...because we all have our motley moments!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Of planting and sowing...

I'm a little obsessed these days with two things--gardening and finances. Gardening because I have such a hard time with it, and finances because we're really starting to make great strides with those. I think it's a balance issue.

Gardening frustrates me because I have so many problems doing it successfully. Being a master gardener is my birthright. My grandfather would graft a branch from one tree to another when I was little and it would create a new breed of fruit. His vegetable garden fed his family. My mom has beautiful flowers every year. My great-grandmother could start an entire rose bush from one rose. My great-aunt and her husband have a massive vegetable garden every summer that keeps them eating yummy and healthy veggies year-round. Me, I can kill mint. Show me someone else who can do that--I dare you. Maybe that makes me somewhat successful, but not in the way I would prefer.

This year, I'm planning to garden like a mad woman as soon as these chilly temperatures are finished down here in Florida. For those of you laughing at that statement, let me just say that while you are happily growing things in the summer, we could roast veggies in our gardens (I've done that before, too) so we have to get our plantings done early to beat the heat. Time is running out, but these cold fronts are not and I'm thinking that maybe I can blame this year's gardening failures on something besides an inept gardener. We'll see.

Otherwise, we are rocking our Dave Ramsey cash budget envelope system and because of that we are finding more and more money every month that we can use for our financial goals. I used to think that there was no way our income would be enough to become financially independent, but it's clear now that indeed, a family's income is it's number one wealth building tool if it's used properly. It has taken a few months of fine tuning, but each month we save more, spend less, and live better. It's really fun!

So based on all of that I would like to start writing to a theme this spring, and I want your input--do you want to discuss life outdoors in the garden or family finances? Or should I just shut up and tell potty-training stories? ;) Let the people speak!


Bryssy said...

You know, Rachel. I would like some of both!

I am sure that my budgeting skills are going to be put to the test this summer after I stop working full-time. I'll take any tip I can get. Or just a "you can do it" to pump me up when I get a little too obsessed!

We, too, are trying to garden more this year. In fact, that is what we are working on today when we get home from school - starting our seeds so that they are ready to be planted over Spring Break. We'll be planting a container garden (it's about the only way that we can keep it from drying out) this year.

I had some good success with homemade Topsy Turvy tomatoes (I just used some of my hanging baskets) last year. My kids (and me, too) had a hard time not plucking them before they ripened! I would like to tell you we made some great recipes with them - but they never made it into the house. We just ate them right off the plant, seed and juice dripping off our chins, on the front porch.

They would have lasted much longer had I thought of a way to water them when we went out of town for a week in July. They were pretty much burnt to a crisp after that and never recovered.

I've had decent luck with planting on the north and south sides of our house (rather than the east and west sides). My guess would be that it's because we get less of the scorching sun and a little more shade. You might try that!

Donna said...

I need the finance talk. In fact, if anyone can loan me the Dave Ramsay books, I'd love to read them and start saving more money, asap!

I am NOT our family's gardener, but I take my job of Garden Appreciator Extraodinaire VERY seriously. Paul does a great job with our yard and keeps the kids involved in the whole process. I use the herbs they grow, any veggies that make it into the kitchen, and flowers for Mommy go right into a crystal vase worthy of the bouquet (often just weeds from the field, but I love it just the same!)

I'm looking forward to reading whatever you decide to write about. The finance stuff is especially timely for me. Thanks, Rachel! :)

Rachel said...

Thanks for the gardening tips, Bryssy--I loved your upside-down tomatoes last year. I would love to have a grab-a-snack garden, so hopefully we will have some success.

Donna, I've been jotting down notes all morning for future finance articles, so I hope you really want to hear it! ;) Your husband is an amazing gardener, and it's great that you two can work together. The kids must love that.

Liz said...

Um...am I the only one who wants potty training stories? Maybe we can rely on Karly for our bodily fluids talk. :) I want to plant a garden, but I'm not sure if I'll ever get the gumption (that's my birthright - silly southern expressions). Finances, however, are a different story. This week we started our move to "cash only" and I'm pretty excited to get going on the rest of the Dave Ramsey steps. So I'll take one of each, please, Rachel!

fawnda said...

I am all for both!

I am like you Rachel... BLACK thumb! I think I killed mint too! : )

And I am always looking for a way to save!

Karly said...

Rachel, I would love to know more about both topics! I really am not very knowledgeable about either topic. But I wanna be!!