Wow!! I didn’t realize that it has been two full months – my Memorial Day post – since I have been able to update my little corner of the inter-webs!!
An unfortunate and unplanned two month hiatus from the world wide web was thrust upon me as I found myself without internet, television, or telephone at home at the end of May. Unfortunately; my finances were still struggling to recover from nine months of unemployment; three of which without the assistance of State Unemployment Insurance (thank you Mr. and Ms. Congress!) and I had to pick and choose carefully how I budgeted the little income I was able to make through taking odd jobs through TaskRabbit.com.
The decision of course was that I had to refocus all of my income toward those thing which are absolute essentials; paying my rent and food for myself and my cat. I realized that everything else was a luxury; and that I would have to live without the internet and cable television for a short spell. Thankfully; now that I am three months into my new job, my finances are getting much better and it looks like I won’t have to rely on the garden to provide my food, which is a good thing as a diet which consists solely of pomegranates, strawberries, tomatoes, and some herbs seems somewhat nutritionally deficient for the amount of calories I expend cycling.
So what did I do with all of the ‘extra’ time I suddenly found after checking out of the ‘connected’ world?
For the most part; I spent a lot of time on the bike and starting rebuilding my old bike. I had noticed that since I broke my ankle last September that I had let getting saddle time on the bike take a deep dive. That issue needed to be rectified, and pronto! I created a training schedule for myself; taped it to the front door; and starting tracking my results, it was the motivation I needed.
I had been letting the ankle injury, and its impact on my mental state, guide how I approached cycling. This overly cautious approach was fine in the first couple of months following being cleared to ride again by my doctor; however, I never moved past caution. My ankle is healed; I needed get my brain to be okay with that concept and get back to cycling again. So; I decided to challenge myself, I set two goals for myself: 1) Try to ride 400-miles a month / 2) Complete a 100-mile charity ride/race by November 3, 2014 (my b-day). On June 6th, I got to work getting back to focusing on riding and not my ankle. I didn’t quite hit my goal of 400-miles in June – but I was close!!
Another benefit of the loss of connectivity was the realization of how much of a life vacuum the internet and television really are. I never really noticed just how much time I spent until I was suddenly without – it was a lot of time! Now that I have identified spending too much time online and in front of the tube as a barrier to living the life that I choose; I have moved fixing it for good right to the top of the list of things to work on about myself.
Il Toro~Blu rides again! As I mentioned; I also set to work on putting my old bike back together by slowly gathering parts over the past two months. Right now, she is about 95% complete, I just need to find a means of putting power to the wheels – a track crankset, pedals, and a chain – to get her road worthy! I just couldn’t stand to look at her frame sitting on my dresser any longer, she has way too much sentimental value to me to end up a wall-hanger!
Of course, I also spent a lot of time in the garden. Mainly caring for my tomatoes and experimenting with how to support the plants without using the traditional ‘mater cages as I just didn’t want to introduce them into my patio – their aesthetic is dismal! I remember on an episode of The Victory Garden; the host visited a commercial tomato farm where they used a system of wires hanging down from a horizontal beam above the planters. The farm’s gardeners would wrap the tomatoes around the wires, which almost reached the soil, and the tension of the vines grabbing the wires apparently supports even the most tomato laden plant. So far, the system is working like a charm!
Now, it’s time to go out and enjoy life outdoors; the weather here in Oakland is glorious and I feel like pedaling! My next installment will definitely be more garden-centric; hopefully I will have found and planted a good array of late summer annuals to add some pop and color to the patio, right now, it’s kind of monochromatic and the focus is clearly the tomatoes. Another thing which I will have address. 🙂 Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Until next time…
HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!