Busy-busy, Real Estate School, and the Winding Down of the Gardens…

Oh my gosh, am I sore!! Two weeks of 6 day weeks with overlapping cleans…I am so grateful for today, my one day off. There are no plans for today set in place, none whatsoever. Sure, there will probably be a whole lot of sloth-hood going on, but what that is going to look like, I have no idea. I’m not saying I’m going to watch Netflix or sleep the whole day away. I’m just going to let it unfold the way it does and see what happens.

I have been toying with the idea of Real Estate school, again. Yeah, I know. There are no guarantees, it’s a risk, but hey! That seems to be my life. Everything is risky and without guarantee, but how does one move forward without diving, head first, into the unknown? If nothing changes, then nothing changes, and I’m a bit sick of feeling stuck in the same path I’ve been in for way too long.

Real estate is something I have always been attracted to. I’ve lost count of the times I have considered real estate school and allowed the opinions of others to influence my decision to not move forward with it. What do I have to lose? Some time, some money? Worst case scenario, I take the time and spend the money and I have more knowledge about real estate and am right where I am right now. In my opinion, nothing is lost and so much could be gained.

So, this is my plan. Once cleans slow down for the year, I am going to go ahead and get the real estate learning going. My thought is that I’m going to have a lot more time on my hands once things slow down, and this will give me the time to get myself back into the learning mode. Once things start to pick up, again, next Spring, I’ll be firmly seated in the discipline of learning and be able to stay on top of my courses while being super busy with work. Since cleans don’t go from being super slow to super busy overnight, I’ll have the ability to slowly integrate learning with cleaning. Yes, I have given this a whole lot of thought and have found absolutely no reason not to move forward. Change is coming.

Speaking of end of season things, my gardens are definitely winding down. The beauty they were is now very subdued. Most of what is out there is just the foliage with a few flowers speckled throughout, almost like fairy lights, which is its own subtle beauty. The sunflowers are done, the bergamot ready to be clipped back, the catnip has bloomed and gone to seed, the hollyhocks have their last blooms on, and the blazing stars have their last fluffs of blooms on the very bottom of the flower stalks. The Dahlias are still blooming but it seems as if the blooms are not quite lasting as long as they were. Yep, fall is definitely getting close. My Lupine, though. Those are blooming quite nicely.

There are still a bunch of things that need to be done in the gardens, but, true to me, I am putting those off as long as possible as I try to hold onto the last vestiges of Summer. I’m really bad about that. A plant can have all the signs of calling it for the season, but there is one little bud on it so I will wait for that last bloom. Sometimes I get it, other times the plant wins out and quits before that bloom can happen. When I win out and get to see that bloom, it always makes me smile, of course. How I hate letting go of garden season.

My tomato plants were doing so great!! Huge plants with big, beautiful, dark  green leaves, and a bunch of green tomato clusters. I noticed, yesterday, while I was watering, that all of the tomatoes had end rot on them. Talk about disappointing! I plucked them all, though I am having a hard time ending the plant. I know it is done for the season, but…I guess I’m just not ready, yet. I have to warm up to these things. Its like saying good-bye to a really great friend, almost. Over attachment issues? Maybe. So what? There are worse things to be over-attached to, that’s for sure.

Well, I think I am going to go read for a bit (one of the only creative outlets I’ve been able to filter in to my busy, financially focused brain these days). Life is good. Have a great day, Everyone!!!

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Financial or Creative Brain, The Gardens…

I still haven’t been writing as much. I’ve been super busy with work, and I’d love to blame it on that, but I don’t really believe that is the real story. I think it has more to do with finances.

You see, this is the time of year that I get things done, financially. It’s when I have the most money coming in, so it makes sense. Unfortunately, it appears that if I am in a financial state of mind, that whole super responsible state of being, I seem to lose touch with my creative side. I guess I just haven’t figured out how to have both in my life at the same time, yet. This makes me even more grateful for my garden.

I’ve come to realize that having something creative in my life is sort of like taking vitamins every day. I don’t have to take vitamins every day but, when I do, I feel better, have more energy, am a bit more focused. When there is nothing creative in my world, it just makes it that much harder to trudge through the sludge of every day living. Again, this is where my garden comes in beautifully (pun intended) at this time of year.

I haven’t been quite as active in my gardens, this year. I water them every morning, occasionally do a little bit of weeding (not as much as I should), dead head spent blooms, remove things at the end of their cycle, but…well, I feel like I have been way more active than this in the past. I’m more in the ‘just enjoying it’ mode, which I think is ok. It brings me smiles and, since I walk my gardens every evening, I find that much-needed time away from the have to’s. I know this is not really actively creative, but, for now, it’s just going to have to be close enough.

