Friday, March 30, 2012

Seeds and Spouts

Tuesday I finally got to starting my seeds. I’m always so excited when I do this. Almost every spring I try to grow flowers and/or veggies from seed; sometimes inside, sometimes outside and most years both. Although I don’t always have as much success inside as I’d like to I rarely miss a year of trying.

Almost ready to get started.

Waiting for the seeds to sprout reminds me of being a little person and how thrilling it was back in kindergarten when we all grew seeds as a science experiment. I can remember racing to school each morning full of excitement to see what my seed had done through the night. still feel this way; only now I dash downstairs to see what’s grown through the night.

I wasn’t disappointed this morning – my first seed has sprouted. WOO HOO!!

My first sprout - come on little guy!

I have another tray to start this weekend (after I buy another few packets of seeds), but so far so good!

    This tray contains:

  • Pink pampas grass
  • White pampas grass
  • Purple cone flowers
  • Delphiniums
  • Columbine
  • Violas
  • Foxgloves
  • Holly hocks (that’s what has already sprouted!!) J
  • Red peppers
  • Yellow peppers
  • Watermelon

    I still want to start:

  • Morning glories
  • Sweet peas
  • White cone flowers
  • Daisies
  • Tea

I love spring!!! 

P.S. I also bought my first few pansies of the year. I’ll get them potted this weekend.

I love the soft colours of these pansies.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It’s Wishcasting Wednesday!

Today JamieRidler asks us “What do you wish to rise above?”

I read the prompt this morning and immediately the word (and feeling of) anger popped into my awareness.

I desperately want to rise above my anger towards one of the most important people in my life. I know anger is always a cover up for another feeling and in this case it’s hurt feelings.

I wish I could magically just let go of the hurt, pain and anger and I’m doing my best to. I want to be the kind of person who can say (and really mean it) – it’s ok; I know you’re human and you’re doing the best you can; just like me and everyone else.

Forgiveness is something that I want to do for both of us but when I feel like somehow I’ve been placed in the wrong I can’t do it. I can’t put my feelings out there and then be chastised and told that it’s my own fault I feel bad. How do I forgive after opening myself up and then being told that I’m somehow to blame for other people’s behaviour and choices? I’m having a very hard time with that.

Why do people have such a hard time hearing about feelings? Why is it so hard to listen - I mean really listen, listening in a way that you can hear the meaning and not just the words?

It’s hard to be angry and sad at the same time – have you ever noticed that?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Passions Found

I’ve always envied and been drawn to people who have a passion in their lives; especially those that can manage to make a living doing what they love.

When I think of life’s passions I think of excitement and focus; I think of fulfillment and joy. I also think of the many different things that I’ve been passionate about over the years. I’ve played at and given up creative pursuits more times than I can count. I’ve decided on an amazing career path several times and then gone back to hairstyling. My only enduring passion has been books and reading – my forever friends.

I’m amazed at my guys, both of them have been passionate about playing football and Shane is still a passionate (some might even say obsessive) fan. He was always into science and math and now he’s pursuing them for a career.

Both the boys have dabbled in music over the years playing the guitar and now Bradley is making electronic dance music. It’s so much fun to always have music in the house. His dedication and focus is inspiring.

Here’s Bradley’s first demo...have a listen J

Friday, March 23, 2012

Farting around Friday

I spent my afternoon playing with my photo editor....just for fun. Here's what I came up with....

I have to admit to being in a much better mood now. Nothing like a little fun to do a cranky body good!

Have an awesome weekend my friends!!

Staycation Follow Up

If you’ve been reading you’ll know that I’m supposed to be on a staycation this week; well, it has been a total bust. I didn’t get anything done that I’d hoped to get done, I’m no more relaxed now than I was last week and in fact this week was pretty much like every other week.

My biggest goal for the week was to be on my own schedule. Ya right – what was I thinking?! I still got up every day and made breakfast and lunches for Jon and Bradley, I still did dishes and laundry and I still looked after the dogs. We had dinner out last night but other than that our regular dinner routine played out like it always does.

