Tuesday, July 31, 2012

End of summer, already

I have not felt much like writing here lately. Perhaps it's the lethargy of late summer, the fact that there are so many things pulling on my attention. I did write a rather lengthy and ranty post about people making excuses to not ride their bikes, which annoys me. It happens all the time that I bike somewhere and someone says, "That's awesome! I was totally going to ride my bike, but...." It's like someone telling an author, "I have a book in mind and I'm totally going to write it, someday." Everyone has excuses, the difference is that some people ignore the little voice saying, "You don't really need to do that...."
However, the post itself just ended up sounding snarky and mean, which is not at all what I wanted. I do understand the allure of excuses. I give in to them all the time. My trick is simply to create situations in which there are no excuses. For instance, I still haven't called our friend about checking out the truck and fixing it. So, I've created a situation in which I have no choice but to ride my bike everywhere. When Shane is home, we generally take the motorcycle for the two of us. Mostly because he left his own bicycle up at camp. However, when it's just me I still ride my bike. I rode it over to softball last night because Shane isn't on the team and wasn't going. If we'd had the truck, I almost certainly would have given into the allure of spending the extra ten minutes or so of time I would have gotten from driving rather than biking with Shane. This way, I left myself with no excuses, no reasons not to.
This system isn't, of course, merely applicable to biking. There are so many other ways and times to create an excuse-proof system to make changes in your life. Want to eat healthier? Don't buy junk food. We rarely drink soda, and only exclusively when we go out, because we don't keep it stocked at home. (That saves SO much money, too!) There are always ways to make the default option the one you know is best, and usually it only takes a small amount of effort to create that situation.
I can't believe we've already reached the end of summer here. If you're out of state, you probably think that's crazy, but it's true. The beginning of August (tomorrow!) marks the increasingly rapid end of summer. The Tanana Valley Fair starts this weekend, and in just a few short weeks we'll start seeing the first of the yellowing leaves. Though we've had several hot days (near the 80's), the mornings are starting to get chilly. My toes were red with cold when I biked to work this morning, and my boss said that her windows were almost frosty.
All of this is not bad, of course. This means that it's pretty much blueberry season. I need to arrange times with friends in which to go blueberry picking soon. I'm not going to get the gallons and gallons of blueberries we want if I don't go often!
Also, the garden is reaching its most productive stage. It's a race now between the tomatoes ripening and the first frosts. My large tomatoes still haven't started turning red, but they're getting even bigger and I'm confident that they'll ripen up soon. It's all the ones which are still pretty small that I'm cheering on.
The peas have started going crazy. Shane and I went out to the porch so I could show him the garden progress last night and he kept popping out after that to grab some pea pods for munching. We even pulled the first two fat carrots and ate them after doing nothing more than brushing off the dirt. (It's my favorite way to eat carrots! Yum.) Shane declared them "the coolest little carrots ever". (Parisienne carrots, y'all. They're awesome.) I'll probably start pulling some out next week to blanch and freeze. (Yes, I'll leave some for plain eating.)
I still haven't picked a single zucchini. :( I have several, but they're not as large as I'm used to them getting. However, the largest I'll probably pick this week to shred and freeze. Or maybe to cook up and eat? I'm not sure yet.
I was completely surprised to notice that one of my winter squashes has about five different little fruits started on it. I think it's a pumpkin, from the shape of them. I didn't think that they'd put anything out this late. Hopefully, I'll have a few homegrown pumpkins to put away. At this point, they'll probably be rather small, but I can always do a little bit to help by making sure they get enough fertilizer.
I hope this warm, sunny weather holds for a few more weeks so that everything has enough time to get big and ripen. At the moment, all of my energy seems to be focused on getting everything together, making it all ready for autumn and then winter. So if I don't post often, I'm just too busy!

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