The Down and Outs of Gardening

IMG_0329 I know it’s hard to see but this is my gooseberry bush. My husband and I planted that around 3 years ago and every year that bush is full of leaves and berries. This year was no different, it was full of leaves and was loaded with berries about 3 weeks ago, but as you can see something really bad happened since that time.

The only thing I can remember happening is around 3 to 4 weeks ago I was mowing my yard, when I was almost done I noticed the truck our local co-op uses to spray the fields pull into the field surrounding our home. I remember because there was a breeze and I didn’t want to get covered in the mist coming out of that sprayer, and I also said a little prayer for my new willow tree that I planted behind the barn.

When they have sprayed the fields in previous years we only notice the grass dying in certain areas but there are certain things like our grape vines that seem to die every year that have us wondering if the grass isn’t the only thing being effected by the spray.

I can’t prove that the bush was killed by the field spray but it does seem pretty odd that the bush  was full and vibrant just a month ago, showing no signs of dis-ease and now it’s only a twig in the ground.

When times like these come up I begin to wonder why I even try to do this. Why do I even try to plant and live in an organic way when death is at the end of my property trying to get at my plants. While writing this post a verse came into my mind,

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

A thief is trying to steal my prosperity by killing my food source. Next year I have decided to buy some wood and build raised beds so my food can be closer to the house (my house is in the center of my property and will be farther away from the field and it’s harmful chemicals).

I don’t know why this year the bush was effected and was fine other years, I know I did hear farmers say that the crops are becoming resistant to the old chemicals so maybe this year they made a new formula that was more hazardous and spreads farther? I also know they are not supposed to spray when it’s windy, and even though the wind was only about 10 miles per hour it was strong enough to spread it at the ends of the field where it came onto my property.

 Some day we will be free from thieves who steal but for now I refuse to give up on what I am trying to accomplish on my little piece of land.

I am grateful for what I have and I’m sure my bush will bounce back next year.

 

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When Guru’s Don’t Work 2

present moment

Your purpose lies within the present moment. You will miss it if you are too busy thinking about the past or the future.

With the help of some great people and through my own experience I have learned more about what to do when guru’s don’t work.

In my last post I thought that controlling my emotions/feelings would help me be more balanced on the inside and I wasn’t completely wrong, balancing our emotions is essential to a healthy mental life, but I missed something.

Thoughts and emotions go hand in hand, one may come first and feed the other but it works either way. I had a situation that evoked a feeling which sparked negative thoughts, but just like I couldn’t flip a switch and change my thoughts, I couldn’t flip a switch and change my feelings either. As I went through my day allowing these feelings and thoughts to circulate I found myself becoming unhappy and upset. I was upset at myself for not having more control and unhappy because I knew that these types of thoughts weren’t right to have, they were causing dis-ease within me.

When I got home I decided to just clean areas of my home that had been neglected for a while, I started working and before I knew it the feelings and emotions were gone.

Viola, I had my answer!

The key to stopping any thought or feeling you don’t want is to bring yourself into the present moment and focus on what you are doing. I know it’s a cliché that many people don’t understand correctly but the answer is,

Through love serve one another.

When I came home I began to serve my family by doing what needed to be done, so in that moment of serving them my mind became clear and focused instead of thinking about the past or the future.

I have often had moments where I would be out working and my mind became peaceful and focused in the present moment, in these moments I feel balanced and whole. I feel this in the garden, when cutting wood, and even with my animals.

The next time you have a thought or feeling that you don’t want, don’t fight it, just bring yourself into the present moment and do something to help others. It can be as simple as sending a note to someone letting them know they are thought about, cleaning the house for the family, or playing with your dog or cat (yes we can serve nature as well).

Each persons purpose in life is what they are doing in each moment, my purpose right now is to type this blog.

Do not dwell in the past. Do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment and serve.

 

 

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When the Guru’s Don’t Work

feelingsI have been in the process of changing myself for many, many years now. If I was completely honest with you, it has only been in the last 7 years that I have taken this change more seriously. I guess this would be what many call a mid-life crisis, a point in your life when you  begin to question the meaning of life itself and your place within it.

Like most people I began to search, I was raised within the christian faith so that is where I began to search but over time I started looking outside of this faith to see what other people had to say about it too. This lead me to many different cultures and showed me the diversity of how people view life and see their place within it.

I won’t go into detail about what I found but one of the biggest themes in most of them was our thought patterns. Many see our thought patterns as a source of who we become, so if you think bad thoughts then you will have a bad life, but if you want to change your life then you must change your thoughts.

