It’s been awhile since I last posted.
I hope it offered some benefit.
It’s been awhile since I last posted.
I hope it offered some benefit.
I know it’s been a while.
And I happened to be in a ‘Verizon zone’ and was able to post from my phone.
‘Everybody’ being all the babies, all the seeds I happened to have the good fortune to touch and plant some time before.
All the plant-beings in the cathedral I planted.
I write that to remind myself, because I find that I forget. And start to doubt my doing any things of benefit.
We got more snow during that snowfall than the entire last Winter.
Some who look very sweet, but are like the The Oatmeal’s whiskey cat.
I’m very grateful for the cozy homes, for the use of laundry, for the connections over the years.
Many miles gone by, many years… learning to drive standard in hilly Ithaca was humbling, and driving out to California cemented the training.
It’s been over 10 1/2 years since returning to Ithaca.
After one of my employers was suddenly let go after a downsizing, I was laid off this past summer soon after moving.
(That’s me, btw. It was taken by one of the on-farm interns & he shared the photo with me.)
And that’s Sebastian, the ginger tabby with the tiny meow and a huge purr.
Some of which I was qualified for, some not.
Eventually I picked up part-time work with a friend who grows sprouts.
Still just as tasty, though.
It’s mostly behind the scenes, and all three of us get along, and it’s pretty mellow while all the work gets done.
The above photo is along my most favorite (and to my mind, most beautiful) road in the county back in October.
I didn’t take a photo of the table with all the cards, unfortunately.
But to my surprise & delight, with an email and two Facebook postings about the event, a whole bunch of friends came out to support my work.
I was really blown away by all the visits & support.
I’ve never really had faith in the artwork that comes through me.
But I started to question: what if I just trusted it… let it be what it is…
It’s far too easy to compare myself to classmates who have work at The Whitney, or The MOMA. Or places like that.
The art that comes through me simply isn’t like that.
I’ll admit, I still think of leaving. Of moving somewhere else. Try to find a place where the rent isn’t so high. Or where I don’t have to run into people who aren’t really friends anymore because I said something or did something that upset them.
And the truth is, i love seeds.
Maybe that knee-jerk reaction will always be to move, to run.
Aversion is so my go-to habit.
I’m so grateful for the friends who are still my friends despite my (very) imperfect ways.
I’m trying to befriend myself, with all of my imperfections.
This year I’m going to try to drop the whole trying-to-be-perfect thing. It wasn’t such a conscious thing, and I’m not succeeding at it anyhow, and the attempts at it seems to just create more tension inside.
A sort of letting-go practice. Or allowing. Or awareness, I suppose.
I know I’m leaving out a lot, but engh. It’s okay.
Wishing you gentleness and steadiness, a sturdy ballast for all to come.
Thanks for reading, for your encouragement, and for whatever acts of creativity you can get behind yourself for.
(Or with. Goodness I was never good at grammar…)
May the planets smile kindly on you all through 2017.
She’s one of the animals I look after sometimes. An ancient kitty, she loves to sit on my lap & be brushed, and is quite fond of taking over the pillow by the middle of the night.
Before this stretch with Sophie & Izzy, I had the good fortune to be with Nemo for a while in July.
Before this, I was at another house, with two kitties. (No photos that time…)
Basically I was not living in my apartment for the entire month of July.
But I was there a lot, packing. Everything. I just moved.
Thanks to my friends, who helped out in so many ways, to support this past move.
Schlepping boxes, sanding patches, dropping off stuff at resale stores, bringing blueberries & pop, bringing good cheer, texting, offering emotional support over the phone & in person… I really could feel the net of people… & their support.
They were a huge help on a very hot day driving boxes from my apartment of 2 & 1/2 years to the next landing place.
Basically if I was there on my own, I’d listen to music or a podcast & pack & pack & pack after work before heading back to whichever place I was housesitting at.
Because the day I got there, the day I would officially “move in”, there was a distinct sinking feeling in my heart & my gut.
Something akin to: o no. What did I do?
A sort of “wrong” feeling. Like I had made a mistake.
