Wandering Mind

Ok, I have a joke.

A guy walks into a bar and pulls a tiny grand piano out of his pocket.  Then he pulls out a little guy who sits down and begins to play….

Hey!  I finally tried that casserole recipe for dinner last night.  It was….

Oh my gosh.  You know that most fantastic tool of modern dentistry, the gas?….

So that casserole was FAN-tastic!  Like, the best so far!

Well, I am the world’s biggest fan of the dental gas.  I ask for it as I’m walking back with the assistant.  As in, those folks ain’t touching anything in my mouth without it.


Ok, anyone lost yet?  Well, relax.  That’s over.

For those that don’t know, I have undiagnosed ADHD.  As in, I don’t bother to go to a doctor and get medication because I just think of it as part of who I am.  It doesn’t bother me.

Anyway, the other day at work I woke up from one of my zoned out “fogs” where I kind of auto-pilot and I thought, ‘How can you explain that experience to someone?’  Well, the best idea I had was to do it in conversational form!  That craziness above is pretty much what happens in my head on a regular basis.

I came out of this “fog” and I’m in the middle of something I hadn’t even planned on doing and the thing I’d planned on starting hadn’t been touched.  I’m thinking, ‘What the heck just happened here?’, so I kind of scan back through my mind and basically I had begun two tasks – neither of which were completed – and the original task was completely untouched.  haha!  I told a friend if people watched me they’d have to be convinced I was on some mind-altering drug.

I just kind of thought it was funny and wanted to share.  For those who were biting their nails in anticipation for the rest of that joke:

Here you go – all of it:

A guy walks into a bar and pulls a tiny grand piano out of his pocket.  Then he pulls out a little guy who sits down and begins to play.  “Where’d ya get that?” the bartender asks.

“I have a magic bottle.  You rub it, you get a wish,” the customer replies.  The customer then agrees to let the bartender give it a try and pulls out a grungy, old whiskey bottle.  The bartender rubs it and the bar fills with ducks, flying everywhere.

“Hey!  I didn’t wish for a million ducks!” the bartender protests.

“So you think I wished for a ten-inch pianist?”


And this is the kind of stuff I do when left unattended while high on dental gas:

 dentist gas
Have a great day!!

2011 “Non-Resolution” Resolutions Review

This, by the way, is not what I was planning on blogging about today, but I remembered back in January I did a little resolution list (all while claiming I wasn’t a ‘resolution kinda girl’) and thought I might take a look-see and judge my 2011 performance.  Here goes!

#1 – Less procrastination.  HAAAAAAAAHAAAA har dee har har.  Yeah right.

Resolutions 1 – Crystal 0

#2 – Write more.  Well, I think this one I did accomplish.  I wrote more, though not as much as I’d like.  I received a 2011 ‘Year in Blogging’ email this morning and it says I posted 46 times last year.  Out of 365…that sounds HORRIBLE.  But out of 52 (weeks) I guess I didn’t do so bad.

It’s a tie game, folks!  Resolutions 1 – Crystal 1

#3 – Draw more readers to this blog.  Um…I’m going to strike this one as a wash.  My whole idea on this was to ‘advertise’ my blog more which gets a big, fat ZERO.  But I did start using tags more which brought in a little more search traffic.  Ok, I’m stretching here but it’s my party, I’ll stretch if I want to.

Still a tie….

#4 – Make updates on house.  AAANNNNKKKKK!  Did. Not. Happen.  Not even a little bit.

Resolutions 2 – Crystal 1

#5 – Travel.  Surprisingly another no for me.  This one I was pretty sure I’d accomplish just because I love it so.  But nope, I gots nothing.

Resolutions 3 – Crystal 1

#6 – Lower debt.  This is a giant affirmative!  I paid off my car this year, and I also paid off one credit card.  Only one credit card left and I am free of debt – outside of my mortgage.  Yay!  I forgot about that!  If there’s a resolution to have been done, this is the one!  (Secretly I want to give myself two points on this, but that’s only because I want to win so I’ll refrain.)

Resolutions 3 – Crystal 2

#7 – Work on relationships.  I think I can say this is an overall yes!  I feel like my relationships with everyone I listed – God, friends, family – has improved.  It’s always a good idea to work for improvement here so I wouldn’t say it’s complete, but it’s all definitely better.

