Growth and Renewal

Tower Garden
Tower Garden

At last it is coming to life.  The snow has melted hopefully for the last time this year.  Seeds have sprouted and the garden is starting to grow.  It is time to plant the remainder of the seeds for next months planting.  My gardening racks are full and my mind is filled with more knowledge, salve more things to try and endless list of things to be done.

I love this time of renewal.  I love the feeling of the sun on my face.  It is so nice this time of year.  The bugs aren’t out yet. The birds are busy building nest. Rabbits are hopping across the yard and people are walking everywhere.  It looks as if we are all waking from our winters hibernation.  I can’t wait for the day to start.

Sun glorious sun oh how I have missed you!

Time Passes! Life Grows On!

Summer Garden
Summer Garden

Planting season is sneaking in under all the snow.  I am shifting my focus to growth, sales health and faith.

Gardening has been a big part of keeping me sane over the last few years.  I love playing in the dirt, exploring different growing methods, and researching companion gardening,  I also love that  plants don’t judge.

Today, I am developing the plan for my garden beds.  It is so much fun to see how large my garden has become over the last three years.  personal photo's 056I started with three 2×2 raised beds made from pallets.  We stacked them  together three high, added sides cut from plywood and a liner of growing fabric.  Then filled them with soil, lettuce, tomato and pepper plants and watered them.   I also had a planter that was once a washing machine tub filled with herbs. That was my first year of gardening!

We now have in-door growing lights, two 6×3  vegetable beds in the front yard, 2 Earth Boxes, a Trug Garden, a Raspberry and Blackberry bed, a Blueberry bed, a Blueberry path and 2 Tower Gardens.  We also have herb gardens and companion flowers planted around these  garden beds.  it just keeps growing.  There is so much to learn, so much to discover. I am surprised how much I have come to love gardening.  All I was looking for was fresh tomatoes and cheaper peppers!

This year I hope to add 2 potato cages!  My goal is to start a Tower Garden Farm.  It will take a lot of money, planing and some help. The goal is to be able to feed our family for the year off the food we grow and sell enough to build a retirement business.   I am researching all the details, zoning, marketing, business plans and so on.

I must say it is hard to keep the faith I can reach this goal when my body is barely able to move. I don’t yet have the funds to get started and there is so much to learn.  Still, it just feels right.  Gardening has the ability to always pull me back even after watching the plants fade away.  There is always, more to learn and explore.  It brings me such joy to see these little seeds come to life! It seems the best place to find my Miracle may be in the garden.

Cooking Real Food

As I begin to move back into health habits I am led back into the kitchen.  I find it difficult to take the time to makes meals for just myself.  There are so many foods I really enjoy but stopped eating over the years because they are not things my family enjoy.

I am trying to change that so today I made Sausage & Cabbage for myself for lunch.  No one else in the house will eat it.  They are not cabbage fans.  However, medical I love it!  Here is the recipe:

Sausage & Cabbage

1 head cabbage, chopped

1 pound ground breakfast sausage (what I got from the butcher did not have much fat.)

1 teaspoon butter

1 onion, discount chopped

3 gloves garlic, minced

1 large can tomatoes (I used frozen tomatoes from my summer garden)

1 can “Hunts” tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, brown meat, melt in butter, add onion and garlic, cook til lightly brown, stir in cabbage til it begins to soften, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for 30-40 mins. stirring often.  Makes 6-8 servings

I plan on starting a recipe section so if you have real food recipes you would like to share please feel free to post them.  I am working on getting back to basics!


Sorting Out What Matters in My Own Life.

mirror5Wow, nurse it has been a long time since my last post.  I got lost in the cold winter for awhile.  As you can guess, treatment my desire to follow my well thought out plan got put on hold.  I wish I could give a reason but there really is not one.  I just simply allowed myself to be side-tracked by other things.

This is such a pattern for me.  I always seem to find things which are so much more important than learning the skills of balance which I seek.  I long for healthy routines but get lost in the next big project or event.  When these distractions no longer work I move to more destructive things, buy cialis like endless TV, computers and so on.

Part of my goal in developing this site was to get back into the habit of writing, so I can continue a book I started years ago.  Yet, it has been 2 months since my last post.  It is no wonder my book has gone unfinished.

I am surprised by how easily I become bored with things which really matter to me.  Yet, things with no real value will hold my interest for years.  I have watched the same show for much of my life.  I have allowed General Hospital to take time away from my children, my studies, my writing, healthy eating habits, exercise and so on.  The only reason it is still apart of my day is it requires nothing from me.  No thought, no energy, no real connection.

I have now added Facebook, texting and web surfing to this list of distractions.   With Netflix I can spends days binge watching a series.  At times this downtime  is needed as a way to recharge, but for the most part  I have been using it to develop habits of laziness.

The goal of this experiment is to have an awareness of how I get in my own way when it comes to finding success in the things which matter to me.  One thing I am realizing is that my spark for life is gone.  The passion which has always inspired and motivated me to the next push in my life has faded.   I have lost my faith, my trust and my hope; thus becoming the thing which I fear most.  I have become apathetic.

