Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Time to get a-walking

courtesy Microsoft clip art

courtesy Microsoft clip art

I’ve been feeling a bit unmotivated lately.  Nothing’s “wrong.”  Life is good, in fact.   Well, except for the preponderance of weeds in the garden, but that’s for another post.

What’s been missing is having a goal. To be more specific, a travel goal.   Planning and training for my 2013 Camino consumed the better part of two years.  Rehabbing my foot and applying what I learned on my Camino took me through summer of 2014.   It’s now the end of summer 2015,  and I’m healthy and ready for a new adventure.

So where to go?  A few worthy suggestions have come across my Facebook feed over the past few months.  They include:

  • Norway.  A pilgrimage in Norway — in summer — sounds delicious!  And not because I’m a huge “Frozen” fan,  I promise!   I confess to having had little interest in, or knowledge about, this country until a hiking friend posted the information about pilgrimages.  Now I wanna go!  Beauty everywhere!  This is definitely on my bucket list.
  • Southern Colorado and the Camino de Crestone.  A Camino in the US?  Apparently so!  This 8-day journey features short walks  in an area of the country where I haven’t yet visited.  From the linked website: ” Amid some of Colorado’s greatest beauty, the little mountain town of Crestone is a magnet of spiritual presences.  Within walking distance of this small international village are stupas and zendos, ashrams, a Carmelite monastery,  Buddhist retreats and centers for sacred dance and voice, not to mention medicine wheels, sweat lodges and the labyrinth of Chartres in its exact dimensions.”    Bliss!  Here’s hoping this enterprise continues for years to come so that I can take advantage.
  • The European Peace Walk.  A long-distance walk through six countries:  Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy.    Be still my heart!   The website says this takes 24 days, with stages around 25Km per day.   This is definitely one of my “one day, maybe” trips.  Right now, however, I am currently reluctant to leave my dog for that long a time. She did not enjoy sleep-away camp while I was gone visiting family this summer.

In addition to the ones listed above, several other places have caught my fancy:  Scotland!  Montana!  Perhaps another Camino in Spain or Portugal!

All sound tempting, but for right now, I have settled on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales.   I will only be walking part of the path, from St. David’s to St. Dogmaels, with a side trip to the Preseli Hills and the stones.  Departure date: mid-May 2016.  Time away from Meghan the dog, who will have her own personal pet sitter in her own house with her own crate and her own back yard and all her favorite toys: two weeks max.

So Wales, it is!  Now it’s time to dust off the hiking poles, buy a new pair of boots and get moving.

Pooling old resources

  
Last summer, a friend of mine brought me a baby pool for my dog that he found on Freecycle. 

Meghan loves to get in the baby pools at doggie daycamp, so I quickly pulled out the hose and began filling the pool.  

It didn’t take long to discover a large crack in the bottom of the pool.  Argh!!! The pool would not hold water.

What to do?  The pool was too large to fit in my car, so I couldn’t haul it to the dump.  My friend who brought it to me did not want to take it off my hands.  I was stuck…

…until I decided to try the pool as a planter.  Maybe it would work for carrots and beets, two things that don’t grow well in my mostly clay soil.

Fast forward a year, and I’ve finally gotten my act together to create my new planter.

 
I placed the pool on several layers of plastic, in an area of my back yard that gets afternoon shade.  According to the seed packets, this is necessary in a hot climate like mine.  

 
I then cut quite a few more holes for drainage.

  
I then mixed up some soil, sand, compost and manure. 

  
I pulled out the carrots, beets and parsley demi-long.  I think I ordered that last packet by mistake, as I have no idea what it is!

  
Carrots are on the left, parsley demi-long in the middle, and beets on the right.

We’ll see how my pool planter works.  Meanwhile, it’s time to pull out the new, leak-free baby pool so Meghan and I can cool off.

Greens by the bucket

060A few weeks ago, we had several days of sub-freezing temperatures, and my fall/winter garden took quite a hit.  The only survivor is a patch of baby collards.

