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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day 17

Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day 17

Garden Pests

It is important to prepare yourself for pests that will try to eat away at your plants. These are really just a normal part of gardening, but they can damage or ruin your plants altogether. Some gardeners use chemical sprays to deter or kill the pests, while others prefer chemical free natural methods to deter pests. Different types of plants can attract different types of pests. From aphids to beetles, caterpillars and worms – these can all prevent your plants from flowering and ultimately keep them from being fruitful.

In life there are pests to be on the lookout for as well. Some of these pests are  naysayers and Less than Positive people.

I spent some time in my parents’ yard and garden recently. My mother was weeding her garden and Daughter Number Four and I were not so much helping as wandering around the yard looking at the plants and trees, and watching her work. The cherry tree was full of ripe cherries and Mother mentioned that the birds were going to eat them all if someone didn’t do something with the cherries. Those pests! How dare they eat the cherries!

So, we took the challenge and started picking the cherries. I had never picked cherries before, and I had certainly never ‘done’ anything with fresh cherries. The times I have made desserts using cherries the cherries had come from a can.

After we had filled a pitcher full of the ripe cherries that we could reach with our feet planted firmly on the ground we talked about what we would do with the cherries. We could make a pie or a cobbler. The cobbler sounded like a good idea to both of us. When we got home and surveyed the bounty we had saved from the bird pests I found some new pests that I had to face down. This new breed of pests was in my head…years of hearing people saying how hard it is to pit cherries, and how sometimes it isn’t worth the time to pick the cherries and pit the cherries and clean the cherries and making something with the cherries. Boy were those voices I had heard in the past loud! Dangit. I just kept looking at the cherries. I asked Daughter Number Two to look up a cobbler recipe that sounded easy, but good. She found one within short order. I knew what I had to do next. I had to clean and pit those darn cherries. I don’t own a cherry pitter. Does anyone? I read a couple of posts online quickly about how to pit cherries. I saw some really interesting ideas and decided to try one. D4 was all about it! We each armed ourselves with a drinking straw, put one end of the straw on the stem area of the cherry and pushed gently. Woo Hoo! I’m pretty sure we both made audible excited noises. In fact, we were so excited that we woo-hoo’d several times. Together we managed to make quick work of pitting the cherries! Those old women who had bemoaned the wretchedness of cherry pitting were nothing more than wretched bemoaners! Pests.

I got the pleasure of waiting for my sweet smelling cobbler to come out of the oven~ The pitting was not the pits. I am so glad I got rid of those pests!

Surround yourself with “yay-sayers” not naysayers. ~ Lynn A. Robinson

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Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 16

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 16

Sunshine!

Another very important part of growing flowers, vegetables, and other plants is sunshine. Different varieties of flowers, plants or vegetables require differing amounts of sunlight. Although having less than two hours of direct sunlight makes it hard to grow most plants, some do well with 2-4 hours, 4-6 hours, and more than 6 hours of sunlight. Hearty plants such as corn, tomatoes, beans, peas, squash, melons, basil, potatoes, cucumbers and culinary herbs do very well with long hours of sunlight. Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, etc.) do very well with 4-6 hours of sunshine. With 2-4 hours of direct sunshine you will do well to grow greens (lettuce, arugula, Swiss chard, etc.) and root vegetables (carrots, beets, radishes).

To be the most fruitful person you can be you need sunshine in your life. The more hours of sunshine you have per day the better for your personal growth. I am not referring to actual sunlight. I am talking about the things in your life that bring you happiness. Sometimes, they are the simple pleasures that mean the most.

As adults we can get overwhelmed with the monotonous routine of our day in day out. The stresses of bill paying, work, taking care of our families and all that comes with being an adult act as shade to our sunshine.

You do not need to count the actual hours of sunshine in your life, rather take them in as they come and bask in the warmth and light! What brings the most sunshine to your life? I know everyone has different happy triggers. I will share some of mine with you. Listening to music, playing the piano, spending time with my children, being outside on a nice cool morning, writing, cooking and baking, making other people happy, taking baths, drinking coffee, massages, manis and pedis, reading books… to name a few.

