It’s a bit strange to wake up to +8℃ temperature after all the cool nights and mornings. I’ll take it though. It is the last day in April. I’ve signed up for the May Ultimate Blog Challenge. We (try)write a post a day and share it on the Page. I’m all for connecting and sharing and learning from each other. Lately, I’m finding that we have lost the art and gift of conversation. I am speaking for myself only. I feel that I am in the land of the one hand clapping. Do you know what I mean?
What I mean is that though we are living in this era of social media and technology, I find it harder and harder to be social, communicate and connect. I clap but no one hears. There is no answering echo. Everyone is waiting for everyone else to respond. Maybe it is that I live in my head too much, thinking too much and seeing erroneously. I hope that is the case. I can correct my wandering thoughts and incorrectness. I can send an answering clap.
It is always good to have something to work on. I am not a know-it-all. I am never too old to learn something new. I’m learning that and the true meaning of don’t sweat the small stuff from gardening. This year was the first time I’m germinating seeds between wet paper towel and putting them in the oven with just the light on. This works really well, especially for all kinds of squashes – in 2 to 3 days. Then there were those not so fresh seeds that didn’t work. I give up after a week of damp towelling in a baggy and in the oven. I do take them out of the oven but as usual I leave them laying around. So days, maybe weeks later, when I finally got around to disposing of them, I found that they had germinated!
It was a great learning experience. First, it taught me to be patient. All good things will come in time. Second, it taught me not to sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff. Third, I will start my seedlings by germinating seeds this way from now on. It is not even necessary to put them in the oven. I think it will save me space and time. When things don’t work out one way, it opens up new avenues. Walking away from things that won’t work is not giving up. It’s being wise. It saves time in not trying to put a square peg in a round hole. It will mean less head banging and frustrations and more fulfillment. Learning new ways is not easy or fast. I will dedicate the month of the May Ultimate Blog Challenge to that theme.
What I know for sure is life feel strange and eery these days. Our spring feels cold and wintry one day and hot and summery the next. The nights are still in minus temperatures. We are in the third wave of Covid-19 and variants. The news is not good across our country. In India people are dying in the streets. It’s hard not to feel disheartened, depressed and anxious. I’ve come to accept that I feel things deeply. I’ve become familiar with how my body reacts and have learned how to sit with it all. After all, I’ve been sitting in meditation, listening to the soothing voice of Mark Williams for many years now.
What I know for sure is I can’t do everything. I shouldn’t try but I do sometimes. And I end up being overtired and overwhelmed. Then I get forgetful. I forgot my online class Monday morning. And I forgot to pay a bill. I expect I will be penalized for late payment. What I know for sure is shit happens. I try not to sweat the small stuff. I get up. I move around. I try to do something constructive to break up sweaty thoughts and feelings. These strategies does help to break up bad thoughts and vibes. I try to learn and not repeat my mistakes.
What I know for sure is I’m hard on myself. I’m learning to give myself a break and not overloading what I can handle. It’s okay not to fulfill everything I set out to do at any given time. I have to prioritize and do the important stuff first and not fret over small items. What I know for sure is life is hard. It always has been. We are now on the road less travelled. Are you up for it?
My days seem so busy now with the greenhouse, seedlings and plantings in the raised beds. It’s difficult to make a regular showing here. It’s best if I do make a concerted effort though. Showing up helps me to prioritize and organize to make best use of my time. It also helps my brain function. So here I am, making an effort and doing the best I can.
It was a cold morning with snow flurries. It continues to be cold with lots of wind but at least the sun made a showing in the afternoon. The greenhouse is toasty warm. All the plants are inhaling and exhaling in ecstasy. I will find a space here to pot up the seedlings when it is cold out. I’m tired of hauling my potting supplies back and forth between the basement and the deck. Yup, the weather is crazily erratic. We can have 3 seasons within a couple of days. I am adapting quickly though.
