Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day

In honor of those who have served our country.  In memory of and deep gratitude for those who have paid the supreme price and died while serving in the Armed Forces.   Holding those close who grieve the loss of their loved ones who have perished while in uniform.  Namaste.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Be Content

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.                       
                                                 ~Lao Tzu

Summer is on the Way

I have been really scarce here for the last couple of weeks.  So much is happening I don't know where to start.  First - I finally got the tomatoes and herbs and eggplant and flowers planted!!  I worked for five hours nonstop in the garden today and I feel really good.  I have dreams of tomatoes and basil with my homemade fresh mozzarella - yum! 

I planted four different varieties of tomatoes - yellow pear, brandywine (a really big heirloom), opalla (an heirloom paste), and aussie (a early, medium-sized heirloom).  I also planted a currant bush and rhubarb!  The picture at the left is in the front of my house.  Those of you who have been visiting here for awhile might remember pictures of the front of the house with bountiful pots of foliage and flowers.  Last Fall I had the gravel mulch removed and had it dug out and replaced with rich compost and garden soil.  Now I can grow food there - how fun!  I still haven't decided what to plant for the border - maybe more basil.  You can't have enough basil!

I am still growing in pots - I have lots of chives, more tomatoes, tons of other herbs of every description, flowers and there is more to come.   I get such enjoyment out of digging in the dirt and watching things grow. 

The big news is my Mother sold the house in Yountville!  This a huge life-transition.  The is much too big for her plus the two-stories are really not practical for a woman in her 80's who is legally blind.  She has lived in the house for a long time - we have our work cut out for us.

Of course, I am on my way to California to help find her a place to live (she wants to buy something - her choice, not a great idea from my perspective - nonetheless - I will honor her wishes).  I need to help pack her things; I need to help her decide what will go to the new place and what we will do with all the stuff that will not fit as she downsizes.  I will be leaving the beginning of June and will spend 11 days with her.  I will also go back in early July to be with her for the move.

I have been juggling a lot of balls lately.  We moved our office (the new one is great); my client work is still very intense; I have been trying to get the yard in shape; I have been trying to simplify my own life by getting rid of stuff and the beat does on.  Oh yeah, and then there is laundry and things. :)

The next couple of weeks will be really busy.  I will try to keep the garden photos updated and of course, it is always fun to post wine country shots.  I hope you are all well and enjoying these days leading up to summer. 

One marvelous thing - I have stepped into my new life.  It is terrific to be here now - not in the past, not longing for what I cannot have, just enjoying my life as it is - very grateful for life just the way it is.  Namaste.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


This year is about LIVING.  Not making excuses, not waiting until I (lose the 10 pounds); (finish the really tough client); (get a better night's sleep) --- OMG, fill in the blank.  One of my major intentions for 2010 is to practice self-compassion.

When I wrote that Intention it was about being nicer to myself.  It was about treating myself with the same kindness and support that I offer to others.  It turns out, it was about those things and more than I could have imagined.  In the beginning of the fifth month of this year here are some of the things I am learning and putting into practice as a result of this intention.

I am learning to silence THE VOICE.  You know the voice - the one we all have inside.  The Voice that is always ready with a critical word or a judgment.  The Voice that revels in living in yesterday or tomorrow.  The Voice that blocks living in the present.  The present moment - the only one we have. 

Treating myself with dignity and respect - consciously, deliberately and consistently is transforming.  This is not magic transformation - this is baby steps, baby steps, baby steps - the changes that stick.

Here is an example:  I gained some weight over the winter.  That's not unusual.  When that happens, I am really, really good at losing it - once I put my mind into it and do it - it gets done. (I am also good at using food to soothe myself when I am upset, bored, frustrated, sad - which of course causes a cycle of gain/lose the same pounds over and over)  I do NOT want to continue that behavior and that cycle.  This time, I do not want to go on a diet.  It is a losing proposition in more ways than weight.  It keeps the cycle going.  Gain a few, lose them, gain a few again, lose them - you know what I mean!  I am done!!! 

I am practicing living in the moment - making good food choices, staying active, continuing to build more muscle mass and finally getting it straight to stop the yo-yo right here, right now.   Living in the moment; being kind to myself; making conscious choices, forgiving myself when I make the inevitable mistake.   Loving and cherishing myself and my life whatever the scale says - it is clear that the VOICE keeps me locked in that cycle and that thinking.

I am learning that self-compassion is also about accountability - no excuses - it is the VOICE that keeps me trapped in old habits.  This exploration of eating and weight is only one small area in this new approach to living my life.  Self-compassion is about balance and acceptance not just words but the daily actions and conscious choices that that make up one's life.  This an exciting time of practice, patience, active learning, growing, gratitude, forgiveness, and transformation.  There is much more to come on this topic.  How does your VOICE hold you back?  How have you learned to listen to your authentic self not the VOICE? 

We are always getting ready to live, but never living.
     - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, May 06, 2010

I stand in the Present

This weekend, when I removed the Burning Bush shrub from my yard, I couldn't help but think about the day Tom and I planted it.  We went together and selected exactly what we wanted.   This tree was especially important as its location is one of the main views out our living room window.  We wanted something that would fill that corner of the yard and be beautiful in different seasons.

We planted it at least 8 years ago (maybe longer) and I remember that day so well.  We had fun, laughing and talking about how wonderful it is to watch the miracle of nature as our plants and trees grow and mature. 

There would have been a day when I would have removed that tree with tears streaming down my face - totally consumed by the loss of Tom and those memories.  Not so this weekend.  The rabbit destroyed the tree - it had to go. 

Of course, I will miss Tom always.  Of course, there will be times that I wish he were here by my side.  Of course, I there will be times of sadness that he is gone from the earth.  That is the reality of losing someone you love and cherish.  For me - I have stepped into this new life - joyfully I can say - "I STAND IN THE PRESENT."

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

In My Backyard

I had a wonderful weekend working on my outdoor project that I briefly mentioned in a previous post.  There is a portion of my lawn just in front of my rose garden beds that is difficult to grow grass - between the pine trees and the shade it is a constant battle.  So - I made a new outdoor sitting room by covering the lawn to kill the grass, put down landscape cloth and covered it with mulch and ringed it with river rocks.

I also scrubbed the deck, mulched the gardens, dug and discarded my beautiful burning bush that the rabbits destroyed over the winter.

I moved the outdoor dining table to the deck and I think it looks nice. 

Next weekend I will begin to plant the herb gardens, get a few annuals in the ground, and then plant my veggie pots.  How I love the Spring and Summer - digging in the dirt, sun in my hair, pure heaven.