Category Archives: Home and Garden – Mine!

Cutting The Grass With Scissors

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Yesterday I cut the grass. Literally. With scissors.

I returned home after being away for most of the last three months to find my wee yard a tiny verdant jungle full of butterflies and happy, buzzing bees. A few things had burned to a crisp, but the small patch of grass had grown way too high for my makeshift lawnmower to cut.

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Plus it had encroached into the flowerbed and I didn’t want to risk cutting any cherished blossoms.

And so I spent the afternoon sitting contentedly on a folded towel, slowly cutting the grass one snip at a time. This is what I discovered.

I loved it. Not that I want to cut my grass every time this way, but spending the time sitting and slowly cutting became very meditative. I allowed my mind to wander and daydream, something I don’t do often enough these days. Sometimes doing almost nothing is exactly what one needs.

I felt like a child again. How often do you just sit on the grass, barely doing anything? Not reading a book. Not weeding. Not making lists or even thinking of making lists.

Instead, I felt the ground beneath me. I watched a yellow butterfly dance amongst the lavender. I listened to the bees. I moved an earthworm to safer territory.

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I pretended I was cutting hair. I talked to the hydrangea like we were best friends. I swept the flagstones with my hands, softly brushing the grass clippings together like I was nine-years old playing house.

I slowed down. I stopped doing and became a human Being

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Repotting My Life

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The music in the coffee shop where I’m currently writing is too loud, making it harder to let the words flow through my fingers. The coffee grinder adds to the chaos, the noise swirling around my head and through my being, jangling apart my thoughts. It’s time to move to a quieter spot to make space for the story that is floating just beyond my fingers.   To Summon the Sacred.

There is an older man sitting at the table just in front of me, grey wiry hair sprouting sporadically from the top of his head and growing in a bushy ring like an elderly monk in need of a haircut. He has a beard to match and wire framed glasses perching on the end of his nose. He’s reading a well-marked book, with many curling pink, orange and yellow post-it notes marking the pages. Occasionally he reaches for his black leather journal and makes notations in pencil. I wonder what he’s working on, what story is being written.

Beyond him is a younger man scrolling through his phone, an open laptop on the table in front of him. He’s joined by what could be his mother, who is slowly and deliberately writing on a folded piece of paper. So many stories. We are each living inside the stories of lives that we are creating moment by moment by moment, intersecting and bumping into each other. Physically and energetically. Unspoken connections sharing the experience of this physical existence.

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I’m writing the story of my life, or rather, one thread that weaves through my tapestry.  As I write and explore and examine, something slowly rises to the surface of awareness, the realization that it’s time to move.  This recognition both scares, thrills and saddens me all at the same time.  Emotions can be messy and mixed up like that.  I’ve lived in this house the longest I’ve lived anywhere and my roots grow deep, it’s going to be hard to leave.

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As I clean and declutter I consciously bless and fill my house with loving energy, preparing and polishing it for the new family that is waiting in the wings.

As I wander through my garden, I stop for a while and talk to my favourite trees and plants, thanking them for their presence and telling them that a new family will soon be enjoying them. I notice them with new eyes and a sad/glad heart.

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Caroline Myss says, “The inability to accept the natural cycle of change interferes with the growth and that interferes with health. It is impossible to stop the process of movement and growth. A negative response to change will produce negative growth. A seedling eventually requires transplanting to a larger pot. If this need for change is not acknowledged, though the plant may fight desperately for its life, it will die, never having reached its full maturity – we are no different.”

