flowering plants, philosophy

What a Day Yesterday was!

I had a fun time yesterday, but I’m glad I’d planned it so well, it could have gone sideways fast! Yesterday I knew the main thing I had to do for the day, the number one must do item. This ‘thing’ was to attend a forum, for which there was a quite handy payment, simply for taking part.

I’m not an idiot, if somebody wants to give me money simply for giving my opinion, I’m not going to say no! The venue is not close to where I live, but it’s in a place I feel connected to, to some extent. Another venue I was thinking of visiting soon, was on the way, sort of, so I thought if I go to that venue but didn’t stay too long, then it would make the long drive more worth it.

So that’s what I did, I drove to Nuriootpa to visit someone I went to school with, to buy some plants that sounded great, and were at a great price, and after that, I drove on to Clare for the forum. The plants were at the Mitre 10 store, where my former schoolmate works, and we had a lovely chat and have decided to catch up again properly, soon! (Thanks Debbie!) Combining these two events in the one trip made much more sense, with the number of kilometers driven.

I now have four more ‘pigs face’ plants, and these new plants are all in different colours to the one we already have at home. The idea of being able to get these in colours different to the one we already have was the thing that made it seem worthwhile, and only $2.50 per pot, a bargain! They will look lovely once they really get growing, and are planted up in hanging baskets on our back patio … So Debbie and I chatted, and when it was time to, I put the plants in my car and headed off to Clare.

Then the forum. There were seven other attendees, plus two people organising things, and we all worked to getting some new ideas thought about, and with different ideas about how it could go. The eight of us were split into two groups, and even though we weren’t all that well known to each other, it all went along very well indeed. It will be interesting to see whether next year, any of the things we did come into fruition.

So we worked, thought, perhaps ate a choc chip cookie or two, and then the time was up. It was getting dark by that time, and I was reminded of two things, that I’d got myself lost in the Barossa region previously, and that I really am not keen on driving in unfamiliar places at night, especially when it was raining. Last night the rain had well and truly arrived.

Anyway, I kept on driving, with the GPS in my mobile phone keeping me on track, but gee was I glad to get home. My husband was still up, even though it was getting quite late, but we were both happy to head off to bed, soon after I arrived home, after watching some of the show on the TV.

I forgot about the plants in my car until after lunch today, and I’m glad it was quite a mild day, and that I finally did remember them, and take them around to the back yard, where most of our pot plants are. One of the new plants isn’t flowering yet, but one of the people from Mitre 10 yesterday, showed me what they look like, quite a gentle pink, which will go nicely indeed!

So talking, thinking, ideas, a friend from the past (and possibly into the future too), plus new plants, payment for a job well done, and new plants, what a good day that was, made even better than it may have been, with some planning. I am currently thinking about the philosophy of the Stoics, who value planning, thinking on their day’s things to come, and then thinking on the day that has been.

So consider this blog post a part of my philosophical musings …

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philosophy, Uncategorized

Sunshine – Blessed Happiness

Today I did something I rarely do, I exposed most of my upper body to the sun! I kept my under clothes on, and my track pants, but I exposed some flesh to the lovely and blessed sunshine.

This unusual event occurred in the backyard, which is pretty private anyway, so if anybody copped a view of a little more than they were expecting, then they probably got more than they deserved! I was out there with husband and our dog Missy, while washing was being hung up, and then our Canna plants watered.

I looked at the mandarin tree while I was outside, and it certainly looked like it needs the watering it’s getting right now. We are forecast to have some much hotter weather in the next few days, and we need to make sure these plants get what they need. Sunshine is certainly needed by plants for the photosynthesizing process, but correct watering is important too, very important.

Humans need proper hydration (water) too. At the moment, I’m working on my second glass of water for the day, and I’ve had a cup of coffee first up, as I almost always do. That coffee counts toward my needed water intake, up to a point. I feel that if I have three cups of coffee, and about three glasses of water, that is probably enough for my needs.