The final tally…..Resolutions 3 – Crystal 3


2012 has already begun so I guess it’s about time to start making a new list!  (Obviously that whole ‘less procrastination’ thing is going marvelously!)  What to do…what to do…

1.  Put up a Christmas tree next year!  This is number 1 because I am SO mad at myself for procrastinating like I did this year.  I’d decided I wanted to decorate my tree with all handmade ornaments but of course I never made them.  I’m talking a two-foot table tree here, not some 7.5′ mega tree.  How pathetic!  On Christmas Eve I finally pulled out a decorative lighted tree thing just to say I did something.  Booooooooooooooooooooooooo!

2.  Write even more.  Ok, to be more specific than I was last year…my goal is to increase that 46.  How about double it?  At least 92 posts in 2012.  No more two month hiatuses for me!  I’d also like to write for myself but that’s more of a writers block kind of thing and I want this point next year!

3.  Eat less fast food.  This one is like my Achilles Heel.  It’s so easy for me – being a single female with no children – to just run by some fast food joint on my way home and Bam!  There’s dinner!  Eat my burger and fries, throw away the trash and Poof!  No dishes!

Did I mention it was easy?  But really, it’s a startlingly unhealthy habit and besides, I want to become a better cook anyway.  I gotta cut it out.

4.  Stop the negativity.  I don’t believe that whole thing about you can think things into existence or that “the universe” brings you what you believe.  However, I do believe your thoughts and your expectations can influence the way you act, the way you respond, and ultimately the things that happen to you.  My inner voice?  That wench is in for an overhaul in 2012 – and a major one!

5.  Travel.  This year I don’t care if I have anyone to go with me or not.  I’m. Going. Somewhere.

6.  Lower debt even more.  My goal for this year is to cut that last credit card of mine at least in half.

7.  Get crafty!  So with the help of Pinterest I’ve gotten all kinds of crafty lately.  (Haven’t we all?)  I made 4 gifts for different people this year and I’m currently trying to teach myself to knit.  My goal for 2012 is make more stuff!  Get good at it!

Well, I cut off 2011 resolutions at the strangely random #7 so why switch it up this year?  There’s my new 7 for 2012.  Let’s get this party started!

It’s been a while!

Ok I was thinking it’d been a month since my last post but I double checked to make sure and HOLY COW!!  It’s been over TWO MONTHS!!!  What?  Yeah, sorry.  Time flies I guess.

First off, Merry Christmas everyone!  Hope the holidays were happy and jolly for you.  I spent my first actual Christmas in 19 years with my father’s side of the family.  Not my father or brother, but the aunt/uncle/cousins.  That was definitely different!

Truthfully I feel so lame making an update post.  Boo!  But how do you blog after a two month hiatus without acknowledging it?  So here goes.  Bear with the lame and hopefully after this I’ll get back to regular posting.

Well, at least I do have a few small updates!  First off, here are some new pictures of Oliver:

Yep, he’s getting to be a big boy now, and he is definitely all cat!  He climbs, he jumps, he plots and performs sneak attacks, and he’s developed that lovely “selective hearing” thing.  Oh, it’s the best!

His most favorite thing to do is jump on you and attach himself to your leg – or whatever happens to be where his claws land.  I am not exaggerating when I say I have marks all over my legs and hands.

I’ve always thought myself to be an animal lover….but with the introduction of this new kitten phase, I have surprised myself with exactly how many ways I can daydream a cat’s demise. I kid, but seriously, those claws digging into your leg…or your finger…or your stomach…or your chest….there’s been a close call or two.

By the way, is it wrong that the new Burger King fry commercial makes me want McDonald’s fries?  Somehow I think I’m missing the point of their ad….

Anyway, the next update….Tex.

This big fella is the newest addition to my family.  He’s a walking hound mix, and just a giant goofball.  I rescued him from the local shelter last month.  He spends his days destroying my back yard (see that garden hose?  Yeah.) and his nights sleeping on my couch.  He’s the sweetest guy though and I’ve really enjoyed having him around.

Aside from the animal updates, I’ve started exploring my crafty side lately.  I made this log carrier for someone’s Christmas present:

This is not the actual carrier I made as I completely forgot to snap pics before giving it to him, but the one I made does look exactly like it.  I was pretty impressed with myself!

And for Christmas I bought myself a beginner knitting kit.  Um….knitting has not come as naturally to me.  This is my first attempt:

Right.  No one wants a scarf that looks like that….  But this morning I made another attempt:

Some progress!  Again, no one’s gonna want any kind of hot mess like that, but I think I’m at least heading in the right direction!  These, of course, are just practice runs.  Trying to get the process down a little bit before I attempt to actually make anything.

