Better Choices, Better Results

Archive for August, 2011

Garden Update

When I set out to plant my garden this year, I knew that my main goal (other than reaping the rewards of fresh produce) was to learn more about how to organize a garden; how to care for it and how to keep it healthy in order to get as much as possible from it.

All in all, I am very pleased with everything I’ve learned, and also how much food I’ve been able to harvest from it.

Next year, I’ll plant more sunflowers and more corn!  I got so much pleasure from being able to cut fresh sunflowers from my garden twice a week that I just want to expand upon that feeling next year.

Next year I’ll have my organic bug repellent/pesticide ready to use at the first sign of bugs.  I’ve also learned what the eggs look like for the most common garden pests, so I’ll check the leaves much more carefully and I’ll either crush the eggs that I find, or will break off the egg-infested leaves.

Next year, I’ll have the soil tested so that I can fertilize and supplement the soil with what it needs.  I feel like my corn and tomatoes suffered from lack of nutrients this year, and I want to make it better.  I feel if I can make the soil (and therefore, the plants!) healthier, I can plant fewer plants, but get just as much produce.

Next year, I’ll stake the tomatoes better.  I need to do some research on good ways to do that.  Tomatoes lying on the ground rot much more easily and are apt to be munched on by bunnies and other garden creatures.

Next year, I want to find a way to mulch or lay landscape cloth between my rows so that I can control weeds better.  The weeds are truly overwhelming!

Next year, I need to put raccoon and deer deterrents in place.  I don’t need another raid on my corn like the one we had this year.  I’m still fuming at that!

Next year, I’ll plant my zucchini and other squashes in a different lay-out.

Next year, I’ll borrow a truck once a week and bring the mower out so that I can keep the edges of the garden neat and trim as well.

I could go on and on, but the truth is – I LOVED doing this garden, and while I had struggles and disappointment, I had more enjoyment and satisfaction than I would have ever dreamed. 

Only 8 months until I can start all over again!


What to do about the 5K

I haven’t been walking over the past few weeks.  I have lots of excuses:


“It’s been really hot – 90 degrees at 6:30 in the morning is too hot to walk.”

“I’ve been canning up a storm and I just don’t have any energy left.”

“It’s harvest-time in the garden!  I don’t have time to do both!”


All of those are true, but they are also the reasons I’ve been using to justify my lack of physical activity.  I cannot allow myself to fall back into the same old patterns.

This morning I pulled out the calendar to count the weeks until my birthday.  There are 13 weeks left and my goal to do a 5K by then is still alive.

I hope 13 weeks is enough time to get it in gear.

Blasted Raccoons!

Tragedy has struck the garden.  Raccoons have destroyed our entire corn harvest.  Six rows of corn are gone. 


G. O. N. E.

I went out on Tuesday to do general garden maintenance; water, pick what was ready, cut some flowers, etc.  I wondered through the corn rows to see if any was ready yet.  I found 2 dozen ears that had brown silks, so I pulled those off and brought them home.

On Thursday, Mickey went out to the garden and found that our corn had been destroyed by critters; most likely raccoons. 

Gone?  All of it?  Come on…we had 6 rows growing.  How could they destroy all of them?

I went back out there on Saturday to see what could be salvaged.  I was thinking that there had to be some corn left on the stalks that could babied until it was ready to pick.

I was completely shocked at what I saw.

Stalks were broken over and the ears had been pulled off.  There were cobs lying on the ground without any niblets left on them.  The ears that weren’t pulled off the stalks were “opened” – the husks had been pulled down and the corn had been eaten right off the cob.  There was nothing left.  NOTHING!!!

Even worse?  Our neighbor’s corn, which was bigger and stronger and much healthier-looking than ours, was left untouched!

Worse than that?  It appears that our neighbors have abandoned their garden, so that corn might be wasted.  If I knew for sure, I’d harvest it, but since I never see them, I can’t ask.


Have you ever encountered rogue, corn-hunting ‘coons?  What did you do to protect your harvest?


I hit another milestone this week; I weighed less than 200 pounds at my weigh-in.   My reaction at seeing those numbers on the scale were to first jump and squeal (loudly), but then, as it sank in, I actually started to cry a little.

They were tears of happiness because I never thought I’d be able to stick with a program long enough to accomplish what I’ve accomplished so far.   If the truth is to be known, I had almost (almost!) resigned myself to always being obese and “less than”.  Less than what I could be.

They were tears of relief.  I was relieved to cross that 200 number, because now I’m renewed and feel like I truly will be able to lose the last 40 pounds that I want to lose.

They were tears of frustration.  It’s frustrating to have to be aware of every morsel of food that goes into your mouth.  I’ve come to realize that as a person who has always had a weight problem, that I’ll never have the freedom to eat anything, anytime, anywhere and not have to eat smaller, simpler, lighter dishes the same week to counteract the richer, sweeter, fatter foods.  I’m ok with that…now.

Finally, they were tears wonder.  The wonder of a new life to come as a happier, thinner, healthier person.