Saturday, March 31, 2012

all creatures great and small

since the chicks have been consuming most of our "oohs" and "aahs" lately, i'm sure harvey is a bit jealous. or just thinks the fuzzy buggers would be tasty snacks. either way, he quivers whenever he watches the egg-producing machines chicks. 

looking quite stoned.
hopefully he is not licking his chops in
anticipation of eating one of the chicks!
we are hoping to finish the chicken coop this weekend and i will share pictures of the process and the coop when it is finished up. the girls won't go out there until the middle or end of may, so they continue to cause a ruckus in their half a cardboard refrigerator box in the basement. 

i got my garden starts planted last weekend and the first things to sprout are my basil and thai basil plants. i take this as sure sign of a great summer, as nothing says "summer" to me quite like basil! and homegrown tomatoes.

i plan to have a gargantuan garden this year with heaps of tomato, zucchini, cucumber, and pea plants. oh, and oodles of kale, lettuce, spinach, garlic, and onions. going from our postage stamp garden to our new backyard makes this gardening girl incredibly happy! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

stifle when necessary

i have come to realize that my compulsive drive to control things - work, people, harvey, brandon, the dishwasher, EVERYTHING - is counter-productive to pursuing peace. i read this quote today and it settled so true with me:
Don’t sign on for more problems than you must. Resist the temptation to involve yourself in other people’s zones of expertise and responsibility. Monitor troublesome situations if you need to, but don’t insert yourself unless you’re running out of time and a solution is nowhere in sight. In short, stifle your inner control freak. -- Twyla Tharp 
let it go. let it go that brandon puts the plates in the spot in the dishwasher obviously designed for bowls. let it go that people at work aren't getting along so well. let it go that the patient at the hospital doesn't want me to call his family. let it go that harvey tracked dirt in the house.

i have taken on an insane idea that i know how to fix, fix, fix. and yet, the world keeps on going whether i meddle or not, and sometimes it goes far more smoothly without my input. so i have determined that part of my path to peace involves stifling my inner control freak, loud and obnoxious as she may be.

we got chicks about a week and a half ago. they started out so cute and fluffy--we would spend evenings just watching their crazy antics. their little legs seemed to have a mind of their own and would go shooting out behind them without notice, often kicking one of their nest-mates. it was adorable how they learned to roost up on their food bin and get in fights at the water dish.
all the photos of the chicks are red-tinged due to the heat lamp.
it was a somewhat impulsive decision for brandon and i (who are otherwise quite cautious folk). yes, we were actively building a coop and planning to get chicks eventually, just not that night when we went to the feed store. i thought we were "just looking" (as one of my brother's is known for regularly uttering) but it was impossible to leave these little peepers behind. it felt good to do something on a whim and we were both so excited!

now, we have had them for a while and my inner control freak is showing more. i get so annoyed that i have to change their water no less than 5 times per day because they constantly fill the reservoir with wood chips and poo. and roosting on their feeder has turned into a nuisance, as i have to throw away much of their food because it is contaminated also. not to mention harvey, who has gone from obnoxious to total nut-ball with them in the house. he sits outside the door of the room they are in whining incessantly and then follows me around the house, trying to herd me towards the "chicken room" so i will let him drool over the little nuggets.

i keep thinking "i can't wait until they are bigger and we can move them outside." when i thought this today as i trudged to the basement to refill their food dish, i realized what an awful perspective i was holding. i was ill to think that i would just wish away time and wondered if this attitude would continue when i become a parent. i vowed to stop focusing on how this time could go faster and focus instead on how i get to have these little awkward buggers in the house, listening to their cute peeps, and can start and end my day by watching their crazy antics. the chicks are really working on helping me tame that inner control freak!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


after reading the happiness project, i was inspired to set an intention for each month. i haven't been superb about it, but it has been in the back of my mind and bubbled up in a few ways.

for january, i focused a lot of my energy on banishing guilt, as i tend to feel guilty about EVERYTHING. i was constantly talking about guilt, trying to identify the times i felt it when it was not necessary or appropriate. trying to "name it" each time i felt it creep in. i'm pretty sure brandon got tired of hearing the word, but i don't feel guilty about focusing on it. :)

in february i picked a much more practical focus: zipping my purse. it may sound insanely trivial, but i've been a pretty angry soul lately and my anger tends to manifest itself when i have to deal with problems that i could have avoided (had i not been lazy). not having to deal with the contents of my purse spilling out all over the backseat of the car when i grab my bag in a hurry, has been good for my mood. and symbolic of life.

for march, i am focusing on pursuing peace. quite the nebulous goal, i'll admit. but i started the month with an important decision to turn down a decent size raise in favor of quality of life. i recognize that regardless of how much money i make, it won't bring peace (i also recognize the first-worldness of this statement and admit that my scale of reference is not poverty). i feel peace about the decision to turn down the job i was offered and know that, for me, choosing to work at a job where i can ride my bike to work, see brandon at lunch, and have time to vacation trumps any number on a paycheck.

the other way i am focusing on peace this month is to reduce or avoid judgment. i found this quote:
Let’s trade in all our judging for appreciating. Let’s lay down our righteousness and just be together.-Ram Dass
for me, this is one of my paths to peace. hopefully my monthly intentions stick with me and last longer than their four week focus.