Last week after writing about the lettuce in my vegetable garden I got a lot of feedback about how greens get bitter in the warmer weather and how lettuce will bolt.
I’d never heard the expression before, but didn’t need to look it up. It’s one of those words that sound like what it is and when I read it, I got a picture in my mind of lettuce sitting in the clouds like Jack’s Beanstalk.
Cindy emailed me and asked if I had a vegetable gardening book. And that made me realize how I have no interest in reading about how to grow a garden, vegetable or flower. It would be the smart thing to do I suppose, but since I’m not dependent on my vegetables to survive, I prefer to learn though experience.
And there are so any people out there who know all about it, and are kind enough to give me a few tips without being judgmental.
When Jon suggested we do a video garden tour on video this morning , I told him I had been thinking of doing the same thing.
This video is longer than usual, but I hope you enjoy it.
All my gardens have a bit of the wild in them, (some more than others) which is how I like them. Growing into who they are, with some guidance from me, their caretaker.
Jessica wrote to me after buying one of my I Am Enough posters. She told me about a Shamanic workshop she took in Tao NM where she did some deep work exploring a part of her unconscious.
She stood on a collage she made the size of her own body and her teacher asked what she wanted to say to the world. “I am enough” she said emotionally. Then her teacher told her to say it loud enough for people in California and France to hear. She yelled it louder each time.
When she got home her friend showed her some of my potholders then my blog. That’s when she saw my I Am Enough poster.
The words I am enough came to me years ago, and they have stayed with me. They surface at times in my life when I need them most.
Each time they come back, they have new meaning for me.
I noticed this morning, after mailing out two more potholders and two more packs of I Am Enough postcards, that it’s time to make more potholders. I like to keep my Etsy Shop stocked with potholders for people to be able to buy when they need them.
Although my potholders, I’ve learned from experience and what other people have told me, last a long time. So once you buy a couple, you may not actually “need” more for some years.
But they do make good gifts, and I know that some of my potholders don’t actually do the heavy lifting that others might and spend their lives happily in frames, or just hanging on the wall (and not just in the kitchen) doing a different kind of work. A kind of “soul work”.
Everyone who buys something from my Etsy Shop, whether it’s a $500 fabric painting or a Flying Vulva Button, gets one of my “Thank you” bookmarks.
So come have a look in my Etsy Shop, or just keep it in mind for the future. I also have many of Jon’s photographs and more of my notecards for sale right now.
And by next week, I’ll have some more potholders too.
“I know you like gardening” Jon said, “but this is different, you’re working so hard and you’re not happy, you’re not yourself.”
It was the morning after Memorial Day and Jon and I were lying in bed talking. It took me while to admit it, even to myself, but he was right, something was wrong. I did enjoy the gardening I did everyday that weekend, but it also felt like I was hiding in the physical work, keeping myself busy, trying to avoid something.
Lately Jon and I have been each going through our own version of feeling worthy. I feel like I don’t make enough money and he feels like he can’t do as much around the farm. It’s something we’d been talking about.
When I was growing up, hard physical work was valued over everything else.
The idea that women didn’t and could never work as hard as men was seen as a truth. So, for a good part of my life, I tried to prove my worth by doing hard physical labor. Nothing made me feel better about myself than when someone, especially if it was a man, or best of, all my father, said “She works like a man”.
I went into my studio thinking about my self-worth that morning.
But instead of getting to work on my art, I kept the lights off, lit a candle and sat on the floor in front of it. Then I emptied my mind and concentrated on the idea of me proving my value through hard physical work.
This is something I’ve learned to do, to ask for help and surrender to the process.
My mind already knew what was going on, but the problem I having wasn’t something I could think through. So I asked myself where my sense of self denigration lay in my body.
It was like a bolt of energy shot from my brain down the front of my body directly to my vagina. Of course I thought, it’s in my sex. Literally in my being a woman.
But what to do about it. Intellectually, I knew this belief that women weren’t as good a men came from my upbringing as well as society. I knew it wasn’t true, yet, still it lived inside of me.
