Don’t Eat Off The Sidewalk!

Garden Progress – June

Brian and I spent a large part of early spring building a new garden.  Last year, we just tilled part of the back yard and threw some starters in the ground and called it good.  The soil isn’t great though, so my garden didn’t do its best and I didn’t even get to hoard enough tomatoes to make sauce.  I knew building beds would be expensive because of all of the dirt, so when we got a settlement check from Toyota (what the settlement was for, I don’t remember) for $125, we agreed to put it towards the garden.  If you’ve built raised beds, you know that $125 doesn’t cover two cedar beds and a cinder block bed and all of the dirt.  So much dirt.  We just used basic soil and a little mushroom compost, plus my own compost and I think we spent nearly $100 just on dirt.  We bought 24 cinder blocks at a little over $1 each, and I can’t remember how much the wood was but cedar is pricey.  The only thing that made it a little better was that Menards was having a rebate promotion for a percentage back, so we were able to mail in a couple of receipts and get ~$20 back in store credit.

The rebate promo was in March, so we bought the wood and blocks then, and Brian built one bed one weekend and the other the next.  We were in no hurry since I knew that planting weather was still a ways off.  The hardest part was getting the blocks and dirt to the yard, we don’t have an alley or anything and my garden is on the opposite corner away from the gate.  So I had to load the blocks onto a moving dollie and pull them.  Dollies make moving heavy objects a lot easier, but that ease was kind of negated by the fact that I had to pull the dollie through grass instead of just over pavement.  I wanted cinder blocks so I could plant my herbs in the holes on the outside, and if I want to expand it next year I can pretty easily.  We went with two layers of bricks so I could plant greens in it from seed and not worry about Harley hopping on top of them to nap.  If you want a raised bed but don’t want to mess with cutting wood I would totally recommend cinder blocks, just keep in mind that they are HEAVY, we had to take ours home in two trips, and leveling the ground can be a pain in the ass and then you won’t do it properly and you’ll end up with some crooked bricks that you’ll have to push inward while trying to shovel dirt underneath with your hand, and that dirt will eventually settle and then the blocks will be crooked again.  Hypothetically, I mean.  That totally did not happen to me.

The greens as of yesterday.  As you can see, they’re doing great!  I have kale starters, then kale from seed, collards, and two kinds of lettuce that I can’t remember what they are and the seed packet is out of reach.  The front and back have basil, basil, more basil, sage, lavender, thyme, rosemary, and oregano.  I stuffed the bottom layer of the blocks with old leaves and dirt we dug up to level the ground to help keep the empty ones stable.  If you look on Pinterest, there are some really cool looking cinder block beds, you can even make a simple planter out of a couple, paint them, whatever.  And you can dismantle them at any time and re-arrange!

And here are the cedar beds, things are starting to flower and i’ve been eating really small strawberries this week but nothing too exciting so far.  The far bed is all tomatoes because i’m insane, the closer one is strawberries in the front (I planted four last year just to get them started and transplanted about a dozen into the bed from the babies they made), then peppers and eggplant, then four zucchini plants (I know, why, i’m stupid) watermelon because I thought i’d give that a whirl, and cucumbers in the back.  I tend to grow the same basics every year and try one new plant just to see if it’s easy to grow because i’m the laziest gardener ever.  Everything is doing great so far, we’ve had a decent amount of rain since I planted a month ago.  I hope to have a small jungle by this time next month!

posted: June 5, 2014
under: gardening, life, pictures


Yesterday, RAINN hosted its first virtual 5K – meaning you signed up and paid your fee online, they sent you your shirt and other materials, and then you ran/walked/biked at your leisure.  My husband runs, so I sent him the link and he immediately signed up.  I knew he would, when he was in the service they had the option to donate a part of their paycheck every month to a charity, and Brian chose RAINN.

To put it as vaguely as possible, i’ve lived through sexual assault.  It is not something I would wish on my worst enemy, it really does change who you are forever.  You can get past it, but you can’t ever get rid of it.  The word ‘triggering’ is overused and misused, but I explain it that I can be okay 99.9% of the time and a certain action or words or even a smell will send a jolt through my body.  It’s like sticking your finger in a socket and getting punched in the stomach at the same time.  And if i’m having a good day otherwise, I can deal with it.  If not, I might have a meltdown.  After one of those meltdowns, Brian told me that it made him feel helpless that he couldn’t make these feelings go away for me.  I told him all I needed from him is his support, and that’s what he did yesterday.

