Tuesday, July 08, 2014

A Few Things I Have Learned About Myself (As I Get Older)

It's funny to think about all the times in my 20's and early-30's I'd heard women say things about how they couldn't do certain things anymore, which things upset their stomach, "I can't lay on the floor or I'll never get up" etc.

I found it odd and couldn't relate, because nothing seemed to bother my stomach, give me black circles under my eyes, throw my back out... nothing was 'off limits' (other than staying up all night drinking... but even then it was a matter of staying in bed a few extra hours, a couple of Advil and a round of McD's to cure what ailed me). I always wondered if someday I would get to that point where my stomach couldn't handle things, I couldn't lift certain things for fear of throwing out my back, couldn't stay up all hours and just sleep it off the next day.

The answer is: yes. Getting (a little) older does do certain things to you. Now, I know if I ate a little better and exercised more (*cough* some *cough*) these things wouldn't as as much of an issue. Thing is, it sortof sneaks up on you, and you DON'T need to exercise or eat particularly well in your 20's and early 30's in order to feel okay. You just don't -- youth seems to take care of things for you. And even though I heard it 100 times or more, I really just didn't see this coming.

Anyway, I've learned a few things about myself lately. I know there will probably be plenty more to discover about myself as the years march on and things change, within and around me... but I thought it worth mentioning these new-found discoveries, for posterity if nothing else. How many more weird and wonderful things await me??

  • I can no longer drink diet pop. I used to go through a LOT of diet pop (sorry, "soda" for my 'merican friends) -- several 2L bottles of Diet Pepsi (in the States) and Coke Zero every week. No more! My stomach can't handle the stuff! For some strange reason if I have even a sip of diet/artificially sweetened pop, I get totally and utterly gassy :\ (Perhaps it's the 'pop' part of the equation rather than artificial sweeteners?) Either way - it's not a good scene. Bye bye Coke 0.
  • I need sleep. Not just I really like to sleep and I love my bed, but I NEED sleep. Without adequate sleep I have a hangover the next day -- irritable, lethargic, hangry, emotionally unbalanced, spaced out, shaky. I need it, I can't skip it, I can't cut back, can't function without 8 hours.
  • I can't handle a late night of drinking. I don't end up hung over for a few hours... I am hung over for days. DAYS. My body hurts. My head hurts. My thoughts are fuzzy, my stomach is twisted in knots. I can't do it. Bye bye raves! (haha)
  • I can't NOT drink water. I used to laugh at people who walked around with a bottle of water all the time. In my 20's, I literally NEVER drank water. Never. I remember talking to a health practitioner about water and they were recommending 8 glasses/day and I remember saying to them that I didn't drink water... ever. They were flabbergasted. I just didn't need to. Now? My skin gets yucky, my joints hurt, I feel weak and lethargic, and lately I get this annoying hacky cough if I don't drink enough water. Weird right?
  • A day of gardening WILL result in achy back, knees, shoulders. You can't feel it at the time but the same types of things that would have absolutely no lasting effect when you were younger are suddenly a recipe for Advil, hobbling, and much moaning and back-holding. What's next for me... Ben Gay??
  • Hair on face. Yep. It's real. It happens. You're just there plucking your eyebrows and everything is where it should be and BAM! What the HELL is that?? HUGE black hair sticking out from your jawline. WHAT?? How long has that been there?? Gaah. Pluck pluck pluck. Images flashing in my mind of watching my mother doing the same thing, back when I was young and she was... OMG.
Perhaps it's just that as we age, we become more 'in tune' with our bodies and what we need in order to feel our best... maybe it's not that I've changed, but that I'm finally starting to understand the cause/effect of what's going in and what's coming out? Or... maybe it IS just age (and three kids / full time job / cats / husband / household / creaky body etc....) Either way it's fascinating and strange to think that things actually "affect" me in ways they never have. And I'm not sure I like it all that much. 

Just... please, tell me I don't have to give up red wine. I.Will.Die.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Garden Update! Terrified of what's headed our way...

There was a point where I thought this year's garden was going to be a 'no go'. Almost all of the transplanted dudes were looking sad, limp, and pathetic. The seeds I sowed didn't' seem to be doing much of anything. I sighed and started thinking about heading to the garden centre and starting over from scratch.

But then... time, heat, sun and water (and a little bit of picking off bugs, pruning suckers, dusting with diatomaceous earth, spraying with epsom salt water, adding bonemeal, replanting plants pulled out by toddler hands...) worked their magic and lo and behold, a garden -- a real life garden -- emerged. Waa Laa!! 
End of June - lots of lettuce, peas just starting to shoot up (they now have mesh to climb)

Everything growing!
Things started to grow! The transplants bounced back! Well, all except the peppers, all the leaves fell off the pepper plants... not sure what happened there. But the tomato plants are miraculously all thriving! The lettuce went berserk, the peas shot up about 6" in a matter of days. Amazing :)

I can now see loads of little green tomatoes all over the plants, we've been enjoying romaine and leaf lettuce and green onions galore, and even some mystery greens that came as part of a mix and are delicious. I had my first sugar snap pea yesterday... incredible. I've picked a bunch of slugs out (and catapulted them into the woods), as well as a few weird grasshopper-looking dudes, but besides that things are rolling along. Things are happening, and it's good.


