Archive for the ‘Wellness/Emotional’ Category

Elixirs… Simple Syrup to Make Unique Cordials… Rose, Peppermint and Lemon Balm

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Simple syrup is the base for some wonderful beverages. I really don’t like throwing sugar in anything that doesn’t need it, but the special syrups you can use to flavor your sparkling water or your champagne cocktail aren’t just sugar… And they sure must be better that your cola or other store bought soda with the added caramel coloring and gums and ridiculous preservatives. Just water, sugar, fruit, flower, herbs… Last year I made the Elderflower Cordial. I made that again for my last night at Aromatherapy Class … the exam and last meal together. I met some really cool people there. Unique as ever you would run into anywhere. We all grew up a little together in the process of learning about plant essential oils and the reaction on the human body.

But the Elixer!

First,  making my elderflower… I had noticed that the wild elder flowers were starting to leaf and bloom on the highway as I drove up to San Francisco on Highway 1… awesome commute to the city, with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other. At the bottom of Bonny Doon Road where I turn up to my mountain paradise, I have seen the elders flowering here also. I stopped on the highway last year to pick some and stepped into and reached over poison oak to get at the aromatic flowers. Again a hazard at the riverside plants at the bottom of the road, the stinging nettles are around the elder flowers there. I tried to find a way to some plants without the nettles so close, and as I thought I had missed them, sure enough my thumb grazed a hairy stinging nettle stem and my foot, wearing a flat open shoe, brushed against some nettle that I had not seen. So that was an experience. I was worried that the red itchy blisters would be bothering me for days, but before I even thought to put the aloe vera and lavender blend on the rash, it was already diminishing in  intensity. Within hours it was gone. Whew!

So I came home, made my Elderflower Cordial for the class party, and it needed to sit for two days steeping so I was on schedule. Then later, during that sleep challenged night, I thought  wow… I have some blood oranges and wouldn’t they make a beautiful syrup! So I got up and boiled my water, added the sugar and grated the peel of and sliced the naked grated peeled blood oranges and set them in to steep. I had picked some mint that day and so I thought what a nice way to have your blood orange… with mint! And two days later, it was!

And the Color! Brilliant!

I must try it with tequila or vodka for a stronger beverage.

If you come up with some beverage ideas please share them with us.

The aromatherapy class assignment was to make foods and beverages to add essential oils to. essential oils I am learning are very capable of healing our emotions and our bodies. I added a drop of the lemon Essential Oil to the Elderflower cordial, and to the blood orange I added the Peppermint essential oil. Mint is great for the memory, for muscle aches,  and for respiration, clearing the sinuses as for allergy.

Try making an elixer with flowers, fruit, herbs. I am trying Roses and mint and lemon balm right now. I had it for my second aromatherapy class at a pot luck exam day. It was a hit and I didn’t steep it even for 24 hours. I will put the rest back into the refrigerator for a day and see if it draws more rose flavor.

I also tried a syrup made with Kumquats and mint last month that I took to a friends house. Everyone loved it and it is an interesting beverage for children and your friends who aren’t drinking wine. Festive and unique. Elegant in a wine glass or in a tall ice tea glass. A sprig of mint, a slice of lemon or orange, or a flower, violet, pansy, rose… Beautiful!

So…

Just walk out into your garden and pick some roses, some peppermint and that lemon balm that is growing wild everywhere and you keep pulling it out and cutting it back.

Meditaton and Squid

Friday, February 24th, 2012

You may know my son Luke Mitrani as a pro snowboarder whose nick name is Squid.  Last night I was on the phone with him and we were skimming through ebay together trying to find the perfect RV for his next journey.  The conversation made a turn from the physical journey of life to the spiritual journey.  “Mom, have you been meditating?”  The answer was yes.  We both shared our stories about discovering how meditation is a worthwhile discipline to weave into one’s life.  The truth is if Luke was a Beatle, he would be George.  This morning when I checked my Facebook page Luke had posted on my wall a fairly  unknown George Harrison on utube which reflects George’s deep connection to meditation and his pursuit of openly celebrating the spiritual world through music.  It is interesting to know that this is the kind of thing you will find on Luke’s playlist for doing double corks in the half pipe.

So the question is what is meditation? why do it?  How do you do it?  The bigger questions are why are we here?  What is the meaning of life?  For me meditation is clearing one’s mind and trying to connect to a quiet place closer to the core of an inner space of light and purity of spirit.  There is much written on this ancient and fascinating discipline and everyone has  different methods and philosophies.

