22 December, 2008
But some how, over the coarse of ten years I have gradually gotten worse. For a NON-degenerative disease (syndrome technically), this is not a good thing. I am resentful that I can't manage my health now; I know some of it is my inability, but I know some of it is just my body working against me.
And now nearly ten years to the day I am diagnosed with an additional issue. I was to the endocrinologist today. My Thyroid is still unhappy. I officially have hypothyroidism and have meds for it. Yay, one more pill to take for the rest of my life. He thinks the nodule is because my thyroid is working double time to produce hormones. This is a common and controllable illness; but is yet another item on my almost comical list of medical issues.
Sometimes I think God placed my brain ans spirit in the wrong body.
Once again the year goes out with me wishing and hoping that the next year will bring more good health then then one that has passed.
I hope you are all well.
16 December, 2008
One of those was working on the Nativity Pageant at Church. I re-wrote the old play, really i used the old play as a guild line for length and form. I am also directing it. This is the first time my work is being preformed and the first time I have directed. I know it's only a Church thing and the children in it have minimal/no experience, but it is still very cool. And I am very excited.
However the house has suffered; it has become very cluttered and I still haven't gotten our decorations up. Today is cleaning, tonight is getting boxes out of the attic and getting our tree. Tommorow is cleaning the kitchen, making soup and decorating the rest of the house.
Hope all is well in your worlds,
04 December, 2008
And through all this and all my wishing, that it was as easy as when I was little and had all the Godly Faith in the world, I still find that I have a block in my path.
picture credit http://www.rosaryaday.com
1. Copy the questions and then answer them (post it on your blog remember).
2. Tag 4 people and let them know you have tagged them.
3. Let the person [who tagged you] know that you have done a post for the tag.
What are your nicknames?
Kate is my diminutive, my family, acquaintance and coworkers call me this. My husband and close friends call me Magpie, my husband also calls me Baby Bird. And some people know me as Marguerite, it is the name I use for my fifteenth century (hundred years war) recreation.
What TV game show or reality show would you like to be on?
Does Antiques Roadshow count as a reality/game show? I find most of the others demeaning and mind numbing.
What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD?
Hmm I'm not sure, I think it was Prancer, on VHS, I loved that movie when I was little. I'm still pretty fond of it.
What is your favourite scent?
Oh I love so many; as far as perfume goes I would have to say Lavender, Amber, and a mixture of Sandalwood and Rose. For room fragrance I love the smell of baking bread or pie. And I love seasonal smells, cinnamon, pine and cranberry for autumn/winter, and lilac, lotus and sage for spring/summer
If you had one million dollars to spend only on yourself, what would you spend it on?
A nice house with lots of land; then I would fill the land with heirloom plant, vegetables and livestock.
What is one place you've visited, can't forget and want to go back to?
England! I went to London and Bath for my 18th birthday. My parents and I only spent about four day in England and I would love to go back for at least two weeks. And then take a side trip to Ireland and France to finish out the month.
Do you trust easily?
I want to, but I am cynical, I've been hurt in the past.
Do you generally think before your act, or act before you think?
I can be very impulsive and sometimes not in a good way. I try to think before I act, and many of my actions are very planned out. However I sometimes I do just go with my gut and act.
Is there anything that had made you unhappy these days?
My health getting worse, and having to face the fact that long term disability may be a reality. Unfortunately being so chronically sick and not able to work has effected my ability to keep the house in a clean and organized manner.
What is your favorite fruit?
Berries, all of them. Clementines are a very close second.
What websites do you visit daily?
My Gmail home page, I can check my email, the weather, basic news bulletins, and daily quotes to ponder. I also visit Live Journal and various blogs.
What have you been seriously addicted to lately?
The internet, and playing with my dog, Fozzy.What's the last song that got stuck in you head?
I piece form the Nutcracker, the March of the Toy Soldiers to be exact. It appears in a lot of Christmas commercials and movies.
What is your favourite thing to wear?
My wedding and engagement rings. But my favourite article of clothing is skirts, they are comfortable and lady like.
Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?
Not as a cereal, but I love Rice Krispie Treats, they are a good Gluten Free treat.
What items couldn't you be without during the day?
My buckwheat heat-up pillow, a blanket or warm sweater and socks, a book or good magazine and a comfortable place to sit.
What should you be doing right now?
Nothing, it's my scheduled break; but I need to get up and do the dishes in a few minutes.
Well I'm not tagging anyone, but I would love to read about everyone. So if you read this and haven't done it already please post your responses in your journal and post a comment here so I can find you and get to know you better. Have a lovely day, ~Kate
03 December, 2008
01 December, 2008
Were I was raised will always be "Home"; Connecticut and my family are a large part of who I am, and who I want to be. But were my bed is will also always be home; it's were I rest my head and live on a daily basis. I can not just occupy a house, I must live in a home.
