Archives for category: gardening

Okay, more of the “funny/not funny” variety. I woke abruptly to the persistent beeping of my alarm, ready to drag myself into a new day, just barely. It only took about 10 minutes to clear the fog from my head enough to fully understand that the reason the clock said “1:00 am” was because that was, perhaps, the actual time – and the alarm, for some reason, was set for then. Weird. My watch was confusing me; it didn’t match. It rather insistentlyΒ  pointed out that the time was something like 11:36 pm… so… not “1:00 am”, at all. I double-checked with the clock on the stove… yep. 11:36 pm. Okay… definitely not time to get up. First – reset both the time and the alarm on my alarm clock. So groggy…

…I went back to bed.

I woke ahead of the alarm. Restless, unsatisfying, interrupted sleep to begin a new work week… great. I sip my coffee, and frown into the cup. Not my best cup of coffee. I let that go, and just keep sipping on it, trying to fully wake up. The shower didn’t help. Meditation almost turned into a nap. I’m clumsy, and out of focus. I am fatigued. Lacking the rest I need, today may have some challenges to work through. A huge yawn splits my face, while I decide whether to go into the office a bit early to make up for the likelihood that I will be a bit cognitively slowed down. My decision-making skills are obviously impaired. I stare forward, sipping coffee. Writing in near-real-time. Stream-of-consciousness. lol Yep; this is it. Best I’ve got, this morning. πŸ˜‰

A different perspective; the view from my Sunday walk.

The weekend was lovely. Productive, satisfying, and infused with contentment. I got a few things done around the house, and enjoyed a very restful weekend. I struggle to remember what all I actually did do… but I’ll leave a tidy home this morning, when I head to the office, and I’ll feel welcomed when I come home to it. πŸ™‚

It was most definitely summer, although we’re not feeling the impact of the blistering heat wave happening in eastern states. Even with the A/C, that’s misery I don’t need, although thinking about it reminds me to water the garden before I head to work.

There are signs of summer everywhere, and blackberries begin to ripen on wild vines.

Coffee almost gone. I’m almost, mostly, awake. Still time to water the garden, before getting myself together to make the commute across town to the office. I briefly contemplate driving in, then rethink that thought in the context of recollections of summer construction. (One of many “signs of summer”) Lightrail is fast enough. I’ll just do that. lol

I made sure to keep fresh water out for visiting creatures, too.

I jot down a couple reminders for myself for later, and head to the garden to water plants, and fill watering stations. I remind myself to drink plenty of water, too. Self-care nearly always makes it to the top of every “to do list” these days. πŸ™‚

I miss my Traveling Partner, and wish him well from afar, wondering what he’ll be up to, today. I think about exes and smirk at myself, quietly, reminded of relationships in which there was almost always a fight or an argument leading up to any time apart, the petty squabbles, and weird possessive or jealous interference in any solo activity, the constant pinging and fussing during time away… Fuck, I am so glad to be done with all of that bullshit. lol I sit grinning quietly for a few minutes, happy to be in this partnership, appreciative of this human being who is so dear to me. He suits me. I miss him, right now, in the morning, over my coffee – and there’s nothing that needs to be done to ease that. It’s appropriate, as feelings go, and my emotions aren’t hurting me, or anyone else. πŸ™‚ I go with it, and take time to fully savor this love we share, and enjoy a few grateful appreciative moments with my coffee.

Damn, this is one fairly dreadful cup of coffee… lol. Fortunately, it’s just about gone, and I can just begin again. πŸ™‚

Sipping coffee and thinking about time, timing, and the peculiar fascination, and sometimes urgency, that we have with getting to a goal “ahead of schedule” or “on time” – turning any such moment into some kind of race to some arbitrary finish line. Doesn’t it suck the fun out of a drive in the countryside, if we’re so focused on getting to a destination by a specific point in time? We’ve put our experience in the hands of circumstances. Slow drivers. Detours. Traffic. (Metaphors.)

Yesterday, my morning was less about time and timing, than about enjoying a few minutes for myself, before I headed to work. I left the house at some wildly random time, rather later than I generally do, arriving a bit later than I ordinarily might, still well within expectations of timeliness, and utterly without any internal pressure to get there. No racing. No rushing. It was lovely. Sipping my coffee, I think about doing that more often. πŸ™‚

Rain drops on roses.

In the garden, in the evening, after the work day was behind me, I took an unhurried look around. No agenda. Just enjoying the moment. I had enjoyed some pleasant moments of conversation with my Traveling Partner on the phone. The evening was a simple one; I did some tidying up. I had a bite of dinner. I relaxed with a book. I went to bed a bit later than the night before, early enough to get a great night’s sleep… if my body would have been amendable to that. lol My interrupted sleep has not prevented me having a lovely morning, and I feel decently well-rested. No harm done. πŸ™‚

Life feels simple and mostly pretty easy, from the perspective of this morning. No idea what the day holds; it’s been a busy week at work, and a great many people, colleagues, and customers, seem to have strange priorities much more to do with external forces that drive them, than well-considered choices they have made for themselves. I grin to myself in the early morning light; not my circus, not my monkeys. I keep my focus on my own life, my own choices, and being the woman I most want to be – more so, each day. It’s the best I can do, I think. πŸ™‚

Sufficiency is pretty comfortable, generally.

A soft rain is falling, this morning. I finish my coffee, and begin again. πŸ™‚

I spent yesterday pretty gently, relaxing at home, seeking small distractions to take my mind off this wound in my jaw (from a recent tooth extraction). I alternated between considerable pain, discomfort, and bitching about those – and the inconvenience of all that – and being mostly pretty okay, generally, aside from the occasionally more intense pain, and near-continuous discomfort. In any moment that I noticed I was not in considerable pain, I made a point to really notice that, and explicitly enjoy it. I found small distractions to take my mind off of the pain, whenever it seemed to worsen. My Traveling Partner helped with that, rather a lot.

Brunch with a friend helped; uncomfortably, but yeah, it was a nice distraction, in spite of my self-consciousness about trying to drink any sort of beverage in a public place without either causing myself more pain (and potentially prolonging the healing process) or dripping it all down the front of myself, awkwardly.

Time in the garden, observing the young praying mantises that have just hatched, renewed my joie de vivre more than once, over the course of the day.

…and, I just find them terrifically fun to watch.

We watched a favorite movie together, in the evening, and a variety of interesting video content from favored content creators. I read, played video games, and went out into the world once or twice – mostly just to take my mind off the pain of this healing process.

Healing processes can be painful. Read that again. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. Take that in for a moment, it’s very real; healing processes can be painful. All kinds of healing processes, for all manner of wounds. Absorb that observation, and let it be a stepping stone to letting something go, and stepping off on a new beginning, if you can. πŸ™‚

I’d honestly prefer that any given healing process be truly a matter of feeling reliably progressively better, moment-to-moment, but giving the matter some thought, and considering other wounds, other hurts, injuries incurred over a lifetime, I find myself inclined to be fairly certain that no particular healing process has been pain-free – or even reliably less painful in a clearly improving way, over time. It’s often been a matter of surges of increased pain, interspersed with considerable improvement, or even lingering significant chronic pain over a prolonged period that rather abruptly resolved at some later point. Some healing processes have even seemed to hurt worse than the original injury/condition, to get to an outcome that felt wholly better than I’d ever previously experienced. Weird, right? I mean, that healing hurts. That doesn’t seem intuitive to me, and I suspect my lack of preparedness and acceptance that healing processes can be painful, themselves, has held me back from healing most efficiently (and quickly), in some circumstances.

Yesterday had some seemingly excessively painful moments. I fussed about it. I fretted over it. I self-threatened to go back to the dentist this week so he can look in my mouth and tell me “yep, it’s coming along just fine” – because when I hurt, I doubt that it is. I forget, over and over again, that healing processes can be painful. lol

I think it complicates things that it is also needful to distinguish between the routine painfulness one might expect while healing from some kind of wound, and the painfulness of not healing – of getting worse – as from an infection of a wound that would ideally be healing. Damn it. Well, that results in a few more verbs, more awareness, more commitment to self-care, more presence, more attention to details, more non-attachment… Shit. Adulting is hard. I don’t like pain. So… having to sort out the pain of healing from the pain of “oh hey, this is getting worse, I should see to that”, and the pain of “this new thing” from “that chronic thing”, and the pain of “this’ll take a while to heal” from “holy crap that hurt just now, but it’ll pass quickly” is, sort of, um… a pain in the ass. LOL

I have a few contented swallows of cold coffee with my mouth half open (to avoid creating any suction in my mouth as I drink and swallow). I’m getting good at this, as small a thing as it is. (I was having trouble staying hydrated the first two days.) I’ve gotten the timing on the Ibuprofen down, such that I generally avoid any significant increase in pain between doses. I’ll be glad to stop taking it altogether; it’s not really a good choice for me, in the context of my general health.

Today feels some better, though… maybe it even actually is some better? I don’t actually know that, one way or the other. I know I am, in this moment right here, in somewhat less pain. πŸ™‚ Good enough. Small steps. Small victories. Slow progress. I’m okay with that.

More of the same, today: small distractions, garden flowers, and slow progress.

I don’t think I actually ever gave thought to how often, or how much, “suction” place a role with regard to the general state of a human mouth. lol Having a molar extracted, and the resulting perforation of my lower facial sinus, with all the requested after-care that follows, is definitely an education in maintaining mindful awareness. The balance between “aware” and “self-conscious” – the latter of which tends to cause more moments of “sucking on my teeth, in some fashion – is, itself, a very new thing to explore (all over again). It generally… um… sucks.

(I’m aware of how dreadful that pun was, and nonetheless I spend five minutes wracked with mirth, trying not to laugh literally out loud, nor to stifle my laughter in any way that might result in disturbing the healing of that tooth socket, with the realization that my situation literally illustrates the point I was making the first place driving still further laughter. What a morning. What the fuck is the point of “uncomfortable merriment”? Why is that even a thing? lol)

Eating is complicated. Drinking is a major challenge. Even sitting around, generally, reading, watching a video, or just being thoughtful, seems to continuously put me at risk of subtly (or less so) “pulling” at that wound in my mouth with some quantity of suction unintentionally. “Rinsing” my mouth requires a rather delicate approach, since any sort of “swishing” technique likely involves – you guessed it already, I bet – suction. It’s not the very firm sucking-suction of deliberately sucking on something (like a straw) that trips me up; it’s the common everyday rather mild suction of things like holding my tongue to the roof of my mouth, or drinking from a container with a small opening, or… swallowing. lol That last one plagues me – it is unavoidable. I’m not bitching, I’m just saying; there are techniques involved that I did not already know.

I woke to rain. I find myself wondering how the Praying Mantis hatchlings are doing. They hatched yesterday, from purchased egg cases that I put in the garden in the spring.

There appear to be hundreds of wee mantises on this one rose bush, basking in the sunshine.

The dense foliage of the reliably well-leaved out rose bush on which I placed them offers a lot of places to hide safely, and with my container garden being very near a forested green space, and birds coming and going at the deck feeder every day, there is plenty of food for the young mantises – and plenty of predators to be concerned with. I spotted them fairly quickly, when I went out to water the garden.

I watched them for awhile.

I watched several quite skillfully avoid a largish, probably quite frustrated, garden spider who had also taken up housekeeping in the rose bush. I was feeling certain that sooner or later, the spider would have her meal, when a young mantis turned the tables on the predator-prey narrative, and began to enjoy her first meal – of spider. Wow, Nature, way to present a life lesson!

I watch awhile longer. Choices. Verbs. Sunshine. Moments.

I felt huge peering down at the wee creatures in my garden. Some of them stared seemingly fearlessly, curiously, back at me. I felt a tickle on my arm, and notice that one, then several more, have jump from the bush to my arm, and my hand, as I held my camera outstretched for a closer shot. I use the opportunity to give them an easy ride, slowly, around the garden. It delighted me to see each jump off to a new location in a hanging basket, potted salad greens, a bucket full of blooming flowers, or another rose. I remind them to watch out for spiders, before I go back inside.

I woke this morning to rain. It only makes sense to wonder how the little new comers are doing. Coffee first, I decided, and here I am – with a drink bottle (selected specifically for the size of the mouth of the bottle) partially filled with cool-not-icy-cold coffee, listening to the rain and the sound of my fingers on the keyboard. I give some thought to where I might take my walk today; it’s the weekend, and I’ve been enjoying being out on the trail again, rain need not slow me down (it’s not rainy hard, just sort of dripping gently). Muddy or slick trails would be less than ideal… maybe along the waterfront? The well-paved trails are popular, so it’s not likely to have the same “away from it all” feel as I might experience on a wilderness trail, or even a suburban forest trail miles in, further along than an easy walk with a child would take one – still a lovely walk, worth taking. The city is reliably a beautiful and varied view.

Some other rainy morning, along the waterfront, and a view of a city I love.

…I keep coming back to this not-excessively-painful-but-definitely-wholly-uncomfortable-and-quite-inconveniently-tender-complicated-to-care-for wound in my mouth; it distracts me. I also find my thoughts returning to the wee newcomers in my garden. I can’t do much about the extracted tooth; the jaw and gum need time and care to heal. I can, however, satisfying my curiosity about the mantises – verbs are required. A moment of action is all that is necessary…

The smell of freshness, summer rain, and petrichor fill my senses when I step out onto the deck. The sound of rain on the big leaf maples is musical. It isn’t raining hard; just a steady misty drizzle, barely hard enough to be explicitly rain. I check “Baby Love”, the rose on which the mantis young found themselves on their very first day, eagerly seeking signs that “the kids are alright”…

Petals have fallen in the rain, but the wee mantis young take the rainy day in stride.

I spot first one, then another, then several, then, as my eye begins to calibrate to their shape and color, their plentiful numbers are revealed. Most have simply stepped around to a convenient underside of a leaf, or even the narrow protection of a stem. A few just stand out in the rain, damp, seeming unconcerned.

They are everywhere I look. A good metaphor for so many things I sometimes struggle to see that are “right in front of me”. πŸ™‚

A few minutes of writing, some coffee, a rainy morning… I’ve been most particularly tempted by this deliciously rainy summer morning… I think I’ll begin again. πŸ™‚

In the garden, or on the trail, it’s a lovely time to embrace this “now” moment. (Your results may vary; there are verbs involved.)

It was a weekend of long walks in the sunshine, of fresh ripe blackberries, of farmer’s markets, and of grilling. It was a lovely, easy, relaxed summer weekend. Enough. More than enough. I let the recollection put a smile on my face this morning, as I sip my coffee, and prepare for a new day, a new week, and a new beginning. πŸ™‚

All of the richness and warmth of the weekend, though, wouldn’t be “enough”, if I were to refuse to allow it to be; I could so easily choose to demand more from my experience and find myself mired in discontent and dissatisfaction. (I know this for certain, because I was once that person.) This morning the choice is to enjoy each of the small things I do enjoy, and to savor those experiences. I let them fill me up and become substantial in my recollection, and, over time, they become quite prominent in my implicit memory, and useful towards building emotional resilience.

…So practical. πŸ˜€

This week will “feel different” in the office, mostly simply to do with changing the office, itself. We’ve moved the work from one location, to another, although not very far. The two locations have a very different “vibe”, and quite a different arrangement of space. I’m eager to observe how these differences change other behavior than my own. It’s a work thing. lol Still, I’m eager to get going with it, and find myself considering leaving for work early, although few people will be on site, or working, as early as I generally get in. It’s the momentum that I’m after. I feel eager.

…Oh hey, “eagerness” is returning. I smile, feeling welcoming, and positively-inclined toward the experience of feeling eager. πŸ™‚ It’s not much to hold onto, but any little foothold that helps me on my way up and out of last week’s pit of raw grief and existential disappointment is worth enjoying. πŸ™‚ Grieving is such a personal thing. It will be a long while before I’m anything like truly being “over” my mother’s death – but, fortunately for my mental health and quality of life, feels like I am very nearly “over it enough” to see the color and joy begin to return to the day-to-day. πŸ™‚

I take a moment for pictures of flowers from the weekend, before I begin again. πŸ™‚