Quite a number of years ago I started a “Sunshine folder”. When I get card or letters from friends I put them in my Sunshine folder. When I come across a saying that is especially uplifting I put it in my Sunshine folder. Another great thing to do is write a “Sunshine List” at the end of every day. Write out the things that bring sunshine into your world on a daily basis. Just the act of writing these things down will bring MORE sunshine into your life. I have found that by actively acknowledging the sunshine in my life, I look for more sunshine for my life.

Today’s Challenge: Think about the things that bring sunshine into your life. At the end of this day write down what brought sunshine into the garden of your life TODAY.

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves”. ~ James Matthew Barrie

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 15

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 15

Focus on the Fruit

I hope you were all able to take a step back yesterday and look at your work.

As I went through my day yesterday thinking about what I had written and as I worked out this morning that same thought came into my head I knew I had to make a clarification or adjustment to the work we have been doing with our weeds, in whatever form.

Do not focus on the weeds. What you think about you bring about. Do you want more weeds in your garden, lawn, or life? The answer might be as simple as saying ‘no, I don’t want weeds’. Place your focus on what you DO want. Work to remove the things that are not positively impacting your world, however do not put your primary focus on those things. Focus on the fruitful outcome. When you state things in a “negative” way by saying things like “no” or “I don’t” our subconscious hears only the ‘what’ that is surrounded by the negative words. Re-work your thoughts and sayings to allow the focus to fall on what you want and eliminate the focus from the other.

Mother Teresa said, “I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me.” Mother Teresa was a woman who knew the power of words and the power of thought. Combined, the two have even more power.

Today’s Challenge: Be conscious of where you place your attention today and the words and phrases you use. When you catch yourself thinking a less than positive thought ask yourself, “Do I want more of that?” Remember to focus on the fruit!

Have a beautiful day!

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Fruitful Challenge ~ Day 14

Fruitful Challenge ~ Day 14

Step back from the weeds

WOW! Good morning, Gardening Goddesses and Women of Worth! Today is Day 14…2 weeks into our 100 Day Challenge!

Today, I want you to take a break from working on the weeds. This is very important to your success in growing your plants and yourself.

First, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly to get all of the grime and dirt off. You might need to use a special soap for gardeners. Or some Lava. Or some Comet. Something to get that grimey dirt off of your hands. Oh, and make sure you grab the nail cleaner to really get in under your nails and clean that dirt out. Just because you are working in the earth does not mean you should carry it with you (mother). Make sure at this point to moisturize your cuticles with an intense moisturizing cream or an oil specifically designed for cuticles. Then moisturize your hands.

Once your hands are clean I want you to look at the work you have done so far and examine your progress. I can remember as a child weeding the garden with my parents. I was little, so I would sit down between the rows and pull the weeds. I would scoot down the rows on my butt, pulling the weeds as I went. When I got to the end of the row and stood up, turned around, and looked at my row two things usually became clear. One, I had missed quite a few weeds. Two, I had pulled things that were not in fact weeds. I eradicated nearly an entire row of little tiny carrots once! Sometimes when you are staring at the weeds too closely and not putting it all in perspective you can miss some. It is valuable to take a step back mid-row and see how you are doing. Another thing that can be useful when removing the weeds is to have someone else look at your work and tell you how you are doing. My mother was always very useful in doing this for me when I was pulling weeds, and usually before I asked. She caught on to the carrots being pulled, too.