On Sunday our house went from home to den. After putting on our winter weight over the weekend, R. and I decided to hibernate on Sunday. We were both very worn out and in need of a quite rejuvenating day. We woke up a few times to walk the dog, have some dinner and watch a few Christmas movies; but other than that it was a day of sleeping. It really is a Joy to have a day were you can lounge around in your pajamas with one of your favorite people.
However, this morning began a new week and a new month. R. went off to work and I am here trying to organize the week. There is a lot to be done this week; the laundry is waiting for me and the house needs to be put back to straits and thoroughly cleaned before we decorate for Christmas.
I hope you all have a productive and peaceful week.
23 November, 2008
I am not a Mother yet, and do not have any sage stories or trials of child rearing to share with you. But as a young woman who can still remember her years spent being reared I do have one plea: The rules aren't always right! When I was very young I was diagnoses with a learning disability, and at the time one of the ways for helping children who were LD and ADD was to remove all distractions from their learning area, and environment in general. My parents realizing my creativity did not do this, they just worked a little harder with me. And they gave me the gift of my very own desk; with drawers and cubbies to fill with crayons, paper and other creative distractions. My spelling is still not the strongest; but I later went on to the Talented and Gifted program, a Charter School for the Art and Humanities and a great small highly rated College. I now write poetry and essays, blog, and craft. And though I had many hard years in school, I learned how to focus myself, work at my faults, and were able to keep the things I loved and brought me joy in my life.
Much Luck and Peace,
Kate (a young writer with a rocky start)
20 November, 2008
I have also noticed today, that I would really love some plants in the house. The only real problem is that we have one sunny window and it's in the bedroom. Our main living area gets very little sun light.
Photo: Light Collector by Lori Archer
17 November, 2008
Sometimes it really is the simple, little things in life; one of my greatest joys of this in-between season (no longer really Autumn and not quite Christmas) is a clementine, or three. They are so small, bright and juicy; really I could devour a whole box, if they didn't cost so much. So instead, I try to savor each one.
16 November, 2008
"What a happy holiday it is, how social and pleasant and comfortable and easy! How near and dear all the bright faces gathered around the long table at Thanksgiving-dinner, seen to be. Truly, we should all be thankful that we have a Thanksgiving."
- The Original Girls Handy Book, by Linda Beard and Adelia Belle Beard 1887
04 November, 2008
When I was born my parents lived in a small pre-war house settled on a long narrow strip of land. It had a lawn to play on, flower beds to hide in, berry patches, vegetable beds and a few fruit trees. My mother made most of my baby clothes, including bibs and bedding, and cooked most of our meals from scratch. She worked part-time and I was cared for by my grandparents or in someone's home with a hand full of other young children. It was the start of the 80's and my parents had a budget to live by and a whole lot of energy for a good life.
I remember playing outside, or in the lower cupboard where the pots and pans were stored, and going to the library. We didn't watch a lot of television and what I do remember watching was on PBS. And my baby sister was my favorite playmate. We never wanted for things, and most of the things we owned were of quality, not quantity. Bedroom furniture was bought from a good store, in a classic style and piece by piece. We still have the high chair, cradle, head boards, dressers and desk that my sister and I shared. What was gifts and what was saved for, I don't know, but it was all saved.
This life, though seen through nostalgic, blurred eyes, is the kind of life that I aim for, for today. Though I loved the later years of living on a child filled cul-du-sac, in a new house, with cable and pretty much anything I wanted. Part of me wonders how my life right now would be different if working at the simpler things had ingrained on me as habit and not just memories.
The sad part, I fear, is that living that life now would cost twice as much as it did then, even after you adjust for inflation. (but that's another day's post)
Watering Can on Chair by Cecile Baird
03 November, 2008
I am thinking of choosing a day of the week to focus on a special topic. Is there something special you want to read or learn more about? Maybe health issues, or green cleaning tips, reciepes or prodjects. I would love to hear your opinions.
Also I think I am going to choose a day to write about daily life. Like I said I need a bit more structure, and a little motivation; and I think this blog, and you Dear Reader, can help with that.
28 September, 2008
For some of you this might not be on your mind yet, and for others it might be to late; but non the less I have a little sharing to do, and if you can't put it to use this year hopefully you can use it next.
I have been one of those people standing in line on Christmas Eve, buying the last minute gift, and my husband has been saddled with expedited shipping costs, and the tension of waiting because he waited to long to order a gift. But no more, not in this house. After last year we decided to implement a new rule: If it's perfect buy it now! I don't care if it was August, but when my favorite shop to buy gifts, back in CT, was having a side walk sale, and I happened to be home visiting, you bet I bought presents for family and friends. Over the summer I have managed to buy for the two trickiest people on my list. Even stocking stuffers can be bought ahead of time; my husband's favorite after-shave goes on sale, or fuzzy socks are on clearance, I'm at a craft fair and find cool wooden toys. It all gets picked up and tucked away.
As items come into the house they go into a big plastic bin and some time right before Thanksgiving I will go into it and take stock, the few people left on the list will get shopped for over the next week or so. I can apply the same principle to birthdays, as those sneak up out of nowhere, but except for kids we tend to do a nice card and a gift certificate or a bottle of wine.
