Sunday, January 16, 2011

more synchronistic happynings

Wow. I am really at a loss for words which is a wonderful feeling. Some important things happened this weekend. I watched a life changing documentary, found clarity in my life and mind, and the universe figured out my heart and mind are do nothing but observe my breath.

Maybe a month ago I signed up for a Vipassana meditation course, which had a very long waiting list for females. (Dorian and I both signed up) I signed up knowing that D had participated in one before and told me it was one of the most challenging things he'd ever done. As I sent the application my silly mind thought, " basically have  a snowball's chance in hell at getting into this one." So I wasn't too concerned with it. The Center had sent me emails saying that Feb would be a better time to get on a waiting list, but Feb didn't work out so well with our gardening plans. Around Christmas I got an email asking if I wished to stay on the waiting list, so I pondered, and agreed to stay on. 
Now, as in TODAY I received an email saying that I have been accepted! My heart RACED, I felt nervous, my ego kicked in and made me think that this maybe I won't be able to complete the course. I just felt my heart nervously beating in response to my my mind's noise. My hands were trembling from the shock and surprise. If I accept, I have to leave in 3 days!
 I talked with D a bit more and watched a video made by the teacher of the course S N Goenka, which settled me and brought about a sense of calm and happiness. So that was it, I confirmed my application right afterward and still feel calm and confident that this is what I need to be doing in my life right now. Wow, I have to leave on Wednesday for the course! Luckily the universe hasn't given me a job!! Life just seems to unfold and you can either fight it or accept and enjoy :)

I will be on complete communication silence from 1/19/11 to 1/30/11. 

Don't know what Vipassana is? Click here to learn more.

With a full heart 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sheet mulch, sheet mulch, dirty wormy fun mulch!

Hooray! We have begun our sheet mulch!! (two great resources about sheet mulching: Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Homescale Permaculture and Lasagna Gardening)

After acquiring the amazing mulch complex (sort of like the sixth sense but instead of seeing dead people you see lots of free sources of sheet mulch) and stacking straw bales, cardboard boxes and newspaper sky high, along with some soil amendments. It was finally time to lay it all out. Oddly enough we started late in the afternoon of the Winter Solstice/Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse!! Definitely a good omen!
Here’s what we did:

Step One
Drawing Board
The very first step we did was draw up a garden plan. I made a sketch of the backyard and the areas where things were, what spots were shady at certain times of day and where water might collect in pools etc. We also marked out where we administered a couple pH tests and where soil samples were taken from.

In the Yard
We began by using a rake and scratching out all of the pathways that we were going to be walking on, so essentially what didn’t need to be mulched. We wanted to make sure we weren’t wasting materials on an area that didn’t really need them. (hey, when you don’t have a job its your job to be frugal!) From our pH test we found that our soil was very acid so we sprinkled  on palletized lime to neutralize the acid. We also raked on a thin layer of Black Kow composted cow manure. The sheet mulch recipe called for a thin layer of hi-Nitrogen material.
Well you can't discern much from this picture but trust me
I raked in some compost!
Step Two
In the Yard
Cardboard time! We began to lay out the cardboard overlapping edges by about 6 inches to prevent the grass/weeds from popping thru. We also covered other gaps (our boxes had holes for handles) with the newspaper and wetted it all down. (TIP: work like you are painting a floor, so you try not to step on the work you just did, and don’t paint yourself into a corner!)
D is wetting down the cardboard so it stops blowing
Step Three
In the Yard
Another thin layer of Black Kow or any hi-Nitrogen material. We also added a peat moss to the section with the white bag in front of it just for a little more material. Also included in step three was chasing Bella Sue around on and off the cardboard as she collected poo poo on her paws and seemed to be magically inspired by the sprinkling water to tear around at mach 12 on the boxes, avoiding use of the paths and becoming more excited when we told her to get off and thus perpetuating the poo poo paws circle. (it was really hilarious to watch!)
Cow Poo Poos on the cardboard!
Step Four
In the Yard
Straw fun time! We got to tear apart our straw bales into one or two inch “books” (because obviously when the worms come up they need something to read!) watered as we went (to the wrung out sponge consistency, or at least as best we could tell in the dark with chilly fingers!) then came back with another layer. All of our straw bales weren’t baled really well so some areas were more fluffy. 

