Monthly Archives: March 2012

Best Laid Plans

I like to make plans, no not plan vacations I would much prefer to have someone else do that. I mean life plans. I like to make grand plans and see them come to life. One of the plans I had involved making a big change in the fall. Unfortunately, it won’t work out exactly how I was hoping. I have to admit there was a moment of grief. That “what am I going to do” button had been pushed and I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be feeling that way.

Luckily I was able to process and come up with a pretty good (maybe better?) alternative plan. This whole experience was a reminder that even the best laid plans can go awry. So for all of those moments that you think you have everything perfectly in place remember that there are about 100 other little things that can derail you. But that has to be OK. That’s a part of life, taking the good and the inevitable bad and making good (or just OK) of that too.

So when you get lemons make lemontinis

Lola Update: Sick Kitty is now Good as New Kitty, maybe a little too good as she keeps trying to escape and do other things she’s not supposed to do.

Rutgers Home Gardeners School

So today is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s the Rutgers Home Gardeners School day.

It’s a day-long event that includes lectures, a plant sale and a book sale.

They had a pretty full agenda with a total of 36 different classes being offered. You get to pick 4 classes to attend. Today I chose Managing Good & Bad Bugs in your Garden which really ended up being about turf management (read: lawn). Not my thing but still useful. Unfortunately, so many questions were asked during the lecture that he didn’t have time to finish the presentation so we didn’t get to review the beneficial insects which is what I’m really interested in.

Next it was on to Do’s and Don’t of Butterfly Gardening. This was taught by Rick Mikula. He’s quite the clown.

But not one of those scary clowns that look like they’re going to eat you, more like a good clown that tells you how to keep caterpillars alive and bring certain ones back. I’ve decided that I’m going to plant a butterfly garden in the front yard. I wish we could do it in the backyard but with the birdhouses we can’t. Caterpillars = bird food.

How cool is this caterpillar!

Spicebush Caterpillar

I was on my own for lunch so that meant going to the book sale and the plant sale. I like to support this event so I do my best best pick up a thing or 2… or 4… I got some oregano and rosemary I also picked up 2 books:

I really want to get more into native plants and plants that will encourage wildlife so this seems like a good start.


Again in keeping with the wildlife aspect. I think it’s a lot of fun to see all this life buzzing and fluttering about. Seeing that hummingbird last year really made me happy and knowing that I’m giving these guys a place to hang out really means something to us – Jared is just as passionate about the Eco system.

The afternoon was filled with native plants and perennials. What I really found interesting about the Eco-Friendly and Drought Tolerant Native Plants class was the discussion of their root systems. Some can go as far down as 20 feet! This is why they would be drought resistant, the roots can get moisture and nutrients way down below even when the surface soil is dry and nasty. This is what makes dandelion root so healthy. Speaking of dry and nasty looks like quite of few of the native plants thrive on bad untended soil. That’s good to know!

Butterfly Weed and Blue Star

Here are 2 that I want to add to my butterfly garden.

The Perennials for Year-Round Interest class was based on blooms during all 4 seasons. Not all of the plants were native but some of them were definitely interesting. It was nice to see some of the plants here recommended in the native plant class and the butterfly garden class – those are definitely coming to our garden

All in all it was a fun day with lots to learn about gardening. I look forward to next years classes.

2012 Garden Plan

The garden plan for this year is a fairly simple one. Jared and I are splitting the four beds so I will have two and he will two. Since last weekend was beautiful here in NJ and we were without plans it was a great excuse to set up the garden. And no I haven’t forgotten about the why we need the cold post it will be coming soon I promise!

So you want to know what I planted? Doesn’t matter, I’m going to tell you anyway! Especially since I took notes in the pretty book that Mom H gave me for the holidays.

Here you go:

So what’s under the containers are the more tender seeds and the flowers. The greens don’t need to be protected. I’ve also planted a few things for the first time: broccoli, cabbage and celery. These are cool weather crops and can usually be planted in spring when the soil is workable. I’m wondering if it may be too warm for them? I’m looking forward to seeing how it comes up and I’m also looking forward to seeing more hummingbirds this summer – that’s always a treat!

Kitty Update: Lola’s doing much better, thanks for the well wishes. They think she might have IBD – I have a feeling it might be more FTWT (Fish Tank Water Tummy)

Old JC photo

Sick Kitty

What 70 degrees in the northeast the first week in March! This week’s post was going to be about how bad all this wonderful warm weather is but my kitty Lola got sick and I’ve been dealing with that.

For those of you that have companion animals you know how special they are to us. This is the first time she’s gotten sick and she’s almost 8 years old. Isn’t it funny how our pets can elevate our heart rate (by scratching the brand new insert anything here) and reduce it at the same time. I always wondered about that.

According to the American Heart Association owning a pet can actually reduce your blood pressure – crazy huh? And the CDC says:

Pets can decrease your:

  • Blood pressure 
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Triglyceride levels
  • Feelings of loneliness

Pets can increase your:

  • Opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
  • Opportunities for socialization
Hopefully everything will be OK. Since I like to look on the brighter side of things I decided to make some hempseed sunflower butter  – what a better way to bring the sunshine in.
Hempseed Sunflower Butter
2 cups Raw Unsalted Sunflowers
1 cup Raw Shelled Hempseeds
Salt (optional)
Water or Hemp Oil to thin if necessary
Put everything in a high speed blender and let it go on high for 1 minute at a time. If you need to
thin it out use about 1/4 of water or hemp oil. Salt if you like, I kept mine salt-free.
Makes about a 16oz peanut butter jar’s worth.


What a crazy week it’s been! On Sunday I participated in a chili challenge that our local ladies group – the Borough Improvement League – hosted. It was a lot of fun and considering I don’t make chili often, or ever! I was happy to get votes and quite a few thumbs up. I’ve got to make some tweaks but it will probably make an appearance at our annual BBQ in August.

On Monday I was lucky enough to go to an Adrenal Fatigue cooking class with Andrea Beaman. Andrea cured her own thyroid condition by switching over to a whole foods diet. The class did include animal products, however a separate meal was made for those of us that abstain. I learned a lot about Adrenal Fatigue and now feel better equipped to help others make the changes necessary to feel better. It’s really all about slowing down, being with nature and eating real food, you know nothing that’s refined, comes from a factory farm or a lab.

On Tuesday I had dinner at HanGawi – a high end Korean vegan restaurant. Talk about good! I don’t have any photos of our food because it didn’t last on the plate long enough. It was so nice to have Korean food without having to worry about hidden fish sauce or meat condiments. I love kimchi and one of the things that a lot have is some sort of fish sauce or anchovies. At our local H Mart I can get their “Healthy Kimchi” that’s vegan and MSG-free. It’s really tasty. I just wish they had it in the huge jar sizes that the regular kimchi comes in. They have vegan versions of the tubs but they also contain MSG, bummer!

On Wednesday our local blog Metuchen Matters posted a blurb about me and the launch of from sprouts to supper health coaching. How cool! It’s wonderful to get the exposure. If you or anyone you know is looking for support on your journey to health let me know! OK plug over.