Tag Archives: gardening

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal


I got the Peach Almond in my Holiday VoxBox from Influenster and decided to try it this morning.

I really don’t like oatmeal because my mom used to cook the heck out of it.  When she was done with it you could turn the pot upside down and make a pot shaped jello mold of gray matter.  It didn’t matter what it tasted like because it was so slimy it resembled a science experiment that got left in the frig until it grew eyeballs.  I have not eaten oatmeal since I’ve been an adult and free to make my own choice on what NOT to eat.

This, however, smelled really good even through the packaging.  I love peaches and almonds!  So I decided to add less water so it would be more firm.  It is impossible to describe how good this is.  It tasted like heaven.  The peaches were real chunks of peaches… not just artificially flavored pieces of who knows what.  The pieces of almonds were small but added great flavor.  I cannot wait to try some of the other flavors.  There’s also Apple Walnut, Summer Berry & Cherry Pistachio.



I love apple anything but unfortunately I’m allergic to walnuts so I wont be able to try that one.  The others sound really good though especially the Cherry Pistachio!  I am definitely going to get more of these.

My house still smells like peaches and I’m loving it.  I see that is available on Amazon.com but I’m hoping I can find it locally and on sale.  The card in my package says these are about $1.79 each.  I think that is not bad for a good healthy breakfast that tastes great and is easy to prepare but I am always looking to save money any way possible.

I’m also going to recycle the plastic container for planting this spring.  It is the perfect size to move seedlings into to allow them more room to grow before moving to the garden.   Too bad the container isn’t biodegradable material but then maybe it wouldn’t be suitable for making oatmeal in.  The lid will help to catch water on the bottom.  I added a small piece of tape to cover the steam holes in the lid but it wont last long since it is cardboard.  Only the ring is plastic.

Recycled Quaker Real Medleys oatmeal container for starting plants

Recycled Quaker Real Medleys oatmeal container for starting plants

Yarn Give away


On All Free Crochet you can enter to win three skeins of Magenta(ish) Stitch.Rock.Love Sheep(ish) Vickie Howell Yarn for Caron!  Click this Link to learn more about it and enter and bookmark the site so you can go back to enter every day until June 6th.  I love to crochet and don’t have much money to spend since I”m not working so I would love to win.

It has been rainy here which is good for washing away pollen but bad for gardening.  I really want to get my seedlings planted.  I am glad that I didn’t put them out already though because the rain would have ruined them.  We had a nice week of sun just before the rain so I thought about it.  My husband and my boys have been helping to clean up in the yard and get the grass raked and the gardens cleaned up.  It looks a lot better than before.  I have started some miniature morning glories, sweet peas and another vining flower that I hadn’t seen before and they are growing great and trying to tangle together.  I can’t wait to get them planted where I want them so they can vine away.

I used toilet paper rolls to plant my seeds in this year and it works great!  You just flatten them and then open and flatten again so they have 4 creases – making a square.  Then you snip with scissors on the creases only about 1/2 inch.  I used a pair of fiskars deckled scissors so that the edges are bumpy and hold better.  Then you fold the flaps just like you do to close the top of a box – folding one side and then the next going around until you get to the last one and tuck in the corner so it stays closed.  If it slicks up some like a pyramid just push down gently and it inverts so that the pyramid is inside – that is actually better and keeps it from coming open.  I used a milk carton turned on it’s side with the top side cut off to put the toilet paper rolls in.  That keeps them standing up and you can keep water in the bottom of the milk carton to keep the rolls wet.   When you are ready to plant just plant the rolls and all and they disintegrate.  They work better than the little pots you buy at the store to do the same thing.  It just takes a little bit of time to get the toilet paper rolls ready but it cost me nothing.

When I get a chance I’ll take a picture.

My eyeballs are still burning.  I can’t decide if it’s getting better or I’m just getting used to it.  I can’t wait until my new glasses come in.  Starting next month I will really need them because I’ll be taxi mom again.  The dark glasses will really help when I drive.  I have actually been told not to drive until I get them so I’m listening.  I don’t want to cause an accident.

