Thursday, June 30, 2011

out of commission...

I am blessed in this life, but some days a little rain must fall.
A good friend accidentally slammed my fingers in a heavy door.
My three main fingers on my right hand.
The ones I use the most.
I have a chipped bone in my pointer finger just under the nail bed.
It hurts. A lot.
But the worst part is that I can't hold my tools to make any jewelry until it heals..
who knows when that will be.
It's also my camera holding hand, and my snap-a-picture finger.

But in the mean time, I will figure out what I can do,
and not meditate on what I can't.

Before my hand was so suddenly a victim, I took a great ride through 
our State Park, Minnewaska, with some of my friends and was reminded
of why I love the Hudson Valley so much.

The White Birch is my favorite tree. And they are all over this area which makes
my insides really happy.  I guess you could say that I have a crush on them.
I love it when they shed their bark like a snake in the spring
and the cool, shaded earth gives it a resting place
until a lover like me comes along and claims it as art for my walls.

Later that evening I headed to the Waterfront where a friends band was playing 
and lovely people were drinking beers with me at tables on the closed off street
where we were in perfect view of the fireworks.

I hope you have a wonderful Freedom Day celebration.
I will be at a festival this weekend trying to keep my fingers out of danger
and my feet happily dancing.
love love love
to you all.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Adventures in Backyard Farming- Part Four

I like to watch.
Bird watching.
People watching.
Garden watching....
it's the learning and stretching and growing that I'm drawn to.
It's the figuring out.
It's knowing that there are willing participants and unwilling factors that
all have to be in a silent agreement to participate
in order for things to work.
It's like watching a baby take it's first steps...
holding your breath, waiting, leaning in,
It's like watching a flower unfold it's petals into the morning sun for the first time...


Watching my cat, Aslan, find the patch of catnip I planted for him...
He holds guard for most of the afternoon, catnapping next to the planter for most of his 
sun filled day, yawning at the birds to stay away, 
going back up for one more sniff...

Despite having more days of rain than sun since I planted the garden,  most everything
is doing really well.  The tomatoes are getting big and strong.  Their stalks are huge
and sturdy, and their branches are strong and fuzzy.

The cucumbers are doing really well, too.  They love the twine lattice I made for them to
climb on, and they use it to their advantage, climbing up to keep their fruit off the dirt,
safe from bugs and disease. Smart little plants they are.

My big and little peppers are doing well too.  The oldest ones are just starting to show
little clusters of what will be fruit soon.  And the youngsters are getting taller.



The Nasturtium are doing their part as well.  Getting big and bushy and keeping away
unwanted pests.  They really do tell me everyday that they want to be made into rings.
I just might have to oblige. 

The squash are growing their big yellow flowers, which soon will bear the beginnings of 
the gourds.  I'm not a fan of squash or zucchini (I know, I know) so these will be part
of my giveaway crops.  I'm glad they are doing so well....

And I am going to have plenty of corn this year, too!  That makes me so happy.
Grilling corn and then rolling it in white mexican cheese (I forget what it's called right now)
 is so amazing!  One of my favorite restaurants in NYC serves it and I'm 
going to be making it at home all fall!!

And the found rose bush in the front wildflower bed is loving life!
He's growing new branches rapidly and the existing ones are stretching up and up
reaching for the sun they so desperately lacked in previous years, covered by weeds and
leaves and overgrown yuck.

I took a bike ride through the neighborhood today, during the hour that it didn't rain,
and explored the swamp across the street.  It's such an amazing, lush, green, beautiful
and yet, scary place.  It looks like you could just glide right across the thick
surface, but then common sense takes over and my feet stayed put on the edge.

I'll show more of my swamp adventures another time... for now,  I want to get back
outside while the rain is subsiding.  I hope you have a wonderful, sunny,
productive weekend.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I spend a lot of my time outside, in the flower beds and the veggie garden.
I spend a good amount of time upstairs in my jewelry studio.
And just as much time is spent away from home, traveling about, seeing and playing music,
hiking, soon to be biking (I found my new dream bike today!), taking pictures, etc.

But as much as I love all of these places, and we all have them, 
everyone needs a sanctuary.
A place to go and unwind.
Where there are no distractions... just thoughts, and views, and beauty to look at.
A place to relax with our thoughts, our morning coffee, our newspaper, after a hard day.

