How does your garden grow?

My One Word this year is “grow” — or rather wachsen, which means “to grow” in German.

And grow it has!

After putting it off for the past several years, we decided to grow a garden.  Our 1st 2 attempts were not…..shall I say, fruitful?  This time we did it right: compost, actual dirt, a system to keep the dirt in place — basic stuff.  That part of the Bible that says, “Do not build your house on sand” (Matt 7:26) – they meant it.  All your nutrients/dirt/plants/dreams will eventually be swallowed up by the ever shifting sands, as I learned a couple of years ago the hard way.

Up front we have our “tomato box” filled with what I believe are cherry tomatoes.  In the back we’re growing green peppers, basil, radishes (we’ve made so many so far we’re giving them away!), spinach, and zucchini.  The zucchini is inhibiting our spinach growth by hoarding the sunlight.  Because we used our compost, we’ve had some random plants growing spontaneously.  The one we’ve allowed to grow is a vine and we’re not sure what it is.  The General and I have a $10 bet on it.  I say it’s a watermelon.  He thinks it’s some sort of squash.  (If it does not fruit to the point  where we can tell what it is, all bets are off).  Whatever it is, it is taking over valuable real estate, so we guided it to grow out into the yard.

Speaking of watermelons, I have some growing in a pot on my deck.  All the seeds germinated (!!!!!), so now I have to figure out where I’m going to replant some of them.  Last time I grew watermelons it was right before I left for college and I had a couple dozen of them.

Because we have squirrels that love to mess with our plants, we put bird netting over our garden and it’s held down by staples and the square wood poles.  It’s worked out wonderfully.  The only problem I’ve had with the bird netting were the snakes that kept getting themselves tangled in it.  I had to cut out a corn snake who got himself wedged in there pretty well.  Once we trimmed the excess netting, no more snakes have been harmed.  I’d much rather have a snake problem than a rodent problem.

And so it grows: I can feel the sands of change across my life as I’m trying to grow in this sandy compost mix of dirt I find myself in.  I have no idea where the Lord is leading me or what’s going to happen next.  In some ways, I love the adventure.  Other times, I want an outline.

I wish I could talk to myself in the future.  What will the future me think of what is going on now?

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Make like an egg and beat it

Pennsylvania was awesome, we had such a great time with the family there.  I went face first into the pierogies and learned of a new Polish dish: haluski (which basically means cabbage and noodles).  I’m really getting into the whole heritage cooking bit.  Here’s a recipe I found, but haven’t tried yet.  The General, who is half Polish, commented he didn’t care much for this.  Are you kidding me?!  This stuff was amazing!

The craziest part of the 12 hours in a car was the last stretch of curving mountainous highway at 4am.  I was driving – and getting very tired, I probably shouldn’t have been driving at this point – and Google maps tells us to take a right hand turn.  It was a dirt road.  We kinda laughed about it. “If directions to your house include, ‘turn off the paved road,’ you might be a redneck.”  And then it went from dirt road to boulder field.  We’re in a little hatchback, this car was not designed for a dirt road with rocks as big as one’s head.  Remember playing Oregon Trail as a kid and at the end you have to do that river part where you’re dodging logs?  Same concept here.  Luckily, this was the last road to take, and 5 scary minutes later, we pulled into the homestead at 5:30am.  We turned off the ignition, leaned the seats back, and promptly fell into a deep slumber for 3 hours before we woke up for the party.  All of my nieces and nephews where there – we got huge family picture – and we had a blast.  I played what I called “Polish volleyball:”  it’s volleyball where there are no set positions and you serve from the wrong side of the court.  It was hilarious, but a lot of fun.

The past couple of days haven’t been kind to me.  I decided to head on into an angry looking ocean the other day with nearly head high shorebreak.  I got up to my ankles and a big wave came.  I tried to block it with my board, but instead, the ocean pushed the board into my forehead and knocked me down backwards, rolled, and pushed me.  I have a goose egg on my forehead, which lucky for me, hasn’t started changing colors.  My back was scraped up, but the muscular strain was much worse.  I sat on the beach for a few to collect myself – I really thought I had a concussion.  I’m fine.  A little wiser now, too.

Work has been crazy.  That place really stresses me out.  I have a hard time not getting frustrated.  Especially when you’re there for 11 hours and you’re  doing some mundane task like counting cells under a microscope when you should be half way through a cup of tea on the couch at home.

I feel I haven’t been using my mornings effectively.  I’ve tried to limit my time on Facebook and spend more time in my quiet time, but it never seems to work out on the stage of real life.

I’m not sure if it was from the reunion or my love affair with s’mores, or me being non-compliant with my thyroid Rx,  but my weight is on it’s way up.  I started back on my vegetarian diet and all was going well until last night: I saw the soup at work was “vegetarian beet” and I was like, “Huh, I don’t care for beets, but I will try it!”  Well, the hand written sign actually said “beef” not “beet.”  Oops.  Oh well, I ate it and it was really good.

I should have gone out surfing this morning, but the waves didn’t look too good on the cam, despite the ocean looking like pepper with all the surfers out there.  It was a cool 21C morning, so we went running.  Ran a 5k in 34 minutes ::sigh::  It’s racing season and I need to seriously get my butt in gear with some speedwork if I want to actually run a respectable time.

I’m going to miss the summer, but I’m sorta looking forward to fall.  I want both.  I want some fall days mixed in with those awesome summer days.

It ain’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle

I love to eat.  I love food.  It’s the 1/4 French Canadian in me.  This week, more by chance than by planning, I went vegetarian.  No meat.  I still ate cheese, dairy, etc.

I gained 2 pounds.  LOL.

It went fairly well and it wasn’t a struggle — giving up meat is like giving up alcohol: sure, I’ll miss it but I won’t crave it like I would Nutella.  Or chocolate.  Or sweets in general.  That would probably require a detox program to keep me in line.

I don’t plan to make this a permeant lifestyle change – there’s actually a term for it – flexitarian, or “semi-vegetarian.”  I usually order the vegetarian option when I’m out at a restaurant just because meat is expensive and it’s probably highly processed with tons of added Na+.  I won’t become militant about it either — I’m not going to say, “Oh, I’ve had meat twice this week, I’m done!”  If I’m offered a steak, I will eat it!  It’s just more of a direction; like trying to cut back on sweets and eat healthier in general.  I also have given up pop, unless it contains rum.  I really only drink tea or water now; juice, if it’s fresh.  I still love my martinis and glass of wine or cocktail — it’s just not as often.

I found the most amazing website that has all these yummy meal ideas on it – which include meat – the recipes are simple and gourmet that are bikini friendly.  I keep finding all these vegetarian websites that use ingredients I’ve never heard of.  Today I plan to make dinner off this website — if it turns out, I’ll post what I did 😉