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?

Veggie Garden 30th September

After my last update on my veggie garden I’ve been doing a lot of clearing out. Most of the lettuce is gone. What’s left is not eatable anymore. I’ve made the last salad of our homegrown lettuce this weekend. It was delicious.

Almost all tomatoes have been cleared out. There are only 4 plants left that had healthy tomatoes. And they’ve given loads. I’ve made a huge batch of tomato soup using all kinds of recipes put together.
The endive are no more. I’ve taken them. Only used two plants. Next year I’ll try to make a sowing plan, so we don’t get everything in the same few weeks. We’ve eaten lots and lots of beans. unfortunately I’ve managed to cock-up when clearing out the freezer, so I’ve accidentally threw away the last of the chinese beans…

Still left in the garden are a few tomatoes, the strawberries and the berry bushes. The raspberry is flowering again and there’s a lot of raspberries growing on it. I’m delighted with that.

Another thing that happened… My elderly neighbour yanked out one of the flowering hygrangeas as she thought it was a weed. How she ever managed to see that one hydrangea as a weed is beyond me. I’ve been very mad about it. Since then I’ve replaced it with a new one. Sadly it’s not the same colour, but there was a big gap between the three remaining hydrangeas that I did want to fill. And it was 50% off, so not a lot of money.
Since then we agreed that she would keep out of our garden and we would keep the tiny bit of space she can’t quite reach (which is why she went into our garden in the first place) a bit clear of weeds. Let’s hope she’ll remember this next year and not yank out any other plants…

One last question. Can anyone identify the mushroom that I photographed? It’s in our lawn and I have no idea which one it is. Is it eatable?

Veggie Garden 8th August

Okay, I messed up. My veggie garden is one big mess. And it’s giving out way more than we can eat…

As you can see the tomatoes are all over the garden. I should have bought sticks to keep them upright, but I thought the wouldn’t get so big. When I realised they were groing out of hand it was too late. They collapsed and grew all over the place.
But they are still producing lots and lots of tomatoes.

The lettuce is about 1 meter in height. It’s growing so fast we can’t eat enough of it. Even giving it away doesn’t help one bit. Next year I really need less lettuce.

The endives are shooting up too high too. But they are enjoyable. We’ve had endives yesterday and it was delicious.  I’ve dug out the potatoes as the plants were dying and have gotten 1.6 kilo from it. Some very tiny ones, some bigger. But very tasty.

The strawberries are getting less good. They are tiny and not as tasty as they were just a few weeks ago. And I think I ate all the raspberries. Not many have even made it inside the house. I ate them as I picked them 🙂

So, next year; less lettuce, less tomatoes, buy sticks for the tomatoes…

Veggie Garden 11th July

Another update on the veggie garden. It’s ridiculous how quickly everything grows. It really is.

I think I’m going to get a buttload of tomatoes, there are flowers everywhere… The cucumber is the same. Loads of flowers.
Cat Dipsy has finally moved her ass out of the herbs, so everything is growing swiftly. Most of the herbs are rather… spicy. We don’t need a lot of it in our food.
I’m ashamed to say I have no idea how the bell peppers are doing, since the weeds are growing along the fence at an alarming speed. I do water the place where I think they are, but I haven’t seen them for the last week, I think.
The Lettuce is doing great. I’ve given away a few plants already and I think I have to give away even more. I still get the lowest leaves off for our own salad, so we can eat more from it.

The potatoes and chicory are growing like mad. I can’t wait to see what is going on beneath the soil. I have seen the first chinese beans and they look delish. They’ll just have to grow a bit bigger before I’ll get them off.

As you can see everything is doing great. The cold weather has slowed them down a bit, but everything is catching up.

Veggie Garden 25th June

Sorry for not posting these photos earlier. But I simply haven’t had time. I’ve been working a lot this week.

Anyway, everything is doing great!

The tomato plants that survived the weather are doing well and some of them even have flowers already. I had sewn a few more and I’ve planted those out earlier this week. I haven’t had the courage to check on them as the weather hasn’t been that great.
The two cucumber plants I had in pots are out in the garden and have flowers too.
The basil is outside, but isn’t doing so well. Thyme is doing great either, since Dipsy chooses to lie down, with her behind right in the thyme… I’ve planted the bell peppers along the garden fence, as the garden is bursting with vegetables.
The lettuce is doing so well we have been eating salads at least twice a week. I think I’ll give my neighbours some of it later too. I’ve been planting way too much, so a good lesson for next year.

I’ve planted some chicory as well, as I love chicory and would love to grow my own. The potato plants are growing like mad and I’ve put the soil up to the top of the bag. I’m dying to know how much potatoes I’ll grow, because I’ve just paid 2 euro a kilo and I think that’s ridiculously expensive!
The beets, carrots and chinese beans are growing like mad too. I hope I planted enough chinese beans as they are so tasty from your own garden.
The strawberries aren’t red yet, but they are a nice size. The red currant, blueberry, tayberry and raspberry need a little more sun too.

They say the weather will be better next week, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Veggie Garden 30th May

It’s been two weeks since I last posted an update.

The weather has been appalling. It’s been way too cold, with temps that would look great in February, not May. As a result, some of the tomatoes have given up and died. As have the cucumber plants. I have two cucumber plants still in pots, but I’m hesitant to plant them in the garden yet. I might wait another week before doing that. The basil is still inside as well, as the temps were just too low for those to survive. And the bell pepper plants are inside as well, but almost ready to go outside. I’m not sure though, where they need to go, as the weggie garden is full and the plants do need space. I think I may place them along the fence.