Night Owl


Even though I have always worked really hard at being awake during the day time so I can enjoy the sunshine these days I find myself hiding from it.  My eyes are horrible!  I think I’m turning into a vampire or something.  Maybe a hybrid of some sort so instead of going up in flames in sunlight my eyes just feel like they are.  The last couple of days have been beautiful but I stayed in my room in the dark.  I can’t stand to have the light on or look at a lit screen for long.  I’ve been reading by the little slit of light that comes from the edge of the curtain in my room and listening to music.  I can’t wait until I get my crazy prescription sunglasses!  I have been putting the drops in my eyes like the doctor ordered but my eyes still burn.  I just want to fill the tub with ice water and stick my head it and open my eyes.

Yesterday I ended up sleeping most of the day since the allergy meds make me tired.  After the sun with down (as far as it goes here in Alaska) I went out and took my dog for a stroll through the park and played around in my garden a tiny bit.  After the walk I didn’t have much energy left.  Today I slept a lot but woke up around 1pm.  I came out to hang out with the family but couldn’t handle the light so I retreated back to my room – and the dark.  I realized there isn’t much to do in my room.  I really don’t spend much time in there.  I got out my Kindle and played with that some.  I can read for a while with the screen set to a yellow background but then I have to take a break from it to rest my eyes.  I forgot how much I love my Kindle fire!  I read, played games, read some more, listened to some audio files, looked at every single app available on there and then read some more.  UGH, I was so bored.  I couldn’t crochet or knit or anything like that because my eyes were blurry and it was dark.  I listened to my husband hanging out with the boys though.  I love him so much for being such a good dad.  He was going to go out with some friends but decided to stay home instead and hang out with the boys.  They watched movies and played cards.  They play Magic the Gathering and between the three of them they probably have enough of those cards to fill a small room.  I love listening to them all laugh though.

My husband and the guys made dinner and I really wished I could have eaten at the table with them but I just couldn’t.  There are a lot of windows in the living room/kitchen area- my favorite thing about this house actually.  One of my boys brought me dinner in bed with a big glass of orange juice.  They made chicken fettuccine and garlic bread.  I’m so blessed with such a wonderful family.

After a while the sun went down and I went outside and tried to dig around in my garden.   I put my seedlings out and set a timer to remind me to take them in.  I need to harden them off still or the wind and cool air will kill them.  It was surprisingly warm out though!  I thought I could work in my garden until the timer went off but after a little shoveling and a lot of swatting at the mammoth mosquitoes I was beat!  I looked at the timer and it had only been 12 minutes!   I went inside for a little rest and then went back out and worked a few minutes in the back yard.  I got tired again and went back inside to rest and then the timer finally went off so I could bring the plants in.  I’ll do a little more tomorrow.  The guys and I (hopefully are going to do some yard work.  I found my husband’s sunglasses so hopefully I can stand being outside so I can direct them.  While I was in my room playing on the Kindle I made some “to-do” lists with an app.  Since the boys are home from school I am going to put them to work.

It really is frustrating to have to hide from the sun after waiting all winter for it.

I’m still alive


I have been in a hole…. a dark one.  That happens from time to time.  I’ll be tripping along through life full of optimism and trying to fill my days the best I can and then the ground falls out from under me and I find myself sitting in the dark with no drive to get up.  I am constantly reading anything that can encourage me but sometimes it just feels like I’m looking at people through glass store fronts and don’t have what it takes to get the happiness they have.  I feel so poor and dejected but I know that it is just a feeling and not reality.  It is depression.

I have had an increase in aches and pains lately which seems to contradict the beautiful sunshine that has been spilling in my windows.  Spring is coming and I have been waiting impatiently for it but since I have been so immobile because of the pain I have lost a lot of muscle tone.  My muscles are all tight and weak.  In an attempt to find something to motivate myself I called the Cooperative Extension at the University to inquire about gardening classes.  This is something I am passionate about.  I was disappointed to find that the master gardener class was already filled but I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to keep up anyway.  They did tell me about a class being taught by one of the master gardeners and they said if I called “right away” I might be able to get in.  It was only $10 to secure a spot but the class had already reached its limit.  I must have sounded desperate because they told me if I came the next day with the $10 I could attend.  I did.  When I walked in she said, “Are you Donna?”.  I told her I was and she said, “good because you’re the last one I’m taking”.   I was so relieved and excited.  This is a lecture type class which is perfect since I can just listen and take notes and then use what information I need to improve my little garden.  That way I can make sure I don’t get in over my head.  My goal is to grow enough veggies for myself and for a little extra.  I want to take some to the Rescue Mission.

