Home Grown

I love to grow things. Plants. Especially plants you can eat from. When I lived in the North I grew all the delicious foods. The dirt up there was pure gold, nutrients galore. But here in the South, where I live now, the ground is made up of sand. Most plants don’t like to grow in sand.

First southern garden (2008).

The first house we lived in, we rented and asked permission to build this garden. The hubby designed and built it and the baby boy (back then) helped spead the good dirt around. I grew all my plants from seeds, so lovingly and so cared for. I tended to the garden, quick to pull weeds and shoo the birds. It was my little life sanctuary.

Tiny little seedlings you can barely even see.

All summer of watering and weeding and watering and weeding and watering and weeding and all we got were these…

Roma tomatoes. The top are store bought, the bottom is what I grew. πŸ˜‘ (Chapstick for scale.)

Needless to say the wind was taken out of my sails a bit. I still took care and nurtured the garden, but slacked because the returns were so poor. It was not very enticing to invest in all the seeds and soil and do all that work, all summer long, and get these pitifully tiny and tasteless tomatoes. When the grocery store has normal sized ones for pretty cheap anyhow.πŸ™„ But we soon moved! Different area, different soil, calls for a new fresh try at the garden again! Our first house we bought together, we were going to do this garden right this time. The hubby built the entire thing, again. We rented a tiller from the hardware store and tilled the sand, then brought in a dumptruck full of soil. Tilled that in too. Fertilized and we were ready to go!

New garden in 2010.

I had grown all of the plants in containers and transplanted them in our new garden. They looked so great! What we didn’t know was that we picked the wrong soil to fill out garden. Topsoil is what we got, garden soil is what we actually needed. We had thought since we had all sand that the top soil would get airated by it, but no. That’s not what happened. It all just fromed this super solid mass and the rain always flooded over the garden because it simpley couldn’t drain. It was too thick. So the garden was doomed from the start.

Doomed from the start.

We yielded bigger and more veggies from this garden than our first one, but nowhere near enough to make it worth it. This garden was more work too. The weeds never liked to pull out of that thick soil, but they loved to grow in it! Constantly weeding and watering again and again. When all the same fruits and veggies are fresh and delicious and available at the stores that time of year anyhow.

We also planted an apple tree the year we moved in (2010). It did not do well either. Never really grew and for sure we never saw an apple. Stupid sandy soil.
The apple tree eventually died and we planted a non fruit bearing pear tree in 2014. Not sure how this one faired because we moved about a year later.

So here we are in our third residence and we’ve sworn off the gardens. The money that we would have spent on it initially and year after year goes to me being able to spend more on better quality fruits and veggies through the year at grocery stores or farmers markets. Meaning I can choose organic more often or buy that extra pound of strawberries because strawberries are life in this family.

We weren’t up for planting much the first couple years we lived here, but last year the itch to grow resurfaced. I planted all of these bushes last Spring but all of the pictures were taken today.

Pride and joy blackberry bush.
She’s such a beaut, so many berries have started already!

Last year we only got like a handful total over the whole summer, of blackberries from the old girl. But this year!.. Look at all those flowers! We are having (finger crossed) the last big blow of the spring tonight, 60mph winds. 😣 Hoping she makes it through!

Her sister blackberry plant a few feet away.
Raspberry plant

This raspberry plant barely made it through it’s first year here. It would have a nice growth spurt and then just die a thousand deaths. Then have a nice growth spurt and die off again. Repeat the whole summer. I never dreamed she would be come back this spring but here she is! With a LOT of little babies! See them all around the mulch there?

Do you know what these two ⬆️⬇️are?
Two goji berry plants!

I found these two sticks in bags on the clearance rack last spring. They fit perfectly into my berry bush garden adventure so we adopted them. They both had a very big growth spurt at the beginning of Summer and gave us a ton of the most bitter awful tasting berries I’ve ever tasted, lol! I am going to have to really learn what to do with these superfood berries this year.