It’s the same feeling.
Driving, though, I can just turn around, get off at an exit, go a different route.
Moving, and renting, & having signed a lease, a binding agreement, the stakes are higher, the consequence greater, especially since I sunk my savings into making it happen. (Rent is expensive in these parts…)
Reflecting on how I only saw what I was looking for, & overlooking the aspects of the place which were, um, funky.
But it turned out the landlord forgot to mention one piece of information which would have changed my decision to apply for this apartment.
“You could get a cat. That’s what the former tenant did.”
And yes, sure, I love cats.
But I’m not in the position where I can be with (my own) cat at this point of my life.
Now, aside from not having the money to rent a different place (including a security deposit), to simply to FIND a place in this town that was both affordable AND in less than a month and with no back-up alternate place to go (not to mention all of my belongings) was, well, it just seemed impossible.
And, quite frankly, I didn’t have the energy or the will to even try. Just moving that last week of July following the entire month of packing every day & cleaning both places while working just wore me out.
Yes, it’s a privilege to move with all of my belongings. Yes, I am currently employed. Yes, I am rich in community.
It still feels bad. I feel bad. Ashamed. Stupid. And then it globs into all the choices I’ve made in my past from places of fear & I just send myself into a sort of spiral.
Even though had I been given all the information I would have made a different choice.
The landlord isn’t going to do anything about the mice.
I’m in a year lease.
I’m buying a *%#^ton of steel wool to shove into any cracks & holes, and screwing welded wire over the really wide gaps.
And I’m telling myself that I’m living in a cabin. For a year.
(Thank you, Amy-la, for that.)
And at the recommendation of my wise sister, & then a friend, I’m going to look at what I appreciate about this place, AND what really doesn’t work for me, and apply that to my decision regarding any future places.
I appreciate that I can heat with wood. I enjoy stacking wood.
The woodstove was one of the four things I saw and said ‘yes’ to.
Wood stove, separate structure (that is, no one above or below or attached to the side), quiet, & a place to garden.
All really great things.
I tend to overlook the whole picture.
Living and learning here.
O the critters.
Wishing you all well on this night.
Wishing you gentleness & ease.
It’s Spring Ephemeral season. That brief stretch when the forest floors have light and some warmth & these lovely beings emerge, bloom, fade, and sinense as the leaves in the high canopy unfurl and gather light from the Sun.
A woods walk was in order.
Spring Beauty and Blue Cohosh.
(Blue Cohosh sticks around for longer, but emerges with the others)
(I wish my vocabulary for the various greens was extensive & specific… I’ll need to work on that.)
Notice the three-lobed leaf from the previous season… Three lobes corresponding to the three lobes of the liver.
Such adorable blossoms. They are nearly exclusively pollinated by bumblebees.
Only a few were blooming the day I went for this walk in Late April. Many were in bloom the following week (on a phone-less walk).
Please say hello to Nemo. Who could be Oni’s distant cousin.
Fortunately I was able to be with Nemo for a stretch of time in March.
So today is my tenth year since returning to Ithaca, after four years away, with my cat, Oni.
11 & 1/2 years is the longest I’ve lived anywhere as an adult (if you count the time before I left…)
It caught me by surprise. I’m in my own little seeding & transplanting world most of the time I’m there.
Shallots, Onions, Leeks, Scallions.
I don’t have an image of the trays in their current green stage, but they’ve began to be transplanted last week. Tonight they’ll complete the rest of the trays.
This method was too complicated, and spray painting edges of the trays will likely be next season’s method.
We’ll see how things unfold.
Till then, happy anniversary day & wishing you all a joyous, long slow spring.
It was warm this past Sunday.
I tried to post on Monday, but there are many photos & my phone dropped the thread & so none of it was saved…
It was the second to last day of seeding for the 2015 season, & Sebastian was holding down the Yin.
During a pause while filling trays, I asked Bob if he could let me know before the cover-plastic was unrolled so I could take a photo of the boxes…
He asked if instead I’d take photos of the boxes as they were filled up through the day…
Seriously, I have the cushy job.