There are just as many places that make up sanctuaries as there are each one of us.
We all have our own versions.
At least... hopefully, everyone takes the time to have one.

Mine is in my home.
Kind of.
It's attached to the side of my home in the form of a screened in porch.

It's gone through many changes over the years that I have lived here.
It's never been made to be pretty, although it has the most potential.
It's long and narrow and spans the longest length of the house which, thankfully,
is on the Southern exposure side.
I've always loved this porch, and spend a good deal of time in it,
but because of the heavily used front porch, it gets very little attention.

It's where I usually take phone calls, and have my morning coffee
because I can see the pond from there, and the veggie garden, and pretty much
all of the back yard.  I can see the sunset and the moon from there.
The dogs love to lay in there when the summer sun gets to hot.
And it's bright and warm in the day and gives a cool cross breeze at night.
It really is a great room with so much potential, and even though it's not been made 
"pretty", it has always felt good to be in there.

So, I decided that it had been neglected long enough.
I pulled out the broom and the shop vac and gave it a thorough spring cleaning,
complete with de-spidering and de-bugging.
I brought in some old pieces of furniture that didn't really have places to be truly admired.
I bought a few plants and took clippings from some I already had.
I cut a bunch of flowers from the garden,
added some crystals and candles and within a few hours,
it was now visually the sanctuary
that it had always been to me.
It now looked it's potential in the eye and said, "Trust me, I'm beautiful".

I re-potted some Oregano that is doing really well!  It smells fantastic when the sun shines
and the breeze blows.  I also re-potted a tall cactus that I've had for years.
I also bought this great little succulent that has maroon vines and little jade-like leaves.
It's smooth and begs to be touched.

I bought a couple of trailing plants in purple and green combos.  One of them I've never seen before.
It has tiny clusters of yellow flowers, similar to baby's breath, but yellow.  It's fragile but sturdy.
I love it. And there's an ivy plant that has great purple outlining.
Much cooler than our grandma's  plain 'ol ivy.

I always snatch up interesting glass bottles when I'm at the antique store or flea markets.
They come in handy for all sorts of things.  Flowers and plant clippings are two that make any sanctuary feel cozy and romantic.  Especially as the sun starts to go down and
shine in through the trees.

 My Gerbera Daisy's are super happy after some seaweed/ fish emulsion fertilizer, and a little
dead heading.  I always notice that the day after I pull off the dried up blooms, the new stalks
shoot up a couple inches seemingly overnight.  The plant doesn't have to waste it's time anymore
on feeding something that is dying anyway.  This is true for most things.  If it's done, get rid of it.

As the sun continues it's decent towards tomorrow, the old bottles come alive...
their colors dance like fire and spice and
oceans after a nightcap.


And just before the Blue Hour, everything glows and sings and stretches it's last sigh of today.
Shadows dance and tempt, telling the secrets of their neighbors recipe to those who pay attention.
And I feel their strength in my sanctuary,
as if they were always here.

I hope you have a place to go.
Whether it's a spot under your favorite tree in the park.
Or a cozy chair in your favorite corner of the house where you can curl up and read
or stare out the window.
Or a rocker on your front porch where you can watch the day start up or
wind down, like a familiar friend coming thru the door.
One of mine used to be at the kitchen window.
Where ever it is, I hope it welcomes you like your favorite shoes.
I hope it lets you breath inspiration into your day and
shows you a moment of pause before tomorrow.

If you don't have a place, a get-away,
a sanctuary,
there is no time like the present.
It doesn't take much.
Mine cost $40 in plants.  I had everything else I needed around the house.
You just have to look.
You can find a spot no matter where you live.
Make a spot.
You'll love yourself for it.
All it takes is a chair, or a pillow to sit on, or a stool, whatever.
And anything that makes you feel relaxed...
a piece of art, or some plants, maybe old bottles with clippings,
a radio, an old crate with books or magazines in it.

It doesn't matter what you put there, as long as it's purpose is for you to sit and relax.
It sounds so easy, but I know that for me, having a good head space is the key
to a good productive day.  And having a good head space starts with how I spend
the first ten minutes of my day.
By making myself sit and process the day before and the day to come,
looking around me at the beauty that surrounds,
it gives me the good start that I need to have a productive and positive day.
It sounds so easy.
But do you do it?
You should.
You deserve it.


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