The point is to calm your mind and  allow yourself to connect to an energy that will add clarity and peace in your life.  I like meditation because you can do it anywhere (even in a half pipe?)  Life can be stressful and meditation is useful for relaxation and going forward.

I wish Luke and all of us luck as we journey through the physical and spiritual paths in our lives.  Honor your inner self and you may discover like Luke that you can go higher than you ever thought possible.  Thankfully there is more to life than just connecting on facebook. Om.

The Winter Garden… Much to Do

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

When you live in a temperate climate, there is always something needing to get done in the garden. It gets chilly but the plants are still growing. Some dormant but the roots are getting strong and growing deep as the upper plant is resting. If you can still find bulbs at your nursery, pick them up and plant them in the ground or even in a pot. The daffodils and tulips were gone, but I just picked up some freesias and crocus. You can still order on line for spring planting too: freesia, ranunculus, anemone and lilies.

Time for the bare root trees and shrubs at the nursery. First check the sale plants. There could be just the peach you were looking for, potted in the sale area at a discounted price.

Special items such as tree peonies are bare root at the nursery now.

Something quite incredible… They take for ever to grow but the surprise of the stunning flower… Careful! Be watchful and aware or you might miss the bloom. I have some tree peonies that have only had one flower for 5 years… Can’t wait until it has several more. But patience….

In the milder climates it is time to plant roses and fruit trees. Right now without the rain from the gods, as we are having another very dry month in California and throughout much of the country, you will have to be sure to water. When you plant trees in the fall and winter, they get a strong start in the earth as the roots grow underground while the plant above is resting. Different for the winter blooming plants of course. I once planted a whole huge forest of Camelias when it was February into March and they were laden with blooms.

This isn’t really the right timing. The flowers fell and the plants were a bit stressed. The energy put into bloom takes much of the plants energy and planting them in bud challenges the plant and you should be careful to be sure it is deeply watered and even give it some fertilizer, like fish emulsion or manure tea. My Camelias are doing well now three years later, so it was fine in the end, but I am sure they were a bit miffed at being planted while they were so busy putting there energy into blossom… Excuse me…

Fish emulsion is a nice way to water in some nutrients. You can add it to a watering can if you have a small garden or potted patio or deck garden.

Manure tea? You can take your bag of chicken or steer manure and put a couple of handfuls into the watering can and steep for a half hour or so and just water it into the pot.

Cutting back roses, vines, pruning the orchard.

Adding manure and compost to the garden so the rain will wash it in during the winter months.

A bit of a workout in the Garden? Raking is a meditation and, if done briskly, a nice bit of a work out. Shoveling, digging, and planting a nice sized bare root tree is also good for the muscles and a bit of cardio and weight training, but be careful when lifting as the posture or lack of it that you exhibit can cause some muscle tension later. Use your core, don’t slouch and lift things from below. Bend and turn from the hips not the lower back. Remember that a slightly bent knee rather than straight knee is good support and protects the knees and the lower back.

I love to rake leaves. It is something you can do with a rhythm of motion and try to, instead of thinking of the things you need to do at work, at home, or even let go of that cloud of the confusing relationship your in, and listen…. The leaves blowing, the birds are all around always you just sometimes don’t hear their scuffling under the brush and low shrubs… soft little steps waiting to come in when you leave and pick at the bugs you have uncovered with the rake.

I just heard one of my Hawks out early this morning. So happy that they have settled in on my property again. Not good if you have the very small dogs or little chicks running around on the lawn, but I am hoping they take away some of my rabbits this winter. Sorry bunny’s, but the kids are gone and there is no more Easter egg hunting around here… At least at the moment. Leave the vegetables alone and go where the children are living down the road.

The rabbits ate all my greens that I planted this fall, chard, kale, lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower. I hope to replant soon as these are the good winter crops. The weather is so warm right now that I was daring enough to buy some seeds. Peas, sweet peas, get ready to plant these in March, but with this fair weather in February I might set some in the soil now.

Aromatherapy… Essential Oils for Health

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

I love the fragrances,  and living with and using the lovely essential oils can lead you into a healthier life, or so I have been told. I have always been close to flowers and I believed there was magic in their fragrances. Not only the flowers but also leaves and barks, and fruits. The oils are gathered in a variety of ways, but steam distillation is a main one. There is cold pressing for some, such as the citrus.

Essential oils are the immune system of plants. They protect the plant from bacteria and illness, in desert plants they keep the plant from dehydrating, protecting the surface of the leaves from heat. They attract the insects to pollinate and protect and deter others from attacking. Even animal herbivores are deterred from many plants by the plant’s essential oils such as many of us gardeners plant rosemary and lavender that the deer won’t eat. There is that and that the lavender will be great in wreath making, in sachets for the lingerie drawer, in cookies and cakes and to crush in our hands and enjoy the fragrance that ensues.

Essential oils affect us emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. They are antibacterial and some are anti viral anti fungal. You can ad them to an oil that you like, drop a few droplets in the bath, use them sparingly as they are strongly fragrant and you don’t need much, but don’t worry if you find it overwhelming and you spilled too much. They dissipate and evaporate. You skin will take it in and absorb the essence and it moves through the epidermis and dermis and  into your Bloodstream and wanders to the place where it might be useful. It doesn’t stay and build up in the body but vanishes eventually right down the toilet… really.

Well… this is sounding rather technical and boring isn’t it. But I was so interested in finding that there was real science in the essential oil experience. I always just thought it was magic, because things smell good they made me feel good. But it is even the process of smelling and the brain taking the information and sharing it with our organs and mind. The brain helps us to take this aromatic experience and make it a benefit to our body, our mood , and our psyche.

Don’t you wish you could rub the essence of this bouquet onto your body or float it in the tub… Well you can. Essential oils can be found in our natural food stores, Whole Foods obviously, our little Herb Room in Santa Cruz. Add them to your lotion or a moisturizing oil such as jojoba, apricot kernel oil, or even our olive oil we use to cook with. Just a little oil in the palm of your hand and a single drop of these intense concentration of plant power, flower power, and rub some lavender on your aching neck or your feet. Lavender will balance , calm and in a way even energize you.  Rub a little orange oil with some body oil on you solar plexis, just above the navel and you may wake in the morning feeling a bit joy that wasn’t there the week before. Sunshine on a cloudy day.

Sex and Violence in Film

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo a few months ago.  I love mysteries. Since I was young when it was Nancy Drew and then later I was hooked on Agatha Christie. I have a library filled with Raymond Chandler, Walter Mosley, Anne Perry,

Catherine Coulter, Ellis Peters, Sue Grafton, Ridley Pearson, Dan Brown , the herbal garden mysteries of Susan Wittig Alpert, the orchid mysteries by Michelle Wan, Laurie R. King‘s heroine, who is the young sleuth who fell in love, married and had a family with the famous Sherlock Holmes.

The murders in the old days were simpler, less bloody, less heinous and depraved. The psychology of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, who compares life’s situations to the people she knew in her small town of Saint Mary’s Mead, and her Hercule Poirot who referred to “the tiny grey cells” where his solutions to mystery came forth from rational thought. Simple shootings from passion and disease of the mind.

I am sad to admit that I do get pulled in to the baser contemporary mystery that has escalated the gruesome and brutal depiction of the worst imaginable of human behavior. I am uncomfortable with the levels of depravity, and yet I buy it and I read…

It is different once it comes from words and imagination to the movie screen. The horrible picture that you see only in your mind’s eye, but with the human eye is a whole different truth. Sure it is false, faked, dramatized. Do we really need to see it in such reality. Could we not just fade to black and imagine by inference and drama what was purported to have happened.

I feel like a prude with the sex and violence that I wouldn’t want my child to hear or to experience. How is it so different the artful movie sex scene and soft porn. The playboy nudes and the grinding highly paid actors naked, playing at, dramatizing having pretend sex. Where do we draw the line? Where is the art when it leaves nothing to imagine and throws the blood and naked pierced breast in your lap. How do you eat popcorn through the graphic rape scene. I find myself eating dinner and watching Bones, a medical mystery series on television with it’s graphic blood and gore… I have to look away. Why? Why am I watching. I like sex, but I would rather be having it than watching it. I am not a voyeur… I don’t want to be… I wish there were boundaries.

The location for this Swedish mystery is dramatic and serene, snow covered and bitingly cold. The homes are characters in themselves. The main estate house, the  guest cottage where Bloomkvist does his research, and Martin’s beautiful contemporary home of neutral color, glass and malice.

So where are we as a society that so much of what we are entertained by is violence, sex,  and violent sex. Remember the fall of Rome. The collapse of society when the government became so corrupt… and what of the people?

Why are you watching?

De-Tox Bath, Wash it all away

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

After weeks of Holiday parties, heavy food, alcohol and late nights, it’s time to get back to healthier habits.  Why not give your body a jump start by bathing away the toxins that have settled there. Bathing is an age old remedy for detoxification and can be done very inexpensively in your own home.

