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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growing your own, Uncategorized

Our First Home-grown Mandarin

Graham and I made a big decision this morning. We thought about it a little, then we went out to the back of our place, and we picked a mandarin from our mandarin tree. If you haven’t been following this blog, that may seem a little uninteresting to you, but if you’ve been following this blog, you may know why this is such an important thing.

This little mandarin tree (bush really, because it’s still so small), has been planted in the ground for only about three years, and this year is the first year we have actually had fruit go last all the way to maturity. There are only about 20 mandies, lovely orange coloured globes of fruity goodness. Well, 20 minus one, because we plucked on from the tree, brought it inside and ate it. It looked exactly like a mandarin, smelt exactly like one, and yes it tasted exactly how a mandarin should taste, tart and delicious.

A little too tart, really, but still very tasty. We will leave the remaining fruit for a few more days, so they can ripen some more, and get some sweetness happening. The one Graham and I shared today, was worth trying, and I’m glad we did, but I hope and expect the next one will be even more delicious!

I love having homegrown things. Tonight we are going to have chopped cos lettuce and baby spinach, which either Graham or I will pick from our vegetable patch, yum! This will be the first time of this season too, and I love the way all of these delicious things are moving into the stage where we can taste the value of ‘Home-grown!’

If you have any ‘home-grown’ success stories, or even horror stories, I’d love to read about it, leave a message and we can all congratulate or console you!

 

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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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weather

My Front Yard View

Today I’m in my best seat in the house, on the sofa, near the window, with curtains drawn and the sun shining. I can see part of the front lawn, a weird shrub thing that has been there forever, but I still don’t know what it actually is. I can also see some of the pots we have with plants in them, along the front of part of our front veranda.

I can see the road near our driveway, and so far the only thing I can see moving are the plants. There are clouds up above, in the blue sky, but I can’t really tell from here whether or not they’re moving, but I assume with the strongish wind we have at the momeny, they definitely are moving.

The only living things I can see outside are plants. I haven’t spotted any birds at all, in the bush, flying around, or on the ground. Maybe all of the birds are somewhere warmer … It’s quite a cool day, after all, winter really is well on the way, so we should prepare ourselves for the cooler, and then cold weather, in the southern hemisphere. For those in the northern hemisphere, summer is approaching and you’d better prepare yourself for the heat.

Ah, I just saw a car drive past, so I’m obviously not the only living creature around. My dog Missy is inside with me, in her own favoured position, on her own sofa, curled up and cosy. IMAG0306Missy looks most comfortable there, and I’m comfy too. I have to go out later today though, and looking out at the sky again, I can see I’d better put a warm jacket on. The sunshine and blue sky have disappeared, and obviously those clouds sure were moving. There still haven’t been many cars though, and I like that, living on a quiet country road, where not much happens …

I still haven’t seen a single bird, but here comes a bit more sunshine, and I hope I’m soon going to be inspired enough to actually get up and get myself some lunch. My tummy is hinting that it would be a good idea, and I know I have plenty of health giving walnuts available to mix with some other things and turn into a good lunch. Did you know walnuts were the healthiest nut? The BBC said so, and I’m certainly prepared to believe them! BBC means believability to me.

So I thnk that’s it for me, time to get up off the sofa and get my lunch and another cup of coffee, yum.

Do you ever just sit comfortably inside and look at what’s happening outside? What do YOU see? (I still haven’t spotted any birds at all out there)

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birds in garden, Uncategorized

My Weather, Beautiful, not Crazy

semicascade-jade

Today I had one task I had to complete, and am glad to say, the job is done, and well done! What was my successful task? Well, all I had to do was to water the potted plants in the backyard, including this jade tree in a pot. This involves letting Missy our into the backyard, to run around, sniff things, and do what she had to do. If she does what she had to do, it was my task to deal with that in the usual way (pooper scooper).

So yes, Missy and I went outside, into different parts of the the garden – Missy sniffing thing, running around a little, and mostly having a fun doggy time (and yes, pooper scooper duty promptly done). Once that was done, I switched on the tap, which has a hose attached to it, then I look the hose fitting to spray the things that needed to be watered.

There are flowering things, herbs, strawberry plants in hanging baskets, and a variety of different plants in different stages of life (or in some cases, death). When you have a garden, it’s almost inevitable there will be wonderful instances of rebirth, but also deaths of things that will never regrow. I thing our two tiny little olive trees in teeny little bonsai pots are in the never to be reborn group., victims of too little water and too much heat in pots that are too small.

We have plenty of more olive trees though, popping up all over our property, compliments of the birds that eat our olive fruit, and deal with the seeds in the usual, natural way. I saw one of the strawberries was looking ready, but before I got too excited about eating a homegrown fruit, I saw that a bird had been there before me and took a bite out of it. It didn’t seem anywhere near as yummy then … I’m thinking of how I can rig up something to stop the birds from eating our strawberries. Graham brought strawberries home from the shop recently, but they don’t taste anywhere near as good as our home frown ones taste …

We have some shade cloth and I’m sure I should be able to fashion some kind of shelter from some of that. I have to check with the chief gardener first though, he may have some other plan in mind for it. I don’t really mind sharing our produce with the birds, after all, I get lots of enjoyment when I can sit outside on the comfy sofa there, watch and listening to the birds … The birds are happy, and I’m happy. Of course Missy is happy when and if she can catch one of the birds to eat, which doesn’t make me anywhere near as happy, even though that too is a natural thing … Nature isn’t all flowers and sweet things …

So that’s it, I’ve got a meeting coming up later this afternoon, and I’ll hand the house back to Graham when he gets home again soon. Missy and I have enjoyed being the in charge of everything ones this morning, and I get to be the in charge of everything person, at the writers group meeting later! I love my life, sunshine, happiness, loved ones, friends, and lots of birds flying all around! Oh, and Missy too, of course!

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dogs, Uncategorized

Summer Means Snakes …

We had a snake incident at our place a couple of days ago. It could have been a terrible time, but it was only and exciting time for our dog, Missy, and a worrying time for me. I’d let Missy out for a comfort break in the backyard, and she almost immediately sniffed out a snake that was by the fence to our pool area, in a bit of dying grass.

cute puppy pic
When Missy was a baby pup, many years ago

I saw a familiar slithering form heading off through the fence and away from the backyard and from possible death. Missy wanted that snake, she knew what to do, and who knows, maybe this time she may have actually killed it, without getting bitten and almost killed herself.  But the pool fence is too high for Missy to jump, and the snake disappeared, into the back part of our place, well away from us, and from our avid hound …

Life in the country is lovely, and I’m so glad we are country people now, and have been for almost thirty years. We have fitted in well to life on our part of the Adelaide Plains. In summer, Graham and Jake both play lawn bowls, and if they’re playing at home I watch them. They both do Lions related things with the Mallala Lions group, they both swin in our swimming pool, Graham tends to the garden, and Missy and I laze around most of the time, with the occasional bit of greater activity.

missy slightly bemused

Missy relaxing

But in Summer, for Missy, that greater activity can mean chasing prey, as is natural for sight hounds, and it could end up with death, if we’re not there to keep her safely away from trouble, or getting her to the vet for (expensive) treatment, if trouble in the form of a poisonous snake bites back … I love Missy, our sole remaining dog. This has been a terrible year for us, losing Missy’s mother, her brother, and then more recently, our very old schnauzer.

Life is like that, we’re born, we live, we die, human, canine, snakes too, the circle of life goes on and on for all living creatures. I watch ants outside sometimes, and ponder about whether they may also think on these things. They tramp and tramp, soldiers out to collect provisions for home camp, finding them and carrying huge items back for their community … The things they carry back are the things that die during the night, moths and insects drawn by the lights on at night, and dying, to give life to other creatures …

In Summer, I’m outside on the back veranda more, and see these things happening, and yes, those snakes will come visiting too, and yes again, if Missy sees the snake, Missy will chase the snake and try to kill it. She’s such a sweet dog, our Missy, but I do worry about her, please may we have many more years together, well at least another four years would be good …

deathpool

our pool, in need of cleaning!
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