Like a Teenager

When I was a teenager, I wanted to grow up to become an adult who was an expat, who had a decent job, who felt comfortable financially, had a great partner-in-life, and who traveled widely.

Last week, I whined to Diana that I wanted to go somewhere this summer and wouldn’t and couldn’t and whine, moan, bitch. I told Diana I wanted to go to Iceland and that she needed to talk me out of it.

Diana instead decided to talk me into it. She claimed I tend to stockpile money and not actually spend it.

Hmm. Well.

An hour later, Good Man and I sat down. On paper we maxed out our Roth IRAs for the year, finished my gifted and talented endorsement, accounted for my missing August paycheck (since we’re switching from modified to regular calendar, I end up losing a paycheck), etc etc. Diana’s point has been made.

Iceland it was!

Except…not so much. With the crash of the Icelandic Kronor in 2008, Iceland is a lot cheaper than in the past, but because we were getting a late start on trip planning, we could only afford to sleep if we refused to eat.

The alternative was to only spend time on the southern coast, which we didn’t want to do.

My mother suggested we try Alaska. She also said, “I keep hearing about the east coast of Canada, they say it’s a lot like Gotland.”

Good Man and I did some research and decided to go to head to Newfoundland. Apparently the rest of Canada hates Newfoundland (which means I’ll probably love it). And it’s an island. Gotland, Fåro, and Jeju-do have proven that we do islands well.

We’ll be heading out for just over a week in July. Diana again offered up some great advice, telling me to check out the flights from Newark and taking Amtrak there. It ended up costing nearly the same as flying out of Baltimore and actually saves us travel time in the end.

We considered getting a package self-drive tour, but I am too cheap for that. The trip is mostly planned out I’m so excited to go! (Thanks for being a great friend and not supporting me, Diana! ^^)

I woke up after deciding that we could afford to go somewhere and realized that the life I dreamt of as a teenager? I’ve gotten it (and more!). And I’m not sure I actually expected that.

Caterpillar Hunting in a Shirtdress

Today I checked on my garden and found these caterpillar holes.

But He Was Still Hungry!

I went caterpillar hunting and flicked the two I found off of the porch. Those suckers are good at hiding, damn green things.

I also found this lovely treat!

First Pepper Blossom

I’m trying out these add-a-bottle plant nannies to see if I can more evenly water my plants/take care of them when we’re out of town.

Plant Nannies

The plant nannies consist of green adapters that fit on regular soda bottles (although not Coke brands). Then there’s a clay stake that you stick into the soil near the root ball. You put the bottle of water on top of it, and the theory is that as the soil dries out, water is released into the soil. The plants are supposed to be watered evenly and continuously.

I don’t know how they work yet, but I do know that the soil farthest away from the stakes is pretty dry, whereas the soil nearest the stakes is moist.

If these work, I’ll very possibly water with them, since I tend to overwater, which leads to things like fungus gnats.

In totally unrelated news, I got this shirt dress and shocked my students by wearing a dress. I wear skirts more often than not, but apparently a dress is Very Different.

Shirtdress

The Look, which says:
Sit Down, Shut Up, and Work on Your Damn Grad Project Now,
Before I Make You Call Your Parent.

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

This year we’ve joined a CSA (community supported agriculture). A CSA is somewhat like a co-op with a farmer. Back in February, I mailed a local farmer several hundred bucks for 15 (16?) weeks of fresh produce that I pick up from a local house once a week.

The produce is local (we could get to the farm in less than 90 minutes…can’t say that about the produce from the grocery store), organically grown (although not certified), and fresh, fresh, fresh!

Since we paid cash back in February, if the crops fail, we lose out on our money. If the crops are bumper, we get a bumper share.

We don’t get to choose what we want to eat, and if we get something we don’t like? Well, we have to find someone to give it to or something to do with it. Of course, we could also discover foods we’ve never eaten before but really like (last week it was Japanese mustard greens—really good).

We can also order locally made cheese from another farmer through our CSA. We haven’t done that yet, but I’m sure we will.

The farmer sends an email a few days before the delivery telling us what we’re getting, some recipe ideas, and a farm update. There’s also an optional email group made up of subscribers who share recipes.

Today’s update said, in part, that the lettuce is a hodge-podge because the heavy rains made a bunch of lettuce rot, and now the heat is causing the rest of the plants to bolt.

That is why I wanted to join a CSA. I want to know where my food comes from, and I want to support the local farmers, even if it means getting almost-bolted lettuce.

While researching our CSA, I found another website for buying locally produced goods (the Virginia Food and Beverage Directory). I look forward to using it to buy more local goods from “the little guy.”

***

I started reading Little House in the Big Woods in Korean, but it was really hard because I don’t know words like “bladder” (오줌통) or “butter churn,” so I’ve put that book down temporarily in favor of 이상한 나라의 앨리스 (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland).

I’ve read Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass several times. Yet I don’t know that I realized before just how nonsensical it really is. Something about slowing down to read it in Korean made me realize that the book is a long, strange trip.