As a disclaimer, I am no gardening expert. I'm just a regular girl who gardens. We've had a garden for about 8 years now.
I am part of a cooking group on FB where we share recipes and cooking tips. Recently the subject of composting was brought up. I know I've written about here before, but alas I can't find the post. So, I thought I would go ahead and write a new one. As most of you know, we plant a garden every year. This winter, we did not do a winter garden because we decided we were going to expand the garden this spring. Erik did work on that. So we have a much larger area to work with.
So this picture was before we started planting. This year, we had enough compost to cover the entire area. We also added about 10-15 bags of steer maneur. I mixed the first ten, and Erik decided we needed more. I'm not sure how much more he added. We also added an organic potting mix to only the areas that were getting planted.
I hope to have almost everything planted this next week. It's just hard to get out to buy plants and seeds with Maddie being sick. April 1 is usually when we plant. Erik did start green beens and carrots a few weeks ago.
Onions are in the front, carrots along the sides of the path, and green beans along the wall where the wire fence is. In the front is a herb garden. That's Rosemary in the middle.
Moving on to Composting. It's really very simple to do. We bought a compost bin about two years ago. It's the one on the right. My friend, Pam, gave us the one on the left when she moved. So, now we have two. That one has trays in it. We put everything in our composter: egg shells, fruit peels, vegetable waste, paper towels (not those I used cleanser on), newspaper, coffee grounds, grass clippings, etc. Do not put meat, bones, etc. in there. They will rot and it will not be pleasant. Also, don't put anything with salt in the compost. It will halt the breakdown of the compost. The one on the right can be turned around to mix the compost. That will need to be done every so often. Maybe every two weeks, depending on weather. The one of the left, will need to be turned with a shovel, I think...
I would strongly suggest getting a compost starter. This is what we used. We use it off and on through the year as well if we notice things aren't breaking down. You will also need to monitor you compost for moisture. It should be a little moist. You can add water if you need to.
To get started, first purchase a bin. You can build your own, if you wish. I think you can get a big bin for around $80 at SAMs or Lowes. I like the one we have on the right. This is the first season we will be using the one on the left so I will see how I like it. Next, just start adding stuff to it. If you have grass, you might want to start with the clippings and add vegetable waste too. Once you have some stuff in there, add the Compost Starter. If it looks dry, add a little water. I keep a little bin in the house to put vegetable waste, coffee grounds, etc in.
You can buy a bucket online, such as this, if you wish. One day, I'll get around to getting one. They are affordable. About $30 or so.
So, there you have it. That's a quick breakdown. I hope you found it helpful, and it made sense. Ha. I will continue to post about our garden throughout the year. If anyone has any questions, let me know.
So, we had a setback. You might remember my previous post where I told you all that Maddie's urine came back normal. He was doing well! On Tuesday, he started showing visible blood in his urine. It looks like Coca Cola. I'm not trying to gross you out, I'm just telling you incase something like that ever happens to you, or your child. He also didn't tell me until after school. He had it two or three times at school, and didn't tell anyone. We took him to the ER. The ER felt that it wasn't an emergency, but that he needed to see his regular doctor in the morning. Our doctor has been WONDERFUL. He's not the kid's regular pediatrician, but another one from his office. Our pediatrician is on hiatus :( Anyhow, he consulted with the Nephrologist to come up with a medical plan. As of now, Maddie is on bed rest, and homebound. School will be determined on a weekly basis. A home healthcare nurse will be coming daily to check his blood pressure and weight. We will see the Nephrologist on Tuesday. Yesterday, Erik pulled his mattress out of his room and put it on the living room floor. He had a whole little realm in there.
He's enjoying his shows, doing simple crafts, and hanging out with the dogs. I will keep you guys posted. And again, I can't believe how well he is taking this. I am so proud of him. Also, he loves Duck Dynasty and Full House. Hahaha.
It's been a while since I've updated about our family's adventure with our RF Diet. I can't express how glad I am that we were on a Real Food Diet before Maddie got sick. When his Nephrologist told us he had to be on a low sodium diet, he told us that we would have to cut out all processed foods. I told the Doctor we didn't eat processed foods or have many of them in our home. He expressed that we should not feed him hamburgers or hotdogs or food from McDonalds. I told him we don't eat processed foods or go to Mc Donalds hardly at all. We do, but it's a rarity.
