Musings from the life and times of T. L. Drover
Seeds of Hope
November 9, 2016
It has been a long time since I have updated this blog. However, with the state of the world being what it is I feel like it is time that I planted some hope.
Give me some time to do so, though – today I am going to have to dig really deep to find it.
Today is a dark, dark day. Powers of hate and division seem to be winning around the world.
I have children. I will not lie – I fear for their futures.
What kind of world will this be in a year? In two? Five? Ten? Will there be a world waiting for them when it is their turn to try to make things better?
When I woke up this morning to the “new world order”, I realize that all of this time I have been a terrified observer waiting for the world to stop being such a scary place. I have been avoiding self-care until the election results were in, hoping that once Trump went away I could move forward with a world that once again made sense.
The surprising results of last night’s election have robbed me of that easy answer.
Maybe that isn’t entirely a bad thing.
I have been lost in the media. Ignoring my family and my health instead to watch what has ultimately been a slow-motion train wreck of historical proportions.
The world is not over. Yet I feel lost and without purpose because I had so much riding on things being a way that they simply are not. I am not the only one who feels this way today. There are millions – maybe billions – of people in the world filled with a variety of emotions from dread to frustration to outrage to despair. This is not what we wanted. But this is what we have.
I have woken up from what feels like months in a terrible dream and I realize that all my obsessing has done nothing to make this very real nightmare different or easier.
Instead I realize that I have sacrificed time with my loved ones to read news articles about statistics and political processes that I am not even a part of. I have stopped doing yoga because all my energy has been channelled into worrying. I have avoided meditating because I feel like there isn’t a point until the world becomes safe and understandable.
Reading Huffington Post and FiveThirtyEight for eight hours a day will not change the world. I may feel better “informed”, but I am not a better person.
I am an anxious mess. And nothing is going to make that better except me.
Let’s face it. The world isn’t going to get safer or easier to understand. We are in a time of turmoil and even in the most calm and orderly of historic periods tragedy can strike into individual lives. None of us know what is going to happen. Basing today’s actions on potential future events is not healthy or productive.
I need to turn inward. 2016 may be have been a terrible year in the world, but it has actually been a pretty amazing one for me. I am very blessed. I have a beautiful life.
I am tired of spending all of my energy and focus being afraid for my future when my present is such a gift.
So I have decided to take today’s news as a personal call to action. Instead of investing all of my precious time in worrying about the future, I am instead going to focus on enjoying the present. I am going to focus on the things that matter. That way, even if the end of the world is upon us, I can say without regret that I spent my time wisely.
In the end that is really all that matters.
In life our greatest gift is time. None of us knows how much time we have left. Every moment we waste worrying about what is going to happen robs us of our most precious commodity.
My plan is to tune-out and ignore the media, at least for a while. I have proven to myself that being heavily invested in their noise does not help when the s*** hits the fan. At least by avoiding the daily messages of doom and gloom I can focus on my life and the things that matter.
Things I want to focus on – mindfulness and compassionate acts.
Mindfulness is powerful. It allows you a more authentic life. It creates an environment of peace around you.
Compassionate acts in your daily life are a political act – never think that they are not. We have the power to do small things with great love. Those actions can change the world. If nothing else, they can make the immediate world a better place for the people you love.
I really do believe that the world will get through this. I believe that we will look back at this in years to come as a sad and defining moment, but we will look back at it. Nothing gives me more hope than our children. Despite the path that the world is on now, in just a couple of decades we will be handing over the reins to a generation of global citizens. Our children are our beckoning light. We just have to make it through this very dismal tunnel first.
Fall is officially upon us and has been for a few weeks. This past weekend I finally managed to pull out the last of my summer veggies and plant my bulbs for the spring.
I have a nice row of tulips at the front of my garden and some garlic planted in the back corner Where I hope it won’t create too much shade for the rest of my plants. I love home grown garlic but it is a big user of real estate, so I have only planted about six bulbs. 36 square feet isn’t exactly enough garden to grow copious amounts of anything!
However, it is still 6’ X 6’ of garden space that is all mine, and I intend to make the most of it!
I still have some beautiful nasturtiums in my garden that I will probably leave until the frost kills them. I have already harvested some seeds although honestly I probably didn’t need to. I am sure I will have plenty of plant volunteers next spring. However, with the seeds I can be a little more selective about where things grow.
