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Gardening Haul

Going to try to add up the pounds of all that I grow this season so I will be returning to this post frequently. I'm putting this as a rare public post so that my stalkers can be envious, because that is how I roll these days.

May 6

Tomatoes - 1.4lbs
Zucchini 4.2 lbs
Pickling Pickles 2.3 lbs

May 7 -
Tomato 5.2 oz
Pickles 9.3 oz

May 9
Tomato 18.2 oz
Pickles 9.0 oz
Zuke 6.0 oz

May 12
Tomato 1.4lbs
Zucchini 1.1lb
Pickles 6.6 oz

May 13

Tomato 18.8oz
Pickle 1.5 oz

May 15
Tomato 4.4 oz

May 15
Tomato 24.1 oz 6.92 lbs to date
Cucumbers 20.3 oz 4.53 lbs to date
Zucchini 9 oz 6.2 lbs to date

May 20
Cucumber 11.2 oz
Tomato 5 lbs 10 oz aka 90 oz
Zucchini 9.2 oz

May 21
Zucchini 25 oz
Tomato 12.3oz
Cukes 10. oz

May 22
Tomato 34 oz
Zucchini 5.5 oz


my quilts

Trying out the LJ app to upload pictures

Reread this every 5 years.

Addicted to Helping: Why We Need to Stop Trying to Fix People
By Annika Martins


“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals.” ~Pema Chodron

After college, I was hustling hard to get a work visa so that I could stay in the US.

But then my mom got caught up in a political scandal, and without much reflection on how much this would alter my life’s plans, I dropped my dream of staying in America, drove 1,000 miles, and flew another 500 to be by her side.

Would she have crumbled without me there? My mama is a tough chick, so I highly doubt it.

But at the time, I (subconsciously) believed that when the ones we love are hurting, their pain trumps everything. Their pain gets top priority, and whatever goals and dreams we’ve been working toward now pale in comparison.

At the time, I thought that love meant tending to the other person’s needs first—always.

And this form of self-sacrifice came naturally to me (I’d behaved this way even as a young child), so I was lucky, right? Having inherent caregiver qualities is a beautiful gift, right?

Yes. And maybe not.
Are You a Natural Caregiver?

You’ll know if you have this trait too, because people will often tell you their secrets mere minutes after meeting you.

When someone has just been in a car accident or broken up with their boyfriend, you wrap your arms around them and for the first time that day, their body fully relaxes.

People tell you they feel at home in your presence. Safe. Heard. Cared for.

There’s so much beauty in having a trait like this. Without much effort, you nurture and care for those around you. It is a gift you give us all.

But there’s another side to the caregiver coin.

Helping other people can become addictive. It can begin to feel like the only way to show your love is to prostrate yourself at the needs of others.

Oh, you’re hurting? Lemme swoop in and save the day.

Oh, you’re broke? Lemme dump my savings into your bank account and all will be well.

Oh, you’re single again? Lemme set you up with my neighbor’s son.

Whatever your ailment, I’ve got a fix for you!

And the gratitude from the people we’re supposedly ‘fixing’ tends to flow so steadily that we become convinced of the healthiness of our stance.

We’re confident that healing every sore spot we see is not only natural and enjoyable, but it’s the main reason we were put on this planet.

When you carry the Nurturer Gene, fixing other people can easily become a destructive self-identity.

You will martyr yourself over and over again in order to meet the invisible quota of Lives Helped that floats above your head.

You will obsessively analyze how every choice you make might impact those around you.

You will assess every meal, every dollar spent, every vacation taken (or not taken) based on how it will impact the people you feel a responsibility to care for.

Because, in this unhealthy version of caregiving, our understanding of love has become warped. Love now looks like a relentless string of sacrifice.

Your thoughts might go something like this:

If I don’t love her with my constant presence, she will feel sad and lonely.

If I don’t love him with my attentive eye observing everything, he’ll get sick again, or maybe even die.

If I don’t love them with my efficiencies managing everything, someone will get hurt. Things will go very wrong if I’m not here to take care of them all.

Sometimes, love calls on us to invest our energy and time in tending to someone else’s pain.