Make sure you have about 45 minutes to soak, and can relax after the bath to allow the healing to continue.

Fill the tub with hot water as hot as you can stand and still be comfortable.  Add at least 2 cups of Epsom Salts. I buy mine at the pharmacy in big cartons.  Add 2 cups of baking soda, available at the supermarket. Swish it all together. That’s it, your basic de-tox bath.

Of course, there are plenty of things you can add to make the bath more pleasurable.  Some people add ground ginger or ginger tea, anywhere from a tablespoon to 1/4 cup.  If you have sensitive skin, it can be harsh.  Ginger will cause you to sweat more, thereby releasing more toxins.

You can add essential oils, lavender and Ylang Ylang are effective for relaxation, grapefruit and bergomot, more invigorating, and if you have a cold, try eucalyptus.  You can also add herbs, rosemary and chamomile come to mind.

I prefer to light candles and burn incense, it’s easier to clean the tub later.

Drink plenty of water before during and after bathing, it helps remove the toxins, soak for at least forty minutes while listening to your favorite music, or just relax and daydream.  Have a towel or terry robe ready when you get out and move slowly, some people do get dizzy or light headed.

Kevin Pearce….snowboarding today

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Kevin Pearce is a remarkable person and my son’s Luke and Jack Mitrani‘s best friend.  He has become a part of my family and us a part of his.  The boys grew up together here in Vermont and it is no surprise that snowboarding has been the center of their lives.  All three rose up to be professional snowboarders.

Two years ago Kevin was in critical condition after sustaining a head injury in the half pipe practicing. He was at the height of his career.  I will never forget the sound of my boys voices when they called with this frightening news that they were witness to.  Luke was very shook up and said he could not close his eyes without seeing Kevin fighting for his life.  It was a dark period but never without faith and hope that Kevin would somehow survive this terrible event.

Well today I woke up with a tweet on my phone from Luke…..”about to go take some laps with KP, saaayyyyy whattt?”

A happy day to say the least.  And what a journey it’s been.  I can tell you first hand that Kevin has worked hard for this moment. It has been something to see….. tremendous drive and passion to be himself which meant he must snowboard again.  It is with great happiness that he snowboarded with his frends and fans who have stood by him through it all.

Love you Kevin.  The future is bright as snow.

Acupuncture… How about a tune up?

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Acupuncture is an alternative medicine. It involves the insertion of needles at specific points in the body to improve health and well being. Acupuncture is used for any malady, mental and/or physical. The fact that when your body is challenged your mental well being is also challenged and vice versa, is one I have learned from my experience with acupuncture treatments over the years.

I just went in and said that I was feeling challenged and immediately my practitioner was thinking toward liver function. Why… she looked at my tongue top and underneath, and felt my pulse, looked closely into my eyes, and her years of experience and intuition help her to see in me what may be ailing my body, my organs and therefore hindering my mind and heart( and soul).

Originating in China more than 2,000 years ago, it has been successfully transformed and adapted into our Western world and is more broadly accepted now.  A few decades ago most people would think acupuncture was some kind of charlatanry. I believe that there is some kind of magic in it.

When the everyday stress we put on ourselves  inhibits our bodies organs to function, run smoothly, then maybe it is time to find an acupuncturist and go in for a tune up…

I first went to see an acupuncturist when I had my second bout of Bell’s Palsy. Rather scary thing, Bell’s Palsy… You wake up to find that one side of your face is drooping and you can’t close your eye or even it can be both eyes and your whole face… It feels like novocaine that won’t wear off. The first time I had Bell’s Palsy I was prescribed a series of progesterone and it left me feeling anxious and edgy and I felt like I shouldn’t be driving a car, so when i had it again I asked what other treatment might be available. The series of treatments worked for me and introduced me to a level of healing that I have turned to for many different ailments.

Last year I had a knee injury that I could have opted for surgery or try to heal with time and physical therapy. I went to the acupuncturist and I feel that it contributed immediately to bring down the initial inflammation. It seems to rev up and stimulate the internal juices, living fluids that pulse through our bodies.

One acupuncturist I have gone to who mixes several other methods of alternative medicine told me about the tidal flow in our bodies. It is different that our heart beat but pulsing nevertheless. Sometimes when I am relaxed in the office with the needles doing their work I feel a sort of whooshing and pulsing and even have an auditory sense of the sound of waves or these fluids pulsing and energizing, focusing on healing.