So those are my updates.  I do have an update about a boy – friend not friend right now – but I’m still debating how much I want to share of that.  It’s a little sensitive for me currently due to some drama a few weeks ago and I’m kind of protective at this point.  I might share some general stuff in my next post if I write about what I’m planning.

Anyway, I’m back!!

Saving the Ta-Ta’s

This weekend my friends and I participated in the local Susan G. Komen 5k for Breast Cancer Awareness!

A few short months ago one of ‘us’ was diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer.  I think it’s fair to say that news shook us all up and at a time when we were all feeling horribly powerless, the idea of an upcoming 5k was exactly what we needed.  It was something to throw ourselves into, to give us some sense of control.

My friend’s name is Colette and as I mentioned, this is her second battle against the disease.  Originally diagnosed in 2008, she opted to undergo a double mastectomy thinking that would be the end of her breast cancer story.  Then back in June of this year she found a ping pong ball sized lump under her arm.  The biopsy determined it was invasive breast cancer and back in August Colette began her second fight.

I don’t really want to get into how difficult it is to watch a dear friend go through this horrible battle.  Cancer has affected everyone in some form or another and I think we all know how it feels.  This walk, for me, was more about power.  It was about hope, and it was about fighting.  It was showing Colette that she has us behind her.  That’s what I want to focus on right now.

So this past Saturday myself and all of our friends made our way to Linn Park in Birmingham, Alabama for the 5k. Most every group there had personalized shirts made for their team.  These are the ones we had made.  Fight Like A Girl!!

Some of us even took it a little farther with pink extensions or feathers in our hair.  We also had pink ‘war paint’ under our eyes (think football marks).  It’s 8:30 AM and we’re ready to go!

The festivities kick off with a Survivor’s Parade.  The women are separated into groups determined by the years they’ve survived since diagnosis.  It started with 1 – 5 Years and went all the way up to 30+!!  How inspiring!!

The lady in the front was the honoree this year.  I don’t remember the exact number of years she has survived but each of those pink necklaces around her neck signify one year, so it’s been a long time!

My friend was in this first group as she’s survived for 3 years so far, with many more to go!

Some of you may have attended one of these marathons before.  For those that haven’t, the power of this moment can’t really be put into words.  I am not a ‘cryer’, especially not in public, but at this moment tears are falling down my cheeks.  Cheering these women who have had to fight this horrible battle was awe-inspiring.  My friend, Colette, is awe-inspiring.

After the Survivor’s Parade they gathered together to release white doves.

And then it was time to walk.  We had a little Zumba warm-up before it began, which I rocked the socks off of, and then we went to find a place in the marathon crowd.

This was my view at the beginning.  We were packed in there like sardines!!  There’s a specific moment in crowds like this that the crowd kind of squeezes in on me and I realize I’m in the bottom 10 percentile height-wise and I’m about to get the life trampled out of me.  That, my friends, is a scary moment.  Panic attack much?

Fortunately the crowd starts spreading out after the first 10 minutes or so.  By the end of Mile 1, this was my view:

People everywhere!  I think they estimated 20,000 participants.  What an awesome sight!

The fun thing about such a marathon is the unexpected comraderie you find.  Practically everyone you pass – or who passes you – speaks.  Sometimes it’s a comment about the team shirt, sometimes it’s how bad the heat sucks (We are in Alabama, after all.).  Whatever it is, you just share a certain bond.

Colette’s husband is a professional marathoner/tri-athelete.  He finished the 5k in about 20 minutes.  He, however, is a freak of nature.

I am not a runner.  You may be able to see from my picture above that I was in the walking crowd.  Fortunately for me, some of the friends in my group were also members of the walking crowd.  We had a beautiful moment at the end of the race where we linked arms and walked through the finish line together….

…one hour and 14 minutes after we began.  Suck It, Runners!!

Meet Oliver….

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the newest addition to my ‘family’ of one – Oliver.

So, for those of you who may have missed it, I have been living the solitary life for a few weeks now since my last baby, Mugzee had to be euthanized.   In that time I’ve learned a thing or two about myself….one, my life doesn’t seem normal without a pet in it.  And two, I am not a fan of being that completely alone.