I’ve been working on rebuilding my credit over the past year. It’s a slow, mentally arduous process, but I’ve been making headway, which is the real pay off. I have to admit I’ve become a little bit obsessed with the whole process, too. I have two credit tracking apps on my phone, that I check daily.

I’ve started picking at the lower amounts on my credit report and paying them off. Since these are at the smaller end of things, there isn’t a whole lot of visual confirmation when I look at the total dollar amount on my  credit report. The visual payoff? Seeing my score going up – over 100 points in the past year. YAY!!

I went and looked at a car at a dealership yesterday. I wanted to see if financing a car is a possibility. I found out it is, though the payments that would be set at this point are more than I’m comfortable adding to the budget, at this point, especially with the slower season of work for me just around the corner. Maybe I’ll check back into this next spring or summer. It sure would be nice to be driving a car, again, that doesn’t cause me angst every time I get in it. I’ll get there.

wp-1471442917408.jpgThe gardens seem to winding down. The radiant beauty they were a couple of weeks ago is gone, though I’m still enjoying the blooms that are left and happening. I even had a gift this morning while watering: a sunflower, incredibly stunted in its growth, that’s had a bud on it for quite some time, finally bloomed. As you can see, it is quite small, only about a foot to a foot and a half tall. Those are Gladioli looking like giants right next to it.

My pumpkins have been turning orange and are now more orange than green. They are very big and I even have one that isn’t even as big as a baseball…lol. Its cute. There are two pumpkins that are white, and I haven’t expected them to last, but they are almost as big as the orange ones, so I’m thinking they will be part of my pumpkin harvest. Yay!

My Mammoth sunflowers are ready to be cut down. I would normally hang the flower heads on the fence so the birds could come get all the seeds, but there is no need this year. The little winged beauties have already eaten all the seeds. I have wanted to catch them doing this, just to watch, perhaps get a photo or two, but they are sneaky about it. Well, plus I haven’t really been home much to catch them in action. Oh well. Maybe next year.

Well, I have a clean today. I had better get myself together and get going. Have a great day, Everyone!!

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One Year Later…

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So, its been one year since I sent my beautiful Tru-dog over the rainbow bridge, and I have to admit that I miss him so much more than I thought I would a year later. There are days when I just want to throw a big temper tantrum, screaming “I want my dog back!” That dog really was my rock and I’m still a bit lost without him. I really did not expect it to hurt so much a year later, but it does. I am crying as I write this.

Now, I know many would think that, since I have three other dogs still around me, that the pain of Truman’s absence would be lessened a bit, but it’s not. I love my three dogs, but I do not seem to have the same connection with any of them, despite Enzo making it quite clear that he has decided he is my dog. Tru was a special dog, we had a special bond. There was never a moment of indecision with Truman. He was my dog, period.

I’ve caught myself looking at German Shepherd puppies a few times over the past year. One ad on Craigslist for a female German Shepherd, 6 months old, even popped up when I was looking for a car when I had to return the Prius. Part of me wanted to look at a puppy showing up in a car search as a sign, but I know better. I’ll admit that there were a few minutes of my mind trying to justify spending $600 on that puppy instead of putting that money toward the much-needed vehicle. I have three dogs. My living situation is less than optimal. I do not need to bring home another dog, and I most certainly do not need to be putting $600 toward a fourth dog, no matter how much my heart hurts.

I have spent time working on my connection with Enzo. I’m not saying we don’t have one, it’s just not what Tru and I had. I’m not sure Enzo and I will ever have that type of bond, but he is a goofy dog, pushes everyone out of his way to love on me, sleeps next to me most nights. I guess Truman spoiled me.

I want nothing more than to curl up with my three puppies today, to just be near them, but I have to work today. I could push my schedule back a little but, well, I think it is probably better if I just keep moving forward. Maybe I will light a candle in Tru-dog’s memory tonight.

I really want to have a fire but I haven’t finished sanding and re-spraying my fire pit, yet. I guess I really need to get on that. Fall is coming and I’ll want to be able to burn a few fires then, for sure.

Today, I will hold my memories of my Tru-dog close to me, and trudge through my day. Thank you, again, Tru, for being the best dog in the whole world. I love you and miss you every single day.

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Super Busy, The Gardens, and Writing…

The past couple of weeks have been so busy!! Busy means money, which is good, of course, but my hands, arms, legs, feet, and ankles are ready to talk with their union rep (if they had one) about the grueling work conditions. The last two days have been back to the normal pace, but I’m not quite there, yet. My whole body just says “NO.” Thankfully, I have the weekend off to participate in some much-needed self-care.