Other people may have other needs. I did around twenty minutes of aerobic exercises today, with the family Wii Fit machine. I didn’t work hard enough to build up a big sweat, so it isn’t like a runner, who will lose much water through sweating. One day I may be fit enough to actually go jogging outside, but that moment is certainly not now. I get tired, just doing my two minutes of jogging on the spot inside with the Wii Fit machine …

Rome wasn’t built in one day, as they say, and my aerobic fitness is a work in progress. Getting sufficient sunshine is a work in progress too. I am slowly reducing my layers of clothing, after the cold of Winter and early Spring. I like to be warm, rather than being cool, other people prefer it the other way around.

I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis), and it is felt by the experts that vitamin d, at least the lack of it, may have a negative role in my disease. Having adequate vitamin d is felt to be healthful. So, if I want to be as healthy as possible, it is a good idea to receive vitamin d from the sunshine, whenever I can.

It’s a balancing game, this one though. I have also had skin cancers (in the early stages) removed. Sunshine brings both skin cancer and vitamin d, one bad thing, but one good thing too. So, I know that getting my sunshine for vitamin d in the morning and later afternoon is the best way to go. In the middle of the day, the sun is at its most dangerous level for skin cancer. I think I have the knowledge to make this work best for me.

On another level of being, sunshine simply makes me happy. I love what it does for the plants, the vegetables, the lawn, the trees, and the flowers. I feel so fortunate to have enough room, at my place to have all of these things, at our place in the country, with no tall buildings cutting out any of that blessed sunshine.

And of course, we have solar panels on our roof, and every moment of sunshine brings us more power for ‘free’. We’ve had our panels now for long enough to have covered the costs of their installation, so it is free actually, no need for the quote marks. Sunshine’s power helps to pay for some of the power we use, and I love that idea. I also love the fact that every bit of solar power we use is other, more worrying forms of power we don’t have to use.

This is good for everyone and everything sure, people, Nature, the planet. I know there are other things I could do that I don’t currently do, but at least I’m doing something …

 

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philosophy

Making Changes

Making changes can be a good thing in life. Things get stale, or go out of date, new things come into being, and you may want to have a piece of the new best thing. These are fine things, if they suit your life, and your lifestyle.

One such change is the new image I have put on the this blog – well, it isn’t actually something new, the image is one from ten years ago, bu it hasn’t been in this position before, so that is new (although it has been in different places on this blog previously, I think …).

Anyway, the image is of a Pharaoh Hound puppy, one of ours, and possibly the puppy we still have, Missy, who is now ten years old, and a long way beyond being a puppy, and she has the grizzled muzzle to show for it. The creature with the pup is Pumba, from The Lion King, a toy for our puppies at that time, to play with. The puppy and toy are both in our whelping box, where most of our pups were born, over our years as dog breeders.

Giving up dog breeding was definitely a good thing in our lives. Showing dogs and breeding them was fun for many years. Things change though, we had an actual human baby, he grew, we all found other things to attract our attention. We still had dogs, but they became solely pets instead of show/breeding stock and pets. The dogs aged, and passed on, and weren’t replaced with new dogs. Missy is it, and she happily lives her life between the backyard and her sofa!
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Anyway, gardening took over our weekends, rather than dog showing. We enjoy our garden, and our garden is certainly coming along much better now that it’s getting more attention. I am so happy with the vegetable garden, and those mandarins on our tree! I like the herbs in our garden too, in fact I was outside earlier today and chomped a few sprigs of parsley, which is far healthier than I previously realised.

dig it

I’m making a point of eating healthier food, with more vegetables. Today I chopped up a celery stalk into small pieces, and mixed it through my lunch of nuts and dried fruit. The celery was a lovely crunchy addition, and I’m glad I added it! I had a mandarin with my lunch too, which wasn’t so lovely. It wasn’t one from our garden, it was a purchased one, and even before I ate it, I had pretty low expectations of it regarding flavour.