The inter-connective-ness of the acupuncture points is the magic. That you can get a needle in your foot or hand and it helps your liver or spleen function( not a real example… this is a made up example). I would definitely suggest you try it, especially if you have a friend who has been and can recommend a practitioner in your area. They will also be suggesting herbs to help with your personal needs for well being… For digestion, inflammation, depression…

My personal acupuncturist who I consider a friend after many years of treatment and conversation ranging from my health challenges, mental health challenges to our common love of gardening and saving and reintroducing the Pipevine Butterfly in the Santa Cruz area, has a website and has herbal products for people and pets. Her website is informative and the information written describing her tinctures gives insight into possibilities to pursue wellness  and treatment in another way. Try adding Martha’s Benedictine Healing Products to your life. Even just reading about them on line can open your mind to a new way to healing yourself and a way of life that is closer to nature and steeped in history and herb lore.

Your Mind and Body could use some Exercise

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

I was an athletic child and had the dance and gymnastics classes in my youth. Played tennis, volleyball, basketball, football with my sister, my brother and his friends, and my Dad. When we are children play is athletic. When I was young we had jump ropes and the skates that we would attach to our shoes. Everyone rode their bikes around in circles and to their friends house and to school. There was nothing on TV to watch all day and we played. As you “grow up” the exercise in youthful play slowly diminishes and one needs to make appointments with oneself to get exercise.

When I was younger you didn’t see all the people running and walking on the beach, side-walks hiking trails, mountain bikes, road bikes every where. We have become more conscious of how we need to keep in tune with our body to promote health and we know more today than my yesterday of youth how we can live longer healthier lives if we can include some daily / weekly  exercise routine into our lives.. So many people have their routine of a walk or run in the morning before work or in the evening after it. There is such a health consciousness around you that I didn’t grow up with. My sons group of friend are snowboarders and they run and stretch and skateboard for conditioning so they are prepared to ride the parks on the mountain. It is great if it is part of your passion, but if it isn’t, then you need to make an effort to get your exercise in.

Having a daily or weekly routine is  key. I had one and I lost it and it is a struggle for me right now  to get it done and fit it in with all the responsibilities that I have.

I struggle like many with weight, but even with the overeating and my body fat, I have been really good in recent years at getting the exercise in. I pop out of bed and take my dog for a walk. I have my weight( hand weights and bench) routine and in spite of my plumpness I am pretty physically fit and healthy. But in recent months I have lost my routine, I have lost my momentum. I am struggling with balance in my life. We need that rise of endorphins that exercise gives us in order to stay sane, focused, and positive and happy. I think the people Sal talks about may need a little more exercise than they are getting of the golf course( see Blog history).

If you are feeling depressed, exercise could be the key to elevate your mood. Try to get in the cycle of a walk or bike ride or get back to a favorite sport.

I am writing this to myself really and hope it might be of use to someone else. The events of the past few years have deflated my HAPPY FACE mylar helium balloon and the events of the recent months have left that balloon almost totally deflated and drooping, dragging  along the ground. This year the disastrous earthquakes in New Zealand and  Japan, the death of Bin Laden( it depressed me how people could celebrate the death of someone… not that I don’t think it’s good that he is gone, but that we celebrated it like a Carnival was debased ) and the uprisings in the middle east… Now more devastation with natural disasters in our country with the Missouri River flooding destroying farmland and threatening cities. with the tornado in Missouri destroying most of a town… I feel for these people that I don’t even know. A friend told me that is a flaw , but even as I try, I can not let it go from my everyday consciousness. I often feel like the comment in the Star Wars movie when the planet gets destroyed and Obi Wan somehow knows and says “I feel a disturbance in the force, hundreds of people crying out” …Is it wrong? I don’t think so I think some of us are hypersensitive and we need to figure out how to live with this comfortably. It can lead one to excess to try to numb the senses, alcohol and drugs, addiction to work ( and gardening). If you resonate with this, try a psych class or a group therapy with psychologist. It can help to talk about it.

But also… PLAY!

Get out and get some exercise… Fly a kite and swing on a swing in the park at midnight. Dance and get those endorphins pulsing…  Lets play like we did when we were kids… Skip, run, do a cannonball into the pool.

Passion… Obsession… Addiction?

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

It is a gift to have interests that you feel passion for. If you are a musician, an artist , an athlete, a computer technician… Everyone has a different affinity and talent, interest for different things. Some things we do out of our love for it and some out of necessity. The computer tech who gets into the biz because of the job opportunities has a different drive than the geek who lives and breathes fascination and science of their career choice.

