One year of foolishness

0thefool_feat

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started this blog! I totally didn’t even plan to start it on the Summer Solstice, either.

I started writing here to get some thoughts out of my head, but I really haven’t even begun to write about what really matters to me or explore certain topics in depth. I hope to start posting more of those kinds of articles in the coming year.

Thanks to everyone who has read this blog and liked my articles – I’m always pleasantly surprised!

Image credit: Tarot card from the Rider-Waite tarot deck, also known as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck (1909), from Wikipedia.

Sunday Revue: golden milk

Every Sunday I revue – the fun kind of review – the past week. I base this on the old style Friday Chicken from Havi’s blog at The Fluent Self.

What worked

  • doing tasks for 15 minutes
  • 40-20 rule
  • asking myself if I really wanted to do something (and I did)
  • tapping (EFT)
  • not judging myself
  • looking at my Must Do/Could Do list before getting ready for bed

Next time I might

  • ablutions at 9pm and get back on the computer if I want to

The Hard

  • feeling sleepy
  • feeling bored and antsy at work
  • my plant babies: they have scorched leaf tips, but I re-potted them last week in new soil; so, since it takes a while for plants to show physical symptoms of a nutrient deficiency, I can’t tell if a week is long enough for the new soil to have corrected the problem or not – also I don’t know what the problem is because the symptoms can be the same for like 10 different conditions!
  • my partner gets really talkative about Big Things and The Future around 10pm, and I really want to talk about those things too, but I also want to go to bed.

The Good

  • working on an interesting project at my job
  • lots of sun : )
  • good progress on my digital art project by drawing 15 minutes a day
  • going to my mom’s and having yummy noms!
  • finally posting my Maria Sibylla Merian post
  • had a bunch of great ideas during meditation
  • feeling grateful
  • made some turmeric milk and it was pretty good (I tried two recipes and combined them – see below)

I tried two recipes from Wellness Mama and Fresh Bites Daily, and I liked lots of ginger bite but also wanted some cinnamon, so here’s my combo recipe:

to serve 2 (1 cup):
1 cup milk (any kind of animal or plant milk)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (or 1/2 inch fresh turmeric thinly sliced or diced)
1/2 teaspoon ginger (or 1/2 inch fresh turmeric thinly sliced or diced)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch black pepper
1/2 teaspoon honey

Mix the spices separately. Heat milk on medium and add spices and honey as soon as liquid is warm. Heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir every minute or so to prevent a “skin” from forming on the liquid surface.

Sunday Revue: I see what you’re doing over there

Every Sunday I revue – the fun kind of review – the past week. I base this on the old style Friday Chicken from Havi’s blog at The Fluent Self.

What worked

  • being aware of my “You’re Not Making Big Life Changes Fast Enough” monster
  • being open to opportunities of [secret possible bad situation] even though I really didn’t like the [secret possible bad situation]
  • dancing
  • tapping (EFT) after my morning meditation on the subject of visibility
  • following my resistance back to its source
  • discovery writing

Next time I might

  • 40-20 rule on weekdays, or adapt it to 30-15 or even 20-10
  • prioritize sleep
  • time away from the computer before bed

The Hard

  • [secret possible bad situation]
  • my hands hurt every morning :(
  • also the “It’s Not So Bad Even Though You Want To Run Away Screaming” monster
  • feeling sleepy
  • bored at work even though I actually had a number of different things to do
  • my partner feeling depressed

The Good

  • [secret possible bad situation] didn’t happen!
  • my plants are doing well, and I put all but one into their forever home terra cotta pots
  • my partner has made a lot of breakthroughs recently
  • yummy noms
  • more time, and I made it myself by getting up earlier on the weekend
  • getting a lot done and feeling good
  • being more curious instead of judgmental

Being a first-time plant mom

plantmomI love being a plant mom! I didn’t expect to be smitten so hard the day I saw my first green seed sprouts reaching up out of the soil. I also didn’t expect plants to be so cute, but they are super cute! Even when an older seedling starts growing a new tiny leaf, it gets me right in the feels.

Why I decided to become a plant mom
My first motivation was to save money by growing my own food , because I don’t make a lot of money but I would like to eat safe and nutrient-rich food. I would absolutely love to forage wild food, but it’s not practical where I live; plus, growing my own food means I know exactly what conditions the plants have experienced, whereas I can’t tell if a wild plant has been sprayed with insecticides or is drawing up water from a contaminated creek nearby.

