Monday, June 25, 2012

This Old Birdhouse

Hello Again!

While I'm working on my next posts about the elements and how they relate to my goals, I thought I would do a nice relaxing summer post.

When we first moved into our apartment, on the balcony hung a dirty weather worn bird house. I'm not sure how long it had hung there, but it was definitely an eye sore. I climbed on a kitchen chair and took it down. The poor run down bird house sat on the balcony in the far corner for almost a year now.

While cleaning the balcony, I thought about throwing it out, but I didn't feel like trekking all the way out to the dumpster. So, I decided that it would be a perfect time to give it a makeover.

I cleaned off the dirt, dead bugs, and cobwebs.

I wanted something bright to liven up the balcony, so I went with some of the same colours that I painted my flower pots with.

I had to come inside to finish it off. The humidity that day was getting to me and I really wanted the paint to dry.

I thought that it might be too bright in colour, but it looks great against the sky and the trees. I hoped that the birds would come to enjoy it. It took them about a week to really find it and use it regularly, but they have. It keeps little Charlie entertained during the day, but I have to watch out so she doesn't run into the door again.

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer as much as I am. Do something creative and take some time to be outside.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Health or Wellness?

Hi Everyone!

I have struggled for a while now with my self-esteem during pregnancy. I know that weight gain is a normal part of pregnancy, but I feel like I am becoming an unhealthy whale and not beautiful. I also know that a lot of women suffer from low self-esteem whether they are pregnant or not. I suffered from low self-esteem before I was pregnant and worked hard to get to a point where I was at peace with how I felt I looked. I went for walks, watched my weight, and made an effort to drop down to a comfortable place.

When I think about what I did to get to that place, I have to think to myself, "Was I being healthy?" Years ago I worked out obsessively and gave up my gym membership at the advice of a mental health professional so that I wouldn't go every day of the week for hours on end.

After that, I let myself go for a while and felt miserable. I worked on getting back to where I wanted to be by walking and rollerblading.  I freely admit that sometimes I would forget to eat (food never really interested me) or found it too difficult to eat. The difficulty came from having to eat a gluten-free diet (not by choice, for medical reasons), so it was hard to just grab something on the go.

Nutrition and fitness have always interested me, but now, I find myself wondering what does it mean to be healthy? Is there a difference between being healthy and being well. What is wellness anyway?

I looked in many places for those answers. Although health and wellness are words used interchangeably in society today, I feel like they are two separate things. Reading the different definitions of health and healthy, I think that it is best used to describe the physical body although it at times can include the mind. Usually when someone is viewed as healthy they are free of disease, pain, and injuries. Where wellness is the overall state of someone encompassing all aspects of life and lifestyle including health.

When I started to look at my overall well-being instead of just my health, I realized that I had gone about things all wrong. I was focusing on one thing, weight, instead of the whole picture. I was neglecting the other parts of wellness and even my health. I realized it isn't good for me to look at my weight gain during pregnancy as unhealthy as it is a healthy and natural part of preparing for and nurturing the growing child inside of me. I also realized that simply by recognizing my feelings about gaining weight and the various body changes I am going through is a step toward improving my overall wellness.

After these realizations, I decided that I was going to work on my wellness. I am working on creating several goals for my wellness. I decided to break the goals down into 5 areas and place them under headings that I recognized and felt connected with. I choose to break them down into Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit as I have worked spiritually with these elements and can relate to the aspects of them.

In coming posts, I plan on outlining what these areas means in my journey of wellness and the different goals I have associated with them. I hope you will  join me on this journey.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gardening 101: How to Kill a Plant in 10 Days

Hello Everyone!

So, gardening is not something that I am instinctively drawn to. I'm about a nurturing as a rock and terribly forgetful. But I thought, "How hard could it be to keep a few plants alive? I keep Charlie alive, and she's a cat."

Apparently, plants are harder than cats...

It began early spring when the weather was unseasonably warm during the day. I thought that because it was relatively nice outside it would be the perfect time to pot some plants. Without experience in this area I failed to realize one key factor, the weather here changes (rapidly). So without this bit of knowledge, I set out to the garden store, purchased plants and pots, and began my gardening journey.

I decorated my little pots in shades of blue, green, and purple. I planted my 6 little plants with pride. How are they doing now? Well, there are now 3 and half remaining.

The first to go was the catnip. How do you kill catnip? Here's how:

I soon realized that although the daytime was unseasonably warm at night there was still a very strong chance of frost and cold temperatures. So, I began packing up my little pots and bringing them in every night. I was smart enough to know that with Charlie the cat around I would have to place the plants in one of the few areas cat proof enough for them to survive. The only suitable place was the top of some kitchen cupboards.

My dear boyfriend would have to lift them up on top of the cupboards every night and bring them down for me to water every day. After a few days of this, both he and I were tired of the hassle. To keep the peace and make watering them easy, I decided to place the plants in the bathroom and shut the door. Again, I failed to see the flaw in this plan. Of course the door was closed often. How hard is it to forget during the day? Remembering this small step at 2 am however is difficult for even the most rested man and woman.

One night, I hear a ruckus coming from the living room. Emerging from the bedroom, I found Charlie, high as a kite, racing around the living room. Immediately, I knew that she had found her way into the catnip. I made my way to the bathroom preparing to witness what was surely a massacre. I turned on the light and was pleasantly surprised to see green leaves gleaming. It took a few moments to realize that in the middle of all that green there was one pot, empty except for potting soil.

Charlie had not only munched on my poor catnip plant, she had completely devoured it-roots and all. She remained off for almost a week, sometimes tweaking out at the smallest noises, puffing up her fur and diving under the nearest piece of furniture for cover. I can only imagine what she might have heard or seen as she rode out that bad catnip trip.

Next to go was the basil. As the weather alternated between hot to warm sunny days and freezing cold nights, I eventually gave up bringing the plants inside. It was a lot of work for my little pregnant body and I figured it wouldn't get that cold. Apparently, I was wrong.

Poor Basil. It didn't stand a chance. The alternating temperature soon turned the once bright green and healthy plant into a dry, brittle, and brown stalk.

Now all that remains are my 3 and a half plants. I say half because my lavender has slowly turned brown and brittle. No matter how nice the weather is or how often I remember to water, it just seems to have given up hope of living.

The remaining three; rosemary, sage, and spearmint seem to be doing alright.

I am hoping that at least one of them makes it. My guess would be the spearmint as it has thrived under my clumsy and forgetful care.

Perhaps my future endeavors will go a lot more smoothly than gardening.