I’m Still Here! Update……

I am so sorry for not being around. It has been crazy. I started a new job, got the flu, started my volunteering and then Comic Con. But I am still here.

I really wanted to participate in Writing 101, but am not sure if I should at this point. I am two weeks behind and I don’t work well under pressure. So I think for now I will just write what comes to me that follows along with really what I want this blog to be about. I am going to try to stay at it once a week. 

Next weekend I am sewing. I need new tops for work and just can’t bring myself to buy a shirt I have no strong feelings for at $25. Plus they just never seem to fit right. I will post pictures to let you all know how it is going.

The garden is amazing! It has been raining here almost every afternoon, which is unusual for Colorado in June. My garden loves the rain water and so does my water bill. The spinach went to seed, so we pulled it up. I am seeing peas now. The peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes are also growing well. This is the first year for the strawberries, so I think I will leave them alone and wait until next year to harvest fruit.

At Comic Con I dressed in my Steampunk outfit. I love that thing. It makes me feel sexy. I went with a friend and she and I got asked at least 20 times to have our picture taken. It really made my day. Here is a picture of me, yes I am sticking out my tongue. :)

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I think one of my first wood working projects is going to be to make a cane/walking stick for this outfit. I love it.

Besides sewing I am going to attempt to try something different with my hair. I already make my own laundry detergent. I am learning to reuse candle wax. I want to do something healthy and natural for my hair. So I am beginning to investigate alternatives to shampoo. There is no reason to put chemicals on my head. Does anyone have any recommendations? Advice? Personal experiences? I would love to hear from you!

The Garden is Planted!!!! And I Got a Job!!!!

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Peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers before planting.

We are done planting! It seemed so easy this year. Last year we got a late start and had to build garden beds with store bought dirt. This year, we simply cleaned up the beds and planted. It was so nice! Now we just get to maintain and enjoy.

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Clean bed, ready for cucumbers and tomatoes!

 

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The grate squares measure 1′x1′. We use these to easily measure and to keep the cats from using the loose dirt as a litter box.

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Tomatoes!

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Cucumber plants in one corner of each square. Seeds in the other corner of the square.

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Peppers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Strawberries!

Here is an overall picture of the garden. The paver area is still a mess, that is the next project.

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Very top left in the shaded box is green beans. Clockwise from that: Peas, lettuce, carrots, spinach, strawberries, potted dill (not seen). potted tomato, 3 tomato plants and a whole bunch of cucumbers. In the white buckets are tomato plants, one that you can’t see has a cucumber plant (I’ll explain this in a minute). In the white box are peppers. Each large box in the middle measures 3′x6′. I have twelve squares (1′x1′) with several cucumber plants. My mother fears we planted too many, but last year she had the same concern and I held back and we didn’t get any. I can always thin them out if needed.

Most are pickling cucumbers, then there are two of burpless cucumbers. Peppers include 4 bell pepper plants, 2 anaheim peppers and 2 poblanos. Tomato plants include 2 mortgage lifters, one each of beefmaster, cherokee purple, brandywine, Mr Stripy, fantastic and an early girl. If you are counting along that would be 8 tomato plants. We are testing to see what kind we like best.

I am so excited. We plan on canning and if we need extra stuff, like onions or dill, I hope to find it at the farmer’s market. I think I may start early, I have never canned before and don’t want to have a learning curve when I have all my veggies ready to go. Some things we decided not to do this year, like potatoes. Just want to concentrate on what we have.

The white buckets are an experiment of my mother’s. Self watering potted plants. They are sort of like a pot you would use for your violets. On the bottom is a bucket that has a drain hole drilled into in about 2-3″ up from the bottom. A second bucket sits in it that has drain holes drilled on the bottom and towels that are threaded from the bottom to the top. The towels soak up the water that is in the bottom bucket to feed the roots of the plants. How does the water get into the bottom bucket you ask? Well there is a 22″ length of PVC pipe from the top through the bucket to the bottom. We put water through the pipe into the reserve. Yes, I get the irony that we still water the bucket, but we will see if it works.

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The bottom of the top bucket. There are many little drain holes to let water out. The large hole in the middle is for the towels to come up through. The larger hole off to the side is for the PVC pipe to thread to the bottom bucket.

 

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Three towel strips coming up from the bottom bucket to the sides. Now time for dirt.

 

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Finished….almost. You can see the bottom bucket, the PVC pipe on the left. In the background you can sort of see the finished product. We put black plastic over it to keep the dirt warm and extra water out.

I ordered a few little fruit trees in January and they have now all arrived. I have an orange tree (which is doing great), a lime tree and now a dwarf banana tree! When these things get bigger my living room will look like a jungle….but there are worse things. For perspective they are each planted in a 6″ pot.

 

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Orange tree

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Lime Tree

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Dwarf Banana

An update on the avocado tree. I moved it out of the bright direct sunlight and started ignoring it, just watering it weekly. Check it out. You can see on the bottom that the leaves are still burnt looking, but it’s still growing new leaves and getting bigger. I also started two new ones, because I could :)

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Avocado as of 5.17.14

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New avocados

And lastly, sorry for the long post, I got a job. One of my pimps came through for me. I should start next week sometime after my finger print background check comes back. It isn’t as much as I really need to make, but after 3 months of not working it is better than nothing. It also has no direct customer contact. That alone may be worth the decrease in pay.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Please leave feedback, advice, or just say hi :)

 

Garden Update

I have been such a slacker! I haven’t done anything with Zero to Hero or anything. I apologize.

