Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Feels Like Monday

Lisa and I braved the first workout of Stage 3 and it was really good until the body weight matrix. What is a body weight matrix, you ask? It doesn't involve putting your body on Keanu Reeves, unfortunately. It's a killer set of 24 squats, 24 alternating lunges, 24 lunge jumps and 24 squat jumps. In. A. Row. TWICE. After a rest period equal to how long it took to complete the psycho set. I managed to do all the squats, all the lunges and 12 squat jumps (first set)/15 squat jumps (second set.) All in just over 2 1/2 minutes. Lunge jumps were off the table because I attempted one and nearly fell over. Perhaps next time. It sucked but the endorphins were well worth it!

Reader Michele asked for some gardening advice. The Internet is a good tool for general information but to be honest, I learned the most by doing. Gardening seems to be governed by all kinds of rules, schedules and tables and if I took the time to learn it all I'd be dead before I planted a thing. So I just got stuck in.

I never gardened before we bought this house almost four years ago but the front porch just begs for hanging flower baskets and the back deck is the perfect spot for a container garden. You don't need much in the way of equipment for a container garden, just a small spade, some garden gloves and a hose or watering can. I bought a few pots, some garden soil and plants that appealed to me. Mostly herbs that I like to cook with and transplanted them in groups that look nice together. The herbs did great so I branched out with tomatoes, which did so well last year. Give them support, water and sun and they will feed you all summer and into the fall.

I bought pre-planted flower bowls last year and saved the bowls so I could make my own. How hard could it be? Choose flowers and greenery that might look good together and have similar sun requirements, those little tags are a wealth of information. Fill the pot with soil leaving room at the top for the plants, remove the plants from their containers and gently break up the roots, arrange them, fill in with more soil and gently tamp it down. Water them in and you've got a living floral arrangement that will look pretty all spring and summer. I pluck off the flowers as they die to encourage more blooming. Keep the pots in a sunny spot and keep them watered. That's all there is to it.

The more I do it, the more confidence I get in my ability and the more I want to learn. This year we will be planting our first vegetable garden. I bought All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space! and Rob built my raised beds. They are complete, filled with Mel's Mix and are ready to be planted. I ordered my seeds and next weekend we're going to plant them. I don't know how it will turn out but I will blog about it as I go. Watch this space!


  1. Thanks for this post, Andra! And for the thoughtful response to my original comment. I think that deep down I know that I just need to do--sometimes I just need a gentle push in the right direction! :) Someone said to me once to just dig in with my hands and get dirty--garden with "reckless abandon". I'm going to try out the pots and containers, hopefully by the end of the month. I look forward to more posts on gardening! :)

  2. I bought that book this winter as well and am planning out my square foot garden (with a fence to guard it from my dog :)).
    Jumping lunges - WOW - I saw someone doing those at the gym last week and was impressed with how hard they looked and the fact she was even doing them.
    Good for you!
    I would fall over for sure - I have no sense of balance :)

  3. Oh yes, the matrix. I somehow blocked that from my memory.....

  4. lol @ the Keanu Reeves bit :D

  5. thanks for the book link! i have placed it on hold at the local library, and will be picking up this weekend. i'm also happy to report that i spontaneously bought some herbs & containers last night. :)