We picked up another car for Lance this past weekend. His Subaru Legacy wagon gave up a couple of weeks ago and I had been driving him, and two of his co-workers, to work and picking them up every day since. I don’t really mind doing so, it just eats into time a lot, time I would have used for some daily self-care. Thankfully, that’s done for now. We found Lance a 98 Saturn SL1 for super cheap and it seems to be doing ok. As with any car we buy, fingers are crossed. Man, I miss the Prius sometimes.

The squirrel is eating my sunflower heads. I busted the little brat this morning when I saw one of my Autumn Beauties dancing away when I walked out. Since there are other sunflowers right next to this one and it was the only one doing a jig, I knew it was the squirrel. I walked straight out there and had a talking with her (I think the squirrel is a girl). Ok. It was more along the lines of an argument. I exclaimed that I thought we had come to an agreement, and she yelled something back at me. I told her she really needed to knock it off, and she yelled something back at me that I have the feeling was along the lines of “make me.” Yeah, she is a feisty one and very verbal. Here is one of the Mammoth Sunflowers she has been snacking on:

wp-1470233676987.jpg It wouldn’t be so terrible if this was the extent of her damages. Unfortunately, the sunflowers tend to look more like this, or worse, when she is done with them:

wp-1470233889687.jpg  Oh well. You can’t win them all and my gardens are still gorgeous, so I guess I can’t be too upset.

I came home from work the other day and found the bonus color of Gladiolus, the salmony colored one, bent over. I think the blooms got too heavy for it and, well, it bent their stems. Very disappointing, but I cut them and put them in a ‘vase’ (Big Gulp cup) with the red carnations that my son’s girlfriend bought me. I wasn’t sure the two would look all that great together, but I was so wrong. I think they look beautiful. One of the Dahlia branches was bent over yesterday, so I added it to the mix:

wp-1470234518075.jpg I’m definitely going to find some Gladiolus bulbs in this color for next year. It’s such a pretty color.

I can tell I haven’t been writing very much, lately. The flow just isn’t happening. I’m back to having to think about what to write, stuttering along, instead of just sitting down and writing. Now that I’m no longer having to take Lance to work and pick him up, I really need to get myself back in the habit of writing everyday, re-discipline my mind. I’m distracted by everything…’was that a dragonfly,’ ‘ why is that car going by making that noise,’ and it goes on. I’m thinking that writing needs to be a part of my self-care plan for this weekend.

Well, its Friday and I have buildings to clean. I really don’t feel like doing them, but, again, its money so…  I’d better go get myself ready for work and get going. The sooner I get the buildings done, the sooner I can get my weekend started. Have a great day, Everyone!!

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Stepping Out of the Chaos and Into My Gardens….

This whole life review process I’ve been going through has gotten a bit intense. I think it’s a good thing, probably, but that doesn’t always mean that it is a fun thing. I guess I’m going through the whole mid-life “spiritual awakening” Brene Brown speaks of. Or, at least, I think that is what this is.

I’m finding that I am less emotionally involved with the thoughts/words of others, though their actions seem to be something that is even more annoying, sometimes. I mean, words are words…whatever…but actions, well, I think they say a whole lot about the core of the person and I am feeling a whole lot less tolerant of people’s actions than I feel I have been before, especially when I see the damaging effects they have on those around them. Good thing or bad, I’m not sure. I know I have been speaking up for myself more than I ever had, and that’s a good thing.

I’ve noticed, also, that I have become a lot less tolerant of generalizations. Just because it applies to one, does not mean it applies to another, even if the situations are extremely similar. It seems as if generalizations seem to be ruling a whole lot of the conversations about so many different current events. Oh, how the desire for that cabin in the woods away from the middle of it all has grown.

I’ve started basically ignoring anything I see that has anything to do with the presidential candidates, anything with references to this ethnicity or religious belief or that one. It all just seems like such antiquated debates about things that should have been dealt with so many years ago. Sure, the presidential canidates are the newest ones, and definitely something to be in the know about, but the arguments I see, the debates between opposing opinions, just seems so…well, juvenile, somewhere along the lines of “I know you are but what am I?”

Anyway, that’s the discontent of the day. I can’t wait until the elections are done and the whole world becomes skin color blind. Just saying.

I went to my friend’s birthday dinner last night. She has eggs hatching, again, so I stopped by her house afterward to see all the babies. Want to see something incredibly cute??