The back patio is also (mostly) all ready for hibernation. I have been doing some reading about my hummingbird feeder, and found what seems to be a very knowledgeable guide at this link:
Based on this I could leave my hummingbird feeder out all winter but, as it is glass, I hesitate to leave it out during the freezing months.
I will be leaving my bird seed feeder out for the winter, however. Pretty sure my jays and chickadees will appreciate that.
Most of the plants in the back will either go dormant or die off when the frost comes. I have a few plants that I am not sure what to do with, however. My ivy and my sage are both perennials, but both are still relatively young and have shallow roots so a deep freeze over the winter months may kills them.
I need to decide if I want to leave them in and see how they fare, or bring them in for the winter. And if I bring them in, where do I put them? My house is so dark that they might just die anyway.
One option is to move them both to the deck outside my bedroom. It is warmer and more protected there, and I can construct a little greenhouse area on my shelves to protect them. This is likely what I will do, assuming that I find the time before the cold arrives. We are having an unseasonably warm fall as predicted so it is likely I have a couple more weeks before I have to worry about this.
And my upper deck…well…I will worry about that at the same time! I love my garden and I love my plants but sometimes it would be nice to have a gardener for all of these sorts of tasks.
Some images from my garden this year:
My backyard garden. I am thinking of turning this into sort of a fairy-like garden....lots of ferns and shells and decorative little things.
My chocolate mint. I cannot remember how old this plant is, but it simply thrives every year, no matter what the conditions.
My cucumbers are going wild this year! I planted four plants, I think I will get dozens of these delicious veggies this year.
My crazy 36 square foot garden plot!
The same plot, looking slightly less chaotic.
We are approaching the middle of summer and I have had one of the best gardening seasons of my life to date! The fact that the weather has been hot and dry is definitely a factor. It allows me to have complete control over the level of water my plants receive. Obviously that ongoing drought is a major concern for other reasons, but it has been pretty beneficial to my cucumbers.
I will be doing a photo collection of the garden in the coming week while I am a bachelorette (for a few days, anyway!). It will showcase my flourishing veggie garden, my funky little rainforest back patio plant selection, and my potted patio garden.
I am seriously thinking of getting or making a mini greenhouse for my patio garden. I already have a shelving unit, would it be that hard to grab some clear poly to create a neat little space to ripen my peppers and tomatoes? I think I see a project in my future!!!
I am also pondering my plans for my next garden already. Although I have been really happy with the success of this garden, I am finding that I am not getting the variety of veggies that I was hoping for. I am going to do a bit more research into square foot gardening to see if I can squeeze more out of my 36 sq ft.
And of course, there is the pondering of a winter garden. I wonder if my neighbors would mind if I used a cloche to grow lettuces? Should I overwinter garlic? What bulbs do I want to plant this fall?
So many questions, so many plans…it really is a wonder that I have to do anything besides garden!
Started a new blog to talk about all the fun that comes along with co-parenting, blended families, and motherhood in general:
It is still very new, but if you have a sec please check it out!
Yay! My hanging basket is coming back to life.
I really thought that I had destroyed it, but after a week of leaving it alone (well, except for lots and lots of water in this crazy heat!) it looks healthier than ever.
As I always tell my son - patience. It means waiting, nicely
So far this summer (well, almost summer!) my garden has been going wonderfully. Even my cucumbers are happy and free of mildew. Overall it has been relatively easy due to the hot, dry weather and the fact that I have about a million spiders in the woods near my place. Oh, and birds. Lots and lots of birds that seem to really enjoy eating slugs. Nothing like all natural pest control!
BUT some problems are starting to arise. My hanging basket is looking scraggly and unkempt. I do have a few aphids on my nasturtiums and mites on my snapdragons. My strawberries have been disappointing and my tomatoes are much smaller than I was hoping. Also, as always my shade garden is a challenge.
My first task will be to give my hanging basket a haircut. I will post a before, after, and two weeks later pictures to see if this will help return it to the beauty of a few weeks ago.
**Update** I am going to give my drastically chopped hanging basket one week before I give up on it. I am not sure exactly what happened. I kept it watered and fertilized and I meticulously deadheaded. Yet, somehow it just started dying off. Actually, to be fair it is only one type of flower within the basket that started dying: yellow bidens.
