Connections – and what does that have to do with cause and effect?

Every day is made up of our stories…some days are more mundane, some are wildly exciting- but all are parts of the weave of the day/week/month/year/life. What makes up the stories? Well there are the obvious things like your work, immediate family, and the daily task of your path. That’s all good stuff. To me, the really fascinating threads are the human interactions, the unexpected words, and experiences that fly all around us continually. I heard a great line recently that goes something like this – “You never know whom you will meet, and what influence/imprint they will have on your life and you on theirs.” Powerful. Amazing. Wonderful. Do you ever wonder why you meet (or met) someone? I have been examining some of the personal relationships in my life lately. Thinking about what is the give and take of these interactions, these friendships, and sometimes these brief and fleeting “moments in time.” (Moments in time are a whole other subject! The big question being how is time really marked and measured – why does it creep at points and fly at others?) Anyhow…..back to connections…Why are some of your friends, I say friends for they are chosen into your life, there? What do you add to their life and they to yours? Some may come and go, but I am pretty sure the ones that are here right NOW are for a reason, big or small.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves the awareness of a human encounter designated “Wow-now I get it.” You may select any other two world members, but it is essential that the first member of your team is yourself! It is also essential that the third member of your team is Yum (Yes, you have to imagine and pretend here! I’m sure you remember how! If you don’t then that too is part of your mission!  Yum is the “fairy of goodness,” she makes sure everyone is “behaving” as we would hope intelligent and kind humans should in the world.) She is a magical force as well as masquerading as a civilian, and she is a highly capable professional maker of self awareness. You have forty-eight hours to recruit Yum and meet me in the comments section to report on your mission. As always, should any member of your team be caught or become extra grumpy, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds. (Thanks to Mission Impossible for the inspiration of format!)

Zoie, The Monster, Yum
What do these characters have to do with each other? What IMPACT do they have on each other? ( Left to right, Zoie, Introducing The Monster, and Yum)

Spring, consciousness and attitudes.

Attitude is everything
See below for more about Attitude.

Today is finally warm again…alas the sun seems to have gone, and its raining, but at least the temps are 1/2 decent. Just asking– is this continuing of winter claws getting under your skin? It is mine! I could use some sun and warmth together! Just saying…Therefore, today we will chat about ways to try to help yourself get out of your own way. I am having a wee bit of trouble with this of late, it’s a tough one for many, at various times I am sure it is tough for everyone. Remember that’s it’s all about attitude, and if we are lucky maybe we can ‘adjust’ our own as needed ~ There are lots of great sayings about this…

  • Show up…
  • Park in front….
  • Everyday starts with a blank canvas….
  • Don’t give up. Normally it’s the last key on the ring which opens the door.
  • You don’t need to change places, you just see where you are with new eyes.

…and on an on. I must take you back to my yoga class. As usual, I find inspiration from the words of my teacher, Suzie. On Tuesday night she was saying, put your consciences in the palm of your hands. Of course, since it was yoga class I thought, ok…good idea Suzie I will do that. As the week progressed I have thought about it. Just what indeed does that really mean-especially to me? I realized I really didn’t have clue, so I sat down and thought about. Since I like, to share my favorite things with you all, I will share my thoughts.

Remember the blog post(s) on open palm living? They are still some of my favorite thoughts. Well, if you are living your life open; i.e.,open to: new experiences, people, things, thoughts, and your heart is open to the world around you then you are living in an open palm way. That also means you are possibly less ‘protected’ and therefor probably more ‘venerable.’ This is where consciousness helps. This is also where ATTITUDE helps. It may mean you have a sort of “self directed” path, you have awareness, and although most of us don’t understand much what goes on in our daily paths we know it is OUR path, and hope with all our might, wishes, crossed fingers, and a birthday candle blows, that it is the path we are supposed to be on!  (Can’t resist, another few sayings – Life is a journey not a destination, Your life is what you create in it). Now, lets take that one step further… Lets assume we are all trying to live our lives as ‘open beings’ with the added bonus of open palm consciousness.  You are now alive, open, and aware. Pretty amazing in itself if we can do that. Now, imagine you can touch it with your hands, that you indeed have ‘the power’ of consciousness in your palms, you can touch it at will. What will that bring? Does it mean you can mold it/shape it as you desire?  Can you adjust it with grace and ease for you can now touch it? Is it a burden or a pleasure to have this power? I hope you think it is a good thing, a pleaseure. Yes, I know I did not directly answer the question of “What it means to put your consciences in the palm of your hands?”  Well, what do you think it means? I hope, at least, I got you to think about it over the course of the next few days. Would love to hear from you in comments!

