Veggie garden 10th April

First update on the veggie garden.

I’ve decided to do it a little different from last year. So, first off, I bought tomato stakes. These I’ve been also using for the beans…

I’ve planted the broad beans, sugar snaps and marrowfat peas out. Also, I’ve tried planting the runner beans and the chinese beans. Not sure if this will work, as it’s very early to get those in the ground, but we’ll wait and see.

The tomato seedlings are doing well, the cucumber seedlings have taken a bit of a blow when cat Dipsy fell off the scratching pole whilst sleeping. She spent almost a minute on her back, right between the cucumbers, desperately trying to get out… It was hilarious…

I’ve been sowing lettuce in the mini green house and it looks all good. Today I’ve also been sowing beetroot, onions, radish and carrots.

Things I did in March

I’ve been doing quite a lot in March. Mainly because the weather was gorgeous and we had a week off.

I’ve been reading quite a lot of children’s books. Easy, quick and it sure makes a dent in my TBR pile.

The Delicate Storm
Commissaris Achterberg en de verdwenen radiowagen
Hotel Rozebottel, vlam in de pan
Hotel Rozebottel, gasten op de vlucht

And I’m currently reading De vloek van de Pelgrims which hasn’t grabbed me so far.

I’ve released quite a number of books in March, mainly due to opening an OBCZ in my hometown. I’m now up to 131 books released in 20 different places. I’m trying to keep this momentum going, as I have far too much BookCrossing books lying around…

I’ve been working with the dethatcher which has worked magic on the lawn. The back lawn actually looks good, the front looks like a barren landscape at the moment. I’ve sowed new grass, so I hope it’ll get better over time. I can’t really be arsed by the front lawn. It doesn’t really look any worse than it already did.

And our new fence is up. It looks lovely. I bought 2 different types of clematis, the Joe and the Ville de Lyon. The latter mainly because it produces pink flowers and the girls next door love everything pink. They are growing very quickly and I’m hoping they’ll give lots of privacy this summer.

new fence

new fence 2

Quick Update

Just a quick update. I have no idea what happened to March… I had so many plans, so many ideas for blog posts. And yet it’s April for crying out loud.

But the ideas are still there. I still want to blog more, I’ve still got the ideas in my head… So bear with me, K?

Things I did in February

Well, the short answer is: not much…

Books I’ve read:

Bandieten op Bali
De discus valt aan

Currently reading:

The Delicate Storm

You see, my TBR pile has grown quite a bit again. A friend of mine asked me to pick up 3 boxes of books, which we split evenly amongst us. But they are all children’s books and I love reading children’s books. Many of the books in the boxes I have read as a child.

I’ve had problems with my thyroid levels due to working a few night shifts. This meant that I haven’t been reading as much as I wanted. Luckily my boss and I have decided that it’s not advisable with my health issues to work anymore night shifts. I am so relieved about this decision.

The 365/365 challenge is going well. I haven’t released many books in Feb, but I’m currently on 82 released books. As for the 52 books in 52 towns challenge I’m up to 18 towns/villages/hamlets. A pretty good score if I may say so myself.

I’ve started working on the vegetable patch. I’ve been digging and removing lots of grass. I’ve also cleared the tiles in the garden from grass. My sis in law has a dethatcher which we can borrow. This is very necessary, as the front lawn contains more moss than actual grass. And in the lawn at the back there’s a large patch of moss that keeps growing bigger and bigger.As for making the vegetable patch bigger, I’ve still got to remove 3 square meters of grass. Which I believe I can do in about 3 hours. But I won’t do it all in one go and it has to be a bit dry. The grass is very heavy and I don’t have much room for it in the green wheelie bin. The bin can’t weigh more than 80 KG and you will be surprised how quickly it’s up to that level.

I’ve made a chart of what seeds I have and when I need to plant them out. Of course, after I made it I bought and been given more seeds, so it’s completely out of date again.
I did sow some bell pepper seeds about 3 weeks ago and yesterday I saw there’s already 3 showing the first leaves. Which makes me very happy.
The cement bucket and pots still haven’t been bought. This I will (try to) do later this week or next week.

As for the fencing that blew down last October, our neighbours have bought a fence online and it’s been delivered last week. In the last weekend of March it’s supposed to go up.

I am hoping to do a few more blog posts next month.

What have I been doing in January

As I posted in the beginning of January I wanted to get on with my TBR pile of BookCrossing books. So far it’s been going well. I’ve read 8 books and am reading 2 at the moment. (un)Fortunately my TBR pile grew with 9 books, so basically I’ve gotten nowhere with that…

Books I’ve read:

I’ve made a beginning with reading at least 4 books, which weren’t to my taste. So they’ve gone from my TBR pile to my AVL pile.