I have tried this over and over again with no lasting results, yes I may have a good day here and there but overall it has done nothing to change my inner self. Actually it is making it worse because I am beginning to feel like a failure, here I am almost 40 and I feel I have wasted a huge portion of my life being unhappy and confused. Don’t get me wrong, I have been making changes on the outside that make me feel happy like planting more flowers and doing little changes around the home but I still don’t feel ‘right’, if you know what I mean.

Today I have been feeling down, I am getting tired of trying so hard just to have myself revert back to my old ways in an instant. I’m tired of fighting my thoughts, which scientist think is a never-ending stream even though you may not realize all of them, I’m also tired of fighting what many religions call my ego.

In this low point I found my answer.

If you want to control your thoughts then you need to control your feelings.

I began to think about this for awhile and I began to realize that it is true, when I don’t like something I feel it first then the stream of thoughts begin. You may think they are happening at the same time but they’re not, the feeling my come only a split second earlier but it’s still first, so I began to realize that my thoughts were only a side-effect of my feelings.

This doesn’t mean I can’t feel at all it just means that I must learn to control it. If you go back through this blog and pay attention to how many times you see the word feel, you will see that my feelings are changing my thoughts and mood which is effecting my overall life in a negative way.

Can you see this as true in your own life?

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My First Project This Year

IMG_0321  This was the first project I decided to tackled this year, it is our security light that we had installed a couple of years ago after someone stole from our property. The dirt they dug up had a lot of clay and nothing was growing there but thistles so I decided to do something about it.

The bricks were from another project that didn’t work out the way we wanted so I decided to use them to make a border around the pole. After the border was in place I got some bags of topsoil mixed with some of our own dirt and I began to work that mixture into the soil around the pole. When that was done I planted morning glories and some wildflowers on the one side. The other side didn’t seem to grow as well so I mixed in more dirt and planted phlox and delphinium.

The jar is a solar light that I got on sale at Menard, it’s a colored jar with LED lights inside and when it’s on, it looks like a jar with fireflies inside.  For those of you wondering, yes you can still see the lights even though it’s right under the security light.

I am very happy with how this turned out, other than the morning glories, I tried to plant all perennials as they will continue to come back each year without me having to plant more.

I think I can finally say that this little project is done.

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A Great Book For Any Writer to Own

Feng Shui For Writers book tour

Book Details

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  • Title: Feng Shui For Writers
  • Series: How To Master Your Life
  • Author: M.C. Simon
  • Genre: Non-Fiction
  • Format: Paperback and Kindle
  • Length: 152 pages
  • Publication Date: June 16, 2015
  • Publisher: IML Publishing
  • Regular Price: $7.99 Kindle

Synopsis

DISCOVER HOW TO MASTER YOUR WRITING LIFE

Feng Shui For Writers How To Write Creatively Guide

FENG SHUI FOR WRITERS provides all the dots that you have to connect to control the flowing Chi for each writing category. What is harmony for a romantic novel writer is different from what is harmony for a journalist writer, and for sure very different than for the writer writing for the horror domain. To bring the Feng Shui technique into the writer’s life, it is not enough to merely explain general principles and ideas; we have to dig deeper because the branches of writing are so numerous.


Find Out HOW TO:

  • Attract productivity, successful publishing and money using Feng Shui
  • Overcome writer’s block with Feng Shui help
  • Organize your writing place to achieve your goals
  • Influence your writing life through colors
  • Use crystals for creative writing
  • Use lighting to Feng Shui your writing space
  • Choose the plants that will boost your creativity
  • Influence your “writer’s zone” and the creative mind
  • Boost your children’s creativity (yes… children are young writers also)

And much more.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon IN

Excerpt

6.2 – THE WRITER’S ZONE

Feng Shui For Writers Mentoring And Coaching

To understand what a writer’s zone is, you must first experience the previous state called a writer’s block. Then and only then will you understand how you can face it and how you can move to the writer’s zone. This zone is exactly the opposite of a writer’s block; it is the optimal phase in which a writer can find himself. It is the phase in which Chi flows freely on the writer’s path, the creativity is boosted and the writing productivity reaches maximum level.

Having knowledge about both states, a writer’s block and a writer’s zone, you can save the wasted time between these two phases.

There are some elements that influence your entering into this zone.

  • One of these is your location. Depending on where you live, you must find a writing environment that boosts your writing mood. Find a place suitable for you that you feel relaxed in and totally prepared to let the words flow.

