Archives for the month of: March, 2022

I’m sipping my coffee enjoying a moment of fond appreciation and gratitude for the life I am living, and love I am fortunate to enjoy. There are no guarantees; circumstances change. Change is. Count on it!

Sometimes small surprises really turn a day or week around. 🙂 I got a nice little package from my cousin. I had sent her a wee note card a couple weeks ago. I think very fondly of her, and we haven’t stayed in touch very well. She replied, and sent me a couple cute quilted items she had made. They are delightful. I’m still smiling. I feel loved. It was such a thoughtful gesture.

Yesterday, my Traveling Partner surprised me with a substantial token of his affection – handmade in wood, a symbol of balance. It’s lovely, and sits here on my desk, just past my keyboard. I don’t know where I will place it longer-term. I like it sitting right here, where I can see it. On my desk, I’ve also got the desk caddy he custom made for me in his shop; holds my stuff, in the relative positions where I would place them on the bare desk, in the order I generally use them. It’s brilliant and I love it. He made a pizza peel for us shortly after we moved in. I use it any time we make pizza. Sometimes I use it as a big trivet. lol

Balance and perspective – critical tools.

I’m starting the morning in a good place. I feel settled and contented. I feel loved. Valued. It’s nice. It hasn’t been effortless getting from “where I was” to “where I am”, and I won’t say that I don’t see a continued journey extending ahead me. 🙂 I am still learning, every day, what it takes to be the woman – the human being – I most want to be. It’s not a journey about money, or material success and comfort, and I definitely don’t see value in making it a competition with other human beings on their own individual journeys. I’m just one woman on this one path of my own, enjoying a quiet Saturday morning over a cup of coffee, and feeling grateful to be as fortunate as I have been.

Spring – the pear trees on the other side of the fence have begun to notice, too.

I’m eager to be back in the spring garden. I’ve got my early stuff planted – but I’ve also apparently got a raccoon “helper” who has been rummaging around in the grow bags I’ve planted with carrots and scallions, and I may need to do some damage control. lol My space for gardening is very limited, so the veggies will mostly be in grow bags, and when warmer weather comes, I’ll add a couple hydroponic pots for things like peppers. I hope to grow some Japanese eggplant, too, but honestly I think those are quite beautiful plants, and I’ll just put them into the flower beds out front. 😀

My veggie garden getting started for the year.

In the simplest terms, it is a pleasant weekend morning. I’m enjoying that quite deliberately, sipping my coffee and thinking about the many things I am grateful for. Embracing joy and cultivating contentment are worthy endeavors; in my own experience “happy” has not come “naturally”, it has taken quite a lot of commitment and work to get past all that ancient pain, all that anger, all that despair. It’s for sure worthy effort, but… it is effort. It does take attention, and practice to make changes. I smile to myself; this morning is sure damned close to feeling “effortless”, and that’s something amazing (and very much worth enjoying while it lasts).

I queue up some gardening videos. I immediately find my mind wandering to cooking… I laugh and drink my coffee. My delight is not affected; if I’d queued up a cooking video, I’d have been thinking about the garden. This is where my happy place is – here at home, where I can cook, and garden, and hang out with my lover (even in when we aren’t in the same room, I feel his presence here at home with me).

Sure, I’ll begin the day again, after I finish this coffee… nothing fancy planned. Grocery shopping. Run an errand. Get out in the garden. Love my partner. It’s a lovely day for all of that. That’s enough.

I’m awake. My excessive awareness of background noise has prevented me going back to sleep since I woke, although I had obviously been sleeping through it just fine before. Annoying. It’s been an hour, spent quietly, eyes closed, mind coasting, waiting gently for sleep to catch up with me.

…So far? I’m awake.

I’m not stressed out or anxious. That’s something. I could read a while, if I cared to. I do feel sleepy, and I am enjoying spending quiet moments with my thoughts. I’m not unhappy, resting contentedly in the darkness… I’d just prefer to be sleeping.

I don’t even think the background noise is actually keeping me awake; I’m simply aware of it, and the background noise seems a bit background noisier than usual. Maybe something left on in my Traveling Partner’s shop or our noisy refrigerator? The aquarium? The hot tub or the neighbor’s A/C unit? Maybe all of those things? Hard to be sure over my tinnitus. lol

I yawn and then yawn again. Looks like sleep is going to catch up with me after all. Good enough.

I am awake. I don’t mean to be. I woke suddenly, feeling very thirsty, and got up to get a drink of water. Easy enough. Feeling much refreshed and still sleepy, I went back to bed.

…I’ve been awake since then. That was about an hour ago. I meditated for a while. That was pleasant and quite relaxing. I am still awake.

I found myself sleepy again and started, finally, to drift off. I sat up abruptly, halting any potential for sleep for the moment, when my brain inconveniently solved a small challenging bit of a work problem (meaning actual math, in this case), unexpectedly. I sat with my thoughts for a few minutes, long enough to minimize the risk of forgetting all about it by morning. No reason to be wasteful with good cognitive work, however poorly timed!

