03.14.10: Something new...

Every year I try to live by the mantra - make this year better than the last. That can be a variety of things for a variety of people. To me, the way you do that is by doing & trying new things, loving no matter what, stepping out of your comfort zone, looking and listening to the opportunities around you. What I can say for sure is that a good portion of the time, those things that I think make my life amazing - are things completely outside of my control...I am truly blessed. 
Before I fell into photography, I can’t tell you how sad I was to look back on my life and realize that I’ve never had a real hobby. Not that having one “completes you”, but it does broaden your horizons and in my case, always produces some fabulous “I can’t make this up...” stories. 
So Spring has sprung and I’ve evaluated. See, I have this wonderful screened in back porch with a fan, that even in the summer is a joy to utilize. I have some wonderful wrought iron furniture (needs a little attention), some big bulbed Christmas lights (around here somewhere) and a great desire to spend more time outside than ever before. I want to make this a happy room full of color and beauty. The first task will be to purge a large amount of stuff that has made its way out there. Easy enough - believe me. I’m becoming all about the “less is more” lifestyle. The next task would be to clean it from top to bottom - maybe even paint the dreary grey concrete a bright color. Next task would be to clean up and paint the furniture. And last - add some "life" to the room.
So what is something new...can be in conjunction with photography...completely out of my comfort zone or realm of knowledge...would help add to a wonderful “bare bones” room...ah yes - gardening!! Nothing big mind you - but colorful and easy to grow.
I’m starting with a greenhouse starter kit. I felt the need to by the largest one they had - 72 pods. In retrospect I should have bought two but I didn’t so let’s see how things turn out.
In that self contained greenhouse are 72 peat pods. You add 10 1/2 cups of warm water to make them go from flat disks to saturated with water in like 2 minutes. In this shot, it has been about a minute or so.

Next...the unsuspecting victims - I mean seeds. I have a feeling I might be the real life version of Sid from Toy Story when it comes to gardening, but I remain hopeful!!
I’ve seen the Moonglories in bloom before and just love them. Crisp white flowers and if I remember correctly they may be fragrant. No matter - they are a beautiful vine growing plant. Morning Glories I chose because of their color and think they would make a beautiful addition to the Moonglories. I might plant one color right along side the other and kind of mix them together...

Herbs...I love herbs. And I come unglued when someone calls them “Her-bs”. The "h" is silent in my world people!! 

I use cilantro quite a bit because I cook Mexican food quite a bit. 

Basil reminds me of this bruschetta recipe I have lurking somewhere in a dusty cookbook. I can make bruschetta and wine a complete meal. Stay tuned for those photos!! 

Last is rosemary. I’ve only cooked with this one time with great success. Love the scent and flavor and think it might go best with vegetables...we shall see. I've seen them in full "bloom" and shaped like miniature Christmas trees, so I may give that a whirl.

Last but certainly not least are the zinnia’s - the pom-pom kind. Wonderfully bright and happy colors, intricate blooms...just beautiful!! I thought these seeds were interesting because they don't really look like seeds - they look like dried "her-bs".

So that’s a start...gardening...a project with a deadline. It will be about 2 weeks before the seeds have sprouted, grown some roots and are ready to be transplanted. I gotta tell you - $15 to get this started ($8 for the tray & $7 for the seeds) is well worth the opportunity to see if / what I can do - this should be fun!
Now, to go dig out the dirt from under my fingernails, return a movie, grab some dinner and call it a night.
Hope you have a wonderful week!!!

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