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That’s a baby quail I’m holding. It’s only a couple of days old, and so incredibly tiny it almost doesn’t seem real. You can’t really feel is in your hands, other than its little toe talons. And this little one has some spunk!! Jumped out of my hands the first time I was holding it. Thankfully, it landed alright on some of the bedding, though in the wrong bin. I reached in a grabbed it out, rather successfully. I have never been great about grabbing the babies. I’m always afraid I’m going to hurt them.

The gardens seem to just get more and more beautiful every day. I love walking out in the morning, coming around the garden shed to the radiant beauty of the garden by the hanger…breath taking. The Lily Trees have started blooming, which is so wonderful, though they aren’t the 4 feet tall I had complete faith they would become, so they are planted in the wrong place for optimal viewing. That’s ok, though. I can still see them, and have captured a few photos of them. Here’s one:

wp-1469381079522.jpgAs you can see in the photo, the catnip is blooming, as well.

This morning presented me with a gorgeous garden bonus!

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I didn’t plant any Gladiolus (Gladioli?) that were this color. It’s so beautiful and stands out from the crowd. I love it.

I officially have two pumpkins growing. I have started taking it upon myself to be the pumpkin plants’ cupid, pollinating the female flowers by hand. This can be difficult sometimes, since it seems that the male and female flowers are a little out of sync with each other. Females only bloom for a day, with the males usually blooming a day or two before them. This is how pumpkins work, so I’ve read. With mine, the males bloom all over the place, but, when I have a female bloom, its seems to be just after the males are done. I’ve been lucky enough to usually find one male with mature pollen to use to fertilize a new female. Fingers are crossed.

Well, its laundry day. I’m so not looking forward to it today, more than usual. I want nothing more than to hang out at home with my husband and our dogs, maybe nap a bit together, watch some Shannara Chronicles on Netflix, escape from adulting for the day. Oh well…onward I go. Have a great day, everyone!!

 

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ALL Lives Matter…

I’m so upset right now. I lost a friend today over a post I shared on Facebook. The post showed two dark-skinned men wearing black t-shirts with white lettering that say “White Lives Matter Too.” I admire the two men for wearing these shirts when it will most likely get them into some heated waters with others, so I shared the post.

Let me state right now that I am not a racist. I am a personist. I could care less about the shade of your skin. If you are good to me, I see the good you do in the world, for yourself and for others, and you don’t grab on to this issue or that to define the core of you in any way, then we are probably going to be great friends for many years to come. On the other hand, if you are egotistical, self-centered, judgemental, gender biased, bring in hate instead the ‘love’ you proclaim you are trying to bring into the world, then I really don’t have the desire to include you in my life.

The fact that I am no longer friends with this person that I held closely as a friend, someone I hand-picked to be in my wedding party, truly, deeply hurts me. I’m sorry, but I just don’t have room in my life anymore for anyone that is willing to tell me “Fuck you” based on my view-point being different from theirs. That’s not a friend, in my opinion. “I disagree,” “I’m feeling judged by what you are saying,” I completely disagree with your standpoint,” “I think it’s better if we don’t talk about this subject because we obviously view it differently” are all things I could imagine hearing from a friend in a similar situation. And you know what sucks the most??? The fact that I don’t necessarily disagree with what he is saying but the extremes to which he is unable to hear anything except what he is decided the only, right way.

The whole thing got started today over a reply I had given him on his comment to my post. Part of it was along the lines of “Hey! You seem really argumentative lately. What’s going on?” He hopped on his soap box, bashing white privilege, not changing the focus back to the sniveling white privileged by supporting such a post, etc. The back and forth went from there, his side ending with a “Fuck You Very Much” to me. I responded with letting him know that I thought we had a friendship based on acceptance, not judgement, and a good-bye. I doubt he saw it, though, as I believe he had unfriended me before my reply. Oh well. I guess that reply was more for me than him, anyway. Processing that I did not want to maintain a friendship with someone who can only see his view and will be brutal with you if you don’t agree with him.

So, that brings me to this whole Black Lives Matter thing going on.

It pains me to see that there is STILL a major level of inequality in regard to skin color in this world. It’s absolutely ridiculous to me. How skin color still matters in society or the judicial system, anywhere at all, eludes me. I know that hate is a taught thing and I am appalled to know that there are still parents out there teaching to hate other people based on things such as skin color, intelligence, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, who you vote for. Its disgraceful, in my opinion, that these things are still a source of separation, judgement, violence. What is even more appalling is that some of the people who still believe that skin color, gender, sexual orientation, etc should factor in make it into positions of power over other people’s lives, such as law enforcement and the judicial system. How does that happen?!?!