By buying early and/or on sale I have saved money in purchase price and shipping, I have saved worries and stress. Also you avoid going bankrupt; instead of spending $1,000 plus in December, you are spending $20 here and there threw-out the year. My husband and I just don't go to the movies that week, or we spend it out of our “fun/mad money” if we are on vacation when we find it. I spend less on myself as well by doing this. That vacation or craft fair, in the past I would have bought something for myself, but now I think of and buy for others.
Also, another forward thinking thing we do is buy paper and cards after Christmas; the other year we bought a ton at Target on clearance and only used about half last year. Strings of lights, ornaments, hooks, ribbon and the like all need to be sold at the end of the season. And, while what you need is still fresh in your mind, and this years stuff hasn't quite been all but away is the perfect time to stuck up. It saves money and hassle. When everything goes up the following year, you have everything you need.
I am really looking forward to being on top of things for the Holidays this year. I can happily walk around 'main street' and window shop, and I can avoid the mall if I am so inclined. Everything will be at home just waiting for me to do my favorite two things; sit under the tree and wrap gifts and then sit under the tree again while I watch my loved ones unwrap them.
(photos are of family Christmas Trees, top left is my In Law's, middle right is my Parent's, and bottom left is mine, all from 2007)
But until then I hope you all have (or have had) a restful weekend!
25 September, 2008
Living in a small court yard of neighbors who largely have nothing to do (nearly all are retired) has opened my eyes to what excess time and boredom can do. Idleness has led these people to gossip and childish games.
Ladies and Gents, please don't waist your time with soul hurting. There are much better ways to spend ones time, even those who are old or sick can do things. Read a book, call your family and talk about their week, volunteer, start a garden; there are millions of things one can do. But please, people stop wasting your time and burdening your soul with childish gossip and games.
Open your hearts and your minds to your neighbors and be kind not only to their face, but when they have their back turned or their door closed.
16 September, 2008
The lady they hired for the job has left do to health reasons. My health issues are beginning to improve and I was about to start looking into getting a new job. I spoke to the two women doing the hiring and have emailed my resume.
I really really want this job, its exactly what I want to do; if I can't be a stay/work from home wife and published writer. I hope that things have happened this way for a reason. I was pretty sick when the job originally came up; and I'm doing better now and it looks like I'll be getting better still.
Please keep your fingers crossed, and a few prays may help to. But if you do, please give a prayer for the former DRE who had to leave. Though I want her job, I would like her to recover quickly.
12 September, 2008
5 Tbl flour (I used an organic stone ground whole wheat, a GF mix would work well too)
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 stick of cold butter cut up into small pieces
I usually make the crumble while my fruit marinates.
Combine flour and sugar in a bowl, then work in the butter pieces. You are not trying to cream the butter, just turn it into tiny flour covered pieces.
1 1/2 pins blackberries
2 grany smith apples
1-2 Tbl basil based on your fondness for the herb (I used Thai basil, it's a bit more hearty than Italian basil)
sugar to taste (I only used a tea spoon or so, I like tart things)
4 large peaches peeled and chopped (I blanched the peaches in order to peal them)
1 pint strawberries, cut into smallish pieces
1 Tbl fresh grated ginger (if you have powdered use that, you may just want to add a bit more)
Combine and let sit for 10 min. (I did this in my pie dish) place crumble on top and bake at 350 until all the butter is melted and the edges are bubbling.
11 September, 2008
You might find a few things different today; a new title, a new template and a new user pic. Things are a changing! The seasons are shifting and so is my blood. The summer has gone by with little progress on my part. I have felt more of a difference in the past week than all summer. (But my new found sinus infection is not helping)
So as the leaves on the trees go from green to red, orange and yellow; I am going green.
04 September, 2008
I am thankful that my husband's company offers health insurance; and that I have a family doctor who cares.
I am thankful that I have a neighbor who brings me flowers from her garden, loans me books and offers to take walks with me.
I am thankful that I have caring supportive in laws, who treat me as their own, it makes being away from my family easier.
I am thankful for a husband who opens doors for me, holds my hand and brings me tea; he helps me along the path of life when I can not help myself.
06 August, 2008
Sometimes its the small innocent beings in our lives that can effect us the most. I know many women in my life who have had their eyes open to a whole new array of things by there children. I have yet to be blessed with a human child, but a about three weeks ago my husband and I adopted a fuzzy child. Actually so fuzzy that we named him Fozzy. In the past week I have watched the lights on the Delaware River, a robin chirp in the early morning, seen mother duck tend to their ducklings and found were the bunnies who eat my garden live. I have met more neighbors in a week than in the whole prior year of living here. He has been great company for me during the day, and is an eager walking partner. He is definitely what our life needed right now.
01 August, 2008
This site has some great info on integrative and alternative therapies; many people like non-drug options, or just need to help improve there overall wellness and quality of life.