I don’t want to lament about how horrible my life has been for the past month.  It really hasn’t.  I’ve spent lots of time with friends, I started that dance class I talked about, I even took myself on the now ‘officially’ titled world’s-worst-garage-sale-run-in-all-of-human-history.  (Important note:  It is always best to prepare in advance for a Garage Sale Saturday, and early starts are a plus.)

However, that’s been my life for the past month – try to stay as busy as possible outside of the house.  My home had quickly become my own personal prison.

Now, I have been determined since way before Mugzee passed that I would not – no way, no how – get another dog.  While I loved my boys dearly, they messed up my house almost daily.  I couldn’t handle that anymore.  Also, as a dog owner, I am tethered to my house for the most part unless I pay someone $20+ a day to let them sit in their house, and I just wanted to be a little freer (is that a word?) for a while.

So you know…kudos to my best friend who kept me on track with that in my weakest of moments.  There were several occasions where I would scan Petfinder.com and debate adopting another dog to have her swoop in a little later and save the day, reminding me of my resolve.

So skip forward a few weeks……

**As a side note, I’ve been dealing with a little ‘issue’ with some raccoons in my attic (there will be a full blog post about that as soon as I get someone up in my attic to assess the damage) and as a means to capture and relocate them I have had “Haveaheart” traps in my back yard.**

So Wednesday of last week I walked outside for my nightly ‘Raccoon Roundup’ field trip.  No raccoons, but in trap number two was a cat.  I released it and being as animal-deprived as I was, and he as (I assume) grateful for release as he was, we ended up hanging out for the next hour or so.  I sat out in my back yard with him for the longest, just petting him.  Finally I went inside and he hesitantly followed me.

I had no intention of keeping him by any means, but I think on some level I just wanted that feeling of having a pet in my house.  Make it a home again – even for just a little while.  So he’s checking everything out and I’m just watching him.  It feels good to see a living being in my house again besides myself.

The next day I’m retelling my story to that same best friend when she asks, ‘Well, why don’t you just get a cat?’  We go back and forth on this topic with her heralding all the benefits of cat ownership (as she herself owns the most regal and beautiful of giant, solid white cats – Winston) as opposed to dog ownership.  We discuss the independence, the fur, the litter box….on and on.

I log onto a Facebook site where local animals are offered ‘Free to Good Home!’ on occasion and lo and behold, there he is.  This precious little furball face with these big eyes staring hopefully into the camera.  He and two siblings were left in a basket at a local vet’s office and were looking for good homes.  Merely 3 – 4 weeks old he shouldn’t have yet been separated from his momma, but here he is staring at me on Facebook.

I mean….seriously?!?!?  How could I not?

So I message the vet employee who posted them and by that afternoon he was mine!

He’s so young that I bottle feed him.  This girl who has never owned a cat as an adult is now caring for this brand new one that probably doesn’t even realize that’s what he is yet!

On Day 1 (Friday) he came to work with me.  He was so brand new – to life and to me – that I couldn’t just leave him at home by himself.  That day I got tons of pointers from several co-workers who turned out to be cat lovers.  He barely ate all day and that concerned me.  Every time he woke up or walked around I would shove a bottle in his face.  I was so worried I wasn’t doing something right!  That night I went to dinner with friends and upon returning home he ate like he’d been starved all day.  Problem solved!

Today is Day 6 and I’m guessing that makes Oliver either 4 or 5 weeks old.  I must say, I’ve had a great time with him already!  I don’t know if this is just typical ‘cat’ or if he’s the best mannered genius of a kitten ever born.  (I’m leaning towards the latter in my most unbiased of opinions.)  Regardless, I’m thrilled with him.

In just these few days I’ve already seen so much progress from him.  When I first got him he was so wobbly when he walked.  It was obviously a brand new skill for him.


Today, though he’s still a little unsure of himself, he struts all over my house.  Yesterday afternoon he even attempted his first leap, which was entertaining.

Oh, and each day he comes up with some new form of playing.  At first he would just bat softly at my finger, over the weekend he would nibble a little and even bat after a ball or feather.  Just yesterday he began some form of what I can only assume is ‘Murder/Death/Kill’ where he will wrap his front paws around his bottle or my hand and bite it while scratching at it with his back nails.  Yeah, that’s a fun one.  Personally, I’m looking forward to the next game.  Unfortunately, he seems to get much enjoyment from this one.

His favorite nap spot is either on my shoulder or in my hair.  I have to admit, this I kind of love.  And when he wakes he’ll roll over on his back and bat softly at my chin or hair like a little ‘Good morning!’.

