gardening

Garden Update (Winter Version) and Dreaming of Spring

mulched garden

My garden isn’t looking very pretty right now, but I think it has a certain orderliness about it.  Don’t you?

mulched garden
Enjoy the non-orderly parts of the my garden, ha!

I try my hardest to do a thorough mulching job on it before winter really hits so that it can sit and compost until it’s time to plant in April and May.  There are two reasons for this:

  1. It makes your soil much richer.  Basically, you’re fertilizing it without adding fertilizer.  Nature does all the work 🙂 (Kind of….I mean, you do have to go through the motions and work of adding the mulch,lol)
  2. The mulch acts as a weed barrier against those early spring weeds (and even summer ones!)

Most years, due to fall harvest (which starts in mid-October and drags on until the first of December, unlike the speediness of wheat harvest!) I don’t get to the mulching until January.  Plus, during the last couple years, we haven’t even gotten a freeze until almost Thanksgiving.  I’m not going to pull out perfectly wonderful producing tomato plants until nature kills them good and dead 😉

This year, God saw fit to give us a hard freeze in mid-October and then bless us with a blissful Indian summer!  So, I was able to get the garden cleaned up and mulched.

The last couple years I put down cardboard then a heavy layer of cow manure, then forked the straw on top of that.  I tell ya, doing this has transformed my clay soil!  It just crumbles in my hand now and smells so good!  (Only a true gardener could think composted manure could smell good, right??)

This fall I just laid down cardboard (and only over the area that I let go too much to grass this summer…sigh…) and then put lots of straw over that.  I also did a section with old alfalfa.  I’m curious if I’ll notice a difference between the alfalfa and the straw this summer while everything is growing.

I have one bare spot that I didn’t quite have enough straw to cover at the time, but I figure on a decent January day, I’ll bring up some small squares and cover that.  The rest of the garden I used old round bales, which I personally prefer because you can cover a large area pretty quickly with a pitchfork.  Unfortunately, our new baler makes much tighter bales and Jeff said I wouldn’t be able to fork any off of those, so once my stash is used up, I’m stuck using small squares forever after.

I can see my garden from my bedroom window and I love looking out at it and pondering what and where I’ll plant everything….

Which brings me to my next subject:  Seed catalogs!!!!

Who else loves perusing these things during the dead of winter???  Me!!!!  *hand raised*

seed catalogs
See the Seed Savers on top there? If you don’t usually get that, go to their website and get on their mailing list! Their catalog is the best!!

My very favorite is the Seed Savers catalog.  The pictures are just GORGEOUS and so inspiring!  Plus they have historical descriptions, which the history buff inside of me LOVES.

This is always the first one to arrive at my house.  I grab a sharpie and start marking anything and everything that intrigues me.  Later in February when it’s actually time to order, I go through and realistically whittle my dream list down.  I always try to pick one new thing every year.  Sometimes they end up amazing (like the year I grew popcorn and Indian corn!) and sometimes they totally flop (the year I tried Kansas cantaloupes…).  And like every year, nothing ever stays the same and I can rarely repeat my successes!

Gardening, though, is really an addiction like gambling (your depending on chance for success!), but a healthier one, right??

 

Are you dreaming of spring??  What do you plan on growing this year?

Feel free to share with your friends!
fitness

CrossFit Update (7 Months!)

crossfit update

I cannot believe that it’s been 7 months since I started CrossFit!!  This is the longest I have stuck with a consistent fitness program and I can tell.  I figured a little update was in order….

I started CrossFit at the end of May last year and figured I’d stick with it until Labor Day.  This was mostly because our local group ran a deal that was good until then.

Generally speaking, even though I’ve been working out regularly for 4 years, I don’t stick with any one thing for more than 2-3 months, so this 7 month anniversary is a big deal for me, lol!

Here are the things I’ve noticed:

It took 6 months before I really started seeing major body changes.  Even Jeff and the kids have noticed that my arms are a lot more toned!  Jeff also said my cellulite on the back of my legs is disappearing (yay!).  I don’t pay attention to the scales (I was anorexic in college and stay away from weighing myself because I’m too afraid of obsessing about a number) but my jeans are much looser now.  Even though I was thin before this, I was “skinny fat” and apparently had room to lose some inches.

