My Summer Bucket List – In Review

Back in June, before school dismissed for summer vacation, I wrote out my bucket list of what I wanted to do. This list included:

  • Hiking and seeing waterfalls
  • Geocaching
  • A Road trip
  • Kayaking
  • Relaxing at the cottage by the lake
  • Skip rocks
  • Grow a vegetable garden
  • Watching/playing baseball with Crash

DW returned to work today so there’s clear evidence that summer vacation is just about over for the kids, too. Did I do anything from list?

You betcha. Even better, I was able to complete the list. We made it to a waterfall in Pennsylvania. I didn’t make it to the 100′ North River Falls, but I knew that was a long shot, at best. The one in PA was great because the kids could play in it and there wasn’t a two and half hour hike to get to it.

I found six geocaches. One was on my birthday. It required a little bushwacking through the trees. Then it started raining on our way out. The second and third was on a rails to trails trail. The bugs were so bad we cut the trip short. There are eight more on that trail that we’ll get when the weather is too cold for bugs. Bang and I found two more while DW was visiting a family member in the hospital. Then Bang and I found one while Crash was in the hospital having oral surgery. Great finds!

Our road trip was spectacular. Just find my Traveling posts to read all about our two week vacation to the States.

We have been out kayaking twice now. Once was down a fairly large river. Too big for our liking. We were hoping for a wooded, lazy river, but no such luck. So the kayaks are out at the cottage we’ll just paddle on the lake. Crash had his kayak out and was having a blast (as were his cousins as they all took turns on it).

Speaking of the cottage – we’ve made a few trips there now. It’s so relaxing out there. Especially yesterday when there was only a small breeze and the water was as calm as bathtub water. That made kayaking a lot of fun. IMG_2843

I’m sure I’ve skipped hundreds of rocks by now. With water this flat, how could I not? I even helped teach nieces and nephews to skip them.

The onions are growing well in the garden. We’ve already harvested the lettuce – 2 one gallon bags worth. The green and jalapeno peppers are coming along. Unfortunately, the broccoli went to seed to quick. The thyme smells delicious!

Crash is great hitter. He’s okay at throwing and his catching is much improved. Unfortunately, he’s only made it to two practices. He had one before we left for vacation, though a couple were rained out before that. Then we were gone for two week, but even those were rained out, too. He made it to a practice (they don’t play games in T-ball here) the week after we returned. But then had surgery the week after so he missed that one, too. Hopefully, the rain will hold off so he can have practice tonight! It’s looking like it’s going to rain!

My bucket list is complete, everything I do from here out is just icing on the cake – yummy, delicious buttercream frosting.

The one thing that hasn’t happened yet is painting. Our hallways are dire need of some new paint. We have it. We just need to get it on the walls. Maybe I’ll just open the paint bucket, give Crash and Bang a paintbrush and let them do it. 🙂

What’s something exciting or relaxing did you do this summer?

Farmin’ and Gardenin’

My dad’s parents were farmers. They raised chickens and tended crops. There may have been livestock, but I’m not exactly sure. If there was, I don’t remember it or it was before my time. Hence, my dad grew up on a farm. He knows how to tend to plants. It shows, too. The plants he grows around his house thrive under his care. He is the “Plant Manager”.

I didn’t grow up on a farm, but with grandparents (and friends) with a farm, I spent plenty of time on them. So I don’t think it’s such a coincidence that I came to work on a farm when I was 13. I started out as a farm hand, essentially. Move stuff here. Move stuff over there. Plant these seeds. Water those plants. Cut this asparagus. Pick those raspberries. Pick these blackberries. Lay irrigation pipe. Pick melons until the trailer is full. And the tomatoes! And Peppers! Rows and rows and rows, each 250 (thousand?) yards long. I loved it. Later, after graduating high school, still working on the same farm, I started scouting crops. Corn mostly. Sometimes peas. Sometimes Potatoes. Sometimes in Maryland. Sometimes in Delaware. Sometimes in New Jersey. I loved it.

Why the history? Because I still tend a farm. Well, not a farm, per say. A vegetable garden is just a tiny farm, right? Since getting our own place here in Canada, I’ve planted a tiny farm every summer. Broccoli, lettuce and green peppers. This year I have onions and a jalapeno plant. Last year I tried carrots, but they turned out like a homeless alien’s toes.

The difference between my vegetables this year from years past is where they were born. I used to start them from seed myself. This year I bought them from a local grower (also a good friend) who has her own impressive greenhouse. All I had to do was make the 15 minute drive to pick them up. So here’s my Public Service Announcement for today.

Buy local.

plants

Instant garden

It may not be the prettiest, but it will be tasty! Those are re-purposed pallets filled with soil, peat, and compost. Onions on the far left. Lettuce in the middle left. Peppers in the middle right. Broccoli on the far right. An added bonus is that it’s something the whole family can do. Both Crash and Bang helped dig the holes, pulled the plants from the pots, and plant them. They love getting their hands dirty as much as I do.

Do you enjoy gardening? Flowers, vegetables, or both? What is your favorite plant to grow?

My Summer Bucket List

Next week is Crash’s last week of school. I’d say it’s his last full week, but it’s not even that because there is no school Friday. His last official day is the 30th, but he’s only in school long enough to pick up his report card. Then we have two month of summer. I just wish summer like weather would get here so we can start the summer bucket list! Continue reading