Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I wasn't going to do the "taking a break from blogging" post because I didn't know how long I'd be away.  But now it's long enough that I simply want to say hi to my lovely readers and let you know I'm still alive.  The past 3 weeks have been some of the most stressful I have ever had to deal with and I've found myself needing to pull back and focus on the essential and necessary things, and not so much on the nice to do things.  Sorry blogging, but you are a non-essential.  I am also not reading other blogs as much as I find myself on the internet less and less.  I miss you.  I have found that being online has helped me in many ways, but it has also caused me more headaches from misunderstandings then anything else.  Maybe I'm simply not the social networking type....
(UPDATE): I re-read this this morning and thought "my goodness I sound depressed!"  I'm NOT :)  Try to put a thoughtful, musing tone in there.  I'm just finding I'm getting less and less satisfaction from the online world and find gardening to be much more therapeutic.  Cheers!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

More Backyard

When I started gardening (in containers since we were apartment dwellers) my husband asked how much of our food I'd like to grow.  80% has always been the number I come back to.  And one of these years I will reach that goal.  And I will do it on a suburban lot.  I am determined.

So last week, my friend and I decided we would order wood chips and compost together and split the delivery fee.
There are few things more exciting to kids than having a dump truck back into their driveway.  
Except having a hot air balloon land two houses down a couple of days later.   Cool, huh?
"Queen of the mountain"
 So again, here was how it looked the day they were delivered

And here it is now

And I'm probably more excited than anyone else.  But it's finally starting to look less like an "under construction" zone and more like a garden.  
What we've done on the hill is our permaculture area.  We have 5 trees: gala apple, golden delicious, mormon apricot, 5 pears grafted onto rootstock, and lemon elberta peach.  The lower middle bed is a gooseberry bush and there's a currant bush up by the pear.  We plan to get one more of each and maybe some elderberry bushes too.  The beds will be filled with mostly edible perennials, herbs, and some beneficial annuals (like squash and legumes).  The goal is to create an environment where all the plants do something to help the others in the beds.  As things start to take off I'll write more about that.

The plan is to continue saving newspaper and mulch and fill in most of that hill with food.  We need to add grapes (which requires a trellis, which goes beyond our budget this year), more berries, and expand the beds more, but this is a good starting point.
The area on the left is my veggie garden.  I can't decide which I like better, permaculture/lasagna beds or french intensive gardening, so I'm trying both.  We'll see which one ends up being the most productive and if that requires more effort.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Backyard Timeline

We have done A LOT since we bought our home.  We started with a blank slate and had a vision of being able to feed ourselves from our own little bit of land.

Four years ago.
Three years ago.
Break for baby.

Last year.
Last week.
Tomorrow (I hope), you'll get to see how it looks now.  I think it's awesome.  And we're not done yet.  I'll explain everything in the next post.
Oh and can I just say how great it is to finally have our own ladder!!  We've lived here four years and always borrowed from neighbors.  Now I can finally take pictures of the whole yard from the roof!! :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest Post: Getting Back Into Shape After Having A Baby

 Hi everyone!  I have a guest post!  My little old blog; cool, huh?  I've never had one of those before and this one is from Katie Moore who is really nice and blogs at Moore From Katie.  So since I have FINALLY stopped nursing Tumbleweed and am starting to lose weight (because not everyone loses weight while nursing.  Some of us hold on to every. last. ounce.) I thought her timing of this post was just what I needed to keep my motivation.  Thanks Katie!!  (ps-MAJOR garden work going on here.  pics next week!)

Getting Back Into Shape After Having A Baby

Among the many concerns new moms have is how to lose the weight gained during pregnancy. While it is a worthy goal, as the extra pounds can lead to being overweight or obese over the long-term, it is necessary to maintain safety during weight loss. Consistent efforts leading to slow and predictable reduction in baby weight is made easier by following a few important rules.

The first rule is to follow doctor advice on postpartum exercise. Recovery from pregnancy will require extra energy stores, and recovery may be delayed by beginning strenuous exercise too quickly. A mother can ask the doctor any questions she may have for post-delivery recovery, as she did while making post-delivery preparations, like immunizations and
umbilical cord blood banking, for baby during pregnancy. Also, the hormonal changes of pregnancy typically continue at least a month after delivery. Most women will be able to begin low-intensity exercise as soon as a week after birth, though a woman who experienced a cesarean delivery will require more recovery time.

Breastfeeding Versus Formula Feeding

Persisting excess weight after delivery serves an important biological function. These reserves are held by the body to promote adequate and nutritious milk supplies. Even so, calories requirements for women who choose to breastfeed are higher than those using formula. This does not mean that weight loss will take longer. On the contrary, studies have consistently shown that a
moms who breastfeeds shows significant increases in weight loss, from three to six months after delivery. Even at one month after delivery, breastfeeding mothers were shown to have slimmer hips and lower overall weight.

Should mom decide to breastfeed, it is important to put off dieting and exercise programs designed for weight loss. Beginning prematurely will not hurt the quality of milk, but mom's health may suffer. Mom's health is intimately tied to baby's health, regardless of baby's primary source of nutrition.

Gradual and Slow

As with any other major athletic event, allowing enough time for recovery is a vitally important step in preventing setbacks. The doctor should be apprised of all exercise efforts just like during pregnancy. If a pregnancy exercise program was used, the same program will come in handy after delivery. Pregnancy should begin with more strenuous workouts that decline in frequency and intensity as delivery day approaches. By the time of delivery, mom should be doing little more than regular walking and
exercises that target the pelvic muscles. The same gradual slowing of physical activity can be reversed after pregnancy with doctor approval.

Target weight loss, once this effort begins in earnest, is about a pound per week. Greater amounts of loss may indicate health problems, especially if water loss is implicated.

Mixing Exercise and Care for Baby

Though it may seem difficult at first, there are some easy techniques to get exercise while not neglecting baby needs. One of the most popular makes use of the soothing quality of motion. A tired baby who can't sleep is common, and mom can use the opportunity to push baby in the stroller, around the house or neighborhood. Some exercise classes are even designed for women with children. Health providers are the best source of information about postpartum nutrition and exercise resources for new moms.

A mother should take the same high regard for her own health as she does for her baby’s health to make her recovery time and time it takes to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight shorter. Keeping herself healthy will help keep baby healthy and happy as well.

“Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.”