I spent the week listening to Jon talk about work and receiving about a million texts from Bradley (and I’m only exaggerating slightly). All in all what I set out to do didn’t happen. Am I blaming my family? Only slightly. Clearly I need to be able to set better boundaries.

If nothing else I guess I learned something about myself....I’m a sucker for putting everyone else’s needs ahead of my own. I know there are a lot of women out there who can relate but at the moment that’s not making me feel any better about how my week has gone.

I’m going to finish doing what needs to be done this morning and then I’m going to take my cranky ass back to bed with my current book and see about relaxing for the rest of the day.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's Quote Day!

It’s been a while since I had a quote day; so here are a few to honour spring and my favourite time of know – gardening time!! J

“Never yet was a springtime, when the buds forgot to bloom.”
~Margaret Elizabeth Sangster
“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems."
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“The best place to seek God is a garden. You can dig for him there.”
 ~ George Bernard Shaw

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.”
~ Doug Larson

“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.”
 ~ Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.”
 ~ Ruth Stout

“One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.”
 ~ W.E. Johns

“One is nearer God's heart in a garden 
than anywhere else on earth.
~Dorothy Frances Gurney

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.”
 ~ Bern Williams

“Gardens are a form of autobiography.”
 ~ Sydney Eddison

While I love them all, I think the last two are my favourites.

Have a great day! See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcome Spring!

Spring Song 

The air was full of sun and birds, 
The fresh air sparkled clearly.
Remembrance wakened in my heart
And I knew I loved her dearly.

The fallows and the leafless trees
And all my spirit tingled.
My earliest thought of love, and Spring's
First puff of perfume mingled.

In my still heart the thoughts awoke, 
Came lone by lone together -
Say, birds and Sun and Spring, is Love
A mere affair of weather?

~Robert Louis Stevenson 

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Staycation

I haven’t had a vacation in years...not so much as a weekend away. Lately I’ve found myself in desperate need of a holiday. Unfortunately a vacation isn’t in the cards right now and that got me thinking about why I need a vacation and what I can do about it.

What’s a vacation anyway? According to it’s a period of time devoted to pleasure, rest and relaxation. By that definition a vacation doesn’t need to be away from home; so with that in mind I’ve decided to go on a week’s staycation (for an official definition see here).

Compared to most people I spend my days with relative ease – I write, take pictures and look after the house. But what I really do all the time is look after the other members of my household. I spend my days looking after Jon, Bradley and the dogs. This means I spend all my time thinking, worrying and caring for other people. Now don’t get me wrong – I love my family and I enjoy looking after them, but even the most dedicated mom and wife needs some time to focus on herself.  

So for 7 days starting yesterday I’m saying yes to me. Instead of being on everyone else’s schedule I’m on my own. Instead of my life revolving around my family’s needs it’s going to revolve around my own. Wow! While this sounds wonderful in theory, I think it might turn out to be harder than I’m anticipating...we’ll see!

    I’m saying yes to:
  • Slow walks around the yard
  • Afternoon naps
  • Writing/journaling
  • Creativity
  • Relaxing
  • Reading
  • Lounging in the bathtub
  • ME

    I’m saying no to:
  • Sugar
  • Computer games
  • Schedules, other than my own
  • Dishes
  • Doing haircuts
  • Doing anything I just don’t feel like doing
  • Guilt

This might be an experiment as much as a staycation but that’s ok; it means I’ll learn a lot and who knows maybe one week of looking after myself will turn into a regular event....although maybe next year I’ll plan to do it somewhere besides at home. J

During my staycation this is my pretend view out ALL
of my windows - lol!   

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Practical Guide to Self Care

And you? When will you begin
that long journey into yourself ?
~ Rumi

This post was inspired by a discussion I had recently with one of my favourite know who you are. J

We all have ways to soothing ourselves and of looking after ourselves when we need it – this certainly isn’t the only way, but it works for me so I thought I’d share a little of it. This is something I’ve been working on for the last year or so and I really (really) wish I’d learned it earlier.

