Tag Archives: gardening

A Natural Disconnect


A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 17

Nature. This week as you contemplate nature, think of all it has to teach us. Think of how it provides for us. But move beyond that to realize you are a beautiful creation of nature as well. Move beyond the thought of nature only being outside of us. What is the nature of your Self? How can you be more in tune with your inherent nature? How can you allow your beautiful self to just be? How can you be in a state of allowing? How can you inherently shine?

I feel very disconnected from nature lately (and from my natural self). I’m barely spending any time outside and I’m letting my work and family responsibilities overwhelm me. Every time I look outside at my garden which never got off the ground this year, and I think of the days I used to spend hiking, birding, and traveling, I feel disappointment, disconnection, and even shame, for not doing what I love to do. It was so much easier when 1. It was just me, and 2. There was money and time to spare—for taking days off for hikes, volunteering, travelling, supplies.

It feels like I have so much less time this summer. Last summer I went mountain biking, did yoga (in the beginning, anyway), grew a garden, painted a house, hung out with my hubby and animals, and worked. This summer I’ve… worked on the radio show, hung out with my step-kids, hubby, and animals, and worked. What’s missing? Nature, outdoor exercise, time to myself, time for contemplation, time away from the computer, non-stressful work. I need to find ways to resolve this before I lose myself.

What I *should* be doing


Sometimes I just need a long weekend to check out and do nothing but re-henna my hair while getting a little sun (a little too much on my legs—oops—was careful to sunscreen my face, but not my haven’t-seen-the-sun-much-this-year legs), watch the odd documentary, and catch up on some reading, while for the most part staying the hell away from the laptop.

I still manage to beat myself up a little, though. Do you ever feel guilty for taking it easy? I should be working on my garden, I should be hiking, I should be making a grocery budget, I should be birding, I should be mountain biking, I should be working on the radio show, I should be looking at those training materials, I should be cleaning the house, I should be leafleting, I should be finding a yoga studio, I should be blogging, I should be figuring out a way to take a vacation someday or do some traveling again, I should be figuring out a way to make some extra money, I should be calling my Dad, I should be calling up that old friend, I should be reading that book, I should be writing, I should be taking Ruby to the dog park, I should be finding us a new bank, I should be… {fill in the blank}!

I’ve heard those voices this weekend, but so far I’ve been able to acknowledge them and then let them go. I do believe that I need time once in a while for my mind to reset and regroup. {But even knowing that I need down-time, I still feel guilty about taking it—we all hear stories about the most “successful” people who only sleep 4 hours a day and are constantly creating and building fabulous things.} What is the secret to success, or creativity, and which should I work towards? What is the truth that I’m looking for? What do I want from this life? Will I find it in bursts of frenetic activity punctuated by rare moments of doing (almost) nothing? Somehow I have a hunch, that if I find it at all, it will be during the latter time.

Good Saturday


Good Saturday. Spent most of the day away from the computer (except for looking at a few cooking tips, and then watching Hulu while baking). Slept way in, hung out with my Dad a little. (We went garage saling and found a great white elephant for the family Xmas get together—and we spent less than $1 total, since we’re both broke).

Finally finished Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey and finished mowing the lawns (first mow of the year, was very long and thick and had to be done in batches over a few days). Since it has basically just turned summer-ish here after a very long winter and then a very long snowy/rainy spring, and is not even very warm yet, and since I wasn’t feeling very good over the last few months, my garden beds are in a state of serious neglect. But I got a good chunk weeded, and if I do a little every day I should be able to buy some starts after the next paycheck and hopefully still plant a few things from seed that we can harvest in the fall like carrots, squash, beans, peas, etc. Even though I intended to start way earlier this year, I think I probably got started this late last year, and I was still able to grow quite a few veggies. I also turned on and tested the sprinklers. They survived yet another winter and are in about the same shape as last year—they need adjusting as always, but do an adequate job.

After the yard work, I turned to some baking. Made some Blueberry Lemon Millet Corn Muffins from Scatter Vegan Sweets, and Molasses Cake Bars from 500 Vegan Recipes. I got to use the Vitamix to make millet flour and oat flour, which is fun. The muffins (well, I made a pan) turned out yummy in spite of being made from bird seed (millet)—I don’t think they would have been nearly as good without the blueberries. The bars (which I made in a loaf pan), turned out a little strange—they are very molasses-y and cake-like, but not at all bar-like. But I like molasses, and I’m sure I’ll eat them all eventually.

Incremental catch-up


At least I’m finally getting caught up on something: A productive couple of nights working on the radio show. We were going to be ahead for once, until I got sick and cancelled all of our studio time for last week. But we’re mostly there and should be able to finish up this episode without staying too late tomorrow night {knock on wood}. Episode 6 airs Thursday at 5 p.m.

Finally getting my head back above water with work, too. Now, if I can catch up with the household bills and stuff, life will be relatively back to normal. Maybe then I can actually take a look at the garden and see what I can get started late. It snowed one morning last week and I’m pretty sure we’re still getting frosts. But I should have started seedlings indoors. Last year I started them too early and most of them grew too big for their containers and died before I was able to transplant. Not sure of the plan of attack at this point.

What lurks beneath


Beginning of a long week in which I get to do a live radio show and also finish our taxes. But somehow not as stressful as last week… yet. Maybe it’s because I thrive on tight deadlines? Or maybe it’s because the week is still young.

One thing that makes me happy when I look out of my home office window: Some garlic that I planted last fall (and had mostly forgotten about) is coming up! The entire garden strip in the front yard is a weedy mess, I didn’t really prep it well after last summer’s growing season, but the garlic was patiently waiting all winter. I had never planted garlic before and never anything in the fall—so it’s a lovely surprise. Of course, I have no idea when to harvest it. But I’ll figure it out. I can’t wait until after taxes are done so that I can start planning this year’s garden and maybe getting some starts going.

Another thing that makes me smile is seeing the sparrows occupy the nest boxes in the backyard, even the newer one that we put up last year. I think we’ll probably have four houses worth of sparrows this summer. I don’t care (unlike some) that they are non-native House Sparrows—it’s not their fault. They want to live and have families and communities just like anybody else. That’s why I don’t mind Starlings, either. Starting to see some bright yellow beaks and breeding plumage for those guys too.

Looks like the step-kids will be coming for summer, so I hope to grow even more food than last year, since I can recruit help. I remember being forced to weed a huge vegetable garden as a kid, but also that we could wander through at any time and snack on peas, or carrots, or some rhubarb dipped in sugar. We also had raspberry bushes and honeysuckle plants to pillage. Too bad I didn’t retain any information on how to successfully garden and have had to re-learn it all as an adult.

No decision at all


reflect on this year and manifest what’s next

Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

This has been a year of

filling space

where kids used to be

where animal friends used to be

where family used to be

This has been a year of

deafening silence

with silly songs

with mumbled missives

with manic laughter


This has been a year of

killing time

with jumping rocks

with painting house

with growing food


This has been a year of

going on

while waiting things out


My wisest decision (and it remains to be seen)

may have been

no decision at all