Well, yesterday was DD day at our house. Apparently, the deer around here read WordPress, and my May Garden Tour post was an invitation. Whoops.
They ate the kale…
They nibbled the potatoes …
And snarfed ALL but two of the bush beans!
And that’s not all…
So when the deer come chomping, the gardener(‘s husband) builds a fence.
But there’s always something positive happening in the garden. I’m thrilled that this method of interplanting worked. I planted radishes and carrots together so the fast-sprouting radishes shade the finicky slow-sprouting carrots until they germinate. Now I’ve pulled the radishes and the carrots are perfectly thinned and ready to keep growing.
Aloha! Since my backyard urban farm in-development has taken up all my focus and energy and I haven’t been writing at all, I thought I’d share photos of how I’ve been staying busy.
Honestly, it has become a full-time job. There are days when the MonSter awakes and I drag myself out of bed hardly able to face the thought of all the tasks calling for attention. But I make myself get out there every day at least for 20 minutes. Usually that ends up with me outside all day.
Besides the obvious advantages of all that vitamin D and fresh air, I know that digging in the dirt is helping rebuild my immune system and my gut microbiota. So even on the toughest days, I rest a lot but I make myself do the lighter tasks. The trick is to not focus on everything that needs to be done but to put the blinders and just do one, small, task.
Anyway, enough of that. Have a wander through our garden.
I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have a yard to garden. But even a small pot on a windowsill can grow parsley, basil and cilantro. Food security is a serious issue that has finally been brought to the forefront of people’s minds because of the Covid-19 situation. Start small and grow your own!
Alright, thanks for joining me. I didn’t even get to the vegetable beds by the house, but I’ll leave that for another post.
The world has stopped. The unthinkable has happened and we’re in crisis mode, trying to get our heads around this ‘new normal’.
I’ve been here before.
No, not exactly like this, obviously. But almost five years ago, my world stopped when I finally admitted I couldn’t teach anymore. I’ve been adapting to my new normal ever since. It’s been a bumpy ride, but there have been many surprising blessings as well.
Learning to be. This is a big one. We are so inundated with messages telling us we need to be doing something all the time. There’s a culture of busy-ness, where the more you’re doing is like a badge of honour. When you have a chronic illness, that’s not really an option because the fatigue, among other things, is so killer that You. Just. Can’t.
So you spend a lot of time at home, sitting around, isolated, without a whole lot of options for entertainment. Sound familiar? I’m sure it’s a new experience for most healthy people, and it can be uncomfortable just sitting in your own skin sometimes. Or maybe that’s just the MS. 🤔
But just being, instead of always doing can be a wonderful opportunity to get real with yourself and figure out what’s really important. We’ve been conditioned to believe we need to be working, be productive, be entertained, be adventurous, be travelling , be consuming, be socializing.
We’ve forgotten that sometimes it’s important to just BE.
When you stop doing and sit quietly with yourself, your mind has space to process. This is why meditation has become so popular. But you don’t even have to be that organized about it. I’m not knocking meditation in any way, I’m just suggesting that you pay attention to whether you take any time during your day to stop doing and just BE.
Staring at nature is my go-to for times when I need to stop and be for awhile, even if it’s just out the window, or the nature channel on TV. I guess that’s technically doing something but the mental health benefits outweigh any slicing of that proverbial hair.
We’ve been running on the societal treadmill for so long that doing nothing, just BEING is a difficult thing for many people right now. I get it. Like with anything though, a shift in perspective can change this strange situation we’re finding ourselves in, into an opportunity to examine our values and decide if we really want to go back to the “old normal”.
As much as I miss teaching, I am grateful every single day for my many blessings. Learning to be comfortable with just being and not doing all the time has helped me enormously in accepting my new normal. I hope it helps you too.
It has been far too long since I’ve published anything but this article is important enough to share. If you allow your fear to spiral out of control, that lowers your immunity and makes you more susceptible to getting sick.
Stay informed, but focus on connection and gratitude. Turn off the screens and get outside. Wash your hands, and stay home unless it’s essential to go out. Stay safe and healthy out there!
I recently had some surprising reactions to the fact that I’ve been playing around with watercolours and calligraphy. Surprising, as in not terribly positive or supportive.
So, partly to get it out of my head but more importantly to share the BEST little craft for us spoonies, I decided to pass on another discovery.
First of all, as to the why am I doing ‘weird’ things like watercolour and calligraphy? Ummm…have you met me? Well, most of you haven’t, but whatever. Besides being Handy Mandy, I’ve always been crafty like that.
Handmade candles for 250 at our wedding, many Halloween costumes, school costumes for my students’ annual plays. Oh, and my extended family has always loved getting handmade gifts for Christmas. BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Too bad, it amuses me. 🤓
Anyway, the crafties have returned because the writing muses have gone on strike, or fled to a tiny house in Timbuktu. Also, I like learning new things so the rest of my brain doesn’t join them.
And the truth is, I spend a lot of time resting, not by choice. Sitting on my butt reading, watching tennis or skating, because that’s all my body will tolerate.
Fatigue is a son of a bitch. Worse for me in the winter. But even though my body is pretty much permanently conked out so it’s like moving through setting concrete, my mind wants to be doing something productive.
So at the moment, I am queen of the simple crafts. I’m so excited to decorate for our handmade Christmas, but that’s another post. And not handmade gifts, as our children feared when I mentioned it last night. Just decorations people, you can all relax. 😂
Right now, I have to share the best craft I’ve found that I can do with little effort and not even looking – finger knitting! So simple and forgiving but the possibilities are endless.
I had a 6 year old try to teach me in my last year teaching but I was already struggling so focusing on the instructions while multitasking in a busy classroom was beyond me. Boy she was patient as she tried to teach me with so many interruptions and my clumsy brain and fingers tangling everything up. Sweet kid.
Anyway, in the quiet of my bedroom I’ve figured it out and it’s perfect. Here’s the link I used to learn: