Monday, June 4, 2012

My May Adventures

If you stopped by looking for my Neverwhere Read Along discussion, I'll be posting that tomorrow.

It's June! June! Three more weeks of school and then summer! This is such a busy time of year around here. I'm sure it's the same for all of you as well.

I posted earlier this month about my youngest daughter's dance recital--such fun! She's also been busy with girl scouts as her Cadette troop is working towards their Silver Award. I am starting to feel tapped out as a leader, so I'll be glad to have a bit of a break from it over the summer.

My oldest has been busy, too. Mostly with schoolwork and a very busy social life. Last week we attended a small Academic Awards ceremony at the high school at which she received an award from Brandeis University for outstanding academic achievement and civic service. She also recently completed a wonderful project for her high school orchestra for which she filmed, photographed and edited a video about the impact of water on our community that accompanied the orchestra's performance of a beautiful piece by Philip Glass. The video was projected on a large screen behind the orchestra. It was quite moving.. especially given the devastating effects Hurricane Irene had on our community last August.

Lots of proud moments in May! While I couldn't possibly top the accomplishments of my kids, I may as well tell you what I've been up to last month. ; )

In fitness: 
I easily met my 100 fitness mile goal for May with a total of 120 miles. Interestingly, I took quite a few rest days this month, but apparently I made up for it on the days that I did workout, especially in cycling. Most of my rides these days are 30-40 miles which is at least 2 hours on the bike. On Memorial Day, my cycling partner and I clocked just under 4 hours to bike 59.4 miles---my new longest distance in a single ride.

I mentioned last month [in April] that I wanted to increase strength training and aside from my Monday powercuts class and maybe 15 minutes of abs, light weights at the end of kickbox class and a bonus TRX class, I haven't been doing any other strength training. I need to work on increasing that. Here's a look at what I did in May:

Run 23.07 miles :     ~241 minutes
Bike 170.54 miles :   ~705 minutes
Kickbox & Abs : 300 minutes
Spin & Abs :       150 minutes
Strength training:        240 minutes
TOTAL:   1636 minutes     or     27 hours 16 minutes

What did you do to keep moving last month?
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In books: 
I read eight books in May and from quite a few different genres, too. I'm pretty happy about that.

Non-fiction ...... 1
     [Health & fitness]

Romance .............. 2
Crime fiction ....... 1
Young Adult ....;;.. 1
Fiction .................. 1
Fantasy ................ 2

1. Creation in Death by J.D. Robb
2. The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan
3. Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
4. If I Die by Rachel Vincent
5. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
6. Food Rules by Michael Pollan
7. Cold Magic by Kate Elliot
8. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

I have to say that I loved all of these books and would recommend each and every one. If I HAD to pick favorites? Hmm... The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan is a wonderful novella and the first in a new series. I have a review partially written that I hope to finish, but know that I did love it. It's Kindle lendable, too, so let me know if you're interested in borrowing it. I think I can lend it out at least twice.

Saving Grace by Julie Garwood. A timeless medieval romance and a favorite among so many romance readers. You can read my review HERE.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell is a really solid, engaging read, too. A lot of readers classify it as romance, but it's not exactly. It's more general fiction with romantic elements. Not quite chick-lit either because most of the book is really about the male protagonist, so it's really more dude-lit which is a brand new sub-genre coined by Brie from Romance Around the Corner. You heard it first from her, folks. Remember that when dude-lit goes rampant. ;o)

Gigi likes Cold Magic by Kate Elliot!
Honorable mention goes to Cold Magic by Kate Elliot. I originally shelved this book in young adult, but it really straddles into adult fantasy fiction. The protagonists are not minors at nineteen years old and older and in fact at the marriageable age. The setting is Victorian-England-esque alternate history with a steampunk component. A lot of fascinating people--powerful mages, princes, spiritwalkers and others-- cultures, histories and politics between peoples and three main characters whose fates get personally entangled with each other and those of power. There is a lot of information to digest in this book, but the story premise, setting and characters were so interesting that it was so worth reading. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in this trilogy, Cold Fire. The concluding book in the trilogy, Cold Steel comes out in 2013.

What interesting books did you read in May?
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A bouquet of African Roses
In photography:
My Project 366 is now a Project 362. Yes, I missed another TWO days in May. Ugh. Oh well. I decided to have a little bit of fun this month by participating in the photo a day challenge hosted by blogger fatmumslim who blogs at Fat Mum Slim. There's a daily prompt every day for the month and users post their photos on instagram, twitter, facebook, a blog, flickr or pinterest using the hash tag #photoadayJune. Fun!

As always, you can follow my photography challenges on

Are you on instagram? Friend me!

In the garden: 
The deer are in my yard almost every night munching on anything and everything green. I know what they're all saying..
"Hey, have you been to that organic salad bar down the street yet? It's amazing! They've got a wide variety of plants to choose from, loaded with tender shoots, plump flower buds, and lush leaves. Not only is it 100% organic but it's all you can eat AND open 24/7!" 
Nice. I woke up one day last week to discover they ate most of the tops off my budding purple coneflower plants last week. This means my coneflowers will be blooming late and won't be so lush this year. Again. I know they have to eat, too, but sheesh, I sure wish they knew how to show a bit of restraint so I could enjoy a few flowers. I have an inkling that the day lilies are on this week's menu. I haven't seen a day lily flower bloom in my yard for a couple of years now. But really, what are you going to do? They're only doing what they're supposed to do, right?