Part of the runner’s package was a piece of paper that you could write who you’re running for, we forgot about it until he was about to head out so we waited until he got back.  I got my camera and Brian brought out his sign and showed it to me and said, “Is this okay?”  It was like insta-tears.


I love this dude so much.  After the shootings last week, and the cries of “Not ALL men…”  Well, here is a man who is really not all men.  He doesn’t get defensive on behalf of his entire gender because he’s confident in the fact that he’s not a misogynistic jerk and those that are, aren’t reflecting on him.  I’ve never heard him make a rape joke and in our 14 years together, he’s never once called me a bitch or a whore or any other such word (he does tell me to fuck off sometimes, though).  He enjoys Feminist Frequency and has a Gaming’s Feminist Illuminati shirt.  None of this is to say that he’s perfect, but I think he’s pretty awesome.

posted: June 1, 2014
under: family

Whole Soy is back!


The re-emergence of Whole Soy is hands down the greatest vegan triumph of 2014.  Yes, the year is less than half over and Earth Balance cheddar crackers blah blah blah, but YOU GUYS.  The Great Vegan Yogurt Drought is over.

If you aren’t a yogurt person you probably don’t get what the big deal is or maybe you didn’t even notice the drought.  In early 2013, we suffered several losses.

1.  Silk changed their yogurt formula from one that was pretty comparable to whole Soy, to two flavors of almond yogurt and two flavors of over-sweet, disgusting soy called ‘fruity and creamy’.  And then they ditched the almond yogurt, which I did like.

2.  Amande almond yogurt went out of production, and their attempt to start back up in another facility was put to a stop due to allergen concerns by the production plant, and not a peep has been heard from them since that announcement.

3.  Whole Soy ran into production issues at the same time that Amande did.

So we were left with So Delicious and their coconut and almond yogurts, which can be kind of pricey depending on where you get them.  I’d also seen Almond Dream in health food stores far away from my house.  Here, I can get Silk and three flavors of So Delicious coconut.  Both are a fair price and the So Delicious tastes okay, but not good enough that I want to eat it every day like I used to.  I would occasionally check the Whole Soy facebook page for updates, or sing Taylor Dane to myself while wistfully staring into my fridge.

When Whole Soy started reappearing last month, a lot of people reported getting some very chalky cups of certain flavors, mostly lime and lemon.  So I was a little wary, until I actually found them in a health food store.  I squeaked and swept the shelves into my basket – I bought something like sixteen cups.  And every time I go near a health food store I buy at least ten to last me until my next run.  So i’ve eaten a few dozen cups in the last month and i’m happy to say that I have yet to get a bad tasting/chalky cup.  I did get one cup of lime that was crazy thick, but it still tasted okay.  And some seem to naturally be more watery, like the strawberry.  I’ve tried all of the flavors except lemon, plain, and raspberry.  Maybe it’s luck, maybe they sorted out their issues by the time the yogurt made it to the midwest, either way it’s worth it to take a chance.

Or, if you cannot find Whole Soy at all where you live, apparently O’Soy (Stonyfield Farms’ soy yogurt) is now certified vegan!  Before, they were growing it on dairy cultures which is not vegan, and gross and weird.  And oddly, I can’t find it here either!  I remember O’Soy being incredibly sweet, so if I had the option I would still pick Whole Soy.  But it’s great to even have OPTIONS again.



P.S.  I know I haven’t blogged in almost six months.  For the past 3-4 of those months I debated making a very personal post about how I was incredibly depressed for a lot of 2012-early 2013 (and why, and why i’m a lot better now) but I wasn’t sure if I should, so I kept putting off posting anything and then finally I said to myself, “Self, you are ridiculous. You can handle a blog post about yogurt.”  If you actually do enjoy the words that I make with my keyboard, I recommend following me on twitter (as opposed to following someone else, right?) because it’s the only thing I can handle keeping up-to-date.

posted: May 19, 2014
under: food, products, review

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