Black Thumb Gardening

Let me start by saying that my black thumb is as dark as 134bb3cd2a59eb88ece0655b7a0116a2black garbage bag my dead plants end up in after I kill them. I have always had a love for flowers, especially roses and lillies (that is where my daughter’s got their middle names) but every attempt to keep a plant alive has been met with an untimely demise caused by my inability to grow anything!

A few years ago, my youngest Danyella and I, purchased tomato and pepper plants that we replanted into pots for our second floor apartment deck. We successfully grew a few tomatoes and peppers that Danyella happily enjoyed eating after she picked them. There may only have been a few veggies that came off those plants but it was a huge success for a black thumb like me.

This year, since we are in a house with a yard, Danyella requested that we grow a garden full of different veggies. I would love to say that I was excited about this when she first asked about it but the fear of failing at growing this garden is huge because I don’t want to disappoint my child. It seems like all the planets alined with Danyella’s request because every store is selling starting kits with mini pots, seeds and the disc thing that becomes the dirt. Most of the kits that I have purchased for $1 were from Target because they have a whole little gardening section in their $1 bins (no idea what they really call them but the area where all the products are $5 and under). For Danyella’s birthday, I bought her forget me nots, pansies, strawberries, cucumbers and tomato seed kits. Since then I have purchased lavendar, mint and basil seeds plus a couple of adorable planters and marking sticks. Add that to the Rose bush my boyfriend bought me for Valentine’s Day (another story for another day), succulents I bought at the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Calla Lily plant that Danyella received on her birthday and we have lots of plants to try to keep alive!

In New Jersey, it is still very cold at night (averages in the 30s) and warms to 50-60 degrees during the day. We are getting alot of rain this past week (after a 2 foot snow storm March 14th!) which is drenching the ground. Since the weather is so up and down, I did some research and asked friends that grow plants before I started the process of starting to make my pots. The past couple of days, I have started our little pots of seeds and are keeping them in boxes and baskets so I can transport them outside when the whether is nice.

I have a tendancy to either forget to water the plants or over water them so this is going to be finding a balance and doing more research on how to keep our plants alive. I am very excited and nervous to try and make this garden grow to feed my daughter’s curiosity and tummy. I’ll keep you all updated on our garden endeavor and please feel free to leave me any tips for my black thumb to maybe turned a green tinged gray.

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New Puppy Mama for a Non Animal Lover

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I will be the first to admit that I was never an animal person. I couldn’t handle the fur being everywhere, the constant need for attention and the ruckus they tend to cause which is why God blessed me with a child who loves animals to the point where she stopped eating meat for a long period of time (yes I love a good steak, chicken, pork almost any meat dish except venision). Danyella absolutely loves animals and has since she was a baby and fell in love with Happy Feet but I dreaded that one day I would have to fulfil her need for animals in the house.

At 5, Danyella received Stinky, a little hamster, for her birthday and he was her first love. Then at 6, she adopted Hannah, a Havana bunny that was the runt of the litter. We house trained Hannah so she was an indoor bunny and Danyella couldn’t give enough love to Hannah. Right before Christmas, when Danyella was 8, Stinky died and she was so upset but had Hannah to keep her loving animal spirit going. As a runt, Hannah had medical issues and there was a couple of times we didn’t know if Hannah would survive the infections she got. Everytime she pulled through Danyella would dote on Hannah even more. Now animals in cages, I handled that because Hannah was allowed out a couple hours a day to play but she didn’t make so much of a mess and little noise.

Right before Christmas this past year, Hannah became very ill to the point that I hand fed her through and eye dropper. Danyella, Doug and I took turns holding Hannah until she died 2 days before Christmas. Danyella cried nearly everyday since Hannah died because she lost her best friend. I knew that Danyella wanted a dog but I have always resisted because I cannot handle fur with my business. After my miscarriage, my feelings towards a dog started to change….

A little over 2 weeks ago, Doug and I decided to stop by the local animal shelter (after weeks of stalking their facebook to see what kinds of dogs they had coming in) just to see what they had. I got the lecture from Doug “we are only looking, we are NOT bringing home a dog today!”. Well that lectured didn’t work so well on him at all because one look into each other’s eyes and Doug wasn’t leaving without Max!

Max is a Plott Hound/Pitbull mix that was fostered by someone I know locally. He is 12 weeks old and full of love. He is a Mama’s boy and my protector when someone comes to the door. He loves to go for car rides but hates that Mama won’t let him sit on her lap when she drives. When I get home, Max will shimmy his body around my body to climb up and give me kisses. Adopting Max was the best idea we ever had because now this non-animal loving girl is a New Puppy Mama!16711749_10211574326249956_4510085282709894425_n