This mandarin didn’t smell fresh, like the ones from our tree smell, it was old and stale, and that’s what the smell was like too. I love the smell of a fresh mandarin! Picking your own, when the fruit is at its absolute best is a wonderful thing. I’m so glad the change in our lives has brought these things into my life, more and more. With my husband retired from paid work, he is also glad to have so much more time to spend out in the garden, digging and planting! A fine way to get some exercise in the sunshine.

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Any other changes? This year I have been putting more attention into my writing ‘career’, including this blog and my others. That’s not a big change, but with luck, it may begin to actually bring me things, who knows. This blogging is fun to do, I love putting my thoughts ‘out there’ into the online world. I get a few comments here and there, and I love that, knowing that my words have found some interested readers. What writer doesn’t love that?!

I’m thinking about my life, and ideas, a lot more these days too. Being mindful is something that interests me a lot. I love to read interesting things, and share them with other interested people. Sharing thoughts on social media in this way seems like a fine thing to do, and even better is when I meet up with the people who share things like this, and we can give each other a hug.

doggone itAs I get older, I am loving getting hugs from friends, both new ones, and long-time friends. Hugs are gifts we give to others, which also give good things back to us, so hugging people I like, often, is a great change to make! It may be hard for people who know me these days to believe, but I used to be quite shy, and would never have hugged anyone, really. Now it can be a large hugfest, when I meet up with friends! More hugs is a great change.

If you have any good changes in your life, I’d love to hear about it – feel free to leave a comment here!

 

 

 

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philosophy

My Spiritual Site

Our backyard seems to be the place I can go to, to find peace and a sense of secular spiritually. I am not a believer in any god, but a believer in the all mighty power of Good. When I go out of our back door, I am at one with Nature, which is my symbol of the greater good.

Outside are the plants we grow for food (herbs, fruit, vegetables) and for enjoyment (flowers, lawn, greenery). Outside is the big blue or clouded sky, and the huge trees that bring the birds I love to watch. And further, beyond the backyard is the rest of our property, and all of the rest of our township we’ve lived in and loved for over thirty years.

When I sit outside on that sofa that once upon a time was our ‘good’ sofa, I think about lots of different things, or sometimes I meditate and think about absolutely nothing. Whichever end of the thinking spectrum I am at, I know it will be good. I also go outside sometimes to do a secular salute to the sun. I did one of these this morning. I will explain how I did this today, which is similar to how I usually do it.

Today I let Missy outside, then swapped my slippers for my rubber boots, and went and stood on the concrete path and looked up toward the sun. Then I held both arms out behind myself with my palms facing upward, before holding that position and sinking into a squat. I held that squat for about ten seconds then rose slowly, finishing with my hands in a ‘prayer position’ in front of my chest. I repeated that entire routine, I think five times and then Missy and I came back inside. I think both of us benefited in various ways from it.

I’m trying to live as mindful a life as I can, and with the mindfulness and meditation, combined with the wonderful family and friends I have, my life is a joyful one too! My simple life brings me much joy indeed. Do you find joy in your life? I’d love to hear about how you do it, leave a comment here!

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philosophy

Clouds have Stolen the Sky

This morning when I looked up at the sky, it was there, beautiful blue shining down on me, with a few clouds scattered here and there. Now, I look out of the window, and there’s not beautiful blue sky there at all, as far as I can see. It is cloudy grey and maybe rainy.

I wonder if people are or in the past were sometimes worried, when that huge blue sky disappeared, or were they comforted by the story tellers, who could tell them stories of times when the sky disappeared, but then rain came, bringing fruitfulness to the earth … Blessed be the storytellers for they will reveal the truth …

I feel that, as story tellers, I and my other literary types, could hire ourselves out, so we can spread the real truth, with no falsity, which other media may sell to their audience. When newspapers and others making money from their false words, sell their lies for others happy to pretend their lies are truth, where does that leave ordinary people? Those ‘others’ include businesses, politicians, government departments.

Us ordinary people have to fine the truth, if we are to live honest lives, honest and healthful lives, with nothing hidden away, but the good things presented to us in ways we can believe. But how to tell the difference between the many and varied stories we are told?

