Indoor gardening with the Aerogarden

Sprout model of Aerogarden, with tomatoes.

About 13 months ago, Sherlock and I moved out of my parent’s house, and into a small apartment in town. Unfortunately, that meant I had to give up my garden space. I want to have a huge garden someday, but it will have to wait until I am able to buy a home. I wish I could have a large indoor garden this winter, but just don’t have any space for it.

My parents gave me a small Aerogarden for Christmas. An Aerogarden is a hydroponic system. It’s very easy to use and doesn’t make a mess. Just insert the pods, fill it with water, plug it in, and watch the plants grow!

I was growing lettuce, but I decided to plant tomatoes after the lettuce died. These plants were planted about a week ago, and are looking good so far. I eat a lot of small tomatoes, so these will help keep the food expenses down while I pay off debt and save money!

Starting a stockpile

Hello everybody! It’s been such a long time since I’ve shared anything here. I promise I’ll write more about what I’ve been doing for the last year later.

Anyway, with everything that’s been happening in the world over the last 18 months or so, I’ve decided to start stockpiling food and other essentials. I know I’m late to the game, but better late than never.

FoodSaver VS1110

To help start my stockpile of frozen foods, and to help save money and reduce waste, I bought a gently used vacuum sealer. I’ve used mostly for meat that I buy and divide up. I also used it to store some strawberries in the fridge, and they definitely lasted longer than they would have in their plastic box. And the bags and rolls can be reused, which helps reduce plastic waste. It seems to be working great so far.

I’ve also started to buy one or two canned or dry foods every time I go grocery shopping. I may end up using those when I am just too tired or busy to cook, but I won’t be tempted to get fast food, and that will help me save money.

I plan to add a lot more to my stockpile over the next few months, including dog food for Sherlock, and other items.

Given everything that’s happened over the last 18 months, and the fact that we’re dealing with shortages and supply chain issues, I think it’s very important to prepare for the unexpected. Nevermind the “global catastrophes” that some preppers think will happen, it’s very possible where I live to be snowed in for a few days if a blizzard hits LOL.

Sherlock’s Birthday Celebration

A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to do something special for Sherlock’s first birthday.  So, I started looking for a birthday cake that is safe for dogs to eat.

I ordered a “birthday box” from Petco, but they were slow to ship it, so it arrived about 5 days after his birthday. The box contains a birthday cake mix, treats, and several toys. The cake was banana-flavored, and he loves it!

First Astro Photo – the Moon.

I’ve tried to photograph the moon before, but I never got the close-up view that I wanted, even with a telephoto lens. So I decided to try attaching my camera to my telescope.

I took this picture with my Canon 5D4, using my Celestron Astromaster 114EQ telescope as a lens. This was my first time ever using the telescope, and it was very difficult to get this picture. But I am very happy with the result, and I am eager to try again!

First Photos of the Milky Way

These photos are the results of my first attempt at photographing the Milky Way a couple weeks ago. I am absolutely thrilled that I was able to capture these and grateful that I live in a wonderful rural town that makes it easy to do this.

I am convinced that there’s no way I could get photos like these while living in suburban Chicago. Looking up at the stars makes me forget about problems for a little while, and humbles me because I can see how small and insignificant we may be in the universe.

I think we all should look at the stars more often. Then we’ll see that the universe doesn’t revolve around us, we just live on a tiny planet in it.

First night sky photos – the moon and Jupiter.

A few weeks ago, the night sky was clear, the weather was comfortable, and I had time to go outside and try to photograph it. I couldn’t get many stars because the moon was too bright, but I did manage to get Jupiter.

These were taken with my Canon 5D4, and Tamron lens at 24mm, f/2.8. I don’t remember the shutter speed and ISO, so I will edit this post later. I also have much more to share, but it may take awhile due to my poor internet connection (see my previous post about that).

One year old

Today is my baby boy Sherlock’s first birthday! I can’t believe he’s a year old already! I adopted him in November, and the months seemed to have flown by.

I absolutely love him. He’s beautiful, strong, energetic, and very smart. He loves to play outside, so much so that I don’t know what I’m going to do in Winter.

He’s grown so much in the past year, and I can’t wait to see what the future has for us. Happy birthday Sherlock!

Jupiter, Saturn, and the Milky Way

I’ve been interested in astronomy and astro photography for a long time, but never could find the time and a clear sky. Light pollution was also a big problem because I lived in the suburbs of a major American city.

But, then I moved out here in rural Missouri, and now I can see more than I ever could back home. On the clearest nights, I can see some of the Milky Way with my eyes. The night sky is absolutely gorgeous, and looking at it helps me be happy and forget about my problems for a short time.

This photo was taken on July 18th, 2020 at my home in Perryville, MO, USA. I used my Canon 5D4, Tamron 24-70mm @ 24mm, f/2.8, ISO 3200, 4 seconds.

3 weeks and no (or very slow and unreliable) internet

Yep, you read that right. For almost 3 weeks, I have gone without fast and reliable internet service in my house.

We had Viasat (satellite internet) for over a year. It was fast enough, and very reliable, until it just quit working for no apparent reason. So we called customer service and they sent a technician out a few days later. He was here for several hours, and checked out everything, but couldn’t fix it. So the company said they would send out a higher technician in a few days.

That day came, and that morning the customer service department called us to inform us that he would not be coming, and they didn’t have anyone else to replace him due to personnel problems (thank you, COVID-19).

So we cancelled that, and signed up for AT&T Wireless internet service. But, despite an apparently strong signal, our service remains terribly slow.

And it sure is frustrating. I can’t fill out job applications, can’t post anything about what I’ve been doing these past few weeks (I have several photos just sitting on my computer, waiting to be shared with the world).

This is also causing problems at home. I expressed my frustration to a family member, and he got very upset with me, accusing me of making excuses, lying to him, and trying to blame someone or something. I told him I’ve tried using the computers at my local library (and I really did), but I’ve found that many websites don’t function properly when using those computers. And when he accused me of being too lazy to try public wifi available at fast food restaurants, I had to remind him that most of the places that offer it are currently doing “drive thru only” service due to COVID-19.

I sure hope that this problem can be fixed soon. And I am glad that I’m not in school right now. I am sure that I can complete the homework assignments and quizzes using the library computers. But the exams would be a problem because they are proctored remotely and that requires a webcam, microphone, total silence, and a strong and stable internet connection.

Anyway, I will find a way to post more pictures and videos soon. Stay safe out there!

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