The only problem is I have a hard time sitting for the 2 hours.  My back starts to ache and I have to get up and move around.  The room is crowded and there isn’t much room (the chairs are packed together so everyone is elbow to elbow) and I don’t want to leave the room and miss anything.  The class is once a week for 8 classes and it is about half way through.  Every time I go to a class I come home in such pain I end up taking a stronger medication that knocks me out.  The pain continues through the next day too and it takes a lot out of me. I talked to my doctor and she checked me out.  She said some of my muscles are very tight and “balled up”.  She recommended massage and told me I needed to stretch and exercise – specifically yoga and some cardio type exercise.  I have found the huge exercise ball I have very helpful with this.  I lay over it (with it under my back) and stretch my arms to the floor.  This stretches that muscle that screams at me during the classes.  I did make it to church the Sunday before last but only for the first hour.  I couldn’t stay for Sunday School or anything else.  I was in such agony that I was shaking and didn’t want to get to the point where I couldn’t drive myself back home.  I’m glad the drive is a short one.

Exercising isn’t easy for me but I know I have to do it to get stronger.  Tonight is another class and hopefully this one will be easier for me.  Last time I took a small pillow to sit on and that helped.  It is just awkward taking a pillow to class.  Oh well, it isn’t like I’m a teenager anymore.  I have met a really nice couple there that I usually sit with.  I’m so glad to have met them even though I don’t know them very well.  I sit by the older man and we occasionally we find something to chuckle about.  He usually saves me a seat by putting his coffee on it and I’m grateful for that small gesture of friendship.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading these days.  That is actually ALL I want to do.  I just read two books that I had already read but couldn’t remember.  I guess I’ll never run out of things to read now that I’m getting older and apparently senile.  I loved the Blossom Street Series but when I was reading it before I was frustrated because I got the books out of order and then I found out there was a short story that tied into the story line that was part of a book called, “More Than Words: Volume 2”.  This is a book about real women who have made a difference in the lives of others and it is comprised of several short stories by well known women writers.  It appears to be an annual publication.  Volume 2 contained a story called “What Amanda Wants” which is about a teen-aged girl who found out her cancer had come back just before her senior year of high school.  She tied it in with the Blossom Street story and it took off right where the second book left off.  It is a very touching story and reminds me why I HATE short stories.  It never fails – if they are good they are always TOO short.  I love this series written by Debbie Macomber because it is about friends.  I think that is what I am missing right now.

Now I am going to finish reading that book of short stories which has 4 more stories.  I have also decided to read the Bible from front to back.  I’ve always planned to do that but have never made it.  It is funny how I always seem to pick up something “new” even from passages I’ve read several times before.   I am currently still in Genesis but I hope to make it much further than last time.   I am also reading a book on Tatting that I had started several months ago.  I love tatting but I haven’t made anything in a long while.  I picked that book up and found myself eager to try some of the ideas in the book.  This book is an older one that talks about even older techniques.  I love how they show ideas that very old and hope people will revitalize them.  I especially love learning about crafts that women did ages ago and learning how to do them.  Women used to make their own clothes and decorate them with special touches of lace they made themselves.  This book called “Tatting Techniques” by Elgiva Nicholls has really inspired me.  My library really wants it back though and I better hurry up and finish it.

Well, I plan on coming back tomorrow and the next day….  I think I need to write and exercise my “bean” too.

Oh, Happy Day!


I’ve been up all night listening to music.  Since I woke up at 6 pm there is no way I could go to sleep.  I’ve been making my way though all the music on my computer that was labeled “other” and there is still a chunk left.  This is all the music from everyone in the whole house by the way.  When my other laptop gave up the ghost my husband got me another one and dumped ALL of the music onto it.  So I’ve been painstakingly weeding out the stuff I don’t like and now and then finding something new that I do like.  I get sidetracked occasionally and listen to something else but I’ve gone through a lot of random music and given it a classification.  I also make sure each file has all the details because I think I’m a little OCD and can’t stand to leave out a detail or leave a blank unfilled.   I double check the dates too and if a file is a greatest hits album I research and find out when it was originally released.  That way when I sort my music by decade I get what I want.   I did go through all of the RAP music which took me all of 2 seconds.  I selected it all and hit delete.  I do NOT like RAP!  I can’t believe someone in my family downloaded that in the first place.  Of course I’m only deleting the music from my laptop so I’m not permanently deleting anyone else’s music. Next I have to go through all of the music labeled “unknown”, “genre”, and nothing at all….  Once I get those sorted I can go through the known genre’s without worrying about duplicates hiding somewhere or downloading something I already have.  Funny thing is I’m actually enjoying this.  I love researching and reading about the bands on Wikipedia.