Since I am not an avid gardener, let me give you a non-garden way to look at this issue, too. Let’s talk eyebrows. You all know that I wear glasses or other corrective lenses. This is not just to make me look smart. I am damn near blind without them. This makes some things a bit more of a struggle; like plucking my eyebrows. I like to do my own most of the time and not pay someone else to do it for me. I also do not like having my hairs ripped out of my face with hot wax. It hurts. So, I get my magnifying mirror out and hold it very close to my face so I can evaluate the strays and remove them. I do this fairly regularly, 2 or 3 times a week. Starting with the really wacky ones that like to grow down by my eyelids, then moving up little by little to my eyebrow area (at least where I think it should be). Occasionally I will be so focused on the micro-management of my eyebrows individually, trying to pluck any non-conformists into line, that I wind up overplucking and look like I am in a state of surprise or shock. Worse than that, I have to make myself overpluck the other brow so that I don’t look completely lopsided! As with the weeds in your garden, it is very important to pull the mirror back and examine the whole face every few hairs. If you are focusing on every little hair you can see in the magnifying mirror you will look like a hairless cat, or worse.

When you pull your focus back a bit and look at the big picture you can re-evaluate how you are doing and see if you need to make any changes. You might need to move on to the next row, eyebrow, or step in the process of weed removal.

Today’s Challenge: Take a step back and look at your progress on the journey to your fruitful summer! How are you doing with the weeds in your life? How is your nourishment? Have you strayed too far from your goals? If you don’t already have a support person to help you, this would be a great opportunity to get one. Always choose someone who will be positive about your goals and not nag at you.

“And a step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

I hope you have enjoyed the first two weeks as much as I have! I am really looking forward to hearing and seeing some of your successes as they start manifesting!

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Fruitful Challenge Day 13

Fruitful Challenge Day 13

Day 13

Working on the weeds –Unsuccessful Habits

Another weed that attacks the garden of our lives and tries to use up our valuable nutrients and choke out our light are unsuccessful habits. These are things that we do that do not serve our purpose or greater good. Oh, we know what these are. For some people it might be smoking or drinking. It might be gambling or reckless spending. It could even be lack of exercise or eating too much. Whatever your unsuccessful habits are, here are a few tools to help get rid of those weeds!

First, identify the habit(s) that isn’t serving you. Write down the unsuccessful habit(s) that you want to replace. Then, determine what causes the unsuccessful habit to trigger. Next, determine what the payoff is…what did the unsuccessful habit gain you? Now you are probably getting a little irritated that there is some underlying gain to the unsuccessful habit and you are supposed to determine what it is. Gain? Well, sure – I gain weight when I eat a whole box of Girl Scout Thin Mints. Other than that, there is no gain! I get stressed out and I eat the cookies. There is nothing else. No gain! Sure there is. First, it is instant gratification. They taste good and that makes me happy. The chocolate raises my serotonin and that makes me feel REALLY good. Also, scarfing cookies changes my breathing patterns and deep breathing makes me feel good. Woa. That’s deep.

That was the easy part. Now, determine what successful habits you want to have in place of those unsuccessful ones. Or, what you can do to deter yourself when those unsuccessful habits start to manifest. Write down the NEW successful habit and list the benefits. It might be useful to get a success partner or support person you can call on when things get tough and you need a shoulder or gentle reminder. Be patient with yourself and give it time. I’m sure you have heard that it takes 21 days to make a habit. I think it takes every day to make a successful habit. Work on one successful habit at a time. Work on that one habit until you feel very comfortable with the result and then move on to a new successful habit.

Just as all weeds take a commitment to keep out of the garden, unsuccessful habits take commitment to keep out of your life!

“Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables.”  ~Spanish Proverb

Today’s Challenge: Identify one unsuccessful habit and the triggers. Write it all down followed by your NEW successful habit!

“The hard must become habit.  The habit must become easy.  The easy must become beautiful.”  ~Doug Henning

Keep working on the weeding, ladies!

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Fruitful Summer – Day 12

Fruitful Summer – Day 12

Working on the weeds – Anxiety

I have spent much time over the years getting rid of the weeds in my life. After so much work, one might think that I have a weed free life and it is all just blooming and flowering like magic. Ah, not so.

