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Gardening Woes

22 March 2011
I would love to have a garden. Problem is, I have no space for one. At least, I don't think I do.

I live in a townhouse with a large backyard, but the yard is shared with the other 20 houses and their (many) dogs. It is mowed once a week by the HOA people, and that's why I don't think square foot gardening would work here. I think they would get mad at me for having containers out there. Theoretically, I could maybe do a container on my deck, but my deck isn't very big (6x6', maybe.) We live on the side of a mountain, and the sunlight can be tricky here too.

So here are my options. I could maybe do a container garden in this basin we have at the bottom of the yard. No one ever goes in there, it is full of weeds and dirt. The main concern I have about this is that occasionally, it does rain in Utah, and if it rains more than a day or two in a row then this area gets full of water. I joke that we have lake-front property sometimes, bahahaha. I crack myself up.

My other two options are to walk about a block away and go plant a sneaky garden over in an empty lot. See here:

P1020598

Option 3 is to go behind our townhouses and plant a sneaky garden over here. See:

P1020600

In any of these scenarios, I am going to have to do a garden cover with chicken wire or something, because no matter what, there will always be deer around here.

So what do you think? Is it possible for me to have a garden, or should I just give up until we move to a house with its own yard? I did post on a few national garden-sharing websites, so that might get me a gardening space, but... you never know. Thoughts? Ideas?

Exercise sucks

19 March 2011
Exercise is not the answer, people.

Exercising HURTS. It makes your body HURT. It makes it hard to move. Exercise kills - for days. It doesn't feel good while you're doing it, it doesn't feel good the next day. It might feel good for about 3.5 seconds after you're done though. Till the tiredness gets you.

Exercising BITES. Cookies are the answer. Definitely cookies. Cookies make everything better.

I am boycotting exercise. I'd hold up a protest sign, but my arms hurt too much. Stupid exercise.

Videos of the Nerdlic

12 March 2011
Sparrow's been outdoing himself on cuteness lately and I've caught it on tape. These are all pretty short videos, so enjoy.

Sparrow performed at a talent show last night. His talent was "undetermined," since i figured anything I would ask him to do would be met with a "no thank you!" until I landed on something he liked. Surprisingly he only refused to do one thing before launching into... well, this.




Here's the kiddo "reading" one of his favorite stories.




And here he is enjoying his first bowl of Jell-O. No, he did not eat that entire bowl. He had about 3 bites before deciding it was more fun to stick his face in the bowl. I can't say I blame him - the Jell-O was expired and not a great flavor to begin with, but he did like playing with it!

Goals

11 March 2011
Sometimes I have goals that I just don't know how to go about attaining. Does that ever happen to you?

For example, I'd like to sing in a small group, quartet-y, mini-choir type thing. But how do I do that? Googling "small singing groups in Utah" is a little odd.

I'd like to learn French, Italian and German, but who am I going to practice with? I am so averse to Skype-ing random people in other countries it's not even funny. It freaks me out. At least with Spanish I have friends and family I can talk with and they can mock me and it's okay.

I want to run a 5K but it's got to stop freaking snowing. I am not running in the ice. And I will probably need to get a stroller so I can run with Sparrow, because I know me - I will not wake up early to exercise (ew!) and after Hawk gets home from work, I want to spend time with him, not go out on my own. The solution here is to make Hawk train with me, but he refuses to run and also there's the snow issue still.

Hey here's a goal I can attain. I need to decide before March 21 if I should have major, minor, or no surgery. We've prayed hard in this house, and are still praying, and I am leaning towards major. But part of my heart still cries out against it. Rat crackers. Being an adult is hard.

Ooh! Another goal I have is to figure out how to use my new phone. It's way cool but the user manual was useless and I have yet to have a moment to just sit and poke my way around this new piece of technology.

And I have a goal to train Sparrow to be a gentleman before I die. So maybe I will never die. Sweet.

Wordful Wednesday: National Women's Month

02 March 2011
Chocolate on my Cranium gives out awesome topic assignments every week but this is the first chance I've had to actually complete one. The topic this week is awesome women in our past.

Well let me tell you. I don't know much about my ancestral-women, but I know that the last 3 generations have been full of awesomeness.