When our lives seem stressful or overwhelming it’s easy to turn to distractions to either avoid our uncomfortable feelings or turn away from them and we all know this doesn’t work and in fact it can be unhealthy. Feelings don’t go away unless we feel them and work through them.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘the issues are in the tissues’. And they really are. Our feelings are real things that inhabit our bodies and when we respect them and acknowledge them we’re looking after ourselves with loving kindness.

When I’m not sure what I need I just ask myself what it is – what I’m missing. I know that might sound a little weird but it works...I always get an answer.

I take a moment or two to settle into my body, and for me this means sitting comfortably with my eyes closed and taking several deep belly breaths in and out through my nose. I kindly remind myself to relax and actively try to release any obvious tension. Once you get in the hang of this you’ll learn where you tend to hold the most tension and it becomes much easier to let it go.

Once I’m feeling still I do a quick scan of my body and notice any sensations that I may not already be aware of. Sometimes I notice that my feet are chilly or I have an itch that I hadn’t noticed before. I may notice a heavy feeling in my chest or a light feeling in my belly. The sensations in our bodies are an ever changing and interesting thing to explore and learn about, and from.

At this point I might ask myself what I’m feeling or what I need. Sometimes it’s easiest just to sit with any sensations I’m feeling and let them be. I do my best never to judge what I’m experiencing – I just be with whatever is going on. Sometimes what I need or the right thing for me to do becomes very clear in an instant and sometimes not. Moments of clarity can be as simple as I thought I wanted a diet Pepsi but when I give myself a moment to feel what’s right I decide that a cup of green tea would be the better choice.

Although this sounds like it might take a long time – it can take just as long as you’d like it to. There will be times during the day that you just aren’t quite sure what you’d like to do or to eat so the process can take a minute and there are other times when you’re not sure how you feel about something so you spend a few more minutes quietly with yourself.

This also makes a wonderful mindful mediation that can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes or more. I’ve been meditating for many years and this is the one I find the most relaxing and rewarding.

With a little practice this can become a grounding force that you will use on a daily basis as part of a spiritual self care routine. Each time we check in with our bodies we’re giving ourselves the love and respect we deserve. The opportunity to learn more about ourselves can only lead to a more joyful authentic life.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Being Vulnerable

Reading through some of the other blogs on Wishcasting Wednesday (Wishcasting Wednesday - Jamie Ridler Studios) I was struck by the honesty of the wishes and the vulnerability of many of the women who write regularly on their blogs.

I’ve tried to be honest and vulnerable here with my words and images. I’ve put myself out there as much as I can and have felt both rewarded and frowned upon for doing so. It’s reassuring to know that I share the desire for truth, honesty and vulnerability with others. True intimacy must start with us but it needs company and connection to flourish.

I think it takes courage and hope to be honest with ourselves about what we wish for and what we want and need in our lives. Unfortunately we don’t live in a society that encourages us to be individuals or to think for ourselves. We’re taught to want whatever the media tells us we want and to do our best to ‘keep up with the neighbours’.

Being vulnerable is looked down upon as being weak – but really it’s just the opposite. Strength is what we need to ask and answer the tough questions for ourselves. It takes strength to say no to the media’s onslaught and the pressure to maintain the status quo and that strength can’t come until we allow ourselves to feel vulnerable.

By admitting, acknowledging and talking about what we really and truly need to be happy and joyful we help others feel safe to do so also. I’m not afraid to admit to needing connection and small simple moments with friends both near and far. I can admit to wanting and needing a sense of community and contribution. I can also admit to needing the odd Mars bar to satisfy an unknown craving – what do you need for a happy and joyful life? 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It’s Wishcasting Wednesday!

I started this post once, twice and again. Each time I got a different answer. 

First I wished for the renos on my house to be complete, I wished for a bigger studio space; and I wished for less mud in the yard because wiping 8 puppy paws several times a day is driving me a little bananas.

The second time I started writing I wished for abundance and prosperity in my future.

While I truly wish for these things they didn’t quite hit the mark this morning. This morning I wish to have peace in my future. Peace within my family, peace within my community, peace within our world and the only peace I can actively work on – peace within myself.

Being present to my life and looking for little moments of joy are what I thrive on; they soften my hard edges and help me move into the peace I know is available to me. Some days those little moments are harder to come by and I know I have to keep looking and hoping for them to show their tiny little faces to me.

