Sunday, August 25, 2013

Planning for winter

It's so hot right now that it's hard to contemplate winter coming, but technically there's less than two months before the first frost. So I have to start thinking about what to save over the winter and how to do it. My chives are hardy and will regrow next year, so they can stay outside all winter. The parsley might come back next year too, so I might just cut it back and see what happens. Some of my plants will come inside for the wintertime-my sempervivums and my passiflora vine. I might also bring the mugwort inside, although it's supposed to be hardy as well so I might just cut it back and let it sit outside.
My Persian Shield and coleus are technically annuals, so I am planning on taking cuttings and keeping them over the winter in water, then they can be rooted again for next spring. I've never done this before so I will have to take a bunch in case a lot of them die.
Everything else will be done and die for the winter. I'm already saving tomato seeds for next spring, and I have catnip and chamomile seeds left. I'll have to buy basil seeds, more carrot seeds, and some strawberry seeds. I'll probably buy starts of lavender and sage next year too. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Harvest Time!

A lot of my garden is coming ready for harvest now, so this weekend I'm going to spend a lot of time doing garden stuff. Earlier this week I got my first chive harvest and froze them so they'll keep well. I have so much catnip it's ridiculous. I will probably have to cut more of it and dry it this weekend. I also keep getting tomatoes in. I want to cut another up just to collect seed, and I also need to figure out the best way to freeze some of them for later use in soups and stews. I don't have enough to make marinara sauce but I have too many to eat by myself. It's also time for more basil. I will definitely harvest all of my Dark Opal basil and turn it into pesto this weekend. I might also collect all of the sweet basil and do the same thing. Basil is really easy to make with a food processor and it also freezes well. I might also aggressively cut back my peppermint and dry more of it. It's going to get hot again next week so I want to get my first big harvest done before the heat damages anything.
The good news in terms of the heat is that I'm going to set my Madagascar Palm outside, which it should like a lot. Hopefully it will get some good growth in for the rest of the summer before I have to overwinter it inside.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Busy weekend: Des Moines Farmer's Market and Iowa State Fair

I had an extremely busy weekend! I went to hang out with my friends Mike and Tessa. We spent some time hanging out with other friends, but we also went to the Des Moines Farmer's Market and the Iowa State Fair.
It was my first time at the farmer's market. It's huge! The Des Moines Farmer's Market takes up several blocks of downtown Des Moines and is on every Saturday. There are lots of vendors there that sell produce, plants, cooked food, jewelry, clothes, etc. Pretty much anything you can think of is sold there. Some of the vendors are also certified organic if that's your thing. I had a great time. I ate breakfast at the Indian Delights stand, where I got samosas that were homemade. I bought a ridiculous amount of kale, fresh blueberries, some heirloom tomatoes, two pairs of earrings, a necklace, and a Mimosa plant. It was a great first time there and I'd love to go back.
I'd been to the Iowa State Fair once before, so we skipped the animals and all of the stuff in the buildings this time. We met up with Mike's daughter while we were there, so instead we went to the midway and went on a couple of rides. We went on the giant ferris wheel and the bumper boats. It was a lot of fun; I giggled like an idiot on the bumper boats. I hadn't been on any amusement park rides in ages so that was cool. We all split a red velvet funnel cake which was delicious and Mike tried the bacon wrapped corn dog. It was the first weekend of the fair so it was extremely busy, but it was still fun.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Taking Control of my Health

So, in case anyone who reads this doesn't know, I'm overweight. In fact, according to the BMI scale, I'm obese. I need to lose weight. I gained it it all in college-first the usual freshman 15 because woo dorm food and now my mum isn't here to tell me to eat my vegetables, and then as a way to self-medicate my then-undiagnosed generalized anxiety disorder. When I left Washington DC, I was over 200 pounds. I went down to about 180 when I lived at home, and now I'm 230 pounds. Way too much. My ideal weight is somewhere between 140 and 160.
I've been halfheartedly trying to lose weight for a while. I'll do okay for a few days and then go back to eating shit. I have a gym membership but don't go much because I feel so tired after work. I order out for food way too much because I'm stressed after work. All of this is complicated and wrapped up in my anxiety disorder, because I have a pattern of eating to avoid feeling the anxiety. I'm at the point now where I haven't gained weight in about a year, but I also haven't lost any.
Today my grandmother was diagnosed with diabetic cervical reticulopathy (nerve pain in the back due to diabetes) and liver damage of some kind (I don't have the full story yet but I suspect it's NASH). She's already an insulin dependent diabetic. Her weight and poor eating habits have finally caught up to her.
I can't keep waiting and half-assing my weight loss attempts. If I do that I'll end up like her. I've been lucky so far-the only consequence of my weight has been one high triglyceride measurement. But I'm not getting any younger and the consequences could be right around the corner.
I guess I'm writing this because I need to tell someone that I have got to do it right this time. Weight loss will be complex for me because I have to continue to treat my anxiety disorder along with changing my diet. But it must happen. I cannot wait around anymore.