Only a week and a day till April 30th and Tax Return due date. I shall not worry and fret about it. I will pick a good restful day before then and do it. It’s only worth one day’s worry and work. Then it is done. I will pay my due, feel the hurt and get over with a tap – SENT.
It’s another colder morning. It went down to -12℃ overnight. I’m glad we have the electric heater on a thermostat in the greenhouse. It’s set on low to kick in at 2 or 3℃. Otherwise, everything would be toast. I hope my raised beds are ok. At 8:38 am, it is now -3℃ outside. I’m hopeful. They are under layers. I will check maybe at noon. It will be 2℃ then. Well, our last frost date is June 1-10 according to Vesey’s and May 15 according to the Farmer’s Almanac. It also says that -4.4℃ and colder is considered severe frost with heavy damage to most garden plants. I did add an extra fleece cover over the celery, daikon and brokali last night. Fingers and toes crossed. Hope eternal.
I still run away from things. When the tough gets going, I do, too. When it is just too damn hard, I don’t give up. I give in. There’s no use in getting my panties in a knot and my head in a temper. Though I am not hungry, the thought of a nimble or two is quite appealing. I shall not. The guy and I had decided to lose 10 pounds. Despite our ski every day this winter, we find ourselves a little overweight. The bread and the ice cream every night probably had a great deal with it. I was not an ice cream consumer before. My ice cream used to stay in the freezer forever until it got very snowy. Now it feels a bit strange to settle down in front of the TV and no ice cream and no Grey’s Anatomy. Obsessions and addictions must come to an end. The call to change has come.
I’m trying to get into a relaxed steady tap on my keyboard to settle my nerves. It is a meditation of a sort. I sit erect with my head, shoulders, hips and sit in alignment. No clenching of the jaw. I let my fingers and thoughts coordinate themselves. Sometimes I stumble and stutter a little here and there. No stress. Breathe and carry on. It is all alright. The world is still here. No one will notice your hiccough. Even heaven coughs and sneezes. A few minutes of cloud and snow. Now the sun is out. What the heck? The snow flakes are still floating down.
Oh, I feel a little better now. I did make a little dent in sorting and tidying my work spaces. Just talking about it gets my head into a nettle. I will watch a little Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. The show is remarkably entertaining and relaxing. The stories usually have so many characters that I’m kept busy trying to remember who is who. I have no time to be distracted into thinking about all the things that are troubling me. There is always a murder or two but none of the bloody and shooting violence of American shows.
It works most of the time but it’s not fail proof. Sometimes I just have to have faith in myself that this, too, shall pass. I close my eyes and picture myself in the green and humid warmth of the greenhouse. The warmth feels like God’s arms around me, holding me safe. And I surrender.
Another April morning. I’ve come to the keyboard but I am lost for words. The morning feels grey and wintry though the sun is breaking through. I can’t quite believe that the high today will be 18℃. It is 8:44 am. It’s 6℃ outside and 10.3℃ in the greenhouse. The 10.3 sounds high though it is still quite chilly inside. I’ve made a visit there and out to take the covers off the covered raised beds. The lettuce, celery and daikon are all looking fine. They do like the cold so maybe I can stop fussing and covering under the cover. But I see that it is going down to -6℃ Monday night. How can I stop worrying? It is easy to just throw on another cover.
We are living in unpredictable times. Maybe we always have but never knew it. What a waker upper, eh? Now there is no escape. There are plenty of deniers even though the third wave of Covid is hitting hard for many countries in the world and global climate change threatens our survival. I’m not being pessimistic but facing the facts. I like to deny, too, but denying and hiding from things leads to stress and anxiety. I’ve learned the hard way, from experience.
Not running away and facing the enemy is scary, very scary. I suffer from anxiety attacks. I have ran away and hid. That only led to prolonged anxiety, the waiting for the other shoe to drop and my heart in my mouth. It’s been a long journey and I’ve gotten acquainted with my fears and triggers. I am much better now. I’ve learned to stand my ground and face my enemy. Sometimes I have to bite the bullet, feeling the rush of adrenalin through my body. I always come out the other side, safe and whole. This gives me confidence. Each time I gain a little more.
