Just as soon as Summer finally graced Portland with some warmth, it is moving along again. Our garden is in its glory right now—pumpkins growing, cucumbers fruiting, little green globes dotting the now-gigantic tomato plants (the same plants that seemed to be runts from June to August). We even have a volunteer tomato plant growing by our front doorstep, most likely deposited by a critter.
That, my friends, is where most of my energy has gone this summer—the garden—and I love every minute of it. This garden has gotten us outside and working together more than anything else. We take turns watering, but are usually tackling different parts of the yard at the same time; we weed together, harvest together, and analyze how it could be improved together. We have learned where the real sunspots are, and where different plants flourish or falter. If the rain lets up tomorrow, we will start planting some cooler weather crops where we have space. Right now, we are growing cinderella pumpkins, cherry and pear tomatoes, patty pan squash, lemon cucumbers, snap peas, bush beans, kale, lettuce, parsley, carrots, tomatillos, and potatoes. I have a feeling I’ll need to stock up on freezer bags for all the harvesting!
Happily, I have finally had some time to get into the studio! I have been reserving one weekend day per week for that. When I say one day, that really means about 6 hours, because I still need time to cook, clean, exercise, and go on adventures with Ziggy. I am still working part time at Silverado, as well as my full-time job, so time is pretty tight. However, we no longer have house guests, which means much more time and space for doing what we want to do.
This year has been full of unexpected ups and downs, and I am truly ready for some steady low-stress months. I find myself putting up boundaries left and right and honestly not caring about peoples’ reactions. It is freeing. In July I had a lot of testing done to see why I have gained weight that I am unable to lose—it turns out my hormones are imbalanced. My testosterone is terribly far below normal, and my cortisol is much higher than normal. We have been approaching rebalancing it naturally with some supplements, specific types of exercise, and stress reduction techniques—I will say that having a physical consequence to stress makes it much easier to eliminate stressful people from one’s life. This is not to say that I am ignoring issues or conflict—I am addressing things head on, and letting people know my limitations. I have also been actively practicing self-care in a variety of ways, through support groups, meditation, journaling, and care of my physical self.
This clearing out of stressful people has also seen me cleaning up in other areas. My diet, for one—although I have always eaten healthy, I have been focusing being more plant focused because it’s less inflammatory and more budget friendly (have I mentioned we’re trying to become debt-free?) I have also been decluttering like a fiend—I do this on a fairly regular cycle but I think it’s been a couple years this time. The other night I tackled my closet and literally found a binder full of patina samples I’ve been holding on to for 14 years. I have found a new home for those with an artist who will incorporate them beautifully into her work. With my home and with my health, I am striving for simplicity, really. I want to live as if I am traveling, with a space that is bright and easy to clean and manage, a diet that is simple and healthy, and exercise that is accessible and flexible.
I am finding that once you have an image of what you would like to achieve, and some steps to making it happen, it becomes much easier.
Until next time, be well friends.