 Want a little more info on attitude? Click below. http://www.frenchbydesignblog.com/2013/12/wednesday-quote.html  https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/267482-the-longer-i-live-the-more-i-realize-the-impact (I was a little surprised when I followed through and found out who the author was) https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5139.Charles_R_Swindoll

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Friends

Friends

“The people who are close to us bring untold meaning and value to our lives. When we are with the people who we care the most about, our social activities become something that is not only fun but also that contributes to our overall sense of interconnectedness and well being – for it is though our friends that we see just how rich and abundant our lives truly are. Inviting our friends to do things with us is one simple way to allow this feeling to infuse our lives with this sense of bounty. Being grateful for what your friends add to your life will let you recognize the gifts that the universe has given you today.” -Daily OM

“An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.” – Buddha

“Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief”. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” – Woodrow T. Wilson

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” ― Linda Grayson”

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” – William Shakespeare

Got it? Get it? Enough said…
Thanks to all my friends and…
Thanks to all the friends of The Botanical Beauties Community.

 

Winter rains….

Izzy and Soggy steps
Goop and ick sticking all over you?

…grayness…fog….haze…mist…and soggy steps. As I look out my window today there really no other word for the weather but GLUM and GLOOMY. It’s not cold, so it’s raining instead of snowing. As a matter of fact, it is 47 degrees at this very moment outside here! Very odd. Some folks are smiling, and others are frowning, about the warmth. I find it a mixed bag, it is pleasant not to have cold feet and cold sheets  but it is also very odd, wrong, and there is nothing bright, reflective, and pretty about rain. (I know there are indeed beautiful rain days at other times of the year, and there are gorgeous photographs with rain reflections, but I hope you get what I am talking about here.) The reflective properties of snow add a brightness and clarity on a cold sunny winter day that really can’t be beaten. Rain does not.

It is the notion of ‘soggy steps’ I am really fascinated with right now. Clearly there is the literal of soggy steps walking outdoors. What about the figurative, what thoughts come to mind with those same words?  To me, it brings forth that same old theme of “letting go” but now it’s letting go AND walk into/onto new paths. Soggy steps sound like your feet rise and with every step, muck, goop, and other ‘icky’ things we would rather not be carrying around come up with your foot. This goop can stick to our hands as well and even hover overhead! It makes for very heavy steps, hard slow movement and an overall malaise to the day!  I’m as guilty as the next person of heavy steps in the winter. It seems very tough this time of year. For starters it’s often dark, less sun, early sunsets, and everyone is inside much of the time. It is very isolating, with much less human contact than a vibrant spring day.  It seems to take more energy to find things to smile and laugh at, and that’s really horrid! Then, if the dark and isolation isn’t enough, there is often a bitting cold up here in the North! It’s a plain hard truth: it is harder to be happy when your face hurts because a bitter cold wind is blowing and you are out walking your very dear, loyal, and fabulous friends who happen to have 4 legs!

So again the question is- how to get rid of that sticky goop attached to our appendages and possibly even over our heads? Maybe it’s a simple as the Dao of winter states?

 Winter – The Dao of Storage     藏之道

The three months of winter are called closing and storing.
Water freezes earth cracks. Do not disturb the yang at all.
Early to bed, late to rise. (One) must await the daylight.
Make that which is of the heart/mind as though hidden,
as though concealed,  as though (one) has a secret intention,
already obtained. Leave the cold, seek warmth.
Do not leak the skin (sweat).  Urgently hold onto the chi.
This is the winter compliance of chi
and the cultivation of the Dao of storage.
To oppose these principles injures the kidneys.
(Consequently) spring will bring paralysis and fainting
(and) there will be little to offer one’s sprouting.
(Nei Jing Chapter 2) http://www.energyarts.com/taoist-seasons-winter-water-element

Clearly some this is not really possible or do  even agree with … such as “Early to bed, late to rise. (One) must await the daylight.” Most of us don’t really have that luxury most days. (And)” Do not leak the skin (sweat)”  I think movement is very important, it’s all too easy to want to curl up and just sit, or lay, around, in the winter! Movement is good for the mind and body, we all know that!