Second, just knowing how to grow your own food – let alone doing it – is one important way to empower yourself and disengage from the agribusiness industrial complex. It gets you in touch with the source of your nourishment and connects you to the cycles of life. And in the case of a natural disaster, the odds are in your favor the more self-sufficient you are.

Third, I was (and still am!) playing Stardew Valley and figured I should try growing real plants to see if I liked it. My previous gardening experience was mostly weeding – removing things, not growing or nurturing things.

Why I chose heirloom plants
I had read an article in Discover a long time ago about popcorn made from heirloom corn and it always stuck with me. The author of the article said that most plants, especially corn and potatoes, have been bred to be tasteless vehicles for salt and butter into our mouths. How sad is that?

An heirloom plant – also called heirloom variety, heritage fruit, or heirloom vegetable – is the result of selectively planting seeds over decades or even centuries for taste, color, texture, shape, and/or size. A variety grown before 1946 is generally a good bet, as this is when people started cross-pollinating plants to create hybrids on a large scale.

The plants you (United States dwellers) buy for food in virtually all stores belong to one of a handful of varieties, which have been bred and/or genetically modified for ease of planting, growing, pesticide application, harvesting, and shipping long distances. Not only does this make for boring and nutrient-deficient food, it’s dangerous.

Heirloom food plants are essential to human survival and happiness because:

  • They provide genetic variation. It’s easy for a disease to wipe out an entire crop when each plant is identical. This very situation originated the Irish Potato Famine – the Great Hunger. (A situation made infinitely worse by the horrifying British government response.)
  • Growing them is not always friendly to mechanization – which is good. Agribusiness is killing our planet and our ability to feed ourselves food that has actual nutrients in it. Alternate/traditional ways of growing food don’t strip the land of all its nutrients or pollute it with pesticides.
  • We are seriously missing out on a mind-blowing array of tastes, colors, and shapes for our food. Just look at Glass Gem Corn. LOOK AT THIS:

Glass Gem Corn; photo by Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.

I headed straight to Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co to buy my seeds because I had seen their catalog – the cover of which had Glass Gem Corn on it! – in my local organic grocery store. To be honest, I really liked their photography, but since then I’ve read about all their efforts to preserve and share heirloom seeds and it’s really important work. They even encourage you to share seeds from extra-rare crops so those varieties survive.

Things I’ll do differently next time (technical stuff)
Nothing beat seeing my first little seedlings come up – I planted the seeds in dirt (in containers) and waited to see what happened.

Since I’ve already experienced that delight, though, I will germinate my next seeds in water to see if they are even viable. The strawberry seeds I planted had a very low germination rate: my first batch (killed by larvae) had only three sprouts out of about fifteen, and my second batch have sprouted two out of eight.

I will plant seeds close to when I receive them in the mail. My low germination rate was probably due to the fact that the seeds sat around for several months before I planted them.

I planted my seeds too deep and I didn’t water them enough – the soil needs to feel like a damp sponge all the time. I should have covered the containers before the first shoots came up to keep them warm – and they weren’t very warm due to the dreary spring here, so I should have put them under lights.

If I can afford it, I’d love to buy a professional camera and macro lens so I can take pictures from the first day of sprouting – it’s been my #1 regret that my phone camera can’t zoom in far enough to get good shots.

In conclusion
Being a plant mom is delightful, sometimes tragic, and lots of fun! I’ll post more photos as my babies grow. For now, here are some photos from the past two months:

 

Sunday Revue: discovery writing

Every Sunday I revue – the fun kind of review – the past week. I base this on the old style Friday Chicken from Havi’s blog at The Fluent Self.

What worked

  • Doing The Fun
  • 40 minutes fun, 20 minutes housework
  • separating my to-do list into “Must Do” and “Could Do”
  • writing down my accomplishments for the day – BTW, this includes everything from “studied Italian for 10 minutes” to “swept the entire apartment” to “researched [secret subject] for my webcomic”
  • time alone
  • discovery writing (mentioned by Jen Louden – it is writing about your writing before you start writing it for real)
  • chores after work, not part of my nighttime routine
  • following rabbit holes

Next time I might

  • establish tapping (EFT) after my morning meditation as a habit
  • prioritize art: I let a lot of Time Monsters get in the way of starting a new user pic project (that I know wouldn’t even take that much time)
  • prioritize sleep
  • time away from the computer before bed – do something physical but calming, like knitting or sewing repairs
  • plan every single meal of the week!

