Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Year of Healthy Living

I realized recently that it has been over a year since I’ve posted about this house that is now our home.  We have been in this house 15 ½ months.  The time has flown.  It often feels like we’ve just moved in, while other times we find ourselves saying things like “a couple of summers ago…” as if we’ve been here for years.  Technically, I guess, we can now say that we’ve been here for “years”.  In that time, we have made improvements to our new home.  We’ve textured the concrete on the patio and the front walk way to help keep it cool(er) in the summer heat, furnished three spare bedrooms, bought an outdoor patio dining set and added a sun screen on the west side of the patio.  Our most recent update is to put in wood shelves to replace the cheap and almost useless white wire shelving in the kitchen pantry.  Where we upgraded a lot of features of the house during the build process, we went with some cheap/free options that we knew we either didn’t care about or would upgrade ourselves.  Pantry and closet shelves/racks are one of those features.  I now have wonderful wood shelves with more room to stock food and house the ever growing pile of “must have kitchen gadgets”.

Another change we’ve made in this last year and half is to eat healthier.  Granted, we ate out a lot at the beginning, mainly because we were living at the hell motel.  We also wanted to try places that were new to us and sample the local fare.  Once we were moved in, we slowly got back to eating at home, mostly, and tried our hand at a small garden.  With a much different climate than we are use to (we came from Colorado to Texas), I wanted to start small and see what would grow well and what wouldn’t.  Our summer was mainly mild until August but it was dry throughout and I had to watered daily.  Eventually it was just too hot and too dry for a lot of what we planted.  This year, I hope to put out a larger garden with more heat tolerant crops and pray that the rain gods give us a break. 

Part of my poor little 1st garden.  This box was mainly lettuce.

This year we plan to make more changes to our diet.  We’ve started cutting out a lot of processed food and we rarely eat out.  The holidays this past year was the exception as we had company for most of the weeks from Thanksgiving through New Years, but we still ate at home for the most part.  We generally eat dinner around 5:30 and for a while I ate nothing after 8pm.  We always have a salad with our meal, even when going out.  Now we have a freezer stocked with lean pork (from our own ranch), beef and chicken and I’m already planning out this year’s garden that I’ll get going in the next few weeks.  That’s the beauty of south Texas; you can grow things almost year round.  So this is our year of Healthy Living.  I want to learn all I can about the foods we eat e.g. health benefits and the best way to grow our own.  I cringe every time we go to the grocery store, mainly because it’s a mad house and because it seems like we spend $100 every time we go whether it’s for a few days’ groceries or for weeks.

I’m currently reading up on different types of greens.  Now is the time to plant lettuce and as much salad as we eat, that will be an important item in the garden.  Everyone seems to be on a kale kick these days.  I like kale but there are many other greens I enjoy as well.  Romaine and butter bib lettuces are what we tend to buy.   Now I just need to make sure that the neighborhood cat that keeps sleeping in my garden bed stays away.  It has decided that my garden is a great place to take a nap.  I don’t agree.

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