Monday, April 15, 2013

Don't Be A Literary Snob

My life is genuinely ironic during this time of year. Or at least what most people consider to be ironic, according to my husband. But if our great American society has taught us anything is that the majority rules, right? So what I'm about to explain is a perfect example of irony.

During the last few years I've developed a true love of nature. There's so many ways to enjoy being in tune with Mother Earth: hiking, camping, boating, scuba diving, even going on a safari! My real passion though is gardening. It's even sweeter that I've developed a small knack for it.
Saving my calendula last year
But there's one thing keeping me from really enjoying the start of this year's garden. And there's no amount of admiration of the outdoors that could change it. If you've been an avid reader than you know this is the time of year that I deal with my allergies. I'm allergic to various kinds of pollen, but it's really tree pollen that gets me. I'm lucky enough to only need medication for about 3 months out of the year, but I tell ya, April is normally the most miserable time of my life. And it's every year. We've been lucky to have a cold spring this year and I've been pushing the limit of how much I can be outside before walling myself indoors for a few weeks. But alas spring is in full bloom. I learned that the hard way this weekend.

Don't get me wrong, it was totally worth it! In fact, let me share how much fun I had playing in the dirt the past couple of days, eh? First off, as a belated birthday present, my husband bought me a a bundle of strawberry plants! It's the first time we're trying it out, so lets hope for a sweet success this year!
Isn't it cute?! Hopefully they will enjoy their new home.
Potting the strawberries was a good warm up for Saturday afternoon. I caught wind of a local church working with our city's park department and local school to set up a community garden that will be an after school project for students! Not only is this a safe program for kids during the summer, but hopefully they will learn the value of what they grow. Who knows, a lot of big wigs out there say a child will more likely eat a vegetable they assisted in growing. And if their harvest is plentiful, some of the produce will go to a agencies that help feed those in need. With all that being said, who wouldn't want to help out?!
We went out and planted some cabbage and broccoli
The rows may not be straight, but these kids were great. They just loved digging! They should be getting a few more plants too. If not, there's plenty of seeds to start. As an extra bonus, I actually won a door prize for a free plot in the community garden these kids weren't using. Since I already have more than enough space in my own yard, I gave it to a woman who was interested in starting her first garden. Here's hoping she gets good "pay it forward" beans out of that.

By Saturday afternoon I had already taken a few additional anti-histamines in hopes of keeping my immune system from going crazy. I felt good and decided to do more garden work which included attempting new seeds & potting some seedlings I bought a long with the strawberries. That included some stevia. I'm so excited to try out a sugar substance that's not processed! I also apparently found out what a purple shamrock root looks like...
Have to admit... it's not what I expected...

By the time I called it a day it felt like my eyelids were covered with sand paper. Thankfully my medications plus some benadryl kept everything else at bay. Runny nose? Hives? Ain't nobody got time for that. I really don't have time for my eyes to burn and entire face to feel like there's layers of pollen on it either but I'll take what I can. Apparently I felt good enough to do it all over again on Sunday. Stayed outside to replant my calendula (which survived the winter, wha?!) with some new seedlings. I was also able to set up my porch in green fashion.

With all that being said, I feel great... and awful at the same time. You know that feeling when you get something caught in your eye and you can get it out? Or when you wake up in the middle of the night and suddenly have to turn the lights on? Well mix those two and multiply that by 15 million times. It also makes me slightly exaggerate. But really, my eyes are so sore that the rest of my face is tender. I also developed a small rash on my hands. So I'm increasing the benadryl. And in case you didn't know, that stuff knocks. you. out.

But I'm not here for a pity party. Far from it. I love what I did this weekend, even if that meant playing it low for the next few days. Knowing that I got this far with my garden before imprisoning myself in my own home makes me really happy. Hopefully I'll be back at in a few weeks.

So a gardener with awful allergies to pollen. I don't care what you say, I think it's ironic.

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