When I planted spring crops in mid-February, I thought that we were done with winter due to climate change. It occurred to me that I might be wrong (it happens all the time and that’s OK -see the earlier post.) Well, here’s the proof. It’s snowing on the vegetables.
Or rather, it’s snowing on the old bed sheets that I used to cover the containers with vegetables in them. The vegetables are cold-tolerant buttercrunch lettuce, early scarlet globe radishes, and garlic. They’re probably just fine under the insulating cloth. I’ve covered them before when it’s been as cold as 25 degrees, and they’ve been fine.
Two lessons for us here: First, with a little care, the vegetables can survive erratic weather (it’s been as high as 80 in February with lows in March in the 20’s and now snow). Second, I can survive being wrong. I just adapt. Worst case, I sow some more seeds from the same seed packets.
Anyway, peace and maybe happy gardening.
I find myself stressed lately. Things that cause stress come along with living, but our reactions and how we deal with stress determines how stressed we feel.
Since I feel stressed out, I clearly need to up my game. It seems to be attitude and action. What attitude adjustments and actions reduce my stress level?
- Remember that I have a plan (It’s Plan M or N since the first half of the alphabet didn’t work, but it’s a good plan.) I’m working the plan.
- Remember that I have a purpose. Like most people, I look to spirituality here.
- Remember that storms eventually pass.
- Exercise. I calm down the most and regain my center the best when I walk outdoors (cardio and nature!), but any exercise at all helps me feel calmer, more positive, and more mentally alert.
- Fun hobby. I enjoy gardening because I like nurturing the plants, seeing how they grow, and success is tasty.
- Mindfulness meditation. New to me, and different from religious meditation. As you may know, it’s essentially focusing the mind by returning attention to one thing (often breathing). There’s a lot of guided mindfulness meditation out there, including several great phone apps. Wow. This works.
You’ve probably got lots of ways to deal with stress, too. Hopefully something here helps, and share what works for you if you like. Peace.
Below you can see one of the first of the garlic sprouts. If I get to eat garlic from the garden, that’s wonderful. The garlic’s main mission, however, is to keep some bad bugs away. As you may know, this is called companion planting. Since I choose to use no pesticides but like eating vegetables, the garden uses the pests’ own dislikes to keep them away. Specifically, little pests called flea beetles eat eggplant leaves… but hate garlic. I’ll get some eggplant seedlings a little later on, and we’ll see how it goes.
This little garlic grew about 4 inches in 5 days, so it seems to be off to an energetic start.
I could be wrong. It happens all the time. There’s a wonderful freedom in admitting that. Everyone knows we’re all human. Humans aren’t perfect. I can detach just a little from my ego and admit it. Since I’m not wasting so much energy propping up my ego, which isn’t quite so fragile, I’ve got a lot more energy to problem solve. The first step is identifying the problem. There’s a beautiful bonus: by admitting I could be wrong, I often identify the problem!
The high today may reach 77. In mid-February. In the Piedmont on N.C. One weird weather occurrence does not prove climate change. Lots and lots of solid science and huge quantities of reliable data do that. Therefore, I’m willing to bet some food that the growing season here is now starting about a month earlier than it used to. I’m going to plant some lettuce in my container garden. If we’re going to melt the ice caps, flood the coast, and burn down the forests, I might as well have lettuce.
OK, this concludes my climate change rant.
Today is Superbowl Sunday. I’m not excited.
Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t bug me if people want to watch the Superbowl, the half-time show, or the commercials.
Also, sports and physical activities are great. People (myself included) desperately need to stay in shape. Exercise is half (eating healthy is the other). Human nature encourages us to do things we enjoy, so if we enjoy the exercise because it’s fun, we’re going to persist more than if it’s boring. Score one for sports (and things like hiking that don’t require lots of rules and refs). Related to this, exercise helps maintain my manly muscles, which makes me as attractive a man as I’m going to be.
Sports let people socialize. Sometimes people argue against what they see as violent sports (like football). However, channeling aggression into a sport with rules (and hopefully sportsmanlike conduct) is much better than exploding into random actual violence. Score another one for sports!
Watching sports at least allows socializing and maybe channeling a bit of aggression. I just don’t enjoy watching football much. When I do, it’s college ball where I root for the teams of the colleges I went to. Two teams from elsewhere that I just have no connection to… not interesting to me.
Many people have said variations of the following. “If you can, help others. If you can not do that, at least do not harm them,” advised the Dalai Lama.
As I try to gain enlightenment, one thing I realize is that it’s a team effort. Sometimes I learn from other people. Sometimes (at least I can imagine) they learn from me. We’ve helped each other. We’re in this together. We’re not alone. You’re not alone.
Back when I was a little boy living in the Piedmont of NC, I was frequently disappointed when it didn’t snow. It felt like many times that the reality fell far short of the forecast. Any measurable snow in counties that don’t have many snowplows meant a day off. I’d get so excited, argue that I didn’t need to do my homework, and then it didn’t snow much at all. To be fair, the conditions have to be just right. Anyway, I learned to subtract three inches from the forecast. If the prediction was 1-3 inches of snow, that would be negative snow. Anyway, this time the forecast was for 5-8 inches. Then it actually snowed about 6 inches! Wow. Life is surprising!
Happy New Year! As the Irish blessing says, “May the best of your past be the worst of your future.” Peace