800 South Washington St., Afton, WY 83110 (307) 885-4337 | www.drlivingstondds.com
Life With Livingston Dental
e G e n
Into the Garden
Our Quest to Become Urban Gardeners
On the first weekend in May, when it was finally warm enough to melt the snow and the sun graced us with its presence, Jeanelle and I found ourselves outside, ready to start bringing our garden to life. A couple years ago, I built a greenhouse from the ground up, but we hadn’t done anything with it yet. It was time to change that. We’re branching out, quite literally, with a full garden this year. We have planter boxes inside the greenhouse now, so we sealed them up and put pea gravel down. The next question was what to plant. Jeanelle decided on peas, green beans, potatoes, onions, radishes, spinach, lettuce, zucchini, cauliflower, and tomatoes. On the outside of the greenhouse, we’re growing raspberries. While it’s standing tall and sturdy now, this greenhouse has been a few attempts in the making. I built the first two out of aluminum frames with fiberglass, but the microbursts that came through in the fall destroyed them both. I think the third time was the charm — it’s lasted through two falls and winters now, so that seems like a good sign. With this one, I created a 10-by-12- foot metal frame and put plastic around it, finishing it in wood. We’ve got a sprinkler system set up with a fan inside, so now it’s a fully functional greenhouse!
wife. We get to spend time in the sunshine together, and I know we’re both reaping the mental and physical benefits. Gardening is a great, low-impact exercise that also helps you soak up plenty of vitamin D in the process. Digging in the dirt pulls us out of day-to-day stress and connects us to what’s right in front of us, courtesy of Mother Nature. We’re becoming greener thumbs as we jump into this and getting a little healthier while we’re at it. I’m excited to see the fruits of our labors. There’s a little peace of mind that comes from growing your own food. Sure, there’s some labor involved initially, but I know once we’re taking a bite out of that first tomato or enjoying fresh raspberry preserves, it will taste more than worth it.
We also added some chickens to our roost this spring, bringing our number up to 15 plus one rooster. Our chickens usually produce three eggs a day, and it’s enjoyable to pick up the eggs every morning just outside our house. I am really disappointed in the rooster, though — he hasn’t produced anything! What we’re looking forward to the most with this undertaking is having our own fresh, homegrown food. It always tastes better when you grow it yourself, doesn’t it? There’s nothing like tomatoes so juicy they drip down your chin when you bite into them — a little bit sweet and a little bit tangy. You just can’t get tomatoes like that from the store. In addition to all the fresh fruits and veggies we’ll get to enjoy this summer, this has been such a great experience to share with my
1 Livingston Dental
3 Ideas for the Ultimate Campout
Right in Your Own Backyard
campout. All you need is a large white sheet, a home projector, and some speakers. Then, snuggle up in some cozy blankets and pillows under the stars while you watch the best summer blockbusters or throwback favorites.
Even though it’s almost peak camping season, you and your family might opt to cancel your out-of-town trip this summer, but don’t worry. Just because you don’t head into the mountains doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy time outdoors with a backyard
campout. It might not be your favorite spot in a sprawling national park, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn backyard camping into the best staycation ever with these ideas and more.
BUILD A FIREPIT No campout — backyard campouts included — is truly complete without a roaring campfire. With a gravel base and a simple stone barrier (as well as some quick and easy instructions available online), you can build the ultimate firepit for warming up on chilly nights,
MAKE A DIY TENT While pitching a tent for camping always comes with some level of frustration, making your own tent
telling spooky ghost stories, and of course, roasting marshmallows. As a bonus, you can keep a firepit around when cooler weather rolls in too.
using household items like tarps, rope, blankets, and more can be a fun project for the kiddos. It’s an opportunity to let them exercise their imaginations and build something they can relax, play, and even spend the night in.
This is far from a comprehensive list of backyard camping activities. That said,
these three ideas alone can make for several nights of outdoor entertainment. Why not explore the various ways you can have the best camping experience your backyard has to offer?
CREATE AN OUTDOOR MOVIE THEATER If you’ve been craving the big-screen experience
that you thought only movie theaters could offer, you’re in luck! You can make your own big screen at your backyard
A Voyage for the Sounds of Earth In 1977, a NASA committee led by esteemed astrophysicist and author Carl Sagan set out to record images and sounds from around Earth, which were then enshrined in two copper records that included music, languages, and natural sounds from around the world. The Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft carry these records, and since the ‘70s, they have explored space and routinely sent transmissions to Earth about what they have encountered. capsule for others to enjoy for years to come. As a starting point, ask your kids what they would want to tell future generations or interstellar travelers. What does life on Earth look like to them? Record Your Own Audio Time Capsule
Your messages don’t have to be solely futuristic, either. You can record a message to loved ones and have fun sharing it with them. Think of a family member or friend who could use a pick-me-up and create a recording just for them. KEEP IT SIMPLE Most phones and computers have an audio recorder app, and this should be all you need to make a recording. Start by creating your message. You can improvise or write a script beforehand. Then, use your phone or computer to record it. This file can be shared on different platforms and sent to the people you’d like to hear your message.
