40 Bags in 40 Days

40 Bags in 40 Days

I started this challenge before I knew it was a challenge.  

The idea is simple and I guarantee it will make you feel better.

A forty day period in the spring (coinciding with the 40 days of Lent) where you focus on cleaning one area per day. In this one area you challenge yourself to declutter, simplify, decrapify, and get rid of things you don’t need. The goal is one bag a day but you can have more or less.

All that stuff. Stuff you don’t even think about, weighs you down. It not only clutters your house, but your life and your mind. 

This decluttering stuff is refreshing. Perfect for this time of year when Spring is right around the corner (it is, I promise!)

I happened to start this past week with our pantry and our master bathroom (drawers and closet). That came out to be a total of 6 bags. Being OCD, I’m going to try to not really focus on the number of bags, but the spaces that are being decluttered. 

Got questions? Get answers.

Let me know if you plan on playing along. I’d love to follow your progress.

Seed Update

Seed Update

When I’ve started my own seeds before I didn’t have a great deal of luck. One of the main issues of course is the natural predator of all green leafy things…cats. I remember waking up one morning and going to check out the status of all the little seedlings to find about half of them  ripped out and half eaten. It never occurred to me that any of the cats would be interested in any of the seedlings so I had them right out in the open like a kitty smörgåsbord, just ripe for the picking.

I’ve since learned my lesson. 

What I really want to get is the Hydrofarm JSV4 4-Foot Jump Start T5 Grow Light System because it’s cool and I think I’d be more successful. I just don’t really have any place to put it that would be out of reach of wandering kitties…but I can dream

I was able to get a few seeds started over the past few days. I used old paper towel rolls for seed pots.

So super easy!  You can also use toilet paper rolls, but well I just can’t do that.

Here are some of the started seeds. Nothing really to see yet. Well except for their location.

Yes, there they sit in our master bathroom, in front of a very sunny window that also happens to be where our tub is located (and cats are not!).  The difference here is that our toilet is not in this room, and therefore my seedlings should be safe from any poop particles. I just don’t need anything that organic.

I’ve also planted some calla lily bulbs and daffodil bulbs. I’ve never planted them inside before so I’m excited to see if they actually grow.

The next thing I want to get is a banana plant…that produces real bananas you can eat.

Isn’t he just adorable?

The Grand Nain variety does well almost everywhere and can be chopped down and brought inside during the winter. I think it would be a really nice plant to even have in the house…cats willing of course 😉 And dammit, I just want to grow my own bananas because I can and it’s still really cute!

The 2013 Garden

The 2013 Garden

I write this as we are waiting for a winter storm to hit our area in North Carolina.  Last week though it was sunny and in the 70’s and while reading my new favorite site One Hundred Dollars a Month, I started to get the gardening itch. Mavis’ 2000 pounds of food that she grew last year got me inspired and I’m also completely in awe of her gardening skills.

Our first spring in North Carolina, 2008,  I planted a vegetable garden in raised beds. It actually went really well, even though we had issues with little and big critters and apparently as luck would have it, I only had male zucchini plants and therefore not one summer squash was had. Overall it was something I enjoyed.  

In 2009, I planted another garden in the same beds, but we had an insanely wet spring coupled with the ever-growing trees on the property next to our house which limited the amount of sun for the garden. That year was a bust.

In 2010, I planted nothing because I was so disheartened 2009.

In 2011, I found Smart Pots and bought a slew of them so I could do a container garden around our patio area, which received a lot of sun. The main issue of course was keeping the plants well watered during the really hot days of the spring and summer.  For the most part things went really well and we produced quite a bit of veggies. 

Last year, I reused the Smart Pots but only grew peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and eggplant as well as few different herbs.  It wasn’t as bad because we put in an irrigation system earlier in the year and this helped  keep everything watered, which I totally suck at.  The last thing I really want to do is go outside when it’s 95 degrees and water 20 pots. 

I’m feeling excited about gardening again this year.  I have no lofty goal of producing a certain number or pounds of veggies, but I would like to be able to eat fresh veggies from the garden a few times a week.  My biggest issue of course will be bug control. We get some wicked bugs here and I don’t want to use any pesticides. Organic or bust!

Getting back to last week…I went on a bit of a seed shopping spree over at Botanical Interests.  All organic and really affordable.  

Today a little package arrived….

Organic Garden Seeds for 2013

Here’s my stash:

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Sugar Snap Pea
  • Sweet Pepper
  • Sugar Pie Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Watermelon
  • Bush Beans – Gold Rush and Contender
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Sunflowers

Already planted is a large strawberry patch, which should produce two huge crops, one in early Spring and the other in late summer.  And a few years ago I planted two blueberry bushes.  One has survived and produced well last year. I expect it to be even better this year. 

You might notice that the list does not include tomatoes. This is really for two reasons. First, I don’t eat tomatoes and one plant would produce more than Sean could eat.  And second, by mid-season my most hated bug (second to ALL spiders except for the Daddy Long Legs, who aren’t really spiders anyway – how does that not blow your mind?) will invade and I lose them all anyway. So I’ve stopped growing tomatoes. We also get a ton in our CSA share, so we’re covered should we need them. 

After looking over this list, I realize it’s a bit ambitious and I’m excited about it. I really can’t wait to get started.  I’ll be starting a bunch of seeds today and tomorrow. 

Do you plant any vegetables or herbs?  What’s your biggest issue? I need to really look into better organic pest control if I plan on making this a success.