He’s barely beginning to taste some solid (soft) cat food.  His teeth aren’t all in yet so it’s a bit of a process right now.  And we’re also working on the litter box training although he’s picking that up quite easily on his own.  He’s already using it if I’ll put him in it, but this morning he actually walked to it, got in, and used it all himself!  I was quite proud.

I think I’m really gonna enjoy this new endeavor with Oliver.  I’m loving it already.


This past Friday was an extremely difficult day. I had to make the decision to have my little buddy, Mugzee, euthanized. Any dog lover out there can probably empathize with me on this.

He’s the second – and last – of my two boys to go. First was Tazze, who had to be euthanized about 5 years ago at the age of 14. I’ve often wondered if there were such a thing as a doggie soul mate….if there was, Tazze was mine. He was there through some of the more difficult years of my life. He was unconditional love in my life when there was nothing or no one else around to show it. My little shadow. Tazze’s passing was difficult in the way you can imagine losing a “doggie soul mate” would be.

My sweet Tazze

My two boys were polar opposites. Where Tazze was my dog and mine alone, Mugzee was my little social butterfly. Tazze couldn’t care less about anyone in the world besides me, whereas Mugzee would welcome anyone with all the exuberance of his lifelong best friend. Tazze was constantly by my side – following me wherever I went; Mugzee was content to do his own thing though he was the best little cuddle bear I could ask for. They had completely different personalities but they both enriched my life in more ways than I can list here.

Late last week Mugzee, who was also 14, started going downhill and it was a quick decent. The silver lining, if there is one to be found, is that by Friday his discomfort was so obvious it made the decision a little easier to make. My sweet little boy.

So I’m on day two now of my new dog-free world and while I know there will be some good points, it’s been harder in ways I never thought about. Mainly, living alone has never felt so completely alone. I’ve found the nights are particularly difficult for some reason. Where Mugzee was there as a sort of buffer when Tazze passed, this time there’s no one. This is a completely new reality for me.

There’s no one to tuck in and tell good night. No one to greet me in the morning. No one to give hugs and kisses to. I brought lunch home and caught myself wondering if Mugzee was going to want me to share with him, then I realized there’s no one there to share with anymore. Yesterday I dropped my broom on the ground and turned to see if I’d scared my little buddy but he wasn’t there to hear it this time.

My house feels more like a jail right now – a constant reminder of how alone I am, and endless memories of both my boys. Their favorite places to sit. The half full container of Mighty Dog left over from Mugzee’s last bath just a few days ago. I was cooking last night and I felt him there, coming in the kitchen to nose around and hopefully find some scrap of food that had fallen. He wasn’t, of course, but I turned and looked because the feeling was just that strong.

I know that these feelings will fade. I’ll get used to being this alone. I’ll become accustomed to this new world. Right now the absence is so thick I can barely breathe at the worst times. The silence chokes me.

It’s hard right now, but I’m so thankful for the time I had with them.  The love they both gave me.  They were the first place I allowed myself to show my own love.  When the walls were up all around me, those two boys could get past them every single time.  They did more for me than I could ever have done for either of them.

I don’t know the specifics of Heaven, but I hope and pray that when I get there I’ll get my two boys back.  I don’t think it will be Heaven without them.

Soul Searching

Not what I’ll be doing next week or next month.  The serious stuff.  The life stuff.

I suppose I’ve been heading for this point for a while now.  Playing around with it in my head a little bit.  But I watched Eat, Pray, Love over the weekend and while I’d heard from several people about how boring it was, that movie spoke to me like it was my mama.

The first part of the trip when she talks to the Balinese Shaman about a relationship….you think that’s not me?  Oh, it’s me.  If God himself walked in my door right now would I ask him how to obtain world peace?  Or how to end hunger?  Would I ask about the meaning of life?  About my purpose?  No.  If God walked in right now I’d sigh really big and I’d say, ‘Oh, God.  Right on time.  Look, Bean’s not texting me.  What does it all mean?!?!!?!?  What should I do?!?!?!?’  But He knows that and that’s probably why I don’t hear a lot from him.  I’d avoid me too.

I’m going to be completely honest for a minute and make myself look like a pathetic moron.  (There’s a first time for everything, right?  ha!)  I’ve thought about this a good bit lately and I realize that I am wasting my life waiting on a man to show up.  I just exist, really.

