20 April 2015

Gardening with Melasma

Well hello world! I am feeling pretty good today despite being sore from this weekends activities. I have been working hard on my garden despite it's lack of love towards me. although the weeds have been less aggravating this spring! I put down some feed & weed a month or two ago and it seems to have definitely helped despite some reviews online to the contrary. Although not 100% where I want the yards to be but better than nothing at all or the wild jungle of weeds from last year. Seriously last year was harsh, those weeds tried to take everything over! I spent most of my time trying to kill off all the purslane that seems to have infected the whole neighborhood, OK not the whole neighborhood but almost. Well except for those people who seem to have an amazing green thumb on my street, some of those yards are amazing. The major focus of my weekend was to clear out remaining tree stumps and branches, also some planting because I am lazy and should have done this last weekend but I have an excuse - it rained. I planned out a rising sun or setting sun as my nephew said. I planted some corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, some herbs and peppers. It's all from seed so cross your fingers it all comes up! The tree is a jujuberry tree, I love those things!

The downside of working in the garden when you think you're still in your 20's? Although I am a firm believer in wearing spf containing lotions, it was not always so. Sadly I moisturized but rarely ever wore anything with any spf in my younger days. Now I face the consequences. I have always tanned easily and rarely burned, mostly in my childhood when you don't know when enough is enough. I recently had a course of antibiotics and a lot of sun exposure, combined they caused melasma. People wear your sunblock. People always ask whether you should avoid sun exposure when taking antibiotics or other medications. I'm hoping some aloe vera will help fade the problem but usually once you develop melasma it's very difficult to get rid of it. It's most found in pregnant women, called chloasma a hyperpigmentation of skin. Melasma is mostly associated with people who tan easily or produce melanin easily, of course including sun exposure without protection. Oh how I regret those weekend carwashes I did with the church group and no sunblock.  Seriously the amount of sun and water wasted is enough to make me groan now. Well fingers crossed the aloe vera makes it all go away.

Goals this summer now include having my own aloe vera and finishing the yard.

07 April 2015

Amor & DIY

I am behind in my goals, feeling like I keep on falling behind but not so. I have actually accomplished quite a bit this year already. Truthfully I have done more than can be expected but always the perfectionist nothing is done to my liking. Anyway that is the current state of affairs, a feeling of lagging but when analyzed not so bad.

The garden is a slow go and right now a little difficult because it's been crazy weather. Freezing threats prevent me from fully believing I can put seedlings out. Some of my seeds are not cooperating and that is irksome. Otherwise it's been pretty good. I also managed to kill my rosemary. It had survived this long and then last month I thought hey let me clean up it's base. Next thing I know we had a frost and the roots were not as protected as they had been and it died. I checked the branches by pruning and it is dry as bone :( I was sad. I will go look for one this weekend, I really like rosemary and this time I will not trust warm weather!

Portulaca grandiflora
This past weekend we had a bachelorette party for a friend (guess who was volunteered to plan it?) and it was tons of fun. I had to recover on Sunday. All. Day. Sunday. I know, I know, it was also Easter but we have discussed the not so religious thing. I did go to an Easter BBQ if that counts, I know it doesn't. Anyway as a gift to all the guests, I turned some mugs into planters and put Portulaca into them! I know Portulaca does not sound good at all but let me translate for  you. My mother calls it Amor, (aka Love) and in some places here in the USA it's called Moss Rose. It's quite beautiful. It requires full sun and very little water. It produces tons of seeds so I would not recommend that it be put in the ground, keep it contained. It is a relative of common purslane, bane of my life but it is much prettier in my opinion. At the actual party the seeds were only just starting to sprout but I'm sure that if everybody takes care of it, it will do quite well. I thought it was fitting to give out a plant that is called Love :) As for the mugs I also did a little special thing there. I drilled holes in the bottoms so that it would drain properly and then I marbled them!

It's a simple process really. In a bowl or any container you don't mind ruining you place some warm water, not boiling just warm. Drop in a few drops of nail polish - multiple colors or one single color - and quickly dunk your mug into the area where the nail polish has spread. This is a quick process because the nail polish will begin to either dry and create a film or bead up and sink to the bottom. Using glittery nail polish is a pain, you need more than a couple of drops and it has to be layered on top of other colors or bottom, as long as that is the last polish you add to the water. Otherwise have fun with this! Also once you drop in dark colors if you don't do enough of the color it will thin out and be a very pale version of what's in the bottle. Put it somewhere to dry and in an hour or two you have a marbled mug. It is not dishwasher safe, the polish will come off in there. Also do not scrub very hard, use a soft sponge because you can rub it off with a brillo pad.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!