Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 47: Look at my little garden grow & stuff with spiders

I keep forgetting that I don't watch TV anymore. Isn't it strange that something that used to be such a big part of my life has gone away, and I hardly even notice? I keep telling myself that it will get harder when Winter comes and I'm confined to the house. And then I mentally shake myself with a reminder: I'm trying to live a more interesting life, and stepping out of the box to accomplish it. So who says I have to stay inside in the winter? Yes, the days will be shorter. And yes, I won't be sitting for long hours on my patio. But maybe being TV free will help me to discover something I would never have tried that will also get me out of the house. Maybe I'll learn to ski! Or, more likely, maybe I'll learn to walk in snow shoes! (Much safer for a klutz like me.) I live in Michigan. Perhaps it's time I find some Winter activities I enjoy, so I can do more outdoor living year round!

Until that day comes, I'm continuing to stay true to my TV free challenge. I've made some great strides in work lately (the book is fully edited with author's approval; my company blog is now up and running with some solid content; I'm three chapters into my own new novel). I've also continued working on my outdoor projects, and though most of the stuff in my garden survives, I must admit to feeling challenged with the bunnies, insects, and weird weather. In fact, the easiest thing to grow so far is the lasagna garden - and I mean that as a joke, because the lasagna garden doesn't grow. And even more of a joke, because even that isn't exactly easy. (As a reminder, "lasagna garden" is just a fancy way of saying horizontal composting.) Even that takes time and dedication. I have to save my kitchen scraps, veggies only - and find a place to store them until I add them to the green layer. Sounds easy, but I catch myself digging through the trash after banana peels and other greens, which I'm just not accustomed to saving. Then I juggle bags of juicy and decaying veggie carcasses between my fridge and freezer for a week or two until I can't take it anymore and dump them all out in the lasagna patch.

As part of the lasagna garden, you also have to build the brown layer. The brown layer consists of corrugated cardboard, newspaper, and junk mail. Sounds easy. However, today I spent the better part of an afternoon breaking up the empty boxes in our storage room. (Don't judge when you see the picture. Yes, we had a lot of boxes - in our defense, we do a lot of online shopping and selling.) The worst part wasn't breaking down big boxes, even the very large one from the new toilet, or removing all the packing tape and labels from them, which I didn't want polluting my future compost. The biggest difficulty was the mental obstacle: I hate spiders, and there are spiders in our basement.

Now they'll probably be upstairs too, because I shook things up in spider utopia today when I came in with my vacuum and intent to break up boxes. I sucked two LARGE spiders into the vacuum, smooshed one with my shoe instinctively cause he was making a run for it and the vacuum was out of reach, and discovered several dead ones curled up inside boxes - just as scary to me as live ones. If you still fail to comprehend what an exhausting, paranoid-filled day I had, I suggest you read a previous blog I wrote a while back about an incident with a spider: Vehicular Arachnophobia. Reading it might help you to picture me today looking anxiously at the ceiling, the floor, every shadow, every cobweb, thoroughly vacuuming and inspecting each box before I would touch it to break it down. At one point, I was using all three of the vacuum wand attachments stacked one on top of the other to put the farthest distance between me and potential spiders, using it to wildly nudge boxes and shelves like a blind person in a fun house. My goal was to startle spiders out of their hiding places so that I didn't discover them later with my hands. Our vacuum sometimes spits out tiny pieces of things. A tiny grain of kitty litter spit out of the vacuum, pinged my leg, and sent me running out of the basement and up the stairs. I was a little edgy.

Anyway, long story short (too late), I spent the afternoon breaking up boxes for the lasagna garden, and it was a pain in the butt. I'll take a moment to share a couple pictures of my "chef's garden" and the lasagna garden:

My cucumber plants. They are starting to get large and sprawly. In my gardening naivety, I didn't know they would actually start growing out. I was wondering how they would grow up vertically and not collapse under the weight of heavy cucumbers. Well, duh!

The smaller of my tomato plants, but the one that actually has tomatoes on it. Two of them! I feel the need to document this because the leaves are getting brown and crunchy despite persistent watering, and I fear the plant might still die. Or, it will thrive, I'll grow bunches of tomatoes, and they'll get pilfered by squirrels before they are ripe enough to harvest. Regardless, best to get photographic proof that I can, in fact, grow something!

Look how big my other tomato plan is! HUGE! Can you see the little piece of tape on one of the limbs? That's where I broke the nicest stem trying to put it inside the tomato cage. I'm so handy. I used masking tape to bind the wound. I'm hoping there's no hard feelings and the plant will continue to grow despite my best efforts to cripple it.

Look at us! We're cantaloupe plants! We grew from a seed and will probably start growing fruit right around the time the first snow comes! Wee!

Here's the lasagna garden. Though it's at the very back of our yard, it is visible from the street. I hope someone doesn't think we've started a garbage dump in our yard and calls the city. We're trying to do something good for the planet, and that's just what I'll say when they issue me a ticket. ;)

So there we are at Day 47. I'm still loyal to my TV-free challenge, loyal to my garden and still fighting those bunnies, doing my best to condition my lungs and body for running (still run-walking), and generally appreciating the summer. Best of all, lately it seems like we've been much more social. More people asking us to do things who we haven't seen in a while, or who we've never hung out with. Perhaps they are trying to help us stick to the challenge by offering us something fun to do? Or, maybe, we've just opened ourselves cosmically to new experiences and the universe is answering. To all those who are being so sweet and supportive and giving myself and my hubs fun alternatives to TV, thanks for the invitations. Keep them coming! You make it so much easier to be TV free! 

No comments:

Post a Comment