I’m sleepy again. Ready to begin (sleep) again… I start unwinding (again).I let my thoughts drift, here and there… no pressure. Years of struggling with insomnia and nightmares don’t feel like the distant past, right now, but a yawn overcomes me soon, and then another… good enough. 🙂

It’s a rainy Monday. A new day – and an opportunity to begin again. What a strange experience this mortal existence is. My Traveling Partner and I spent the morning over coffee listening together to a lecture by Alan Watts (why not?). I made a simple breakfast that we enjoyed together afterward. Just eggs scrambled with mushrooms and onions, and a toasted English muffin.

My cooking has gotten so much better during the pandemic… weirdly, I don’t have the recollection that it was “bad“, before… although my partner will occasionally, and ever so gently, suggest that perhaps it was less good than I thought. lol I figure he’s likely quite correct, and certainly based on his own experience that he has shared with me, I know I count on the truth of it. I’m okay with getting better at things; we become what we practice. I’ve been spending rather a lot of time in the kitchen, cooking things, as an alternative to fast food (which is an impractical cost and nutritional disappointment). I definitely enjoy the food I make at home so much more than I used to. It’s not even a question anymore; I like to eat at home more than I want to go out. 😀

My vegetable garden.

I am distracted by the garden, in a pleasant way. My time outside yesterday was well spent, tidying up the large-ish fabric pots that sit along the back strip of the property, just beyond the deck. I’ve got 5 of them. I used them to plant tomatoes last year, and it was waaaaay too many tomatoes, and rather a lot of work, as they became progressively more ridiculously overgrown. We don’t eat a lot of tomatoes, generally. lol I just find them easy and tasty to grow, so… easy win? Silly to take that approach, it’s haphazard and wasteful.

This year, I thought about what I cook, what we eat, what grows where we are, and what kinds of produce would be potentially more cost effective to grow, myself. It’s a relatively short list, that seems heavy on alliums of various sorts, which didn’t really surprise me; I’ve been using a fucking ton of shallots, scallions, leeks, and garlic this winter, as I learn to cook in a wok. LOL They’ve crept into a lot of my other cooking, too. Handy and flavorful. I also planted some carrots, and an assortment of lettuces and greens (and I do mean assortment; it’s a blend of several blends!). I have sucked at growing greens, so that’ll be where most of the work and personal growth will be. lol I don’t think I can fuck up onions. Carrots have been a success for me before, and the difference in flavor between grown in the garden and purchased at the store is remarkable.

5 pots with somewhat depleted soil became 4 well-filled pots, planted each with their own thing: leeks in one, scallions in other, then the carrots, and the greens. I’d like to add garlic and scallions. Maybe some bush beans? Peas? I sat down with my garden plan and updated it with those details to save my sanity later (otherwise, and I promise you this is true, I won’t remember what I planted, or where it got planted).

I sip my second coffee, listening to the rain fall. Thinking about herbs and roses – those will be finding their home in the front garden, among the flowers and the shrubbery. I savor this feeling; the feeling of being home.

What next with the day? Dunno. Maybe more time in the garden when the rain lets up. There’s some weeding to do in the flower beds, and things to make ready for more planting as the soil warms up enough for less hardy flowers and things. I’ve got nasturtium seeds… I could plant those today… doesn’t seem likely we’ll get another hard freeze at this point… probably…

I sip my coffee thinking about Spring and seeds and beginnings. I think about love. We become what we practice.

I woke to a smile and a backache. That’s okay; it’s Spring! My coffee is hot, and tasty. I’m in good spirits. The drizzly morning looks likely to give way to a pleasantly mild morning and a sunny afternoon. Spring is a season for starting things (for me). It’s time to get into the garden, and start tidying up for new plantings. The temperature feels mild enough to start planting the hardy early starters… maybe? I itch to get my fingers into the soil, and to stoop down low to talk to the roses and find out how they are doing.

I feel mostly over being sick, so a trip to the store is not out of the question. I’ll still mask up. It’s the right thing to do. It’s not even “about COVID” – it’s just polite not to go into the world contagious without taking real steps to prevent exposure to other people.

This morning, as I sip my coffee and write, I am listening to the sound of rain on an old-fashioned wood-frame greenhouse. I’m definitely eager to get into the garden. 😀

So… Spring… time to start something. What will you start? I’ve started learning to cook with a wok (admittedly, that began in February, but I think it counts in spirit). Getting seeds into the ground is an entirely different sort of beginning, and I’m eager to get that going, too. I’ve also started reading “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching” by Thich Nhat Hanh. My Traveling Partner gave it to me recently. With the weather so much more pleasant, already, it’s time to get back out on the trails, too. Another beginning to embrace. Beginnings often feel so much more positive and joyful (to me) than endings. This strikes me as odd, since most beginnings require something else to have ended. I reflect on that a moment and sip my coffee.

My Traveling Partner pokes his head into the studio to ask me what I’m up to. “Still writing about roses?” he asks with a smile. I grin and point to the monitor, shaking my head, “Spring! I’m writing about spring. I want to get into the garden today and do a bunch of clean-up and…” He smiles & frowns sort of at the same time (he’s got a look for that) and reminds me “Take it easy, you’re still sick.” There is so much kindness and love in that reminder, and his smile encourages me to do what I can and enjoy the day. He’s right. Self-care first.

Damn I’m glad I took tomorrow off. 😀

It’s Spring, and it’s definitely time to begin again.