Tag Archives: gardening

Thriving in May

Other than those pesky allergies, we managed to stay pretty healthy this month!

As far as my plans, here is how April went:

I am going to be honest with you. I didn’t like doing the reading journal. It was hard to incorporate it into my day because I read literally whenever I have time. In a drive thru. At the gym. When I’m waiting for a timer to go off for dinner. And I just couldn’t keep up with the pages I was reading and the thoughts I had in a journal (besides, I’m actually already journaling in three journals this year, so I might be journaled out.). I haven’t yet really begun to write in my books (unless they are for a book club and nonfiction – I don’t know why I’m okay with only that), but I might look into other possible options (book darts, maybe?).

I did research on memoir writing. I still want to find Stephen King’s On Writing which I haven’t yet (I should just break down and get it on Amazon). But I think what has been most helpful is reading other people’s memoirs. I’m probably (definitely) going to go back to writing next month, but I want to incorporate more memoirs in my near future.

I did get the plants planted in the hydroponic jars. I just have to wait for them to sprout. Hopefully, they will, although they are a different brand than my mint (which is doing beautifully still!). I almost forgot to do them this month, but this blog post reminded me.

Here’s my plan for May thriving:

I only really have one goal or focus this month, and that is rest. I’m taking a break from blogging for the month of May. I did this last year when I had my son, but I’ve actually taken this month off for both blogging and social media for many years in the past. I think this is about the time when I need to step back and evaluate blogging and, really social media in general (although I will still probably post on my Instagram @katyslifestory). But also, we have a lot of family time this month (hello, celebrating my son this week is bringing in both of our parents!) and I want to take the time to enjoy it.

So I hope you all have a wonderful month of May and I will talk to you again in June. (By the way, I do have some blog posts still going up to finish this week. Friday will be my last post. I will also take a break from my newsletter, Saturday will be the last one until next month).

Do you have any goals you are trying to reach this month?

Thriving in April

The illnesses continues this month in our household. I feel like we are playing Sicky Bingo this year. So far we have experienced RSV, the Flu, Pink Eye, and a Double Ear Infection. But Spring is here, and with it is sunshine and warmer weather, so hopefully it also signifies the end to all this sick business.

As far as my plans, here is how March went:

  1. Work up to reading 50 pages in a day. I don’t know if I will actually accomplish this, but any excuse to read is definitely something that fits into my definition of thriving.
  2. Continue writing the second chapter, and add a few things to the first chapter. Hopefully, complete both and beginning writing on the third chapter.
  3. Start my garden! I already have the setup done, I just need to plant the seeds at the right time, or ahead of time in the house.

I did accomplish reading 50 pages a day by the last two weeks of the month. Honestly, it took a lot of dedication. I was lucky that I could find Jane Eyre in audio, E-book, and traditional book form so that I could read the story wherever I was – while nursing, before bed, in the early morning, working out. My library was an excellent resource for this. I even got up to 162 pages in a day (I used the traditional book to keep up with the page amount).

I completed the second and third chapters of my book. I’ve written about 7500 words so far. Right now, I’m basically writing chronologically, but I know that I will be going back through and adding memories or little things that I want to include. Plus, I want to figure out the complete purpose of this book. Of course, it’s to tell the story of the last five years, but there are so many directions that story can take, depending on the audience.

The garden is planted! In fact, I just transplanted my watermelon plant that I grew from seed inside. I have posted a few pictures on Instagram, and a few more plants have sprouted since then. I’m still waiting on a few more, however.

Here’s my plan for April thriving:

  1. Begin a reading journal. I kind of started doing this last month to keep track of pages, but I would love to have something that includes notes on what I’m reading to help me when I write my reviews (up until this point, I’ve been doing my reviews mostly from memory). Plus, I would like to continue keeping track of my page count (by the way, April 1st, I only read 12 pages. It was a long, tiring day).
  2. Research more on memoir writing. I am getting to a point in my writing where I need to decide what direction I want to take (as I mentioned above). I got some books out of the library, and I will probably do some research online, but I think I will take a small break from my writing to make sure I’m headed where I want to go.
  3. Finish planting indoors. I have a few hydroponic herbs that Michael got me for Christmas. I need to plant them and get them all set up on my window. I finally have room because I’ve moved the watermelon plant outside.

I will try to post updates throughout the month on these on my Instagram, and of course, have an overview at the end of the month.

Do you have any goals you are trying to reach this month?

Thriving in March

February flew by, but I guess that’s what to expect from the shortest month of the year. Unfortunately, we had some illness again this month. Ugh, I’m so ready for the sicky season to be over and the sun to come out again! Although, I’m also game for a good snow day if it decides to visit Texas this year (a girl can dream!).

As far as my plans, here is how February went:

I have set up a workout rhythm at home, including the trips to the gym on the weekend. It wasn’t perfect this month. We had another visit from the illness fairy, but the rhythm is something I can stop if I need to and pick right back up the next day.

I didn’t complete the second chapter of the book in February because I got inspired to add things to my first chapter. But I’m really happy with that chapter, and I’m using that momentum into this month.

