Category Archives: gardening

2016 Top 5: My Favorite Flower Pictures

You didn’t think a 2016 recap from this guy wouldn’t include flower pictures, did you?

#1 – Doubled Daffodil. This is my absolute favorite picture from my flower garden year.

#sorrynotsorry more daffodil pictures. Isn’t this doubled daff a beauty?

A photo posted by Brady E (@brady_32) on

#2 – Peach Iris – I added Iris bulbs to my garden last fall, and this was my favorite by far.

Guys guys guys guys, we have iris bloom!

A photo posted by Brady E (@brady_32) on


#3 – Peonies – I stopped by the Peony gardens at the Nichols Arboretum.  Their collection is astounding.


#4 – Dahlia – I tried my hand (and was moderately unsuccessful) at growing Dinnerplate Dahlias. I did manage to get this really good shot when I was clearing out the garden for winter.


#5 – Aladdin’s Carpet – I got this really fantastic mix of wild tulips and baby daffodils and hyacinths and stuff.

Some top down tulip shots

A photo posted by Brady E (@brady_32) on


Bonus #1 –  My friend Kate made this rainbow flower collage and sent it to me after the Pulse Nightclub Tragedy. It has warmed my heart all year.


Bonus #2 – I had too much fun making flower mandalas with Structure.  Here’s one from flowers at Greenfield Village.

More flower mandalas. #cantstopwontstop

A photo posted by Brady E (@brady_32) on

2016 Top 5: Charities doing important work

Continuing my Top 5 recap of 2016, I will highlight 5 of my favorite charities doing awesome work. I donate to them, and hope you will too!

#1 – Affirmation – LGBT Mormons, Families, and Friends

Affirmation is literally a life saver. It has literally saved my life. In my darkest times as I have struggled with the complexities and disappointments of being a gay Mormon, Affirmation has been a shining star. Knowing that there are others like me who have come through the dark times has gone a long way towards keeping me moving forward.

Recently, Affirmation has been expanding its work in Central and South America, where the need is even greater than it is here in the USA. Donating to Affirmation will help move forward this important work.

#2 – Liahona Children’s Foundation

Liahona Children’s Foundation focuses on alleviating malnutrition in LDS families in third-world countries. Most recently, the foundation is serving in 17 countries around the world, helping ensure that the most vulnerable children and familes receive the nutrition and education that will enable them to thrive.

#3 – Oxfam

Oxfam is a global organization focusing on alleviating poverty and injustice.  Oxfam is often on the ground after natural disasters and has been fighting for refugees and other displaced persons. After the horrific images coming out of Syria and Turkey over the last few years, I have been motivated to do something to help. Oxfam has been my charity of choice for disaster relief and immediate relief of poverty on a global scale.

#4 – Growing Hope

On the opposite end of the scale from Oxfam, Growing Hope is a local charity focusing on food security in Ypsilanti and neighboring areas. They help food-insecure families learn about gardening by building out raised bed gardens and providing seedlings. They also run several farmers markets in the Ypsilanti area, making fresh vegetables and fruits more accessible to local residents.

#5 – Equality Michigan / Equality Wyoming

Again, I’m really bad at keeping to only five on my list.  I donate to local organizations fighting for equality for LGBT people. The Great Trans Bathroom Panic of 2016 only highlighted for me the need for more people on the ground advocating for compassion and equality on a local level.

 

Those are my top 5 charitable organizations. Looking over them for patterns, it seems I support organizations that focus on food security, poverty relief, and advocacy for marginalized and LGBT people.

What causes do you support?  I’ve got an extra $100 that I will split between the first 5 charities you mention here or on my Facebook page.

Resolutions Update

So, you can see from the graphs in the post below how I did with my personal challenge to try to get 10,000 steps in a day.  If you throw out the final data point for a day when I forgot my Fitbit, I averaged about 9600 steps a day, which is a fantastic average.  My long term average is 5,400.  I had 16 days over 10K steps, which is the same as what I had in all of 2012.  I ended up getting a new Fitbit One mid-month, when my Fitbit Classic kind of fell to pieces.

2013-03-10 08.58.37-3

 

Things I learned:
– To get that many steps, I have to do a Morning Mile without fail. (Thank goodness for Radiolab)
– It’s still pretty cold in the mornings in March.
– The Fitbit One has a nifty feature that allows it to vibrate an alarm. I use it to remind me to get up and walk around at work mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
– I still have troubles getting my steps up on Sundays
– The Briarwood Mall is about 1200 steps round trip
– Sams Club is further away than I expected it by foot.
– If I walk while I’m on the phone, I can up really up my steps

Other goals:

I’ve been doing more Yoga via a Rec and Ed class. It’s been challenging and rewarding.
I have been shaving with a razor (instead of an electric shaver) since the beginning of the year. It’s nice because I don’t have to shave every day anymore.
I spent out on a few things that I wanted for myself. (A new television!)
I’m not very good at getting reviews of the media I am consuming written up.
I am about 36 miles into the 130 miles of the Huron River. I am right on track.  The graph below is my Beeminder graph, so you can see when I’m slacking. I don’t actually know if it live updates or not. (The closer the dots on the graph, the more frequent I am rowing. As long as I stay above the yellow/orange line, I’m on track.)

 

I think my April goals are Plant a Garden (I planted flowers and built myself a raised bed garden last Saturday. Now I just have to fill the garden with soil and figure out what to plant in it.) and Be Braver. I’m also testing Take a Real Vacation.