A good clue is to look at who is going to make the most money from the words being told. Big Business aims at Big Profit, small business is hoping for money too, but in smaller amounts. And most of the time, small businesses are going to be selling us goods that we want, and if we don’t want them, we simply don’t buy them.

It should be as simple as that. Thinking about dogs and gardens, as I should be doing, on this blog – the sky releases water from the clouds, the plants and ground soak up the rain, and things grow. The sky doesn’t make us pay for the rain, it is given free of charge. If were to stop caring for the planet though, which sadly many of us are, the gifts from the planet might become unwanted ones. Earthquake, floods, hot spells, cold spells, rising waters. This is the price we are actually paying.

Our dog doesn’t worry about such things, as far as I can tell. Missy is content to go outside, sniff around, toilet herself, sometimes race around like a silly thing, sometimes catching and eating things, even though we feed her too. Missy has a simple life, one without Big Business, or Big Issues. I think.

I have written a few books from the pint of view of a dog, based on thinking I have done on my life with many dogs, and the ways they may think about things in their lives and in mine. These are all humorous books, well I hope others think so. But they can be looked at more seriously too though.

The first one “Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs” is about gardening from a dogs point of view. The second one is “Doggone It – Mindfulness from a Dog’s Point of View” is self explanatory, and the third one is “Dog Buddha’s Thoughts” and is all about that religious as it may be, if dogs were believers in such a Canine Canon. In talking about these books here, I may earn more book sales, who knows, but I would be providing a service that the buyers wanted.

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flowering plants, philosophy, Uncategorized

Easy Plants are Good Plants

IMAG0284 (1).jpgBy easy plants, I mean the ones that are forgiving if one forgets to water them every now and then, and that keep on doing their thing (whatever their particular ‘thing’ is), and that bring if not joy, then not sorrow or anger. For me, that ‘easy plant’ is the geranium. I love them, and have quite a few of them in my garden, big pots of beautiful colour for me to look at and enjoy.

This morning I went out the front of our yard. and took photographs of the seven different colours/types of geraniums we have growing. At least two of our geranium plants aren’t flowering at the moment, so I didn’t take a photo of them. I know that at least on of those two is definitely a different colour with its flowers, and it’s leaf shape is quite different too, it’s spiky shaped rather than the more usual round shape. So that adds up to at least eight and perhaps nine different coloured geraniums. The spiky leaved one has blossoms that are quite a purplish pink colour.

I don’t know how many different colours there are of geranium blooms there are, but I’m quite sure it’s a big number. I have an interest of a lazy kind, to increase the number of differently coloured geraniums we have growing. By lazy, I mean I will only try to propagate a new colour if I happen to get my hands on propagating material easily, and if I have the time and interest to do anything with such material once I get it home.

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I’ve had a couple of recent failures at doing this, because I wasn’t keen enough to make sure it worked. Leaving new attempts without adequate water isn’t going to do the job, as I already knew. So I failed at a climbing rather than bushy kind of geranium, and even though I know I can get that one again from the same place, that would mean I’d have to ‘fess up about my failed attempt, and I’m not sure I want to do that quite yet …

I’ve put photographs of our seven currently flowering geraniums up on my Facebook page, just because, well I’m not sure why really. I think just because I like this plant, and wanted to show what they look like, and perhaps get a conversation going about them.

I’m sure I’ve seen an almost pale orange-ish coloured in the past, but that was a long time ago. I’ve certainly not seen anything like that around the place at all. If I had I probably would have got myself a stem of it, and propagated it, or at least tried too! I’m not obsessionable about these plants, I’m just quite keen! Today has been largely a sit around then get up and wander around outside kind of day.

I’ve done my informal leg exercise/salute to the sun thing a couple of times, holding my arms up to the lovely sun, that sends its rays down to us for free. Then I bend my knees and do an inelegant squat, that helps to strengthen my upper legs, and possible my calf muscles too, who knows? I always feel good when I do this, it feels like being outside, close to Nature, with the growing things, and the creatures all present in my acknowledgement of all the good out there, is a blessing to me and to Nature.