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I’m getting ready to repot myself.  May the new family that is destined to live here love the land and the plants and trees as much as me.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

cre·ate  [kree-eyt]

1.  to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.
2.  to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.
3.  Theater . to perform (a role) for the first time or in the first production of a play.
4.  to make by investing with new rank or by designating; constitute; appoint: to create a peer.
5.  to be the cause or occasion of; give rise to: The announcement created confusion.
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Creating a Vegetable Garden
I’ve wanted a vegetable garden for some time, and this Spring my son Patrick created one for me in the area right where his old soccer net stood for years.
With any creation, one often times needs to excavate many rocks and boulders.  Digging deep requires muscle, perseverance and the courage to carry on when the going gets hard.
Creation begins first with inspiration and intention.  Good, healthy soil to help nurture and grow the soft and tender seeds of awakening.
Add the incubating warmth of the sun, the always present June rains…..and patience….and one day shades of green paint lines in the garden canvas.
                                                                                                                    Dainty parties gather in groups…..
                                                                                                            …..and line-dance together to the music of life.
Now if only I could remember what I planted where!….perhaps I should have paid more attention as a child weeding among the rows of my mother’s garden…

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Slipping into Today (and Sliding Around the Weekly Photo Challenge)

Today is a day for tiptoeing back into the sunshine after weeks and weeks and weeks spent within the scuffed walls of the rehearsal hall and the dark, windowless confines of the theatre.  The stage brings incredible freedom surrounded by stale air and four thick walls that keep out anything resembling my normal ‘civilian’ life.  I’ve just spent five weeks walking in the Elizabethan world of William Shakespeare, shape-shifting between the comedic joy of Mistress Page in Merry Wives of Windsor and the righteous fury of Queen Margaret in Henry VI, Part III and today I’m slipping back into my life in June 2012.  Walking and working in my garden brings me back to myself….

My pots are finally filled with flowers, breathing colour to my freshly pressure-washed (by me!) patio.

Bedding plants waiting patiently for their turn to dirty my hands….

My absolute favourite!  My purple Goddess.  I am not a Gardener, I don’t know the names of most plants and in a strange way that frees me to love them beyond their label.

My One Remaining Poppy (yes, I know her name!)

I love, love, love paths!  Especially my secret flagstone path that meanders past my little clover field along the front of the house…..

….and wraps around the side of the house…..

…..until I come to my wildly giant Hosta.  I love Hosta’s – they disappear completely in the winter and reappear like magic every late Spring.

Perched at the top of the gravelly steps to the back lawn is one of my son’s soccer balls, a happy left-over from a visit by my niece and nephew.

And always, always, always is Love in dog form – my wee pup Bailey.

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Sharing my House with Woody Woodpecker

I share my house with a woodpecker, which is a challenge.  He announces his arrival every spring with a loud early morning thrumming on my roof.  He found us four years ago so I should be better prepared, but this year he arrived in February, which seems awfully early.  Especially given the unseasonably cold weather we’ve been having in Vancouver and besides, February is still winter!  Someone needs to have a talk with this woodpecker – get him straightened out on when spring actually starts – which isn’t until this weekend actually – so technically, he shouldn’t even be here.

And while we’re at it – someone please teach him the difference between a house and a tree.  My house, with the four front pillars wrapped in reclaimed rough-hewn cider siding, is NOT a tree.  The forest of deciduous and coniferous trees which surround the house ARE trees.  So many trees for Mr. Woodpecker to choose….and yet he still prefers my house.  Specifically, the metal gas chimney on the roof which produces such a nice, LOUD, reverberating mating call so early in the morning and the four, now pock-holed pillars in the front.

I am trying to view this as an opportunity to practice forgiveness and compassion.  Woody is merely engaging in his seasonal song of finding a wife and to him my house is a ready-made orchestra of instruments.  I admire his persistence, I would just rather it not produce so many holes.

I’ve used an entire roll of tinfoil.  Stuffing it into the already huge holes and wrapping entire pillars until it looks like we’re getting ready to defend ourselves against an imminent alien invasion.  To no avail.  The next morning I find bits and pieces of shiny foil nestled amongst the hydrangea, blown across the road and into the ditch.

So I send out little prayers that my woodpecker friend soon finds himself a mate and they move into a nice refurbished neighbourhood tree.  In the meantime I’m becoming crafty and making shattered mirror mosaics to hang on my front porch pillars.

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