Tag: #LoveYourself

May Gardening Post 2

Let’s talk about collard greens.

Growing up I didn’t like them. I didn’t like any vegetables. When I got in my 30’s I tried them again and fell in love. I remember when I was little I would just eat the ham or bacon out of the greens. Now I actually enjoy them. That was what encouraged me to make them a staple in my garden.

This year I planted the following varieties: Champion, Miss Annie Pearl, Vates, Georgia Southern, Flash, and Top Bunch. All were very good options and taste great. Top Bunch, Flash, and Champion are my favorites.

Because I’m silly and wanted to show scale. All my leaves were this large.

All the varieties resembles these except Georgia Southern. Their leaves have curled edges and what you are most likely to find in your grocery store.

So how did I grow them? You thought potatoes were easy.

I started from seed. I got my seeds from a variety of seed catalogs, but you can get Georgia Southern at any local store that sells seeds.

I started indoors and after I got two sets of leaves I took them outside to garden them off.

I replanted from a six cell tray to a small pot and kept them inside of my plastic totes.

After they were hardened off I had to make tough decisions. I told myself I would only keep two of each variety this year so the other four had to go. They either went to the neighbors or compost.

I repotted them in a five gallon bucket or pot with 1/3 soil, 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite. I then added a scoop of worm castings and a scoop of slow release fertilizer. Dug a hole and planted. Watered in the plant.

Collard greens do not like a lot of sun. If you can get them in partial sun or even shade they will thrive. We received so much rain in May I didn’t need to do much.

I transplanted them on 4/14 and could have probably picked them last week 5/20 but I wasn’t ready to eat them. That extra 10 days made them huge.

I harvested 75 leaves from all the various varieties. I gave half to my father in law.

FYI- collards are cut and come again. Cut the outer leaves and leave the center. This will give you two harvest.

If you didn’t plant collards I would wait until the fall, unless you have a nice shaded area. I find once the temperature remains in the 80’s my greens begin to look sad.

Next week look for my favorite collard green recipe. If you have one please share and I will post that.

And if you haven’t started, there is still time. Let’s Grow Some Stuff

Pots and Buckets

Month 5 Wk1 Yr2

“Walking is man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates

I use to run. I use to run half marathons. Saying it out loud makes me impressed and angry. The reason is that phrase “use to”.

Now I can’t walk 15 minutes without being winded. Running sounds crazy to me. The problem with this crazy is I want to run. I want to not only run one mile, but 13.1 miles in under three hours. Yes I actually did that.

This month along with my work team I decided to do a steps challenge. Counting steps makes me actually move even when I don’t want to. Last month was a water challenge and I know it’s hard to believe but I’m still drinking it. Now I’m adding on steps.

The goal is to again run a 5K. Hell the goal is to run, I don’t care how far. Sitting here typing that sounds so allusive but when I did it the first time I didn’t believe it either.

So why this new motivation? I wish I could tell you I got some crazy notion to do things the right way. Nope! I realized I have 5+ vacations planned this year. Add to that all the kids sporting events and all the activities and I know I need to lose weight.

My family has started bowling a few times a week. I’m sweating during the first game. Anybody at any weight can bowl. I’m just not trying to be drenched in sweat while doing it.

I want to do activities and not feel like I can’t move. I need my back not to hurt, along with my knee, neck, and feet.

Is this different from previous times, who knows. I will tell you I know you need motivation to get yourself together. Let’s pray this is my motivation.

On a very very very positive note I have been dealing with stress very well. The stress is not any less than normal but I’m better. I’m very focused and very excited about seeing what tomorrow brings. Today is 100% better than yesterday.

Month 4 Wk5 Yr2 -Bonus

Let’s Try Healthy

In all my years of losing and gaining weight I don’t think any food has given me as much stress as bananas. If you have low carbed or have diabetes you fully understand what I’m talking about.