Blueberry bush.
PINK blueberry bush.

Last I have my two blueberry bushes. One is the traditional blue variety and the other is supposed to be pink! I’m very excited for these this year, I got nothin from either of them last year. There’s already a bunch of flowers on both!

I’ll hopefully have some fruit updates through the summer! Plus I have two more spots to fill with berry bushes this year, very excited to hit up the nursery to see what’s new to adopt soon!

Any berry bush tips? I am very new to growing them and welcome any tidbits at all!

Any berry bush reccomendations?

Update! No Mockingbird singing incessantly last night which means I got a full delightful night’s sleep. It was super windy here last night though, and will be for a few more days, so maybe he just blew away… It’s what I’m hoping for anyhow. πŸ™πŸ½

To Kill A Mockingbird

I have a new nemesis. It’s a young bachelor mockingbird that has set up shop on the power line right by my bedroom window. I dislike the mockingbirds’ song MASSIVELY.

The boy and his (obsesh) flamingo last Summer

He’s a con artist. He can’t come up with a song of his own so he uses every other birds’ song. But only like 3 seconds of it and then instantly moves to the 3 second trail offer of the next song. Rapid fire-like. It’s BEYOND annoying.

I have had a problem with the mocking bird for years. Those nights where you never end up going to bed in your 20s? I remember HATING hearing the the mocking birds in the morning. Like some rude reminder of my bad decisions and dehydration. I remember taking a vacation with my family in a rental house and being woken up by a mockingbird who lived right outside the bedroom window I was using, the whole week. Totally ruined the vacay for me.

Welp. Now one has moved in on my home territory and I’m freaking out. This is day two of him starting singing at MIDNIGHT. Yep. Not in the morning or at sunrise like a normal asshole mockingbird. But at MIDNIGHT. Apparently this behavior is on the rare end of normal that a mockingbird will sing all night AND all day. And will last from Spring into Summer. I’m not gonna make it, I can’t take alllllllll the bird songs from all over the region at machine gun pace! I can’t sleep and I feel like this is how some Son Of Sam shit starts. For reals.😳

His singing lasts all night LONG. ALL πŸ‘πŸ»NIGHT πŸ‘πŸ»LONGπŸ‘πŸ». I’m a light sleeper as it is, so this is just incredibly bad news for me. I’m already up 3-5 times a night to pee, now every time I’m up I can’t fall back asleep because the mockingbird is on fire! Apparently he’s doing this because he’s looking for a lady friend. πŸ˜’ Which makes it all the more annoying. Why do I have to be subject to your mating call? I’m not even your type!

I gave up on trying to sleep this morning and decided to head to the gym. Get out some of my rage. And it helped. 60 minutes of cardio can exorcise the demons like no other.πŸ™ŒπŸ» Came home to the hubby raring and ready to have us all go out and do the first big yard work effort of the year.

So I spent the next four or so hours picking weeds all set to the jammin tunes of THE MOCKINGBIRD. It sat up there on the wire and sang and sang and sang. It just can’t stop,won’t stop. All day erry-day. FML. πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

Any tips to help my mockingbird enemy STFU?

P.S. Just to state the obvious, I won’t and would never do anything to harm the little pest. Also I looked up if squirting him with a hose would hurt him and learned that was illegal. So that’s off the list of things to try too.πŸ™„

Wacky Wednesday

Alt title: Regular Ass Wednesday

I don’t know why I titled this “wacky”, it’s not really, lol. It’s just a regular Wednesday. Maybe I should change the title, huh? That would surely bring in the audience, “Regular Ass Wednesday”. Although, there was that one show called “The Regular Show” that was hysterical. The three of us used to watch the hell outta that show. The three of us still have a bunch of one liners we use from time to time on each other and the boy still has two pair of Regular Show socks. One has Mordecia on them and the other pair has Rigby. If you haven’t seen it, check it! It’s super funny! I’m going to update the title now ☝🏽.

Member this?

