How Does Our Garden Grow?

As a child we ALWAYS had a vegetable garden, a rather large one in my opinion. My parents would plant tomatoes,

On planting day!

On planting day!

cucumbers, peppers (bell and jalapeno), green beans, strawberries (that never really did well), pumpkins, squash and I am sure there were some experimental items throughout the years that I am forgetting. My sister and I loved it, picking tomatoes from the garden while we played, selling the abundance of cucumbers to the parents at band camp next to our home, the dinners of just corn on the cob, tomatoes and cucumbers.  I have many fond memories that center around that spring ritual, my parents still at the least get tomatoes in the ground.

Eleven years ago I purchased my home, and promised myself I would have a garden. The benefits are numerous, the plants aren’t expensive, seeds even less, the return financially has to be 1000% (math is not my strength but you get the idea). In that eleven years I have had exactly 2 tomato plants and both died on me before they produced anything. Somehow the spring turns into summer so quickly and I realize that I have once again missed the planting window. This year however I decided it didn’t matter, summer seems to be lasting a little longer now. Two weekends ago when I was buying mulch I could smell the tomato plants at Home Depot, and just my luck they were on sale! I quickly snatched up tomatoes (big boys and cherry),  cucumbers (burpless, who knew?), zucchini and yellow squash. I had at home already pumpkin seeds from last Halloween, provided by mom.

My girls were so excited to learn that we would have a garden this summer ~ I think mostly their excitement was the watering can, but that’s part of the responsibility of a garden. I selected this back corner of the yard hoping that the dog wouldn’t trample it.  Our soil is less than desirable, it’s mostly clay and full of rocks, I have lost over the years countless annuals to the point that I no longer waste money on them; however for this I dug as deep as I could and mixed in some top soil, placing each plant in scooping the rich dirt around and though  my dad always used cut grass, I mulched it; fingers crossed this helps keep the moisture in between waterings.

As of yesterday, the plants that my dog haven’t trampled are doing well! The squash is hanging on by a thread, I hope my neighbors like that new dog they decided to get without asking me (they stand in that corner and bark at each other all day).  Last night I decided to put our old table as protection over it until this weekend when I can come up with a better solution. The pumpkins are about 2″-3″ tall already and I am certain should they produce I will be able to outfit most of my neighbors with them for fall. The marigolds are beginning to sprout (rabbit deterrent).

Every morning before work I walk out there and give them a good drink, and again in the evening when I get home. I love the aroma of tomato foliage, I lean in to smell it every time I water. The girls are enjoying seeing the seeds sprout and ask where are the vegetables? Patience my little’s patience.

 

 

One Year of Timed Events

Happy Fourth of July…a few days late.

This past Friday I celebrated one year of timed events.  My mother asked me if I had a goal, of cours20140705-075059-28259492.jpge I did to improve over my time from last year.

I know I went out too fast, my perfectly arranged playlist was all ready to keep me . My mother showed up, that was a surprise as she is recovering from a rather intense shoulder surgery,  she gave me a hug and wished me luck.

First song: Lose Yourself, a mile in I knew I had gone out too fast, 10:10.  The  first place finisher passed me at 15 minutes; at the three mile mark I saw my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew – it was just .14 to the finish, last song Titanium.  When I stopped my watch I was very pleased to see that I had improved over my last years time:

2013: 786/875     (414/489 women)                                     39:08

2014: 578/780    (275/419 women) (9/27 Athena)       33:46

My improvement: 5:22 faster

 

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My Family: Myself, Scott, Piper and Ailey

 

When the adult run was finished they had a kids fun run and my nephew has shown interest in running,  my sister is doing a C25K with him, he made a good showing and I love that he is wanting to try this. They are planning to do the Color Run in Cincinnati in August, I can’t wait to see how they enjoy it!

As he and I walked hand and hand back to where we all parked he asked if I had won. I had to think for a minute and then I explained to him that I will more than likely never win an event, and I don’t run to win, I do it for my health, to build stronger muscles, to help with my weight, to give me more energy and to challenge myself.

In hindsight I did win.  In the last year I have lost 30#, I have lost inches off my body, my legs aren’t much smaller but they are leaner, I worked through an injury that made me push back a goal, I’ve learned to listen to my body, and to look up instead of down, to lead with my heart, to drink while running (that’s a challenge all in itself), I’ve made the conscious choice to make running part of me, I own every mile I log; and while I will never be first, I know what it feels like to be last, I know what it feels like to cry with pride and frustration, I know what it feels like to cross the finish line knowing I put all of me out there and get every bit back.

 

A huge shout out to the husband (see him up there) he has lost 60# this year!

 

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