Planting the Salad Crops

The days have been lovely and warm this week.  I ended up taking two days off from work to recover.  I still feel wobbly, but not awful – just tired, but I really wanted to take advantage of the comfortable temperature today to work in the yard.  I added some manure to one of the square foot garden beds and put in the salad crops.

10398736_10208874805686445_8949625700541521115_nThose are peas over by the trellis.  I started them indoors about four weeks ago and hardened them off this week.  They should be OK.  The other plants you see (if you can) are spinach and chard.  Filling the rest of the squares are three types of lettuce, a cabbage, radishes, carrots, and beets.  Some were direct sown, some already started.  Although our final frost date isn’t until April 15, I feel as if we have probably seen the last of the freezing temperatures.  As early as it is, if something does freeze, there will be plenty of time to direct sow later if need be.

I weeded the other square foot bed some more today.  It is going to take a ton of work to get back in shape, but it is more than half way there.  Moe is a little irritated with me for leaving clumps of weeds in the yard, but I don’t have enough energy to gather them up.  I’ll send one of the children out later to take care of it.  Once this bed is cleaned up I will put in the other plants.  Still not sure if I’ll waste it on the watermelon the kids want.  Ideally, we’ll get that grape arbor put in and I’ll plant the watermelon under that so I can put some better behaved plants in the bed.

Touring the yard, I found that the lilac appears to have made it through the winter, as well as the lillies, one of the peonies for sure, and the cherry trees.  All of the daffodils in the back are setting blooms, and the ones I planted out front in December are coming up.  Most of the tulips came up too, and one is setting a bud, so yay!

12814182_10208874797966252_8577431098681075097_nI should go shopping and pick up a new drop spreader so I can fertilize the yard, but I’m beat.  Instead, I’ll play the violin, read a book, and maybe knit.  There’s always tomorrow, right?


On Modifications

You may or may not recall my discussion on violin cases earlier this year A Case for a Violin Case

Yesterday my bespoke case finally arrived from Italy. It is perfect and exactly what I wanted.

my violin case

The company custom fit it to my violin. The only quirk is that they kept the 4/4 size case and used the dimensions I provided for my 3/4 fiddle, which is actually not a standard 3/4 in width. For that reason, the case appears extra long, but the lower bout fitted section is actually wide enough to fit the profile.

In other news, I am going to move away from the 17 day diet for a while. I’m dropping the weight I want. Unfortunately, I’m also slipping back into an ED mindset. The last thing I need is to be skinny, but unhealthy so I’m taking with me the concepts of the diet that pertain to healthy food choices, but I’m no longer going to worry about being so strict. Amazing and frightening how after 20 some odd years of recovery that I can still think like an anorexic.

Of Spinach Greens and Other Things

Plants grow so slowly.  I’m not usually an instant gratification sort of person, but I’m eager to see some sort of positive results.  There are some, but nothing nearly as dramatic as I had hoped.  We are 30 days post-sowing for most things, and about half still only have first or second leaves still.  Radishes should be ready by now.  One seems ready to pick.  The majority aren’t even close.  I think I may not have mixed my soil properly, because the spinach has some yellowing on the outer leaves too, and everything seems to be growing much slower and remaining much smaller than I remember from when we used to plant directly into the earth.  I expect the problem is that I underestimated the volume of compost needed.  Now that the plants are in, the only solution I can see is either top dressing, or fertilizing.

In other garden news, the frost did not completely kill those two tomatoes, the two peppers, or the nasturtiums.  They are back!  It took some time for the plants to recover, but they are sending out new shoots and leaves so I have hopes that we will see them mature.  The replanted cucumbers have first leaves now too.  The onions are doing quite well, with only one succumbing to failure so far.

I think I will buy some Miracle Gro; and in the meantime harvest some spinach leaves and that radish for dinner tonight so I don’t feel like such a loser.

Here’s the radish.  Still a bit twee, but tasty!


