Garden Guide Giveaway!

I’ve mentioned on twitter multiple times about a great book that I bought and have been reading.  No, not reading, studying.  Because it is far more than a book you just read, it is a book that you read, study, absorb, learn, and re-read.
I come from a somewhat strange place when it comes to gardening – I know quite a bit more than the beginning gardener, but I don’t know anything near what an advanced gardener knows.  I’ve been gardening as long as I can remember – even when “gardening” involved more making mud pies than it did actually growing things.  I know the depth you should plant seeds, but I don’t know when you should plant them.  I know the names for the different garden tools, such as a spade, trowel, hoe, cultivator, etc. but I don’t know when you should use each one.
Not to mention that gardening has changed quite a bit from the ways my grandma learned growing up, which she passed down to my mom and myself.  I’ve found this book to be perfect for me, it is easy enough to understand but not so simple that I get bored.
Oh, and by the way, if you aren’t quite in the 20 to 30 something age range, don’t worry, Dee says, “Although [it] is geared toward the 20-30 Something generation, it’s really also for anyone new to gardening who doesn’t know where to start.”This book is wonderful – I actually haven’t gotten past the first few chapters because I’ve read and re-read them again and again.  This isn’t a book you are going to pick up, read once and set aside.  Or at least I’m not!  It is a book to refer to again and again!

And now, on to the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Salad Bowl

This awesome book I have been reading, The 20-30 Something Garden Guide; A no-fuss, down and dirty Gardening 101 for anyone who wants to grow stuff has a brilliant suggestion to grow a “salad bowl” with lettuce in a container.  When I was at the feed store looking at seeds, I noticed a similar bowl in the clearance section and just had to get it and make my own salad bowl.

Because I’m keeping my bowl inside so I can have early lettuce, I didn’t remove the plugs from the drain holes, but instead used packing peanuts to allow good drainage for the soil.  Packing peanuts are lighter than stones, making it easier to move around.

I got the rest of my supplies ready, only to find out that the bag of potting soil was frozen solid, so I set it in the sun in mom’s greenhouse to warm up.  My cat, Roxie, decided to help out with the warming process.

All planted up, ready to water.  In her book, Dee Nash, did a fancy swirl design, but since I have a mixed lettuce and a red romaine, I just did a ring on the outside of red romaine and put the mix on the inside.

Lettuce sprouts fast!  I planted this four days ago and it is already starting to show tiny little sprouts.  Now my mouth is watering and I can’t wait for a delicious fresh salad!

Finding Joy in the Little Things

Life has been rough the past few weeks.  As allergy season began with the blooming of the trees and flowers, I had the typical allergy reactions I have every year.  They aren’t fun, but are usually tolerable for the most part.  This year, they moved into my chest and I developed bronchitis.  A visit to the doctor after a week of misery, coughing, and not breathing and I had some medication that got me to feeling better.
Then suddenly I developed other symptoms – a return of my fever and fainting.  Concerned, I returned to the doctor to get things checked out.  The fever could be from the bronchitis, or unrelated.  The fainting is a bit more concerning, and the doctor wants to check it out.  In the meantime, I’m supposed to drink more water and change from sitting to standing slowly.  Those who know me probably know that I don’t move very slow – ever.  It is a real challenge to remember (though the lightheadedness every time I stand does sort of remind me).
So I’m spending much of my time resting and drinking water, and while I could find plenty to complain about, I decided to find some things that I’m thankful for instead.  Sometimes it is easy to be joyful about the big things, but we miss the little things.  So here are five things I’m finding joy in today.
1. Funky socks that my secret prayer partner gave me (this is just one pair, I have a bunch!), because it reminds me that someone is praying for me and because they are adorable.  I got three compliments on them today at the doctor’s office and blood lab.  The weird lump is from the gauze over the blood draw site, my foot isn’t deformed.
2. A good book to read, I happen to have won this particular book for a winning contest entry at the blog How to Cope with Pain.  I just started the book and am enjoying it, but I will let you read How to Cope with Pain’s review.
3. If you have to drink water, what better thing to drink it out of than a water bottle that reminds you of your friend and makes you smile and laugh every time you read it?  My friend’s last name is Pond and they own Pond Seed Company who makes this hilarious bottled “Fresh Pond Water.”  The label is awesomely hilarious (click to enlarge and read this side).  Granted it has been refilled with well water, but still it makes me laugh!
4. While relaxing in bed, it is always nice to have a smiling face hanging around, and Cow always has a lovely smiley face on – regardless of how I’m feeling or how much I’m squishing him. He is soft and cuddly and smiley.  Yes, my frog’s name is Cow, don’t ask.
5. Finally, the thing that is saving my sanity of having a fever while it is in the 90’s outside with high humidity (read – tons of sweat!), my awesome box fan.  Cooling and lovely white noise that drowns out the tinnitus all in one!