Friday, June 30, 2006
Today I look back over the days of June. Lavender harvest was good. I do want to work on that area. Not only get the rock wall installed but I want to enlarge for more lavender. I have the dried stems ready too. I have the storage jars so anytime I can get the blossoms off the stems and ready for Winter use.
Squash bugs are a problem. I am out every day checking for eggs. Think I will do the soapy water spray early in the season. The yellow squash is doing great as is the zucchini. The new growing location is working out, could enlarge it. So far I have not had enough to put up for winter or to share.
Strange year for basil.
I bought more seed so I will keep trying.
There are a few plants but not enough for pesto.
The poppies did well. I have seed for winter sowing and for bread. Overseeding with the zinnas is nice, could do it sooner so when the poppies are finished the zinnas are a bit larger.
June was a dry month, only 2.6 inches of rain for the month. I am watering the beds today. The forecast is for hot and humid, scattered thunderstorms. I can not wait to see if we will get rain, the ground is too dry.
Would be nice if one would ripen up! Tomato sandwiches for the fourth of July would be a grand event!
After reading time I will start getting the lavender into the jars.
Soon I will begin drying strawflowers. They are getting ready.
I have seed to collect too. After July 4th I will stop pinching the mums. Need to get the cole crops planted.
There is always something going on in the gardens.
I think a ground hog is eating the leaves of the green beans. We will rent a large animal trap and relocate ground hog! They like broccoli and so I will want to get him before I plant my seed.
Could be a fine July 1st activity, capture a ground hog day! I will see what my husband thinks of this great idea!
Thursday, June 29, 2006
I never seem to know when I will be influenced, by what I read, what I hear or what I see. I try to stay aware. I try and stay open.
When I read the poem, In Flanders Fields' I fell in love with the poppy. I began growing them and collecting poppy things.
This little oil lamp was a small vase I filled with liquid paraffin and added a wick.
I am sensitive to nature. Often my behavior is changed by weather or animals or bugs!
When I learned of Masaru Emoto and his blessings of the water I was forever changed. I bless all the water I come in contact with. I say "Thank you".
I also never know when I will influence someone. I am mindful of my thoughts and my words. When in doubt, I just love.
I never know when I will be inspired or when I will inspire. I approach the day with an open heart and mind.
I do know that we affect others. Our attitude comes through even when we are quiet.. Our bodies communicate. Our thoughts may only be heard by ourselves but we communicate.
Things sometimes talk to me. I feel their call. This watermelon man from the early 1900's spoke to me. I found him, or did he find me? Perfect for July. I am out in the shops. Looking and listening for July.
I have a friend who lives in Western Kansas. They have Maria Winds, winds that blow constantly and are 15 plus miles per hour. It has been a draught time for this region. My friend is a gardener. She writes about her winds and the lack of moisture. She also writes about her relationships with the creatures in her gardens. She has a crippled bunny that visits. She places her apple core out on a rock each day for her bunny friend. I find this charming. This morning when I cut my apple I thought of my friend and her bunny. I took my apple core pieces out to a rock in my yard. We have baby bunnies and maybe they would like this. It is a nice way for me to remember to eat an apple everyday too.
When I checked later my apple pieces were still on the rock. Maybe it takes awhile for bunnies to find apple pieces. My friend shared her way with me and I am changed.
When we share ourselves with each other we have the opportunity to be affected.
Thank you for sharing with me.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Every month I decorate our house with items and flowers.
I have themes and events, different aspects of nature to learn about. Many of our things have come from our families and our children. I attempt to create a mood with the different tabletop scapes. We have all sorts of collections. As the year unfolds I bring those out so we can enjoy them. My teapots and coffee servers are usable. As I find ones I like, at prices I like, I buy. July has one.
The flower presses will stay out until I have them full of leaves and flowers. I have ideas on things I want to make this year. They make a nice collection.I need spots to store garden produce. I want every area in the house to be beautiful. These bins work. Will be beautiful when filled!
Each month we do different things too. I try to set out the things we will need for our activities. July doesn't seem to have many activities.
We often have traveled in July. Perhaps that is why July doesn't have very many things to decorate with.