One medium size banana has 105 calories and 27 carbs. I don’t know how many times I’ve questioned myself about eating a banana. Mind you I will eat chips by the handful but I panic at the thought of bananas.

On my last bout of neuroticism I had to laugh. I was seriously mad at myself for going over my carb count because I ate a banana. Again I needed to regroup.

I need to be healthy. I need to eat fruits and vegetables. I need to drink water. I need to move my body, and I need to practice some self care. I need to do all the things I’ve been screaming about for a year and a half.

Had I followed my own plan I would be down around 70 pounds. I would be at my goal weight. That alone makes me want to slap myself . Something that I know works yet I just didn’t do it.

This summer I have so many trips planned and the first thing I thought about was how soon I could lose weight. Yea I know, ass backwards.

With a heavy sigh I have to admit to myself that I need help. I need help figuring all this out. I need help from a therapist to work through depression and I need help from a friend to keep me on track with weight. I thought I could do it alone and truth is I can’t. I’ve finally reached out and got myself a support system. Truthfully they reached out to me.

Doing the same thing over and over is the definition of insanity. I was literally driving myself insane.

As I laid in my bed today not able to do anything except sleep I think the epiphany finally hit me. I can live like this forever, which is not living at all or I could do something new. I’m going to try something new, and I’m going to start with eating some bananas.

April Gardening Part 2

The Importance of Storage

Months ago I looked through all the seed catalogs to find out what I wanted to grow for 2022. The hardest part of that task was making sure I didn’t buy seeds I already owned. Between the catalogs, the stores, and my trip to M.I.Gardener I wanted to make sure I had a variety of each veggie.

I also wanted to make sure I actually recorded which varieties I liked this year. Last year I grew everything and just threw stuff together. I picked all the collard greens and cooked them together. I also picked all the cabbage and cooked it together. That really didn’t allow me to see what I liked, what grew well, or what I wanted to grow again. This year I needed a plan.

The first thing I needed to do was upgrade my seed storage box.

This year I opted for a two sided box. The compartments can be adjusted to hold various amounts of seeds. Before you ask, of course I got this off Amazon. You will also notice the seeds are in little jewelry bags and labeled with a sharpie. I put the name of the veggie along with the year I purchased the seeds. If I don’t grow all of a seed pack within two years I share the seeds with friends. Sharing is caring :).

Now back to the box. The best feature of this box so far has been the handle and how rugged it is. I’ve already dropped it twice and thrown it in my garden bag and the seeds have stayed put. There are two heavy duty latched on both sides along with a sturdy plastic frame. This box was meant to hold screws and nails so the plastic is thick. I noticed when looking at boxes made for beads they didn’t look as rugged.

The last thing you want to do while planting is fiddle around with seed packs. This method allows me to keep the actual packages in the house (I have a binder) and only take the seeds outside.

This year I plan to label the seeds I love along with seeds I don’t want to grow again. Why I didn’t do that last year I have no idea.

The theme for this growing season is organization and maintenance. Hopefully I can help at least one person to GROW SOME STUFF!

Hope you’re as excited as I am.

Month 4 Wk4 Yr2

“Slow Down” – L. Ross

I almost fainted last week. I was in Colorado for work and had just walked up one flight of stairs. Yes the one flight will be important in this story.

I stepped to the side to let someone walk past me and kind of stumbled on the wall. I then noticed my heart was beating very fast and then I was dizzy. Next I was sweating. This all happened in a matter of seconds but it felt like I was moving in slow motion.

Instead of stopping I stumbled into the bathroom. I remember telling the two people I was with I was headed to the restroom and made myself stay conscious enough to open the door.

By this time I was dripping with sweat. I made my way to the first stall and sat on the toilet seat. I began fanning myself with my hand while using toilet tissue to wipe the sweat from my face.

My breathing would not slow down. I laid my head on the wall of the bathroom and just sat there. I closed my eyes and just sat there. For 10-15 minutes I did not move.

