The Brits are famous gardeners, of course. And my grandmother on my mother's side and my grandfather on my father's side did not possess merely a thumb in the color of growing things - their whole upper torsos and all fourteen hand phalanges were quite green. But I, myself, have had one and a half successful gardens. The best one ever was so researched and planned you'd have thought I was putting a space launch or a new subdivision into my summer schedule - and then the tomato forest that ensued gave gorgeous results - most of which turned into compost because I'm not so good with the harvest/put up for the winter/use it at every opportunity part of gardening.
Because harvest happens in the heat, in case you didn't know, and the heat, my friend, is a little foretaste of what happens to evil in the next life. And Brits don't have heat. They don't allow it. It's not polite.
Still ... there are plants out there again this year, and my poor husband has had to do women's work once more because his wife didn't do it. He planted some tomatoes, and some ... um ... (oh crap! I've forgotten what else!). I think I'd better go water the garden today. And speak to the goats while I'm out there. I feel very silly talking to the plants.
Talking to plants makes them grow, especially if you are a woman, according to an experiment by the Royal Horticultural Society.
Women gardeners' voices speed up growth of tomato plants much more than men's, it found.
In an experiment run over a month, they found that tomato plants grew up to two inches taller if they were serenaded by the dulcet tones of a female rather than a male.
(Hope this doesn't jinx it.)
(Did I say that already?)
We looked at the scary machines in the yard at the museum,And we decided that the best pose with a dictator is one you pick yourself,And we stood in truly horrible lighting for a "siblings" shot,And outdoors for a family shot (proof that at 5'9" I really am the shortest one in the family - and proof that it's been too long since my last haircut ... and notice the bunching up? the posing for the camera? nah - me neither)And then we waited around a bit (that's the little brother ... waiting around ...)because the soldier's husband called from Iraq, and everyone gave her some privacy in the other car. Now it's his turn to worry, and he wishes she weren't leaving their cute little house and the base and everything else to go off to the danger zone.
For my part, I'm glad we met her superior officers - because now I see the reality of who she is in her job, and the respect she has earned. They know her. See her. She will be as safe as it is possible to be in such a situation, and we are fiercely proud of her. --- Next year for my birthday, she should be home again.
Tomorrow we travel up to Fort Lewis for the Brigade Deployment Ceremony. At this time next week, she will be gone. She will be in the developing powder keg that is the Everything-istan part of the world. May she be "defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul." And may she keep cold.
Good-bye, and Keep Cold
by Robert Frost
This saying good-bye on the edge of the dark
And cold to an orchard so young in the bark
Reminds me of all that can happen to harm
An orchard away at the end of the farm
All winter, cut off by a hill from the house.
I don't want it girdled by rabbit and mouse,
I don't want it dreamily nibbled for browse
By deer, and I don't want it budded by grouse.
If certain it wouldn't be idle to call
I'd summon grouse, rabbit, and deer to the wall
And warn them away with a stick for a gun.
I don't want it stirred by the heat of the sun.
We made it secure against being, I hope,
By setting it out on a northerly slope.
No orchard's the worse for the wintriest storm;
But one thing about it, it mustn't get warm.
"How often already you've had to be told,
Keep cold, young orchard. Good-bye and keep cold.
Dread fifty above more than fifty below."
I have to be gone for a season or so.
My business awhile is with different trees,
Less carefully nourished, less fruitful than these,
And such as is done to their wood with an axe --
Maples and birches and tamaracks.
I wish I could promise to lie in the night
And think of an orchard's arboreal plight
When slowly (and nobody comes with a light)
Its heart sinks lower under the sod.
But something has to be left to God.
My office, too. Yeesh! What a mess the move from autumn, through winter and spring, and now into summer has made in here. It's not just books, files, papers, notes, and course work. This room is a defacto storage room, and it is starting to look like someone picked up the house and shook everything into this corner. Time to dig out again and put everything in a nice home of its own.
I'm going to do the same thing with this blog as well. A new season is dawning. I'm no longer "returning" to school. I'm IN school. So the label that used to say "return to school" is going to say "Student." That's me. Artist, Christian, Cinemaphile, Cogitator, Cook, Educator, Health Hunger, Home Maker, Laugher, Library Assistant, Metamorph, Mother, Pacific Northwesterner, Poet, Reader, STUDENT, Walker, Wife, Writer. And for the next few days, Reorganizer - quick - before I have to add Lunatic to the list.
One school year into this. Forty credits the richer. And surprised beyond measure that the Lit course turned out to be so satisfying. What is this? Buyer's remorse? Second guessing? Congenital fussing at things? This Human Studies degree. I still want it, but at the edges of The Plan, there is a dawning yellow-orange light beginning to make its way across the page. What if I did an Interdisciplinary Degree, with Human Studies and Rhetorical Studies?
Does Human Studies + Rhetorical Studies = Narrative Therapy? Or ... almost, anyway. Maybe HS + RS + MA = Narrative Therapy. Maybe the place to take this degree is back to that original idea - the Art Therapy Master's. (uff! That feels like catching the dodge ball directly in the gut!)
Why does following a vocation have to feel like so much effort? Shouldn't it be easier to fall in love than this? I'm just wondering.
Exhausted and Wanting More
As director Robert Kenner and food advocate and author Michael Pollan tell Steve Inskeep, they made the film in order to raise Americans' awareness about where their food really comes from.