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Some may refer to God when speaking of things like this, or Spirituality, but I refer to it as Nature. The three things could in fact amount to the same thing, who alive really knows? It feels replenishing to me, and it feels good. And that surely is a good thing for us all? Blessings to anyone reading this, I hope you’ve been inspired to get outside with Nature!

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philosophy

Philosophical Meanderings of My Mind

This post Christmas/New Year season has become a sit around and do not much time. Today is Sunday, and I’m usually in Gawler in the late morning on Sundays, doing a poetry workshop with another person, or other people, but that isn’t happening today, so the first session for 2018 is more likely to happen next Sunday instead. I hadn’t planned that, but in not planning it, I was probably subconsciously planning it not to happen. I don’t/can’t know for sure, and it doesn’t matter, really, I don’t think.  I’ve had some outside time, and am now inside again, at home, and happy with that, even though it’s just a small thingmissy slightly bemused.
Staying home today, the only poetry written, if any, will be done here, with the cricket on TV and radio as the background for the day … And trips outside of course, as requested by Missy. Missy is currently lying on her sofa, looking extremely comfortable, eyes closed, ears erect, but not active … I just slapped the sofa next to me, and her eyes opened, eats turned to me, then away, and she rolled over and now has her back to me and my silliness. She’s not huffy at me, just not that interested in what I’m doing. That’s fine, we have our own lives, to some extent, the humans and the dog, and we’re enjoying our lives, together or separate.
Out of the window on my left I can see clouds, grass, plants and birds, all doing their own natural thing, obeying the rules of Nature, which make more sense to me than some of the rules of the cricket … With Nature, there is no appeal to a higher authority, because if Nature says it is so, then it is. If something other that humans were expecting, it means Nature wasn’t using the rule we thought was being used. Science may find the answer, people may think they have the answer. Much may be written, thought on, argued over, but Nature will just continue on, and we must manage as best we can, with whatever Nature and mankind do next …
There were sparrows outside, on the front lawn, about ten minutes ago, when I started writing this post. I can’t see any now, but I’m sure there are certainly lots of sparrows out there, back yard, front yard, in the trees and bushes and just everywhere. Sparrows are very successful occupants of our world. They have their needs, and seem to be able to fulful those needs well. The sparrows I saw earlier seemed to be adolescents, not quite up to adult size, and I’ve been noticing such not quite adult sparrows, and thinking about what they get up to, boy and girl sparrows, getting on with their lives, boy groups, girl groups, boys sparrows seemingly crashing into the girls groups, while girl sparrows flitter away, only to be followed and annoyed by the boy sparrow.
I’m quite likely putting my own interpretation on these actions of the sparrows, and could well be getting it entirely wrong. I’ve written a haiku about these matters previously, and it’s in my poetry collection “Tense and Still”, where I wrote about various creatures I see in my life, whether our dogs, cats I’ve seen, known, imagined, or those wild creatures I come across in my life or my travels or in my imaginings.
Thinking about these things whether I uncover the truth or not, helps me to gather ideas, things to think about can lead to things to write about, and writing about things is the thing I do. I am a writer, a poet, a blogger. Words are my tools, and I love to use these tools in the many different ways possible to use them. Poetry is my favourite method, certainly preferred over writing a novel, because of course a poem can be thought on, written, edited and published very quickly. A novel takes so much longer to complete. I have one of those ‘in progress’ at the moment, but I have a strong suspicion this novel will make only very slow progress, because I’m allowing myself to do many things other than the writing of this novel …
above the fish pond
I know being a novelist isn’t really a title I feel fits with me, the way being a poet does. The longer form of literature feels too unwieldy perhaps for me to handle. I know how to put together and publish a poetry collection, and how to market it. A small book of poetry can be printed in small numbers, and sold in small numbers, and small numbers of people get a little book of my poems to read and think about. It will never make me rich or particularly famous, but that’s fine. Money and fame are not what I write for, I write for my own amusement, and the small amounts of money/fame I gain while nice to have, will never be the major thing.
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