I have been trying to find a Doctor to go see lately. Well for like years now, lol. We don’t have insurance so I can go see who ever I want, but I also have to pay the big bucks wherever I go. So when I gave birth to the boy I got a Doctor, it just sort of happened. I liked her and then she switched practices, I recieved all my records and got lost in the shuffle in her move. I wasn’t really needing to see a Doctor so I let a year or so go by. When I tried to make an appt with her at the new place, but she was no longer accepting “new” patients. Apparently I was considered “new” there. SO annoying. I let another year go by and tried again and she still isn’t accepting any “new” patients. I’m done. Me and my records will go somewhere else. I wish I had a Doctor that knew me inside and out and up and down since the beginning of my life. But I will settle for finding someone who is nice and kind and will listen to me. If I’m paying cash for everything, you would think that wouldn’t be so hard to do. I made an appt today, with someone new, it’s in June. Fingers crossed!

New snacks alert! πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

Somehow these are Vegan and totally delicious.
This family goes crazy for plantain chips. We discovered them last year and DIED. The boy likes the sweet kind. ⬆ Which are plantains that more ripe.🍌
The Hubby and I like the saltier ones, less sweet, less ripe, like these. β¬†πŸŒ

I also have to make a yearly Doctors appt for the boy. His 13th birthday is fast approaching! This is the year he will be getting the HPV vaccine. They asked me last year if I wanted him to have it and I just wasn’t ready. It was a surprise to me when the nurse and Doctor brought it up. At that time I hadn’t spoken to the boy or the hubby at all about it either, and we usually do talk about all the things together. We are ready this year though. I think it’s an important vaccine and it will help my son stay healthy. That price tag though, UGH! Looks like it’s going to be a three shot series over the next six months. Each shot costing about $150 per shot. That’s like $450 total. πŸ˜– Ouch. I guess it’s worth it to stay cancer free though. πŸ™ŒπŸ½

LOVE taro chips! The texture is divine. Not so hot on the black pepper flavor, (too spicy) but the hubby is and these are for him.
You know me and my truffle flavor addiction! Mouth watering!

Lastly it was date night tonight, sushi for the win!

Some of the best I’ve had there yet!

Do you like sushi? Ever tried vegetarian or vegan sushi?

Plantain fan?

Regular show fan?

Rando Tuesday

So! My half marathon is over. The sole thought hogger that has been consuming my life for months now is suddenly just not even a thing anymore. It feels FANTASTIC. I am so excited to have my life back and have the stress gone. I feel light and free and full of possibility.

Sushi night last week.
The boy does not like sushi.
He orders Veggie Fried Rice, no egg, add tofu and LOVES it.

First up on the “To Do List” is to get my eating and weight back in my control. I have never felt so wild with my eating as I have with this training. It was almost like primal. I NEEDED to eat. And I needed to eat SO much. I was eating way too many calories every day, but that’s what my body was telling me. It was just neverending though. I would need salt and I would eat all the salty things and then it would immediatly crave sweet, so I would eat all the sweet things. Then the salt craving would come back and so on and so on. I would just be eating all day every day. I could not get satiated. It was so frusterating and I did not like feeling so out of control. The hunger came from somewhere deep, not my usual “bored” hunger or “munchie” hunger or even ligit “it’s time to eat” hunger. It was a compulsion, lol. It was like my PMS on steriods for four months straight. It was crazy. But almost immediately after the race it’s all gone! Like a switch flipped and I feel back in control again! It’s just been two days since the half marathon but already I’m feeling more confident in my eating choices/amounts/frequencies. So relieved! I knew I didn’t have the strength to fight that eating demon if she was going to stick around, thank goodness she’s gone. Operation 10 pounds down is in full effect starting now!

On our way to get the boy his (early ) birthday present.
A new iPhone XR, coral color edition! (He died he was so excited)
With a flamingo case of course (his animal obsesh of the year).