I’ve started with the 365/365 challenge, which is in the Dutch forum of BookCrossing and started by Aaltsje. So far I’ve managed to release 66 books. I’ve also found out the stats on Bookcrossing.com are broken. A week ago they’ve displayed a total of 63 released so far this year. Then, a couple of days ago, I found out the stats have gone done to 61. I’ve been through the whole of my bookshelf, even when I kept score all the way through this month, and I know I’ve released 66 books, not 61. This is a bit odd, but I’ll keep counting and looking at what my BC stats say throughout the year.

Two weeks into this year I’ve managed to get myself into a 52 books in 52 towns challenge as well. Not entirely sure how that happened, it must have been something to do with my night shifts… So far, with help of my lovely colleagues, I’m up to 10 towns. I’ve been searching around on the map for hamlets and villages nearby where I can release books. I think I can get up to 52 in a day. But I’m not going to do that. I do keep a list of places I want to leave a book in though. At the top of that list is a tiny hamlet called “De Hel” (Hell)!

And that’s more than enough about books. On to the next topic, the garden.

In January the weather, the cold and the short days meant I simply wasn’t interested in the garden at all. But now that the days are getting longer I’ve become more interested in the garden again.

I’ve thought about making the veggie patch bigger. This will mean I have to get something to make a clear line between the grass and the vegetable garden. I’ve thought of those wood rolls that you can get, but they are more expensive than the concrete band. So I’m going with that. I’ve also made a list of things I want to buy, mainly big pots for aubergines and bell peppers and a few more potato tubs. The latter have been purchased online and I’m waiting on delivery within the next week. We also need to talk to the neighbours about the fencing that’s been blown down last October. I’ve sent them a text and they’ll get back to us shortly. I’m just hoping it won’t be too expensive…

I’m going to make a sowing schedule and have decided to buy a few seedlings to make my life easier. But I haven’t bought those Samla boxes for nothing, so I am going to sow most of my seeds. Yes, I use Ikeas Samla boxes as greenhouses. Much cheaper than the dedicated ones and they work just as good. I think I’ve got 6 of those.

Right now I’m waiting on a few item to go on sale. I want a tiny garden greenhouse. They were on sale last year in Aldi, but I didn’t get them. A few weeks after, when I did want them, they were sold out. I also want a few more seeds. And I’ve got my mind set on a mini garden pond. I decided to buy a cement bucket (65 Liter) for this purpose.

The next few weeks I will get busy with everything.

So much to do

I planned to blog more often, but failed miserably already…It’s been almost a month since my last post.

We had a week off at the beginning of January. Which we used to install LED lighting in the kitchen. I had been complaining of the lack of light on the workspaces for ages and we finally got around to install a LED strip. Which gives a huge amount of light. Works great!
This meant we haven’t gotten around to sort out the hallway yet. This will have to wait just a little bit longer.

I’ve been very busy with BookCrossing. As I blogged earlier, I’ve committed myself to a 365/365 challenge. I’ve also managed to commit myself to the 52/52 challenge. Which basically means I have to release 52 books in 52 different towns. Not sure how that happened. I think it had something to do with night shifts and the inability to cope with the severe lack of sleep…
So far I’ve released 52 books and 4 more to come on a set time. I’ve also managed to rope in my coworkers to help with the 52/52 challenge. This means I’m now up to 9 different towns all over the Netherlands.

So much to do

So, still to do is the hallway, which won’t happen quickly. My parents in law agreed to help, but my father in law has a suspected hernia, which prevents him from even moving around. His backpains are currently controlled a bit by Morphine.
Jay and I have agreed on asking a painter to do the window and door frames inside. This would take us forever and since we have a few broken doors this is quite vital. My dad has agreed to help us place new doors once the door frames are painted.

We also had a minor problem with our washing machine. The morning after my night shifts I sat watching Homes Under The Hammer when I suddenly thought I heard a tank coming through the street. This would have been unusual, so I walked up to the kitchen window to look out. I then realised the incredible amount of noise was actually coming from somewhere above me. Turned out the washing machine had decided it was time to find a better spot. It was literally jumping up and down. I tried holding it down (silly, i know) when I noticed a burning smell and some smoke coming from the machine. I figured it was time to pull the plug. Thankfully in time to save the laundry, which contained my favourite sweater and jeans. My neighbours across the street were kind enough to lend me their washing machine for a bit so I could at least get the washing done.
So now we have a brand spanking new washing machine! Which, somehow, takes way longer to wash than the old one did…

This post has been inspired by the Daily Prompt.