It couldn't have been that easy. No no no.

Now, just when we have all the lovely little baby veggies peeking their little heads out -- we're getting THIS nonsense:

A freaking hurricane.

I am literally sick to my stomach worrying about what this is going to do to my garden. I know there are so many other (valid) things to worry about and this really should not be one of them... but I will be so, so upset if we lose the garden after all this work, seeing these plants go from seed to huge plants to wilting and nearly dying after transplant to coming back in full force. All those little baby veggies just wanting to live and be FREE! And get EATEN! :)

Really though -- I don't know what to do about this. I don't know how to protect them. If I can manage it I will throw some plastic over the hoops and attach them as best I can but with gale-force winds and 50+ mm of rain, I'm not sure there's anything I CAN do.

I am going to cry.

Monday, June 02, 2014


It seems that every other week or so, I let my life  u n r a v e l ...

I start staying up too late searching for random things online ("how to compost", "calico kitten names", "Skylanders birthday party" - damn you, Pinterest) and watching The Bachelorette (insert ashamed face here). I'm all tired because of not enough sleep and no exercise, so I'm getting up late. I'm rushing to get hair brushed and people dressed and out the door, I'm late for work, tired all day, not getting my sh*t done, rushing to get the kids fed and and bags packed for whatever activity (so much for simplifying), and by the time evening rolls around I'm too tired to do anything but pack lunches and grab my phone to look up that thing I was supposed to do last week.

I know what I need to do... I know how to keep the train on the track. I just... tend to let things slip every now and then. It's amazing how quickly things can go from organized - schedules written on whiteboards, birthday presents bought, laundry in a reasonable state of doneness - to a COMPLETE HOT MESS of "Oh crap the soccer stuff is wet" and "what will we feed the kids - cheese strings and crackers is a good supper, right?".

The garden has been left to completely fend for itself - I have no idea if all my hard work has been for naught because I haven't really spent much time out there. We brought two adorable kittens home and still haven't named them (soon!). We have The Boy's 7th birthday party this weekend and I've done NOTHING to prepare. The Girl has been complaining of a toothache for several days and we still don't have a dentist appointment made. The weeds in our garden beds are taking over. And on and on it goes...


Time to get this train back on the damn track. It's abundantly clear to me that as The Mom, I can't just let things slip anymore. We used to have that luxury, when we had no kids, or even one little one, and could get away with snacks for supper and no laundry done. But with all these people relying on things moving in the right direction all the time, we just need to KEEP ON. Schedules written, clothes washed, things done in advance, sleep had, so The Mom can get up at the crack of dawn and get it all rolling for another day.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Garden Update: Busy Busy Busy!

The weather is warm, things are growing in the garden and I've been busy - which explains why I've been MIA on the blog... I've been outside (and preoccupied with bringing a pair of kittens home ^-.-^ )! But I wanted to give a quick update of what's going on out there so far... it's exciting stuff I tell ya.

I've got everything (!) planted in our raised beds already. I feel like a lot of the bulk of the work in the garden is now done... we're on to maintenance mode! We've taken the plastic off the beds as well, and will keep an eye on the temperatures at night, but hopefully now that it's JUNE we should be okay to let the plants fend for themselves.

What I've got planted:
- cucumbers (2 kinds) -- looking a little shocked to be out in the cold. Pretty sure I saw them shivering.
- peppers (2 kinds) -- looking decent but might need a spray of Epsom salt water. Leaves are yellow and droopy.
- tomatoes (4 kinds) -- not looking so great :( except the ones in the Kozy Coats which are doing awesome! I will definitely be using these next year.
- romaine, salad bowl lettuce, and spinach -- all growing super well. We've been sampling!
- carrots -- just starting to sprout - last year's seeds so not sure how they'll do?
- leeks & green onions -- growing slowly but surely
- peas -- also slow to get going... I'll try soaking the next bunch that I'll plant in a few weeks.
- bush beans - green and yellow -- just starting to sprout
- nasturtiums, cosimos and marigolds
- chives -- transplanted from another bed

This past weekend we installed our irrigation system of soaker hoses hooked up to a timer, and the deer- and bunny-repelling motion sensor sprinkler. It's quite the system we've got out there! I can only hope I've timed things right and none of the plants just up and die on me - although a few of them are looking like they won't make it. Aie aie aie. Live little plants, LIVE!