That’s what my garden gave me today.  I’ve worked my butt off on the garden since March.  I think it was a way to keep me from thinking too much.  Mindless drudgery.  At any rate, I bought a rototiller and plowed up an area 50 feet by 50 feet.  It’s across the street where there used to be houses.  They took the houses 20 years ago to widen the expressway and erected a 15 foot concrete wall, filled in the land with gravel and concrete blocks, threw a little dirt on it and sowed grass seed.  I’ve been planting a garden over there for the last three years.

This year, I enlarged it quite a bit. Thought I’d never get all the rocks and concrete out of it.  I even worked up an area with an ancient sidewalk buried  eight inches under the soil.  Took a sledge hammer and broke it up and hauled most of it out.  I cleared as much rock and debris as I could get and then worked fertilizer into it and a ton of peat moss and compost.

I started seeds back in February.  Planted tomatoes, bibb lettuce, romaine, iceberg, leeks, zucchini, yellow squash, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.  Lots of peppers: red, green, habanero, Serrano, Thai, poblano, and a bunch of really exotic and super hot peppers that we had to special order. There’s cucumbers, oregano, thyme, lavender, rosemary and lemon verbena.  I planted a ton of swiss chard, carrots, green beans, cucumbers and kale.  After that, I added flowers.  Super tall snapdragons, Mexican sunflowers, regular sunflowers, zinnias, garland daisies, dahlias, butterfly bushes, marigolds, and copperhead amaranthus.

Many, many days, I worked for hours and dragged in dirty and tired just in time to fix dinner and collapse. Now it’s beginning to pay off.  We’ve already had two small ripe tomatoes, one cucumber, quite a bit of bibb lettuce and a lot of swiss chard.

Tonight, I’m broiling chicken and I’ll throw it on top of a bed of lettuce with berries and nuts.  Feels good to eat healthy.  I haven’t for a long time.  In fact, I’m just now beginning to get back into taking care of myself.  The last year was such a nightmare and I was so busy taking care of everyone else that I really let myself go.  Now I have to find my way back.

I started riding my bike.  Couldn’t believe how difficult it was.  I was cursing myself for getting so out of shape as I huffed and puffed and tackled a three mile ride.  Came home with my thighs and calves on fire.  DH looked at my bike and said, “Honey, I think you’ve got a low tire.”  He checked it and it had 12 pounds of pressure in the front tire and 14 in the back.  They’re supposed to have 55 pounds.  No wonder it damn near killed me!  It was like peddling through sand.  Anyway, I’m still only at 3 miles each day but it’s a whole lot easier with air in the tires.

The pool is still cold but I’m planning on starting laps in the next week or so.

I went to the doctor today and asked him if I felt so bad because I’m fat and lethargic or am I fat and lethargic because I feel so bad.  He checked me out and didn’t find any major problems so I’m ready to get back in the game.  DH continues to get stronger each day and it’s time for me to do the same.

4 lean cuts of pork loin approx. 1 inch thick

3 Tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 Tablespoon fresh, grated gingerroot

1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper

Vegetable cooking spray

Trim any fat from pork slices and place in freezer bag.  Combine next four ingredients and pour over pork. Allow to marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.  (I’ve actually allowed these to marinate for 24 hours and they just got better.)

Remove pork from marinade, reserving marinade.  Arrange pork on grill coated with cooking spray or on a broiler rack.  Grill/broil 5 to 6 inches over medium coals or broiler 20 minutes or until pork is done, basting frequently with marinade.