Desert Island Books

So, I’ve never been tagged before. So this is a first. And a very good one, so thanks Tattooed Mummy!

As you might know I love books. I’ve always loved books, as long as I can remember I’ve been reading. I’m a member of BookCrossing which gives me even more to read. And as I posted just two days ago, My To Be Read pile is massive.

So which books would I take to a desert island?

1. Lost Nation by Jeffrey Lent. A book that grabbed me from the start. The plot twists and turns like a bendy country lane. Absolutely loved it. I bought it for very little in a clearance sale quite a number of years ago and I still think it’s one of the best books I’ve ever bought.

2. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I’m so glad I’ve decided to buy this book. I’ve read Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry before and up to the third part I’ve enjoyed that book. The third part let it down for me. So I wasn’t too sure about this book, but when I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I read it every available minute. the end of the book becomes clear about half way through, but I didn’t care. Needless to say, I cried after reading this.

3. The Unburied by Charles Palliser. After reading it at least ten times, I’m still no closer to solving the riddle that is this book. The description says it’s situated in the late 1800′s, but it could so easily be somewhere between 1700 and 2020. There’s no clue to what era this book is situated in. It gives me an uneasy feeling every time I read it and yet, I love it. This is a book I picked up in a clearance shop, years and years ago. I’ve been asked to lend it out a couple of times, but I’m so afraid to lose that it stays on my shelves.

4. The Lost Book of Salem by Katherine Howe. Want a great story about witchcraft? This is it. It gets better every time you read it. I’ve been on the lookout for this book for quite some time after I saw a description of it somewhere. But it was never for sale, until I found it in a store that sells remainded books. I picked it up for much less money than I would’ve spend if I bought it second-hand.

5. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. This book was given to me by a friend as a BookCrossing book. I’ve since given it to the next reader and I can’t help but think that was a mistake. I so want to read it again. The wonderful writing really sucks you in, makes you feel like you are part of the book. Part of the lives of little Sarah that’s so desperately wants to go back to her little brother. I was so mad when I found out the truth. I remember throwing the book through the room whilst tears streamed down my face. I’ve had lots of nightmares about this book. I have picked it up as yet another Bookcrossing book. And this one might go onto my permanent collection.

6. The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman. Great story. Bone chilling, in fact. I read and reread this story so many times, the book almost falls apart. I can’t put it down when I start reading this. Never in a million years I thought this story would still grab me after reading it so many times. The story is sinister, the ending is a bit dodgy, but still good enough.

7. Birdman by Mo Hayder. This is the most chilling story I have ever read. Yet I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know why and how. I’m not going to say any more about it, as I’m afraid I’ll reveal the plot. From The Guardian: I’d read to the end what I wished I hadn’t begun.

8. The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf. This book came to me as a Ring-book. Which basically means it gets send from one person to the next until it reaches the person who send it on its way in the first place. The story is about two missing 7-year-olda. The setting is very eery. You know something bad must have happened, just not what. It kept me involved throughout the story. At the end I almost wished it was a few centimeters thicker.

9. Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton. Again, a book that’s been given to me by a BookCrossing friend. And again, one that I couldn’t stop reading. Very moving, very chilly story. The only thing that let it down for me was the incorrect use of a medicin in the book. But if you don’t know about those things, you wouldn’t know. This book will grab you and won’t let go. The time I had when reading this was just too short. I wanted to read it without stopping.

10. This is a whole series of books, de Kameleon by Hotze de Roos. My mom and dad both had books from their childhood which I read. I liked my moms books, but they were a bit too girly for me. I was more of a tomboy. I climbed trees, I built huts, I helped my dad with his carpentry. So his books appealed more to me. When I was about 7 or 8 I started reading the Kameleon books. The books are about twins who go on all kinds of adventures with their boat which is called “De Kameleon”. I loved those books. I could spend hours with them, in their boat. I was there, every step of the way. I have all 60 books and I wouldn’t go without them!

What are your 10 Desert Island Books?

I’m tagging:

Mrs Flams
Motherhoodjourneys
Northernmum
Chickenruby
Kateonthinice
adadcalledspen

All of them blog I follow and enjoy very much.

To play just list your 10 desert island books and tag some friends and we can see what are the ‘must read’ books of 2014.

Grab the badge below (just copy and paste the code provided)  and display it with your post!

Desert Island Books

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My hopes, dreams and wishes for 2014

I’m not one for New Years resolutions. I joked on Twitter about it.