Then there are the stereotypes. One must truly look at the definition of a particular stereotype, what it is truly based on, and realize that it is not something that can be randomly or broadly applied just for the sake of it. Definitely put the thought of the idea in your mind, if needed, but only to be used as another important piece of information to the whole, and not the whole itself. Another thing that should be considered is whether or not the stereotype you are looking at is even a valid one, anymore. Do the statistics hold up and support it? If not, it is time to throw that one away.

You also have to consider that some stereotypes set the bar, in a way. Sort of like, if you tell a child all its life that it will never amount to anything, the chances are they will never strive to be more. It’s really unfortunate, but studies show it to be true. The only way that doesn’t happen is if that child grows up and rebels against what they have always been told and makes a life for themselves that they are proud of, that anyone could be proud of.

In the end, I think we, as an entire species, need to take some lessons from our youngest members. Very young children do not go into a playing situation automatically excluding others based on skin color, what their parents do for work, where they live. Very young children see other young children as friends, often before they even know them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Gardens and the State of the World….

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What a busy week it has been! It’s a good thing because that means a better paycheck, but I am super tired and my hands hurt a bit. A couple of the cleans I did this last week were really bad ones. It can be a little challenging to do a clean out on a unit that was an eviction and see that it was someone who had obviously taken a wrong turn, apparently got stuck on that path, and they had a very small child. Kids always get it the worst in those situations. Its heartbreaking.

This upcoming week looks like it is going to be pretty light, but that could always change. I’m sort of hoping it doesn’t, but, then again, there is a part of me, the financial part of me, that is really hoping that Cayle sends me a week’s work of worth later on today or tomorrow. Yep, I’m definitely money motivated.

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My gardens are getting to be so darn pretty!! About the only things that I am still waiting to see bloom are my Lily Trees. The buds on one of the trees are getting pretty large and starting to turn a deep pink-ish purple, which means they will bloom soon. I can hardly wait to see them. The Lily Trees aren’t as big as was noted on their packaging, but I think that will be ok, other than they are back behind everything else. But we all know me…I will find a way to get some great photos of the lilies once they bloom.

I really over planted the area where the Lily Trees are planted. I left no room for me to get in and do some weeding. I’m having to try to contort my arm, try to make it bend in ways it is not designed to bend, in order to get to some of the weeds I can see. There really aren’t that many weeds in there but…well, I don’t really want to give them a chance to multiply. Oh well. I’ll figure it out and I’m sure it will be fine regardless of whether or not I am capable of getting to all of the weeds.

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The pumpkins have really been blooming a lot over the past week. I have a few pumpkins that look like they have been fertilized. I’ve done some fertilizing of my own, though the male and female flowers don’t seem to be blooming at the same time often enough for me to be able to step in and play garden cupid. Oh well. I guess I’ll see what happens as time goes on. It is only the middle of July, after all.

On a completely different topic, I seem to be going through life review, again. This time seems a bit more intense, though. Maybe not intense. Thorough? It’s not all bad. There are some great memories that come up, but, of course, this is mixed in with a lot of things that I am less than proud of and would rather not have them as concrete memories. One of the upsides is that most of the less than awesome memories that come up for review don’t come with the intense feelings of regret or self-loathing. It tends to be a more passive viewing, sort of like watching a movie on Netflix…lol. I don’t know how else to explain it.

I also seem to be really ‘looking’ at the things going on in the world today – how people act toward each other, some of the political stances that come up, the abuse of power by those that are supposed to protect, and the over zealous ways people are ‘protecting their rights’ through abusive stances toward law enforcement, military, etc. This world we are living in today seems to be regressing back to knuckle dragging neanderthals, in my opinion.

This is not to say that I don’t think that everyone has the right to protect themselves. Please do. I have a very dear friend that suffered immensely due to the abuse of power of one police officer. She is still dealing with the trauma of the officer’s abuse and its been a couple of years. I know I will never get the pictures of her battered body out of my head. Such a betrayal from one we are taught to put our trust in, someone we are told to trust our very life with.

Some of the videos I’ve seen lately of police power abuse, police brutality, have left me sitting with my jaw hanging. Some of the abusive stances by civilians I’ve also seen in these videos cause my face to screw up in confusion and the bad taste it leaves in my mouth. When did we start fighting each other? Ok. I know it’s not new, it just seems like it has reached a whole new level bordering on chaos. Maybe I’m being over sensitive.

That said, I have to ask if I’m the only one that is super upset with the presidential options we have this time around? I have to admit the options, Hilary or Trump, don’t instill a whole lot of comfort. I’d rather not vote for either one, though I think Hilary might be the lesser of two evils. Would be interested in hearing what you all think.

Well, its my one day off this week so I am going to go. Have a great day Everyone!!!