I’ll try to keep the small & large boxes in order (I’ll be more methodical next time)
Above, the top box is the large, their tomato box comes later.
the bottom box (the one with the 1/2 peck box of tomatoes) is the small.
10 Spinach, 4 Sylvetta Arugula, 4 Lettuce, 2 Red Pac Choi, 2 Red Mustard, 2 Mizuna.
All these greens will head to the hoop houses & high tunnels in time.
Suffice it to say that Bob intends to invest in a rotating drum spray method for next season. Garrett is super fast on the sprayer, but I guess the rotating drum is a faster way.
Bob knows details about each CSA member regarding any vegetables they may need to avoid…
So every now and again, some of the boxes will have slightly different contents.
Did I mention it was hot?
Blessings on Late Summer.
Lots of planting was occurring as well.
There’s always a lot going on at the farm.
12 Spinach, 4 Raab, 2 Mustard, 4 Red Pac Choi, 2 Mizuna.
It’s getting full in the barn!
And here the onions today! They did well, & are drying down nicely.
& thank goodness for the other farms in the area!
She was given to me back in 1995 by my Shiatsu mentor, Nini.
She presents the major meridians used in acupuncture, acupressure, & Shiatsu.
I’ve moved a lot in my adult life.
No doubt, less than some, & more than others.
The Passionflower bud was closed – & I thought that I had missed it blooming, as they only open for a day and a half… And never more than two days.
I enjoy it. For a number of reasons.
The quiet, the solitude, the animals…
It’s a bit disorienting, when returning home…
Maybe because another place has “become home”…?
I don’t really know.
Transition days are usually “raw days” where I always feel a bit off-kilter & vulnerable.
I was completely surprised when looking over at Penelope & the bud, about 20 minutes after watering the plants…
To see the bud had opened into its gorgeous blossom.
But it had happened before…
That is, a bud had formed… I’d gone off to house sit… Then returned home & I’d missed the blossom.
(Que disappointment violas…)
Yesterday, there was disappointment & swirl. There was surprise & delight. Then I got to watch the habitual mind patterns.
Getting to know “the field of weeds” so-to-speak.
Getting to know my very own mind-meadow.
the past two Sunday’s I’ve been away – the Garlic Pull at Sara’s farm, then at a friend’s wedding.
Here’s a tour of the large hoop house where most of the tomatoes are planted.
Feel free to educate me on the proper name for this aromatic stuff of the tomato plant.
I’ll put up another post about the fall planting…
I cut my workday short due to a migraine…
Feeling much better now – more to come.
I get to be with sister Shoofins*, Sophie & Izzy.
* Shoofins is a word coined by their Humans. I believe it’s plural for Shoofin. Which either is specific to Sophie & Izzy, or may be a way to refer to cats. I’m not sure, & will need to confer with the creators of the word upon their return.
& I’ve either been slacking on the photos or more focused on the work – depending how one looks at it.
Looking up & out at the sky, feeling into my body & breathing helps return my awareness to what’s in front of my eyes.
The habit of being in story (behind the eyes) is SO strong. SO ingrained.
But then I laugh at myself, remembering that it’s a practice.
Thank you, Sky.
Yesterday was similar, minus Broccoli, & with the addition of Sorrel and Watercress.
Here’s spinach just popping up
Along with beets, basil, & lettuce.
Basically anything that is not a Brassica (like Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli, & Cauliflower) which would be landed upon by the lovely cabbage moth, then rapidly munched down to misery by the cute-as-a-button larvae.
(That sounds like it just up & walks its way to the barn…)
People either hang or stack in it such a way that it allows for good air flow for the stalks to fully dry.
Garlic keeps better this way.
But, it’s unavoidable if it happens to be a rainy, muddy-muck day when the garlic is harvested.
I was trained to clean garlic this way at Sara’s farm, where I interned in 2006.
Next Sunday is the Garlic Pull at her farm, Earthly Mirth. I’ll be sure to get some photos that day to share.
A half-acre of garlic!
(Photo by Jenny – thank you!)