My Little Star

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My daughter is my biggest achievement. She is a little star and my life has changed so much for the better since she came along. – Denise Van Outen

Not my words, but I can totally relate. Nothing compares to the unexpected gift of being blessed with a fabulous, happy, intelligent daughter. She is definitely the star that makes my sky brighter every day. The sunshine that makes me excited about getting up in the morning.

Happy International Women’s Day!!

Yours,

Maria

Planning 2017’s Garden, Part 2

My garden plans have progressed a little since last week. I’ve picked a good place for a garden with an abundance of sunshine, and I started to clear it from unwanted vegetation.

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The fence was covered by a thick layer of ivy. To utilize the space, and the sunshine, I had to take it all down. There’s still some more leveling that needs to be done before I can put in garden beds. This year they will be of a more permanent kind, made of wood. thequeensgarden-1The garden beds for my annual vegetables are going to be on the left side, then a green house, and a tool shed to the right (grey rectangle.) The whole area is going to be fenced in. The little tree between the greenhouse and the garden beds is a young nectarine tree that someone already planted there. Of course I’m keeping the nectarine tree.

My container garden is going to be along another fence line, slightly in front of the toolshed. (Container Garden: 6 Olive Trees, 4 Fig Trees, 1 Nectarine Tree, 1 White Peach Tree, 4 Elberta Peach Trees, 1 Pomegranate Tree, 1 Sweet Cherry Tree, 1 Wild Plum Tree, a bunch of 1-2 year old apple and pear trees of unknown variety.)

Within two weeks I’m going to start seedlings inside, and in the beginning of April I’m hoping to have the garden beds in place, and everything in the ground. The green house, and the toolshed will be a project for later this summer. I have an idea of what I want to grow in my garden beds (heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, corn, pumpkins, watermelons, zucchini, Sweet Bell Peppers, Jalapeno hot peppers, baby spinache, strawberries, blueberries, basil, cilantro, oregano, rosemary,) but I haven’t figured out exactly how I’m going to organize the crops. The whole garden area has sunshine all day long. (I live in USDA plant hardiness zone 9.)

Are you in the middle of planning a garden of your own? What are you growing in your garden? How do you go around planning what to grow where?  I’d love to hear about it!

I hope you’re having an awesome weekend!

Yours,

Maria

Planning 2017’s Garden

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I absolutely love this time of the year! The time to plan, and soon plant, a garden. It’s exciting times!

 

The photo above is of my daughter, super proud over her zucchini’s, that she grew all by herself. We are mostly into growing food, a lot of food. This morning I wrote a list of the container garden we have now, and the annual garden I want to plant this year. It’s all based on what we enjoy eating. We are not vegetarians, but we eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, because we like it! This is the list I came up with.

 

 

Container garden:

6 Olive Trees

4 Fig trees (2 one year old + 2 three year olds.)

1 Nectarine Tree (1 year old.)

1 White Peach Tree (2-3 year old.)

4 Elberta Peach Trees (1 year old.)

1 Pomegranate tree (2-3 year old? Maybe get a couple more for better pollination?)

1 Sweet Cherry Tree (2-3 year old. Maybe get one other variety? Usually a good idea for better fruiting.)

1 Wild Plum Tree (BIG, and very beautiful.)

A bunch of 1-2 year old apple and pear trees of unknown variety.

 

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Annual Vegetable Garden:

Heirloom Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes (LOTS, my daughter’s favorite vegetable..)

Corn (my daughter’s second favorite.)

Pumpkins

Watermelons

Zucchini

Sweet Bell Peppers

Jalapeno Hot Peppers

Baby Spinach

Strawberries

Blueberries

Basil

Cilantro

Should I ad something to my annual garden? What did I forget? (We live in hardiness zone 9, with long hot summers.) I always love new ideas!!

I am going to make a garden at a new location. So I have to figure out what kind of garden beds I want to have. Something I’m planning on dedicating this weekend to. I’d love ideas about that as well. Last year I made garden beds out of old tires. It worked, but I might try something different this year. I want a bigger garden! I do like the ideas of garden beds, I feel that it makes me more in control. Bring it on! I want to hear all about your successful garden tips!