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Self Sabotage, The Gardens….

I feel like I have been avoiding my laptop, writing, for a while now. Its not a conscious thought, as in “I’m just not going to write at all today,” but that doesn’t change the outcome. I haven’t been writing much, whether it be posts for this blog or my own personal writing, for months now. Of course, realizing this makes me start looking around at the other important things in my life and I’ve recognized what is going on: I have been in self sabotage mode. UGH!

Of course, once this has become obvious to me, its super hard to not see it, anymore, and all of the places it is cropping up – half-assed gardening, soul-less writing, that extra purchase here, another one there, not paying attention to which bill comes up next (though I haven’t gotten behind on them. well, ok. I’m behind one of them), grocery shopping like a single person (aka: no real food in the fridge). The list goes on and I recognize more things I’ve been neglecting as I make the list. Time to pull my head out of my butt.

I’ve been spending too much time playing games on my phone, obsessively. I’m spending way too much time with my phone in my hand all together. I absolutely love that I talk with my best friend and my daughter pretty much every day, but I need to start limiting myself, at least for now. I don’t think I’m present in my life, whatever I’m doing, if I have the phone to my  head. It hasn’t shown up as a problem, that I can see so far, but it will.

I guess that is the real issue: I’m not really being present in my life. I keep telling myself I am, but the evidence is everywhere that I have not been for a bit. That has to stop before it gets out of control and all of the hard work I’ve done to get things on the path to better will be undone, and that would just be heartbreaking.

I’m wanting to not have to adult. I want to wander around with my camera, diddle around in the garden, write a lot, read a bunch, mess around with the dogs, but all I find myself ending up doing when I have the time to do those things is napping, playing games on my phone, Netflixing like a pro. Burned out? Maybe. Probably a bit. Not an excuse to let everything fall apart, though. Time to get back up and deal with the life I’m working on creating.

Despite this complete inattention to things, my garden is getting really pretty. The area where I planted the Dahlias, Echinacea, Blazing Stars, etc is blooming all over the place. I had no idea the Blazing Stars would get as tall as they are this year, so they are kind of hiding a whole lot of the beauty behind their foliage. Its ok, though. I can see it. It makes it hard to take photos of it though, unless I’m up close. Anyway, here are some photos of how things are looking out there:

Dahlias, Blazing Stars, Echinacea, oh my

Dahlias, Blazing Stars, Echinacea, oh my

My beautiful echinacea

My beautiful Echinacea

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think in another week or so, things might balance out a bit, visually, but we shall see. I’m not unhappy with it though. It is still so incredibly beautiful to walk out to.

Things in the Stump Garden are an emotional roller coaster: things start to look good and then something comes along and eats them or things go from headed toward gorgeous and things just go wrong in a way that I haven’t been able to figure out, yet. Again, I’m not completely upset with things. It is what it is and things ARE growing in the Stump Garden, which, of course, makes me happy.

I let one of the radishes flower. I had no idea what a radish flower looked like. Sure, I could have just looked it up on the internet, but letting it do its thing in my garden, without pre-knowledge of what to expect, is so much more fun. I was thinking I was going to need to keep a close eye on the radish flowers if I was going to get any seeds for next year out of it, but I discovered the day before yesterday that that is not the case. See for yourself:

Radish seed pod

Radish seed pod

Now, I’m not sure, but I believe the seeds to grow more radishes are in these pea looking pods. I could be wrong. I need to look it up. I really don’t know that much at all about radishes. I know the seeds I planted were nowhere near as large as it looks like these ones are going to be, but…I guess I’ll find out exactly what’s going on with these. Whatever the case, I’m having fun learning new things about what’s growing in my garden.

Here is a photo of what the radish blooms look like:

radish bloom

radish bloom

Such cute, delicate little flowers. I like them. The one plant by itself does not present a mesmerizing show, but I think if I had let a bunch of them bloom…well, it may have been different. Maybe next year.

None of the pumpkin fruits have made it, yet. I’m holding out hope, though. They bloom, have a bulbous formation below the blooms, bloom ends, green bulb stays for about a week, then starts to yellow, then rot. I think that means the flower wasn’t fertilized? Another thing I’ll have to look up.

Well, I have some home chores I really want to tackle today. It’s Lance’s birthday today, but he is out disc golfing, so I have time to do some of the things I’d like to get done, today, before he makes it home. I bought him a brand new grill for his birthday, which he has been wanting for a few years now. It’s a CharBroil 4-burner with a side burner. He loves it. (tried to add a photo of it but can’t seem to get it to show up. sorry about that. here is a link to a photo of one on the CharBroil site.