The other big goal I have is gains in the gym. I love cardio, I will never not walk in the gym and not get some cardio on. Or stop going out for runs. But I’m so siked to get some real weight/strength training started. We joined the gym right as I was starting the HM training and the program said if I hadn’t already been strength training then don’t start. I couldn’t help myself so I just did super low weight and super high reps. Just to get a groove started so when the training was over I wouldn’t be a noob, lol. Now I’m ready to lift some larger weights, work some different body parts and build some muscle. There’s also a couple strength/cardio classes I want to take that I wouldn’t dare step foot in while HM training. I was scared to get too sore and have to skip important runs. I would also like to keep the bum I’ve built up during the traning, lol! I haven’t had a good bum in a long while and I’d like to hang on to it now, so that’s on the list too.

Post half marathon Acai bowl. Acai, vanilla almond milk, granola, strawberry, dark chocolate, hemp seeds.
My mom’s. Acai, vanilla almond milk, strawberry, blueberry, coconut, banana, dark chocolate.
Mine. Acai, vanilla almond milk, granola, double banana an hemp seeds.
These were a gift from my Dad, I have never tried puffed water lily seeds but OMG, they are a life changer! The texture is killer, so addicting. I might have eaten the whole bag in one day. MIGHT. I def have a four pack of Water Lily Pops coming to me from Amazon as we speak.

Speaking of the gym, I got back in the saddle this morning. Might as well just not really skip a beat and risk losing my motivation. I knew I had to take it easy though so the boy and I went and got 45 minutes in on some eliptical/cardio action. My legs were more tired than I realized, lol. I got on one machine and could barely last 15 minutes. So I switched to another machine that moved my legs in a different way and that was better for a while, but then started to hurt too. So I changed to a third machine for the last 15 minutes that had totally different leg movement than the first two and was cooked by the end of that 15 minutes too. So yah. I got the time in, slow and steady, and am glad to be feeling a little more loosened up now.

This is how he lets me know he wants some of my lunch.

What are your gym goals?

Have you ever tried water lily puffs?

Flying Pirate Half Marathon

I DID IT! It was the biggest feat of physical fitness of my life and I felt every minute of it. Well not every minute, but most of the minutes, lol. Let’s get to it!

Whoop!
Right before the race, I was chewing on my energy gummy, lol.

Training

I signed up for this race in November because it was something I wanted to accomplish in my 40th year of life. I had signed up for a half marathon a few years ago but due to me being scared shitless and not training properly and (thankfully) getting sick right before the race, I had an excuse not to run it. #Fail. But I got serious this time. I found a program that had me working out/running 5 days a week. Sarted in January and I was super serious about the training this time. I was gonna do this, no excuses!

Still trying to get energy gummie out of my teeth lol.

Goals

I wanted to first and foremost FINISH. Even in the later training where I was running 10, 11 and 12 miles… I had no idea if I was going to be able to finish. 13 miles is SO far and SO long. Second goal was to run the entire thing. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I walked any bit of it. This was also a tough goal to complete. I have never wanted to stop and walk more in my life. Third goal was to be sub 2 hour finish. Which I did, but didn’t? Lol, my watch read a different time and distance than the chip. More on that later. Fourth Goal: Don’t go out too fast.

Hiiiiiii!

Pre-Race

My Parents came in from out of town to support and cheer. It was so much appreciated. We all studied the course map and they, along with my husband and son, would drive me to the start and see me off. They picked two spots along the course to see me and then meet at the finish. I gave them a few items to hold for me; chapstick, anti chafe stick, and waters. All of these things became life savers to me, lol.

The day before I felt exhausted. I kept yawning and felt like I was going to like spontaneously fall asleep and I was SO nervous. It’s like it was all hitting me. After lunch I basically spent the rest of the day in bed. I couldn’t sleep but I just layed there reading and chilling. I think all of those feelings were my anxiety ramping up. That night I literally couldn’t sleep. It was the worst. Tossing and turning and restless leg syndrome. Just totally sleepless and stressful. Too many nerves I couldn’t control.