But there are some things I’d like to do.

Life, home and garden:

Lettuce and strawberries

  • I would like to visit the nearby Zoo a little more often. We went to a different, bigger Zoo last year and it really was a disappointment. We still have enough tickets to go at least 4 times this year, so I would like to do that.
  • I’d love to get the hallway done. Right now, we (still) don’t have a coat rack. We haven’t had one since we moved here 2 years ago. I’d like to try and finish that next week.
  • I hope my dad can get a Velux window for the attic. There’s a really old Velux and it’s drafty and leaky. We have talked about glueing it shut, but I like to have a new Velux, so I can get it open in Summer. My dad knows a few homes that are being demolished and they’ve had new Velux windows installed about 3 years ago. So he’s going to ask them if he can buy one or two for a reasonable price.
  • I haven’t yet made plans for my veggie patch. I have learned a few things from last year and I’d quite like to try to get more out of it. I think I can do that quite easily.

Books and Bookcrossing:

Books from the summer lottery

  • I have signed myself up for the 365/365 Challenge. It’s in the Dutch forum of BookCrossing and it’s started by Aaltsje. It’s nothing much, just release at least 365 books this year. Now, with lots and lots of books already registered and more to go I think I need something like this to get books out of the attic. I’m quite the hoarder…
  • I think I’ve said this last year as well, but I’d like to get on with my TBR pile. Right now, there’s more coming in than there’s going out. There’s at least 135 books on the pile, but I think it’s actually more. Sometimes I move books from the Release boxes onto the TBR box, but forget to update their status on BookCrossing. And yes, the “onto” was deliberate…
  • I’m going to try to make a list of which books I’ve read and am reading every month. Just to keep the books flowing. There’s so many books I’ve had for years now and I think it’s time to see them go.
  • I should go through my TBR pile to see if there’s books that can travel further without reading them first. With so many books on there I think I should be more picky about what goes on there.

Crafting and Hobbies:

  • I have to find a way to get googly eyes and coloured paper without paying too much for them. I have agreed to make lots and lots of little owls and other cute paper crafty things for a charity in our town. They give out boxes of toys to people who don’t have money to buy toys themselves. I might have to contact them and ask for sponsors. Not sure how I can do that…
  • I want to do more sewing. Sis in laws baby is having her birthday in May and I’d like to sew a slip dress for her. No idea what size it should be as I have no idea about babies… Might have to get help from mom in law to get the right size.
  • I want to do more cooking and baking. I have been doing a lot of it last year, but I love it, so I’d like to do more. Main problem is that I’m picky with food… Oh well, we’ll see what happens.

 

I think that’s about it. What are the things you’d like to do?

Merry Christmas

Whipping Reindeer

photo via Deerleap

Christmas Shopping

Today I went grocery shopping for Christmas…

I tried to do it online, but the grocery stores won’t deliver in our town. So off I went. I knew it would be madness, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad…

I was glad to find a parking spot relatively close to the stores, parked my car and headed for the first grocery store. Only to find they ran out of carts…

So I waited until someone returned a cart. The handle was warm and sticky. Too late I realised there’d been a kid sitting in it who may or may not have been drooling all over it.

I had worked out a route beforehand and thought I could walk through the store without any major problems. Boy oh boy, was I wrong.

Upon entering I was hit by the blast of the heater, slamming millions of germs in my face. Only inches from the door there was a stepladder. I still have no idea why, but it might have been there to trip me up. Then I heard a buzz, as if thousands of bees were swarming around. It was worse, much worse. Lots of people, most of them complete families with the average 2.4 kids. Very little parents actually looked out for their kids. I got rammed by several carts, slammed into several people myself because they were walking backwards and got rammed by more carts.

But I made my way out of the chaos and went to Aldi. Now the Aldi in our town has just moved into a new building. It’s light and most of all big. Upon entering the store I found just a handful of carts at the entrance. So I expected the worst. But oh boy, what a peace. Yes, there were a lot of people, but in contrast to the other store Aldi was at peace. The shelves, the fridges and freezers, all were full with stock. I could even get my hands on a ham on the bone. Which has been sold out in the other store for several weeks now.
There were a few kids running around, but they got told off by the staff, something I much appreciate!

I managed to cross the road back to my car after a few minutes of waiting. I was packing everything in the car when I noticed something behind me. Two cars, one on each side, were waiting for me to get out of my parking spot. And I couldn’t help it, I packed slower and slower. I than brought my cart back to the store and walked off. I had more shopping to do…