Sharing an Autumn Bouquet on #WordlessWednesday



Feel Good Friday – A #FridayFeeling and #TGIF prescription

In light of all the ‘happenings’ in the world these days, in general, it seems to me that many people focus on what’s negative; today I choose to think positive!

With a family I love and who loves me back, a roof over my head, food in the fridge, a wonderful cat, and the promise of spring, I am indeed a rich person.

This is not me burying my head in the sand. I watch the world with keen eyes. Indulge me if you will…

I see greed, war, poverty, decreasing democracy, nationalism, inequality, health, & major ecological issues, just to name a few. Each one in itself seemingly insurmountable, let alone when combined in a wider list.

The Worship of Mammon, and the personification of material greed, by Evelyn De Morgan. 1909

Online, on TV, or out & about, we’re inundated by 24 hour news cycles thrusting people’s anger towards us, depending on what side of the aisle one is on, which can trap our mindset in what may seem to be a planet pitted in frustration.

We’re told by marketing folk that the material things we lack are the only things that will actually make us happy. I’m just not buying in to that any longer, (pun intended). Further to that, we all know ‘you can’t take it with you’, so why do we willingly chain ourselves to so much of it in the first place?

Maybe I’m just getting old. Maybe it’s because I just read this quote: ‘Don’t grow up, it’s a trap.” ūüėČ

I’m not saying we shouldn’t want to better our selves, our circumstances, fix what’s broken, (pipes or political systems), or follow our dreams. I’m simply asking why, when we see what ‘the Joneses’ possess and we do not, do we feel any need to keep up? Are we really lacking something, and is that something making our life less somehow, or are we simply conditioned to think that’s the case?

In any case, I won’t be able to think positively every day. Nobody could! But, I won’t beat myself up for it either. That’s where vicious cycles begin. Maybe an admission of this can bring balances. Perhaps it’s healthy to consider what’s wrong with the world sometimes in order to fully understand what’s right about it.

Maybe if we don’t dwell too much on either view, the world could become a happier place.

Maybe my mindful exercises will continue to keep my spirit light! Hopefully focusing on a ‘less is more’ mentality, and the many positives in this life, I won’t tune out the world’s problems, but won’t internalize them either, meaning there’s less risk of morphing into an ostrich, or some sickeningly sweet Pollyanna. ūüėČ

Here’s a list of activities I‚Äôll be doing more often. In no particular order!

  • Engaging with/in nature
  • creating more art
  • reading more books
  • baking & cooking new recipes
  • listening to more music
  • spending more time with family
  • catching up with old friends & far-away family
  • spending less time in front of screens, including this one
  • finishing my book
  • finding humor in situations (whenever possible, & not funerals!)
  • gardening, gardening & more gardening
  • Enjoying each season as it arrives & lasts (translation: not complaining about winter because it’s cold & snowy so I can‚Äôt be out growing flowers in the garden) ūüėČ

Mrs. Woman

Seeking happiness within, and without, is my effort to engage in a balanced life. With a clear perspective of this ever changing world, it’s a worthwhile effort to look within, and out at the world around us, put ourselves in other’s shoes, and hopefully see what’s important and what is not.

What makes you happy? What would be on your list?

TGIF, my friends! Happy Friday! Have a terrific weekend. ~ Karen

#FridayFlowers in winter? Not so much! Still, there is beauty to be found in the garden

This time of year, there’s nothing blooming in the garden, however there is still much beauty to be found.¬†

The hydrangeas have long since faded and dried, but I like to leave them over the winter because of the lovely snow-laden look about them.

Lucky to have several garden obelisks around the property, (with a big thanks to my handy hubby), they support all kinds of things I like to grow from spring to fall, including peas, runner beans, clematis, and morning glory.

These sturdy stands offer much winter interest this time of year! Sculptures that hold the snow, and my attention.

There are lots of berries still on trees. Food for the birds, but also a bright red colour that’s in such contrast to what can otherwise be a very monochromatic season.

And, not unlike this geranium by the kitchen window, (which blooms several times over the winter for me, inside of course!), I’ll (try to) patiently wait for the next time I can be outside¬† again, basking in the warm sunshine flooding the garden.

With the equinox and winter solstice this coming weekend, the days will once again grow longer. It’ll be good to be back on the right track!¬†Happy Solstice to all. ~ Karen

 

November garden musings… switching gears from the outdoors to inside.

There’s a chill in the air, fresh snow on the ground, and I’m craving a seat next to the fireplace, along with a big mug of hot chocolate. Yum!

Technically it’s still autumn, but winter doesn’t care. Happy to disregard the calendar, it has staked a claim on my garden already, and as you can see, the lavender plants are snug as bugs in rugs, tucked happily in the snow.