This is a fun website with articles for the young and spunky who happen to be sick.
A great anecdote and lesson to learn by, 'don't use up all your spoons'
This site has some good general health and illness info.
And because a Lady needs pretty things in her life.
If any of you have sites you or your friends like, please share.
12 June, 2008
This first one is based on a recipe in "Nourishing Traditions", I adapted it do to what I had on hand.
Venison Stuffer Peppers
4 green peppers
1 pound ground venison
1 small onion
1/4 pasta sauce (tomato paste was called for, and this is what I had)
1/2 cup beef stock (you may need more if u you use tomato paste)
1 cup of brown rice
spices and herbs to taste (I used basic green herbs and a pinch of cinnamon)
grated Parmesan cheese
Set rice to cook, per directions on the package, and preheat the oven to 350F. After, start by browning the meat in your trusty skillet, using the olive oil and add desired herbs and spices. While this is going on chop up your onion. Once the meat is ready pushed it to the perimeter of your skillet, you may need to remove it if your skillet is small. Then add a touch more olive oil and put the onions in the center. While they caramelize carefully cut the peppers, I chose to cut them in half, from top to bottom, so they would cook quicker. Greased a Pyrex dish, 9x12, with olive oil and place the peppers in. Once the onions are ready stir them in with the meat and add the tomato sauce, beef stock and rice. Once combined carefully scoop it into the peppers, cover in graded cheese and bake. The baking took about 30 minutes. I server this with a chopped salad.
Onto the next recipe... This time I was basically just trying to clean out the fringe, so feel free to substitute for what you have. Or just get creative.
1 pound ground venison
1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper
1 small onion
1 can kidney beans
3 table spoons olive oil
spices and herbs to taste (I used cumin, chili powder and garlic powder)
1/4 red wine vinegar
1/2 beef stock
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Plug in your slow cooker, or put your stock pot on low. Put olive oil and meat in pot and turn it on. Chop peppers, carrots and onions into smallish pieces, and add them to the pot. Add kidney beans, vinegar, beef stock and tomato sauce. Spice to taste; I eye ball it when I add the meat and then go back once it is all cooked and sample. I usually end up adding more spice at the end. I served this with toasted tortillas, just brush them with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet in the oven on low. You may need to experiment with it.
Well that is all for now. There will be more coming. Tomorrow is my last day of work; I'll be on sick leave the rest of the summer, while I heal my body and soul.
05 June, 2008
Actually it may be for the better... The Better Health of All. This summer Healthy Living will be a major focus of this blog. I'm not yet sure if I will be doing any series or not, I guess we will figure that out as I do my research.
Also I will be posting some yummi new receipts, as I experiment with new healthy foods. Actually I have two receipts involving Venison that I need to type up and post for you all :)
So until then, I hope all is well in your worlds and that it continues to be.
19 May, 2008
I have read about the Slow Food Movement before and took great interest in it. But today I decided that it is time to implement such an idea into our daily lives. So I am joining the Slow Food Movement. It's about being more than just a consumer of food. The main principles of the SFM is to have a relationship with your food, know where it comes from, and to buy local, organic and fair trade when you can. It's about preparing and sharing your food; have friends over and cook together, or just sit at the table, light some candles and spend an evening with your husband lingering over a home cooked meal.
Now with everything that is going on in my life jumping into this fully may be a bit much for us right now; so I am going to ease into this lifestyle. I am pledging to prepare lunch for my husband and myself every day. I also intend to cook one homemade, from scratch, meal a week. Quick frozen veggie skillet creations don't count. I am talking about cutting, chopping and cooking. And once this has become routine and my health is better or my work situation has improved, I intend on increasing the number of 'from scratch' dinners. I also pledge to post these dinners in my blog, so that I can share with all of you.
16 May, 2008
But now a possible opportunity has come before me. My church is looking for a director of religious education; it is a paid, full time positions. It is a really wonderful opportunity that would allow me to do so many wonderful things. I'm just not sure if I am fully qualified. I have been looking to get more involved at church, and was thinking of RE. I was also planning on starting the search for a new job, but thought I might wait until later in the summer, because I have a vacation planned for August.
I really think this job would be wonderful and provide a great opportunity for growth. I don't normally ask, but please keep me in your prays/thoughts. I am going through a period of trial, I may not be trying my hardest to get through it, but this opportunity is so wonderful I think it might be the bit of hope to help me start working harder.
15 May, 2008
But I do want to set a tone. And am considering some passages on marriage to share with the group. But there are so many fine words on the topic; the Bible, literature and history are filled with quote ables on marriage and married love.
So my question to you is: What is your favorite passage/quote on the topic of marriage?
11 May, 2008
I apologize for not keeping up in my posts quality or quantity as of late. I have been feeling more for the worse and have been 'convalescing'.