As Sagan said of the Voyager mission, “The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space, but the launching of this ‘bottle’ into the cosmic ‘ocean’ says something very hopeful about life on this planet.” We may still not have definitive answers about extraterrestrial life, but that doesn’t prevent us from thinking about what we might want to tell others about life on Earth. So, why not make your own recording? RECORD YOUR OWN MESSAGE Take inspiration from the Voyager mission by setting out to create a recorded message with your family that can serve as a time
Have fun with this project and think of it as your chance to tell others what life on Earth means to you.
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A Dispatch From the Tooth Fairy
A Very Important Message About Your Baby Teeth
restrictions in place and fuss about the virus. Rest assured, we fairies are able to use our fairy dust to safely transport from one place to the other. Our fairy dust also gives us immunity from disease, so we can’t get the virus or transmit it. Thank goodness! We know we have a very important job to do: making sure your baby teeth are safely taken care of and transported back to Fairyland. In return, we leave you with a special thank-you to show you how much we care. This exchange is a rite of childhood, and we don’t take it lightly. The best way you can help us do our jobs is to keep taking care of your teeth. Brush them every day and floss too, and we’ll be so happy to get them when it’s time. Oh, and of course, keep believing in fairies! Too many people stop believing in us as they grow up, and when that happens, we get very, very sad, and some of us even disappear! So, if you ever hear someone start to deny our existence, tell them that you received a message from the Tooth Fairy herself and that you know fairies do indeed exist. –Tooth Fairy
Since some of our younger patients have been concerned about losing their baby teeth and whether or not the Tooth Fairy will be able to get to them with everything that’s been going on and the travel restrictions in place, we got in touch with a very good friend of ours. Here’s a message from the Tooth Fairy herself to reassure everyone that tooth pickups (in exchange for a prize under the pillow, of course) are still very much in motion.
Well, hello! The Livingstons
have graciously allowed me to use this space this month to share a special message with you. Aren’t they wonderful? They make
sure I get the cleanest, healthiest teeth to take back to Fairyland with me. They’re absolutely splendiferous.
Back to the subject at hand (or mouth, as it were). I know some of you have been worried about whether or not I’ll be able to get to you with all the travel
Puzzle Time! Grilled Basil Chicken and Tomatoes Ingredients Inspired by TasteOfHome.com
• 1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves • 8 Roma tomatoes • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz each)
• 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 clove garlic • 1/2 tsp salt • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1. For marinade: In blender, combine olive oil, garlic, salt, vinegar, and basil. Cut 2 tomatoes into quarters and add to mixture. Cover and process until blended. Halve remaining tomatoes for grilling. 2. In bowl, combine chicken and 2/3 cup marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Reserve remaining marinade. 3. Heat grill to about 350–400 F. Lightly oil grates. Grill chicken until internal temperature reads 165 F, about 4–6 minutes per side. Grill tomatoes until lightly browned, about 2–4 minutes per side. Discard remaining marinade. 4. Serve chicken and tomatoes with reserved marinade.
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800 South Washington St., Afton, WY 83110 (307) 885-4337 | www.drlivingstondds.com
Inside Our Quest to Become Urban Gardeners
3 Ideas for the Ultimate Backyard Campout Create Your Own Audio Time Capsule
A Dispatch From the Tooth Fairy Grilled Basil Chicken and Tomatoes
Plant a Successful Wyoming Garden
Tips for a Successful Wyoming Garden How Does Your Garden Grow?
Like our great state, those who choose to farm and garden in Wyoming are resilient and tough. With a fairly short growing season, dry environment, and hungry critters that want a taste of your crops as much as you do, it can be challenging to keep your garden going. Have faith, though — with a few strategies in place, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. CHOOSE A SOUTH-FACING LOCATION. A south-facing garden will provide your plants with plenty of sunlight and help warm them up on colder days. Particularly for crops that love sunlight, find a nice sunny spot in your yard to start your garden. CREATE A HOME FOR YOUR CROPS. Wind, storms, frost, and hungry critters that want your delicious tomatoes and herbs can damage your plants. Consider constructing a simple greenhouse to protect your plants from the elements and local fauna. Planting in raised beds or pots can be a good option too, as they warm up more quickly and are easier to manage. You can use netting, tarps, and other covers to protect your plants from the wildlife and chilly nights.
CONSIDER WHAT, AND WHEN, TO PLANT. Because of our shorter growing season, the University of Wyoming recommends choosing plants that grow quickly and do well in cool weather. Radishes, leaf lettuce, onions, and beets are all good options. Cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, and peas are suitable as well. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and corn will prefer warmer weather and a longer growing season to do well, so opt to plant these in a greenhouse or a much sunnier part of your yard. SET UP A SIMPLE IRRIGATION SYSTEM. To ensure your plants get enough water without having to do it all manually, set up a simple drip irrigation system. This is ideal for garden beds and greenhouses. You can find the equipment you’ll need at most home goods stores. You can also opt for sprinkler irrigation or furrow irrigation. With a little planning and attention, you’ll have your garden growing in no time!
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