An Uncomplicated Life Blog

Thursday, April 19, 2018

My Worst Habits

Everyone has a series of bad habits. Here are some of my worst!

I'm a normal human being with a ton of annoying habits, just like you. Yeah, you read that right. I'm annoying. And so are you. Hopefully, you're aware of what habits you have that are totally annoying all the people around you who see you often or interact with you daily. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like when we're aware of what are annoying habits are, admit it and own it, they instantly become less annoying. At least, that's how I hope it works. That's definitely how it works in my own mind! In that spirit then, I'm going to divulge some of my worst habits. Enjoy! And uh, hope this makes me less annoying (looking at you, hubby and close friends who see me regularly!)

- It can take me hours to text back. And sometimes, I just never do.
Here's the thing: If I'm at my desk and see a text, I will reply instantly. If I have my phone and have a spare hand, I'll reply instantly. But if I see and and one of my kids acts out or I don't have a free hand or I'm driving, it will be HOURS before I remember that you texted me and HOURS before you get a return text. Even worse, if it clears from my phone as a notification (like I actually opened the text, with every intention of replying...) and I formed the reply in my head but never typed it or hit "send" then guess what? You're likely not ever going to get a response. Best case scenario it takes several days for me to respond. Dear friends and family, I am sooooo sorry about this habit! I blame having kids. 

- I wake up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, multiple times... And I don't flush.
I flush during the day, don't worry! But at night? Why? It's just pee and odds are I'm getting up again in a few hours to do it again anyway. I'll just do one big flush when I get up for good in the morning! I realize this might be gross to some, but why waste the water for night pees? I can't remember a time in my life where I slept through the night - I've always been a light sleeper who wakes multiple times - so to me, this is just some energy and cash savings. Sorry to gross you out.

- I have an extremely expressive face... That doesn't hold back judgement.
I'd love to tell you that I'm nonjudgmental and welcoming to all walks of life, but my face gives me away. One look at my face, and there's no doubt what I'm thinking. I don't even try to make these faces! They just happen. Kinda like some people have "resting b*tch face", I have "I'm judging your life choices harshly" face. Do something stupid that affects other people or use poor grammar, and I literally can't with you.

Imagine me pounding away on these keys... I'm doing it right now!

- I'm a loud typer. Reeeeeal loud.
I remember my sophomore year of college, my roommate and I got along fabulously. We were really well suited to live together, especially in a rather small dorm room. Except her pet peeve was loud typing. I, at the time, was totally unaware that I was a loud typer. Additionally, I had one of those old school desktop computers from the late 1990's with the extra plush keyboards that I'm sure made a ridiculous amount of noise even for the most quiet, efficient typer. Also additionally, I was a communications major and was ALWAYS writing papers. My poor roomie informed me of my bad habit, and I really tried to become a better typer... But to this day, I just HAMMER on my keyboard. Maybe it's because I'm passionate about what I'm writing, maybe it's because I try to write in the very few, short hours I have that are kid-free a week or maybe it's because I have long fingers and therefore more power to hammer on the keyboard, but the ironic thing is, sometimes I even annoy myself I get so loud typing!

Thankfully, I now have my own office space and can get away with being a loud typer. A loud typer with absolutely zero plans on attempting to change it.

- I rarely, if ever, empty the dishwasher.
The kitchen is absolutely my "realm" of the house. I do all the cooking (minus the pancakes my husband makes for the kids on Saturday mornings), all the baking, all the meal planning and grocery shopping, I wash the pots and pans, all of it - it's my spot in the house and I'm happy it's all mine. Except that damn dishwasher. Unloading it is the devil! I leave that for my husband. When he travels and I HAVE to do it, I save it for the last day before he gets back and just wash all our dishes by hand, that's how much I hate it.

And if you're wondering what my husband does in terms of housework, he does the laundry and pays our housekeeper :)

I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface of my worst habits with this post. There are undoubtedly many, many more. These were the first that came to mind! I'm sure if I sent out a poll to friends and family, I'd learn new ones that even I wasn't aware of. That'd be eye opening, wouldn't it? Hey look, we're all annoying and all have bad habits. If you can't change it, just accept it and own it, right?

Monday, April 16, 2018

How To Grow A Prosperous Garden From Seeds

After harvesting my first batch of vegetables from my veggie garden, these are the lessons I learned and what I'm doing differently for my summer garden

FINALLY, I'm harvesting my vegetables from my fall garden. Well, some of them! I enjoyed several massive salads from my arugula and those plants got pulled before our first frost. I left the root veggies in the ground to see how long they'd make it... Never expecting it to be the longest, coldest winter we've had in ages with basically half of December, all of January and February well below freezing. The frost did kill off the radishes, but my carrots, leeks and cauliflower grew on! I didn't even cover the raised veggie garden bed, thinking it was all a lost cause because of our horrific weather. As you can see from the photos, I was wrong! I did learn some important lessons from this first garden though, and am sharing those in the forms of tips for how you can grow a prosperous garden from seeds.

1) Start your seeds in a seeder or small cup
I started my first garden right in the bed, dumping all the seeds in the packet right into the soil. I did manage to keep them in nice rows, but didn't follow the spacing directions on the plants because I knew not all the seeds would sprout. This resulted in some funny spacing - especially for my cauliflower! The better way to go about this is to start your seeds in a seeder or in small cups (I used egg cartons) so that you can re-plant the seedlings that sprout and get your spacing right in your actual garden.

2) Know your direction of sunlight 
When I planted my first garden, I didn't think about how tall plants get and what order they should be in. I just lined up rows, threw in seeds and hoped something would end up growing. A much better, more planned way to go about it is to consider what direction your light is coming from and plant the tallest plants in the back, shortest plants in the front. This way your tall plants won't shade out your short ones! I put my carrots in the rows that the sunlight hits first, and they got so tall by the end that my leeks were nearly always shaded, and it stumped their growth. If I'd have planned better, I'd have put them on the other side of the garden bed so that they didn't shade any other plant with their height. Now I know!

Carrots overrunning my leeks! I'll know better next time

3) Prepare for critters
I had researched a pest control spray for any bug that might have invaded my garden (a mixture of apple cider vinegar, peppermint and clove essential oils) but I was totally unprepared for squirrels! They didn't want my produce, they just wanted a place to bury their nuts, but their digging ruined a solid 10 to 15% of my garden. Once I noticed it in my veggie garden, I noticed they dug in my potted plants too. Outside of completely caging in my raised veggie garden bed, I'm not sure how to stop that, so for my next planting, I'm just leaving them space around the edges to dig (they seem to like the edges best). If you can't beat 'em, at least learn to live with them, right?! I'm sure I'll have a follow up to how this plan worked; in the meantime if you know how to deal with aggressively digging squirrels, leave me a comment.

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Growing your own garden is a ton of fun! Especially if you have kids, it's great to teach them about where their food comes from and how plants grow. My kids love helping in the garden with watering and weeding, and looking for bugs. Growing your garden from seeds takes a bit more work and thought than simply buying the plants at a garden center and replanting them, but if you plan ahead, it's even more fun because you watch those seedlings grow and turn into your food.