There is so much information out there.  Yet, so much of it is just mind candy.  It will keep the mind filled with useless information.  A little of this is fine, but as we continue to find more ways to add bits and pieces of information into our lives it is setting a dangerous way of viewing the world.  The political system, poverty, crime, mental illness, homelessness and other serious issues get lost in the endless clutter.  It all seems so big and someone else’s fault and problem.

Wasting all this time allows me to not take responsibility for myself or have the energy to work towards real meaningful solutions towards these issues.  I can continue to make it someone else’s problem.

Sometimes holding up that mirror sucks!


The Tide Shifts

Within hours of my last post the thoughts in my head and the onslaught of self abuse had ended.  It is strange and difficult to allow myself to show up in full transparency.  When I am in a place of turmoil I want to hide until I am in a place of peace love and kindness.  It would be nice to show up in the world at all time with this perfect image.

For extended periods of time over the years I have been able to function very well. However, view when I look back over the years it is easy to realize the pattern of these breakdowns.  I tend to skim over the hospitalizations in my mind.  I also like to ignore the times I should have been hospitalized but have not been.

I never really thought much of the fact that at 13 years old I began to be medicated by doctors.  I have always looked at it as a bad diagnosis on part of the doctors.  But I now see even then my mind was not capable of processing  stress.   After a very hurried move from a small town to a very large city I began to develop intense pains.  This was also at a time when my body had changed greatly.   I had headaches, ask stomachaches and unbearable  muscle and joint pain.  After a few doctors visits I was put on muscle relaxers and some sort of stress medication.  I remained on these medications for about a year.    Over time I learned to use food to reduce stress and was taken off the medication.

By 15 the food was not working so well and I began to take my mothers medication.  I remember the first time I took Valium.  My mother had a prescription she would not take. She told me to  try it for a headache.  It made me feel so much better!  I had no idea what it was.  What I did know was that taking it made the pain go away.  When it was no longer working I, at my mother’s suggestion, added the Elavil she also had on hand.  It worked wonders so I kept taking it.  It is only now that I see as my feeling better came at the cost of my mother becoming much, much worse.

Over time her life spun out of control and the rest of the family along with her.  At the time I did not know what I was taking or that she needed to be taking them.  I never realized why she encouraged me to take them.  Still, as the stress built in the family’s lives the pills and food were not enough.

As time went on the pain increased as did the doctors visits.  Pills were dispensed like candy.  Mostly pain pills and muscle relaxers.  It did not take long before what the doctors gave me was not enough.  I continued to raid my mother medicine cabinets.  But, mostly I got them from doctors.  The pain in my body was real.  It still is very real.  However, no amount of pain medication makes it go away.  Over the years I have learned to function without the pills.  At times I have no choice but to take them but mostly I suffer through.   I am learning to ride it out until the shifting of the tide.


Day 18 & 19: Living Life on Shifting Sand

As I continue to recover from what I can now only refer to as my crisis of self I can’t help but ponder the ever shifting saga of  my life.

Oh, cheap to be even a third of the person I long to be!  Living with mental illness, or a physical illness that manifests itself due to stress, is a little like living with tiny bombs exploding in your mind.  In a moments notice life shifts from calm and peaceful to evil and destructive.

When I am in a calm and peaceful state of mind I feel invincible.  I am able to learn almost anything very quickly.  I have a great deal of energy.  I am easily able to handle a crisis, I am organized and I present myself in a very efficient way.

Then in an instant I am angry, frustrated, have difficulty concentrating, unfocused, and physically unable to function.  My entire mind and body shuts down.

The most difficult part of this is that it is not clear what brings about these drastic and destructive changes.  With some things it is easy to make the connection.  As an example; someone tells me they will do something, I trust them to do it and they do not follow through with it.  A normal reaction might be to talk to the person, tell them you are upset  and move on with your life.

My reaction is my body shuts down, I have a hard time breathing, my heart rate increases, the pain in my body intensifies to all most unbearable levels, I can not think clearly and it is difficult for me to speak.  Instead of this reaction lessening in a few seconds it continues on for days, weeks or months.

One simple, innocent act of forgetfulness or misinterpretation by another leads to months of self hate and self abuse on my part.   In most cases the other party has no clue the impact that one action has had on my personal health.  They will never even know I was upset.  My body goes into a protective mode where I say what I need to say to calm the situation and appear sane. All the while I am crumbling inside and looking for an escape from the conversation or situation.

There are things which will put a temporary stop to this reaction.  Things like obsessive over eating,  drinking or drugs.  Some other things people consider more productive such as exercise, working, dancing.  The fact is all of these will work in the short term but they just lead back to a more intense, albeit delayed, reaction.

This could explain why many people with mental disorders suffer from addictions in many forms while others become known as geniuses.   In our culture it is socially acceptable to focus our obsessive energy into exercise, work or the arts.  However, it is not okay to be fat, an alcoholic or a drug addict.  Yet, we are continually stunned to discover the flaws of those we come to admire from their obsessive works.  Even those so-called productive outlets can not suppress the destructive nature in the long term.

Often it is as if I am looking at myself from the outside.  I watch myself making choices that I feel I would never make.  I see behaviors that are not my own and reactions which are out of character with who I am.  But there I am this completely different person living my life.  I am both fascinated and appalled by this woman.