I’ve gotten a LOT stronger!  I lifted weights my senior year of high school and I remember at the beginning only being able to back squat the bar (45 lbs) but by the time I graduated I could squat 145 lbs.  I still have to use bands to help with my pull ups, but I can use smaller ones.  I can also add some weight to the bar for various exercises.  Plus burpees are easier 🙂

Even though I haven’t really run any long distances, I know my time is better!  We did a workout called “Murph” back in November and part of that is running a mile, then doing other stuff, then running another mile.  My workout partner/ friend timed us and we ran a 10 minute mile, which is UNHEARD of for me!

I’ve gotten accustomed to that 5 am wake up twice a week.  I used to say that one of the reasons I could never do CrossFit is because early morning would be the only time I had available and there was NO WAY I could wake up that early and work out!  Well, I have obviously proven myself wrong 😉

 

I plan on sticking with CrossFit indefinitely now!  A local friend goes with me and we take turns carpooling, which is added motivation for getting out of bed in the morning (especially these cold mornings where it’s in the single digits!).  I love, love, love the changes I’ve seen!  I haven’t been in this great of shape ever!  I seriously feel better at 38 than I did at 18 🙂  One of my general life goals is to be feeling and looking awesome at 40 and continuing that so I can be a very active grandma someday and still continue to take care of Reece.

I would highly recommend CrossFit to anybody and everybody.  If you’re in the Winfield area, check us out!  We have a fabulous morning group and we all have a great time sweating together, lol.

What does your workout routine look like?  Have you tried CrossFit before?

Feel free to share with your friends!
2018 Goals, everything, fitness, gardening

2018 Goals and My Word of the Year

2018 goals and word of the year

OK, so I’ve always been one to have resolutions or goals at the start of a new year.  Ever since I was a kid, I’d write them down in my diary or really ponder something.  As an adult, those resolutions became things like “Keep the house cleaner.”  Oh-so exciting and specific, right?

Usually my resolutions revolved around my faults and very often, I never lived up to what I thought I should do.  I didn’t have a clear definition, though, just a general idea.

This year I’m trying it differently.  I’m going to list out my specific goals (and give you periodic updates!) and also have a word that sums it all up.

To kick it off, I’ll start off with my Word of the Year!

Ready for it????

COMPLETION

So, this isn’t anything abstract about anything “completing me” (anybody else hear the line from “Jerry Maguire” in their head??).

No, this was actually my sister’s idea because I have the horrible habit of coming up with great ideas and not fully completing them.  Sure, I’ve completed a few things in the past (like fully training for and running a half marathon last year), but I’ve also started a lot or thought about starting a lot of various projects (reading the Bible in a year, making a quilt for my bed, etc.)

I’m determined this is my year to complete things!!

2018 goals

On that note, here are my 2018 goals:

Spiritual Life:

 1  Read the Bible in a year (I bought the One Year Bible last year and got to April…. so I’m going to keep going with that)

Start a prayer journal (I did this for a couple months a year ago and loved it.  Not sure why I quit…)

Fitness:

Continue CrossFit twice a week

Do yoga 3 days a week (I actually did really, really good with this during September and most of October, but fall harvest caused a snag and I fell off the wagon)

Run the Junebug Jog in under 35 minutes (I’m a notoriously slow runner and this particular run is always super humid, but it’s the only 5K I plan on doing this year)

Gardening:

Plant a large strawberry patch (I had a fabulous one about 10 years ago and ever since I’ve had a heck of a time getting another good one going.  This time, I already have my patch ready now so that the strawberries can get in the ground at the proper time without weed pressure)

Put zinnias all around the garden perimeter (I made it on one side this last year and I loved it!  I saved enough seed to make it all the way around this year, I think.  My mother-in-law said that her dad always did this to his garden and as a kid, she just thought it was so beautiful.)

Blogging:

Publish a post once a week (I still need to pick a specific day and always shoot for that….)

Learn pinterest from a blogging perspective

Finance:

Try a budgeting app (I have never budgeted in all the years we’ve been married!!)

Farming:

Start selling eggs again

Sell broilers again

Hobbies:

Finish my quilt by March 1!!!!

2  Paint my milk can end tables white (a future post about that is in the works…)

There you have it!  It is now on the internet for all the world to see 🙂

What are your goals for 2018?  Do you have a word of the year?  Does anyone else have trouble completing things, lol??

Feel free to share with your friends!