Today I got word that my final PLA essay for the quarter came back from the evaluator with all four credits recommended.
And I've just turned in my Lit essay - "Jane Austen's Miniatures" - honed down, spiffed up, edited, proof read, and perfected. (Thanks, Kim!)
But ... um ... that means my quarter's over!! This school year that I wanted so badly for so long - it's already over!
I broke a tooth today too. Somehow that's less surprising than forty credits.
Sam: You don't like raisins?
Joon: Not really.
Joon: They used to be fat and juicy and now they're twisted. They had their lives stolen. Well, they taste sweet, but really they're just humiliated grapes. I can't say I am a big supporter of the raisin council.
The month of Joon has begun, and so far, here's what's on the schedule. Here's the reason my new motto is:
Sunday, June 7: Trinity Sunday, first Sunday of the Month, which means Evensong & Benediction, and the last Sunday of the Sunday School year. I'm planning on getting my barely-readers to draw this, but with symbols instead of words:Wednesday, June 10: final paper for the Lit course, and that means final paper for the year, and that means I've acquired forty credits this year. Feels good.
Friday, June 12: daughter soldier brings things to store from garrison to our house.
Saturday, June 13: taller, curlier young giant home for the summer (we go get him that day)
then ... Mon-Wed, learn the card lady job. Friday, go to the battalion's ceremony because they're deploying on Father's Day. (Doesn't that sound a bit ill advised?) Mon &/or Tues, old card lady shows me the paperwork for the post-Dads&Grads displays, and I take over the job. Wed, haircut and party for PLA students. Friday/Saturday, Earnst&Young gala in Seattle ... and I have jury duty in July.
So here's what I need. I need a waterproof, downloadable, voice activated, engrafted into my body somewhere, notepad. That way, as soon as I think of something I'll be able to take a note or do it. If I don't do either one, the idea (or bank transfer) disappears into oblivion never to be seen or heard from again. Until we get the bank statement.
It's the "Directed Creativity" model done by Paul Plesk. This is good stuff! It's pretty much the manual for operating that wind machine I discovered last week. I read about it this morning over at Write to Done, a blog by Leo Babauta of "Zen Habits" fame.
This diagram fascinates me because I am looking at the same life on another planet - again! This is one of those wheel within a wheel things.
The ancients noticed four basic types of personalities and named them after the humors. Here's wikipedia's chart about the four humors.
Jung expanded on this, and the mother-daughter team of Myers and Briggs expanded on Jung because it just seemed like a good idea to get people into jobs where their natural strengths would thrive (as opposed to exploring only underdeveloped or deviant development), and then science brought us brain scans, and now we talk about right and left brain activity, preferred "functions" in personalities ...
and Keirsey's four categories are fairly useful in real life when we use the "Z" for making group decisions.
Start at the upper left corner with the Thinkers who can see the problem, go across the top to the upper right and ask the Intuitives to find three solutions, cross the diagonal by asking the Sensates to choose among the options and find the most workable one, and then run it by the Feelers to make sure all the people concerned have been included and the social network is still intact. That's the problem-solving technique I learned in class this spring.
Now, (still with me?) arrange that Z as the four corners of a four-square box, and what do you get? You get Martha Beck's "Square One" theory for personal development. In Finding Your Own North Star, she notices that every time life throws us a shocker that knocks us off our feet, we end up at back at Square One. The stages of life changes are:
Square One: death and rebirth - everything seems to have gone to hell in a handbasket, you've got no idea what's going on and not idea what to do about it. The way to the next square is through a rebirth into a new self-image.
Square Two: dreaming and scheming - ideas begin to be generated for some kind of life as the new you.
Square Three: the hero's saga - a lot of stuff has to be tried and you have to be Edison here - you have to find your 10,000 ways that don't work and keep going.
Square Four: the promised land - when you finally move into the new stage of your life.
Do you see what I see? It's the same! Beck's squares are obviously the individual's equivalent of the personality types, played out in one person's change cycles. The world's "Artisans" (to use Keirsey's terms) are most at home in Square One, and tend to stay there. They like it when none of the boats have anchors because that way no one's "stuck" with anything. The Intuitives will generate Square Two ideas, the Sensates will try them in the real world, and the Guardians will maintain the successful lives until something comes along and slams the whole thing back over to the Artisans, who inevitably drive everyone crazy by not recognizing what a disaster all this free-floating chaos really is.
And THAT is why we need each other. The same life on other planets has a huge influence on our own. In my personal life, I can find momentum in my own continuous directed creativity cycles. In our families and in our countries as well as in ourselves, we will function best if we use all four Squares, all four humors, all of the Z. We need each other - and we become more fully human when we learn to communicate with the other life forms - inside us and all around the galaxy.
The immediately preceding page was this one:Gourmet Magazine's FAVORITE FOOD SITES page. If my life were made of food pursuits of any kinds, that's a page I'd want to be on.
From there, I found Culinate.
At Culinate we’re engaged in an ongoing conversation about eating well. Our content — articles, cooking tips, interviews, recipes, podcasts, food news, blog posts — helps people put real food at the center of their lives.
After all, food is fundamental. We all make dozens of decisions about it every day: what to eat, where to buy it, how to prepare it. But there’s more to dinner than meets the eye.
Where does our food come from? How is it produced? What does the phrase “you are what you eat” mean in the 21st century?
Culinate is a community for eaters who are asking just these kinds of questions.