The diet is going well and is encouraging me to get creative for meals.  We had fallen into a bit of a rut and keep going back to the old tried and true favorites, which get boring after a while.  Since those don’t work for me right now, I have been trying new recipes, which I make enough of each time to let everyone try.  Saturday night I learned how to make cauliflower breadsticks.  It’s not bread, but they make a great substitute when bread is out of bounds.  Everyone liked them, so it’s something I will make again.  The recipe makes a decent pizza crust too.  I will be trying that next.

Last night I wasn’t as well prepared as I was for the breadsticks.  I ended up Googling for a few ideas with the contents of the pantry in mind.  What we came up with were tuna burgers.  The tuna patties turned out fantastic!  One of the children declared they were good enough to eat, which from an eleven year old translates to a compliment.  The youngest was turned off by the fishy smell.  He ended up pouring himself a bowl of cereal instead.  Can you tell we never serve tuna fish?

17 Day Diet, Day 2

Several years ago I tried the 17 Day Diet.  I managed to get through the first 14 days, and lost 11 pounds.  Having recently reached my highest non-pregnancy weight, I knew I had to do something.  I also know that this diet plan works for me, so here I am on day 2 of the first 17 day cycle.

For those who are unfamiliar with the book, there are four cycles of 17 days each.  The first lets you eat lots of lean meat, unlimited amounts of certain vegetables, low fat cheese, yogurt, and some fruits.  In the morning, one is supposed to drink a glass of hot water with half a lemon squeezed in.  Green tea should be drunk with each meal, and a total of 64 oz. water drunk each day.  Those of us with a caffeine addiction can have black coffee or a diet soda but they don’t count towards water intake.  The second cycle alternates that combo with the addition of limited carbohydrates every other day.  I’m not sure how the other two cycles work, because I’ve never made it that far.

Day one went really well, only I got really hungry late last night and had an apple.  Fruits aren’t to be eaten after 2pm so that was a no-no.  Even with that late night snack, I was about 200 calories below my goal.  Trust me, you have to eat a lot of food to get the expected number of calories when the food is so much less full of fat and carbs.  Right now, I am full to bursting and haven’t even had half my calories for the day. I feel like all I have done is eat.  How I am ever going to get enough food in me, I’ll never know.

On the other hand, I’m definitely not hungry, the food I am eating fits the definition of clean eating, and I feel great.  I expected to feel tired and cranky, but I don’t.  I have lots of energy and feel fantastic!  My system just really seems to prefer salads to sandwiches.  I’m going to get really tired of eating salads in two weeks, but for now, it’s a bit of a novelty.  To say that my food had gotten really out of hand is an understatement.

A normal day of eating for me up to this point might have included a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast, tuna on rye with chips for lunch, and pizza for dinner.  Then there might be some cookies or ice cream as a treat.  See a common theme there?  Every meal featured carbs.  No wonder I have been so tired!  Aside from the occasional pickle, or onion, there’s been nary a vegetable in my life for a long time.  Just in the last two days I have eaten more fruit and vegetables than I have in a month. 

The charts and whatnot say that I am 50 pounds overweight.  Honestly, I will be happy with a total loss of half that.  A 25 pound loss will put me in a normal BMI range.  Today, my BMI is 29.4, which is 0.6 away from what is considered obese.  I know that I’m fat, but would never have considered myself to be obese.  As an aside, I would have to lose 63 pounds to weigh what I did in my early 20’s, just as a comparison for those who have known me that long.


A Rant Against Pinkwashing

Last night I was at VA Blood Services doing my regular leaking blood into a bag thing.  When I was all done and the phlebotomist was getting ready to tape up my arm, she asked me what color tape I wanted.  After asking for and getting the options, I chose red.  I like red.  Red is pretty, and it went with my outfit for the day.  Instead, she picked up the pink tape and tried to convince me to change my mind with a cheery “But it’s breast cancer month!”. 

Although she seemed a bit put off when I insisted on red, we moved on to more interesting subjects, such as zombies, and which were our favorite zombie movies.  But I still feel a bit annoyed.  I don’t really need any more “Awareness” pushed at me.  I am plenty aware of breast cancer month.  How can we not be when even Pro football players are sporting pink shoes these days?  I can’t even get a bottle of water without dodging a gamut of pink ribbons on every conceivable product.