I wake up and go to work at a job I hate because I have bills to pay.  I leave work and come home to a house I don’t appreciate because I won’t save up the money to renovate it like I want. And then I sit there watching tv, playing on the internet, cleaning here and there, watering the plants…..and you know what I also do?  I think.  The entire time.  About him – whoever he may be.  From the time I wake to the time I fall asleep I think about the fact that I’m single or something relating to that.  If there’s a guy around I think about how well things are going, or how bad depending on the day.  If there’s no guy I imagine one there.  Because I’m waiting for him.

He’s gonna make me complete where I didn’t.  He’ll stay around and try where my dad didn’t.  He’ll think I’m good enough where my mom didn’t.  He’ll be my family where my family wasn’t.  I’ll suddenly be chipper and energetic and ebullient when he gets here.  I’ll finally be happy when he gets here.  I’ve just gotta reel him in.

My guy’s not even here yet and I’ve already got 1,000 lbs. ready to throw on his shoulders as soon as he walks through the door. Hope they’re strong enough, buddy!  Sink or swim!

I watched Eat, Pray, Love where she talks about having no passion.  That’s me.  I love travel, I love to write, I love nature, and I love to watch hockey.  I do nothing with any of those things except the occasional post on here.

I want to travel the world.  With him.

I want to write.  And I will….once everything else is in place – more specifically, him.

I like hiking and animals.  Can’t wait until he shows up with his hiking boots!

Hockey games are like home to me.  I bet he’ll take me to a game!

My moods are determined by what is going on with the man in my life.  Are things good?  I’m happy!  Yay!  There’s a rainbow!  Are things bad?  I’m down and frustrated.  The whole world is gray.

What am I doing?!?  I’ve been single since I was 18 years old and he hasn’t shown up yet.  Why on earth have I been sitting around waiting for some dude to walk into my life for 15 years now?

If he’s really the right guy he’s not going to be interested in some girl who sits around all day waiting for him to show up so she can live her life.  He’d be impressed by my independence, by my confidence.  He’d brag to his friends about how cool I am.  How laid back and chill, unclingy I am.  He’d love spending time with me because I’m bubbly and fun.  He’d want to join my life, not make it for me.

He hasn’t shown up yet because that’s not who I am right now.

Right now I’m a waiter.  I wait and I am sad.  I worry.  I’m negative.  I’m scared.  I cling.  I don’t live, I exist.  I dwell on the fact that he’s not here yet and oh how wah wah wah I am.  I hate who I am right now, because this chick ain’t me.  I’m freaking awesome.

An old friend sent me a friend request on Facebook the other day and we were emailing each other.  You know what I said in my email?  I told her nothing’s changed since high school, just 15 years older.  I didn’t tell her about me buying a house.  I didn’t tell her about my trip to England.  I didn’t tell her about my life because my life right now is “single” and that’s what I focus on.  It is what consumes me at all times.

So I’m making a promise.  To myself.  To God.  I am going to live.  I am going to try.  I am going to become me.  That awesome woman I really am.  I may not do it perfectly.  I may be a little wobbly in my new life, but I’m going to do more than exist.

I have a life to live.

Garden Update

It’s now been a month now and I finally have some blooms!!!  I am so excited!!!!  Here’s the update:

You can see things are filling in.  Not a lot of free space in there anymore!  This has become a bit of a problem for my watermelon on the right bottom corner there as they are beginning to run over the edges.  I’m not really sure what a good solution to that is.  I didn’t think about overflow when they were teeny tiny!

Also, I have put up a temporary trellis for two of my tomato plants as they were starting to fall over.  I cut down some bamboo/sugar cane growing in my back yard for the stakes.  I’m hoping to make something a little more substantial out of them soon.  Maybe like this:

A little less complicated, but you get the idea.

But let’s get to the blossoms!  Oh how I’ve waited to see you!!! 

It’s my first little tomato!!!!  I can’t even explain how utterly ecstatic I was to walk out to my garden this week and happen across this little fella right here!  Success!!

These are my orange bell pepper plants.  You can see the tiny blossoms that I’m hoping will turn into an actual pepper soon.

This is my single cucumber blossom.  I really can’t wait to have cucumbers.  My plan is to make some homemade pickles!  We have a restaurant nearby called Flip Burger and they have some amazing pickles they make in house.  Eating those I thought to myself, ‘I can do that!’  And so I’m gonna give it a try.

