Jo Jo How Does Your Garden Grow?

Time for some updated garden pictures. Our squash plants are HUGE! I think one square of my peas will be stunted simply because the leaves of the squash plant shade the plants so much.



All of the tomato plants have green tomatoes. I am anxious for them to ripen. Tomato sandwiches are a summer favorite for me. Or just tomatoes sliced with supper. Yum!! The cucumbers are finally climbing the trellis and the watermelon vines are spilling over the end of the garden.


This morning we harvested our first squash, green onions, basil and one head of lettuce. All the bib lettuce and romaine are done. Some of it bolted. Next year I will scale back a bit on the lettuce. I seem to be the only one that doesn’t burn out on it and I can’t eat it all before it goes bad.

I also have green peppers growing but still a few weeks away from harvest.



On the Needles

After checking out my friend Mary’s blog I realized that I have only shared one of my knitting projects thus far. I usually had something on the needles. I just finished a wool soaker for a sweet little baby that was born this past weekend. It is in my bolga basket waiting to be delivered.

On the needles currently is an almost completed sock. This pair of socks is only the fourth pair that I have knitted. Mostly because socks come in pairs and I lose momentum after the first one is done. I need to learn the two at a time method but can’t get the time or my brain to the point it needs to be to learn something new right now. It will happen, just another time.

The yarn I am using is lovely!!! The colors are deep reds and burnt oranges. Unfortunately the pics I am about to add do not do the color justice. I bought the yarn at a fiber festival in Michigan at least 2 years ago. Maybe longer. Time runs together for me! The trip to the fiber festival was wonderful. I got to spend the entire day with one of my best friends surrounded by one of my favorite things….fiber! She was a big part of my learning to knit journey and it was great to spend that time with her.

Are you a knitter? Do you have anything on the needles? I would love to see it. 🙂



Weight Loss Update

It has been just a tad over a month since I last posted about my weight loss journey. In my last post I mentioned the weight loss program I was going to do. Today will be the end of week three and I am happy with the results so far. Remember also I mentioned the eating plan being bland? I was so wrong. Once I began to research clean eating I was amazed at how many yummy options there are when eating clean. My go to blogs for recipes right now are The Gracious Pantry and The Naked Kitchen. I have made the BBQ sauce,pancakes and waffles from The Gracious Pantry. I love the spaghetti sauce recipe from the Naked Kitchen and have plans to make a large batch so I can put some in the freezer.

The main thing with eating clean is NO white stuff. So no white flour, rice, pasta or sugar. You can sweeten with honey and agave. The closer to the original form of the food the better. Spices are your friend and salt is at a minimum. Also with clean eating it is good to focus on a 40/40/20 break down of protein, carbs and fat in each meal.  I am still learning. My sweet tooth has dropped dramatically. I have learned to really read labels because sugar is in everything. I was shocked to see that there was sugar in my canned tomato sauce. Now, I definitely don’t have the budget to go out and restock my entire pantry but, I am working to change it over a little bit at a time with each grocery trip.

Now for my stats. Still no pictures yet but I will share that my two week progress pics show a nice change in my arms. 😉 I mentioned last post that I was at my stall weight from last year. I am happy to say eating clean and lifting weights along with cardio have helped me bust through that mark!!

Weight: 145—–7lb drop since last post!! 🙂

Measurements: As of June 2nd

True waist- 33″ (-1.5″)

Across belly button- 38 (-.5)

Hips- 38 (-.5)

Upper Thigh-22.5 (-.25)

Mid Thigh-19.5–not taking measurment

Upper chest- 35.75 (-1.25)

Across chest- 37 (2″)

Mindful Parenting Fail

I found this blog post in my word documents while searching for a tutorial I have saved for wool felting. It was timely for me to find it again. Maybe it will be a good read for someone else as well.

