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My vision is to create a business from my garden, so that I can afford to leave my job, have the garden as income, and paint and write. I also want my customers to read the story of my garden, look at pictures, and get an idea of the process of the work of the garden.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I have lots of stuff to write about, and I can't right now. It has to do with family, and I need to process it with my spiritual advisors, and my husband, before I even know how to write about it.

But I did go to some pretty powerful AA meetings in Maine, and am feeling the presence of God in my life these days. I think that grief, and loss, and sadness, and love for others, can open a chink in my armor, so that I am willing to do what God's will is for me.

The key for me is to share with people I know and trust, and who know that I need to keep on being honest with my character defects, and I need to make amends when necessary, promptly.

But stuff happened that brought up a lot of pain that I was carrying from the past, from my earliest memories, even. I was able to weep, and grieve, and now, with the love that has been shown to me over the past few days, to let go.

I see how important it is for me to continue to improve my conscious contact with God as I understand him, through prayer and meditation, to listen to the people I trust, to follow direction. God works through other people, and if I break my isolation with my thoughts and my deeds, and tell on myself for the times I let my character defects rule me, then I can get the guidance from my higher power working through those people who tell me what I need to do. And how I need to forgive myself for being human and for reacting to other people's pain.

I have experienced such love the past few days. I have experienced a chink in my armor through letting myself feel the grief for my little girl who didn't know what to do and who learned to shut down.

These days I feel more confident, more capable, more open, more joyful than I have ever felt in my life. I see that in my vulnerability lies strength. But I cannot do it alone, I need to keep letting the people in my life know who I am.

I went to a party recently, and was talking about blogs. I said that I had to censor what I wrote, at times, and someone jumped in and I felt judged, because she said, "That's too bad." But it is true, I cannot put it all out here. I do that only with the trusted few. The rest I need to filter and perhaps find a medium in which to express what I need to express without hurting anyone.

Love to all,

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I will be going up to Maine tomorrow--driving up with my friend and her little girl. To see my Dad, to scope out his situation, to look for an opening to see if there are any contingency plans in place in the event my dad's wife should pass on before he does.

I may not have an opportunity to discuss anything with them, but I will be able to initiate a discussion with my stepbrother, who is the primary caretaker for the both of them, and has been for about 5 years, since they bought a house together with him in a retirement community.

Just willing to show up, be present, see what happens. I will be going back in August to take care of Dad for a weekend, while my stepmother and her son go to a wedding in Philadelphia. My dad is in a wheelchair, and needs a lot of help--cooking, and especially bathroom issues.

I am looking forward to going. And to spend time with my friend and her little girl.

This morning I went to a meeting, and was proud to give my AA sponsor her coin commemorating 33 years of sobriety. Her guidance and direction has meant a lot to me these past two years. I aspire to be more like her--she is thoughtful, generous, full of kindness and love, and drives a Jaguar. I'm kidding about the Jaguar--though she does drive one. We meet a couple of times a week, to walk the towpath, and I run all kinds of things by her. She is my age, but sober a couple of more years than me. She is a true gift in my life.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Each Day a New Beginning--that's the name of a little book I used to read. Something positive for each day. While I show up for a job where there is no work, and where most of the people have been "let go," I breathe, feel my feet on the floor, and think positively.

Meetings help. I went to one this morning, and listened and shared. Then at lunchtime, met my AA sponsor for a stroll in the hot, humid weather, to the post office so I could mail my Dad a Father's Day card, and then back to the office, where I laze about, waiting.

My garden is so beautiful this year. I went out last night and picked a lot of arugula, and japanese greens. With the japanese greens, I steamed up a whole lot of them, which I ate for dinner along with the omelet my husband made for me.

Oops, I just remembered the beets I put in the oven last night. Luckily, I did turn off the oven, but they will be in there when I get home.

Still planting. And I still have to seed flats of summer lettuce. After that, I will only have small plots of various beans to plant, string beans and lima beans. I might seed some more melons, and I will have to plant the summer lettuce seedlings.

I asked my husband to set some more poles in the tomato patch, so I can plant the last 10 tomato plants that are in the greenhouse.

And I will harvest tonight and tomorrow morning. For three customers. I also picked up a new customer, the woman who cut my hair yesterday. She wants to buy eggs, and later some basil. I will bring her some Japanese greens tomorrow, to entice her to think about being a regular vegetable customer.

Also tonight, I will be going to my little meditation group, which I need right now, after this unsettling week at work.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

My company let go eight people yesterday, and it was so difficult. Kelley was called out of our department first, and she came and told me that HR had called her. I gave her a hug and told her that she would be all right. When she came back, in tears, she said that they are cutting eight people. I told that to Dennis, just as his phone rang. I sat in stunned silence for the rest of that hour, wondering if my phone would ring. I started to go through my things, to see what I would take with me.

They were given boxes to pack up their things, and then Kelley came around and said goodbye to everyone. By that time, I found out that Trish and Melissa had been let go. Melissa was crying a lot, but Trish seemed okay, very philosophical, even.

Then we were in a meeting and told that we were here because we could do the work that we have contracts for that will be coming in.

I was surprised I still have a job.