Morning of Race

Alarm rudely went off at 5am (race started at 7am.) My parents showed up with coffees at 6:15. No caffiene for me though, I proudly kicked that habit a few years ago. But I understood the need for sure, lol! We left in one car and showed up to the start line at 6:30 ish. I immediately got in the enormous line for the porta potties which moved extremely fast. Dropped the kids at the pool and got into my coral. Ate a few gummies and began the race!

Race

And we’re off! Goal of not going out too fast was accomplished straight off the bat. I have always done shorter races where going out fast was necessary. I knew I would potentially ruin the whole race if I did that. I tried to really chill and concentrate on not giving a crap about passing anyone or being passed, lol. My first mile was 8:46, that’s the slower end of my normal pace so I was happy. Def kicked it up a tiny notch after that though.

Off I go!

The temp was warm. Around 70 at the start? And really humid. I trained the last four months in 30, 40 and 50 degrees. I was not ready for a 70 degree blast of (relative) heat. It was definately taking it’s toll on me. I stopped at the first and second water stations and the water was AWFUL. We live in a place where you can’t drink the tap water, it tastes gross. They swear it’s safe to drink but it’s just nasty. I literally saw a woman filling up the cups with a hose. After seeing that, the water just wasn’t sitting right in my stomach. The first 5 miles went normally otherwise. I was hotter than usual and trying to conserve energy a bit. I also had a stinging sensation under my right arm. Saw my in-laws at mile 4.5, that was a very cute surprise. Then I came up on mile 5 where I knew my people would be with GOOD water, chapstick (which was gone from me wiping my face so much from the massive amounts of sweat) and the chafe stick.

Hubs with the FRESH water.
Chafe stick please!!!
Thank you for all the things I need right now!

You can kind of see what was causing the stinging sensation on my right arm. It was basically a big hole of missing skin from rubbing against my shirt or myself. I don’t know which becasue this was the first run of the year for me in a tank top. There goes the whole don’t wear anything different on race day thing, but what was I to do? It was definately tank top weather. I would have sweated to death on anything else. So I reapplied and was on my way.

It never did rain on me that day, although my people got rained on, lol, so weird.

The second 5 miles was tough. I was very tired and ready to be done. I was super hot and super sweaty and super tired. I was eating two of my vegan (no caffiene) energy fuel gummies every two to two and a half miles but I was feeling DRAINED. I knew I shouldn’t feel like this so that was unsettling too. I wasn’t going too fast (in fact I was getting slower) and nothing taxing was happening (hills or whatnot). I was very worried about finishing. I didn’t see how on earth I could feeling the way I did.

My energy life source.

At mile 10 I knew I would see my people again, my arm was really on fire and I wanted clean water,

The last three miles! I was DREADING this last leg. This course is pretty much flat except for the last three miles where you go off pavement and onto a dirt/mud/gravel road into a heavily wooded area with rolling hills that never end. The last half mile or so is the worst. It’s a sharp left up a steep hill that is a very rooty path that winds up and down and around until the very end where it is a sharp drop of a hill down to the finish line.

I knew about all of this and trained on the “road” part a few times and ran that dreaded St. Patrick’s Day 10K that killed me, back there. I had never been on the path part though. That was a horrible surprise, lol. As soon as I hit the dirt/mud/gravel road my legs had HAD it. They were like WE’RE DONE! And so many other people just spontaneously started walking as soon as we hit the woods, it was SO tempting! My brain wouldn’t let me stop and walk though, I knew I had to keep running or at least what looked like running, lol. One mile into the woods was a water station and my peeps! I didn’t know they would be there, it was the best surprise and I’m so glad I wasn’t walking for sure then, lol.

WATER.
I remember being super out of breath here.
So grateful for clean water.
There’s the gaping bloody hole in my arm, lol.
Rubbed it totally raw.

Said a thankful good bye to my peeps, and headed off for my last two miles of hell. I just kept telling myself it had to be over soon. It can’t last forever. You’re almost there… And then I was!