Whatever it takes- Shake that booty, especially your feet and hands, and shake that goop off! Lighten your steps, hop though the soggy and maybe dance onto that new path! (…or at least try to!)  Stomp out the goop and lets hope for a sunny tomorrow!

 

Stomp down that goop

Quiet days…or not?

Jolie, relaxing
Flowers, flowers, flowers- always help me relax, restore and renew.

Well Thanksgiving Day is behind us…Hunukka  (or Chanukah if you prefer ends 12/5)  is still with us…Christmas and New Years are around the corner… Then there is also Boxing Day (12/26) for the English in you… Kwanza (12/26-1/1) for those that honor African heritage, and the Winter Solstice (12/21 at 17:11) for ALL OF US. In fact if you look up Winter Holidays on Wikipedia there are 28 listed for December! Many of these holidays revolve originally around lights. Winter is dark! Winter is for a storing of energy! Look at the hibernating bears, dormant plants and trees in nature, they are all using stored fuel. When the sun is out in the winter, and it’s a crisp clear cold day, it is exhilarating. It’s as if you can feel the energy stored in the earth and sky too! Store up those feelings, wrap up that energy, and take hold of the good. Reflect, restore, renew…its sort of like recycling.

The stories of our lives

(Image at story end)  Each and everyone one of us goes about our moments, days, tasks, and events every day. These small and large journeys make up the stories of our lives.  These stories have definitive beginnings (our births) as well as the obvious definitive end. One of the amazing things is that “end” is partly a fuzzy ending to those of us that march on after the passing of a person. The stories obviously continue in memories but also happen in new events. What? How? Is she out her mind? No, I am not.

I recently attended a wonderful life event. A Wedding. All  the hopeful and expected trimmings were present, the guest from near and far, happiness was everywhere, and love was clearly in the air! Two people, each with their own stories, now are lucky enough to start a marvelous new joint story.  One of the really cool things is that the two independent stories continue, and now we have three stories. This is a case were the math is a little askew and 1+1=3!  I believe a good union means each person is still their single story, but the joined/couple story is equally important, and so becomes a shared third story. The journeys, the paths, and the stories will unfold as the years roll by, and we all wish them only the best and the happiest of stories!   My personal journeys, and so my stories, are unique to myself, as is every one of us. So back to the fuzzy part… I was “sans one” instead of “plus one” at this life event – but my “one” knew, and loved, the wedding family of the groom, it’s the grooms mum who is our original connection to this wonderful wedding. My “one” had heard all the stories, he knew the characters, and we would often, in the more recent years, spend holidays and special times together. I am sure that he too was wishing the new bride and groom only the best and all the love. So, although he was not part of the physical wedding story, he will never not be part of my story, past, present and even future. For me, he too, was indeed at the wedding, clearly not in the usual way, he didn’t have to worry about what to wear and we didn’t get to dance together, but he was positively there in my heart and in the love that was in the air. He is part of the reason I am who I am today. The people who come into our lives, and make imprints on us, are all part of our stories.

The fabric of the story continues to get woven each day, each path, each journey, each awareness, you get the idea… It’s a good thing. The woven fabric may get tattered at times, may even get a few holes, but other times it seems to have gold threads woven into it, sometimes it just grows calmly, slowly and steadily – all are part of the story. As hard at times as it seems to understand “the story,” all the threads, the weaving, the tatters, the gold, are what they are supposed to be. They are our individual stories.

Wedding pair, groom in his Kilt
Yes, the groom, all the groomsmen, and many of the other “Scotts” at this wedding donned their finest and wore the Scottish Heritage proud with their  kilts. It was SPECTACULAR!

Its Hot…Its Art…Its in Tiverton RI- Arts & Artisan Festival

This weekend means we will be in the sumptuous Tiverton RI. Stop by Grays Ice Cream and go on down the road another mile or so and find this lovely Arts Fair! Ice Cream and Art- how can you go wrong?!  Directions/Map

Wessie

“Tiverton Four Corners is once again proud to present their Annual Arts & Artisan Festival on July 20th from 10:00~4:00 (rain date July 21st.) Now in its 26thyear, this festival has seen some of the best local and regional artists display their works and this year will be no exception! A boutique Arts & Artisan festival set in the beautiful Mill Pond Area of the Historic Tiverton Four Corners Village; this festival should not be missed! Follow us on Facebook!

