Just to mix things up, I thought I’d give the ladies out there a little mental break. If you’ve been working furiously over the computer, take a moment and scroll through these fine examples of masculinity.
Not into the sometimes furry? How about godlike?
Or if you don’t like fantasy, and prefer sci-fi there’s Battlestar Galactica’s own Apollo.
I’m a little afraid to put up any more. Don’t want to melt anything. Enjoy! And then back to work…
For those of you with offspring, do they still have kids write the obligatory essay on summertime activities in school? I thought I’d give you a little reminder of summer if, like me, fall has closed you in with clouds and rain.
Instead of being in front of a computer, this is where I spent most of my free time during June, July and August. And a good chunk of September.
Strawberries, corn, carrots, raspberries, grapes, potatoes and onions.
Also garlic, peas, beans and basil.
Boy did it keep me busy, but I loved every second of it. I learn something new with every season, and I think that is the best part about gardening. Exercise for the body and the mind. Although if you look close, at the end of the row you’ll see I’m not above sitting to do my weeding. That is one of the beauties of raised-bed gardening, it’s that much less distance you have to reach down to weed. The other bonus is, you can plant more closely, so fewer weeds sprout.
I learned that if you plant beans (and peas) too close, you will end up with a towering mound of vines.
In my head, I nicknamed it ‘The Monster Pile’ because it really was a monstrous pile o’ beans and peas. The peas only produced so-so, and I ended up with these little worms inside the peas on half the harvest, so the humans didn’t get much. The chickens, on the other hand, were delighted with the infested peas, and ate them up happily worms and all. The beans produced like crazy, with no issues. I ended up freezing some for Hub and I and donating the rest to the local food bank.
Next year though, it’s all about the placement. Hub has kindly volunteered to put some work in on making another planting bed in another part of the yard just for the beans and peas. Love him! This will let me space the plants better, and improve harvest. Many of the beans ended up choked, or tangled up in the vines because they just swamped each other and couldn’t be harvested or weren’t useful. Again my chickens benefited. When we pulled the bean plants at the end of the season we just tossed them to the flock.
The girls also got the cobs from the corn, after I’d blanched and frozen the kernels. I was greedy, I kept all 4 gallons of corn and it’s sitting happily in my freezer just waiting to be steamed, or made in to chicken corn chowder. Yum!
I did put some pretty in my garden too. From the showy:
To the simple:
But seasons turn as they always must, and my once overflowing garden is now (mostly) bare and dying away. The asparagus has been put to bed for the fall, the carrots and grapes have been plucked, the strawberry plants are starting to lose their leaves, and the potato bags have been moved into cold storage in the garage.
Now, I’ve begun my next garden experiment. Fall/winter garden.
Carrots, onions and beets. I dropped the seeds in the rows and figured if they sprout, I’ll see if I can make them overwinter for early spring harvest. Well, they sprouted, and are still looking remarkably happy. I am equally happy because I no longer have to water the no-so-little guys anymore, Mother Nature is taking care of that chore for me. I have to do more research on just how to get them through the winter and growing again, but I suspect I’ll mulch them in a few more weeks, and then hope for spring goodness.
And that is how I spent my summer. In addition to what I’ve put up, I donated a little over 20 pounds of fresh produce to the local food bank, fulfilling a promise I made to myself at the start of the season.
Here in Seattle, I’ve heard lots of moaning and groaning about fall and winter coming, and how much they miss the sun. I’m often asked if I miss Southern California and all the sunshine. My answer is no, not one bit. I love how the seasons turn up here, and the grey and rainy days are the perfect excuse to sit and write. During the summer, my creativity just wasn’t flowing, so I put all my energy into the garden. Now, the ideas I let lie fallow during the summer are springing forth renewed. Everything has a right time, a right season; something we humans are prone to forget in our hyper-technological world. The trick is connecting to that seasonal, earthy energy that is part of our very being, but once you do, wonderful things happen.
How do you connect? How do you renew yourself? What pastimes fulfill you and recharge your mental, emotional and spiritual batteries? I would love to hear your stories!
Also….the pictures in this post are all under copyright to me. Please ask before you use. Thank you!
That word conjures up a lot, doesn’t it? Have you ever discussed, or considered that you may have lived a life, or many lives before? Some are vehemently opposed to it, for religious, non-religious or scientific reasons. Some believe it’s a lie of the devil. Others point to the fact that there are more people alive today than in the past. Their rationale follows; if we’re living over and over again, why would population numbers rise?
The question is often framed as: Do you believe is reincarnation? Or: Is reincarnation real? Very loaded questions. If you ask the first, well, the answer is predicated upon the belief system of the person being asked. A devout Christian will likely answer in the negative. A Buddhist will give you an absolute affirmative. Both are following spiritual belief systems, both have very different views of what happens to a soul after physical death of the body it inhabits.
Similarly the question of ‘real’ is going to depend on the views of the person answering. To someone who thinks the concept of the soul is nonsense, or just superstition, asking if reincarnation is ‘real’ will only gain you rolled eyes and perhaps a snort of derision. People who only consider scientifically verifiable facts as ‘real’ are unlikely to spend much time pondering the reality of the soul, or it’s disposition after death.
What if ‘belief’ was not necessary? What if this world that we think of as ‘reality’ is only a stage for learning life lessons? What if ‘real life’ is really on the other side of physical death?
