Attack of the Killer Ivy!

This past week we’ve been trying to get some minor things done around the yard. We’re *still* raking leaves, cleaning up branches, trying to get rid of a stump, and contemplating what to do with all the ivy we have.

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I didn’t even notice the stump since it’s pretty flush to the ground, but apparently it’s annoying to mow around it.

stump out

My husband bought this based on a recommendation from an employee at True Value. Apparently, you’re supposed to use lighter fluid and light it on fire to actually get rid of it faster, but it doesn’t say that on the outside of the bottle, so we weren’t prepared for that. We (read he) just skipped that part and did the rest of the steps.

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We haven’t checked to see if anything has happened yet. We might have to do some research into other methods.

branches

We still have a bunch of downed branches from an ice storm. This is about half of what we collected and there are still some huge ones along the road.

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Somehow, we still have leaves, but it feels good to clear them out and find flower beds (and random rock piles, bird houses, and plastic frogs?).

leaves

Almost done with the leaves.

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Probably the most annoying problem is the ivy in the back corner. I’m not sure something *needs* to be done with it, but we don’t want it to spread any more. I’m wondering if we get rid of most of it, but then start piling leaves and branches and generally composting in the back corner if that will keep it at bay.

ivy

There is SO much of it.

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Sometimes I envision the ivy is going to come alive and take over everything, or that it’s an alien life force but it just moves really really slow.

This is probably what it would look like to be devoured by it in the back corner.

ivy3I knew there was some sidewalk going in that direction (there used to be a pool, so there’s a lot of random concrete/sidewalk in the backyard), and I actually couldn’t even find where the concrete ends.

See all the random mounds there too? There’s an old slide, some cinder blocks, and we don’t know what’s under the other ones…probably where they hid the bodies?

Do you have any tips for getting rid of stumps and/or ivy?

What I Ate Wednesday

I’ve been making kombucha at home for a few months now and it’s going so well! I bought this multi-green one because I’ve never had this flavor before and I think it’d be really neat to make a spirulina batch at home. Plus it was on sale and I like to use these bottles to do my second fermentation. (More on that soon!)kombucha

Blue-green algae…yum!kombucha2

 

After my kombucha (about half a bottle) I took my multivitamin with a full bottle of water.

vitamin

Then my usual breakfast is some kind of protein shake. Today, it was a chocolate almond butter smoothie.
smoothieI blended 1 banana, 2 scoops chocolate raw vegan protein powder, 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 2 tbsp almond butter, 1 tsp maca, and about 2 tbsp chia seeds. This makes two shakes, I drink one and save one for the next day.

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I was still in the mood for almond/peanut butter, so I had a serving of Peanut Butter Puffins.

cereal

And the I gave in to my caffeine craving and made coffee. I’ve been putting a tsp of vanilla in the coffee carafe, and a bunch of cinnamon and nutmeg in the coffee grounds while it brews. I have about half a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and half coffee.

coffee

For lunch I had leftovers from last night’s dinner.

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White rice, broccoli, and tofu, with organic tamari sauce.

lunch
For a snack I had half and almond butter sandwich…possibly with a handful of vegan mini chocolate chips.

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And I forgot to take a picture of dinner, but I had 5 tacos (my usual). 2 hard and 3 small soft shells, with beans, lettuce, vegan sour cream, salsa, and organic sriracha.

Do you keep track of what you eat?

 

My First Experience With Online Grocery Shopping

Yesterday, I tried out the online grocery shopping from Giant though Peapod. There are a bunch of things I really liked about it and a few things that make me reconsider using it regularly.

giantOnlineShopping

First thing I saw when I logged on what my most recent/common purchases.

Pros:

Convenience. I love the online interface. It’s really simple to add things, and they have your most recent purchases in a list. Since I normally buy the same stuff every week, it makes it really simple.

Adding things up until your cutoff time. I started making my list in the morning and when I remembered something throughout the day, I added it to the list. I forgot that we were out of flour, until I noticed the empty container in the kitchen. It took about 30 seconds to add it to my order.

Remembering random things I always seem to forget. Despite the fact that stamps have been on my grocery list for weeks, I ALWAYS forget to ask for them. They were literally the first thing I added to my list so that I wouldn’t forget. (They were also the first thing they handed to me when I picked up my order.)

Order totaling. I always plan to spend around $100, and then remember things I forgot and end up going over. This made it so easy to cap it at $100. When I added extra things, I took of a few things I didn’t really need.

Not having to get out of the car. I pulled up and they loaded up my car. The convenience of not having to drag kids shopping/chase them around the store is priceless.

Definitely saved time. Even though there is a Giant 10 minutes away, they don’t have a very big organic/non-dairy selection. So I drive to a Giant that’s 20 minutes away for those things. This one was 30 minutes away, but driving an extra 20 minutes round trip more than made up for the hour+ I spend walking around the store.

Fixing their mistakes. More on that below.

 

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Order totaling on the side of the screen.

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Waiting for them to load up my car.

Cons:

Online pricing. The produce pricing is per item. It was 39 cents per banana, and I picked how many bananas I wanted. So when I saw $1.49 per plum tomato I thought it must meant per lb, even though it said “each”. So I’m at fault for spending $1.49 for the smallest plum tomato I’ve ever seen (it weighed in at .2 lbs which means I ended up paying $7.45/lb for tomatoes).

Funky produce. The spinach I picked up on the 24th had a “best by” date of the 25th, and it was wilted and slimy. The kale wasn’t in an actual bunch, it was just leaves in a giant shopping bag, which looked a little weird. Other than that the cucumbers and bananas looked good.

Customer Service. This was a pro and a con because I sat on hold for 15 minutes, and then left my number so they could call me back in another 15 minutes. The customer service rep told me that the price for the tomatoes seemed a little high, but that maybe this is just an expensive tomato season and kind of told me I was wrong to go by an average price in the store since online had separate prices. I accepted it was my fault. She said she would give me a $15 first time customer discount, and that she would refund the price of the spinach. (Though I haven’t seen those credits yet.)

They didn’t have everything. They had most of the things I was looking for, but were missing some random things like Giant brand salsa, nutrition bars I was looking for, and there was a very limited selection of frozen fruit.

Using plastic bags. I knew everything would be placed in plastic bags, even though I have a bunch of the reusable ones. It doesn’t bother me that much, but almost every bag only had one thing in it. The tofu was in one bag, the spinach was in one bag, one box of cereal was in one bag. It seemed kind of wasteful.

Overall: I’m really excited for the program to take off because it could be so helpful. I really wanted to love it, and I think if it improves, and hopefully becomes available at a closer store I’d use it regularly. I might try to use it every 2 weeks for non produce items, since the closest store is 30 minutes away (at the Giant that we used to live right next to), and I’m not in that area for anything else. I realized I’m a little too particular about my produce, and that I’d rather pick out my own. As soon as the farm stand opens up down the street, I’ll get 90% of my produce there anyway.

Do you prefer to shop online? Have you ever ordered groceries through a service?