I’ve got breasts.  I have known people with breast cancer.  I have had it touch my life in a personal way.  Trust me, I’m fully aware of the issue.  Please stop asking me for money to support research.  Did you know that many of the companies profiting from pinkwashing are not donating a cent to research?  Look it up.  You might be surprised how few of your donated dollars are getting utilized for cancer prevention and cures. 

My advice is to donate directly to the foundation you want to have your money, and forget about all this feel-good, gimicky advertising hype.  And take care of your breasts, which (by the way) means taking care of you.  Quit messing with pink.  Pink was a perfectly good color until this stupid ribbon nonsense got hold of it.

9Round is Not for Me

One of my coworkers was raving about a fitness concept called 9Round.  It is supposed to be a kickboxing version of Curves.  You know the deal – come in, work 9 stations, changing every 3 minutes, with calisthenics in between.  Supposedly a trainer is there to help you through the process.  Coworker said it was the best workout she had ever had and she had fun besides.  She invited a few of us to come check it out last night, so out of curiosity I went.


Based on the hype, I thought it would be cool pounding on punching bags and getting my sweat on.  After all, boxers are pretty fit.  It should have been a good workout.


It wasn’t.


The “trainer”, a 20-something tattooed wanna-be with about 6 pounds of makeup and dyed black hair, strapped pink (seriously?) boxing gloves on me, pointed me to a station and said “tap this lightly until the bell goes off”.  Um, really?  Just tap it?  How is this a workout?  Why did you bother making me wear gloves?  But I couldn’t ask her those questions because she flipped her hair and flounced off somewhere.


But it gets funnier.  For the interval she told me to hold a 10 pound dumbbell and do 20 squats.  No problem.  First she asked if the weight was too heavy.  Um, no.  Then she criticized my squats.  See, I’m used to doing a full range of motion squat with an Olympic bar plus weights.  She wanted me to only bend my knees 45 degrees on the theory that I would hurt myself. ( ‘Cause you know, I’m a fat old lady that has one foot hovering over a wheelchair, and the other foot in the grave.} Nice.  Where’d she get her training certificate – Wikipedia?  Does she even have one?


The “workout” got more stupid from there.  She even said she didn’t want to kill us on the first day so she wouldn’t ask us to run with the rest of the people there.  I was wearing one of my race shirts.  That’s usually a clue to people that running won’t kill me.  Observationally challenged, that one.


Needless to say, the “workout” was more of an anemic warm up for me.  My coworkers loved it.  Go figure.


On the way home, I decided to check out one of the new Cross Fit places.  I immediately felt more at home there.  People throwing big weights around and boot-camp style calisthenics is totally my scene.  The main issue with it is the huge time and money commitment.  I can’t justify spending so much money on an activity that forces me to be away from my family so much. 


*sigh*  I have so much potential.  I hate that word.  Potential means you’re falling short of what you can accomplish.  And it’s true, I am.  Looks like I’m still going to have to figure this out on my own.

Reversing Inertia

Apparently whining on my blog created a sense of responsibility to do something about what I feel are personal failings. For the last couple of days I’ve been eating slightly better. It hasn’t been great. These are the holidays after all.

I’ve done a bit more exercise, including a quickie run on Christmas Eve with my oldest boy. It felt good to get out there and the endorphin push helped nudge me a bit further out of my rut. Not only are my muscles waking up, it feels like I’m nudging my brain awake too.

There’s no routine, and I’m still messing up a lot. But it does feel better to be doing at least something. Small things may not make a physical difference; but my attitude is turning around, and that’s a wonderful change. Today I even did my hair and makeup for work. My coworkers must be wondering if I’m looking for a job or something.

Am I going to lose 50 pounds with just a few small changes? Nope. I do think every little bit helps though. Maybe small things will add up to big things over time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can build up some momentum.