If you are asking why I didn’t tell someone what was happening it’s because I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed that I was about to pass out from walking up one flight of stairs. I was embarrassed that I would be larger than the last time I was in town. I was embarrassed that I had in my mind failed again.

I blamed the thin Colorado air and the altitude. I blamed myself for not drinking enough water. I simply blamed myself.

I told my husband the next day and he simply told me to slow down. He also told me to workout. He said when he thinks about giving up he thinks of the family and keeps going. That hit me hard.

There are moments that either make or break you. There are moments when you either decide to get your shit together or keep doing what your doing.

I’m praying this is a moment that I get my shit together.

Current weight 282

This is due to traveling and that damn time of the month. I wanted to lie and tell you my weight had not changed. Crazy on a blog in which I’ve poured my heart out I still cringe when I post a gain. I’ve still got a lot of work to do. This blog has not at all gone the way I thought it would. I hope you all are still rooting for me. I need that support right now.

Month 4 Wk3 Yr2

“You never know what someone else is going through” – Unknown

Not sure if I mentioned it but we did a girls trip a few weeks ago. As part of the trip we dropped by and visited my good friends niece who attends an art college.

I walked through their school in awe. As part of their classes they display their work all over the school. The students have small studio spaces where they keep supplies and various art in different stages of completion.

To say these student were talented would be an understatement. The talent of that small space made me again have hope for the generations after me.

Their artwork said something. The messages were powerful on so many levels. You could see pain, joy, loss, wonder, and every emotion in between.

On a wall in a loft space I saw the picture posted below. If you read any of these lines on their own you don’t get the message. Reading “I am nobody” makes you feel sad that someone doesn’t feel worthy. If you read “Nobody is perfect” you feel an excuse is being made. Reading “Therefore I am perfect” makes you think their is some arrogance from the speaker. Only when all put together do you see the heart of the message. “I am nobody. Nobody is perfect. Therefor I am perfect”.

We are all like this message. Taking one segment of our lives out of context gives the wrong impression of who we are. I am not just African American, nor am I just a wife, mother, daughter, or friend. I am not just an employee, a student , or a person who fights depression and weight loss. I am all of these things and when put together they make up who I am.

This week I didn’t fight who I was nor did I try to change me. I loved me, all of me for exactly who I am. Until we learn to love ourselves as we are, we will never love ourselves once we turn into who we are trying to be. Yes you can read that last sentence again.

This week honor yourself. Be grateful for all that you have and hopeful for what’s to come. I am turning the corner on this journey and loving every step. Yea sometimes I’m stepping in dog poo or mud, that’s life. Learning that dog poo and mud can be washed away is where I am now. My anxiety can be washed away when I choose to focus on the good.

Current weight 279. No loss, and no gain. Well I gained a lot of insight. when I figure this out I’m coming out swinging and everybody better be ready.

April Gardening Part 1

This weather sucks in Ohio. There is no other way to put it. We started one week at 70 degrees and by the end of the week it was snowing.

I told you all a few weeks ago to put seeds in the ground and I know you are now sitting here thinking “I’m glad I didn’t listen to that crazy lady”.

Well you should have listened lol. While the temperature is dipping the garden is starting to come alive.

The peas and spinach have sprouted through no help from me. I dropped the seeds in, watered, then walked away. I haven’t watered them since which is why the soil looks dry in the pictures. Mother Nature on the other hand had dumped rain and snow since these pictures were taken yet these veggies continue to grow.

Tip- throw some seeds in the soil and see what happens. If it doesn’t grow, plant them again. Don’t stress. Let’s just Grow Some Stuff.

The peas have sprouted
As well as the spinach
I also have some Early Jersey cabbage started.

Month 3 Wk4 Yr2 – Black People Don’t Get Depressed

“I do have anxiety, and it is part of my experience” – Lizzo

I remember when I was younger I use to hear my grandmother and aunts talk about nerve pills. They talked about them as casually as you talk about Tylenol. No one even batted and eye. What I learned by these actions was taking nerve pills was ok because everyone did it. They did it because people got on their nerves.