One of the biggest weeds in my life was anxiety. I have shared stories of my anxiety with some of you over the years. I am going to share the big ugly truth about my anxiety, and some of the tools that I used to release it from my life. I cannot pinpoint the real genesis of my anxiety. I may have been ‘born with it’ or it may have been something I learned from people around me. What I do know is that in my young adult life it had taken such a hold on my life that I was not able to go to the grocery store by myself, or make appointments for myself over the phone, or go to places where I had never been before. I had trouble being in crowded places – even with people I knew. It got so bad that I would black out in stores or public places. I spent more and more time at home and less and less time going to public places. There came a point where my anxiety was debilitating. I didn’t work outside of the house. I didn’t go anywhere alone.

What changed and how did I get past my anxiety? My entire life changed. I found myself a single mother of two without a job. I had to force myself out of the house so that I could find a job, go to the grocery store to feed my children, and take care of them. The way I got through each step initially was because there was no other way. I either took care of them or I didn’t. That seems easy when I write it on paper. It was not that easy in reality. Every day was a challenge and everything that I did took courage. I will give you some step by step tools that made a difference for me.

  1. Get yourself out of the way. This step was pretty easy for me, since I had to take care of my girls. It truly wasn’t about me.
  2. Ask yourself ‘what is the worst thing that can happen?’ – I didn’t want to do things because of fear. I was afraid of what people would say to me, afraid of looking foolish or saying the wrong thing. I was afraid of almost everything. I started asking myself the question “what is the worst thing that can happen to me’ – in every situation that frightened me. Would it be life ending? Would it be catastrophic? Would it harm me in any way? Of course the things that I feared were irrational.
  3. If I found myself getting anxious and worked up I had to focus on breathing. I slowed my breathing down, filling my lungs and expanding my diaphragm. It instantly brought a sense of calm. Then I could see things with more clarity.

Those are the top three things that moved me out of the grips of anxiety and into a life of freedom. To look back 15 or 20 years ago and view the person I was and how imprisoned I was by the weeds that had taken my nourishment and stolen my light and was choking out my life.

Keeping the weeds of anxiety uprooted still takes effort. If I know I am going to do a presentation in front of a large group I have to stop and breathe. Once my breathing is slowed down I may have to get myself out of the way or ask myself ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ Sometimes when I am going to a new place alone for the first time I feel that familiar churning in my stomach and have to take the same steps. Even with the steps that I still have to take occasionally to keep the weeds down, my life is richer and fuller and happier. It was definitely worth the work!

Today’s Challenge: If anxiety is a weed in your life, take some steps toward uprooting it. Follow the three steps listed above and then, feel free to call me, email me, or text me anytime you need a hand to hold to guide you along.

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 11

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 11

Weeds

Anyone who has ever grown anything knows that weeds happen. Weeds compete with your on purpose plants for nutrients and light. To ensure that your plants grow to their fullest, it is necessary to get rid of the weeds. There are different ways to get rid of weeds. You can mulch, you can pull the weeds, or you can spray. I am not a big fan of adding chemicals to the environment and certainly don’t want to put chemicals on my food! This weekend I watched my mother sit between rows of vegetables and pull the weeds. I know she doesn’t like to do it, but she knows it is just part of the process of growing a garden.

There are also weeds in our lives that take our nourishment and try to steal our light. They wipe us of our energy and hold us back from being the most fruitful versions of ourselves. These weeds can be bad habits, low self-esteem, anxiety, and other than positive belief or trait in our lives. It is important to stay focused on the ‘what’ and remind yourself daily (or multiple times a day). Keep your energy on the good things and progress. What you focus on you get more of. Do you want more weeds? No, I didn’t think so.

Getting rid of weeds in your yard, flower beds, and garden may actually be easier than getting rid of the weeds in your life. For that reason, I am going to spend the next few days discussing ways to weed out some of the other than positive things that could be choking out our nourishment and stealing our light…

Today’s Challenge: Make a list of 3 or more things that are weeds in your life. Feel free to share them with me if you would like – but please take some time to figure out what they are. If you don’t know what to change you will never change it.

“The weeds keep multiplying in our garden, which is our mind ruled by fear. Rip them out and call them by name.” ~ Sylvia Browne

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2016 in Uncategorized