Living With The Changes In 21st. Century America


Gardening In The Desert

While most of the country is deep in winter, in Phoenix it’s time to start to think of a garden this year. In the past ,I have had a little luck with container gardening. What I did not realize was that in Phoenix container become too hot in for plants to grow. My cactuses do great in the planters but tomato plants have little chance of producing a good crop if the roots are cooked. Also I read that tomato plant blooms will not produce fruit if it’s over 100 degrees.

I will be having surgery on my hand at the end of January, so I should be able to work in the garden at the end of February. I have less than 2 weeks to get the ground ready for plants.

I started to read a new book last fall called, “Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!”  by Patricia Lanza. I liked the idea of an easier way to grow my own vegetables, it made me feel hopeful. The produce in the supermarket is high-priced but has so little taste. Real tomato sell for $5.00+ a pound. I have a large yard covered with stone and plan to just start with a 4’x12″ area for tomato plants. I’m going to order heirloom plants from Laurel Heirloom Tomato Website Her websites has lots of information to share, it’s filled with Love, and you can tell she takes pride in what she does.

Lasagna Gardening is a nontraditional organic gardening method that relies on a layering method called “sheet composting.” The name “Lasagna,” comes from the way garden beds are created from layers, the same way you layer ingredients when making a pan of lasagna. Watering and weeding are reduced through the heavy layers of mulch and by planting crops close together. The lasagna layering method quickly builds soils that are incredibly rich in nutrients, resulting in higher than average garden productivity. The method also works great for container gardening.

I have done some research on the soil ph in the Phoenix area and I will need to add sulfur since our soil has a high ph. Pine needles also can lower the ph. The website “The Garden Helper” has a chart with the recommended soil ph for many of the garden plants. A tomato plant will need 5.0 to 7.0 ph to grow. After I put the garden layers together I will cover the area with black plastic to let it “COOK” till the beginning of March.

I believe gardening will add more joy into my life. Joy and happiness are part of my plan for this year. Finding balance, feeding my soul and understanding my plan are part of taking responsiblity for my own happiness. I feel if we taught our children that creating your life is like making a “work of art” we ( as a culture) would be lifted to a higher level.

Anyway…..I Love Tomatoes!                      

New Year…….New Starts????

Everyone talks about New Year Resolutions and talk about what they are going to change in their lives. I don’t think change is very easy and I have had no luck with New Year Resolutions. I know what I need to do, lose 25 pounds, get organized, make more money, and spend less. I’m going to think about this year as ADDING TO MY LIFE, and leave the word change out.

I know I’m not alone when it comes to unsuccessful resolutions, which can lead to a feeling of failure. Prehaps the failure comes from too many resolutions, or choosing resolutions I don’t really want to do. If you want a new habit, it is said, you must do something for 30 days. I think you must make a plan, add the new behavior to your life daily. Make a place for it in your life. 

There are 3 area I want to improve in my life:

  • Organization and making my life less stressful. Manage the paper work and home front with peace.
  • Creativity and making art again. In my youth I enjoyed lots of arts and crafts. I have lost that part of me.
  • Reconnecting with God. I don’t know what that will look like, but I feel the need.



Does Goal Setting Work?


Next weekend I have a 4 day weekend, and to get the most out of that time off , I’m going to set goals . Make out a “To Do List”. I have so many projects that are half started, I feel I need to complete SOMETHING!!!

Making a real to do list that is realistic can make a big difference in how you feel at the end of any time off. A list that is too long and impossible to complete can leave you feeling like a failure and stressed out. Back in the precomputer days list were made on paper, but today all you have to do is google To Do List. There are loads of ways to break down your tasks into sublists, cleaning list, shopping list, etc. While surfing the web I found which makes listing a Zen like activity.

The Zen of Todoist                                                                                                                                          


Now is better than later.
Later is better than never.
Organized is better than messy.
Big things are composed by smaller things.
Smaller things are done by action.
Think like a person of action.
Act like a person of thought.
The beginning is half of every action.
The longest journey starts with the first step.
Everything should be made as simple as possible.
But not simpler.
Celebrate any progress.
Don’t wait to get perfect.
Deadlines and stress are a part of life.



It’s September And That Means Football

Chicago Bears 2010


Like 95% of the people living in the Phoenix area I came from somewhere else. For over 20 years I lived in Chicago and every fall Sunday I looked forward to watching the Bears take the field. I even lived in Chicago in 1985, that’s the year the Bears won the Super Bowl. The only team that beat them that year was Miami.

I always get the Direct TV Football Package so that we can watch the game. My love of football only includes the pro teams and ends with the Super Bowl. I enjoy watching all the teams from the Midwest. For some unknown reason I can’t get into the Arizona Cardinals. Around Phoenix it’s just not football weather.

My football love started when I was in high school. I played the flute in the marching band, and we did halftime shows at all the home games. In college, at IU, many dates were football weekends. Some of the best times in my life were those days in Bloomington. The campus is old and beautiful with aged limestone building and enormous lawn with huge trees. There were parties, and dances. It was a time to fall in love when the future appeared endless.