When I got older and started to suffer from what I now know is depression and anxiety I mentioned this to a few members of my family. I was trying to be perfect at everything. I would get extremely sad for no reason, or I would sleep for two days. What my family told me was that “I was working myself too hard”, or “I would get through this”. Not once did anyone even utter the words depression or anxiety, so I kept waiting to get through whatever “this” was. They also did not mention these famous nerve pills which I wish they had because they were getting on my nerves.

In college it got worse when my mood would swing suddenly. I was always sad. Everyone around me kept saying they were normal but I just felt off. I saw my first counselor in college and was diagnosed with depression.

When I went home to tell my family I was quickly told “Black people dont get depressed”.

If I wasn’t a mess before I was certainly a mess now. It was a white lady who told me I was depressed so maybe she was wrong. I was struggling with identity issues in high school and college so again maybe they were wrong. My first real boyfriend told me I was a “white girl trapped in a black girls body” so maybe I was displaying this white girl disease. I had no idea what to believe, so I ignored it.

Guess what happened? It got worse and a few years later I eventually broke. It’s been 17 years since the break and while each day gets easier it does come with its challenges.

Let me tell you some of the things I’ve learned and hopefully they help some of you, while continuing to help me.

I had to learn that problems are going to happen daily. I just have to learn to deal with them. That was the easy part. My problem is, in my mind I’m trying to solve a million problems at the same time. My mind eventually gets pissed and shuts down then decides to take my body with it. The solution is recognizing what’s happening and slowing down.

I also learned that no one person is responsible for my issues nor can they solve my issues. YOU DO NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE. Stop trying to fix stuff yourself. Obviously your brain can’t fix this issue so let someone help you. Only you can finally solve your issues, but there are people who can help you along the way.

The last thing I learned was that Black people DO get depressed. Depression has no color. Depression doesn’t care about who you think you are, or how strong you believe you are. Depression basically says “Fuck your feelings”. Depression is that beast that just doesn’t go away and likes to rear its ugly head from time to time.

I’ve yet to meet a person who has beat depression. What we like to say is “My story is not over;” That is the most important thing.

Let me be clear. We are all placed here for a reason. You may not know that reason, but there is a reason. It is not your place to remove yourself from this world and rob someone of your joy. I’ve gone on to be the mother of two wonderful children. I have a husband who loves me. I have lifelong friends and I have coworkers who are amazing. Guess what? They all get on my nerves and that’s ok.

If you are Black, Hispanic, Asian, White, yellow, green, blue, pink, or teal, you can get depressed and that is ok. There is nothing wrong with you are you are here for a reason. You are amazing and believe me someone loves you.

As this month comes to a close and I evaluate my mental health I’m 100% in a better place than when I started. I realize that I needed to take this break and take care of myself and that is ok. Maybe I was just reacting late to the Winter Blues but I’m ok.

Oh and let me say I’m never embarrassed or ashamed of talking about my mental health. If you have questions ask me. Hiding and pretending like I’m ok is what got me here. I refuse to go back to that place. I’m going to continue to love myself and grow into the person I’m meant to be.

This tattoo hurt worse than any other I have, but the meaning is so strong it was 100% worth every year.

March Gardening Part 4

Let’s grow some stuff early.

Today I’m going to tell you about a few seeds you can get in the ground early. Yes I know you are going to have another frost. Yes I know that it may very well snow again in your area. Yes I know you have no intentions on watering seedlings in 32 degree weather, but guess what? You won’t have to do any of that. With these plants you can drop your seeds and keep it moving.

1. Spinach

2. Peas

3. Onions

4. Beets

5. Carrots

6. Parsnips

7. Turnips

8. Lettuce/Kale

9. Cabbage

10. Potatoes. Of course I was going to mention potatoes.

So why can you plant these seeds early? All these plants love cold weather. For your cabbage and lettuce they actually taste better if they get hit with a bit of frost. These are your hardy plants.

