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.


Getting Ready For An At Home Vacation

Starting Thursday I will be off work for almost 2 weeks. The plan is to get some things done around the house, do some reading, and enjoy myself. I have never been big on going places. Being home when you have worked 40+ years can be a treat. I wish I could work on the yard but it’s too hot in the Phoenix area this time of year. Come late September and October I will be able to enjoy the outdoors again.

The first item on my “To Do List” will be organizing. I’m a Virgo, an earth sign, that loves order but never has it that together. I have been reading Organize Now!: A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life by Jennifer Berry. It a great book to break down larger projects into smaller more manageable tasks. Ms. Berry is a professional organizer with a special talent for making the most complicated chore feel achievable. I liked the step by step method she uses, checklists and space to make notes were very helpful. Ms. Berry also has a web site that has lots of helpful hints

Let take my laundry room, it could be at home craft room or office. The room is large enough with built-in cabinets . The cabinet doors need some work , and a think a new coat of paint on the walls would give the decor a fresh new look. When we first moved in, 9 years ago, I painted the room in southwest colors. Now I would I want a more traditional modern look. The room has a large window that could use some curtains and I have a new shelf that I have never taken the time to mount.  I’ll post some before pictures of the roomon Friday

My Xanadu

After working the weekend shift at the hospital I though I might just rest, but after a short trip to Safeway I took a look at my bedroom and knew it needed a cleaning.

What I would love to do is take a year to clean, organize, and decorate my home. This project would include the house, the garage, attic storage, and yard. What makes it a huge job is all this has to happen on a tight budget and will require a lot of creative growth.

The creative part of myself has been dormant for the past 20 years, but I remember finding personal fulfilment and joy from creating things in my 20’s.

Today I felt a very simple pleasure from just getting my bedroom cleaned. I’m a Virgo, an earth sign, which enjoys putting everything in its place. I want to make my home my “Xanadu”, my space that reflects personality.

The easiest way is to pick a picture from a magazine and then copy that style. But that would not be me. Each item, each color, and every part of a real home reflects the souls that live there. Living is as much a “work of art” as a painting. And my life is a gallery.

What Do You Want For Your Life

It does not matter what part of life you face, “TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE”.  With the changes we, as a culture, have faced the past year it may require that you continue work pass your planned retirement.  If that is the case this blog may be for you!

It’s important to add enjoyable pastimes along with tips to make your life  fulfilling. It’s your journey and it up to you to make of it what you will. I want to share my journey with you. Plus I want to share some tips (and hopefully you will share tips) that has made my life an adventure in self discovery. I’m a BABY BOOMER, my parents were children of the depression and a part of WWII. Their stories are a part of my being.  Your stories will become a part of our children’s (we can talk about that later).

Passion, I want to talk about passion for life. What’s your passion???

Dreams. what have you done with life? What do you want to do?

What do I want to do????