Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Meditating in the Garden

There is nothing weird or mystical about meditation and, besides, it is so easy to do.  All that is required is 20 minutes and a quiet place away from phones, TV, radio, and other interruptions and distractions.  The early morning may be preferable but  special time before bed may also be beneficial.  What would also be helpful is to have this time set aside on a daily basis.

I have a most comfortable chair on the porch which is near the green grass, the trees, and the garden.

To prepare myself for a quiet time, I sit with my feet placed together on a soft carpet on the floor and my hands are resting easy in my lap.  Some people may prefer to close their eyes while others may concentrate on a pleasant point in the garden.

Before I actually begin the meditation, I let my whole body come to a relaxed state starting with my feet, my legs, my arms and parts in between.  I let my shoulders and neck relax and finally my face.  Relax.

I inhale slowly.  I exhale slowly.  I am aware of birds twittering and children playing nearby.  I let it go.  I am aware of cars and buses on the road way--people going to work and students going to school.  I let it go.  Whatever other thoughts come to my mind, I acknowledge them and let them go.

I continue my breathing.  I inhale lowly,  I exhale slowly.

Breathing in, I know this is my in-breath.
Breathing out, I know this is my out-breath.
Breathing in, I'm aware of my eyes.
Breathing out, I smile to my eyes.
Breathing in, I'm aware of my whole body.
Breathing out, I release the pain in my body.
--Thich Nhat Hanh

I open my eyes and sit still for a few minutes.  I take in the green grass and the trees.  I stretch my legs and arms before I get up from my comfortable chair.  I feel refreshed and ready to meet the day.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Painting the Shed

Early this summer, while the weather was still reasonably warm, I painted the garden shed that was in dire need of some sprucing up--the sooner, the better.  The shed had been power washed last year.  Who was procrastinating?

To do it right, I had to remove old caulking so that the new would stick and seal the crevices. This would protect the shed from rain that may otherwise find its way into the walls.

In addition, I went around the shed and sanded all the nails that I could see and hammered them into the the posts and walls.  I had to use more nails for some of the posts and frames around the windows.  I then painted the nails with Rostolium to prevent rusting.

The shed pretty much matches the house in color. The shed is an extension of our living area.  

To use up old paint, I painted the doors on the inside in a light purple color and to play with the idea of a she shed, I put up some lacy curtains from IKEA.  What do you think?

What color do I paint the doors on the outside, the shutters, and the flower boxes?  I didn't want a screaming color but something that blended it but special.

I settled for Persimmon!  An orangy color. Discreet?

 My husband put up the flower boxes and we
 planted orange Marigolds in the flower boxes and added a flag with a splash of orange among its colors.

He also added an electrical outlet on the outside so we no longer have to open a window for the electrical cord.

We enjoy looking at our shed from the garden, the porch, and the summer kitchen.  It's a happy color!  It's unique.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Things to do in July

Stay inside:  when the temperature hits three digits and the sun's burn time is 10 minutes (or less), you have no business being outside.  Close the house up, draw the curtains, and drink plenty of water..

If you must be outside in your yard, prune the roses, hydrangeas, the society garlic, and other perennials to remove spent flowers (dead head) to encourage more blooms and at the same time reducing plant size and reducing disease problems.

Vegetables:  In zone 9, the following vegetables may be planted:  Eggplant, Okra, Southern Peas, Peppers, Water Melons and of course Cherry Tomatoes.  They are all supposed to be hot weather plants; however, you may not find them in nurseries at this time of the year.

My master gardener and I picked 30 ears of sweet Silver Queen corn this morning.  We shucked them, blanched them, cooled them down to stop the boiling, packed them in plastic bags, and put them in the freezer to enjoy at a later date.

You may get corn at the grocery stores or at the farmers market for a quarter a piece.

Is it worth the labor and cost to produce your own corn?

My kitchen is now closed, the curtains drawn, and I am going to enjoy a tall glass of cold water.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Algae Blooms

An article about algae bloom affecting the South Florida was sent to me today. One line that caught my attention read that "Excess fertilizer, manure, and partially treated sewage spark nasty algae outbreaks in public waters."  In my opinion, this is true for many waters, not just in Florida.

As an avid gardener, year around, I do use commercial fertilizer sparingly but I usually blend in my compost into the garden soil for enrichment.  There is a grassy ten foot barrier between my garden and the scenic creek that carries water to the Intra Coastal and out to sea.

Instead of herbicides, I hand weed the garden and the lawn.  It is time consuming.  But I think about the birds that scour the lawn for insects and grubs and I feel so much better.  

I also believe that a lot of people drain their swimming pools into drainage ditches.  As you know, chlorine and other chemicals are used in the pools.  

Whatever you as an individual can do to reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides will reduce pollution of our environment.  It does make a difference.  All you have to do is look in your own back forty to see the result--the healthy and happy birds twittering and flying about.

Check out a Press release from the Earthjustice.com

I hold sacred
the natural order of the earth
and vow to do my utmost
to help turn the tide
of our Earth's devastation.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day 2016

Today is a day for parades and picnics, 
a day at the beach to soak in the sunshine and ride the surf.  

Everybody, please have a wonderful day.  

Don't forget to fly your flag.

When you do visit the beach, please oh please, pick up after you.
Leave only your footprints in the sand.

Enjoy an adult beverage, if you like;
but, please oh please:

Do not drink 

Thank you for visiting my blog.