  • Take a walk in the park or the woods, go for a drive on a long unpopulated road. Don’t forget to take the camera with you and take pictures that will help you relax the next time you need to enter into the writer’s zone without having to walk again. A walk in a quiet and relaxing place is a good Feng Shui method to un-clutter your mind of stress.

  • Do some brainstorming for your future book; try to prepare a good plot for your novel. Do some research on the theme that you want to write about.

  • Avoid emails, other online temptations, phones and any other distractions that are blocking the Chi flow of your creativity and productivity.

  • Listen to some music and prepare a playlist with your favorite relaxing songs. Use this list until it becomes a habit that is helping you enter into the writer’s zone.

  • Breathe! Yes, breathe. Fill your lungs with fresh air until they expand to the point where they touch, take a small pause then exhale slowly. Learn to breathe again, so the good Chi also enters your body.

  • Burn some incense and use aromatic lamps for fragrance.

  • Find a writing retreat in your area. Make it a part of your writing process. This will always get you into the zone. There are two kinds of retreats: solo retreats (suitable for writers who prefer solitude far away from any distractions including other writers) and group retreats (provides a chance for face to face group brainstorming). The best writing retreats are those that include both solo and group retreats. When you go to a writing retreat, be sure that you are applying the Feng Shui principles in that place also (you can even take a Bagua map with you).

  • If your mind feels unclear in ideas, use a yellow vase where you place orange flowers. This will boost the intensity of your writing and will give you the necessary clarity.

  • Don’t forget to always include the water element in your space.

  • Avoid too many electronic devices in the moments when you write because they will drain your energy, and soon you’ll have to face another writer’s block.

  • Hang a wooden chime near you so its movement will activate any stagnant Chi.

Previously Published Excerpts

Who Is A Writer?
3 Things You Should Do Before Using Feng Shui

About the Author

Author MC Simon

Writer, translator, engineer, researcher, project manager, blogger, eternal student… these are only a few words to describe MC Simon.

She strongly believes that energy is ours to use freely, and we need only to open our hearts to regain the lost perception of our true powers. She thinks that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. For this reason, M.C. Simon has never hunted the information but rather waited for the right moment when she would be ready for the information to find her. In the same way, she knows that when someone needs her, the Universe will proceed in such a way that the meeting will take place.

Contact The Author

Amazon Author Page
MCSimonWrites.com
FengShuiForWriters.com
Facebook Fan Page
Twitter
GooglePlus
LinkedIn

Giveaway

Giving away a copy of “Feng Shui For Writers” E-book to 10 lucky winners. 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A Productive Day

  Today I went to the garden and picked basil leaves. My husband and I love basil leaves, especially when it is cooked in a meal I made. The problem we found was that these plants make a lot of leaves and it’s hard to use them up before they go bad. We tried drying them but the dried basil doesn’t taste as good as the fresh basil from the garden.

My mother in law gave me a book from the 70’s called Stocking Up and in that book I found a way to preserve my basil and have it taste like it’s fresh from the garden. All you have to do is rinse it and steam it for 1 minute then put in freezer. Once it is frozen you can put in freezer bags and enjoy all year long. I use my rice cooker since it uses steam and it works great. This picture is after I have steamed the leaves and laid it in the freezer. I lay the wet basil on wax paper so it doesn’t stick to the pan. It also turns the leaves a differnt color, that’s why some look darker but trust me, it doesn’t effect the taste at all.

  My mom called and asked if I could help my dad pick peas, so I went down to help. They let me keep what I picked so here I am podding peas. It was one of the worst jobs to do as a kid.
My mom would plant so many peas we would be podding 5 gallon buckets full of peas during our summer break. It’s still not my favorite thing to do but I love the taste of raw peas so I don’t mind as much, I can snack while I work.

 As I was leaving my parents house I noticed their dill is huge, I decided to pick some and hang it to dry. There is a lot more so I plan on going back and getting more to dry. I love the taste of dill, my mom used to make the best homemade dill pickles, it make my mouth water just thinking about them.

All in all it’s been a very productive day. Not to mention I need to go out and pick more mulberries, I don’t have a picture of them but they will have a post of their own because there is more I want to show you about them. 
What were some of the worst jobs from the garden you can remember as a kid?

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Questioning our Actions

question yourself

question yourself

When I started learning about permaculture I knew it was something I wanted to share with people, not because I see it as the way to do things but because nature is something I really enjoy and I wanted to share my passion with people.