70 + vendors from apron and home good designer/makers to watercolorists, someone who makes dog accessories and snacks, a bird house maker and everything in between. Paintings, Jewelry, pottery, photography, doll clothes, assemblage boxes and all natural, hand made body care and much, much more! There will be food from Acacia Café of Little Compton and baked goods from MULTI award winning bakery Mad Hatter of Newport plus free, local musical entertainment provided by Gary Fish!” -http://bristol-warren.patch.com/

What soothes your soul?

Always a good question to think about… What makes you stop, breath deep, and creates some inner peace for you?

For me it’s (in no particular order) friends, family, flowers, yoga, my dogs, and “creating” – like a new drawing or an art/craft “object,” sunshine, fresh air, and then maybe some more flowers…… or at least those things are some of list toppers!

Since Mable (or if you prefer you can call her Mabel – she likes to mix it up a bit)  is CEO of Emos, and Emos manufacture Smiles, it seemed fitting that she get to hold the giant flower and stand in one of my favorite flowers – a Poppy. You will have to use your imaginations to see all the other “soul soothing pieces”  here with Mabel, but I can assure you they are like water drops and are sitting on top of those flowers too!  Even better…. use your imagination and think about what ever your pieces are and insert them into your mind and reality. If you are really lucky, maybe Mabel can hold some of your too!

Mabel with Flowers

Shows, fairs, and general excitement!!!

OMG – can’t believe “show season” is here -we are off and running!

This weekend we are headed to what I expect to be grand at The Garden Symposium in the even grander location of The Equinox Resort in Manchester VT.Their will be wonderful nationally known speakers and a related vendor marketplace. Naturally, we fit in the second. We will leave all the words off about how great it will be and what an exciting season we are working on (check and watch the schedule grow on our calender page) In the mean time, we will just say WE ARE EXCITED TO BE “On the road again” –off to meet new friends and spread our motto of “Live Kind, Live Green, Live Creatively

Our hope is that on Sunday we can connect up somehow and have a little magic with The Beekman Brothers. They run a company called Beekman 1802-from their own website words “Two NYC guys who bought a farm and are sharing their experiment in living better lives, season by season, neighbor by neighbor.” The Botanical Beauties & Beasties  love that statement/mission. We want to chat with them!

Right now they are promoting  THE SAUCE THAT COULD CHANGE THINGS  (click on name)  Below is the page for this cool idea and product. Please help if you can. It helps all the small local American Farmers stay alive and that’s truly a wonderful thing. The Power of Tomatoes, people and good ideas!

heirloom tomato pasta sauce“We’ve got some really big news.

We are really excited about our new pasta sauce. ‘Cuz it’s gonna change the world.

No. Seriously. Not hyperbole.

Remember when we won that little show called The Amazing Race?  Let us refresh your memory:

101976_d0442b

Wasn’t that awesome?

It was.

Here’s why. It allowed us to pay off the mortgage on our farm so that we could both devote ourselves full-time to growing Beekman 1802 and our community.

So what does The Amazing Race have to do with pasta sauce? A lot, it turns out. And it has even more to do with raising money for other American farmers.

It’s a little round-about-story, but first you need to know a little Race trivia:

Even though you didn’t see the finish till December, the race actually ended in June. Which meant we already knew we would be able to pay off our mortgage with the prize money early last summer. (We’re good secret-keepers, right? Keep that in mind next time you have juicy gossip.)

However, we also had a field full of tomatoes growing on the farm in June. Some of these tomatoes were a variety called “Mortgage Lifter” heirloom tomatoes. They’re giant, delicious tomatoes.

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Why are they called “Mortgage Lifter?”

Well,  in 1929 a man named Marshall Cletis Byles owned an auto repair garage in Logan, West Virginia. When his business began suffering during the Great Depression, Marshall (who went by the nickname “Radiator Charlie,”) decided to earn extra money by selling the best tasting tomato variety he could breed.

