Monday, August 1, 2011

Outdated assumptions

I was going through some old computer files recently and came upon this interesting little tidbit I had saved in my "inspirations" folder. It's titled: Outdated Assumptions.

It can be useful and efficient to rely on assumptions. Remember, though, that most assumptions do not remain valid forever. How many of the assumptions that you rely on have long since ceased to be true? It can be truly liberating to discard some of the old assumptions that do nothing now but hold you back. Many of your assumptions have become so thoroughly ingrained in your thinking that you no longer realize they are even there. Each moment they influence what you see, think and do.

The net result is that the person you were ten, fifteen, twenty years ago is controlling the actions you take today. Though you have grown immensely in that time, much of that growth goes unrealized because you labor under outdated assumptions.

There's no need to throw out all your old assumptions. Yet it can be extremely worthwhile to question them, and to seek to go beyond them, on a regular basis.

Watch what you think, what you say, what you do, and regularly ask why. Free yourself from outdated assumptions, and you'll be amazed at the possibilities that open up to you.
--Ralph Marsten

This quote has certainly given me a lot to think about. When it comes right down to it, I do rely on my assumptions; which is not always what I should be doing. I think I may start questioning what I "assume" is right and look at what other possibilities there might be. Guess you would call that growth...

Personal photo of purple coneflower in my back yard
Purple coneflowers "growing" in my garden.

Wayne Muller

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer has arrived, I think...

We all know that here in the state of Washington, summer takes it's time getting here. We've had a few teaser days and also strangely enough, the July 4th weekend weather was exceptional. I should just resign myself to accept what we are given... Update on raised beds: not enough sun to get them growing very well. Sad after all the work put into building them. Well, maybe next year the weather will be right, I think to myself. Will evaluate the whole process this winter (oops, didn't mean mention winter thing here in the middle of summer). Here's a photo of the raised beds showing planting day. The irrigation system works great thanks to the great work of my husband.

There have been many happenings so far this summer--camping at Fort Worden State Park, finishing a commissioned clergy stole for a good friend, going to the beach with the grandchildren and good friends coming to visit; not to mention a great July 4th party at our home. All of these seem to fill the great days of summer with great satisfaction despite the grayness. I must always remember that the rain helps everything stay green and we don't have to water so often. Also it keeps me indoors to work on my other passion--textile arts [smile here].

I got to put to use some of the training that I have been receiving at the Gail Harker Center for Creative Studies, when I was commissioned to make a communion stole for a friend of mine. This communion stole I designed and completed tested my abilities in the design area--not to say that I wasn't able; but for the first custom designed stole in a while, I was a bit nervous. 

I've learned at the school that first you must research your subject [in this case wheat and grapes] in order to really understand it. Drawing the subject helps you to "see it for the very first time." In all, the stole came out quite well as you can see by the pictures here. And, so rewarding to complete a great project like this!

"It may be that the satisfaction I need, depends on my going away,
so that when I've gone and come back, I find it at home." --Rumi

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Raised beds, waiting and grandchildren

Hooray! We've finished our raised beds and have planted them with shelling peas, kale, squash (both zucchini, summer and crooked neck), celery, tomatoes, peppers, chard and pickling cukes. We added "timed" irrigation in hopes that the beds will be watered consistently. We have done all of this as an experiment this year, as we are not sure how "our garden will grow." Our property only gets so much sun each day... Here is a picture of the smaller bed we installed in the back. Two other beds, each 8x4 feet, were installed up in front.

And now the hard part--WAITING. Waiting is so hard! It truly is a discipline that can be difficult to develop. Waiting patiently slows life down to a slugs-pace and helps me to truly live each day 'in the moment.' [notice I said "helps."] Just short of measuring each new sprout and counting each new leaf, this "waiting" helps me to develope an unhurried stance and appreciate the leisurely advance of nature. This completely goes against my hurried, busy life and encourages presence. I guess this quote sums the work I must do:

"All good things come to those who wait." --Proverbs

In addition, I've tucked in a picture of my grandchildren taken at a family day at the beach near us. It was a fun day of picnicking, sand, sun and water. And so much fun watching them all in their different stages of development. Love them so...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rain, rain go away...

Just plain tired of the rain and cold! Well, I guess you've heard that before. Everyone (I imagine) feels that way at this time of the year. Up here in the Pacific Northwest, summer doesn't begin until July 5th so sometimes I wonder what the dismay is all about... The childhood rhyme "rain rain go away come again another day" should be revisioned for us Pacific Northwesters at this time of year to "rain rain go away, come again only at night and less frequent and please include some sun."

It takes true discipline to get myself out into the garden on wet, cold days. I tell myself that once I get going I will warm up and that seems to help. There is so much to do out there, it's hard to know where to start. So my mantra is just dig in.

I bought some vegetable starts today: shelling peas, flat kale and some French crisphead lettuce, thus creating more work for me. Also need to make a trip to the garden place to purchase some planting compost. The shelling peas will need some poles to climb as they can reach 8 feet tall. Peas will be fun--I've never planted them before. We plan on adding some raised vegetable beds this year. Saw a great how-to on the Sunset magazine site. Ours will be fashioned after theirs.

Finding sunny spots on our property can be hard at times because of all of the tall cedar and pine trees around. We figure that the center of the property is best as it has spots that receive about 7 hours--best we can do here.

Have you planted vegetables in your garden? You might think about it because it's a really healthy thing to do. Organic for the most part. Just dig in! You'll love the outcome.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My health is so precious...

Last November was diagnosed with a 'flat polyp' following a routine colonoscopy. It was suggested that I have it surgically removed by a specialist. On January 12, 2011, I had a lower colon resection--major surgery with 6-wk recovery--at Swedish Hospital in Seattle. The very good news is that the pathology came back benign! I cried when the doctor shared this with me--I know, weird to cry at a thing like that, but I have to admit that I had been very afraid of the outcome. I feel very, very, very grateful for this diagnosis and all that it entailed. The world looks different to me now.

Today I am back happily working on my homework from my studies at the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center. I am scurrying to complete the work from the first class in November. I missed the January 22nd class as I was recovering from surgery and so now, I have the homework from that class also. Not complaining though. I am having way too much fun (if that is possible).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A gift...

Just thought I would post this sweet picture of my grandaughter wearing a pair of shoes I made for her recently. It's a pure joy for me to create something from fabric, in this case wool felt along with some DMC # 8 thread that I hand-dyed used as trim. The shoes fit her perfectly.

What is it that is so rewarding about finishing a project? Must ask that question often as sometimes I feel it may be my ego yearning for that pat on the back. Or, is it the love of giving the gift? Either way, it's huge on satisfaction.