I started converting that section of my perennial flower bed into a new vegetable garden, but I haven't yet finished. In fact, that's on my to-do list for this week. A friend of mine gave me several pots of tomato seedlings that sprouted up in her garden from the seeds of last year's dropped fruit and I've got to get them in the ground soon. I'm already a couple of weeks late. A few of them even have flowers already. Oh how I love the promise of homegrown tomatoes! I'm not sure what else I want to try to grow this year. At this point, I'll be happy just to have a nice harvest of herbs and tomatoes.

Are you growing an edibles in your yard?

Thanks for reading about my month! Wishing you a joyous June! xo


  1. Mine are the urban cottontails eating up everything. So, I give them apples on the side to get them to leave my plants alone. Not exactly ideal, but one of the rabbit now recognize me and doesn't dart away the moment I come out. >_<

    My onions sprouted, so I'm very excited. The spinach is doing ok, but kind of deformed. My strawberry plant does not look well. -_- The freaking stevia refuses to sprout and only 1 out of my 5 quinoa seems to have survived.

    My flowers are doing ok. The calendulas are going crazy and I have to dehead them before the shatter and start sprouting out everywhere. Lol. The comfrey are surviving and flowered recently. Trying to save their seeds, but having a little problems. Oh...and only two sunflowers left after all 10+ others got eaten by slugs/rabbits/birds. O_o

    I so glad you're doing well. It has been quiet here and I know you're busy, but I just wanted to know your busy life. It's always so much fun to read. If only I lived closer. Lol.

  2. Gigi looks cute!!
    and you read some pretty awesome books (thanks for the clarification on Lady Johanna's age (Saving Grace) btw )

    And your daughter has a very busy life! :D you must be so proud of her :D

  3. What a great reading month for you! I had a better one myself with 4 which males me happy. I love the roses, what an awesome shot. When your done, if you'd like, I'd be happy to put the pics in a min album for you.

    I have my zukes growing beautiful, 3 eggplants, though 1 is looking so sad, 2 beefsteak tomatoes, and 2 romas. My topsy turvy is looking real good : ) I'll have to do a blog post on it.

    How awesome for your daughter! Ours finish Thursday, I can't wait.


  4. The kids in public school finished the last week of May. My kids go all year long to fit in their activities. Congratulations on both your daughters accomplishments!
    I added swimming to my fitness plan, starting last month. This is on top of the other things I do for exercise fun.
    I'm slacking in the keeping good records of what I read. I have no idea why. You're doing great with yours!
    As for the garden? We didn't plant one this year and are only growing containers. I have tomatoes and strawberries and for herbs? Catnip. *g*

    I hope your week goes well!

  5. Yay on easily making your fitness goal :) And cool about the books. I think you've enjoyed them all, no? LOL. And so glad Cold Magic found a loving home! :P

    That is so cool about your girls :) Hey, did Maria decide where she wanted to go next year?

    My dad had tomatoes plants last year, but I don't think he'll keep any this year as we're going to be gone for a couple of weeks...

  6. What a busy month! WOW! All the best with June and the vegetable garden and the photography! And congrats on the fitness miles!

    And Gigi is just gorgeous!

  7. little_alys .. Those little cottontails are also troublesome, but believe me, no where near as destructive as deer. The key to the rabbits is keeping from eating young, tender plants. The deer eat anything green and can wipe out your of all budding growth in one night. Ugh.

    Maybe stevia grows better from cuttings than from seeds? And you are growing quinoa? Wow aren't you adventurous! I think you have to grow A LOT of plants to have enough seeds to actually make a meal of it. But how fun.. let me know how that goes!

    I love growing flowers almost as much as vegetables. Cosmos are really easy and look so pretty. I used to love to grow zinnias but they do tend to get mildew in the humid summers here. Also very easy. I haven't grown sunflowers in a long time. They are so happy. :)

    Thanks for taking the time to read my adventures. I'm glad you like them.

    Alex ... Isn't the cat so cute with that book? I swear I did not pose him. I came out of my shower ready to read in bed and that's what I found. I have a similar pic of his sister with Garwood's Saving Grace. They're too funny.

    We are very proud of our girls. Thanks. :)

    luv46kdz .. Aw, Paula. What a sweet offer to put my project in a min album. I hadn't even thought of doing something like that!

    Sounds like your garden is busy growing! Tomorrow.. I swear .. I'm finishing my garden bed prep. omg it's gonna be July before I get this going. Argh. Such a procrastinator.

    We still have until NEXT Wednesday before girls out of school. Egads.

  8. Brandy ..You don't give the kids off from school work for a few weeks in the summer? On the plus side, the days are longer so they can fit a lot in!

    I really like keeping tabs on my reading on goodreads. I didn't know what to expect when I joined it, but I've been consistent with it since day one which was sometime in January of 2011. It's fun. Plus I see all the great books other people are reading and it expands my reading horizons. :)

    Container gardening is awesome. You just have to water it a lot more because it dries out more quickly, but other than that, it's so much easier to keep track of and tend. OF COURSE you would grow catnip! ^_^

    nath .. The biking is really helping me keep to my fitness goals. We go out for hours at a time.. it racks up the mileage! ; )

    Maria is just finishing her junior year, so one more year before she decides. We are pushing for the University at which my husband works. We get an amazing deal on tuition.

    Where are you going for vacation? I understand if you don't want to say publicly. So tell me later. ;)

    orannia... Thank you! Life is busy in such a good way around here. Now if only I were good at multitasking... *sigh* lol!


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