Peace comes to me in a beautiful blossom, in silence broken by spring birds; it comes in hearing the car coming down the lane after my son has been out for the evening. Peace comes to me when Jon takes my hand while walking or when my pup rests her head in my lap.

There are as many ways to peace as people looking for it – and I wish it not only for myself; but for you also.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Looking for Small Moments

Since I lost my brother I’ve felt so different that I hardly feel like myself; and when Jon asked me this morning if I’d like to take a walk around the yard to talk about our plans and dreams for the property I gladly accepted. I need to know that I can still find joy in the small moments and in the beauty around me.

We walked and talked about filling here and there, adding gravel to the laneway and where I want to put more gardens. We talked about plans for the barn and other buildings and where we’re going to plant more trees.

I found it reassuring to find comfort in his voice and in the plans we keep talking about. It’s good to enjoy the dogs playing; the sun shining and the fresh almost end of winter air.

With my camera in hand I found little bits of beauty in the way the shadows play against the wood in the barn and in the way the dogs run around the snow and mud without a care in the world.

While I struggle with the loss of my brother it’s good to know that there’s still beauty for me to see and share. Here are a few of the photos I took on our walk this morning....they're nothing special - just little reminders that life goes on and that there is beauty and joy in my life still.

Apparently Astro didn't like the mouthful she ate!
Hunter and Astro playing.
My best baby girl!
The sky from inside the barn.
I love the light and shadows in this photo!
I know Jon wishes our barn has less daylight,
but I find it fascinating just the way it is.
Meg - all healthy again..yay! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wishcasting Wednesday

Wishcasting Wednesday at Jamie Ridler Studios asks us “What is your spirit wishing for?”

Most days this question would be hard to answer – but not today. Today my spirit wishes for flowers, for spring blooming flowers in wild crazy abundance inside and out!

Spring is in the Air!

"Where flowers bloom so does hope."
– Lady Bird Johnson

You can feel it can’t you? It’s that time of year when we all get a little restless and unsettled. Spring is coming and it makes us all feel a little peppier, a little friendlier and a lot more energetic.

Around my house we can see the grass in parts of the front yard and it makes me dream of flowers and getting my hands in the soil.

If you’re a gardener it’s time to start thinking about starting seeds. It’s already time for peppers and it will soon be time for other vegetables and flowers.

Last year I had great success with a messy wildflower mix and I loved being surprised each day by what was new in the garden. I’m going to try it again this year as well as a few others.

    I’m going to start:

  • Peppers – red and yellow
  • Sweet onions
  • English cucumbers 
  • Sweet peas
  • Morning glories
  • Echinacea (a couple of varieties)

I have my heart set on having ranunculus this year and I’m going to order them along with some hydrangeas and lavender. I’d like to have some climbing roses although I haven’t figured out where to put them yet. I also got a bug in my ear from one of my seed catalogues and I’m going to try to grow tea. I’m particularly excited about that!

And of course I can’t forget about my beloved’s almost pansy time! I know spring is truly here when I see all the pansy flats and planters at the grocery stores. I can’t wait! J

Monday, March 5, 2012

Being Kind to Myself

The last several weeks have been harder than I ever imagined a time could be and I’ve had to remind myself a few times to be gentle and kind with myself. It’s easy to beat myself up about not getting the dinner made or the dishes done or not being as present as I feel I should be with my family; it’s much harder to remain gentle and careful with myself.

I’m doing my best to try to feel my feelings and stay present to my own needs. Losing a brother or sister has to be one of the most difficult things we can go through. We all expect sooner or later to lose our parents but we never expect to lose a sibling.

My world is different than it was before February 20th, and I need kindness and compassion and love. I need attention and soothing – I need to know I’m cared about and that someone understands what I’m going through.

The only person I’m guaranteed to get that from is me, so I’m doing my very best to look after myself and I know when I’m stressed out or having a hard time there is very little that soothes me more than an hour or two spent with my camera. If I can have my camera and some flowers I know I’ll at least forget my worries for a little while.