Still with my eyes closed and the intention of understanding why I was feeling this sense of being unworthy, I allowed whatever would happen next to unfold.
It was a story that came up.
One I knew well from my childhood. I don’t know how old I was, under ten years, for sure. The whole family was helping to mow the lawn. I was raking but the rake was so big and I couldn’t really use it. My father got mad, because I was so slow and yelled at me taking the rake and showing me how it was supposed to be done. I went, crying, to my room.
But as the story unfolded in from of me, in my mind, this time, I came into the scene as an adult, as the person I am now. I stood in front of myself as a child, protecting her/me from our father and told him that it wasn’t Maria’s fault, that she was too small, too young to do what he wanted. I got angry and yelled at him. I took the little Maria’s hand and told her to come with me.
The next moment, we were both naked and unashamed, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and flying above the house.
We flew thought the branches of the giant oak tree in my back yard, the one I use to lie under and look up into, wishing I could float in the spaces between the branches. Then we flew over the ocean, where we used to go sometimes in the summer, and dove into it like dolphins coming up for air again and again.
But then I saw that there was another “Maria” still back at the house, in her bedroom.
She was sitting on the bed crying. So we went to get her landing in the bedroom telling her to come with us. Be she was too scared to leave. So I cupped my hands and she jumped into them, turning into a small ball of fabric.
Still naked, the other “Little Maria” and I, flew to Plaza Blanca in New Mexico, the magical place that Jon and I visited on our trip there a few years ago. We made a fire and dropped the ball of fabric in.
But it only got denser and darker, condensing in on itself. So I pulled it from the fire and flying again, peeled the layers of burnt fabric apart and dropped them on to the desert floor where they turned to sparkles and dust.
I’ve used visualizations before to understand and expel old beliefs about myself. I go back to a familiar and often scary memory and change it by interacting in it, as the person I am now.
It’s always healing even if it doesn’t completely change me.
I still have to be aware that I might fall back into those old behaviors and beliefs. But the visualization is powerful and stays with me, continuing to work on me. Going back to that place and time and changing it becomes a part of me. Living inside my body and mind, it becomes the new story.
When I opened my eyes I had the distinct feeling that I no longer was the same person I had been. Not that I had changed that much because of the one experience, but because I was seeing myself, who I really am, clearly.
And the person I am believes in me and my self-worth, without having to try to prove it in any way to anyone else. That person, loves her life and understands that to be in a relationship where each person can provide what the other can’t, is something to be grateful for.
So now it’s about being who I really am and acting on what I believe at the person I am now.
This is who I am now, I keep saying to myself. And I see myself standing tall and alone, yellow light glowing around me. And in those moments, all the old stuff falls away.
I have no doubt the animals know it’s the Vernal Equinox, even if not by that name and in the way we do.
To welcome in the Spring our resident Canada Geese are back at Bedlam Farm. With the spring melt, the water is high in the marsh behind the farm and the birds are taking advantage of it. The mallards couple comes and goes, but this goose couple has made its nest here for the past three years at least.
Last year I wrote about the lone goose I saw, thinking that maybe it had lost its mate. Then the female and chicks appeared.
And now they’re back to do it again.
They didn’t seem bothered enough by me to fly away. And they seem to know that Fate isn’t interested in them. I like to think we’re getting to know and trust each other.
I don’t know exactly where they make their nest, but I’ll keep an eye out for them this year, now that I know they’re our seasonal residents.
I haven’t seen any sign of the bobcat since I last wrote about her, but today, when I crossed over the Gulley bridge into the woods, I came across this trail of duck feet.
I can just picture the two ducks (mallards I’d imagine) hopping out of the water and walking over the ice and the wooden plank ,that is the Gulley bridge, to get to the other side.
The woods behind our house are big enough for me to wander in, and aways see something new, but small enough for me not to get lost. Which is a good thing, because I have a terrible sense of direction.