The Hard

  • feeling really sleepy
  • feeling bored at work
  • covering for someone at work and it was stressful
  • my partner feeling depressed
  • my hands have hurt every day this week :(
  • Havi’s site is down :(

The Good

  • I debuted new choreography to my class and they loved it :D
  • Jen Louden is focusing on writing just as I decided to prioritize writing (a webcomic, but that’s still writing)
  • my discovery writing has been really great so far
  • since switching from Do The Work to Do The Fun, I feel like I have so much more space and time
  • feeling real progress without having a strict schedule or beating myself up
  • my plants are doing well and I put them outside for the first time yesterday… yes, I am a helicopter mom
  • yummy noms, including an Indian spice blend on chicken & broccolini, mmm

It’s June!

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I write a Monthly Passage, which I learned from Havi’s blog at The Fluent Self, to let go of last month and enter the new month with intention.

What worked in May – really well!

  • Do The Fun
  • 40 minutes fun, 20 minutes housework
  • the Oasis
  • getting a little bit back to Neat Bee
  • separating my to-do list into “Must Do” and “Could Do”
  • writing down my accomplishments for the day
  • making it up as I go
  • acting from the energy of anger
  • tapping (EFT)
  • acting based on actual conditions
  • expressing dissatisfaction
  • following rabbit holes
  • time alone
  • discovery writing
  • chores after work instead of before bed

Next time I might

  • do something useful for abnegation time at night, like knit
  • always have a choreography project going

Qualities I want for June
Physicality. Boundaries. Neat Bee-ness. Confidence. Pleasure. Joy. Enoughness.

Things I’m working on

  • celebrating and being a celebration
  • discovery writing about stories I’ve had in me for over a decade
  • maintaining consistency with my new awesome habits

Looking forward to

  • discovering my stories
  • my plant darlings growing

Asking & hoping for

  • sun for my plants
  • immediate gut-knowing

I’m ready for

  • continuing sustainability
  • more fun
  • discoveries

Tarot Message
I drew the IV of Pentacles. I’ve been very concerned with material things like money (the lack thereof). This card warns against:

  • isolating yourself
  • holding yourself back
  • being inflexible
  • stagnation from not risking anything
  • miserliness
  • complacency

My Tarot resources are The Tarot Directory and Tarot Teachings.

Sunday Revue: light and free

Every Sunday I revue – the fun kind of review – the past week. I base this on the old style Friday Chicken from Havi’s blog at The Fluent Self.

What worked

  • Doing The Fun – oh my GOD this made such a difference. I came home excited to do fun stuff, I’ve had all kinds of story ideas and art ideas, and I am doing things from love, not from obligation, which makes all the difference in the world.
  • the 40-20 rule: 40 minutes of fun alternating with 20 minutes of housework = choreographed a dance in a week AND cleaned up the living room
  • watering my plants more
  • writing down what I accomplish
  • moving chores to after work instead of just before I go to bed – who looks forward to an hour of chores and then collapsing into bed at the end? Not this lady.

Next time I might

  • as usual, get into bed earlier

The Hard

  • Chilly and wet weather and not enough sun for my baby plants
  • feeling tired
  • eight hours a day of not Doing The Fun
  • waiting for changes that I may not even like, and not knowing when they will happen

The Good

  • feeling light and free
  • getting lots done
  • lots of cute critters outside, including a raccoon
  • my plants look better than last week
  • I’ve been touching my nettles and they haven’t stung me

Tarot Feature: Tarot Nova

(crossposted at Sketch by Sketch)

You may be surprised to know that Tarot Nova* is the only deck I actually own, despite all my Tarot Features. My mom bought it for me many years ago, and at first I didn’t like Julie Paschkis’s simple, Medieval woodblock style. But it’s really grown on me and now I like it quite a bit. It’s whimsical and fantastic – just looking at the Knights, you’ll see that three of them have pretty non-traditional mounts.

The Knight of Pentacles rides a turtle, the Knight of Cups rides a dolphin, the Knight of Wands rides a horse, and the Knight of Swords rides a bald-headed eagle.

The cards are small – good for small hands, and almost square. The corners are rounded (love it) and color-coded: purple for Major Arcana, red for wands, yellow for swords, blue for cups, and green for pentacles. On the downside, they are too thick and smooth to shuffle normally, and their shininess makes them hard to photograph.

I would also not recommend the Tarot Nova for beginners, as its imagery departs somewhat from Rider-Waite-Smith and can be confusing. For example, the IV of Swords represents rest, but Tarot Nova’s boxed-in person projects a feeling of confinement and being trapped and uncomfortable. So sometimes I ignore the imagery altogether, but other times it can help.

In general, though, Tarot Nova is a charming deck and great for petite-handed readers.

