Monday, May 28, 2012

Late May Update

Several things are going on these days at the homeplace.

Who will win?  The Bermuda or the pumpkin??  Midday droop in the heat, at night they perk up again.

1.  First, I totally messed up my blog one night
when I was gingerly pressing buttons on the new options section of Blogger.  It completely ate my old blog format, and I couldn't get it back!  Talk about a mini-stroke, whew.  It's not that I wasn't ready for a change -- in fact I thought the blog was long overdue for a facelift (it's sort of the same urge I get periodically to rearrange the furniture).  I somewhat saved things by opting for a basic template, and it moved things to the page you see now, but it won't let me post a title picture that lines up with the title text, and so on.  And I just don't have time to sweat it, so there it is for now... (le sigh) :)

Purple tree kale starts, needing to be tranplanted to a permanent location

2.  I started herb school!
(you can probably tell from my past post).  I have saved for over a year to enroll in a program that would ultimately school me in herbalism and let me practice as a professional herbalist.  There are actually a lot of programs and schools out here in the internet/distance learning world to choose from, and there are also a lot for those who are fortunate enough to live in a location near a school for hands-on classes.  I'm not near such at this point, so my options pointed me in the direction of distance learning, which is also the best fit for my work schedule.  After feeling quite torn, I did finally make a selection and chose the East West School of Herbology.  It was neither the least expensive program out there, nor the most expensive.  I love the fact it combines the teachings of western traditional herbalism with that of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and also Ayurveda (from India).  Those latter two herbal traditions date back literally thousands of years, and though it's been a challenge to get my head around the basic theory, it's been nothing but enjoyable and interesting so far!

Gopher tortoise burrow now actively what, we know not!  Could be the tortoise, or a snake, or small animal...

3.  Time management.  Whew,
this has always been one of my lesser virtues, but thankfully I carved time for school out BEFORE starting.  Even so, I find it a challenge to juggle time well (it's just my personality), so this will remain a weekly exercise for me.  I want to give enough time to my husband, to my spiritual life, to my daughter, to keeping up my house/household, be upbeat and engaging to my clients, help my clients problem-solve, and make good progress with the herbal school.

Moringa, resprouted from winter stumps, in need of a good cutting to feed the neighbor's chickens!

3 1/2.  Yard neglect.  
Why are we not better at being Type A??  We are soooo not Type A, I think we're so much further down the alphabet we're one step above having a pulse, ha!  The in-ground plants still thrive on benign neglect, or they bite the dust.  The plants we have that do survive are pure champions.  Any pics you see are of plants that have the endurance for Florida's fickle climate...and us!   And we continue to love them and learn from them.  And yet sometimes neglect them.  Oh for The Farm so we can have them as our main job  (dreamdreamdream!)  It WILL include raised beds.  Bermuda weeding is for the birds.  (and I have to say, the birds don't do a very good job at it)

Mulberry bounced back, fruited, and now has blotchy leaves.  Hmmm... house needs powerwashing and weedeating.  Blah blah blah...spring chores becoming summer chores!

4.  The fat girl has remained fat.  UGH.  
I am not unenlightened, I am uninspired, when it comes right down to it, at least inspired long enough to make the right habits ACTUAL habits for the longterm.  Don't get me wrong...I have practiced many of the changes I've learned and written about, especially the simplicity ones.  But the ones that remain are ones I have not yet solved.  It boils right back down to the garden.  Because we are not growing enough of our own food (yet), I buy it at the store.  We need to eat more produce daily and I can only buy organic produce (with the exception of carrots) an hour from here.  Budgeting has not been the problem it once was...I've learned how to do that, got it down pat.  But fatigue plus going into the kitchen without organic veggies there to greet me as I make dinner, well let's face it, it's the missing ingredient as to why our eating is out of balance, and it's more my fault than anyone's since I'm the main cook around here.  Thankfully for the herbal training, diet HAS to be the main healing factor or nothing else counts.  So it's time to put the issue of what's on the table back on the table.  Again.  Again again again.  Here's a video whose concepts of nutrition are what Jack and I agree we should aim towards.  (see below) We both have chronic health conditions that are stubborn, and losing weight remains our greatest challenge. Of all the challenges we have met in our married life and in our "homesteading learning curve," most of the things we tested we either fully adopted as permanent changes, adapted to what we did and didn't find practical, or enjoyed experimenting with until we found what did and didn't work for us. But our health, especially our weight, remains a constant, and an unavoidable issue if we're to have each other for many more years.  

