Friday, May 27, 2011

Living Is So Much More Than Survival

I've been very busy living my life over the last few weeks, and so I haven't stopped to reflect on it much. It's time to take stock of where I am.

I'll be turning 30 in twenty-six days. School will be over for the year in twenty-five days. A while ago I was struggling with the inevitability of turning 30, but in the last couple weeks, my attention has gotten caught up in the end of school instead. I've got so much to finish here - papers to grade, finals to give, books to shelve, clutter to dispose of. It's very time-and-energy consuming.

My time at home has been mostly spent outside. The gardens are filling in, finally. I knew when I started planting perennials, that it was going to take a few years for them to get established the way I wanted them to. This year, everything has come together perfectly. The older plants have had two or three years to establish themselves, and the newer plants are being treated to a perfect combination of cold rain and hot sun, and they are growing and blooming as well.

I'm taking steps now to make my life more what I imagined that it would be at this point. I've started taking aikido lessons again, and even though I've managed to injure myself all ready (cramped my hip flexor and strained my quad), I'm feeling better than I have in a long time. My sensei says that I need to work on being more aggressive with my movements, which I totally agree with. In aikido, and in life, I'm not very good about standing my ground or being forceful. I would rather "bend and blend", which is good sometimes, but not always. My hope is that I'll be able to learn with my body what I need to do with my heart and my mind, and that there will be some transference between one and the other.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Garden Work

I did another bundle of work in my garden this weekend.

Added two new containers to corners of the deck yesterday. This one contains Catchfly, petunias, and some other annual that I don't know the name of.
Catchfly Container

This one contains Japanese Blood Grass, petunias, and some other annual that I don't know the name of.
Blood Grass Container

I planted lavender in my front garden last fall, but it didn't do very well because it's too shady. Yesterday I rescued two of the three plants and put them in containers on my deck where they can get enough light.
Lavender in Pots

I took the not-so-happy plants out of the front garden and moved them, and put in a few new things. This is actually a shade garden, it gets about three hours of morning sun, so I hope my ferns are happy here.
Ghost Lady Fern

My lily-of-the-valley are blooming.
White Coral Bells

My Japanese peony flowered as well. It took three years.
Japanese Peony Flowering
Peony Flower 2Peony Flower 1

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Month, New Technique (and Happy Beltane!)

As part of my ongoing creative endeavors, I sometimes (often, really) hit a wall or get bored with one style of crafting and have to go find something else to do. Over the years I've tried my hand at making beaded jewelry, doing wirework, making glass beads, photography, digital photo editing, scrapbooking, and various paper crafts. Most recently, I've become interested in ATC's, or Artist Trading Cards. The idea behind ATC's is that they are a 2.5" x 3.5" card, created as a tiny piece of art, intended to be exchanged with another ATC-maker's card. They are not supposed to be sold, only given away. I made my very first ATC yesterday, and even though it's not at awesome as some of the ones I've seen, I think it's reasonably good.

"Fleur" ATC #1
ATC - Fleur

"Honoring Tolkien" ATC #2 and "Honoring Keats" ATC #3
ATCs #2 and #3

In other news, Happy Beltane yesterday! I had a fire and reset my altar.
Beltane Altar 2011