Anyhow, after having to read food labels, because let's face it I didn't before, I have learned so much about Sodium. I never read the labels unless I wanted to find out what the ingredients were. I suppose that after Maddie is off of his restricted diet, I won't be reading them that often. Let me just tell you, there is a lot of Sodium in our food. A lot. Maddie's restricted diet allows for 150mg of Sodium per snack and 500mg per meal. Just out of curiosity, I checked the Kraft Mac and Cheese food label. I gave the kids Mac and Cheese almost once a weekend before our real food diet. There are 580mg per one cup serving. I would say he would eat between one and a half to two cups. That's a lot of Sodium.
Eating out, has been nearly impossible. It's not like we do it very often, but we ran out of food last week. How dare I only purchase 1.5 pounds of ground beef for a family meal. Apparently, we are up to 2 pounds a meal if we want left overs. So, we decided to try and order some food. We thought that the Corner Bakery or McCallister's would be good choice. Many of the food items on the menu were over 1000mg of Sodium on the kids menu. We thought let's order pizza. Once slice of the Veggie Lovers Pizza, Thin Crust from Papa Johns contains over 500mg of Sodium. We ended up getting food from a Mexican Restaurant that delivers, and making Maddie his own meal at home. He was okay with that. I can't tell you how proud I am of him. So I guess what I've learned is no wonder so many people in this country have Heart Disease or High Blood Pressure. Many of our foods are loaded with Sodium. The other thing is that I can't be more thankful for is making most of all of our foods. There is a huge peace of mind in knowing what is exactly in your food because you made it yourself.
Okay, so I'm stepping off of my soapbox now. I also wanted to tell you that we had salad the other night and most dressings have a ton of sodium. I bought the lowest sodium dressing I could find. 2 tablespoons had over 250mg. So, I put four in for our entire family's salad. That thing needed dressing. I'm not kidding you. But the kids ate it like nothing. There were no complaints, none. They were basically eating spinach, eggs, tomatoes, carrots, etc. dry with no dressing. I was hoping they would complain so I could add some more dressing to MY salad. That's when I thought, geez this Real Food thing is working.
And a must use recipe for Chicken Stock. I cook whole chickens at least every other week so I can make the stock. We use the stock for soups, rice, etc.
Don't forget the Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. I can't wait to start making homemade pizza again after Maddie is off his diet.
Also, these Sloppy Joes were really good. Not my grandmother's recipe of course, but hers calls for a whole bottle of ketchup...not exactly low sodium. The boys didn't notice a difference and they didn't say a word about the carrots. I used a whole onion, a whole bell pepper (recipe does not call for it), and eyed the celery. I also used sugar instead of honey. No Salt of course but I did add it when I ate my lunch at school the next day. Do not tell anyone.
Anyhow, that's all I have for now. Have a great evening!
Who doesn't love a good play on words? You know I do. Hence, all of the Dam Photos I took. Anyhow, there is no urine trouble. Maddie's urine tests came back NORMAL! That is great news! I'm sorry for the the Urine trouble title. Okay, maybe not that much. It just didn't make sense to say You're not in trouble. I just wanted to share the good news. I also wanted to share a few pictures I've taken recently. Please keep in mind, I have my Project Life to share. I only have a little bit of journaling left to do before I photograph the layout. I am up to date with pictures being printed out for the next layouts. I just need to pick them up from Walgreens. Anyhow, have a good evening.
Maddox took this picture of JoJo. He also titled it "Pouty JoJo.