But I am so excited about the garden! My peas are coming up wonderfully. The lettuce is looking great. I don’t think the spinach is too happy. I recently learned that you should seed that in the fall so it will be happy in the spring. So we will try that next year. Check it out:

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Peas are in the four squared in the back. It is difficult to see but there are strings hanging from the posts that are tied to the grate things for the peas to climb on. Total cost for those was about $18. Two kinds of lettuce in the two on the left. Next to them there are carrots, then onions. On the far left is the spinach. We also started green beans yesterday. The strawberries are also looking good this year.

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I am going to be starting my pickling cucumbers next week and since I love green chili I am going to try my hand at growing the peppers I need to make my own.

On house plant news the English Ivy is almost dead. I cannot figure out why I can’t grow it, but I am giving up. I need to focus on things I can be successful at that will give me food. On that note, the avocado tree is still alive. I put it in a semi dark corner where it gets a little light and it seems happy. No more leaves have started looking burned and it’s still growing and happy. We’ll have to see what happens.

I’m still unemployed. I have 3 pimps and am still looking on my own and nothing. Nada. I have had 4 interviews in the past three months. It’s really sad. But I know there is a reason for this. The perfect job is out there! I am also starting my volunteer work with Denver Botanical Gardens on the 24th (http://www.botanicgardens.org/). They have an agricultural site that I toured and trained at last weekend. I am so excited! There is so much to learn when it comes to growing food. The people seem wonderful and the site is just beautiful. At least I will have that to distract me and keep me from getting in trouble.

Anyone else gardening this year? What have you planted so far? How’s it going?

 

BR: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, 2011

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I read a lot of young adult books. They are generally quick reads, not horribly written, and remind me of when I was young. Well, younger anyway. This book was a lot of fun.

The story is about Jacob, who following the death of his grandfather, travels to a Welsh island in hopes of discovering more about his grandfather’s childhood at Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. He is intrigued by a collection of mysterious pictures his grandfather had that show children levitating, handling fire, easily lifting boulders, and many other strange things. Then there was the letter, seemingly written by Miss Peregrine herself a mere 15 years before the death of his grandfather. Is it possible she was still alive after 70 years? Would she know what his grandfather meant with his cryptic last words? He had to go find out. What he found was stranger than anything he could have imagined.

I enjoyed this book because the author used real photos from collectors to weave this story. It was a great way to engage the reader and keep them guessing until the last page. I could write more, but you should read it for yourself. The sequel, Hollow City, was released in January of this year. I shall be picking that one up when it comes out in paperback.

 

Getting Caught Up

So I changed my theme! I realized that my previous one didn’t show my tagline “It may not be perfect, but it is Preston Perfect!” This is information you sort of need to understand my blog title. It is a running joke around our house. Sort of like “it’s good enough for government use.”

While I like the blue I would prefer a different color. However, I can’t afford to pay for custom designs on a yearly basis. Does anyone know if you purchase a theme is that yearly as well or a one time fee? I can’t seem to find that information.

I also added widgets and dressed up my sidebar. What do you think?

Challenge Slacking

I have been a bad blogger this week when it comes to the Zero to Hero Challenges. I haven’t done Day 5: Love Your Theme, Day 7: Start Personalizing, Day 8: About Page Widget, Day 9: Post Inspired by Your About Page Widget, Day 10: Dress Up Your Sidebar and today Day 13: Build a Better Blogroll.

I have no good reason for slacking other than all these challenges touch on things I have no experience with and have never done before. So I am learning. It will take a few days, but I will play with themes, templates, widgets (don’t really know what these are), and sidebars this coming week. I just won’t have time to fully delve into it sooner but am really looking forward to learning the more techie side of blogs. Anyone have any advice or suggestions?

Got myself a pimp… or 3.

As you may recall, I am currently unemployed. I lost my job on February 14th this year. In the past 10 weeks I have sent my resume out 54 times. Out of those 54 resumes I have had 2 interviews. Just two. I am not a math wiz or anything, but that isn’t much. I have no amazing skills and my resume reads like something a 24 year old would have. Since graduating college I haven’t had a job for more than 3 years. This last job I wanted to keep for a really long time. But it wasn’t meant to be.

So I’m on the hunt again. But money is getting low and I am starting to feel the pings of desperation. I am looking for an administrative position. I like data entry, filing, copying and the such. Not exciting, takes no skills, but I enjoy it. Unfortunately I fear that all other resumes look like mine. I am really much better in person. Outgoing, laid back, personable. So, I got myself a pimp last week.

I don’t mean a gold chain, velour wearing pimp. I mean I signed up with a staffing agency. I noticed that many jobs on monster, indeed and career builder were going through staffing agencies. I didn’t contact any, just applied for a job one had up. They contacted me and I signed up with them. But all businesses don’t go through the same place, right? Nope. So I signed up with another pimp. Well, if two would be advocating for me, selling me on the business market, it doesn’t hurt to contact three does it? Nah! So I emailed a third staffing agency yesterday.

I am still looking for myself. But I need help. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with working at Taco Bell or Wal-Mart, I don’t want to do that if I don’t have too. I know my luck, I would get trained, then get my dream job and quit. I don’t like being that person.

So wish me luck, and hope that the pimps can do their jobs well!