Let me point out that planting seeds when it’s cold does not mean they will sprout when it’s cold. Your seeds still need some heat to germinate so those cold days are not doing much. What this does is let you free up some time to do other things.

This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you about why this plant grows and why that plant grows. NO! You have Google for that. I plant early because I’m lazy. When the weather hits the 50’s and I’m dying to get in the garden this is the stuff I plant. While others are still flipping soil I’m waiting for stuff to sprout. For me it’s about the head start. I don’t know about you but I do not enjoy planting carrots. Those tiny seeds drive me crazy. With this early method I drop some in the soil and walk away. I have no issue with carrots in March when I have all the time in the world.

Last, I garden using a survival of the fittest method. If stuff makes it through the frost and sprouts, my theory is it’s a survivor. Unicorn Crossing is off to a great start with these little hero’s. So far I have planted peas, spinach, carrots, onions, collards, cabbage, and of course potatoes :).

So when that temp gets above 50 again and you are feeling antsy plant some stuff. We are not going to stress about what’s going to sprout, we are going to be amazed when anything sprouts.

Month 3 Wk3 Yr 2 – Out Of Control

“He promised me he will (deliver, deliver, deliver)” – Bebe Winans

When I can’t control my situations I stress. When I stress I get depressed. When I get depressed I eat. When I eat I get depressed.

You can change the order of those words any way you see fit but the results are the same. I’m depressed, stressed, and eating.

I’ve also noticed when I’m very stressed I just don’t eat. I eat everything in sight, and some out of sight things. I crave everything. Sweet, salty, and savory. The list goes from chocolate, to chips, to cheddar bay biscuits. There is no rhyme or reason.

I also develop big plans, telling myself what I’m gonna do tomorrow. Tomorrow I’m going to run. Tomorrow I’m going to eat right. Tomorrow I’m not going to bake a cake or make ice cream (I got a Ninja Creami and although I love it it’s the devil. More to come later). I realize I am out of control because I can’t control stuff.

This is 100% the perfectionist in me. I would love to meet a perfectionist without control issues. I need some tips.

This week has been rough but I’ve figured out a lot. I’ve figured out that as a child when I couldn’t control my environment I ate. When I couldn’t spend time with people I wanted to I could eat. When I found out my then boyfriend was cheating on me I ate. I think part of me ate so I could then blame the fat. It’s easier to assume people don’t like you because you’re fat instead of them just not liking you. Yea it’s the fat.

While I’ve grown out of the “do you like me” phase I have not grown out of the control phase. As my husbands health continues to change I eat. I can’t control his heath so I eat. When my kid is having issues at school I eat. I can’t control him experiencing his first issues with racism so I eat. When I’m killing myself at work trying to get a raise I eat. I can’t control the person who swipes the pen and grants my raise so I eat. As I wait to hear about us closing on our home I eat. I can’t control the underwriter so I eat.

Realizing this through a lot of journaling I’ve decided I need a new trigger. When I’m at my wits end I need to not eat. I need to find something I can do anywhere at anytime. I want to say I’m going to run but I can’t commit to that. I can commit to journaling or crocheting or reading. I also can do a lot of praying and a lot of meditation.

This past week showed me something about myself. I never stop trying to be better. I never stop trying to learn new things and I never stop trying to progress. Depression focuses on the past while worrying about the future. Someone said something to me a long time ago that I’m going to repeat all week.

You can’t worry about it and pray about it.

I can’t ask God to help me with something then tell him how to do it. This week I’m handing all my worries over to God. Once handed to Him I will move on. He hasn’t let me down thus far and I know he’s not going to start.

Meditation and prayer is the recipe for the week. It’s been too long since I’ve spent time with my Father. I’m going to Be Still.