Saturday, August 15, 2009

Adventures in Urban Gardening



We have seen lots of young praying mantis's while working on our garden projects..yay
Along the right hand side is where I planted native sunflowers that will get as tall as 9 ft. Great for privacy for us and our neighbors :)

The very front row closest to the street is Rose Verbena (my favorite wildflower). Then Behind the Verbena we planted the Purple Echinacea...yes the medicinal kind! Then the Golden Currant (native edibles) and the Nine Barks both are shrubs and will grow very tall and give us privacy!
2nd step was unloading the compost and it took 5 truckloads in a Toyota truck (which is a small truck). After about 3 weeks when the grass was dead, we dug down, peeled back the layers of newspaper and planted our native gold and are now enjoying the fine work we have done. In the Spring, our yard will be most awesome a site to behold!

1st we put down newspaper we got for free from the local recycle company. It's about 2" deep. This is to kill out the grass and weeds, without harming the critters that live in and on the yard. Then we added compost from the local city compost. Its free if you scoop it yourself, and with shovels, hi ho hi ho it was off to the compost to get our free dirt/mulch combo :)

************************************************************************************
Oh but it's been a lovely weekend for Gardening and my oh my so much has been accomplished since Charles and I first began the transformation of the front yard.

1. Mowing lawns Suck! Now I know some people find it relaxing and such, that's fine for those folks. As for me, I have better things to do then mow grass, I have plants to plant and lovely herbs and veggies to harvest and yummy raw foods to create :) !!

2. Planting Wild Native species just makes sense to me, especially when there are so many wonderful and useful plants to choose from. The great thing about native plants is they are native to your state or area and that makes them the perfect choice for landscaping ones yard. They fit the climate and harsh conditions that other more foo foo plants cannot handle and thus generally need more care and maintenance. I like cats....they tend to themselves for the most part...I like plants that do the same.

3. The method we used is called lasagna gardening, and by doing it this way there will be less weed pulling and more of the plants that we will enjoy growing in the front and back yards. I will also be documenting all the fun we have doing the back yards for all our foods that we will grow year round.

Here is the list of what we planted- all of these are Missouri Wild Native Plants:

Rose Verbena
Purple Coneflower
Golden Currant
Nine Bark
White Sage
Dwarf Rose Bush
Garden Phlox
Elderberry
Sunflowers

Check out the Missouri Wildflower web site if you like and you can see all the wonderful plants to choose from and then be sure to check out the wildflower nursery's in your own state....keep it real and keep it Native!

www.mowildflowers.net


http://www.foodnotlawns.net/

Monday, August 10, 2009

For the Love of Sage and My own Sanity :)


This has been a very adventuresome year for me, but I am so happy to finally be able to blog about recent choices I made and what it means for my 5 year old Sage and I.

As a new single mom, since mid-Nov of 08, I have been on the hunt to find a job since April of 08. Not just any job mind you, but one that would still allow me to be the one to raise my youngest son Sage.
Let me tell you, it has not been easy! Most employers want you to work any shift. They want to pay you minimum wage. They want you to work set hours or flexible hours (flexible for them). There always seems to be crazy hoops they require you to jump through.

Out of sheer desperation, I finally took a job at a nursing facility as a dietary aide...The hour's were completely out of sink with my life and put the burden of childcare on my 15 year old son Gavin and my boyfriend Charles. They both were wonderful and really stepped up to help me, but the job was really for someone about 20 years younger than me and the pay was sad. I came home with my back in knots daily.

To make matters worse I went Hyper-Thyroid 2 months ago and had to stop my medication completely to go back to Hypo which coincidentally fell right in line around the time of this afore mentioned job, so not only was it a physically demanding job, I had no energy and I felt and acted manic...My wonderful, sweet family had to see the horror of it all...and I felt the guilt of feeling like a total failure.

To save myself, I found a promising job at a clothing re-sale shop, but the hours were not quite what I wanted and the pay was even less then the previous job. To complicate matters further, the part time job turned into a part, part time job. The lady I worked for had soooo many health problems that I began to feel very nervous about the job being anything but a temporary job. Rather than waiting for things to get worse I was back at the want ads and all I can say is Thank You Universe!!! I applied and interviewed for the new job that I am now currently preparing to start, officially, tomorrow.

The hours are perfect and when Sage is not in school he will be able to stay with me at my new job. Its a small day care, at a lovely church, that has the most loving and open vibe. These folks are non-denominational and that works well for me. I think folks should have the right to believe or not believe whatever makes them happy without others telling them they are wrong or judging etc.

The pay is better than I have been able to find elsewhere nor I do not have to work Sat or Sun. I am Happy.....I am Relieved....I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders and that I can get my bills paid but not at the expense of my children and our time together.

As a single mom I can take care of my most treasured of all priorities in my Life...my children and myself. With this new job, I now have time to work on my own personal goals and aspirations. By taking care of myself, I will be nurturing the projects that are essential to my mental and physical health. Thereby, allowing me greater personal financial freedom and satisfaction.

My life is Back on Track...My Home is Clean and Organized....I am ready to Roll!

Love to the Universe

Love to All of You

And Love to the People who are Dearest to My Heart

And Last but certainly not least, Love to Myself!

P.S. To anyone out there who may be going through this...don't give up! It's never hopeless and there is always a way made for you if you hold true to what you need for your happiness and well being so you can prosper and grow (and pay the bills). Just Gotta Hang Tough and Believe that the Universe is working for you and not against you! Sending Love out to all the Single Parents who are working for a living and dreaming of a quality life for their children and themselves...You are Loved and Appreciated and very, very Needed in this World! Peace, Light and Love to YOU ALL!!!!!!