Seeing as I have not been out of my bed, I am posting this image to represent the past two day for my WIFD. I do intend to continue this my week, so that you may all see a full seven days. I really enjoyed looking through others blogs today and through Cheri's blog I have found the blogs of some other Lovely Ladies. I hope next week to do some page layout up dates; and add a side bar so that I may link to the other journal I enjoy reading. As i enter a very difficult week for myself I wish allof you a smooth and blessed week of your own.
07 May, 2008
This was from yesterday. I'm wearing one of my favorite skirts; it's a wrap skirt with a blue satin under layer and an embroidered black over lay. I love how exotic it looks.
Here is todays, taken at work. I think I forgot to dust myself off first :) This is a great light sundress that I wear at a jumper. When it's really hot I wear a cami under it instead of a blouse.
And a close up of my shoes, you can see the subtle poke-a-dots, I LOVE POKE-A-DOTS
And lastly me cuddling with my faithful cat, my purring fluffy heating pad. There is nothing like the love of a fuzzy child.
But at the moment I wanted to share with You, dear reader, a little bit of what is going on behind the blog. As many of you know I have had long term chronic health issues. Well in the past weeks these issues are getting worse. Extreme pain and muscle weakness are the main complaints. But I have exhaustion, and my mental clarity and fine motor skills are also effected. My husband and I are in a position that calls for me to work 30+ hours per week, out of the home. This causes complications because I have a 45 min. commute and don't get home until nearly 8pm. By the end of my work day I have done nothing for my home or my husband.
It deeply bothers me that Ro has to do the work of both the Husband and the Wife. And not just for a short time, while I recuperate from the flue or a fall. Oh no... when I have a “flair-up” I get a ton of new or revisiting symptoms and when my flair up is over some of them stay. This leaves me sicker than when I started.
I believe I have a place in this world, and that my illness may seem like road block it really isn't. But right now this road block is keeping me from going anywhere. And I'm running out of gas!
05 May, 2008
I'm participating in a Week in Feminine Dress. I usually wear dresses and skirts but as of late pants are finding there way into my wardrobe once a week or so, when I don't feel well. My husband prefers me in skirts and dresses. This is not only an exercise in ladylike dressing, but also at having my photo taken and not critiquing myself to death :)
This was taken after running around at work for 9 hours; I've been really ill these past weeks and it shows. I'm wearing a navy cap sleeve dress and pink short sleeve cardigan; also I'm carrying my tin lunch pale. I almost always wear my hair up when I'm not out with Ro (the hubbs), it is a bit messy hear though long hair doesn't always want to stay in place for hours on end. Well it took me 15 mins to get dressed today, tomorrow I hope I'll have more time to put into this.
Have a lovely evening.
03 May, 2008
Shock gardening troops attack urban eyesoresBy Kate Kelland
LONDON (Reuters) - They work under the cover of night, armed with seed bombs, chemical weapons and pitchforks. Their tactics are anarchistic, their attitude revolutionary. Their aim: to beautify.
An army of self-styled Guerrilla Gardeners is growing across the world, fighting to transform urban wastelands into horticultural havens. To document and encourage their victories, one of the movement's top generals has written a handbook.
"On Guerrilla Gardening", by Richard Reynolds, defines the activity as "the illicit cultivation of someone else's land".
"Our main enemies are neglect and scarcity of land," said Reynolds, a 30-year-old former advertising employee who wrote the book after his website guerrillagardening.org became a global focal point for would-be green-fingered activists.
"Land is a finite resource -- and yet areas like this are not being used. That seems crazy to me," Reynolds told Reuters.
"And if the authorities want to get in the way of that logic, then we will fight them -- but peacefully -- through showing them what we can achieve with plants."
As he spoke, Reynolds and several London-based troops were enthusiastically digging over soil in a rough patch of grass outside a tower block in the south east of the capital.
Defying darkness -- and risking arrest for criminal damage -- they continued their "attack" on the otherwise grim, grey surroundings, forking in a hefty load of compost and planting lavender and Paris daisies for a splash of colour and scent.
"WE WILL FIGHT THEM... WITH PLANTS"
Thousands of "troops" worldwide have now signed up to Reynolds' website -- each with their own troop number -- where they post reports and pictures of their battles, or "troop digs".
For those inspired to follow suit, his book outlines tips and advice on everything from the most suitable clothing and what kind of lighting and communication equipment to use, to how to carry out a "seed bombing" raid.
"Scattering seeds is the easiest way to guerrilla gardening," he writes. "You do not even have to stop moving to do it -- GG (Guerrilla Gardener) 830 Tony releases handfuls of Welsh poppy seeds while driving along the M60 motorway."
Reynolds says he was inspired to write the book after his first nocturnal gardening experience outside his own 1970s concrete tower block in London, when he discovered he was part of a largely secret but worldwide movement.
"I began because I moved to a tower block and had no garden, and yet all around me there were bits of land that nobody was looking after -- so I have made it into my own garden. But it's that one everyone shares and can get involved in," he said.
"I stepped out into the world to cultivate land wherever I liked. The mission was to fight the miserable public flowerbeds around my neighbourhood."
