Monday, October 31, 2011

I can't help it

Don't mess with my golden lasso
Wink wishes you a Happy Halloween. She also wishes she didn't have to wear her Wonder Woman costume.

We have a screaming, shaking, light-up monster living in the front garden bed that I'm sure is going to scare the bajeezus out of tonight's trick-or-treaters. I wish it was scary enough to kill the invasive Bishop's Weed it's tucked into. 

Happy halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A completely random post featuring photos from my trip to DC

I went to DC and I don't know why everyone stared at my feet...
I don't know why you're staring at my feet.

While there, I took some photos for you. Not just of me and my big feet. But of colors seen in the fall...
colors in fall

Of murals I saw in the making...
I see something new every day

Of the completely inspiring new MLK monument...
MLK monument

I sought advice from the Psychic Rooster...
Psychic rooster

Marveled at the sites, and yes I took this photo and it's not just a postcard I bought...
This is not a postcard: I really took this photo

Reflected on the thoughtfulness that the beds in front of the USDA federal building are edged in edibles: parsley...
USDA headquarters is edged in parsley

Laughed at the ladyfingers...
Ladyfinger Cactus

Learned how cacao is grown (weird, huh?!)...

Decided we need to have these signs on all of the streets in Portland in response to gas powered lawn machines...
Keep it down, will you?

And discovered my nephew is a farmer.
my nephew is a farmer

Completely random photos, for you, my dear readers. If only I had photos from Kabob Palace and Amsterdam Falafal, this post would be complete.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Oh the irony: the time this spot in the garden looks the best...

The patio/my summer office/backyard the time it begins to rain again.

Just as the passion flower covers the top and blooms, the hummingbirds practically live in the fuschias, and all things look vibrant. I'm determined to have an autumn dinner out here in this space. It's getting to be a beautiful time of year....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's been there all along

We've been walking, running and biking a path just down the road from our house. It's eye-opening to discover that despite living within a major city, we live on the edge of wild spaces. Just a few blocks away we have....

The Columbia River Slough

We've seen snakes, cranes, blue herons, hawks, geese, golfers and even a secret island homeless camp in this space between a water treatment plant, a golf course, industrial land and the international raceway. Wildflowers, views of the mountains, and vistas to wild blue skies.

A heron on the Columbia River Slough

But this weekend we simply went to the end of our street. We ran, then walked, then ran, then walked, and without leaving the street we live on, came upon this:

The view at the end of our street

Living between two rivers

I'm reminded these things have always been there, this place between two rivers, so close to home. I just haven't seen them. 

I struggle with the words to describe my transformation this year, in my focus of intention. It's easy to get lost in the newness of a body that easily folds in on itself—crossing legs or folding up into various yoga poses, to wearing belts, to an ease of movement that comes quickly and without a change in breath. Some of these things may be foreign to you as you read them, but for those of us who have carried weight on our frames, you know.

There's a shedding of the noise around me and a centering of the voice within. I used to think I had to go elsewhere, to others, for help in losing weight. Diet programs, diet doctors, trainers or physicians: they had to have the answer, right? These programs—of others—have worked but never lasted, or stayed with me. They weren't mine. This time it's been different. I've gone to myself. To the center, and to my inner voice. I knew what I needed to do. I knew what I needed to face. I brought in others to help me in different ways, but I never relied on someone else to make me make these changes. The answer was there, within myself, I just had to listen to it. It's been there all along.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where do I get the gardening gene?

There's a strong gardening gene in my family, mixed with a lot of creativity, love of the outdoors and nature, and just a love of learning. I was recently asked when I began gardening in earnest, and I instantly recalled this photo from my childhood:
I've always been a gardener

And I think of this photo of my grandparents in their zinnia patch:
Joe and Leola in their garden

But there's a new photo to add to the collection. It's the Gardeners of the Month in Sun City, Texas...

 My mom and dad: gardeners of the month

Seriously. Look at that garden. (And my mother does not want you to look at that satellite dish.) I'm so fortunate to have learned my love of growing beautiful things from my ancestors, for they were the original bad asses. (My mother probably doesn't want to be known as that but I wrote it, so there.) Congratulations to the official Gardeners of the Month of Sun City, Texas!

Monday, October 10, 2011

I can feel it: it's Autumn. A list....

pumpkie bump
There's a special gift with this time of year that I feel and acknowledge for the first time. Instead of mourning the passing of summer and sunshiney days, I'm welcoming the return to darker days, of rain and grey skies, and of going inward. I realize this focus of living with intention takes practice, and work, and so much of this work happens in the quiet times of the dark days and the gift they bring to us of a quieting.

A time of....
  • squash
  • sweet potatoes
  • sage
  • picking apples
  • musk
  • Himalayan salt lamps
  • fish oil
  • light therapy
  • meditation
  • sitting with my feelings
  • writing
  • reflection
  • cooking with soul and warmth
  • laughter and fireplaces
  • putting the garden to bed (or not)
  • red wine
  • deliciously decadent aged cheese
  • running in the rain (what, haven't I told you I'm a runner now?)
  • leaving the house in the darkness and returning to the house in the darkness
  • tights
  • boots
  • layers
  • spicy hot chai
  • long soaks in hot tubs and sweats in hot cedar rooms
  • the smell of wet wool and peeling off layers of muddy wet socks
  • comfy house slippers
  • Burt's Bees foot cream
  • black nail polish
  • roasting of pumpkins and pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • fun with pumpkin art like Jamie's, seen above
  • unpasteurized apple cider
  • applesauce made overnight in the slow cooker
  • gratefulness and taking it in.
Happy October to you...