I’m a finisher. I ran an entire 13.1 miles, a whole half marathon. I am so proud of myself, lol. And I’m NEVER doing this again. I am not one of those people who is like, “That was hell, I loved it, I want to do it again!”. NO. I did not enjoy the training nor the actual race, lol. I’ll stick with shorter distance races from now on.

Nike Run app on my Apple Watch 4.

That last mile though, ROUGH!
My official end stats.

Quite a difference on my results, lol, I almost don’t even care. The average between the two is 2 hours on the nose and I’m happy with that!

Ever had a nightmare half marathon?

Ever had a severe chafing situation?

Special CONGRATS to all the amazing Boston runners today! Wrote this post while watching them all, SO inspiring!!!

South Beach Miami (Part 4)

Last day!

Last Day!

Just to interrupt the last in my four part SOBE saga, lol, I ran my half marathon today! I almost died it was so tough! But I ran the entire time and finished! I’ll have a post up about it tomorrow to recap the whole hot mess!

Done and DONE!

Back to SOBE! Last day was bitter sweet, we did not want to leave. The beach life is definiately for us.

Did I mention I got to run 3 days on our vacay? I know I mentioned how amazing the paths are there and I definitly took advantage of them. They are desinged after the beach paths in Brazil. I loved running them. They felt safe and there were lots of other people just out there to get their workout on. The paths ran alongside the beach and what better scenery could you ask for? One of the days I ran back down to and past the South Point area. More really nice and really safe, populated paths to run. I have so many great memories with the runs I took in Miami!

Beach bums.
Sisters
The two husbands out in the water tossing around this ball we have, it’s small and floats. It’s called a wave skipper.
The little green parrots! I was so glad to see them again after 10 years!
Washing the sand off. Can’t get over the palm trees, I just love them.
Our VRBO we rented was amazing. Safe, equipped, comfortable and close to the beach and shopping.
A little video game down time for the boys.
First time having a sushi burrito! I had tofu, rice, avocado, lettuce, salsa. It was delish and super filling.
Last night vibes.

It was such a great trip, way too short though. The best trips always are. I would love to come back to SOBE again sometime. It holds a special place in my heart. But there are so many new places we want to see too, can’t wait to see where our travels will bring us.

Flying back home.

Have you ever had a sushi burrito?

Do you ever use VRBO or AirBNB?

South Beach Miami (Part 3)

Day Three

Just a little pause in my SOBE wrap up, I hope you are enjoying it. I wanted to share some good content this weekend while I am totally distracted with my Half Marathon. My family came in from out of town to help and cheer and we’ve been spending a bunch of time with them as well. Being a new blogger I haven’t figured out yet how to balance guests in town with still getting the blogs published so you (my lovely readers) get four different SOBE posts, lol. Anyhow, the Half Marathon is tomorrow morning, wish me luck!! I’m totally nervous and freaking out, EEEK!

Another beautiful day in paradise.
Can you believe it!? A man o war jellyfish!

This beach that we decided to hang out at one day was just full of things that wanted to kill us. First the Man o War jelly and then a shark! The shark (probably a nurse shark) just kept swimming back and forth in front of us the whole damn day. Sometimes some more shark friends would join him and swim back and forth too. It just hung out in front of this same stretch of beach the whole day. The boy was so mad, he just wanted to get in so bad! So the hubby would get in with him and keep watch until the shark came swimming back and give the signal to get the hell out of the water!

Like a perfect little postcard this picture is!
Wow! Love that movie.
Had to go check in on the Versace Mansion again.
Flamingos are kind of his thing this year, he’s obsessed.
#SizeDoesMatter (Pizza joint with enormous slices)
That’s one slice on two paper plates!
No vegan pizza there so we came back to the house and had some ramen. Notice the socks? (Top Ramen style)
One of Miami’s famous lifeguard stations.
Evening beach stroll.

Have you ever run a Half Marathon?

Pizza fan? Or no? Toppings?