Have a great day, Everyone!!!

 

 

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The World Inside my Gardens…

It feels like it has been way longer than a week since I wrote my last post. Its been a really long, super busy week. Thankfully, I am taking the day to relax and get laundry done…a chance to recuperate a bit before running at the week, again.

The gardens are really getting going this week. There are Dahlias blooming, Echinacea blooms popping all over each of my Echinacea plants, the Blazing Stars are beginning to bloom…its just beautiful and really exciting. My garden has even provided me with a bonus surprise…my Lupine is going to bloom!!!!

My Lupine preparing blooms, this first year!!

My Lupine preparing blooms, this first year!!

I’ve always been told that Lupine doesn’t bloom its first year. After doing some research when I saw that my Lupine is going to bloom, I found out that it does, indeed, bloom its first year, though may not the next, or could bloom each year, but only last about 3 years. Other people have reported having Lupine that is 5 years old. I guess I will just have to see what mine do.

Since I wasn’t expecting the Lupine to bloom this year at all, it is a super awesome surprise. I can hardly wait to see what color they are as I can’t remember what I chose for seeds. Lupine is something that usually blooms around May, but since I planted my seeds this year, in the Spring, I will get to enjoy these beauties during the summer, while the Hollyhock they are planted in front of are still blooming. Should be quite stunning, I think.

Something is decimating my sunflower heads!! I’m not sure if it is the crows or possibly a

Shredded Autumn Beauty head

Shredded Autumn Beauty head

squirrel, but I’m really not happy about it, as one would imagine. The biggest and most beautiful of my sunflower blooms this year have been the Autumn Beauties, and, of course, these are the ones that are being attacked. Whatever it is that is getting them is going after the seeds that are not quite developed, yet. So far, only the sunflowers in the Stump Garden are being attacked.

I’m not really sure what to do to protect my sunflowers from being beheaded by whatever is getting them. Since I’m home today, I will keep an eye out to see if I can see who is doing it since that may provide me with ideas on how to take care of the situation. I’ll also do some research to see what I can find.

I’ve had a few spiders take up residence in my sunflowers over the last few months. One of them actually started out on my Yarrow – a white Goldenrod Crab Spider –  but migrated to the closest sunflower. The other spiders that I have seen the most have also been Goldenrod Crab Spiders in various sizes. They have definitely provided some really neat sites to be seen:

Goldenrod Crab Spider with a bee it captured

Goldenrod Crab Spider with a bee it captured

Not sure about the spider type, but it got one of the earwigs I've seen around the gardens

Not sure about the spider type, but it got one of the earwigs I’ve seen around the gardens

I don’t really like spiders, have an irrational fear of them, but I have to admit watching the spiders in my gardens has really been fun.

Goldenrod Crab spiders are considered a wandering spider, which means they don’t create webs but sit in wait on the flowers for something delicious to land, grabbing hold of its victim with its front legs and quickly delivering a paralyzing bite. Fairly efficient, in my opinion. I have to admit I’m not happy about the fact that it will catch bees, but the fact that it is also getting undesirable bugs makes the spider intriguing at least. One of the super neat things about this spider is the fact that it can alter its color, between white and yellow-ish, to better match the flower it is on. Super cool.

I had a problem with the Taurus this week. It threw up all of its fluid one day, and I had no idea why. I pretty much was thinking that this could be the end of the Taurus, which was a possibility. It appears that the dipstick tube wasn’t seated correctly, vibrated out of its spot, allowing the transmission fluid to leak out. Once the transmission was super hot from driving all over taking care of this and that, pretty much all of the fluid just poured out of that opening. Of course, I had no idea at the time that this was what was happening, so tried adding more transmission fluid, which most of it didn’t make it into the transmission but on to the ground.

There seemed to be a bit a cooling issue, as well. Not the engine overheating, but the transmission. I topped off the coolant in the car and that seems to have helped that, as well. The coolant hadn’t looked that low. The overflow reservoir was almost empty, but…well, that didn’t seem like a huge issue. I ended up having to add nearly an entire container of antifreeze to the car to get it to the right level. Apparently, it was much lower than I knew. Thankfully, the Taurus has taken a trip to Seattle and back, plus some other driving, and the problem has not repeated itself. Whew!

Well, I had better get going or laundry is never going to happen. I will end up just laying on the bed with my dogs, watching some Netflix, and napping a bit. I’m exhausted from my week and staying home just sounds like heaven right now, but I know when I go to grab clothes for work tomorrow and come up empty, it will not be a great thing, so off to the laundromat I go. Have a great day, Everyone!!

