Gardening Indoors: Paper Whites and Tulips

I planted Paper White Narcissus and Tulip bulbs indoors last week and they’re growing like weeds.

Just a month ago the idea of planting the bulbs seemed overwhelming.  It’s so good to have my energy back.

This beautiful vase holds Narcissus in our bedroom once again. The white flowers look gorgeous against the blue wall and their scent is heavenly.

indoor bulbs collage

Paper White Narcissus in our bedroom

A few more of the Paper Whites are growing on the kitchen windowsill, along with a vase of tulips. The tulips were a gift from a friend last year as a thank you for helping her move. After the flowers died back, I saved both the vase and the bulbs to replant this year.

Paper White Narcissus Blooms in the kitchen window

Paper White Narcissus Blooms in the kitchen window

What I didn’t notice until cropping this photo, is a bit of dusty mold. I’ve had the odd bulb rot while stored off-season, but the ones I planted seemed fine. I’m wondering if the water level is too high? I changed the water, “dusted them off” and returned everything to the vase. So far so good. It will be fun to see what flowers this year.

tulip bulbs kitchen window

Tulip Bulbs in a vase in need of some TLC

I think it’s fascinating that bulbs store their energy in that little brown orb, knowing when it’s time once again to grow. I know that eating healthier is helping my energy level, in addition to physical therapy and Pilates. I’ve been seeing the PT three hours a week, and I’m back to Pilates two days a week.

I’ve  been tracking every morsel of food to cross my lips since the first of the year through a free app called My Fitness Pal. You track food, water intake and exercise. The app tells you how you are doing in terms of healthy fat, protein and carbs as well as sugar and sodium. I’m hooked.

To further aid in my accountability, I’ve added the My Fitness Pal widget to my side bar. It shows my weight loss to date. There’s nothing like a bit of public accountability to keep you on track, eh?

Though I could happily eat chocolates tomorrow, the cravings have subsided. I’m better off without it for now, perhaps forever.

As January draws to a close, how are you doing with your plans and goals for this year?

Farmers’ Market: My Attempt at Eating Well

We shopped at one of our local farmers’ market this weekend, though it was blazing hot and uncomfortable. We’re out of the habit of shopping there, but I’ll be better prepared next time. The Willow Glen market is open from May through November. I only recently learned that Campbell is open year round.

Campbell Farmer's Market

Campbell Farmer’s Market

I frequented the smaller Willow Glen market a few weeks ago and covered everything  in seven minutes. I hopped from shade to shade.  The downtown Campbell market is huge, spanning three of the downtown blocks with the hot sun heating the middle. Willow Glen offers produce, honey and a few bakery items.  Campbell sells hand-crafted items, five times the produce and offers live music, demonstrations and other activities. Both have their merits, but are open on different days.

After parking at the local library and making our way downtown, we made a mental list of the produce we could use for the week.

certified organic produce

Certified Organic Produce

We scouted the items we wanted as we walked from stall to stall. Two thirds of the way in, I was drooping in the heat, so we skipped the final third of the market. We made our purchases as we reversed direction, loading up on the heavy corn and flat of strawberries last.

sweet corn on the cob

A Baker’s Dozen of Corn

Resident Chef

Resident Chef

I like the feeling of shopping at an open air market. I learned a lot about eating locally grown, seasonal food from the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It’s amazing what we’ve come to take for granted.

Elephant Garlic for roasting

Elephant Garlic for roasting

Nearby Gilroy is known as the Garlic Capital of the World.

Fresh baskets of garlic

Fresh baskets of garlic

My mom was a great cook. She even wrote a couple of cookbooks, though she wasn’t able to publish them. How I wish I had a copy of one of them now. Mom wrote a book on crock pot meals, and another one called Cooking Without Mom.   We also learned to eat a lot of processed food, as it was coming into fashion at the time. It was also easier for her to line up frozen meals for the time she was away. As a result, I have a mixture of poor eating habits, born in part from necessity and at times from simply going without when the paycheck didn’t stretch quite far enough. Soda pop, chips and candy were huge, rare treats.

Now in my fifties, I still struggle with eating ‘right.’ I love fruits and vegetables and I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 18. I like junk food, too though, and will happily down a soda pop along with a bag of chips or a chocolate bar. The ‘secret’ behind my challenge of losing 15 pounds really isn’t a secret at all.

For me, eating well is all in my head. Eating poorly is also in my head, hence the ongoing struggle. Instead of the little angel/devil on my shoulder like you would see in a Tom and Jerry cartoon, I have a healthy voice and a hungry voice. One feeds my hunger and the other feeds my heart. I do battle with my ‘shoulder voices’ every day.

Are you a healthy eater or do you struggle with food choices?

Next time I shop I’ll:

  • Arrive earlier as it was just too hot
  • Bring a rolling cart to keep our hands free for shopping and paying
  • Bring small bills since most purchases are five dollars or less