I was listening to the September 11, 2012 podcast of Coast to Coast AM recently. The guest that night was Rich Martini, an author and filmmaker who has looked at past-life regression cases and the experiences people have between lives. He has a film and a book called Flipside, where he interviews hypnotherapists trained by Dr. Michael Newton and examines their cases. Dr. Newton developed the Life Between Lives hypnotherapy method to help people access their soul memory.
After regressing 7000 people, a number of consistencies arose in the stories of what happens after death. A meeting with loved ones and spirit guides who comprise your soul group, a review of the life just lived, planning the next life to be lived, and making agreements with the others in the soul group on who is going to play what parts in the upcoming incarnation.
Mr. Martini frequently used the analogy that life on earth is like performing a play on a stage. Everyone in your life has a role to act out; as in a well-plotted story, the villain has a purpose as much as the good guy, who frequently learns a valuable lesson through the conflict. Who plays the good guy and who plays the villain is something that is predetermined before birth in the between life stage, and roles are often swapped in multiple lives. We are given the stage, but not a script.
So many other questions arise. What about good and evil? Why do some people do bad things? Why, if we ‘choose’ this life, would bad things happen in it? The answer is 42 (thank you, Douglas Adams, where ever you are now). The answer makes no sense, because you don’t really understand the question. It can be very hard for those of us on this side of the veil to understand why bad things happen, however once on the other side, these reasons become clear. We only really understand when we are between lives.
Personally, I have had a past life regression that had a dramatic impact on me. I went with a friend one day, about twenty years ago to a group regression session. A little background: since I was a little girl (like 3 or 4 years old) I had this horrible fear of dying in a submarine. I had recurring dreams about it. On my first visit to Disneyland I flat refused to get on the Submarine Voyage until my parents pointed out the submarine never actually submerged. I can still remember tearfully asking, “It never goes under water?” Only that reassurance convinced me it was okay to get on the ride.
Fast forward to my past life regression. I found myself in a German U-boat that was sinking fast from a near miss. The crew was in utter chaos, shouts in German, blaring alarms and flickering, fading lights filled my vision. Nothing could stop our descent to the bottom, and soon we were in pitch black. The hull crumpled after we hit bottom, we had enough time to realize we were all going to die. My last thought was of my wife and son, left behind, and I could see them waving goodbye to me. It was at this point the group leader brought us out of the regression, and I was still in the midst of dying and remembering my family. To put it simply, I lost it. I sat up, crying, sobbing and hysterical. I brought the whole group to a standstill, the leader had to come over to help me, and my friend was looking at me like I’d grown a second head. I know you don’t know me, but I don’t get hysterical. You can’t, when you’re working with animals that might kill you. I don’t have panic attacks, and I certainly don’t break down in front of groups, I hate having that sort of attention directed at me. Yet, there I was in full meltdown. Fortunately, the group leader was experienced enough to help me out, and I calmed down.
I have never had a submarine dream since. I can look at submarines now without feeling short of breath, where previously, just seeing them in pictures or a movie would make me feel like walls were closing in and I couldn’t take a deep breath. That whole irrational phobia has simply evaporated.
Was I once a German sailor on a lost U-boat? I would love to take another regression and see if I can find out more details. Do you think you have lived previous lives? Are you interested in finding out more? Have you had a past life regression session? Check out Wikipedia for a really good article with lots of links about real research into past lives, and regression therapy.
“Look! A seal!” A little boy points excitedly. Mom, walking nearby peers in the direction her child is pointing. A sausage-shaped creature lolling just above the surf line blinks back at her.
“Is it a seal, Mommy?”
I know this has been a burning question for so many of you. It’s even tripped up animal expert Randall. In this video he refers to a seal as a sea lion, incorrectly. Oh the horror!
Aside from that, it’s a cool video and for an excellent cause too. Yay Randall!
I know, it’s a huge issue, and I’m here to help. In a few brief sentences, I’m going to make all of you pinniped experts.
Pinnipeds are aquatic mammals; the name means wing-, or fin-footed. This group includes seals, sea lions and walruses. No one has trouble recognizing a walrus.
Big tusks, googly eyes and a huge moustache of sensitive whiskers. Easy!
Seals and sea lions are just as simple, once you know what to look for. Just remember, a true seal has no ears.
See how this lil’ cutie above just has a hole immediately behind his right eye? No external ear flaps for the true seals. These guys have very short, clawed front flippers, although you can’t see the claws in this pic. The true seals are incredibly graceful swimmers, but they inch along like fat worms on the beach. Their front flippers are too short to prop them up very far, and they drag their hind flippers behind them.
Their movement on land may be slug-like, but seals are able to climb and maneuver over obstacles such as rocks and logs.
A sea lion, on the other hand, has external ear flaps.
See how this pretty girl also has long front flippers? Sea lions can pull all four limbs underneath their body and run down a beach like a dog. They’re actually pretty quick, faster than you and me over the short distance, so if you ever do see one, or more, on a beach make sure you keep your distance. Federal law actually prevents you from approaching them; all pinnipeds are covered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Do not attempt the following:
Yes, it was the best job in the world. Harpo was a total sweetie, and he met thousands, quite possibly even millions of people in his years at the San Diego Zoo as an animal ambassador.
So, what is Harpo?