I think I’ve become a better person for all my anxieties. For one thing, I am more empathetic to other sufferers. An ear to listen is a valuable thing. It took me a long time to realize that I don’t have to fix everyone’s problems. I just have to sit and listen without judgement or offerings. Another thing is I’ve gotten to know myself very well. I’m well acquainted with my emotions and my physiological response to different stimuli. I’m learning how to deescalate my emotions so that they don’t cause me harm. I feel things very deeply. I am what you call a HSP, a highly sensitive person(self diagnosis).
It is now 10℃ out. The sun is a little brighter, but the sky looks cold dirty dishwater. It is what it is. I will carry on as best as I can. Meanwhile the bulbs I planted the autumn before last are blooming – more and bigger than last spring.
I’m having trouble finding time to show up here every day. All my growing things seem to be calling me. I was heading downstairs to pot up the petunia seedlings, but the call of the sun and warmth of the sunroom won out. So here I am, sitting and tapping a few words. I’m trying not to let my thoughts wandered and raced, thinking of how much I have to do. I take a deep breath, sip my hot ginger water, relax my shoulders and slow my tap to a steady rhythm. I rest my fingers on the keyboard, feeling the morning sun on my face. R-E-L-A-X.
No need to rush around like mad. Everything will be done in good time. What is not isn’t important. Be in this moment. Savour and enjoy for this moment will not come again. Be thankful for each fleeting second and breath. See the beauty and colours around you. Listen to the silence and the noise. Close your eyes and see yourself letting go of everything for just a minute. Now I’m ready to step back in – and go to work.
It’s another Covid Monday. It was a cool -3℃ grey morning. The greenhouse held up very well overnight. The low was 3.4℃ at 7:03 am. The furnace was not called to action. Though no sun was in the forecast, it showed up just now at 2:45 pm. The greenhouse is now a lovely 20.5℃. It is 1℃ above presently. I think we have weathered all the bumps. We still have a couple of cold nights ahead but we have a little electric furnace and thermostat on standby. It will kick in at 1℃. A little less guess work and worry from here on in. Hallelujah!
Being Monday morning, it was my online class on Mussolini at 9:30. I did not forget today. It’s good that they send a reminder the day before. I had forgotten one time but I did catch the last half. If I am not mindful, all the days start to look and feel the same. Now at least Monday is class day. I should designate different things to each week day. Sunday is our sourdough pancake breakfast morning. It would help to keep my memory sharper.
I’m still on top of my flow. It’s only my 3rd day but I have to give myself a pat on the back for not dropping the ball yet. It helps if I don’t work on any one thing too long. I don’t get over focused and tired. I can easily move onto another thing. I’ve been surprising myself with how much I can accomplished in short spurts. I’m not wasting so much time thinking. I just do. I haven’t finished my quilt block for today yet but it’s more than half done.
It’s Tuesday evening. I did drop the ball after all. I always have things to do so I have to prioritize and choose. I’m back to finish and close up. I’ve been busy transplanting my cabbage and kohlrabi seedlings. They germinate easily and before I know it, they were very leggy. But they’re all tucked away now in their new little paper pots, ready to go out to the greenhouse tomorrow. It’s going to be another frosty night again, down to -6℃. I have more transplanting waiting for me. I better get some R & R now. Tomorrow is another day.
Sunday morning. It’s cool, cloudy and snowing. It’s 1℃ outside and 8.4℃ in the greenhouse at 10:00. No promise of sun but I took some of the covers off the plants and seedlings so they can get some natural day light at least. We’re going to run some electric heat in there today for the next few days of no sunlight. The greenhouse will not have a chance of getting heated enough during the day to sustain the frosty nights. I have too many growing things and work invested in there to lose now.