While I know the kale and mustard will come back once the temperatures warm up a bit, I found myself missing being able to add freshly grown greens to my meals.  It was past time to turn on the seed table!

I started off planting only lettuce and microgreens.

057

Next up was the spinach and turnip greens.

058

The seed table is starting to fill up!

061

Today I started a big bucket of sugar snap peas; they’re hiding from view, on the bottom shelf.

The plants in these pots and buckets won’t grow as big as those planted in a garden bed, but they’ll be fresh and tender and delicious in salads and smoothies! And hopefully tide me over until the weather’s nice enough to grow things outside.

What’s in your garden?

IMG_0800.JPG

Meghan supervised while I decorated the Christmas tree, so now she’s settling down for a long winter’s nap.

The gift of a messy garden

I have a not-so-well-kept secret. Anyone walking in my yard immediately figures it out: I am not the world’s most immaculate gardener.

In the past few years, I’ve been able to divide my yard into “summer” gardens and “winter” gardens. And, for the most part, I’ve been able to get seeds in the ground on time so they have an opportunity to grow.

But I’m not so good about keeping on top of weeding and keeping the bushes trimmed.  Also, I’ve somehow been unable to clean up most of my winter garden beds after the plants in those beds have died.

The bad thing about my procrastination is that I never get cover crop in the soil to provide more nutrients. But, I’ve found that there’s also a benefit to my laziness: free plants!  Not only do many of the greens re-seed themselves in place — I haven’t bought kale seed for years! — but they also show up in unexpected areas.

IMG_0756

The Asian green above is living in a bed along with spring bulbs, pink yarrow and various weeds.   I planted the original seeds about five years ago; now the seed packet (and the memory of this green’s name) is long gone, but I still get to enjoy free food.

IMG_0758

The mustard greens, above, are growing in one of the pathways in my backyard.  Disregard the other weeds that are also thriving in the pathway.

IMG_0759

I must be especially bad about cleaning up mustard greens,  Because, in addition to the original bed in which they grew and the walkway above, a large patch  has sprung up on the side of my yard nowhere near any of my garden beds.   Yum yum!

IMG_0757

Besides greens, I find a lot of cornflowers in random places.  Usually, they sprout in the spring, but this poor guy got confused by our warm fall weather.  I hope the plant makes it through this current patch of cold temperatures, but if it doesn’t, I know that there will be more to take its place come spring!

Anyone else have a messy garden?

Happy Halloween!

IMG_0724.JPG

IMG_0395

doggie cupcake from Oliver’s Collar

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I adopted Meghan the Wonderdog!

A lot has happened in this year:  Meghan has made some new friends (including Bou, Darcy, Elvis, and Jake);  she’s learned to walk fairly nicely on a leash;  she saw her first snow; and she’s finally learned to “shake.”

Unfortunately, all has not been perfect in Meghan’s world.  Most recently,  she tore her joint capsule in her left knee, and had to have surgery a few weeks ago.   Because of her medical condition, which mostly means no running and playing for six weeks, I had to cancel the planned adoption day party with her doggie friends listed above.

Instead, Meghan’s adoption day was rather quiet.  Of course I told her how happy I was to have her and gave her a new Kong.  I also presented her with a delicious cupcake from Oliver’s Collar.

Here’s a few photos of the event.  Please note that the cupcake contained only ingredients safe for pups — definitely no chocolate!

IMG_0398

What is that?

 

 

IMG_0400

A treat? For me? Really?

 

IMG_0402

Such concentration!

IMG_0403

Just let me have it already!

 

Note that the picture of her devouring the cupcake doesn’t exist.  You’ll just have to take my word that she grabbed it in her mouth, ran into the dining room and devoured it in two bites.

 

IMG_0404

Now time for a well-deserved post-treat nap.

 

Just a little P.S.: when I adopted Meghan last year, I was injured and had difficulty walking.  This year, she was injured.  So I look forward to next year’s adoption day, when both of us will be able to romp around painlessly!