Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How To Build a Backyard Garden Bed

My Mother's Day gift this year was this gorgeous backyard garden bed built and planted by my hubby (with help from little Gem of course!).

So, I decided to do a post with a step-by-step guide of how to build your very own garden bed!
One very important thing you need you need to know before you get started: You need to pick a spot in your yard that gets at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. Once you found your sweet spot, get ready to rumble! Here we go:

Step 1: Find an Old Bed Frame
Check your local yard sales, craigslist and freecycle. And just keep your eyes peeled as you drive around town. Rocky picked this up off the curb of a house a few streets over! Score!

Step 2: Outline your garden area (according to the measurements of what size frame) you got with spray paint.
This is so you know what area you'll be digging up. No reason to dig up more than you need to!

Step 3: Digging.
You'll want to dig up about a foot of soil. This aerates and softens up the soil so you can mix it better with your topsoil and fertilizer. This step is also so you can sift out any large rocks and roots you have down there. You definitely don't want any roots down there suffocating the soil and hogging all the water. This is definitely the most gruntworky step of the process :)

Step 4: Place your bed frame in to border your garden area.
During this step, you want to be sure that the frame is even and level. Take the extra time to ensure each side is as even as possible - Rocky even busted out his level to do this! It's important because in order for your garden to thrive, you need the water to distribute and drain evenly. Fill in garden area as well as any gaps surrounding the frame with the soil you removed earlier that has now been sifted. 

Step 5: Add in Topsoil, Humus, and Manure. 
Fill in the whole garden area with manure and humus. (We got our manure and humus already mixed). You want to mix these soils together with the original soil from before until they are all very well-blended. Even it out and then, finally, add your topsoil over the whole area. Again, level the area out nicely.

Step 6: Lay out your plants in your garden.
Take some time to plan this out properly. As for choosing what plants to grow - it all depends! It depends on your geographical location as well as what season you're in. Do lots of research before you get started. Depending on what you've decided to grow, you'll want to research how far apart to place certain plants, which plants thrive near one another, which plants are potentially harmful to others nearby, etc. Set the seeds and/or seedlings in the spots you've decided for them.

Step 7: Planting.
Now it's time to put your baby plants into their new homes. Each plant will require a slightly different depth, so follow the instructions for the individual plants.

Step 8: Give 'em a good watering.
As a welcome home gift, shower your new plants with lots of water! It's important to get a good soak into your soil, but of course, don't drown the little guys!

Step 9: Place protection around your garden.
Depending on what critters you have in your area, you'll want to decide what is the best plan of attack on defending your plants from hungry passers-by. Do some research on what garden predators you have in your area, and defend accordingly. For us, we decided the best plan was to surround our garden with a chicken wire to keep out the ducks, geese and rabbits. We kept it kind of loose and wobbly because it also protects against possums and raccoons - they try to climb up the wire but eventually their weight causes the chicken wire to flop backwards and they can't ever scale over the top.

Step 10: Step back and enjoy! 
Congratulations! You now have a backyard garden bed! Isn't it cute?! Now you have lovely task of simply caring for your garden on a daily basis. Have fun and happy gardening!

 May your garden be blessed and bear much fruit! :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Whose Expense?


I'd like to respond by saying, "No, you can't deny citizens of their religious freedom and pretend it's about women's 'basic rights.' If you like birth control, buy it and use it. Having the right to birth control doesn't mean you can force others to pay for it - especially when they are deeply, morally opposed to it." - CA Rhoades 

Take for example, the right to bear arms. American citizens have the RIGHT to own guns. But does that mean the GOVERNMENT is the one who provides the money for people to access them? Of course not. If you want to own a gun, you go to a shop, get a permit and buy one with your own hard-earned cash. That's your right. 

Lots of folks in our country think guns are terrible things and they believe society would be better off without them. They have a right to believe that! It is THEIR right to oppose guns, just like it's YOUR right to own one. Now, would you ever expect someone who is deeply opposed to guns to pay for yours? Of course not, that would be a ridiculous infringement upon his personal beliefs. 
Compare this scenario with the right to birth control. Catholics are in no way trying to step on a woman's RIGHT to use birth control. She can use birth control all she wants! That's her choice, that's her right. But it's also her expense. Having a right to something does not mean it should be handed to you for free, especially not on the dime of someone who deeply opposes it. 

Like guns? Great, go buy one. That's your right. Don't like guns? Great, don't own one. 
But for the love of sanity, don't force someone who abhors guns to pay for yours. 
The same goes for birth control. 


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why Does the Media Always Get it Wrong??

It bothers me so much that modern media (tv sitcoms, movies, etc) always portrays:

1. Pregnancy as a time of extreme woe and the most horrible physical burden a woman will ever experience

2. Pregnant women as angry, sweaty, uncontrollable, hate-their-husbands-for-knocking-them-up, exhausted, preg-zillas!

3. Birth as a psychotic whirlwind of screaming, terror, pain, and confusion.

Don't believe me? Have you ever seen even the TRAILERS for movies like The Back-Up Plan,  Knocked Up and What to Expect When You're Expecting? Yes, these movies offer a look into the comical side of pregnancy and childbirth, but they also do a great disservice to this wonderful and trans-formative time in a woman's life by adding dramatic and warped elements of hysteria and fear into it as well. To me, and almost all the moms I know who have gone through pregnancy and birth, it's more like this:

1. Pregnancy is a beautiful time of physical, emotional, and spiritual transformation as a woman becomes a mother to her growing baby within her, speckled with moments of physical discomfort and hormonal fluctuations, thus making the

2. Pregnant woman a joyful, powerful, loving, nurturing mother who occasionally cries at commercials or begs for pickles.

3. and Birth is the single most monumental event of a woman's life, that yes, involves pain, but the focus of the event is not on that - it's on bringing a new life into the world. Amidst any pain or confusion that may be happening during childbirth, the focus is always on the joy of a new life. All rewards take sacrifice. They don't call it labor for nothing - it is work to give birth, don't get me wrong. But it's the most wonderful work a woman can do; it's a labor of LOVE to give birth to a baby!

It seriously drives me nuts that so many women, especially when they are newly pregnant, are made to feel afraid and uneducated about pregnancy and childbirth! And we can't blame them - they are bombarded with these images which paint over-the-top drama, pain, and horror into what in reality, is a very fun and exciting time for a woman. As a woman who's been through it, I can say - yes, there was morning sickness and unexplained crying, and towards the end, it was definitely a little difficult to breath with a tiny little foot always pressing up into my diaphragm, but overall pregnancy was a joy -filled journey for me and I fell more and more in love my my little growing bundle every day. And when the day came to give birth to her, again - yes, the contractions were not fun, and it sure was exhausting to be in labor for so long, and most of all, I really hate hospitals so I just wanted to hide in a closet until it was all over but overall, giving birth was all about love, and I felt overjoyed to have the privilege and blessing to bring a baby into the world!

What do you all think? Am I the only one bothered by these types of scenes in films and television??

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