Today went well, nonetheless. One thing about Zoom is that digital picture books are easier to share. I read What Matters by Alison Hughes even though there were no kids. What Matters is a little fable of one small act (throwing away some trash in the park) and all the repercussions that unfold. A small act having global impact seems very meaningful to contemplate. Wash your hands. Alison Hughes also has a lovely book, When the Silence Slips In that i would recommend as well. That one is a bit more about centering, and also seemed it could be useful.
Compassion is what comes to my mind, over and over, but i didn't have a go-to referecene. Poking around on the internet turned up Compassionate Presence by Nolasco, Rolf R., R. Vincent MacDonald, and Andrew Dreitcer. I didn't run across anything that seemed uncommonly well put, but one mindfulness meditation included
Now bring to mind a layout of your day— tasks that need to be carried out, people to connect with, and other activities that need your careful attention, whether significant or trivial, one by one. Simply become aware of them and as best as you can refrain from strategizing or planning how you will approach these activities.
One then mindfully inventories one's reactions, feelings, bodily sensations and so on through all the upcoming tasks and then
Gather all this— the schedule of day and the attendant states of mind— and imagine laying them down at the altar of grace (or foot of the cross) as an offering.
"The foot of the cross" isn't language used much by Friends, but the image of one's day as an offering -- to Grace or the Light or to God or to Love and Compassion -- really struck me. Becoming mindful of the day -- not the sort of overwhelmed panic that i can get as i try to remember everything that ought to be handled -- seems like a good idea.
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Meanwhile, Dad is depressed and he's doesn't have the knack to get Mom to do something she doesn't want to the way my sister does. I just wrote her
I had a brief chat with Dad. He’s admitting he’s depressed and — not directly related — he’s not able to get mom to walk. (She’s giving him the “I’m not doing that today”) I told him I’d call tomorrow morning and ask her about walking and try to get her to walk — but maybe you would do that instead? A morning FaceTime with Mom? I will make sure to get her to walk on Wednesday — I know that I can use the “You don’t want to disappoint Laura after you were doing so well” when I’m there, but I’m not sure how well it’s going to go over FaceTime. Anyhow there’s that.
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Meanwhile, i'm feeling panicked about the Terrifying project. There's a meeting regarding the Surprise project, tomorrow, too, about which my sympathy has eroded to a nubbin. I found myself cursing a good bit more last week -- stress -- and just thinking about it -- harrumph. But i need to focus on Terrifying project because of the terror.
One mystery is why i could install the python parse module on my personal laptop but not on my work laptop (despite apparent success in installation). It's a nifty tool that will help me pull data our of some log files without spending hours writing "regular expressions." While i've known a few folks who preen over their regex (the compressed form of "regular expression") foo, most software engineers make disgusted faces when confronted with the task. I hope i can get it working.
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Meanwhile, i did have a bit of a meltdown Saturday when i found that (some of) my seeds were wet and (a few were) mildewed and moldy. It wasn't as bad as it first seemed, and i think i recovered the most important to me.
I planted black coat runner beans, the perennials with red flowers beloved by hummingbirds. It turns out they don't set fruit when it's over 90 degrees. I found this out after planting the whole bean trellis with them as well as the orchard fence. SIGH. Hopefully the shade of the orchard location will help them be a little more fruitful. It'd be nice if they do establish as perennial although another source i read suggested that only happens in frost free areas.
On the other hand, that should inspire me to get the field peas planted.
I spent an hour both Saturday and Sunday chopping up Youngia japonica as it puts forth blooms. It's an invasive, theoretically edible as a potherb, and reportedly an annual. I look at the fat long taproot remaining in the soil as i slice the tops off and wonder why the beets and carrots can't manage roots like that. I also wonder if it's really an annual, although the profligacy of the the rosettes certainly seem like an annual's strategy. It grows in a different seasonal niche than the stilt grass, my summer nemesis. Just, fie. And i'll probably be chopping these out for years to come.
Never give up! Never surrender!
One of the best projects completed on Saturday was lashing together tripods to support the blackberries. I used one to two inch diameter sapling poles that we had saved due to the vine-triggered twisted growth. It made them "interesting." They've been leaning against another tree for a couple of seasons outside and are a little eaten up by bugs and fungus. Nevertheless, they'll prop the blackberries up for a few years, and then i'll just replace them. The hemp twine may outlast that wood. I suppose i will eventually have trimmed back all the unwanted fast growing trees someday -- but then that's what coppicing is for: to encourage quick growth of trunks from the mature root systems.
Where i see coppicing of plants other than the rampant sweet gum and invasive autumn olive, it looks like the deer think that's the best browse ever. There's a black cherry tree that had been knocked over by the goats we had here to clear the first summer. Its trunk was a little over three inches in diameter and it seemed to finally die last summer. This spring there's a fresh flush of growth at the stump and the deer haven't eaten that. Maybe i'll have black cherry poles for garden structures when i retire.
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Meanwhile, i'm eating violet leaves as salsad greens. Best foraged weed green ever. They grow in clean clumps, so the leaves are as easy to pick as any small greens i've grown. They're profligate in the garden and yard, they don't have any particular flavor. Salads of violets, sorrel, a few leaves of garden lettuces (all still tiny plants) and thinnings from spinach are delicious. Not having the ease of slicing up a heart of romaine is motivational. Christine had grocery store bib lettuce, grown hydroponically, and the last choice left on shopping day.
The poke weed is sprouting: i'm not brave enough to try poke salat. The deer will eat the plants outside of the orchard: i've left two to grow in the orchard for birds and maybe some day a dye experiment.