As I sit here with my white legs, white arms, white face, white body, white everything looking like a newly plucked chicken, next to my Hispanic granddaughter with beautiful caramel skin. I love caramel skin and in my next life perhaps I will have that gorgeous, flawless skin, caramel in color. But, today I am reflecting back to the days when we actually tried to achieve, and did, but not without a little (a lot) discomfort and pain. Continue reading →
Iceman Days. Do not plant annuals or vegetable plants until after “Iceman Days”. Iceman Days seem to be different every year, but when I looked it up for this year it says they are May 11, 12, and 13. It has something to do with the moon. (This is taken from the Farmer’s Almanac). If you are really interested in the history of this just go to Google as Google knows everything. Not being a farmer, just an unknowledgeable girl, this saved me quite a bit of money. It really seems true and I follow it religiously. One year I put out impatients the first week of May and it actually snowed on them. So much for pretty plants. They don’t like to be frozen!!!
Don’t plant (most) hostas in the sun. Read the labels and make sure if they will tolerate the sun or not. They will grow, but the leaves have a tendency of burning. Unfortunately, I don’t believe burned leaves is the look you will want to achieve. (Reading the labels for all plants is essential to proper maintenance)
I don’t mulch around annuals as this seems to stunt their growth. Mulching around other items in the garden does provide a clean appearance and helps retain moisture.
Overcrowding is another way to prevent plants from thriving. Allowing space between your plants is beneficial for their growth. This is something I fail at miserably because I prefer immediate gratification and want to see full planters and gardens.
Weeding, of course, is really important. For some of us that don’t mind weeding, if taken an area at a time, it can be rewarding. Lisa and I actually tend to weed anywhere we are; restaurants, stores, other people’s houses, wherever we are standing and notice weeds. It might be considered a mental problem by some!! (Michelle thinks we are nuts)
Fertilizing is a must, even though this is something that I don’t do as often as I should. This is especially important for container planting.
I used to do a lot of planting in little pots. I have now gone to fewer, but much larger planters. The flowers thrive much better. This creates less fussing over.
Don’t overdue. Don’t do it all in one day if you have a lot of gardening. By taking 20 minutes each day to do your garden maintenance you’ll enjoy the process more.
A nice crisp edge to your garden completes a finished look. Even if there are weeds in the middle, a clean edge makes your gardens look cared for both far away and close up.
So often when I look back at days, weeks, months…or years, it feels like I just put my head down and plowed through my life. Accomplishing tasks. Meeting needs. Moving kids from point A to point B. Cooking. Cleaning.
I recently took a yoga teacher training where I learned about svadhyaya. In Sanskrit, it means studying yourself. I love to use journaling to do that. As I look back, I can break my life into several “times”.
Way back, when I was married to my ex, I lived rather thoughtlessly. There were just the two of us, both working, no kids. We watched froreign films with subtitles and used a French press to make our coffee. We explored book stores and listened to jazz music. He played his guitar and I worked in my flower gardens.
Now I have a family…husband. three kids. My time for the past twelve years has revolved around teaching, books, kids, survival.
But I feel like this time is changing, wrapping up, and I am preparing for the next chapter. I’ve been teaching for more than 20 years. Now my kids are older. I’m not moving toward retirement…exactly, but another chapter in my life. One where I’m finding more joy and purpose in writing and creating.
Transitions take energy, focus, and dedication. That’s what I’m doing. But, on a daily level, I too often act like I have all the time in the world to accomplish my dreams. At the end of the day, I realize that there wasn’t enough time to even accomplish the mundane, everyday tasks that were on my plate.
So. Here’s what is helping me…
Being a teacher, I love that my time is organized into blocks everyday and those blocks have a solid beginning and end. Accomplishment is inevitable because all the goals for my class are given a little time EVERY day.
That works in my personal life too. Call it the First Grade system of time management. Everything in a block of time and a block of time for everything.
I’ve been planning the week. Food and shopping. Don’t you find that the energy that shopping and cooking meals consumes a huge amount of energy in the week?
What are my work/life goals?–lay it out. Put it down on paper, sticky notes or journal. Make time for work, sleep, writing, reading, and play.
I schedule walking, yoga, meditation…my “self-care”. It’s not that there is no time for these things, rather, if I don’t value myself enough to honor and protect myself…well…no. one. else. will.
Where does time go?
There are large chunks of time in my day that are spoken for, parts that are committed. Then there are, of course, parts that I get to choose.
When I mindfully and thoughtfully choose, I make a commitment to myself and can create the life I want in the long run. But if I don’t plan for this ahead of time, it disappears…and MY time is a terrible thing to waste.
Everyone has decided to write about gardening. What do I have to write about gardening? I hate gardening!! Mom always tells me that as a kid, I loved to garden. No – I loved to plant a few flowers for her. That is what I liked to do. I don’t like the weeding, the soil preparation, the watering. Ugh. It’s a never-ending job!! Now, granted – I DO love the end result when someone else does it for me. (aka Mom – “Thanks Mom!!”)
I was never much of a gardener. As a kid, I usually got stuck out in Mom’s garden in the prickly raspberries picking berries or weeding between the brick walk in the back yard. To me gardening was hard work and no fun.
When my sister got married and bought her first home, these beautiful gardens starting popping up. How did she do that I wondered?
When I left home I lived in apartments, condos and townhouses so I concentrated on indoor plants. I actually got quite proficient with them.
Sidetracked Sisters are sidetracked. That’s it…kind of…not really. One of our defining characteristics is that focus, and single-minded purpose is NOT our strong suit. We tend to flit, flutter and putter rather than being devoted to a straight path. Some might attribute ADD characteristics to the way we live our lives. Perhaps that earlier word that I used…putter…is what best defines the way I go about my “free” time (ie: time not taken up by work/job/career and family or household responsibilities).
If anyone really knows me they know I love to decorate. I can waste more relaxing time (what’s that!!) planning for re-arranging a room, decorating or redecorating it, whatever the case may be. I love the planning and gathering all the materials before starting the decorating project. I do not like to start anything until I have all the items needed to finish my vision. That way, if there are changes to be made, it is easy to do so. I think you need to start with one items that you just love and decorate around that. One time I decorated a room around one little pink light. (sorry Lisa).