The book charts what it says is a "revolutionary history" of a movement which has its roots in 1970s New York and has since inspired urban dwellers across the world to defy authorities and adopt and cherish neglected public spaces.
GG 3516 Greg, in Zurich in Switzerland, tells of Saturday-night sorties to beautify a traffic island in the city, while GG 158 Luc, in Montreal, Canada, documents a "pavement garden" he has been cultivating for four years.
GG 013 Julia, one of the movement's leading lights, posts pictures and descriptions of significant victories in Berlin, where the Rosa Rose garden in the east of the city has grown out of a vacant lot once covered in rubble and rubbish.
GG 1168 David, and GG Michael 1169, graphic designers in Tokyo, say their motivation was a passion for growing food.
According to Reynolds' book, they began in 2005 by "chucking pumpkin seeds into a vacant lot near David's home" in the city, and, encouraged by the pumpkins' progress, continued with a small guerrilla farm on waste ground in the Kamiyacho district.
"It's about living in an edible jungle," David, who now also grows broccoli and radishes land owned by Tokyo city authorities, says in the book. "Vegetables are best fresh, so I thought they should be grown locally."
"A WIN-WIN WAR"
Guerrilla Gardening is a crime in Britain -- digging up land you do not own is classed as committing criminal damage -- but Reynolds insists it is a victimless one and is clearly unfazed by encounters with police.
"Yes, by law this is criminal damage... but common sense would suggest it is quite the opposite," he said.
He described a recent night-time dig on a large roundabout in central London where dozens of police pulled up, and ordered him and fellow gardeners to down tools or face arrest.
"We reluctantly withdrew," he said, adding with a smile that they returned to finish the job an hour later when the coast was clear.
Reynolds has now largely given up his more mainstream work in advertising and devotes his time to writing about Guerrilla Gardening, maintaining his website and spreading the word.
And while he characterizes the activity as a battle and uses the language of war, he insists there are no losers.
"This a win-win war," he writes. "Take a public place of wasted opportunity and turn it into a garden. In time victory should be clear to everyone, and probably fragrant too."
(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Sara Ledwith)
Article and photo credit:
25 April, 2008
The search for something simple has always been in the plans for my husband and I, and now that we are coming up on our first wedding anniversary and have settled into our life together a little, it has become a goal of ours. However for us is not as easy a goal as we thought. We both work, I mostly full time and him more than full time. This makes convince food and instant gratification an easy way for us to eat at 8pm when we get home from work.
But while we try to work on the bigger issues there are some simple pleasures in our lives. I love to garden and have started growing veggies in pots out in front of our condo, hopefully this summer they will bless us with food at out finger tips. Also one of our favorite "dates" is going to the farmers market or during the winter the indoor Amish Market; my husband and I love to stroll, hold hands and talk to the sellers, it a louse us to feel active in our community and in our food choices.
One of the gifts that we give to each other for birthdays and other special occasions is parties; we throw something into the Crockpot and invite friends over to share the afternoon with us. The memories are fare better than any trinket that could be found hastily at a store. And this year for Christmas Ro got me crayons and paper, we'll sit and draw our dream home or just smiling little cows. Colouring is one of the small joys that adults seem to forget.
Eventually I will raise our own chickens and sheep like his mother does, embroider baby blankets like his grandmother does, bake bread like my mother does and grow bushels of vegetables like my grandmother does. But until that day, we will slowly slow down and begin to find what our Simple Life is.
22 April, 2008
All of this luxury has me thinking. There are two very distinct sides of me. A) the barefoot, organ gardening, save the planet side and B) the Coach shoe/handbag , pearl wearing gourmet food eating side. And I know that somewhere there is a balance between these two halves of a whole, but there is one large wedge between them. Frugality! In many ways both of these things can lend themselves to saving money, and to each other. Turn your lights off when not in the room saves energy and money; buying one high quality purse and using it for 2 or more season is better than buying more than 2 purses and sing them for less than one season. But sill you have to have the money to by the one high quality purse to being with. I'd say you even need the money to keep the lights on, but we are at least safe from that.
My spending habits have improved a lot over the past year and a half. But still, most days I don't think I'm doing enough, and then not long after I think about how I miss seeing the J Crew and Lord and Taylor bags sitting on the floor, after a triumphant day of shopping. Is it possible to ever stop wanting? Seeing that many can't even live of a “six figure” income, I'm not so sure.
20 April, 2008
The first book up, which I am actually reading right now is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I have heard great things about it from some lovely Lady Bloggers and my N.D. lives by some of its principles.
Next up will be You the Owners Manual, by Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz . I'm sure some of it will conflict with NT, but it's been awhile since I took an Anatomy class and it may be interesting.
I also really want to read The Four Fold Path to Healing, by Thomas Cowan. It's from the same publishers as NT and I think it may be filled with info that is truly helpful to me.
