Sunday, January 4, 2015

It's been a rough week..

Wow it's been a rough week.
Must be the full moon.
Does it ever bother you when someone says that? The catch all phrase that is used to blame a series of bad luck, a rough week at work, home or just for lack of something more clever to say. There must be something to it if it ends up being the go to reason everyone gives for life taking a crazy swing off course. That has certainly been what's going on in my life at the moment.
I'm looking forward to my days smoothing out and not wondering where the next hit will come from.
I told my trainer at the gym about our Paleo effort for January and he immediately went into a tizzy describing how the next few weeks will be an emotional roller coaster and I should look into some meditation (which I don't really have time for to be honest) and oh by the way I need to start taking Maca powder and trace minerals..
Ok, slow down there buddy. So the meditation will probably NEVER happen.. I've tried it.. really tried it. But no matter how hard I try and concentrate, I can't quiet the voice in my head. Apparently it has had A LOT of time marinating all those random thoughts that permeate the mind throughout the day. When I try to count, or visualize all the thoughts disappearing into a black hole, I fall asleep. PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
I did however trot my new Paleo ass to Sprouts next door and waffle in the vitamin aisle until I got up the courage to ask someone for what I was looking for. Unlike the elistist version of the reaction I received in my head from the two gentlemen working in the area they were refreshingly detached and super helpful.
Upon returning home I informed my husband here's what we're doing.. He thankfully has been on board since starting our Paleo journey.
Tonight we feasted on Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Mayo and Quick Roasted Brussel Sprouts. YUM! Second great recipe we've found so far. We also made Turkey Burgers for our lunches the next few days.
Since I miraculously got tomorrow off I'm off to tempt fate by staying up way too late and relishing a few extra minutes with my husband before we start the grind back up again.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!! Welcome 2015!

First and foremost Happy New Year! It's been about a year since I've posted so I figured New Year new post.
So much has developed in the last year.. I achieved my horse show goals including a world championship title, the garden is thriving despite several frosts, several medical issues were resolved opening up an entire world of possibilities, and getting fit in 2014 was achieved. What a year it's been. 
With 2014 under my belt my husband and I decided to move our fitness to another level so we've decided to try going paleo for January. Now I know the moment I mention the word Paleo it opens me up to a whole world of criticism so before anyone jumps to conclusions we are going to give it a good effort. Does that mean we might slip now and again.. probably.. but as newbies we're going to do the best we can.
That being said I tried my first paleo Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookie recipe this morning courtesy of the Paleo Mama and it was fantastic!! They were a bit runny as a batter so I put them in mini muffin tins. Great result!
I also cooked a fried egg and put it over half of an avocado to round things out and it was delicious. I must say that eating paleo is much more work intensive than I anticipated, but I'm hoping if I make enough to grab and go I should be fine.
I also took an extra step in accountability to my fabulous trainer at the gym by telling him I needed to up my endurance training.. oy ve!  He admitted I might hate him a little bit, but I know that and sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.
RESOLUTIONS: Do you have any?? Different from the norm I mean..
Mine is to plan my year strategically so my money management is wiser than last year.  This means picking and choosing which shows I go to and trying to spread out my Christmas shopping so it's not all centered in Oct. Nov. lol. Good luck to me!  Oh yeah one last one.. I'm going to blog more regularly.
Well that's all for now. Till next time..

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rain is a good thing

     With a steady rain comes reflection. While it is the end of January this is not a cold rain, it's a healing downpour. One that is meant to give the ground a good long refreshing drink, and here in the desert, sorely needed. When I woke up this morning, it was to the sound of consistent muted drumming on the roof. I knew instantly that today would belong to me. I could leisurely sip coffee on the porch, read, watch the rain and enjoy the morning.
     After moving some plants to have better access to the water I put some buckets out to collect some rainwater for my indoor plants only to realize that much more water was quickly filling my containers than I would need. That sparked a curiosity to investigate how well the home we recently purchased stood up in the rain, and what simple changes can we make to enhance sustainability.
       On the porch I noticed a sound that was more than just the thrumming raindrops, but quite like a rushing water. I immediately went to investigate to discover that my rain gutter was gushing water into a rapidly forming whirlpool. Another project has been added to my list of chores, a rain collection barrel. 
This storm will also wet down my newly created compost pile thus saving me time and money. Thanks Mother Nature.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring planting is underway!

Spring is in the air, and the spring planting has begun! Since the tragic overgrown mesquite tree in the common area of last year, I've decided to give it another go this year and see if my vegetables fair better this season. So this morning I made the obligatory trip to home depot to pick up some more seeds and some transplants.

It's year three for planting in the same plot, and I finally feel like all the elements are in place for a successful growing season. 2010 was the first year for planting, I had to make the plot, try and enrich the dirt, and keep my menace feline out of the garden. Last year. 2011, my poor seedlings faced too much shade from the cursed overgrown mesquite. This year the mesquite is not overgrown, the dirt in my plot has had three years of attempted growing, and treatment, and hopefully.. fingers crossed, this year will be the year of successful veggies. I've set the irrigation timer for 10 minutes of watering at 5 a.m. Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesday mornings.

I went ahead and bought 5 different tomato plants to see which one produces the best. I bought a Husky Cherry, Cherokee Purple Heirloom, Big Boy hybrid, Sweet n' Neat, and Golden Jubilee. I also bought 3 bell pepper transplants, 1 jalepeno, and 1 Italian Parsley.

I planted green onions, cantelope, cucumber, yellow squash, zucchini, beans, and carrots from seed in the hopes they will germinate successfully.