Yours,

Maria

Project: A Place To Call Home

So I have been away from the blogging world for about a week. I mentioned in my last post that I had to find other living arrangements. Several of my friends immediately offered me a room in their house. I’m very grateful for that, I am blessed to have many wonderful, amazing friends, but if possible I like having a place of my own. I’ve lived by myself for almost 20 years now, I kind of like it. I looked at a few rental properties. After some thinking, and considering that I have to be out of the house ASAP (before the end of this weekend,) I had to get started on something. I decided to buy an old RV, and make it nice.

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It looked horrible on the inside when I got it, full of crap, everything from diapers to broken furniture etc. I bought it because the frame was good, the electric, stove, fridge, freezer, water, sewer etc works, and it was very affordable. After all this was an unexpected expense.

I threw everything out, and took it to the dump. I scrubbed the inside, from roof to floor, 8 times, with a very strong chem. (I got it from a trucker friend of mine. He uses it for cleaning his truck.) After some much needed ventilation, I did some light carpentry, and fixing of things, and started to paint. I finished painting today. I painted everything on the inside three times, including inside the cabinets, and the roof.

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I cleaned all the carpets thoroughly, but decided to get new carpet for the bedroom anyways.

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I’m not completely finished. I’m going to give the kitchen cabinets some blue color tomorrow morning, and clean the mess I created while painting. I am planning to move in tomorrow, and finish some smaller projects while living there. My daughter have been staying with her father for a week, I’m picking her up Monday. It should be decent by then. I might have some decorating left to do, but it should feel warm and welcoming to her. I’m making a separate play area (see photo,) for her, where it used to be bunkbeds, (I took them out.) I’m going to decorate it tomorrow, and bring her toys there.

I am lucky to be able to park the RV at some friends property, on the countryside. I already moved it. I even have my container garden of fruit trees with me. This RV is a good learning project for me. I will probably sell it in a few months, and do another project. I know I can do better with more time. I did some things a little faster than I would of liked. For now I am very satisfied. Considering the RV’s age, it’s a 1990 years model, I decided to only dedicate $1000 to this project. I don’t want to lose anything when I sell it, (I’d rather have it the other way around.) I bought the RV for $600, added building material/paint/electrical cords/microwave etc for $400. (I LOVE CRAIGSLIST!) I did put in many hours this week working on this project, getting up at 4am every day. I didn’t listen to music, something I love, but instead used the time of solitude to do some much needed thinking. Painting is almost meditative! I have done a lot of painting, as my step father had a painting business when I was a teenager. Most of the painting work went on autopilot.

I think it’s pretty cool that it is possible to spend as little (compared to most housing alternatives) as $1000, and a weeks worth of work, and get a decent place to live out of it. I understand this isn’t for everyone, but I tried RV living before (a total of 2,5 years,) and loved it. It is true that the RV I lived in then was newer, and more modern. This will be different. I feel lighter inside. It’s kind of an almost home, while working on my dream.

Despite the challenge of getting everything ready on time, it’s been a lot of fun!! I kind of like challenges, as long as I feel that they are somewhat doable. LOL. I will post more pictures as the project makes more progress.

 

Yours,

Maria

Carefree – Right Here, Right Now

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I love taking morning walks with my daughter. It feels good to get exercise in the morning, and when you’re taking a walk with a 4 year old, you’re forced to be mindful. Many stops is an essential part of the adventure. Admiring the view, looking at animals, identifying the shapes of clouds (a dog, a dinosaur etc,) feeling the wind, smelling different scents, jumping in some muddy puddles..it’s all part of it. Every minute I spend in nature with my little girl is very valuable to me. There is no price tag on this, and this special time will not return. It’s true that every time is special with a child, and in life in general, but I am surely very grateful for this time. Right here, right now. 

 

The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.

– Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

Right here, right now, is a priority for me. It’s a priority to spend as much time as possible with my daughter, in a positive nurturing environment, where she can thrive and develop her self according to her interests. I don’t believe there is a one size fits all model for parenting. Or for life. I do however believe that it is my responsibility to live fully present, enjoying right here, right now. For my daughter, and for myself. Life is in this moment.

Tell me your thoughts below!

 

Yours,

Maria