Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ramble On-Trash to Treasure: Part 2 (Sort Of)

Some people would look at me and say I have ADD or ADHD. Okay, nobody would look at me and think ADHD. Hyperactivity and me is like Eeyore and Zumba-it just doesn’t go together. I think they would say I at least have “Creative ADD or ADHD.”

I am not trying to disrespect, belittle or minimize anyone who actually has ADD or ADHD. I truly feel like I have a huge focus problem when it comes to creating. Ask my friends whom I recently joined on a crafting retreat. I was in the middle of one project and saw a cool piece of fabric and started making an American Girl sleeping bag. Seriously? Focus! I looked up “creative ADD” online out of curiosity and found, to my surprise, pages of entries about it.

Now I have my medical degree, as my Padre says, from Wal-Mart, but I’m happy to see that there is a legitimate dialogue on this. Apparently, you can have the focus issues, daydreaming, procrastinating (ummmm, I promise I will clean house tomorrow) etc., and seem like you have ADD or ADHD when really you are just a creative person.

Also, many kids and adults are misdiagnosed with ADD or ADHD because they are simply creative and can’t rein it in for a typical setting. I thought something was killing my focus. I guess it is just who I am! I also read that some people have both-creative personalities and ADD or ADHD.

On WebMD (obviously the highest standard of quality medical advice) I found this quote from a doctor (a real one, not a woman who plays a doctor on TV or stayed at a Holiday Inn last night):

“Clearly, creativity and ADHD are not the same, but they do have some behaviors in common, derived mostly from what San Diego child development expert Lucy Jo Palladino, PhD, calls a ‘common shared pathway,’ or similar neurological chemistry, within the brain itself. ‘This means the behaviors can manifest with a similar appearance, but there are very different reasons behind their cause,’ says Palladino.”

Reading further into these articles, I think I am just the undisciplined creative type, and not a person living with ADD or ADHD. But to see the link and the similarities and find some focus techniques that could help me was refreshing. I usually write off my disorganization as forgetting to take my thyroid meds or lack of sleep, but maybe it’s just who I am.

I do feel like maybe I get those kids who just can’t sit still and listen to what everyone else can listen to, or see a math problem in a completely different way, solving it with the correct answer, but getting it marked wrong because it was worked wrong. It is frustrating. Being shoved in a particular box is frustrating.

Okay, see how this “opening paragraph” about disorganization has morphed into a whole blog about ADD and ADHD?! Seriously. This was supposed to be “Trash to Treasure: Part 2” where I discuss the raised beds I made from drawers and doors. Blah, blah, blah. Get a handle on it, Evans!

Okay, I can salvage this blog post like I salvaged these drawers. My problem currently (aside from the obviously HUGE focus thing above) is that my garden is too small. At 10 x 14 feet, I don’t have the room for sprawling plants.

There was a part of the yard below the garden (the garden is up above a retaining wall) that used to be grass, but is more unused space than anything else. I decided to take it over. Not having the time, money or desire to dig in tons of compost, soil, etc. and build big beds right at the start of planting season, I opted to use the excellent free materials that were cluttering my garage.

While it has been pointed out to me that these former kitchen drawers and doors aren’t treated for outdoor use, and may fall victim to bugs or weather, I really wanted a temporary solution for this season without having to go spend tons of coin on new lumber. I will be watching them for signs of infestation and hopefully this fall, I will have a long-term solution for this part of the garden.

Two of the drawers were pretty big-nearly 24” x 36” x 10”. I cut the bottom out of one and stacked the frame of that drawer on top of the other to make a 24” x 36” x 20” box.

I used scrap wood to brace the two drawers together on the inside, screwing the boards into both drawers. On the outside of the drawers, I screwed cabinet doors onto the front and back to add a decorative finish and further stabilize the box. So sorry I didn't photograph this part!

I drilled holes in the bottom of the box for drainage and stapled landscape fabric on the inside to cover any little cracks where dirt could fall out. At this point the hubby had to schlep the box to the backyard because it weighed a metric ton.

I took two other, shallower drawers and placed them as a base, filling them with soil. I left a space in between the drawers for circulation, drainage and to allow the drawer to stick out the sides of the larger box. I put the larger box on top, and filled it with compost, soil and humus. The garden kind, not the chickpea kind-that kind has two ‘M’s.

Next, I took four cabinet doors. I arranged them in a square shape on the driveway, screwing the ends together as I went along. I took that frame to the yard and filled it as well.

I tossed in some good ol’ American earthworms for kicks and got ready to plant.

Disclaimer: While building these garden beds, I neglected housework for about a week. In the interest of full disclosure, you can’t do it all. You just can’t. And making stuff is more fun than cleaning stuff. Really, folks. I did clean toilets and the kitchen because, as an adult, I have to. I did, however, get caught in my own insanity and bounced between this garden bed project and painting the eldest child’s bathroom and making matching girl/doll outfits for the younger two, and making three quilts… I am so the dog from UP!


Anyway, back to the garden before the last few people stop reading.

I added plants that I thought would stay containable. Two pepper plants in the tiered box, backed by a row of sugar-snap peas. I added a few climbing elements for the peas, and before the pepper plants get really big, the peas should be done.

In the lower tiers, I planted herbs. They can sprawl out and their roots can fill the dirt in the rest of the drawers that are covered by the big box. I think that will be perfect for them.

Close-up of pea sprouts
In the large box made from doors, I put in eggplants, peppers and basils. Yum!

I will add a drip line to each box this week to make sure they get enough water. Being in containers, I will need to make sure the plants don’t dry out. I’m excited to see how this new section of our garden evolves. Who knows, in a few years we may have no grass left in our yard!

Next blog will be mostly about the doll furniture from drawers. Not psychobabble. I promise. 

At least I’ll try!

1 comment:

Dave Parsons said...

Those drawers look like they could make for a great game of "warshers"

More Hijinks...