For example, my great-grandma was one fascinating lady. Her name was Violet, but everybody called her Bunny. When she was a little girl, around 8 years old, her family moved to Albion, Idaho, which has fluctuated between 8 and 60 people in population. That doesn't count the tumbleweed, just so you know. The family rode in a buggy and it took a looong time to get there. Bunny had just gotten a beautiful white Persian kitten, and snuggled it constantly. At some point during the journey, they stopped off at a farm. The residents looked kind of poor and the farm was pretty shabby. Bunny held her white kitten close. A little girl came up and started petting the kitten. "I have a kitten too!" she said. She ran off and came back a moment later with a "sore-eyed cat." Nobody is really sure what that means, only just that it was an ugly, ugly little kitten. Well, my great grandma asked the little girl to trade, and left the Persian kitten at the shabby little farm. She was one amazing woman. She passed away in 2001 and I still miss her sometimes. I'm just grateful that I had 14 years to get to know her.

My grandma is pretty much the coolest person I know. Her husband passed away in the 70s, leaving Grandma with two daughters, ages 6 and 8. Grandma went back to school and became a teacher so she could support her family. She eventually got her Master's Degree as well. She worked her butt off for 30 years and gave her girls all sorts of neat experiences that other women might have dismissed as unattainable. She helped my mom raise me and I used to go spend every Friday night at her house (mostly to give my parents a break from me!) After I had Sparrow, Grandma flew to Arkansas to take care of us for 8 weeks - she ordered me not to clean a thing and spent the entire time deep-cleaning, organizing and interior-decorating my house. She is amazing. I love her guts and she is an amazing role model for me. She was recently called as the Relief Society president in her ward and she truly gives her all in her calling and is trying so hard. I am so proud of her.

My mom is also one of these fantastic women. She had me at age 19 and was the only one in her "young single mother" support group to not adopt out her baby. We lived with my grandma and aunt until I was 2 or 3, while Mom finished getting her degree. Mom married in 1990 and had 2 more babies. She worked as a kindergarten teacher for 10 years before going back to school to get her Master's in ...something... and became a Guidance Counselor. So not only did she raise her family, make time for her husband, and hold a full time job, but she also went to school full time and was active in her church and community. She insisted that we have dinner together as a family every night and for the most part, we did. She put up with 3 moody teenagers (not all at once though) and guided me through getting my Associate's Degree while I was in high school. She recently graduated with her Doctorate degree in Administration after doing all the schoolwork in about half the time as it normally takes. She is now preparing to send my little brother on a 2 year LDS mission to Paraguay and has offered to take care of Sparrow while I am recovering from an upcoming surgery. She also opened a special school 5 years ago that is an "early college high school" and she often hangs out with senators, governors, legistlature type people, and goes to charter school conferences often, so she can make her school and her students' experiences better. Whew.

I have a lot to live up to in terms of awesomeness! I am so grateful for the amazing women in my family. I love them and learn from them constantly. I hope someday my granddaughters will be proud of me the way I am proud of my grandmothers and mom.

Self Injury Awareness Day

01 March 2011
March 1 is Self Injury Awareness Day. As many of you know, I used to cut myself in order to escape negative feelings and to punish myself for not being perfect. For the last year I have been going to counseling to try and uh, get over myself, to put it lightly, as for a while I traded one form of self injury (cutting) for another (disordered eating.)

Well I'm not cured. I've been working on quitting Self Injury for 5 years now, and I wish I could say that it's been 5 years since I last cut. The struggle will likely always be there, but now that I am older and wiser (?) I know that there are other ways to deal with my feelings. And I can honestly say that after not cutting for 4 years, going back to it that one time was pretty disappointing. Good.

Self Injury is a non-suicidal behavior. I think most people don't understand that. Cutting didn't mean I wanted to kill myself, it was just my way of coping with negative feelings and thoughts. The most I cut was in December of 2005, when I was struggling with being out on my own for the first time and feeling unwanted by my family. I didn't have close friends at that point, and I was pretty much alone. Gradually, as I made more friends and became more comfortable in my own skin, I was able to move away from self injury. But it's still a rocky road, even now. Those thoughts and feelings don't go away, but my ability to cope with them is changing.

Having support is key. Friends and family who care but don't judge or push you into healing - that's what helped me most.

A great website for help and information about self injury is here. I thought I knew everything about self injury but this website taught me some things. Check it out, in honor of Self Injury Awareness Day.