While setting things out yesterday I was disappointed. July was not looking as beautiful as past months. I struggled. I read the journal and tried to do the same things I did last year but still I was not pleased. The house looked so-so, not the beautiful I like. As I looked around I did not see one area that made me gasp! I could not seem to put things together in a beautiful way.
Often, when this happens, I just need to get flowers and light the candles and once again the countertops and tables look pretty. I went out to the yard and looked around. Not many flowers to choose from.
The carrots are in bloom. They are beautiful. Some have started to set seed too.
Lots of the stems are hanging over onto the garden path.
I decided to cut a few for the dining room table.
I ironed the linens. The vintage look tablecloth, of a map of the U.S.A., looked good. Could be an interesting theme. We have taken road trips in the past in July. I have the scrapbooks and photo albums of those trips sitting out. They are fun.
I did not have a candle holder for the table so the table did not look "right". I wrote that down on my list of needs, which is growing!
Sometimes I need to let go of items. I went around and took down anything I was not excited about, the non treasures. I filled another box to give away. My husband calls this, "culling". I culled and culled some more.
Even with the flowers I was disappointed. I did not feel inspired. I could not see the beautiful.
July has no special events. We do not do very much for the 4th of July. Once in awhile we will watch fireworks. We used to go to the Lake. I have a few photos of the kids with sparklers and black snakes, those I have framed and they sitting about. Those are fun.
The journal did not have much to build from. Most of my categories are empty. No ideas. No calendar of events. As I was moving things around I began thinking about July. Trying to come up with ideas on what July meant to me. All I could think of, was it usually is hot and humid and I am waiting for tomatoes and peppers!
I do like the Red Geranium and the Red Poppy motifs. They just are not a popular decor item. My friend did a watercolor for me last year of a pot of red geraniums which I framed. I do love it. When I see it I will be reminded to send my friend a blessing.
We had our supper. I discussed the ho-hum of house with my husband and the lack of inspiration I was experiencing. He thought maybe I could do some shopping and encouraged me not to give up.
My July journal was too filled to write 2006, in. I needed a new journal. I checked my journal supply. None that would work. I poked around in some of my stuff and did find a green, large one. Maybe I needed to add green to my color scheme and take out the idea of "red, white and blue". Maybe July needed to be about something other than Americana.
I went out to the deck. It was early evening. I had my iced coffee and the new journal. A storm was coming in. The thunder and the cicadas were entertaining. Some children down the street set off a string of firecrackers. I began to laugh. Once again I was inspired. The sounds of summer. Perhaps I can let July unfold. Perhaps this year, July can be a month for serendipity. I have a blank journal. I can be ever so present in the now. Each day I can experience what is here, in my own back yard. It will be fun. I can relax. I can enjoy.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
The red geraniums in my window boxes had a nice flush of flowers. They will fade and rebloom all summer. They just say "summer" to me. I love finding the beauty in the common place. I have wintered over geraniums before. My husband enjoys them in the bedroom in January.
As I pack June up and decorate for July I am thinking, reflecting this morning.
June has gone well.
Monday, June 26, 2006
The Paua shell came in the mail from a dear friend. In it one can see a Mermaid and a Seahorse. It is so very beautiful. A marvelous surprise. I have decided to take it to a jeweler and have a necklace made.
I do not have many Mermaid things, the ones I do have I treasure.
My Husband and I bought this in Bermuda when we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. It has a special spot in a curio cabinet. I bring it to the mantel in June.
This hook I found in an antique store a few years ago. She only comes out in June.
After yoga and lunch I began packing June things up and cleaning. I put a tourmaline masque on while I worked. It felt nice and I zippped right through my work. July has some fun motifs. My favorite right now is the tomato! Soon we will have ripe tomatoes. For the 4th of July I do a few vintage things. It is watermelon time and fireworks!
I have some flag things but I weary of the motif. I already took the parade flags out of the window boxes. I will save them for next year when we decorate the graves on Memorial Day. As I unpack July some things are going to my donation box. Mostly the flag things.