One day I started a blog and knew I had to choose permaculture since it’s new and exciting to me. As much as I enjoy planting and digging in the dirt I am coming to the point where I am questioning my motives and intentions when I write. Questions pop in my head like, “Am I writing in a way that attacks another persons beliefs or how they do things?” “Am I presenting my thoughts as the right way to do things or am I just presenting information?”

I believe this phase of questioning yourself is normal and I know all I need to do is wait for the answer to present itself, I just hope I have the endurance to keep writing after I get through all of this.

The only thing I can think to do at the moment is keep it simple and make sure that I proofread everything before I hit that publish button.

Have any of you gone through this phase as well? Did you do anything to help yourself through this or did it go away over time?

Maybe there is no cure for this, maybe it is a test I must go through and hopefully I will come out the other side a better writer than I was before.

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Is Our Intent To Share or Destroy?

A recent situation got me to thinking about what we say and why we say it. When people ask us for information, or even when they don’t and we give our input anyway, is our words helping them or hurting them?

I have posted before on the importance of words and that we should be careful about what we say, but in regards to certain things like permaculture, it’s nice to have other people’s opinions, or to hear about what problems they had as it will help us to make better decisions for the land we intent to change.

A few things I have to ask myself during the times I am called to share information is this, is my intent behind what I say pure? Am I saying these things to help this person, or to discourage them from trying this particular way or method? And if I am trying to discourage them, why am I trying to discourage them? Am I trying to discourage them to change them in some way?

Everyone in life has certain things they enjoy which causes them stress, work, and time, a prime example is kids. Kids will cause you a lot of stress, work and it will take years to get them out on their own and to help them become productive adults, but does that mean we shouldn’t have them? Of course not. Some find being parents a noble endeavor and purpose in life. But why would something so hard be so noble? Because only in hard situations do we learn and grow as human beings, only in hard times are we able to strengthen certain qualities like love and patience, and only during these times will we find our true will and desire.

Just because a certain method or type of plant may seem hard or too much work for you does not mean that it will be for someone else. I am reminded of the old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, remember that we are all unique and enjoy different things.

Next time you share information think about your intent behind it, are you giving them information to share your experience, or are you trying to discourage them from trying?

image  I love that people share their experiences with me about this type of tree, and even though at one point I thought about giving up from all the negative words about it, I decided that I love it too much to let anyone destroy my dream of planting it in my life. I don’t mind the extra work that many see when they look at this tree, or the amount of bugs, or even that it is what many call “aggressive” in seeking out water. The only thing I see when I look at this tree is beauty and love.

I also have to add that not everyone had something negative to say about this type of tree, many people saw the same beauty I do.

This whole situation has been a great lesson for me, one that I will remember forever.

Posted in challenges and adventures, permaculture | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

A Look Outside My Window

 A storm is coming. 

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When Ideas Come Alive

When I started thinking about my garden earlier this year, I envisioned my garden looking and functioning in certain ways.

The first thing I envisioned was doing my garden in strips, basically instead of tilling a huge piece of dirt up for plants I only wanted to till where I would put the plants. My husband got that done for me and it looked great.

The next thing I wanted to do was put down something that would smother the weeds. Every 7 years we allow our land to rest, last year was our rest year so there were a lot of weeds that grew and needed to be dealt with this year or my garden would be overrun with them.

I had some old newspaper leftover from the winter so I decided to use it as a barrier but I knew I would have to put something on top to help hold it down and I also knew this is where money would come in, something that had stopped me up until now. I decided that no matter how much I spent it would be worth it, I have been taking and taking from my dirt for years never giving anything in return.

A few days ago I decided to stop at Menard’s to see what they had, I found a really good organic mulch/compost that I knew would be perfect. I only bought 3 bags so I could try it out and I loved how it looked so much that I’ll have to go back for more but here is what part of my garden looks like now,

IMG_0287

Here is another picture,

IMG_0288

You can clearly see the paper underneath with my compost/mulch on top.

I keep telling my kids that you need to work smarter not harder. Making my vision a reality will cut down on labor, disturbing nature, it will help retain moisture for those dry days that come in the summer, and everything I added will help build more soil and add worms and microorganisms to help future plants grow.

I love seeing my vision become reality, I was so excited about doing it that it surprised me how quickly and easily it got done. For the first time my mind had fun instead of seeing what I was doing in the garden as work.

 

Posted in natural products, permaculture | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments