Archives for category: gardening

…List of chores. Yep. It certainly is a huge… list. Fuck. Am I really expecting myself to get all of this done, today? On this knee? With this arthritis pain? 0_o It seems… unreasonable.

…It’s actually not that bad.

I look over my list again. Routine housekeeping, all of it. Regular, commonplace tasks that need to be done with fair frequency. The image doesn’t show that above “Hearth & Home” sits “Self-Care”, and below the list in the image are also “Errands”… I do like an orderly list. lol

I put self-care first on my list these days, because it needs to be; if I don’t take care of myself, who is going to get all this shit done?? I put errands last because it’s pretty easy for a “quick trip to the store” to become a hours long distraction from everything on the list that needs to be done. lol Some things on the list are daily chores, they get checked off each day, and put back on the list the next day (looking your way “do the dishes”!). Other things are weekly, still other things are “occasional”, seasonal, or “as needed”. It’s just a list though; making the list doesn’t imply getting it done. There are definitely verbs involved. πŸ™‚

I consider each task on the list. I move them around so they are more or less in the order I think I’ll want to get them done. I’m playing with my list and drinking my morning coffee, and writing, while also chatting with my Traveling Partner, who is eager to come home. I’m eager for him to come home, too… and I’d love to welcome him home with my list of shit to do fully completed. What a welcoming place to come home to! I smile to myself, recalling what it feels like to come home to order, to a well-cared for living space, and to a calm, peaceful environment. No drama. No work bullshit. No dishes in the sink, or shit in disarray. Just… home. The thought renews my commitment and my motivation to get it all done. Yesterday was mine, for me. Today is for mindful service to hearth and home. πŸ˜€

…It’s already past 8:00 am. I’ve finished this cup of coffee, with one last swallow of now-cold brew (nothing at all like actual “cold brew”, I assure you lol). I’ve got this list, and this day, and it is very much looking like time to begin again. πŸ˜€

After the chores, perhaps a hot mug of cider on the deck, or meditation by the fire? Something to look forward to, but first – verbs.

I didn’t sit down to write until nearly 9:30 am, after a leisurely shower, and close to 12 hours of sleep. Rare for me. (I didn’t sleep continuously through the night; I woke up twice to pee. lol) When I woke, I was unsure of the day, and considered just going back to bed…

…but, there’s an entire day, and a long weekend, ahead of me to enjoy this brief solitary time, a few days with the house to myself, and a lot of quiet (some of it quite lonely). So, I stayed up, showered, put on clean clothes, and finally started hot water for coffee. Oh, hey, I hear the click of the electric kettle just now… be right back!

A ‘coffee flower’ – each as unique as any other flower. I enjoy their brief existence, blossoming as I make my coffee, gone in an instant.

The heat comes on just as I return with my coffee. The 72 degrees that felt so chilly at the end of the evening, last night, feels almost stifling this morning. I turn the temperature down to 60; I won’t yearn for the comfort and warmth of a warmer room until later in the day. Hell… how much of the day will I even spend right here? It’s a chilly autumn morning, fiercely windy, and it might be nice to get a decently long walk in today. The thought puts a smile on my face at the same time that a tear streaks down my cheek. I think of my Granny, and walks we took together on autumn days. South Mountain, Pennsylvania… Cambridge, Maryland… Grants Pass, Oregon… thoughts and places roll past like a slide show. The tears fall softly. Honest tears of sorrow or regret, tears of heartfelt loss, these don’t trouble me at all, they are only more love than my heart can contain – and no one to share it with (right now). I’m okay. She was a splendid strong woman of great character, flawed, human, and of tremendous heart, and I miss her in this autumn moment, considering a walk that, once upon a time, we could have taken together. πŸ™‚

I sip my coffee, comforted by the ordinary routine. I listen to the traffic beyond the studio window. Last night I felt very motivated to paint through the weekend. Just now, though? I am filled with eagerness to tidy up, to create order from chaos, to check off tasks from my list, and to do those things while keeping half an eye on the autumn leaves falling to the deck beyond the glass door, watching for squirrels. It’s that time again; the colder weather, the autumn breezes, I’ll begin putting nuts out for the squirrels and chipmunks, and suet for the birds. πŸ™‚

My thoughts drift to my Traveling Partner and his adventures, and I hope he is doing well. I’m eager to see him when he returns home. I miss him greatly.