This blog is my place. It's my place to share my thoughts, to get it all out, to do whatever I want, to be me. I'm so thankful for this blog in so many ways. I'm just struggling to keep it up. I have nothing to write about. I feel like I can't utter...okay type a damn sentence sometimes if you want to be technical. So many nights, I come in here and try to type something anything and nothing comes out. I end up deleting what I've written or just don't write anything at all. Let's just say the start to this year has been crap. I don't like to complain, and my life is filled with so, so many blessings. It feels wrong to complain, but I think I just need to get it out. We have been sick this entire year. It started with Erik and Maddie. Then I got sick, and my sickness turned into the bronchitis. Then the damn dog hit my knee and I'm still having problems with that. It's just so stupid. Then my grandfather died. I'm relieved that it went so quickly. I really am. He was not comfortable in his last hours. I never thought he would die like that. I just thought we would get a call in the morning that he passed away in his sleep. It was the first time that someone so close to me died. I still don't think it's fully hit me. I feel guilty because I'm glad that he passed. I feel guilty that I went home and was going to bed so I could relieve my mom and aunt in the morning, and I missed his last breath on this Earth. I was gone for an hour. I really thought he would last the night. Then I feel so sad when I remember him as the man who took care of me, helped me with my Science Olympiad projects, taught me the parts of an engine, shielded me from my grandmother, helped my mother with so many Honey Do projects around the house. He was always there. Always patient. Always kind. He was such a quiet man. He would brush my hair for hours when I was a kid. He would rub my back or sore legs while we watched TV in the evenings. I find so much comfort in rubbing my kids backs while we cuddle on the couch. He was the Black Cow maker (ice cream and pepsi or coke). He was the one who couldn't hear a thing the way it came out and we laughed so many times at what he thought we said. For example, when my grandmother once asked him if he would greet her with a smile and a kiss, he said why would I beat you with a filing cabinet? After all of that, Maddie got Strep. Then Maddie went to the hospital and that was such a scary thing. I felt it in my gut by Sunday evening that something was wrong. I just knew it, and I wished I could talk to his pediatrician. Alas, his pediatrician is on hiatus in North Dakota because of Obamacare. And that is not a joke, nor am I trying to put down Obamacare. But the one man I wanted to talk to was gone because he's tired of dealing with all of the insurance changes. Keep in mind that the kid's pediatrician was my pediatrician until I was 20. I just wanted to talk to a doctor I could trust. Luckily, the doctor in my doctor's office caught it, that something was wrong. At first, he wanted to dismiss Maddie's problems as seasonal allergies. I was adamant, and he decided to do a urine sample. That's when they found blood in his urine and told me he needed to be taken to the hospital in El Paso immediately. I'm telling you, Moms, if you feel it in your gut, something is wrong, it is. It was terrifying for me. I am so thankful to the wonderful doctors and nurses at the hospital. They really took good care of him and tried to ease my panic. After that whole ordeal, Wolfie got the stomach flu. He's doing better now. Thank God. The good news is Maddie has been a trooper throughout this whole thing. He has taken this low sodium diet in stride. It hasn't been that hard, with our diet. I'm sorry for the long post with no paragraphing. I had to purge the bad JuJu. It had to come out. And, if you made it to the bottom of this, thanks for listening. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read a part of mine. P.S...I didn't proofread this so if there are typos and such I'm sorry. I'm usually a stickler for that, but today I just wanted to purge. Have a good night. P.S.S. Sorry for no picture. You know how I feel about that.
Here is Week 9. The photos are from my phone. I will post an update with photos from my camera later this week. I figured something is better than nothing, right? Any how, these pictures are from Instagram. If you wish to follow me, you can find me here. Click the Camera!
You may remember that in my last post, I thought Maddie had an allergic reaction to his medication. I thought wrong. It turns out that as a reaction to his Strep Throat, his body started attacking his kidneys. He also started retaining fluids and had really high blood pressure. We ended up in the Children's Hospital. He's out now. He's on a low sodium diet, and drinking a lot of fluids. He went back to school today for the first time this week. We just have to monitor him. His kidney functions will be monitored by the Phrenologist.
He's taken all of this in stride. He's not complained once, and he's been a good sport about drinking all of his water. He also hasn't complained about eating low sodium foods. It's not been that much of an adjustment for him since we don't eat any processed foods. He can't eat cheese and I bought him so no salt potato chips. I don't think the doctor believed us when we told him we didn't eat processed foods. Anyhow, that was my traumatic week. Hope you guys are doing okay. Project Life coming soon...I promise.
The missing square is for JoJo's write up. He got written up because another student punched him in the stomach and then he slapped back. He got three days detention.
Here is Week 7
Week 8 will be skipped. It will feature only my grandfather. I will get old and new pictures and type up some journaling. Once his obituary is done, I will add that. When the entire layout is done, I will share it.
I do have the pictures for Week 9 printed and ready to go. I am going to share that on Wednesday, if all goes well. Maddie has had an allergic reaction to his Zithromax. So, I'm going to be calling the doctor tomorrow.