*It’s not actually called Tarot Nova – it’s sold in several (?) versions: I’ve seen a super-tiny deck, a “Fortune Telling Kit”, and a “Tarot: the Complete Kit” (the one I have).

Sunday Revue: Do the FUN

Every Sunday I revue – the fun kind of review – the past week. I base this on the old style Friday Chicken from Havi’s blog at The Fluent Self.

What worked

  • changing “Do The Work” into Do The FUN
  • time alone
  • asking for support
  • taking a break from spinning my wheels
  • giving my plants more water
  • writing down things I’ve done each day (rather than to-do lists)
  • doing T. Thorn Coyle’s guided Sphinx visualization about desire (it’s episode #62 and starts 1 hour in, although I recommend listening to the whole recording)

Next time I might

  • Do the Fun, Do the Fun!
  • realize when I’m falling into the trap of “I’ll be happy as soon as I do ____ and ____”
  • instead of having a watering schedule, judge for myself based on the actual state of the soil
  • be alone more

The Hard

  • some scary news at work
  • digital technology pissed me off and I need a break
  • the feeling that leaving tech work means I’ll be poor forever… even though I’m not making very much now anyway : /
  • I ordered some shoes and they were too small

The Good

  • my plants perked up as soon as I started watering them more : )
  • my cat had some blood work done and her numbers have improved a lot!
  • time to myself, listening to the birds, smelling the flower-fragrant breeze
  • sun! sun sun sun
  • yummy Indian food I made
  • Doing The Fun for just one day felt amazeballs
  • lots of ideas and realizations
  • my partner’s support : )

 

Sunday Revue: I’m doin’ it!

Every Sunday I revue – the fun kind of review – the past week. I base this on the old style Friday Chicken from Havi’s blog at The Fluent Self.

What worked

  • letting anger get shit done
  • expressing dissatisfaction
  • just going ahead, imperfectly

Next time I might

  • not accept a less-than-stellar option

The Hard

  • chilly weather
  • getting hassled about things out of my control
  • bored at my job
  • possible changes at my job that I’m not going to like

The Good

  • my partner has been expressing his desires a lot
  • spending time with my mom
  • something I thought had a due date doesn’t have a due date, so the pressure is off
  • I realized I’m capable of a lot more than I thought, because I’ve actually done lots of cool things
  • a new strawberry seedling popped up!
  • I have some new veil choreography simmering

Sunday Revue: decision fatigue

Every Sunday I revue – the fun kind of review – the past week. I base this on the old style Friday Chicken from Havi’s blog at The Fluent Self.

What worked

  • Doing The Work
  • not getting too carried away by decision-making
  • journaling

Next time I might

  • definitely set a time limit on genealogy research
  • write out my desires – it won’t even take very long, I’m sure

The Hard

  • really depressing weather
  • having to make decisions seems impossible – feeling burnt out, struck with decision fatigue, frozen
  • unidentified larvae murdered two of my three strawberry seedlings : (

The Good

  • my surviving strawberry seems to be doing okay and I planted some more seeds that I hope will fare better now that I know a little more about taking care of them
  • I forgave myself for missing a self-imposed deadline
  • finally finished a small project that was bugging me

Hullo May

banner_monthly

I write a Monthly Passage, which I learned from Havi’s blog at The Fluent Self, to let go of last month and enter the new month with intention.

What worked in April

  • speaking up
  • writing about my desires
  • stepping back
  • Doing The Work
  • Next Indicated Step
  • Oasis
  • drawing lessons from Stardew Valley
  • 15 minutes
  • taking it easy
  • nourishing my Body
  • welcoming all desires and emotions
  • journaling a lot!

Next time I might

  • rest during Mercury retrogrades
  • focus on my Next Indicated Step
  • focus in general
  • when I feel really bad, ask some helpful questions like “What do I need right now? What else?”

Qualities I want for May
Balance. Flexibility. Detachment. Celebration.

Superpowers I want
Deep Listening. Connect the Dots Lightning Fast.

Things I’m working on

  • writing & research
  • scaling to human capacity
  • sinking into my gut-brain (tummy brain? belly brain? ooh I like belly brain)

Looking forward to

  • warmer weather and sunlight
  • more seedling leaves
  • discoveries!

Asking and hoping for

  • focus
  • ability to witness

I’m ready for

  • sustainability

Tarot Message
Would you believe I got Temperance again, same as last month? Definitely need to:

  • reconcile opposites
  • find the Right Ingredients
  • let my emotions flow
  • heal
  • connect
  • find a middle path

My Tarot resources are The Tarot Directory and Tarot Teachings.