25th Hour Organizing

"Because 24 Just Isn't Enough"

Organized Gardening – Garden Expansion is Underway August 4, 2009

Filed under: Gardening — Christine @ 7:03 am

Well…partly underway. The rainstorm this morning will affect productivity dramatically. Despite this, I currently have two new 4×8 beds, assembled, filled with compost and topsoil, and ready to plant. Thanks to the small mountain of dirt in my driveway we will be able to fill all of the…

Seven 4x8s

Five 2x8s

Six 2x4s

With enough vegetables and fruits to keep me busy harvesting and canning next year! I plan to get in a fall harvest this year as well: cabbage, radishes, kale, beans, peas, potatoes & zucchini.

Raised beds really make things easier. We used 10 inch boards, so our planters are nearly 1 foot off the ground. You can sit on the edge, reach in and pick the errant weeds with less strain on your back than if you the plants were directly on the ground.

We also put structures to work – our privacy fence and even the outside walls of our house, have trellis or chicken wire attached in order to grow vining plants on. Check out my husband’s hop plants.

Just a few nails and twine is holding these plants up. Next spring we may get a little more ‘supportive’ and attach a trellis to the wall.We will also be doubling the space allowed for the hops. Hops grow quickly, up to a six inches in a day, and require something to climb on for best results. These plants are about 20 foot high right now and would happily grow all the way to our roof if we gave them the opportunity.

My husband is busy planning the new chicken coop and enclosed yard and we will be getting Araucanas in the spring. I expect that by this time next year we will begin to have eggs. Pretty little pastel-colored eggs!

I sat down and spent a good day planning my garden in regards to what plants worked best with others (look up ‘companion planting’ in a web browser). As much as possible I want to NOT use pesticides or even commercial fertilizers. This year I used none, but I did lose my summer squash crop to something (probably the squash beetle). I hope to remedy that problem by growing my squash with tansy, which repels ants, cucumber beetles, and squash beetles. Check out Louise Riotte’s books “Roses Love Garlic” and “Carrots Love Tomatoes” for more details on companion planting. And stay tuned…there’s more planting and beds to be installed!

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Juggling Priorities & Wanting It All August 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christine @ 12:51 pm

The other day I presented my class proposals to the Mid-Continent Public Library’s bi-annual meeting. Librarians from all 22 branches were in attendance and the coordinator gave the following introduction to the group.

“Every time I speak to Christine I end up asking her to send me a write-up for a new class! She has so many projects, so many different talents and interests that even just listening to her makes me tired!”

I get that from a lot of people. The ‘tired’ part, that is. The thing is, all of those things I do, happen one at a time with very few exceptions.

For example, right now I have set my two writing projects on hold in exchange for two very time-sensitive projects…a king-size quilt I am making for my oldest daughter’s visit and birthday this fall and the quintupling of my raised garden beds with cool season vegetables to be planted as soon as I have dirt in them.

I want to have the quilt done by the time Dee arrives in September and I can manage a crop of potatoes, cabbage, kale, beans, peas, zucchini & carrots before frost hits if I have the seeds in the ground by next weekend.

Part of me wants to dig out three other quilts that have been started but never finished. But those will probably wait until winter when I can’t garden! The book-writing is also a priority, but I think that, in a week, I will be able to return to them (one or both, depending on mood) and make significant progress.

Cropping up in my range of ‘priorities’ is the concern that my little one, nearly three, is lonely. So I’ve scheduled in daily kid activities, which usually entails dropping her off with kids her size at the community center and working out for an hour while she is having fun. I can actually do this up to nine hours a week if I want, since there are multiple activities available. This also fills another ‘gotta do’ in the exercise/weight loss department.

So many times in life we want it all, right now, and next week, next month or next year feels like forever. I have some beautiful bearded iris that I planted in my garden over a decade ago. I remember thinking that cool fall day that spring couldn’t come fast enough, I wanted to see them and cut them and put them in a vase on my dining room table! Ten years later, I’ve dug and divided them up twice and given away more plants than I ever originally bought.

Life is like that, we turn around twice and wonder where the heck five years went. Or ten, or thirty.

I realized about five years back that I wanted to see and experience quite a list of things. I wanted to learn, grow, dabble in a wide range of interests and that I had a lot I wanted to get accomplished!

Not everyone has the same mental list ticking away in high gear in their brain. And that is fine, perfectly fine as a matter of fact! What level of activity/interest do you want? What ARE your wants or needs? Find that acceptable level and go forward. And don’t worry about what others think.

I get a lot of head shakes, “I just couldn’t do what you do. I just couldn’t keep up.” I worry sometimes that what that translates into is the leadup to saying, “I can’t be organized. I just don’t have it in me to be like you, Christine, so your techniques simply won’t work.”

There are times when my desk looks like a hurricane hit it.

There are days, even weeks, when my house is well overdue for a thorough dusting and vacuuming.

In fact, it’s in dire need of vacuuming right now. I’m choosing to wait on that until later today. I have this post to make and I also need to build some raised planters and will probably end up tracking through the house if I vacuum now so why bother?

I’m not perfectly organized all of the time. My house is not neat and clean at all hours, ready and waiting for the surprise visitor. I have a preschooler for goodness’ sake! No one can keep up with her!

Everything I do, all that I do, still happens one thing at a time. I give up one thing, clean floors, in order to clean the garage or work on a quilt. I do this happily. I sacrifice order for progress or learning and I sacrifice cleanliness for experience – not every day, but enough of the time to never know quite what you will find when you walk in my house!

It’s hard to juggle priorities. Some days I’ve just had it, and then some, and it is easier to simply sit and read or zone out in front of the tv.

So what is this post all about? I guess I’m simply trying to point out that I’m not Wonder Woman. I do what I can, when I can, with whatever is within my means. And so should you. Don’t aspire to be anyone except yourself. Find your comfort level and to heck with what the rest of the world thinks.

It’s your life after all.