Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Plethora of Peppers

It's practically raining peppers in our garden.  Hot, sweet, green, purple, red, yellow -- we have them all.  I need to find something to do with them.  I'm also trying to find someone who wants to trade me broccoli or basil or apples for some of our peppers.  If you know anyone, send them to me.

In other news, we have a beautiful Cinderella pumpkin,

and two more shaped like the one below.  We planted two varieties of pumpkin plants plus some seeds someone gave us.  We got three pumpkins.  Not exactly a bounty, but perfect for three kids.

And then there's the watermelon.  I'm not sure even one of these will be ripe before it freezes.  No matter what I do, I can't seem to grow melons!

The good news is that we are still cooking from the garden, or from other people's gardens, as the case may be.  These potatoes are from my parents and the corn is from their neighbors.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bicycle Errand Upgrade

Knowing nothing about my last blog post, guess what my wonderful husband was doing?  He was at REI buying me a bike rack and grocery panniers for my birthday!  I was so surprised and excited when I opened my present.  He is really good at picking gifts I love (and that, my friends, is not an easy task). 

After having read a lot of reviews of grocery panniers online, I was a little worried about the "heel strike" problem (where the back of your foot hits the bottom of the panniers as you pedal).  However, when I took my super fancy new gear for a trial run, I had no problems.  Sometimes having small feet comes in handy.  Actually, it was my husband's great installation.  I know he put a lot of care into adjusting and testing, and he's a perfectionist at these things.  Not having the weight of all the groceries on my back was so much more comfortable.  And the panniers snap off or fold flat when not in use (not that I've been using my bike for anything else lately).  These are perfect!  And just so you know, this won't be turning into a fitness blog anytime soon, but I just had to share my excitement!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bicycle Errands

If you live near my house, you might have seen me riding my beat up 80's StumpJumper mountain bike wearing Christian's school backpack.  And you might have been laughing a little.

I'm pleased to report that I have now completed five grocery runs on my bike.  By the way, five out of five times, SuperTarget has NOT credited me for bringing my own bag.  I guess backpacks don't count when you ask to pack the groceries in them yourself.  Also, I know what you're thinking:  "You can't haul groceries for five on a bike!"  And you're right, but I'm a bad planner, and I'm always running out for just a few things.  The big shopping gets done at Costco on my way home from work anyway.

When I first thought up this idea, I started shopping online for a proper bike rack and grocery panniers.  But... I have this problem.  I can shop forever for the perfect equipment for my latest great idea. but as soon as I spend the money on the equipment, it's almost a guarantee that I won't get out and do whatever it was I was planning {that's the problem with being a dreamer}.  This time, I decided I better just get out there and try a few runs before investing in any new equipment.  I found that as silly as I might look, the school backpack works perfectly fine for now. 

Besides physically feeling great after my little errands, maybe there will be other benefits.  At my annual physical last year, I discovered that my cholesterol level was borderline high.  I was supposed to get it re-checked six months ago, but I've been putting that off because I haven't really gotten my whole diet and exercise plan on track yet -- especially the exercise part.  Maybe if I can keep up the bike errands, I'll have the courage to go get it checked again soon.  I'll keep you posted.   However, there is this looming problem of winter.  I can promise I won't be biking through slush and snow with groceries.  Dry conditions?  Yes.  Wet conditions?  Forget it.  I've had that black stripe of wet road grit painted up the back of my pants and shirt before... when I was a biking fanatic in college.  No thanks.  Not going there again.  We'll see what other grand ideas I get this winter.