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Our book of the month is NOS4A2, the live stream is May 23rd at 12p PST, 1p MST, 2p CST & 3 EST.  Please RSVP here if you will be attending

The Faithful and the Fallen read along starts this month!  More info here

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Everything posted by BrandieNoel

  1. I want to see this one too! Also on my list is The Little Things
  2. Hey All! Happy Spring! Time to grow stuff! I have always loved growing stuff but also love my dogs and took breaks because it was really hard for both to coexist. The hubby built some great raised beds so that I could start back up last year. I can grow vertically on the trellises and the dogs seem to stay out of it for the most part. Although, we have one naughty guy that likes to jump in and run through.... but we are working on that. I also started watching Roots and Refuge on youtube. Such a fun and inspirational channel with lots of information. Jess is very encouraging and has so many great tips. If gardening is your thing or you just want to get started, this channel is a great place to start! She even wrote a book that came out this year! https://www.youtube.com/c/RootsandRefugeFarm Jessica's Book Last year the garden was great. We had lots of squash, kale, herbs, and a ton of cucumbers. The trellises were great for growing cucumbers, but they were really heavy. I have a better plan for that this year. Before the vertical growing gets out of hand we will need to secure the structure a little more. I am thinking some pvc will help. I wanted to share what I have going on this year so far. I planted everything from seed this year about mid March, which is about when we have our last frost here in our area of New Mexico. My hope is to post the baby plants now and then do updates as I go. You can see here that the trellises took a little bit of a beating last year. I had tons of lemon cucumbers that grew like crazy and were just so heavy. Purple Peas! I am super excited about these! I planted peas last year and could NOT get them to take off! So far so good! Bush Beans! These do really well here and last year I had a lot of success with them. We put them in salads, fried them up in a pan, and I even pickled some last year and they came out really good. My daughter and I like to seed save. Last year we bought some delicata squash and discovered we really like them. They are sweet like a butternut squash and were really good roasted. We saved the seeds and let them dry out before placing them in a paper envelope. They were actually the first squash to pop up in the garden. We also saved some spaghetti squash seeds last fall (the bigger plants in the background). I am so excited that these are really taking off too. I am going to see if I can get these to grow vertically. Fingers Crossed! And to the left our yellow squash is starting to get going too. See that tiny little guy there? Cucamelon. I REALLY want to grow these! I hear they are a little sweet like a melon but also sort of like a cucumber. They are small little balls when you harvest them. They are really cute! I planted so many seeds. And so far this is all I have! They climb and they are light. I just think they would be perfect, if I could only get them going! I can always seem to get zucchini to grow like crazy, which is great because we eat a lot of it! I always have great success with basil. This year I am fighting a sow bug infestation and of all things they are eating at my basil. They also ate all of my lemon cucumber plants. I am controlling it with food grade diatomaceous earth. And they seem like they are starting to disappear. I also use diatomaceous earth to keep squash bugs under control. It really works and you don't have use pesticides and still keep an organic garden. Unfortunately pests are just part of the process. Diatomaceous Earth These chives are actually from last year. They survived the frosts from the winter and are going stronger than they were last year. Pretty crazy. Cilantro is the only other herb I have coming up so far. I planted mint and dill. The sow bugs ate my dill and the mint has yet to make an appearance. I am trying dill again. I really like having it because we are trying to grow pickling cucumbers again. Speaking of pickles... These are also great climbers! Lettuce! We make a lot of Zuppa Toscana soup, plus the hubs just loves kale. Two different varieties here. One is just the regular curly kind and the other is a Tuscan kale, or I have also heard it referred to as dinosaur kale. #teamkale Some red scallions and in the front, my daughter took a yellow onion from the kitchen and made it into 3 different onion plants. It was something she read that she could do and wanted to try it. Seems like it's working out! And last, we have German chamomile. We drink a lot of chamomile lose leaf tea, especially the hubs. I saw a video on the Roots and Refuge channel where Jess grows hers and makes her own tea leaves. I am excited to try! I do have some Egyptian chamomile I am going to try and get started too. Well there it is! My 2021 garden....so far. What is everyone else growing? Do you all have any tips or tricks when it comes to growing stuff?
  3. A lot of reading, as usual. I am reading a series that I am not particularly fond of right now, I don't really want to give up but I may have to step away from it and move on for now. I have other books on my May TBR that I am dying to get to and when I am reading something you aren't enjoying I find that I tend to read it a lot slower. Our son starts some summer college classes Monday and he is taking a full load, so I plan to spend the weekend doing some meal prep for the week ahead. I will be on the road a lot! I'm kind of looking forward to that a little. I used to be taxi a lot more, so it feels like a return to normal life. I may not be saying that at the end of the summer! Gardening is always in the plans Also planning to join in on Sherlock discussion. Excited about that, I really liked the first season.
  4. @Jolien Reads We have been at the low carb thing for 2 years so like Steve said I have a ton of recipes in my toolbox! Our whole family has been sugar free for just as long. So with teenagers we try a lot of things to keep it exciting. It has been so much easier than I thought it would be. So let me know what kinds of things you are looking for, I am happy to share some good recipes!
  5. I am in!! I will have to overcome my aversion to discord. But this sounds fun!
  6. I'm such a chicken. I'm only 7% in and this book is freaking me out already lol It doesn't help that I am listening to the audiobook, the narrator is Kate Mulgrew (from orange is the new black) and she may be just too good at it. She is really creeping me out.
  7. I think I scared myself watching too much horror as a kid so now I have a hard time. Steve can usually get me to watch it if I can watch a pallet cleanser like Curb your enthusiasm, before bed lol