The other herbs are out and are doing great. I’ve placed a pot around the marjory and the thyme to prevent the cats from digging them out.
This hasn’t helped my tiny lettuce and endive plants, though. This morning, after mopping, cat Dipsy walked in leaving muddy paw prints all over the garden… After mopping again (the third time, see this tweet) I went into the garden seeing if she had caused any damage… She had. 4 tiny lettuce plants are missing, along with 2 endive plants. And she managed to kick out a lot of the seedlings that were alongside it.
Thanks a lot!

As you can see, the red currant and blueberry are doing great. Even the tayberry has flowers. I didn’t expect that, as they said it would take another year before they’d be flowering. I’m hoping for lots of strawberries.

Let’s hope for lots more sunshine and warmth the coming weeks/months.

Veggie garden 16th May

Another update on the veggie garden. The rain that has steadily been falling over the last few days has done lots of good to the plants. The few hours of sunshine on top was even better.

The tomatoes have been out since the 10th of may. They grew so quickly, they had to get more space. The bellpeppers are still indoors as they are tiny. The cucumbers had to go outdoors too. The two seeds I planted a few weeks later have been growing much quicker and are almost ready to go out.

The dill, parsley and chives I have planted in the garden as well. Bu the dill has been plowed under by a cat again… Not too happy about that. I hope some of it will live, but otherwise I won’t be getting more dill. It has been a disaster sofar.

The lettuce I talked about in the last post hasn’t been doing too well. I’ve decided to buy a few lettuceplants, as mine simply aren’t doing well. I have planted a few outdoors, but I’m afraid they’ll simply perish. And I haven’t got a clue on what to do about it. Other then give them water of course…

The recurrant and blueberry have flowers. I’m so happy about that. Those are doing great! The raspberries are autumn raspeberries, so won’t flower til at least the end of june. And the tayberry won’t have flowers this year. The blackberry is tiny, so I have no idea what it’ll do. We’ll see.

The beets, onions, garlic and chinese beans are doing very well. I think I have to give the beets more room to grow. I’ll see what I can do later this morning. Or tomorrow.

More on the garden next week or the week after that. It depends on how quickly everything grows, really.

Veggie garden 3rd May

And another update. Everything is going well so far. The first lettuce that I planted have failed me a bit. I put them out too early (i know now) and I think there’s only one that is actually catching on.

I still have most plants inside and have been sowing more beans and lettuce. Because, lets face it, you can never have too much lettuce.
Leaf celery is still not showing up, so I’m not sure if it’s doing something. I wouldn’t be surprised if it did nothing. But for now, I’ll wait and see.

So, as promised, some more photos.

I planted two more of the cucumber seeds, because I like to have 1 or 2 more than I have now (which is 2). The endive seeds and the leaf chicory are sprouting and I’ve seen another tiny bell pepper plant. I’ve sowed 10 seeds and have so far seen 5 seedlings. I’m hoping there’ll be more later on.

Veggie garden 27th April

Quick update on the veggie garden.

The flowers are appearing in the blackberry and the redcurrant. The tayberry, both raspberries and the blueberry are doing great. My stepmom gave me some more strawberry plants as half of the ones she gave me last year were dead. The 10 that survived are doing good sofar.

The dill has been plowed under by a cat (not ours), so I’ve sown more. Stupid cat!
The chervil is looking good, I’ve planted that outside last week. The thyme, marjoram, basil, chives and parsley are inside looking very cosy. I haven’t seen any leaf celery yet.

The tomatoes are growing like mad. I think they’re ready to go in the garden, but they need to spend a bit more time inside as they can’t handle the cold at night. The cucumber plants are looking good too.

I’ve gotten leaf chicory and endive seeds from my stepmom, so I’ve been sowing them too. I’ve read a bit about growing chicory, but really have no idea. We’ll see what happens.

Next time there will be more photos.

Veggie Garden 18th April

Last friday I’ve managed to get the first plants into the garden. The week before I’ve been weeding and shovelling and watering.

The seeds I’ve been sowing have been growing pretty well. There were a few things that didn’t catch on (lettuce, bell peppers, parsley, chives), so I bought new seeds and started sowing those again. They’re now looking pretty good.

The veggie patch has come along pretty well too. The giant hole in the middle has been pretty much leveled. The hydrangeas are in as a border. I’ve changed my mind about the border between the grass and the veggie patch. I wasn’t sure what to do and will hold off on buying anything until we’ve decided what to do with it.
The berry bushes I got from my stepmom are in the ground and are beginning to sprout pretty nice. We’ve got yellow raspberry, red raspberry, red currant, blackberry and 2 tayberries. I’ve also managed to rescue 10 of the 20 (frozen) strawberries, so I’m hoping they’ll do well. There’s 2 I’m still not sure of, but stepmom has promised me new ones in exchange for a tayberry.
I also planted the snowball onions, the beets and the chinese beans. Oh, and the garlic. I’m really hoping they’ll grow nicely. The rhubarb is also in, but looks pretty dead to me.

I repotted the pumpkin, the cucumbers and the tomatoes, as they were in pots too small for the size of sprouts. And I gave some tomato plants to my neighbours. Their almost 4-year-old daughter didn’t quite understand how those tiny plants could create tomatoes, but she liked the idea.
I think my neighbour hasn’t got any idea how to care for tomato plants, so I’ll tell her what to do as we go along.

Here are some photo’s of how the garden looks right now.