5.  The land search continues.
Mutter mutter mutter.  Ah, Florida and its never-ending challenges.  Oh, how much we've learned.  Long back story which shall be told, someday.  Mutter mutter mutter :)

6.  Oh yeah, there's a sister blog,
Herbin Living . I made it mainly for jotting notes about the herbal training or things that go on and on about mostly that subject.  I didn't want to overwhelm the main blog here with only herb things, so there we go.  The link's on the sidebar at the top.  Not much there, yet, as I'm only on the second lesson and there's been a ton of reading.  I love reading!  As yet, there's much more of the reading than writing...

Homemade soups, still a weekly staple...and no complaints :)

7.  The future of this blog, well.  
My writing here's been spotty at best.  It's not that there's nothing to write about, but sometimes the living of life necessitates stepping back from the extras, and being on the computer is actually not a daily occurence for me at this point.  It's a shared computer, my outside work has picked up, my energy has NOT picked up, and...well blah blah blah.  But I like having the blog as a touchpoint and a reset button where I can back up and contemplate just where we're still headed and if we're on or off track.  Or just to let off steam, post something fun or interesting, or decompress emotionally.  So neglected or not, for now it will remain.  Any ideas you have about any portion of the blog whatsoever are always appreciated!

Another shot of the moringas taking off.  They're twice this height today, and ready for cutting.  They make great nurse plants in this 90s and above Florida heat.

8.  Outside work...
Yes, last year I began work as a CNA (nursing assistant).  My setting is in home health working with seniors, and each assignment is different, some lasting only one visit and others working out to be regular visits over the long term.  It's been both challenging and rewarding.  It's also something I'm not sure I want to do the rest of my life, but it's something I'm glad I CAN do.  I've learned so very much in this last year and this is my second year at this now.  Oh, the perspective I've gained from my elderly clients!  This economy looks very different when viewed through the eyes of someone who already lived through the Great Depression, WW2, and many of life's big ups and downs.  That in itself could be several books.  As could the personalities of our elders who have survived this many years..their quirks, humor, ways of dealing with change, their fascinating personalities.  Boy, do I appreciate our seniors, and boy does our society NEED their input and to appreciate this rich treasure we have but seldom engage!  As far as my longer-term goals, I still want to do some writing, have our own farm that in some or many ways incorporates the alternative food plants and herbs, and be an herbalist.  I'm also fascinated with psychology and Judaism.  And a lot of other things.  Where this will all end up, I'm not sure, but I feel for the first time in a long time my path has more direction.  And whatever the path includes, it's whatever God wants that I care about none of it happens without prayer.  And it must include my Jack because I can't imagine any of it without him...he's holds my heart, and any goals are partnered with him.  We have different projects and abilities but the same path.  I love that man!

OK, gotta head back to the books...that's the update.

I'd LOVE to know what's going on your world!  Please forgive me for the long lapses in which I no longer get to leisurely peruse other blogs out here as much as I once did.  It's not for the lack of caring or interest!  Please say hi if too much time has gone by and I've missed something important in your life!

9.  Oh yeah, and lastly, this site is copyrighted.
Someone stole years of my blog writing and I could never get Blogger to intelligently deal with the issue.  So the text is still out there, as well as my photos.  So love it or hate it, please don't take my text or photos...or you'll get put in the same Cussing Box as the VA, politicians, and people who think their way is the only way!

:-D  Robbyn


Shreela said...

I see some pumpkin flowers, hope you get some pumpkins!

Bummer about blogger - another blogger using blogger had some blogger freakouts too. Luckily I haven't yet (my posts average about once/6 weeks, so I just posted about the poke sallet next door - other than stretching out the pic, everything else worked, whew). But it's not the theme/skin of your blog that got me to sub, it's the content (pics are lovely too).

Ooh, tree kale! Baby it, then make babies LOL. Cool the moringas came back; I know I was thrilled when my stevia came back after DH's escapee bunny found it to be yummy right before winter.

Did not know about you becoming a CNA, congrats! As far as the elderly's perspective on depression-living, have you come across any toilet-paper square counters? After about my third toilet-paper square counter, a nurse with many years experience explained they came from the depression, when toilet paper was a luxury item! Oh, and it was my Grandmother that taught me about Poke, because they all ate it during the depression.

BTW, I'm finally brewing some bitters with brandy. I need to buy a small sieve if I want to keep the herbs in the main bottle, or just decant the whole thing at once, kind of intimidating.

Paulette said...

Lots going on, we WILL catch up! I'm so excited for you that you were able to get into the classes, you are going to rock at that. Right up your alley.

I hear you on the blogging, there's so much to write about, but you have to have the time and energy.

I love to come here and catch up, so don't give it up, even if you rarely get to it.

Hugs, and know that prayers for you and Jack are on our prayer list.

small farm girl said...

I just love your posts about herbalism. That video was interesting.