 

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Beautiful Dahlia Blooming and Speak Up Already…

My very first Dahlia bloom is happening!! I’m so excited, but, then again, I’m always super excited whenever anything I am growing for the first time starts its show. I can hardly wait to see them all in bloom. Its going to be so beautiful!!

I’m so grateful for the beauty my gardens bring me, especially when my heart is so heavy I am finding it hard to find the beauty in most things. The beauty in my gardens is a undisputable fact…you can argue it if you want, and if flowers and things like that aren’t your thing, then I suppose you would completely disagree with me. That’s ok. I can see the beauty there that goes unnoticed by you.

Ok. That sounds really argumentative to me. I don’t mean it that way. As I said, my heart is heavy and I’m having to force myself past the beauty-muting blinders so I am not just stuck in the muck, stuck with the view of all that is less than beautiful, unable to see a reason to smile. It’s where I’m at and I’m doing my best to make it through it.

It is times like this that I begin to wonder what the world has to offer me outside of my own little, created world. Is there anything out there worth leaving the comfort and protection of my gypsy camp for? Or will venturing out into the world, into society, just bring me more heartache, more reasons to limit even further the amount of interaction with the outside world, more reasons to love my dogs more than the human population?

Human interaction is a need, I’ve read somewhere. I don’t always agree with that. In fact, the more time I spend on this Earth, the more I think human interaction is highly over rated. It involves too much opportunity for heart crunching experiences…the stray dog that someone discarded for whatever reason, the judgements of others usually based on very little data, kids being expected to act like little adults, and epic communication failures, just to name a few. More times than not, I leave home and return wishing I could just delete all that my mind, heart, and soul has experienced during that day, to wash the ick off.

One thing that is really bothering me a lot, lately – something that has always bothered me, left me confused and usually hurt – is the epic communication failures. I think I have two modes: over communication and no communication what-so-ever. I believe that if someone does something you like, love, or something that you don’t like, that hurts you, upsets you, you should tell them. Not brutally bash them over the head with it, but speak up. For instance, “I really love it when you do that,” or “Thank you.” Simple. Then there is the other stuff, the ones that aren’t so great: “I’m really upset by…,” “You know, when you did/said, didn’t do/didn’t say ____, it really hurt my feelings/made me mad/made me wonder if I had you all wrong (or whatever).” Maybe its just the people I know or deal with in my own little world of life, but it seems to be a growing trend that people just don’t talk about it anymore. They would rather be hurt, upset, angry, sad, lost, confused, whatever than confront the other person. Why is that?

I know there are times when I keep my mouth shut in those situations, mostly because saying anything would have been pointless or created more drama, or because sometimes its easier to just keep the peace. Sometimes I have to wait before opening my mouth to make sure that what comes out of it is what I really want to say, or I’m still figuring out what it is I’m feeling, but it comes out eventually. I just can’t let riffs in a relationship – friendship, intimate, or otherwise – just lie there in wait, festering until it becomes something different from what it was: resentment and discontentment. If you’re my friend, we should be able to talk to each other about these things instead of just ignoring each other. If we can’t, I’m not sure how good of friends we truly are.

I haven’t always been this way. I used to be too afraid to speak my mind because it meant I might lose what I felt was a much needed friend. I’ve come to realize that if telling someone about what I’m feeling is going to lose me a friend, then they probably weren’t my friend in the first place. This doesn’t make it hurt any less, but, sometimes, this knowledge helps me not make it personal in my head.

There have been times in my marriage when I have kept my mouth shut. Not because I felt that my husband would leave me or anything like that, but because opening my mouth would not have made things better. Everything ends up being talked about with time, and we either work it out, make as much progress as we can, if we can, and move forward from there. Sure, some things are difficult and we don’t always reach a point of agreement, unless you want to say that agreeing to disagree is truly an agreement worth making with intense situations, but neither of us is left in the dark about where the other person is standing. And maybe that is the most important part of it, for me.

I have this really great, sometimes super horrible, imagination. Pair that with the fact that I have damages (heck, who doesn’t), and leaving things in my imagination is one of the worst things you can do. I can twist the most innocent of things into a Armageddon-type monster if I don’t have all of the pieces of the puzzle. My kids have been told their entire lives that I would rather know what they are up to than have my imagination make it up, and, for the most part, they have honored that,  mostly because I think their imaginations are similar to mine.

Ok. I think I’ve killed this topic in an attempt to explain what it is going on in my head and heart. Yeah, I’m complaining, somewhat, but I’m also getting it out of my head, exposing it to light, so it possibly might lose its ability to grow into that Armageddon-sized monster I mentioned.

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