***Upon doing a little research I think it might have been the pruning that I did that killed them off. My petunias are doing fantastic, as are the verbena. But the little yellow flowers are pretty much destroyed and I am now realizing that is probably my fault Oh well, you live and learn. As I said, I will give it one more week and if it doesn't start to recover I will replace the basket with something a little easier (or harder?!) to maintain.
Some links for those that want to be more successful with hanging baskets than I have been:
The bugs I have been dealing with by washing them off (either with just water or a dish soap and water combo). So far it does seem to be helping but I will definitely be keeping a close eye on the little pests.
My strawberries needed some nutrients. I added some mushroom manure so hopefully I will get some more fruit this year. The fruit I have had has been a bit bland. I am wondering if it is not hot enough to bring out the sweetness? Do strawberries even work like that?!
My tomatoes, well, I have taken off the sucker but it might be too little, too late. I have two varieties growing – Tiny Tim and Juliet. The plants look VERY different. The Juliet are very sparse, light green, and tall. The Tiny Tim are a lovely dark green and very bushy. It will be interesting to see how much each variety produces.
Apparently I cannot grow spinach. It keeps growing weak and sparse, and then falling over and dying before it can even grow its true leaves. HELP!!!
And my shade garden? I am thinking of turning it into a perennial garden. More about that later!
Hello strangers! Sorry for the long delay. Much has happened since my last entry.
I have started a new job (yay!), had a birthday, an anniversary, and a terrible bout of food poisoning since last we spoke. Also, I somehow found time to put in my garden for this year! More images to come, but below are a couple shots of my new garden bed and my balcony garden:
Thus far I have enjoyed strawberries and radishes from the garden. Cucumbers are imminent, and I hope to see some sweet pea buds any day.
I also have a lot of positive bugs (spiders, ladybugs, bees, butterflys) on my plants this year and (so far) no real issues to complain of *knockonwood*
There is much more to write about, but it will have to wait for another day. I hope to have a lot moer info and pictures about my garden ready to share by the end of the month.
It has been awhile since I have updated this blog! Life is busy, with a full time job, school, a family, a home, and my lame attempt to have some semblance of a life outside of all of that!
I’m (mostly) joking about that – I love my life. I think it is, for the most part, fun and fulfilling. There are some things I would like to see change but I am also seeing glimmers that change is on the horizon. That is both exciting and terrifying; life has been pretty constant for me for a couple years now, so big change is going to feel a little awkward.
Basically I am just writing to say that I was seriously thinking of giving up this site entirely. However, I have put a lot of myself into Sweet Detachment. I’ve been working on this project for five years and it seems silly to give up on it entirely. That being said, I certainly don’t have the energy to be updating the site on a weekly or even monthly basis. It is going to be relatively stagnant for awhile but I am okay with that. I am going to make it my goal to update it at least once a season. When I do update I will try to make a significant impact to the content of the page (pictures, tutorials, blog entries, etc) so that the lack of quantity will be made up for by quality!
Thanks to those that have continued to visit my page despite my absence. I have put a lot of who I am into this tiny piece of the internet and I really appreciate when people take the time to see what Sweet Detachment is all about.
I am going to be planting some seeds this weekend, and I intend to share some of my gardening anecdotes as the season progresses. Also, I will be sewing a beautiful Christmas advent calendar my talented sister put together for me, so look for a quickie tutorial about that! And probably some pictures from this incredible early spring we are experiencing. Cherry blossoms and crocuses for Valentine’s Day – 2015 is already a pretty memorable year!
A good friend of mine recently gave me a treasure chest of fabric. My sewing has been on hiatus for awhile since life has been so extremely busy, but seeing all of the material I now have for creating has reignited my love for my sewing machine.
My first project will be to finish a number of reusable napkins and tote bags for Christmas presents.
Next, I hope to make some fancier wallets and purses with some of the lovely fabric in the box. Also, a table cloth or two for my hideous coffee table.
Then I want to get more ambitious. I am thinking shirts, leggings, skirts...there are so many options!
What does this mean for my blog? Hopefully that things are going to get a lot more interesting soon.
I know I haven't been keeping up my site. Life has been so busy and I have had very little time for any of my creative outlets. However, this doesn't mean I am giving up. It just means that I am going to have to reevaluate my priorities - and maybe spend a little less time watching crime drama.