Spring Has (Finally) Sprung!!!

Spring has finally arrived in Iowa!!  I hope it’s here to stay.  My post today is about four things that don’t warrant separate posts but all tie to it finally being spring.

Seed Starter Update

It’s been two weeks since my last update and overall, I’m happy to say I’ve had some success.  Initially, things looked VERY good.  Everything sprouted quickly.  But then a few of the sprouts fizzled out.  I’ve had the most success with the Morning Glory which is what I especially wanted to start early.

I finally got my new waterproof labels.  I’m starting to use them as I transfer the sprouts to larger pots.  As I also mentioned in my last update, I got these through eBay.  They are perfect for what I’m doing.

plant labels

This week, I repotted all the Morning Glory, some Basil, and the Cat Grass.  I used pots that I could have used to start the seeds, but I wanted to wait until they had sprouted and grown a bit before transferring them to something bigger.  I continued to use the seed starter “soil”, not knowing if I should transition to potting soil.  I thought this would be safer in terms of getting them to grow.

repotting seeds
The repotting process

I’ll continue to watch the Zinnias to see if they are worth repotting and I might have a couple more Basil sprouts.  My typical outdoor planting date is only a little over two weeks away (Mother’s Day) so I hope things grow a lot between now and then.

seed pots
New pots and new labels

My next update will be when they’re ready to go outside.  I’ve read that before permanently planting them outside, I should “harden” them by exposing them to the outside air a little at a time for a few days.  That could mean I plant them a little later.  But that’s OK; they’re growing either way and that’s all that matters!!

Walking Update

As I mentioned previously, my relationship with exercise isn’t the greatest, and I was waiting for nicer weather to get out and walk.  Well, I started walking this week.

My pace needs work but I’m putting in the distance.  Every day I feel a little stronger.

I’ve observed a few things while walking and being outside that are sure signs of spring:

  • Mothers pushing strollers
  • Geese giving me the eye as I walk by
  • Baby geese swimming with their mother in the pond
  • Lawn mowing – hard to believe after we had snow last week!!
  • Testing our irrigation system – let’s hope it works better this year 🙂
  • A street cleaner – can you believe those are still around?
  • A father pushing a stroller and talking on the phone – it sounded like a work-related call!!
  • Drivers with their windows down
  • Trees and bushes finally starting to pop their leaves
  • Sunshine!!!

May Eating Challenge

I must make changes in what I eat.  I recently read about someone giving up sugar for a month and losing three inches around her waist.  I am feeling uncomfortably fat right now and would love to lose those inches.  And I’ve found in the past that eating right is the surest way for me to lose weight.  Even more so than exercise.

It’s depressing.  A year ago, I was feeling so good about my weight.  I was trying to avoid certain foods that I thought might trigger vertigo, and that included reducing my sugar intake.  It did make a huge difference.  Now I don’t know if I can even wear the fabulous clothes I bought last spring.  I feel so bad about myself.  So, I need to do something constructive about it.

I’m not sure what’s happened.  I’m starting to suspect my medications.  I started taking a higher dose of simvastatin in January and from what I’ve read, statins can cause weight gain.  But the betahistine I take for vertigo is supposed to help with weight loss.  How do you know if either is having an effect?

I do know, however, that there are changes I can make to what I eat, so I’m hesitant to blame it on the medicines I take.

All throughout May, I’m going to avoid as much sugar as I can.  It’s challenging as there’s sugar in so many things, even skim milk.  But I have to do it.  The payoff will be worth it.  I’m hoping the diet changes, along with the walking, will greatly improve how I feel about myself.  And sugar causes inflammation, which isn’t good for anyone.

I’m not saying it will be easy, because it won’t be.  I have a husband who likes sweets.  I’m hoping he will support me through this.  He has before.  And since I’ve gone on the record with all of you, I have added incentive to reach my goal.  How can I not be disciplined with all of you watching?  I’ll keep you posted on my progress!!

Change to my routine

I’ve talked before about my retirement routine.  Well, now with summer coming, I think it will change.  I may have to give up some of my iPad time in the morning in order to walk earlier in the day.  Right now, I’m walking in the afternoons, but that will change when it gets warmer.

I will be doing more outside – walking, watering, reading – so that means less sewing time.  I have to be realistic about what I can accomplish each day and in order to add things, I have to take something away.  As I’ve said before, I get up wanting to do it all today, so I have to avoid frustrating myself.  It will mean my schedule will be more dependent on the weather and will need flexibility in it so I can switch gears if I can’t be outside.  But it will be worth it because I’m SO ready for spring and summer!!

I hope you’re all enjoying your spring now that it’s arrived.  I’m even excited that we’ll finally have a nice day for the Drake Relays on Saturday!!  (I’ll post about our experiences with that sometime soon.  That’s also why I’m posting this today instead of tomorrow.)