In July I celebrate the red geranium and the red poppy. Those are fun. I just do not have very much. This is the most difficult month for me to decorate for. This year I am hoping to put my creative foot forward and do July up beautifully. I will be giving the reds a chance to shine. I do have needs. Already I can see I need bath rugs and towels, cloth napkins and a red straw hat! A new journal would be nice too. I will be shopping!
I have a few end of June things to get finished up. The lavender is dry now and is ready to be put into jars. We went to Swap and Shop over the weekend and I did find some nice storage jars. I plan on finishing the switch-a-roo tomorrow.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
The New Moon is in Cancer.
A good day to plant or transplant annuals.
We picked from the garden for our noon meal.
My husband dug the first of the blue potatoes.
I added fresh rosemary to our stir fry.The blue potatoes are tender and sweet.
I brought up my flower presses.
My husband made them for me years ago.
Now is the time for me to press the flowers I will want to use come winter.
I am trying an experiment this year.
I am pressing the Jasmine and some Johnny Jump Ups between white tissue and the blotter paper. I am thinking the flowers will be embedded in the tissue and will be interesting for cards and bookmarks. These flowers are rather thin and could be difficult to remove from the blotter paper. This way I can cut the tissue to the size I want. We will see how it works.
I recently learned the New Moon is known as the Grandmother Moon. I have been thinking about the importance of Grandmothers.
In the research I have done I could not find a name for the New Moon.
So I shall name the New Moon each month. For June, I shall call the New Moon "The Grandmother Lavender Moon".
I think I shall fix limeades with lavender syrup for our evening treat.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
As twilight comes I am outside. I watch the dance of the fireflies. Last night I watched the bat. He was eating mosquitoes. Bless him.
I watched as the last rays of the sun set and Jupiter was visible. Even in the city I can pick out Cygnus the Swan also known as the Northern Cross. Deneb is the bright star at the tail of the Swan.
As the night progresses Scorpius becomes visible. The heart is the brilliant red star, Antares. I seldom can see the entire constellation. It is in the southern sky.
The summer night sky is so beautiful. Worth the time to relax a bit and find a constellation to enjoy. Just look up!
One of the white rose bushes is in full bloom. Time for me to harvest rose petals for my oil.
This is so easy to do. I take the petals off of 20 roses and put them in my decanter. I pour organic Jojoba Oil over to cover them and let them steep. I keep the petals in the oil. If I want more scent I can add essential rose oil. It is very expensive so I use it very sparingly. This method does give me a softly scented rose oil. I use the oil for my baths and for arms, legs, scalp and massage. It is delightful. Keeps nice too.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
We had a brief shower this morning and I am hoping for more rain.
The ground is dry.
I am planning a rain water, with Rosemary and Lavender hair rinse for this afternoon. I cut my rosemary and my lavender before the rains began. I could add roses or passion flower or Jasmine, now that it is in bloom. Mint is nice too. I will save some of my rinse for a face wash before bed tonight.
I have a small rosemary island bed.
It is good for the plants to be cut back and used during the summer. I dry branches for winter use and I use the rosemary fresh. I propagate the rosemary by doing a method known as layering. I take a branch and lay it on the ground. I secure it with a rock. Where the branch touches the dirt it will root. It takes a growing season to do so. I cut the new plant from the mother. It increases my bed with new plants.
In the summer I love to pour the rain water, sweetened with the lavender and rosemary, over my hair. It makes my hair so soft and the rosemary brings out my natural highlights.
Collecting rain water is fun. I put all sorts of pretty pitchers and bowls out.
Once I have enough to fill my decanter I will strain and leave a sprig of rosemary in for more steeping and to look pretty. I also have the watering cans out. These will fill for the inside plants and those plants that are in protected areas.
When it is warm and it rains I enjoy taking a shower in the rain. I dry off in the kitchen and feel refreshed. I stage my towel and robe so I can get out of my wet clothes.
We are having a summer rain. I breath in the freshness and am grateful.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The Jasmine is blooming this morning.
A solstice gift. I am grateful.
I began growing the Jasmine last summer. I had it in the ground with a willow trellis to grow on. I potted it up last October and brought it in to the living room. The windows in the living room and dining room face south. I removed the curtains so the plants would have as much winter light and sun as possible. The Jasmine grew some but did not bloom. In April my husband carried Angle Wing Jasmine out to the deck. She has thrived.
