch, and it was really fun to cuddle up with a dog. It was neat to have a little shadow.

I also harvested our first melons from the garden!

watermelon sling

The watermelons kept popping out of their slings and finally came off the vine.

cantaloupe and sugar baby watermelons

Organic cantaloupe and sugar baby watermelons!

We went to a fantastic housewarming party on Saturday night for two of our good friends, and we had a blast seeing everyone. I hadn’t been out in ages, and plus we had been away for 3 weeks. So it was reaffirming to catch up with our friends and just chill out eating summer BBQ foods and having tasty beers. We stayed out very, very late. But it was worth it.

Today we visited my parents and caught up with them and showed off vacation pics.

And tonight I washed our sheets, cleaned the kitchen, and made a batch of zucchini and summer squash soup for our lunches this week.

I am feeling more optimistic. This is good! This week I hope to tackle planting new lettuce and baby spinach seeds. And more sugar snap peas.

And I WILL run, of course. Now if I can just work on peaceful, restful sleep I will be golden.

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Posted in The Daily Balance, The Growing Season | No Comments »

hair me out

Friday, August 20th, 2010

When I am feeling out of sorts, sometimes I have to take a step back and try to figure out why I’m feeling off kilter. And that list can get realllllly long and overwhelming if I let it. And, well, there’s only so much I can tackle at one time.

But sometimes there are also little things that add up. Silly things. Inconsequential things that irk me or make me feel off and mess up my sense of peace. Like a really dirty kitchen floor and piles of dishes in the sink. A garden that needs weeding. My clothes just not fitting right.

But the biggest little irk right now?
My hair.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m about to get all superficial on your ass. My hair is bugging the crap out of me. It’s late summer which can only mean one thing: my hair is particularly out of control.

It’s growing faster than my garden weeds. I trimmed it in May, and it’s grown 3 inches since then. Plus it has lightened about 3 shades from being out in the sun and has an unsightly scorched look about it. It’s a wavy, tangly, unruly jungle that’s looking less like Miley Cirus and more like Amazon woman.

When I shower I lose ridiculous amounts of hair. When I’m driving I subconsciously pull out loose hairs. My work cube floor is covered. Picking long stray hairs off my clothes could be considered a hobby at this point.

That’s right. I’m shedding. And it’s bugging me.
Do something about it I say! Get out of your funk, woman!

So today I’m getting my hair cut. For reals.

This is a pretty big deal for me for 2 reasons.

1.) I am acknowledging that I have to switch up my hair routine. This is fraught with peril in and of itself. Anytime you mess with routine it has the potential to be disastrous. And yet all I have been doing this week is complaining about ROUTINE. I’m in a catch-22.

By hair routine I mean that I currently opt for the quickest way to shower and get out the door in the morning with hair that is 90% presentable. I don’t blow dry. I don’t do multiple products. I don’t “style”. I don’t curl or flip or straighten or spray or whatever it is that requires women to get up 45 minutes earlier. You know the women I’m talking about. I walk by them in the hallways at work and regard them with wonder.

I am instead more of an au naturale kinda gal. Standard shampoo and conditioner. Towel dry. Up and out. Easy breezy. Which sort of lends itself to the same old boring style. Maybe I need a change. Maybe I need to put a little effort into ME.


2.) I am treating myself to a REAL haircut today. During my lunch hour. As in with a REAL stylist at a REAL salon that costs REAL money. No DIY trimming or bargain-basement establishment. I am going to put all my faith into a PROFESSIONAL today and trust that the ghosts of bad haircuts past are gone for good. I will not let haircut TRAUMA rear its ugly head, so to speak.

Go big or go home, right? Today I’m gonna throw down.
So wish me luck! Will post pics soon.
Here’s to a break-from-the-routine Friday!

Posted in The Daily Balance | 1 Comment »

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