I had also definitely missed this solitude, and I had failed hard at the self-care skills needed to ensure I managed to get the quiet time I routinely need, or to seek, or create, the stillness I need to maintain my most chill and contented self. I smile, and forgive myself for my obvious limitations. lol I will continue to practice. Keep working at it. Keep learning and growing. Keep speaking up when the need becomes too great. Keep communicating my needs in an open, honest, and gentle way. All the things. There’s a lot. If I try to write down all the tiny very fine details of “how to” care for oneself very skillfully, from the perspective of what I understand, myself, it would be such a long detailed list that it would almost certainly appear ludicrous to even contemplate! In practice, though, it’s just practice. Do a thing. It worked? Repeat that. It worked again? Pretty reliable. Try it a few times more. Still working? Awesome; now practice until it is quite natural, almost effortless, and it has become part of “who you are”. πŸ™‚ Add another thing. Repeat the process. Simple enough. Stop doing what doesn’t support your emotional well-being and general good health and contentment. (That’s surprisingly a bit harder, and may take more practice.)

I sit sipping my coffee, barefooted, in my studio, with four lovely relaxed days ahead, suitable for my leisure needs. I have not decided what, specifically, to do with them (besides sleeping, showering, and sipping coffee – those I guess I can count on). I listen to the traffic, loud beyond the window. There are dishes to do. Things to put away. A container garden on the deck to “winterize”. There is this heart full of paintings with which to shout what I don’t have the words to whisper. I am hovering in that place of indecision, without urgency. There are no “wrong answers”, only an opportunity to begin again. πŸ™‚

I woke to the sound of rain. It’s the sort of steady rain of well-separated medium-sized raindrops that keeps the pavement looking soaked, and the air smelling fresh, without every becoming a downpour. I made coffee, standing at the kitchen window, staring out past the driveway to the street beyond, not really watching the cars go by, still half-wrapped in sleep, not quite awake, yet. I’d considered sitting down and reading some news articles while I waited for water to boil (I like a “pour over” in the morning)… decided it against it, after glancing at headlines. I am not ready for the cesspool that is “newsworthy” humanity, before my coffee. lol

California was more or less “as advertised”, generally in a pleasant way.

I got home far more easily, with fewer moments of stress, and a much more enjoyable (quiet) flight. I wondered later if time of day was something to have considered when I made the plans (the unpleasant flight to LAX was late afternoon, getting me there by 6:30 pm, the flight home to PDX departed from LAX at close to 8:00 pm, and we did not land until well-past 10:00 pm)? There were no chatterboxes or fussy children on the flight home; it was filled with quieter people, traveling purposefully, and keeping to themselves. I chuckle to myself as I read back these past couple of sentences; how much of my experience was actually just… me? Something to consider, too.

I missed my roses while I was away.

My homecoming was pleasant, relaxed, easy; we missed each other, we welcome each other with open arms, and smiles, with appreciation, and gratitude. Friday was very busy, and I’d forgotten to grab the power cord for my laptop when I returned to the hotel Thursday evening. The low battery, and the need to pack with care before work that morning, resulted in letting go my usual “best time” to write. Yesterday? Yesterday was mine to cherish, a sweet day of leisure and romance with my Traveling Partner, time to catch up, time to enjoy each other, time to spend together. I didn’t write, yesterday, because it is most definitely a solitary activity that takes my presence away from my partner’s experience, and on a day we choose for deliberately enjoying each other, sharing our time, our love, and our presence, that would be sort of rude, wouldn’t it? πŸ™‚

…It feels like life is settling into a useful cadence of work and life and love, as the months together go by. Was it January he moved in with me? Or December, before the Yule holidays? I don’t remember now; it feels as if we’ve never been separated by different addresses, at all. πŸ™‚

I arrived home to a lovely, tidy, welcoming, orderly, aesthetically pleasing home that very much looks like I live here. That makes sense – I do. πŸ˜€ I very much appreciate that I have my partners help with all the housekeeping and household maintenance – it makes for a wonderful shared experience. I notice a few things that are “better than I left it”, and remind myself to level up to better household care, on those tasks, myself. When everyone works, and the work is shared such that each person is valued, the quantity of work is equitable, and the effort is reciprocal, there is no room for resentment, or hurt feelings, over housework. πŸ˜€

Signs of autumn approaching begin to turn up in the garden on the deck…and also, a baby praying mantis or two, that have survived long enough to be easily noticed.

Another lovely day begins right here, listening to the rain fall. I feel like walking, although my arthritis flared up with the coming of the rain. I consider the day ahead… visit a nearby farmer’s market… run an errand or two, perhaps… get ready for the work week ahead… It’s an ordinary enough Sunday, pleasant, and relaxed. These are the qualities I am choosing, and choosing to foster, to build, to nurture, to act upon. Beginning again is a willful thing, a considered, deliberate reset, not merely the tick of a clock from one moment to the next; there are choices to make, and verbs to act upon. πŸ™‚ My results may vary…

…None of that stops me; it’s still time to begin again. πŸ™‚

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™‚