zen summer


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As Summer devolves into Fall, with the air turning crisp, the leaves turning orange, and the clouds spilling rain and occasional thunder rolling in the night, I return to the computer after enjoying the last four months outside in my garden, playing with the dogs, hosting a few visitors, and making plans for the upcoming months to be spent indoors. I am once again able to sit still long enough to write here, and after such a long break, I will offer a stream of consciousness post to encompass if not all, then the most memorable happenings of the past while.

Here on the west coast the weather was truly summery, which it often is not for much of the time over June and July. But we were blessed with sunshine and warm temperatures which tends to foster positive energy in most people. As I am not employed outside the home, my time is my own. This summer I was reunited with my green thumb and was able to produce some delicious edibles as well as some glorious visuals.

The ever-bearing strawberries I planted last year came up green and leafy and produced three rounds of berries, the last of which I have yet to pick, but you can see how deeply red, large and obviously sun-drenched these beauties shown above.

Dahlia tubers were planted in early May and to my wonderment they emerged in July and are still blooming and likely will until the cold sets in for good. The hydrangea flowered into the most vibrant periwinkle, and the zucchini, cucumber, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, potatoes, peas and strawberries were all abundant. My husband brought home an ingenious planter idea in ends of white 24″ pipe leftover from the jobsite, and my tomatoe plants flourished in their protective, reflective shells.

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I continue to use my laundry soap recipe which produces the sweetest, fresh-smelling clothes and linens directly off the line. I will now have to use the clothes dryer for these few rainy days, but on cooler, drier days the line will still do it’s magic. I discovered another trick: spray the perfume oil directly onto the clothes with a spray bottle containing mostly water with a few drops of oil, and as they dry they are infused with the delicate scent of your choice. Vanilla, Lemon, Nag Champra, Blackcurrant, and Lotus are my favourites.

Another addition to the Zen household I am creating is a jar of sourdough starter lovingly passed over from a good friend. I have yet to make my first loaf but will post the results once I do. I cannot wait!

My inner student will also be rewarded as I have embarked on a 10-month Herbology course, The Alchemy of Herbal Medicine with Jamie Capranos in which I will learn all about plants, leaves, roots and flowers from near and far and how to incorporate them into a healthful, autonomous lifestyle. I feel the urge to gain as much knowledge as I can, in the Ma Ingalls style of pioneer homemaking, in the event our island community is cut off from society and we must fend for ourselves. This is not a doomed feeling, quite the contrary. I feel empowered by this urge, more of necessity than anything else, so that I know whatever happens with climate changes, political changes, or any number of natural disasters, we will be able to live healthfully and sustainably.

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I have also embarked on a marketing project that is very exciting, but still in the early stages and therefore too soon to unveil. But this project will allow me to utilize my inherent skills in organizing, planning and creating, but most importantly I am partnered with a man whom I admire very much, and together we will be able to earn a little income, keep our minds active, and manifest abundance for our client. This project has been in the background for awhile, and recently got off the ground, which is both scary and exhilarating. I love the expression “If You’re Not Living on the Edge You’re Taking Up Too Much Space” so I choose to feel empowered and dive in fully with only positive energy. I have nothing to lose and only knowledge to gain, so here I go!

And I have managed to foster my Making Changes philosophy by creating a few more drawings/paintings which I humbly offer:

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For now I leave you with best wishes for a bright future, as I watch the terrible news of the Washington shootings today. Peace be with you, if nowhere else but within your heart.

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