Saturday, June 25, 2011

The way I grow (plants)

Here's the thing. I garden barefoot. Usually barehanded too, unless I'm working with something more than soil.
I like the connection I have with nature when I do this. Feet and hands touch the Earth, it gives me a feeling of an almost bond with the plants. I know, silly, right. Here's something easier to understand. It creates some zen, some peace in my mind.

I started container gardening first, at my last house. It was in the city, and the house had gardens and beds, but they were taken over by mass amounts of poison ivy, weeds, yew bush stumps, and rocks, amongst which were spaced tulips and roses. I got poison ivy every single time I tried to do more than trim it back ( and sometimes even then), so I contented myself with just keeping it neat enough that we could function. There was thankfully, a lot of blacktop in the back yard, so the kids had somewhere to ride bikes and play with their pool. Needless to say though, we spent a lot of time at parks and playgrounds.

Anyhow, the very first things I planted there were a few pots I kept on the kitchen roof. It was flat, and there was a window that was right there, so it was easy to care for the plants, water them, etc. And, less pests could get at them than if they were on the ground. I started with peppers, carrots, and spinach. The spinach grew wonderfully, but I waited too long to harvest it, so it died. Oops.
Carrots did well, though the conatiner wasn't big enough, the biggest one was just under 4 inches. The few I ate were yummy, but I overcrowded them so there was so many they don't last long out of the ground/pot. I decided carrots were not meant for containers, unless it is a HUGE one. The peppers did well enough given the pot was too small. I got 2-3 two inch peppers, which I used in a dip.
The next year, I thought I'd try again. I did squash, pickling cucumber, and I inherited about 6 little better boy tomato plants from a friend's mom. She'd bought a whole 9 pack but didn't need more than a couple for the topsy turvy thing.
I put the tomatoes two to a pot, thought I had big enough ones, but now I know better. Cucumber was the only thing I got that year- two that were about the size of a really large grape. Tomatoes and squash both flowered (squash even gave me a couple of starting fruit, but they died shortly after forming. So, not a good year.

I was not discouraged. This year, we moved. To a house with a yard and garden the likes of which I've never had before. I didn't have time or a chance to plot out and execute a true veggie garden. So, I started seeds and the ones that grew large enough went right in my new front garden, where there was room. I have cauliflower, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, broccoli, zucchini, beans, and yes I have tomatoes. Four large plants-(two of which have some little tomatoes on them), one medium whom is called Lazarus because he literally rose from the dead- well I thought the plant was dead and almost gave up on it. I also have a bunch of little cherry tomatoes that are doing so-so, and about 6-8 small to medium ones in a big container.

Things are going much better this year. I have a few tomatoes, I have a zucchini, I have plants I thought for sure would die, but so far only two of four cauliflower have not made it. I've also just transplanted some sweet peas, and two sunflowers, one of which I think might not make it.

I'm still learning, I make a ton of mistakes. I planted a tomato that needed more sun and space early in the season in back of the three who get bigger and produce later. It's not getting enough sun, so the 3-4 fruits on it, might be all that I get if they even ripen fully. Beans and peas like shade, and I tried to keep them in the sun. I did very little soil prep. Etc.

I will be ready next year. I'm planning on picking up a couple of boards, and cutting them into 4-5 foot lengths and building two raised beds. The front garden will be filled in with flowers where there are not already flowers.

I can tell you for sure though, I'll still be gardening barefoot, and when I can, barehanded. The feeling of dirt and grass between my toes brings me back to childhood. I'm still young for now, but sometimes I like feeling like a kid again.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Outlook on life.

Hey there non-existant followers. (Lol maybe that will change someday)

I just wanted to give you a short update on things. Justin is now on a nasal spray and amox to try to lessen the fluid in his ears. We're due back at the ENT the end of June to see if anything has changed. If not, we'll be discussing surgery to put tubes in. I'm hoping this doctor ( who is absolutely awesome with kids by the way) will allow us to wait until after his birthday. Good news is, since he missed the cut off date, kindergarten won't be until next fall, so he might miss a few days of preschool/daycare, but that's it. I just want my little guy to feel better and be able to hear us. He's come a long way this year since starting daycare two days a week. Wants to learn so much!

Now me. I saw the OB tuesday about the pelvic/backdoor pain. He thinks it's not related to my female parts, and that I should see a GI. Mentioned words like Chron's, IBS, etc. But said since I didn't have most of the typical symptoms it's either not that or we caught it very early on.
It's oddly ironic that my health problems started after I started losing weight and trying to eat and be healthier. Something seriously wrong with that!
So I'll be asking for a referral or scans from my regular doctor when I see her in August. If I have a problem sooner than that, I'll expedite it, but we've got a ton going on. My stuff takes a backburner when and if it can.

I've been trying hard to get more walking in when the weather and allergies cooperate. Yesterday Bren and I got dropped off at Dunkin for breakfast and we walked back home the long way, stopping at a park on the reservoir near us. There was a lovely little sand beach and we sat for about ten minutes, just enjoying the rest and the day. Then we headed home. I'd say about 3 miles or more, the straight way home is 2.
We'll be heading that way again this afternoon, except we'll be walking there, not getting driven, so at least 4-5 miles. There's a Farmer's Market there I'm hoping to check out. My legs will hate me, but it's the best excercise I've found for me. I get bored with things indoors/routines etc. I like the outdoors, you always see something or someone different on the journey. Brendan and I get a lot of bonding time too, which is something hard to get sometimes.

Listing the old house finally this month. Our upstairs tenants did not work out well, and they are moving out this week. We're hoping the right buyer comes along now and takes it. Then the bank will have to approve it. Because of the market- we own a house that we owe more on than the new house we just bought. The old house is in need of repairs, plenty of them, and it isn't worth anywhere near what we still owe. So much for a working real-estate system. Anyhow, we're hoping to sell it fast, since we won't be getting new tenants. We weren't making enough to cover anything anyhow, when we did get both rents. Sigh.

My crochet is going well, working on a special outfit set for twin girls due at the end of summer. They are coming out better than I expected. I need to get back to projects for me/my kids though, I have the drive to make sweaters for the fall if I find the time.

I'm going to be 30 in less than a month. That's kind of exciting/terrifying I guess. I certainly don't feel like I've been around that long. I certainly don't feel different. Not to gripe either, but I don't think my husband will plan anything special. :P

All in all, depite all the crap this year has given us, I feel pretty good. This new place and new town has given me a sense of 'home', something I can't remember ever having at any other place we've lived. The kids have no issues sharing a room for now, and they adore having a yard and place to ride their bikes. It's small, needs a lot of work, a lot more maintenance for the yard and gardens. But it's home and is worth the trials and tribulations.