Mindful Parenting Fail

 Today was not a successful day in the department of mindful parenting. It all started with a battle of the wills between my six year old and my fifteen year old. Emi(6yo) was on the computer and wanted volume up while playing a game. Aly (15yo) was watching tv to try to find out what was going on in Egypt and couldn’t hear it due to the sounds coming from the computer. (I was cleaning my room and did not have a clue what was going on until later.)

Aly asked her Emi to turn it down and she did. However, a few minutes later she would turn it back up which frustrated Aly. After this back and forth a few times I was yelled for.

With full disclosure I will tell you that I was aggravated at being interrupted. I just wanted to be able to clean my room. I did not want to referee what was one of the same stinkin’ issues we deal with on a weekly basis in this house. I did not enter the scene in the right frame of mind or with any measure of patience. Wrong thing to do.

As I was trying to sort things out in irritated tones something happened. Both of my girls tuned me out. Neither of them was listening to me because, honestly who wants to listen to an irritated, impatient individual who is obviously ticked about being there?  At this point what I should have done was say “I’m overwhelmed at the moment, let me step back into my room, get myself together and come back in .” Instead, when Aly in her frustration with my frustration, turned the tv up even louder I lost it.

I threw up my hands and said “Fine, if no one is going to listen to me then no one gets to watch tv or be on the computer.” I turned off both and left the room and stayed frustrated and mad for a while.

This one moment, this choice to give in to the frustration led to a whole lot of other battles and upsets for almost the rest of the day. I can list out a whole bunch of reasons why this happened. We live in a small house, the tv and computer are in the same room because there is no where else for it to be, the jack for headphones does not work on our computer, we are all suffering from cabin fever, our sleep patterns are out of whack, they changed the star signs and now we don’t know how to act. Ok, the last one is far fetched but it sounds good.

I can now think of a couple different ways I could have handled the situation. I could have sat down with Emi at the computer and helped her adjust the volume so that both parties were happy.  I could have offered for Aly to come to my room to watch our tv.  Either of those approaches would have been better than the one that I chose.

And even if I did those things I realize that there is still the chance that someone would not be happy with the outcome. I would still need to maintain my composure. My kids are counting on me to do that. I know I am human and I make mistakes but it is important for me to work on being more successful.

In Everyday Blessings: Inner Work of the Mindful Parenting by Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn they have a list titled “12 Exercises for Mindful Parenting” Number 8 reads as follows:

“Learn to live with tension without losing your own balance. In Zen and the Art of Archery, Herrigel describes how he was taught to stand at the point of highest tension effortlessly without shooting the arrow. At the right moment, the arrow mysteriously shoots itself. Practice moving into any moment, however difficult, without trying to change anything and without having to have a particular outcome occur. Simply bring your full awareness and presence to this moment. Practice seeing that whatever comes up is “workable” if you are willing to trust your intuition. Your child needs you to be a center of balance and trustworthiness, a reliable landmark by which he or she can take a bearing within his or own landscape. Arrow and target need each other. They will find each other best through wise attention and patience.”

I should have read number 8 today. The bolded part is my emphasis. This is where I went wrong. I came to the problem wanting to solve it as quickly as possible in the way that I felt was best. It did not work out. And not only did it not work out it set off a domino effect of sour moods and tons of melt downs. If I had stopped and viewed the situation as workable I am sure things would have gone much better.

Tomorrow is a new day though. Tomorrow, instead of trying to jump into a problem full force I am going to wait, listen and view it as workable. With God’s grace I can become the mindful parent I want to be and the one my children deserve.

Jo,Jo, how does your garden grow?

Per the request of my oh so awesome gardening friend Julie I am going to post some pictures of our square foot garden. Julie was the “from a distance friend” that drew out my garden plan this year. Have I mentioned that she is awesome? 🙂

The first picture is the day of planting. The seconds picture is a week later when we added the pallets as a trellis.

All the other pictures are from today. The last one being our red leaf and bib lettuce harvest this morning. Salad and green smoothies anyone?