But not 100 percent of the time. And not with the nurturing going down a one-way street, pouring out of the same person, over and over again.

If you see this pattern in any of your relationships, consider what it would take to expand your definition of what it means to nurture, to love, to care for.

A healthy caregiver not only nourishes the needs of others, but also nourishes her own.

Holistic nourishment. Nourishment of the whole of us, for all of us—which includes you.

Self-nourishment might look like hiring a babysitter so you can have a romantic getaway with your hubby.

Self-care might mean taking the job on the other side of the country, even though it means you’ll only see your parents twice a year.

Self-love might be quietly soaking in a bubble bath instead of probing everyone for a detailed account of their day.

You are not responsible for the world’s pain.

Share your talents and resources. Generously give your time and attention. But you cannot pour a magical tonic on the wounds of every person walking the planet. It’s not your job. And if it were, it’d be a sucky job because you’d fail at it every single day.

Especially when we identify as being “spiritual,” we can lift up words like “compassion,” “generosity,” and “kindness” to such a degree that we forget that even “compassion” sometimes must say no.

Even “generosity” has to allocate some of her resources for herself.

And even “kindness” must muster the nerve to walk away sometimes.

If you are the person in your relationship or family or company that defaults to caregiver and wound-tender, give thanks for the ease with which you dish out your love.

But be careful about inhaling that caregiver role to such a degree that your identity becomes dependent on having someone nearby to nurture.

Give your love. Freely and deeply.

And trust that even if you’re not there to ‘fix’ them, everyone will be just fine.

Photo by Valerie Everett

OK I admit it I hate 2 men...

Out of 51 years of life and having met at least 5000 men, there are 2 that I do in fact hate. Does this make me a card carrying misandryist? But does this negate all the negative actions of misogynists?


If you've heard anything about the Santa Barbara slayings know that it comes from a culture of male superiority. This is a gender crime, it isn't about mental illnesses not being treated, it isn't about gun control. This is about the assumption that males deserve to get pussy.

Not all men dehumanize women. Yet the majority of women have been dehumanized by a man. The killings were a gender issue. How dare women not surrender themselves and their goodies to men? That is the topic that this criminal has raised for myself.

Last week a boy decided he was so special that being turned down to prom meant he could cut the throat of the girl that dared to deny him.

How many families keep having children until the magical male progeny appears?

The fucking NYT fires the female editor because she was pushy.

17 years ago...

I miss my grandmother all the time. So much time has passed since her death and still I morn all the things I wanted to share with her. She died in my arms, I still recall her leaving her body on the intake of her breath not the exhale. Can't explain it really, just I lay there curled around her and she left.

Being human is perspective in time. In Native American cultures you are always part of 7 generations. You know your grandparents, your parents, your generation, your children, and finally your grandchildren.

This week I passed to my cousin Cheryl all the family photos I had that go back to our great, great grand parents. She has children and grandchildren that will appreciate the family history. She only knew Grandma from 3 times meeting her as an adult. She missed out so much of what a lovely, educated, sweet and innocent woman our grandmother was. Next month Grandma would have been 107 years old. She never berated anyone, she chose to be kind, her life wasn't easy but she bore it with grace.

Dear Grandma,
I have been going through all your old papers, I had always felt so guilty about no writing to you more. Yet now that I see all the letters of mine that you saved I feel so beloved. I could share anything with you and never be judged as anything poorly, just as someone human. You told me I was a kind child, I sure hope that I still am that. I know that I take after your example of writing off people who hurt us. Typically though I have allowed such people to run over me with a semi truck because I want to give them the chance to become whomever I believe them to be capable.
I have my own red kitty now, Sven, he is a little devil and I love him dearly. I have planted many tomatoes again this year. This is just so that I can take all the fruit and gather it up to be canned. I can use your canner and know that we are locked in time cooking together, saving the summer into time capsules to be opened in the future. I have now made that huge step into pressure canning, got past that fear.
I hope I have been a good girl like you always told me to be in your letters and that you are proud of me. Bill still takes care of my emotions and pulls my chain as well. I hope to have as many years as you and Grandpa shared.
Please look out for me and help me find my way so that I can appreciate all the beauty life offers day to day.
Love you always and forever


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May 2015


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