I’m trying to maintain the flow. I’ve worked hard to start it. Maintenance takes less energy than having to start over. If I can get up, dress up and show up, that’s half the battle. I have to remember I am not my emotions. I have to set my intentions for the day, make a list and do it. I don’t have to like it. I just need to make it a habit. Liking can come later.
It is Sunday afternoon. No sun but the greenhouse did get up to a high of 15.9℃ at 1:30pm. Now at 3:30 it is on the decline. I’ve become a weather/temperature watcher this spring. I’m paying more attention and seeing how erratic our present day climate is. I’m also more aware of my inner climate. It’s helping me understand and manage my anxiety better. I can feel how powerful and negative my inner dialogue can be. I’m trying to change my thoughts to change my life.
Though I have many bad habits, I have established some good routines and habits these last few years. I fall off the wagon occasionally but I do climb back on. I always try and give a damn. It’s hard for me to give up. These are my main powerful medicines. They keep me afloat and flowing.
Today I’m focusing on creating flow, making good use of my time and not getting bogged down with negative feelings. There’s so much to feel bad about the world but feeling sad and helpless is not going to make it better. On the flip side there’s still alot of good in this world of ours. My energy is better served by thinking about how I can make it better. What can I do? How can I contribute? I’m not a big person. I don’t do big but I can still do something, even if it is small. Sometimes my small is someone else’s big. We don’t all see the same. We don’t all measure by the same yardstick.
I thought I knew that before but I didn’t. I had thought that everyone see and think like me. The real realization only came the other day. I’m more than halfway through The100DayProject. My project is sewing a logcabin quilt block a day for 100 days. I post each block on Instagram. I enjoyed the whole process – sewing the strips and posting. It is very relaxing and satisfying but I thought that my followers would find my blocks boring. After all, they’re all the same except that the strips are of different fabrics and colours. To my surprise, I’m getting alot of good responses. What surprises me the most is the ones that I don’t really think I’ve done well gets a lot of likes.
Take these 3 blocks for instance. I did not think the colours were put together well for the first block on the left. But I got 247 likes for it. I was totally amazed. The other 2 on the right got 29 and 24 likes respectively. I thought they were more soothing to the eye. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. But I am straying from my intented post.
I’m feeling a little stuck with this conversation at the moment but my day has flowed somewhat. Success is a little easier than intention and planning. I haven’t quite got my quilt block sewn yet. I’m almost there though. I got my daily walk in the park behind the library and by the Wildwood Golf Course. It was lovely, a little country amid the city. I’ll let the photos tell the story.
It’s good to shake up the day with different activities. It gets my brain out of that sad/mad groove. Being outdoors in nature and with the animals that we share this planet with is much healthier than shopping or stewing about things we can’t change. It soothes my soul and creates flow.
It is April 8, 2021 at 7:48 am. It is 8℃ outside and 11℃ in the greenhouse. The sun is out. I’m expecting that it will be higher than the 13℃ they have predicted. Yesterday was crazy warm – 21℃. It’s like summer in April. The thing is the forecast is for snow come Saturday and there will be minus temperatures of -6℃. There’s just no telling what the weather will do. Isn’t that what life is like, too. We/I just have to take it one day at a time. But I can still prepare for the instability. That means taking notes.
I haven’t been good at taking notes. I’ve been living by gosh, darn and poop. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve had such a difficult journey. I’ve been doing the same things and expecting different results. Now I do know better but doing the familiar things is such a deep seated habit, it is hard to change. I will have to focus, work hard and write down the things and changes I want to do. Just thinking about them does not lead to commitment.
I find it useful to read my own journals. I had a whole pile of them. I’ve gotten rid of many of them because the advice was not to revisit them. I still have a few from different times in my life. I’ve sifted through them the last few days. I see that I’ve had to struggle with my moods all my adult life. Most, if not all of my writings were the same – my feelings and the ways I was coping. I think I am in a better space today. I am not struggling, working on my feelings. I am just working at the things I love to do. It’s good to look back to see where I was so that I don’t keep doing the same things that doesn’t work.