It took a few years, but Charlie finally bred his perfect tomato. He advertised that one single plant, with its 1-2lb fruits, could feed a family of six. And he wound up selling enough seedlings in four years to pay off his mortgage. In full.

Hence “Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter Tomato” was born.

Those of you who’ve followed our story know that before we won The Amazing Race, one of our primary goals was to pay off the Beekman Farm mortgage. So when we planted our garden in early 2012, we planted a ton of Mortgage Lifter tomatoes, in hopes of developing a pasta sauce that would help us do just that.

And then we won The Amazing Race. Let’s revisit again. ‘Cuz it was awesome:

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(Did we really make that face on national television? There are “ugly cry” faces and “ugly win” faces, apparently. This was both at once.)

Anyway, last year was a really good year for tomatoes. Here’s one afternoon’s haul:

IMG_0667

So, since we’d paid off our mortgage…what were we going to do with all these tomatoes?!??!

Then it hit us.

We’ll use these tomatoes pay off another small farm’s mortgage! Pay it forward.

So we went ahead and kept developing the pasta sauce. We used the best tomatoes from our farm and other farms, fresh garlic and spices, and other summer vegetables. And we went ahead and stuck with the name: “Mortgage Lifter Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce.

Looks amazeballs, right?

IMG_6366

The only difference is that now we’ll use 25% of the profits from this sauce to help aid another farmer.We’re teaming up with an agricultural 501c3 so make that happen.

The other 75% of the profits will go right back into the business to hopefully develop a whole range of “Mortgage Lifter” food products that will not only help support American small farms with profits, but also by growing a sustainable food brand for small farms to supply.

But, like Radiator Charlie…we’re starting with the basics. The most perfect pasta sauce we could make.

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We hope you love it. Please give it a try. The more you buy, the more you’re directly helping American farmers. If you purchase enough, it will also help catch the eye of a few larger grocery chains. (Any grocery moguls out there? Wanna chat? Email us! )

Stay tuned for a recipe contest and progress of sales….

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE BEEKMAN 1802 MORTGAGE LIFTER HEIRLOOM PASTA SAUCE SAVE SIGNIFICANTLY ON PRICE & SHIPPING WITH ORDERS OF MULTIPLE JARS.”

Spring?

I would like to be seeing flowers…instead I am seeing a blizzard!
I guess the only way to hurry it along is to draw it!

flower

Hold Your Space

Hold Your Space
Hold Your Space – palms up and out!

Another week and another sunday morning yoga class gave Birdelini and I food for thought. This times it’s about holding on to your own space, owning and nourishing  that space however expansive or tiny it may be. It refers not to marking out your territory but to truly  holding your own self/space with no harsh negative judgments, an acceptance of your space and peace with your space. In the winter “our space” sometimes feels tighter and more constricted. It’s not really.  It’s our innate human nature of “winterizing”- we tend to stand less tall, fold into ourselves more, rounded shoulders and slouching.  In the cold we bundle up, look down, and walk fast to our destinations. That’s pretty close to tight-fisted living. (see last weeks post). Holding your own space  goes hand in hand (all puns intended) with open palm living. You need to understand you can’t  micro manage your space, you need to let is be, to fill, expand, and contract as needed. You certainly don’t need to try to control anyones else’s space, for that is really fruitless. Your space is what it is- your space, don’t judge it or others and the sides of your space will be so much smoother.

I poked around on-line a bit and found this at Spiritual Awaking Process. I thought he did a nice job of talking about this issue.

“Holding Space: Some Key Attributes
Let me try to break this down a little bit. Here are a couple key characteristics to holding space, and I’ll give an example to help solidify what I’m talking about. Some components are:

    • Letting go of judgment
    • Opening your heart
    • Allowing another to have whatever experience they’re having
    • Giving your complete undivided attention to the situation/other person

Those are really the key elements of holding space. You’re not trying to influence the situation. You’re not trying to fix it, win at it, or affect any kind of outcome. You are simply being with it fully so that it can work itself out. This doesn’t mean becoming a victim to it. Quite the contrary actually, you’re very powerful in this space, and it certainly doesn’t mean being hurt physically by another. By when you’re deep into a space like this, you are far more immune to any “emotional” hurt than you might realize…” ( read more