Solstice is my day to reflect on the growing season so far. It is notebook day. I will write in the notebooks about each flower bed, ideas for next year, what worked, what did not.
Solstice is my day for new beginnings. Today I am starting a Full Body wellness program. I am making it up! Today I am fasting. From now until Autumn Equinox I shall put the focus of my attention on my body. Each day I am planning on a "spa" treatment. I shall share the treatment of the day too. Today I am planning a lavender bath.
At noon I will go outside. I will soak up a wee bit of solstice sun.
This evening I will watch the sunset.
I will stay until twilight turns to dark and the first stars shine forth.
The longest day of the year.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
We have squashes growing in two areas in the backyard. They are in different spots than last year. Our idea was by moving the squash to new locations we would not get the squash bugs.While giving the miniature white pumpkins another trellis to grow on I saw squash bug eggs. I stopped and immediately began to remove them. Sometimes the bronze eggs are on so tight I have to remove an entire leaf. We do not know of any natural predator. I will be checking all the leaves, everyday, for eggs.
I was able to capture a female. I will also spray the plants with a soapy water solution in hopes it will help.
The zucchini is in full bloom. One female squash bug can lay enough eggs to destroy a plant in three weeks time.
I picked four zucchini last night for supper. We had grilled zucchini and onion sanwiches with garden lettuce.
Today I picked two for our pasta salad. I hope to be picking zukes for the rest of the summer. I will need to keep the squash bugs at bay.
Monday, June 19, 2006
I look forward to the blooming of the day lilies. Each bloom last one day. The stems are full of buds. These were given to me by a man who was selling insurance! He stopped to see my yard and brought me the plants in the fall. His hobby was growing day lilies. I have the names of each plant. These are suitable for show.
I planted zinnia seed yesterday all around the lilies. I should have flowers come September. That was the last of the zinnia seed saved from last year's plants. I will save again for next year. I have been saving the zinnia seed for 30 years.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
It is nice to have a day each year where, as a society, we remember to say, "Thank you", to Fathers.
This collective voice of gratitude adds joy to our world.
My Father was excellent at making sure I had "shoes on my feet, food on my table and a roof over my head". He provided for his family.
As I reflect back on my childhood I realize how much this man taught me.
My greatest treasure of my Father's is his straw work hat. It is stained by his sweat. Sown with his string. When the chin strap broke he fashioned a new one with leather thong and a metal fitting for an air gun. Things he would have had on his work bench. He taught me how to make with what was at hand. Never wasteful always resourceful.
He sowed seed too. His yard was tiny. When he grew perennial hibiscus he was so pleased. I have sowed seed from his plant and have a nice stand in my yard.
He loved trees.
He built his house. The field stone that he removed for his foundation became his retaining wall and decorative planter boxes. He always had a rock pile. When I bought my house he helped move his rocks to my yard. They are the edging for my back garden.
My husband's Father lived at the Lake. We usually spent our Father's Day weekend with him.
He was a fisherman. He trolled for White Bass.
I loved his Hummingbird feeders. When the Hummers come to my feeders I think of him. This watercolor painting came from his house. I hang it in June as my remembrance of the Lake House.
Male and the female are words we use to describe the parts of the plants that are necessary for the plant to bear fruit. The squashes require both types of blooms and for the pollen to be carried by the bees or butterflies so fruit can set. The Bittersweet needs at least two female plants and one male to make berries. It has taken three growing seasons for mine to set berries. The natural world has males and females.
We often talk about male energy and female energy. We call the sun "male" energy and the moon "female". Some refer to God as, "He" and the Goddess as, "She". We associate certain attributes to each. It is a way of talking. A way for us to understand ourselves and others and Spirit.
I think people have both types of energy. I have been nurtured by the males in my life and protected by the females.
Many single Moms are providing for their families and many single Dads are nurturing their children. I send blessings to them. I send blessings to families that have Moms and Dads working together to raise their children. I send blessings to the Fathers that have died.
I give thanks for the love.