And as much evidence of animals I see there, there is evidence of humans too.
An old cement foundation to a long gone barn, plastic fluorescent markers tied around trees, tree stands for hunting in the fall. And there’s even a couple of hunters encampments, two permanent campers and a makeshift shelter.
But in the five years I’ve been walking in the woods, I’ve only seen people twice. And sometimes I make good use of the marks they’ve made.
There’s one wooden tree stand in a big pine that I love to sit in. Our Lab, Lenore used to wait for me while I climbed the wooden ladder, sat on the wooden plank and rested my back against the pine. Now Fate does the same.
When we first moved here, I had no idea how far the woods stretched.
I got to know them in the winters when I could follow my own footprints back home. There have been times where I thought I was lost in our woods, but now I know that I’ll always come upon a road or a path or a tree I know if I just keep walking.
Sometimes when Fate and I are retuning from our walks in the woods, Fanny or Lulu will know we’re close and we can hear them braying to us. But even if the animals are quiet, I know by the time we get back into he pasture, where ever they are, the come too greet us.
Between yesterday afternoon and this morning I designed a bunch of potholders to restock my Etsy Shop. I plan on having them finished early next week.
I made some of these using vintage hand embroidered linens. The two peacocks came from my friend Athena and Susie sent me the Rooster fabric.
I only had the morning to work in my studio because I was working at the Cambridge Co-op this afternoon. Once a month, for half a day, I work the register or stock the shelves there. One of my first jobs when I was a teenager was a cashier at a variety store. So I’m pretty good on the register. Back then you actually had to count the change out. My register was always off, but I guess not enough to get me fired.
The register at the Co-op calculates the change to give back (thankfully), as I imagine all registers do now. I love working alone in my studio, but it’s good for me to get out in the community once in a while. I mostly enjoy talking to the people who come in to shop. I’m pretty bad with names, but I’m familiar with a lot of the faces I see from working there month to month.
I didn’t make it to Bingo at The Mansion Assisted Living Facility, where Jon and I usually go on Friday night, because we’re having a friend over for dinner and well… it seems the day is just too short to get everything done.
So I’m here at home blogging and doing my email, while Jon and our friend Susan are at The Mansion calling Bingo. I asked Susan to sit with Jean, who loves to have someone to laugh with. I know they’ll have fun together, they both have a good sense of humor.
OK, I’m off to check my email. Jon will be home soon to make dinner (another thing to be thankful for) and I’m hoping to take the rest of the night off.
It seems I’m now officially the “Roving Correspondent” for Jon’s Wednesday radio show, Talking To Animals.
How did this happen?
Well, first I called in to the show a few weeks ago when Jon and I were debating if my Mystery Snail Socrates was dead of alive. Jon and Thomas both thought the conversation was interesting and useful enough for me to do it again the next week and then the week after that.
That’s when Jon asked if I would be the official “Roving Correspondent” of Talking To Animals. I agreed when he told me it meant I would just keep calling into the show and we’d talk about animal stuff.
It’s been fun and it gets me thinking, and it might be good for my business too, so I figured, why now?
Wednesday is the day I have lunch with my friends Mandy and Athena, so I miss the first half of the show. But I get home in plenty of time to call in the second half.
When I call in to the show tomorrow sometime after 2pm, Jon and I will be talking about Fate. How she’s a bit of a wild thing and how she doesn’t comes when I call her into the house after feeding the animals. And how I believe I’ve inadvertently trained her to do this.
So if you think you may have trained your dog to do the opposite of what you meant to train her/him to do, you might want to listen or call in yourself.
Once the weather gets warmer, I’m thinking of calling in from the pasture, to try to live up to the “roving” part of my new title. But for now I’ll just keep calling in from my studio.
Talking to Animals is on from 1-3pm on Wbtn 1370AM. You can call in and ask Jon questions about your own animals at 866 406-9286 or 802 442 1010. And you can listen to the show by live streaming it here or you can use the free Simple Radio app.