Some people have interests and hobbies that are outside of their work specialty… Something they can relax with and focus on to entertain and develop them selves. Some times silly things and some very deep and detailed. Rockets and airplane models, radio controlled airplanes,  miniature trains( my Grampa did this), miniature furniture making( my Grampa did this too), Bonzai, painting, modeling clay, sewing… It is good for the mind to focus on something and it helps us get out of our (crazy) whirling mind thoughts. Even reading rather than watching TY and playing video games.

I wonder if video game play is good for the mind. I know it can be as addictive as gardening is to me… maybe even more. Like alcohol addiction… Like gardening is to me. I just blew off a concert because I was deep into garden addiction. I have some ideas for a new theme in the landscape and I am going for it. I will be burnt out, but it will be good… it better be GREAT!

I think one definition of addiction is when something interferes with your everyday life. Although gardening seems to be a healthy activity, I was doing it in the rain until 8pm last night… I will throw my delicate hands into the dirt without gloves and weed and dig up a few volunteers and even use my hand as a trowel without going to find one when I am in the deep garden consciousness.

I am  the Gardener because my passion led me there. I have a struggle to keep it sane. I can not stop myself from the collection plants that I love and plants that are useful, plants that are unusual, and plants that have some emotional tie. For example,  I have Stella Cherries not because it is a great cherry but because that was my grandmothers name.

Today I have a concert and a barbecue to go to and I just want to stay home with the dogs in the garden. “Just a little more weeding and that will just look so sweet… How about that heuchera over there… Oh I would like to run down and get some of the lime green thyme for that spot.”

People who know me would not think I am a perfectionist. My house isn’t tidy, my hair is always a bit loose and sloppy, but when it comes to my GARDEN I just have to fix it. Things that don’t need fixing I want to change. Like moving furniture in the living room all the time… Maybe you do that so you may understand what I am talking about.

At least it is a healthy activity… Is it? When I am distracted from laundry and paperwork that needs to be done it probably isn’t. I started this in college in my little yard of a rented house. Certain things that I knew I wanted to keep I would plant in pots so that I could take them with me. I always had a pot of violets when I moved. I never missed a class for gardening, but I would now… I am sure I would.

I entered college as a biology major and somewhere along the way I switched to ceramics. I have never taken ceramics as far as I have my gardening.  It probably would have been horticulture and landscape design that should have been my direction. These are things to think about. What do I love to do. maybe you are young and haven’t had the time to know what this involves, but if you like to spend an afternoon at a arboretum or botanical garden and if you are looking at the landscape at your friends parents homes and critiquing and admiring them, then perhaps you should become the landscape designer and not the engineer.

Having gone to college at UCSC, I wish I had seen the opportunity of the Farm and Garden program there. Alan Chadwick was a leader in the movement  toward Organic gardening. I had planned to do a high school senior apprenticeship there and  days before I  was to go, Alan Chadwick let me down and reneged. That is probably why I never spent time there when I was at UCSC. I was so disappointed and insulted.

If agriculture or food science is your interest look at University of California at Davis campus for an incredible program. They just finished a new center for exactly that. Their new GREEN buildings house enology, brewery, and food sciences. Landscaped in edibles, herbs and vegetables  I visited the facility for an opening event and wish I was starting over. That is where I want to go to College in my next life. The only thing I would want to be young again for 9well maybe one of two ) would be to go to school again… and again, and again. There is so much out there top learn and experience. Experiences I have, but I loved going to school and gardening school?! Maybe look at it…

I just ran into a my Therapist that I used to see  and who had been a close friend at the garden center… She asked me how I was, and I glanced at my 3 wagons of plant material and she nodded… she has this problem too. I think it might be time for me to go back to her and spend some time working on what this addiction is blocking. It is something of course. The feelings that nothing you do is good enough. That struggle for the perfection in oneself that you aren’t achieving yet maybe you can do in the garden what you could not do for yourself…  like loosing 5 pounds or painting the Mona Lisa or discovering a cancer cure…

…. And it is not that my garden is perfection. That isn’t my goal. I like to have a bit of amusement… Mother nature plays with me and I with her and it isn’t perfect but we make some nice little vignettes together and it can be good… special… GREAT!

I will be successful in the garden if it kills me!!!!!

So look at what you are throwing yourself into and if it makes it difficult to balance your life around it, think about how you can love this, pursue this and still balance. Think about the possibilities. Video games? Would you want to design one, NO? Then get off the couch and come out in the  garden with me!