My beautiful little squash bloom.  With these I want to make sauteed squash with onions.  I can not wait.  My best friend’s mom made that the other day and it was so deeelicioso I couldn’t help but daydream about my own wee little plants and hope for the chance to make my own.  A few days later this little beauty arrived!

Those wild running watermelon vines I mentioned?  Here you go!  And they’re starting to bloom! 

I can’t tell you what a satisfying feeling it is to see all these wonderful blossoms popping out of the plants I’ve been watching for a month now.  Something about the idea that I’ve done this myself.  It’s awesome!

Alas, not everything is going as well as I would like.  I have two little problems I will be working to fix.  Problem number one:

Some little insect is eating my collards!!!!!!  Can you picture the smoke billowing out of my ears?  I’m trying to keep everything organic so I’ve been doing some research online for what I might use to get rid of these pests.  So far I haven’t found much help but hopefully there will be a breakthrough soon.

Problem number two:

My wee little cabbage sprouts are still wee little cabbage sprouts!  I had a few naysayers when I mentioned I’d planted cabbage seeds.  Apparently they’re a cooler weather crop and should have been planted much sooner than I began mine.  So they may or may not produce and I’m not experienced enough to know if they look normal or what.  Regardless, if this is my only failure, I am a happy little gardener!

Garden Update – Two Weeks

Here’s some Then and Now’s for you.

Two weeks ago:

And today:

The squash before:

And today:

Here are the collard greens two weeks ago:

And this is today’s update:

Here’s one of the onions.  I must say I didn’t have much hope for these:

But they look like they’re doing pretty well!

I didn’t take a picture of the cabbage two weeks ago seeing as how it would have been a picture of dirt.  But the only little seedlings have begun to sprout!

So it’s been two weeks with this garden and I must say, so far there hasn’t been much work to it!  I water it when it needs it and occasionally I’ll pick some leaves and such out of it.  Other than that, maintenance free!

 Seeing it everyday I’ve had the impression not much is happening.  I see now though that it’s really been growing!  I’m so excited!!  No blossoms or budding yet, but that’s going to come soon.  Right?

Getting my garden on.

So here’s my new thing…and by new I mean I’ve been thinking about it for three or four seasons, talking about it for two, and now finally this season I have actually done something about it!  I should be a pro by now.

I’ve built a raised bed garden!! (To give props where props are due:  I got all my information from All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.)

First step…build the frame.  Yes I did build this myself, in my living room about 3 weeks ago.

You’ll notice it has a plywood bottom.  That’s because at one point I thought I might be creative and put it on legs.  Like a garden table.  Right.

It sat outside for about a week killing a 4 x 4 square of grass.  Or weeds.  Whatever.

Scratch the garden table.  Reeeeemiiiiiiix!!!  (Meaning I decided to follow the book.)  I bought some weed cloth.

Now give it a little trim and make it all pretty.

Up next, add the soil.  I used a mix of mushroom compost, evergreen potting soil, vermiculite, and manure compost.

It was 6:30 on a cool, clear morning.  Unfortunately, even the cold weather is hot and muggy in Alabama but nevertheless, let’s get this party started! 

The light colored gravel-like stuff is the vermiculite.  I don’t know what it is either, but it was highly recommended.

Now mix it all up and smooth it out.

Pretty, pretty garden bed, all ready for my veggies!

Skip forward to this weekend and it’s finally time to plant something!

First you have to map out the square feet.

The book suggests wood lathe.  I decided to use twine.  Mainly because it’s what I had on hand.  And there’s my collection of veggies up top ready to be planted!

Alacazam!  Alacazoom! 

And look how pretty!

Meredith helped me with the planting and was quite concerned with the close proximity of the plants.  I went by the book and Mr. Bartholomew said this was acceptable.

What did I plant you ask? 

A little squash…

A little cucumber…bell pepper….tomatoes….collards….watermelon….and I am even trying my hand at some sweet onion, and cabbage from seeds. 

As you can see, it was night time by the time all the planting was complete.  So here’s a little daytime action…

On top of all that garden fun, I even fit in a little flowery pretty.

Here’s one of my new hanging baskets….

And swing around to the front of my house, you’ll find my fanciful new potted plant pretty…

I mean, I don’t want to brag or anything, but I kind of feel like the new green thumb garden zen master.  What what!!!

The next day, as if to prove me right, the little gardenia bush I have beside my back door surprised me with its first blossom of the year.

Myra22, Green Thumb Garden Zen Master at your service!