I did bake twice this month, though! I made a strawberry lemon cheesecake around Valentine’s Day. And I made cookies and cream cupcakes towards the end of the month. Both were delicious and fun to get back into baking. I put up pictures of both of these on my Instagram.

Here’s my plan for March thriving:

  1. Work up to reading 50 pages in a day. I don’t know if I will actually accomplish this, but any excuse to read is definitely something that fits into my definition of thriving.
  2. Continue writing the second chapter, and add a few things to the first chapter. Hopefully, complete both and beginning writing on the third chapter.
  3. Start my garden! I already have the setup done, I just need to plant the seeds at the right time, or ahead of time in the house.

I will try to post updates throughout the month on these on my Instagram, and of course, have an overview at the end of the month.

Do you have any goals you are trying to reach this month?

My Birthday Present

I wanted to share one last thing from my birthday celebration this month.  If you have been on this blog very long, you might have seen my vegetable garden over the years. We started this garden back in 2012, and it has evolved through the years as different needs arise.

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We put green mesh around it to try to keep out the wild rabbits in our neighborhood.

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The rabbits got through that mesh, so we moved on to chicken wire.

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I have grown a variety of plants, okra being my favorite to grow, but we have also planted tomatoes, corn, peppers, squash, even lettuce.  And we always manage to grow a few herbs here and there, mainly basil.

But this year, I wanted a bigger garden, one that not only kept out the rabbits, but also our loveable dogs and possibly even the birds (cause they always get our tomatoes.  So Michael started to build.

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Notice the heap of grass that used to be our vegetable garden.  Last year, we just let it grow out because I wanted to do something different this year.

And here’s where we are so far.

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Michael spent an entire weekend building these cedar raised beds.  Soon we will fill them with dirt, and maybe plant a couple of hearty herbs.  I look forward to growing more vegetables in the garden next year.

Do you like to garden?

Weeds

This weekend, I spent some time in the garden I planted earlier this spring.  I’m really happy with the outcome this year, so far.

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I’ve already harvested two okra  pods.  I also have broccoli, zucchini, mint and basil in the picture above (although, you can’t see the mint because the zucchini leaves are in the way.  The marigolds are there to deter as many pests as possible, especially around some of the newer plants I’ve never planted before.  Most of my garden came from seed, with the exception of the mint and basil.  I’ve been really happy with the progress.

As I pulled weeds this weekend, I thought about the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13.  I think this is one of my favorite parables because it’s one that includes the explanation with it.  In particular, of course, I was thinking about the seeds that fell among the weeds – the people who heard the word but the cares of the world and riches choke out the word.  I could see a lot of similarities between the weeds in the parable and the weeds I pulled.

Weeds can run long, deep, and connected.  In my garden, the most abundant type of weed is actually the grass from our yard.  While I use raised beds, somehow the grass finds its way into my garden, starting usually from the outside and winding around the plants.  When I pull one part slowly and carefully, I can end up pulling a long weed that goes deep underground, like this one:

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Just like this weed, worry creeps in from the outside and plants its roots everywhere.  It’s never just one worry, but all the things that worry will affect.  If it’s getting a job, it’s also supporting your family, maintaining your relationships, and being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Everything is connected in that one strand.  Every worry affects everything else.  It also runs deep, and it’s painful to pull out.  There have been times I have thought about just leaving a weed there because the roots are just so deep.  Just like worry though, it’s better to rip it out because the roots will just go deeper if left alone.

Weeds can be hidden under big leaves.  I didn’t plan it this way, but most of my garden this year contains plants with huge leaves like this one:

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Most of the time, a candid look at the garden might not show many weeds, but a closer look, a careful lift of one of the larger leaves will expose the weeds underneath.   Sometimes it just seems easier to look at other people candidly and think that they have it all together.  We don’t take the time to truly find out what is going on underneath.  And how many times do I hide my own weeds in my life?  However, just like in my garden, those weeds will never be removed unless they are exposed.

Finally, weeds can always come back.  When I was a kid, I hated to weed the garden (of course, now it’s a therapeutic activity).  I never understood why we do something that we will just have to do again and again.  But that’s how weeds work.  They start out small or just around the edges and work their way in and among, sometimes even throughout the plants in the garden, hoping to leech some of the care and love you are putting into those plants.  That’s why you have to stay on your guard and be diligent in your weeding.  In the same way, just because I have let go of a worry now doesn’t mean I stop worrying, or even that the same worry in a different form might return.  Just like my garden, I have to continuously be on my guard with my heart, acknowledging the weeds that have crept into my life and allow God to work, pulling each painful weed.

I have truly learned to love gardening.  I enjoy the fresh produce I get each year, as well as the quiet time I spend just working in the garden, making sure every plant has all that they need.  I think God feels the same way in working in our hearts.  Sure,  He might get frustrated at the weeds, but He knows it’s worth it.  Because once His work is complete, the beauty of His garden, of our hearts, is truly spectacular.