  8. Ok, So I am on book two now of the Brown sister series by Talia Hibbert. First Let's Talk about Get a Life Chloe Brown: I gave it 3 stars and I felt like that was being generous. I liked the banter and it had some funny moments. I really like Red the male love interest. I just found Chloe to be a very unlikable character. I thought I would just keep going though, and try for book #2. Take a Hint Dani Brown. So far not much different. Dani if possible is even more unlikable than Chloe. I do like our hero, Zaf once again. He is just an all around nice guy that has faced some serious hardships just like Red. I was close to dnf-ing it but then it became clear that it is a trope that I like. So I thought I would give it a little more time. I like the relationship of convenience trope. Some of my favorite books had this theme and I thought they were really cute. (Wall of Winnipeg and Me and Fix her up by Tessa Baily was really cute) What is unlikable about Dani...
  9. I may be just a little excited to keep going!
  10. I have been thinking a lot about this lately and have been tweaking my own system for rating books. I am realizing that everyone has a different method to their madness for this. And I am very curious as to where you all land on this topic. I noticed I am THAT GIRL. I give a lot of 5 star ratings. After some thought, I have come to the conclusion that all books start at 5 stars for me, just for the sheer fact that an author has put a huge amount of time and effort into their book and I am grateful that they have the courage to pour their souls into something so that I may have a chance to enjoy it. With that being said there are a few things that keep it at a 5 star rating for me: Did it make me cry? - This is not a hard feat, I cry easy lol. But books that make me cry from laughing, sadness, fear, happiness, or just plain being touched are a huge win for me. Did I dream about it? This is a big one. My husband will tell you that I have some crazy dreams. He has had to endure 20 years of many weird stories about what comes out of my subconscious. Things that I am really affected by usually make it into my dreams and if a book is good enough to do that, then that is a win! Was it unpredictable?- I have a knack for predicting things that will happen in shows, movies, and books. It can be fun but it also can kind of suck. I love guessing wrong and being stumped. That makes for a great book. So by the end of a book I can usually tell if a book keeps it's 5 star rating or if it was maybe a little less for me. What's your system?
  11. Jeff gave Steve the 3rd book to beta read! I am going to have to take a sneak peek at it
  12. Currently Reading This Burning World by Jeff Lane. The second in his Champion Saga. Part of the way through This Paper World I remembered Steve's youtube conversation with Jeff where he said that he writes with making it into a podcast in mind. So I thought I would check it out. It is great. Narrated by Jeff. He does a great job. I listed to audiobooks from time to time and sometimes it is NOT good. But he does a fantastic job! Worth a listen for sure! Also whoa! Jeff does not hold back in his books. No one is safe. And his writing style is great. The way he describes the thoughts and feelings of the characters is good. "Jim's words tumbled out of his mouth as if they were boulders dislodged in a rock slide." There is so much of this, I just really enjoy his writing style.
  13. This one was a cute story and a quick listen. It was a little slow though. I gave it 3 stars.
  14. Ok so right now I am reading Get A Life Chloe Brown. For anyone planning to read... just a heads up... smut alert. I don't mind a little smut but just for anyone out there that cares I thought I would put that out there. It's not as bad as some of the books I have read though. The Initiation, the whole Filthy Rich Americans series rather, that I read last month was MUCH worse... Very cringy lol, so in comparison this one is not that bad haha So far it is funny and the banter is great which is what I was looking for.
  15. I am noticing too that sometimes it won't show percentage. I am reading This burning world and it won't show my percentage when I am entering page numbers But that is what @Stacyejaye would say... first world problems
  16. This is a mint chocolate chip sundae we made recently. So good! I used this recipe from Joe Duff who has a ton of great recipes. Plus we added some Lily's chocolate chips, Choc-zero syrup, and sugar free whipped cream. Sugar Free Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  17. I'm so glad you started this topic! Like Steve I also loved beer and I miss it but I feel so much better. I lost my thyroid about 15 years ago due to really bad Grave's disease. I had radiation and had to kill that sucker before it killed me. But my metabolism became very slow. I tried everything to get the weight off and Keto so far has been the only thing that works for me. I started at 208 and am now hovering around 160. I switched somewhere along the way from being focused on losing weight to chasing the good way I was feeling. I never thought in a million years @Lasraik would ever get me on a bike, but now I love to ride. I actually cried the first time I made it from one end of our city to the other (my first 30 mile ride), never thought that would happen! I just made a mother's day purchase of some really great cookbooks to try and mix things up a little and try some new recipes. While I don't use instagram anymore I was planning to share more here. I will definitely be sharing any new recipes I try on my blog here. It is just something I try to have a lot of fun with, which helps me stick to it!
  18. Congrats!! I love your channel! 300 is awesome!!
  19. Today I plan to do a Peloton bike ride. Haven't been able to ride much because it needed to be repaired. They ended up replacing the whole bike, so I am going to take it for a test ride! Plus lots of cleaning. I'm reading the Brown sisters series by Talia Hibbert. And This Burning World by Jeff Lane. I have been listening to the podcast that he made, where he is the narrator. He does a really great job! I was promised 3 full days off by my awesome family as a Mother's Day gift ( the best present!) So I plan do do lots of reading, bullet journaling, and maybe write a new blog. Looking forward to bbq from our smoker tomorrow with friends and some MTG ... it really has been a long time since we actually played
  20. I get the doggie thing! We have 5! And most of them are my fault. But @Lasraik is no help in that department either. He is NOT allowed to visit anymore shelters. I think we are at our limit lol
  21. Oooh I crochet too! I think we were meant to be friends!
  22. OH MY GOSH! Be still my little romance reading heart! I really loved this book!
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