Left with no choice but to let it go gently into that good night, (with apologies to Dylan Thomas), I’ll switch gears now and focus on the indoor plants.

My tropicals, & succulents especially, must absolutely shudder at the thought the over-attention they’ll now receive all winter long, which is a drastic change from the absolute neglect I offer them spring through fall.

I’m pretty good about not over-watering, so this attention, (a smidge of OCD), mainly includes following the sunshine by moving most of the plants closer to any window that has southern exposure for the day, trimming leaves, repotting, and the like.

I cram many of them on our dining room table and kitchen counter so they can catch some rays on brighter days, which my family thankfully ignores because they’re used to it by now.

Except for our cat, who sometimes seems quite annoyed at the lack of space she has to stretch out. As cats will do, she pays it forward by chewing, and flicking some of the foliage with her long sharp claws that may invade her territory.

And, look out in February when seed starting season is upon us. Available space at those southern windows shrinks drastically when trays containing my future vegetable garden start sprouting in small, hand-made newspaper pots.

However, it’s still November. Time to end this post, practice some serious Hygge, make that hot chocolate, (with mini-marshmallows), grab a good book, get cozy by the fire, and settle in for the season.

Have a good week! Thanks for stopping by. ūüôā

The Spirit Garden – An examination of life through flowers and plants

When one¬†tends¬†a garden, one tends to contemplate life. It’s very simple. Sometimes this examination is purely on a physical level; i.e. the¬†plants right in front of¬†our face.¬†Other times¬†it’s a more of a¬†philosophical nature, one¬†that reaches beyond the border of our property,¬†nurturing our senses towards¬†self introspection, leading to the creation of¬†a¬†spiritual garden.

If nothing else, gardening has taught me much. Not just about myself, but many life lessons have been transferred from plants to this person.

When  one views the world as a garden, one is more apt to engage nature with all the senses, as well as the mind and heart. Simply by observing and engaging in what nature has to offer, people have the ability to grow, not unlike a garden.

  • Equate weeds to negativity and flowers to the good things in your life. Take some time and¬†pull the weeds¬†out or they’ll spread, choking out all the¬†flowers you wish to flourish.
  • Equate flowers¬†to human beings. A diverse¬†garden with many types of plants is worth celebrating and exploring.¬†Can anyone, gardener or not,¬†imagine¬†a plot consisting of only one type of flower? How utterly boring.
  • Equate your garden to where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. A garden never stays the same and like life,¬†change is inevitable.
  • Some plants wither and die. Chuck ’em in the compost and move on. Sometimes nothing will keep them alive. That goes for some relationships, too. People are really like flowers and¬†will add¬†joy and happiness¬†to¬†your garden, and not take it away.
  • ¬†Corporate gardens are¬†easy to spot.¬†Usually¬†heavily¬†manicured, clipped,¬†and planted overnight with annuals for instant gratification,¬†they reside¬†in front of many a sterile building, appearing like¬†oppressive¬†backdrops touting perfection, which is not possible in reality. They lack¬†creativity¬†and offer little or no¬†benefit to local wildlife or sustenance for¬†pollinators.¬†What does bloom is¬†dead-headed, discarded, and never¬†allowed¬†to¬†set seeds for next year. They¬†devolve in¬†to a¬†barren environment for most of the year, and¬†tall poppies need not apply.
  • Cutting back taller flowers will not make the smaller¬†ones look¬†better.
  • Stay connected to your roots. Many a plant in my garden can be traced to a memory, a friend, a family member who may no longer alive, or a¬†beloved place¬†I can no longer visit. Nurturing those plants keeps those memories alive!
  • Every plant has its season. Enjoy them as they bloom. Live in the moment, as does¬†each plant. Know that when it has finished blooming for the time being, it will be back next year to enjoy all over again.
  • Spending time in nature is healing. Don’t just work in¬†the garden. Take the time to sit and enjoy the effort you’ve put in to it.
  • A garden won’t grow without water. Sometimes in life it rains, but¬†this is good for the garden, and the sun will shine again.
  • Some people will not like your garden. That’s okay! Each garden offers the personality of the gardener. If they were all the same, the world would be a very boring place indeed.
  • The power of contemplation originates in abandonment of self. For example, if I’m feeling down or dwelling on something, I go to the garden. My thoughts stop¬†inserting themselves and my focus is on¬†what’s in front of me instead of what was troubling me. Gardening really is like burying your troubles in the dirt!
  • Gardening is a living canvas. As an artist who could not paint for several years, I found another way to be creative by designing my garden, and others, which offered an alternative outlet to explore all kinds of ideas, colours, textures, all the while offering inspiration to get back to painting when the time was right!

Shall add to this as I go along!

Would love to hear your garden thoughts.

Thanks for visiting!