I also have started re-started the aerogarden with a custom assortment of Basil, Cilantro, Oregano, Italian Parsley,  Dill, Mint, and Thyme, all are doing very well.
So hopefully this spring will be the best most productive veggie season ever.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fall planting contemplation..

Watermelon, cucumber, sugar pumpkins, squash.. these are all on my list for fall planting. I'm also considering leeks, lettuce, carrots, spinach, and yes.. I haven't given up on some more tomatoes.
I'm also thinking of spreading out my veggies, and what I mean by that is utilizing the eastern side of the house, and determining if I'll have more luck there.
I'm also having an issue with my cat. Now my cat is an indoor/outdoor cat. I've been successful at keeping her out of my garden via a bird net, but literally you have to circumnavigate the piles of carefully scraped together gravel/leaves/mesquite residue to reach it. I'm a bit concerned that by cultivating the eastern side I'll be inviting her to infiltrate the non-cat contaminated sections of my yard. I wish there was a beneficial usable reason for cat excrament. I know that sounds crazy, but for crying out loud how could that much "crap" for lack of a better word come out of such a small creature?
Peta will hate me for this, but thank goodness she's halfway thru her life cycle. I'm foreseeing only barn cats in my distant future. ha ha.
I also read about watering your space down, and covering it with plastic for 6 weeks to kill any pests that may hinder future growing seasons. I haven't heard about this before so I thought I'd solicit any tips about this particular method. According to what I read it will make temperatures under the plastic heat up to 140 degrees chasing off nemotodes, and killing weed seeds.
Is 6 weeks to long to put off planting for fall??

Friday, July 1, 2011

Disaster Strikes..

They say bad things come in three's, and I can't say I disagree. After threatening possible future damage to my roof from the mesquite tree in the common area, my HOA decided to approve the bid to get it trimmed. And trim they did, I have to say I think this may be the tallest mesquite tree I have ever seen in my life!

During the process of trimming said tree, my garden took quite a beating. It is now fairly pathetic looking, not to mention how it took the HOA 3 weeks to approve the bid, therefore it went from being 80 degrees outside to 113 degrees. Now it's just me, but taking a garden that is constantly in the shade, to full sun for at least 4 hours in 113 degrees seems like a surefire killer to me.

All in all, I've lost the above Zucchini, and a Squash. My tomatoes were on their way out anyway, so I'm not including those in the tally. Next year I'm taking a different strategy with the tomatoes and starting them on the east side of the house where they will get full morning sun, and shade in the afternoon. I also think it will be a better watering schedule for them as they won't be lumped in with the rest of my garden. I only got 4 tomatoes total. Very disappointing! As far as the herbs go, my garden basil never got anywhere because of the shade situation, my mint is hardy and ok, and my oregano is eeking by, literally. The bright spot in all this is my eggplant, and my survivor basil.

These two little guys have beat the odds. The one two the left is the basil that was eaten up by bugs and was looking pretty bad. I decided not to put it in my garden because of the poor shape. Who knew that this would be my master performer. I like to think of it as my "comeback kid"!! The little guy to the right is also a survivor, it sprung up when I was harvesting seeds from my other durable reliable plant.

With these two small victories, I have hope that someday soon, I will find sucess with this process. Now I need to figure out when and what to start planting for fall. I know it's hot, but I'm trying to start thinking ahead. To recap: the first challenge I faced was the transition from shade to full sun and heat; the second was the beating from the landscapers, and the third happened the very same day.
I came home from work to discover that the irrigation was on and had been for quite some time.
I immediately turned my control box to off hoping that would fix the problem. It didn't, and for the next hour I wracked my brain on what to do, searched the internet frantically for a solution, and impatiently waited until my neighbors husband got home from work so he could help me.
Needless to say, the garden got flooded, which aided to the demise of my squash, zucchini, and sent any life that might have been left in my tomatoes to the grave.
LOL.. like I said there is so much emotion in having a garden that I liken it to having children. Hopefully all will turn out ok, but you just never know.
In summation, I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Chef Stephanie Petersen for my beautiful new porch ornament that has my blog name on it! I love it!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

HOA woes...

I'm now going to take this opportunity to bitch and moan about my HOA. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. HOA's in general are NO BUENO. While I do understand the need for a standard of keeping the yard nice in a community year round, what I do NOT understand, is that we have a semi-gated community and a "community" area that is not maintained!
What I mean by semi-gated is that our community is two communities meshed together. 70% of our for lack of a better word "circle", consists of homeowners, and the remaining 30% consists of condo owners/renters who are not included under the umbrella of our HOA. There is however another gate on the "condo" end of the 'circle' that is permanently open. Therefore the allure of our exclusive gated community instantly loses it's polish once the realization that any joe shmoe with half a brain figures out the alternative entrance.
The permanent open gate aside, the gate on our "the housing" side of the community is CONSISTENTLY broken!!!
One more thing, why, why, am I paying $420 a year, for a community area that is NOT maintained, and by maintained I mean the trees being trimmed instead of hanging ominously over the western side of my house, restricting the flourishing of my garden.
Granted I could climb up to my roof, and risk slipping on the roofing tiles and breaking something, or heaven for bid falling off and doing more damage and trim the branches myself. Instead I took the proactive route and fired off an email to "the powers that be" aka the HOA requesting a schedule of when it will be trimmed.
Here was my response: "We will have to see when they can trim the tree. Will keep you posted."
How vague, impersonal, and deeply dissatisfying!!
In conclusion, I would like to thank my HOA for revoking any sense of trust that my quarterly "donation" to your cause has given me. In addition, you suck.