If you can't tell yet, there is a theme to all of this reading. It's all about my health. I've been sicker than usual lately and I know there is a connection to my diet and lifestyle. I don't think it's 100% do to how I live, but I know that at the very least there is room for improvement. And at the very least what I do may not be making me sicker, but it not making me healthier either.
I'm hoping that by June I will have gotten through my reading and have implemented some changes for the better. Then I'll get to update the Summer Reading List with some light readings.
Do you Ladies have any good suggestions or recommended reading, for me; what are you currently reading or planning on reading? I'd love to know. :)
17 April, 2008
Gram and Poppy, aka Bud and Muerial (Muky) as their Cronies call them, have lived their entire lives in H, CT. Poppy was school chums with Gram's older brother and they were High School Sweethearts. Actually there is about 3 years age difference between them, and Poppy spent some of Gram's senior year over seas. During WWII he enlisted in the army and served in Hawaii and other warm Pacific places. After he was discharged they were married on January 26, 1946 (does part of this date look familiar to anyone?) Poppy worked with his father as an independent plumber (and general repairs men) until he passed away, and Poppy took over the business. Gram was a 50's house wife who thought the occasional art or craft class for extra pocket cash; and later after her children finished school became a floral designer, specializing in dried flowers, and silk. They had three children, my father being the eldest, all born at the end of November. Mind you Gram and Poppy's Birthdays are the 7th and 11th of February, just do the math.
Early in their marriage they bout a house on Dixwell Ave, actually for those DSH-ers, its now the yellow hair salon on the other corner to the Keefe Center where practice is held. They lived there and rented part of the house out to others before buying the farm. Mind you the farm house was once not as big as it now is. In fact there were only two bedrooms; upstairs the kids slept in one room, parents int the other and Grams mother took over the small first floor 'parlor' (now the “green room”). When my father was in High school they finally decided to add on to the house, Poppy, Dad and Uncle B, along with some handy friends, built the addition that over doubled the size of the house. The half that now houses all the bedrooms, but mine, the kitchen and formal living room was all built by them. They tried their 1970's best to match the addition to the original 1800's house, owned by the street's name sake. The farm now has 4 acres, with a pump house and an awesome post and beam barn. The large bit of land now owned by the farm next-door was originally part of the property, but sold off at the same time as my grandparents purchase of their parcel.
The farm is no longer really functional, but in my life they used the back few acres as a Christmas tree farm, they always grew their own vegetables, enough for them, my parents and I (ok and M too) and still had enough to share with friends. Also at one point they had ducks. But if they didn't grow it they knew someone who did. The farm next door had chicken and Gram's dried flower provider had goats and sheep.
I have always been closer with Gram and Poppy then with my mother and father. I was born on their Wedding Anniversary and spent a lot of time at their farm when I was younger; and I am the oldest grandchild. Actually they had a large hand in raising me. I joke that my sister (M) is a Daddy's Girl and that I am a Poppy's Girl.
Poppy and Gram have been married for over 60 years, and have known each other and been close for at least 70 years. They have Cronies, people who they have been friends with for years, some they have known since grade school. Many of their Cronies are like Aunts and Uncles to me, they went on the Wedding guest list before any friends outside the Bridal Party did. They have watched me grow up and I have watched them grow old. Some have aged better than others.
The funny thing is that Gram and Poppy, by most modern agencies, do not have a healthy lifestyle. They still eat meat, red meat and pork, regularly, they drink and eat sweets, lots of sweets and few non-root veggies. But these two people in their late 80's are some of the healthiest people I know. Most definitely healthier than me.
Actually my family has a strange distribution of health. Most O'Connell's are good strong healthy people, with robust constitutions, Gram, Poppy, Dad, Aunt K and M are prime examples. But then there is the recessive sicky gene that Uncle B and I both have. We both have low body temps and throat susceptibility, not to mention bodies that like to attack themselves.
But regardless of this; I have found the key to my grandparents' health.
1.They are early to bed and early to rise. Retiring at 9ish and rising between 5 and 6 am. Poppy has taken to getting up in the middle of the night for a bit, but he makes up for it in afternoon naps.
2.They are active. Still very social and giving of their time to charity, they also keep up a large house and 2 of the 4 acres of land the other 2 are now wood with pine treas and grape vines. Poppy is always tinkering with something, and Gram is always moving, rearranging and decorating (or gardening in the warm months).
3.They enjoy themselves. Resting in the afternoons, or going out with friends. They maintain a time share and used to travel a lot with friends, they have however slowed down a bit in the past 3 years. But non the less they are at the Elks club or out to dinner weekly.
4.They are very religious. Going to mass daily; it gives them spirituality, a sense of community and something larger than themselves. And it gives them their moral compass and great compassion. They are the kind of Cradle Catholics who love and except everybody, regardless of sin, persuasion or background.