Our compost is magical, that's why it's blue. tee hee
(its right there near the free broken red shovel we found)

Good girl Bella Sue! ...this time.... :)

We are going to go to our local yard waste facility and borrow some very sweet friends' truck and pick up some loads of topsoil and mulch to finish it off although I think we just want top soil because we just covered all ours up! It is much cheaper than buying bags and bags of stuff though and we need a bit more material to get to the 18-24" mark, so topsoil and wood chip mulch it is! $10 a truckload sounds pretty appealing.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Winner is.....

You might notice that I am missing about 4 names from the list, Mr. Dorian admitted to me that he had "planted" the first four names! How sweet...Booger!

So it looks like a lucky four of you! Two L's and two R's....who will be the winner.

I had some help picking the winner from Bella Sue. I cut up the paper and folded them up and my original idea was to have Bella sniff the selections and whichever one stuck to her beard would be the winner. Bella had a different idea, she decided to EAT the winner! 
We had to do a two person extraction to get this one back!

Congratulations Renee!!

I hope you enjoy the garland!!

Thank you SOOO much to all of you who entered! I really appreciate you stopping by!

Lots of love to you all!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Free stuff, free stuff, That's right!

Leaving a comment below!

It's that simple and you could be the winner of this fun little felt garland!
These cute little tropical colored felt circles are hand sewn with a blanket stitch and then strung together with loops on both ends.
It measures about ten and a half feet long, great for mantles or windows or whatever you can think of!

 on Saturday January 8th at 8:00 EST!
I'll post the winner around 8:30!
Good Luck.

much love!

Monday, January 3, 2011

What happens in the greenhouse......

Dorian diligently I run around with my camera and giggle

Yeah, I couldn't come up with a funny mockery of the "What happens in Vegas" tag-line because what happens in our greenhouse is for everyone to see!! 

You wanna know what's inside??? SPROUTS!! AND DORIAN!!! Those tiny plants had a rough start, remember the greenhouse mini disaster!? They took a tumble in a windstorm but they did what seeds do and they grew, we just won’t know what they are until they are bigger. (seeds are so freaking cool....don't even get me started on plants)
We left the little sprouts in the germinating flat a bit too long, but we went on transplanting into the six pack cells so they can stretch those roots out. Most of the sprouts are broccoli or cauliflower and we have about a half dozen spinach that made it.
You may be asking yourself what in the name of the great green earth are you planting seeds in the middle of winter? Eh, I guess you can just chalk it up to an experiment, we wanted to see what would happen and even if it would stay warm enough in our greenhouse. So far it has!
We lost a few when we left them unattended over Christmas (they got crispied) but the others are going strong!

These pictures were taken a couple weeks back on transplanting day. it open it!! 
Hehe, Bella Sue is checking in on Uncle Dorian
to make sure he will come and play soon.
Sproutlings!! Reach for the sky!! or at least your plastic dome!
I am getting so excited to have a big garden in the back yard! Excited doesn't even begin to describe it. It's like when you see a dog that is just SOOOO cute it makes your head want to explode, yeah that excited. 
Online seed stores have been the target of my internetting. Dorian had to rein me in on the flowers (but I still went to another site and went flower gaga and just selected whichever ones tickled my fancy!) Ok, I had to reign myself in a bit too but all together we ordered nearly $200 of seeds! Yayhoo! Check out the final list (plus some that we had from earlier)

Go plant some seeds!!

Leave a comment if you are thinking about starting a garden and let me know what you want to grow!

With love and dirt under my nails!