I just found a song  from an album my older brothers used to have.  It was “Life’s Been Good” by Joe Walsh from the album “But Seriously, Folks…”  I had some major flashbacks going on and now I have to download the rest of that album.

When I was younger… not sure how much younger exactly but I’m thinking 10 or 11 maybe….  I remember sitting on the floor in this old van my brothers had and listening to 8 tracks and cassette tapes while waiting for them to do odd jobs I believe.  The van had an 8 track player and they had a extremely large “boom box” for cassettes.  I loved this and never ever left the van or got into trouble because I love music and at home I wasn’t allowed to listen to anything except choir music, “preaching” on tape and sometimes some old country music.  It seemed like the time went by so fast when I was listening to music in that van.  I never got lonely.

Anyway, guess what?  I got an award!  From my buddy Sabrina at http://www.muchneededadvice.com.  Isn’t that cool?  There are some rules though so I have some work to do.

The requirements of my accepting this award are:

  • I share 7 completely random pieces of information about myself.
  • I nominate 15 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
  • I inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

So I’m going to start with my list of 7 random facts about myself…  Let’s see if I’m as interesting as Sabrina LOL

  1. I love fish.  I have a 55 gallon fish tank in my living room in the prime (central) spot of the living room where most people have a TV.  Some of my fish have names depending on their character.  Did you know fish have character?  I have a plecostomus (algae eater) that is the tank bouncer and his name is Bubba.  If anyone starts a fight he whips them into shape.
  2. I live in Alaska and hate snow.  Ironic huh?
  3. I actually like bugs and am always trying to save their little lives.  My mom was scared to death of everything that moved and if she saw a spider she would start screaming and stomping and swatting wildly.  I would scoop it up – with my hand even – and take it outside before it was smooshed into spider jelly.  Now that I’m older and know that some spiders bite, I don’t usually pick them up with my hands.  Alaska spiders are really small but there are some poisonous spiders here.  If I find a caterpillar or other interesting bug I like to put it in a jar and research online to identify it.  If I can’t, I go to the cooperative extension at the university.  My kids used to love doing this with me.  Of course, I always let the critters go afterwards.
  4. I love plants and growing things.  I have a perennial garden in my front yard that my mom actually helped me plant a few years before she died.  Sometimes I fill in a few annuals but mostly I love the perennials.  In the backyard I have my vegetable garden and I usually grow herbs too.  I have several house plants and when one starts to look ill or dies I actually morn like my dog died.
  5. I got my belly button pierced once.  I did it at the fair because of a dare.  My husband and a bunch of friends were teasing me because I could never get a tattoo or a piercing because I was afraid of needles.  I really was/am afraid of needles but now I’m a little better.  I’ve learned it isn’t so much the needles that I need to fear but the nurses that are bad at using them.  I had both of my children without an IV because I out-right refused one.  Anyway, these people were teasing me and DARED me!  So I did it.  I figured one poke was better than a zillion and piercings can be  removed later.  I actually kept it in for a long time.
  6. I’m allergic to nickel and can’t wear a lot of jewelry.  I actually have a wooden watch my husband bought for me because of this.  The back is also made of wood so I don’t have to worry about it causing a horrible rash that can scar.  I have a heart shaped scar on my chest from a necklace I fell asleep on.
  7. I HATE oatmeal with a capital H A T E.  I actually start to feel nauseated at the sight of it or of someone eating it.  My parents made me eat it when I was younger and I buried mouthfuls of it in my mom’s plants.

There, how was that?  Interesting enough?  I could keep going actually.  That was rather fun.  I’ll have to take some time to think of 15 websites to grant the award to.  Then I’ll post them here.  Wow, that’s a LOT!

  1. http://marteandkristin.wordpress.com/
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