5.They eat what makes them happy, don't feel guilty over it and they eat at home. They eat sweets but don't eat a lot of things containing high fructose corn syrup. No soda. Their cookies, pastries and cakes are home made by Gram or come from a good Italian Bakery. They don't eat fast food or take out, but instead live off of left over pot roast and meat loaf. They drink beer daily and Gram loves her cocktails. Poppy hates most veggies but will eat all the spinach and carrots if you let him, and Gram will cover most raw veggies in Mayonnaise. When they do go out its to real restaurants, where they sit and linger with friends and family.
There is something in their generation and life style that we are missing. Up until maybe a year or so ago I thought they were going to still be kicking until their late 90's. Sort of like the Queen Mother, minus the cake like hats. But one keep part of their life style is fading away. They are starting to watch their friends, relatives and acquaintance pass on. Many of them were only 10 or 15 years younger then them, yet old by many standards. They people led good lives but were not as fortunate to have Gram and Poppy's health.
It seems that Old Age has become contagious.
On a daily basis I miss Gram and Poppy; I think of when I was younger and they would show me how to do things. And every time I pack Ro's lunch into the black metal lunch box that was Poppy's I do so with a bit of pride.
I am lucky enough to have the Best Grandparents in the world. I have learned a lot from them, and they still have vast amounts to teach me.
13 April, 2008
First I made two boxes to hold all of my individual seed cups. I used the box that a juice flat comes in (I got this from work but if you shop at whole sale clubs they should have some there). First I wrapped it in a layer of cling wrap and them a lay of foil wrap; I covered both the bottom and the inside just in case. I don't want water leaking all over the place.
Next I made the seed cups. I used toilet paper and towel rolls, you could use any sturdy cardboard roll. I cut the toilet paper rolls in half and the towel rolls in thirds. Next I cut four slits, about one inch long, on the bottom of each. I folded the cut end in on themselves and taped them using masking tape, sort of like wrapping a present. Now the little seed cups can stand up on their own, even if some are a little wobbly.
I filled them with soil and them planted my seed like you normally would. I also labeled each cup with the sort of seed I planted in it. When the seedlings are ready to be planted I can just remove the tape and plant them or I can remove the seedling from the cup and then compost the cup (after removing the tape). And the components of the tray I made are all recyclable
I hope this works!
31 March, 2008
25 March, 2008
There are things that I want so badly that I have convinced myself that I need them.
I think I may be suffering from a case of the green eyed monster. There are many things in life that I want; good health, secure finances, a comfortable hospitable home, babies, time and energy to write, sew and craft, and a hobby farm/home stead. There are a number of people in my life who are in a similar place, but they are attaining the very same things I want. I am over joyed for them. And though I try to be as pure in heart and thought as possible; part of me envies them. I do not deny these people their blessings, I think they are wholly deserving. It is not for me to question, but I still want to know why. Why it is that I am plagued by bad health and a broken body when all I want is a strong healthy body and soul that can till the earth and create.
I don't mean to sound whiny. I intend to be inquisitive and contemplative.
Is it that I am doing something so wrong that I am denying myself or sabotaging myself? Or despite all that I want for myself, does God want something different for me, or of me?
I have been meditating on this for few weeks, quietly thinking about it. I'm strong willed and I pray for others, but I don't pray for guidance. It maybe time for me to start, but I'm not sure where.
Maybe what all this boils down to is that I want to know what it is that I need verses what I want; and what it is the "Universe" wants and needs of me.
24 March, 2008
10 March, 2008
One of my favorite things is Clean Sheet Day. And I have realized that one of the easiest things I can do with the 10 minutes I have to do house work is... Yep; make the bed. My husband was actually still asleep in it when I left this morning, but when I got home from work I went up stairs and made the bed. I love to smooth out the sheets and spray them with lavender water. I pull the covers up and spread out the quilt that was made by a good friend as a gift to my saragget mother, who has passed of cancer. And I put all of our "bed friends" in there place; the porcelain doll I have had since childhood (-R's childhood doll is to fragile to bed on th bed, he lives in my old wicker doll bassinet.) and a three monkeys that were gifts between -R and I, there are also two poppets (hand made dollies with no faces).
So in ending my ramblings. Our marriage bed is more than just a place to sleep. It is a place for US.
What's important in your marriages?
06 March, 2008
~I genuinely like all of my co-works, and they not only like me but are concerned for me and give me extra help on my bad health days.
~I work on a college campus and have access to a library, gym and cultural events.
~I get to work book-signings were I hear interesting readings and lectures; and meet fellow writers.
~I have a generous discount and can order books from almost any publisher. I also get to take home snacks that are expired (but still yummy) for free.
~I provide and important serves to students, I'm the one who processes book request and order the books. I help in the educations of many.
~my job provides the money we need to cover my medical expenses.
So... Today I am thankful for my job and my awesome co-works.
02 March, 2008
Right now we are a two income family, my husband has an average paying job; but he came with debt. My pay check only covers my health care and medication. I have Juvenile Fibromyalgia, Peripheral Neuropathy and a low immune system causing frequents colds and infections. I'm expensive and don't always have the energy or am in to much pain to do my household duties and work.