Went to a meeting this morning, and talked about it, and then talked to my AA sponsor. Feeling a bit queasy. I never had good work experiences when I was drinking, and even after, since I free-lanced most of the time, I didn't really have close friendships with my co-workers. It has been so nice to experience that closeness here, and know that I have friends among the people who have had to leave.

Security is an illusion. I once read in a very interesting self-help book, "the job is your only boss." And I like to think that my higher power is my true employer.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Had an interesting day yesterday--full of lovely thrills (my kind).

I went for a walk with the dog early, up to the nature preserve. Usually we just make a quick loop through and back down the road again. It takes a half hour to do just that rushed walk. Yesterday I wasn't in such a busy mood, and we dilly-dallied up the hill, looking at the views of the big fields below from each vantage point as we climbed the hilly road. Up at the preserve, I took her leash off as I do if there are no cars in the parking lot, and she runs free ahead of me. I noticed that even the preserve manager, who lives in the farmhouse with his wife, seemed not to be at home. The house was closed up tightly, as if they had gone away for a few days. The barn was locked also, and it is generally open, even in the early morning hours, so that visitors can sign in.

We walked into the deep woods. The cicadas seemed further away than they had been recently, a more distant chorus, or perhaps more of them had finished their task, and have since died. The woods are darker now, the canopy fuller, the underbrush growing higher. We walked further than usual, to a clearing with a wooden bench. I sat in the lush, cool woods, and Sable sat down at my feet.

Many moments passed, and I just breathed the cool air, and listened to the cicadas and the birds. A magic moment, no sense of rushing to get anywhere, just listening.

Then, a woodsy miracle. I saw coming down the path from a higher area, a fox. Just ambling down, walking as my dog ambles, crossing one leg over the other, no worries, no cares. The fox did not see us nor smell us, just kept walking down the path. I stayed immobile, but with an eye on the dog, helpless to know that if I moved to put the leash on her, the fox would see us. The inevitable happened anyway. The fox came too close and with a start, saw us. She did a back step then, and some communication between fox and dog sent them both flying up the path madly, the fox the pursued, Sable the pursuer. Called Sable, but to no avail. I wondered if I was going to have to scour the woods for her, and hoped the fox got into some hole up there on the hill.

I called a number of times--waited--and called again. Sable came bounding back, no sign of foxfur in her maw, so I breathed relief that the fox had escaped, and felt regret at breaking its revery with our presence.

Later yesterday we went to New York, to a poetry reading. My stepdaughter read with four other poets at a cafe, called Four-Faced Liar, in the West Village. The publisher of the paper, The Brooklyn Rail, that was putting on a series of readings, turns out to be someone I went to art school with. So many years ago. I admired him then in art school--so much talent, and respected by many mature artists even at that time, he is published an interesting paper, which is getting many awards for its journalism.

And the poetry was enriching me, sitting there, listening, admiring the poets who can do such good work, and leaving me with new connections in my brain.

Friday, June 11, 2004

The garden is enchanting now. I am enraptured these days by the garden, even though I spend most of my waking hours at work. Yesterday I was out there working at 6 am, and loved every minute of it. This is an amazing time of year--so much going on. The cicadas are heavenly to listen to, and in the soil, there are so many earthworms. I am letting the chickens out a bit in the evening now, as they have stripped their run of any green growth. I have to keep an eye out so they don't get into the vegetable beds.

The chestnut trees behind the chicken coop, up on the hill, are in full bloom. Now, having been here for seven and a half years, I am planning a new garden. One with paths through long borders that curve through the property. I had spent so much of my gardening just focusing on growing food that I didn't have a clue as to how to plan a beautiful flowering perennial bed, but I have been absorbing lessons through the years through the tours my garden club takes of local gardens, and through reading.

I am incredibly happy these days. Job security is shaky, though, and we have a big meeting suddenly called for Monday. And right now, there is so little work, that it feels bad to be here.

We babysat for my friend the other night. She adopted a little girl from China about seven years ago, and we have watched her grow into the remarkable, artistic, smart, fashion-conscious person that she is. I gave her some of my old jewelry that I never wear, and we sat out on the front steps in the evening while she ran around trying to catch fireflies.

The cicadas are thrilling. On my commute home, I roll down the windows, turn off the radio, and drive through the stereophonic sounds of their mating trills, which fill the car with their magical sound. It is so much fun.

I am now reading Drinking--A Love Story, by Caroline Knapp. I have wanted to read this for a long time, and just this week someone lent it to me.

We will go to New York on Sunday to hear my stepdaughter read, and to have dinner with them for my husband's birthday. We might take the dog with us, that should be challenging.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Nobody's posting--and I am not looking at others' sites too much, these days. Because it is work, work, work. Well, not so much here at work, today, but I was crazy busy for most of this week. And when I go home, it's out to the garden, in order that I can get the rest of the summer stuff planted. We have had so much rain lately, that it has not been conducive to getting the rest of the melons and the basil planted. And I'm still trying to get flats of lettuce planted.

Plus, there's the harvesting. I am picking up more and more customers here at work, so I am about doing the same as I did last year. Now, with all the rain and the really hot week, the salad garden is all askew. Everything grew so much, that I had to harvest most of it, and there will be a gap in the salad deliveries, as the baby plants aren't big enough to pick yet.

I had a bout of insomnia night before last. I woke up around 2:30, and couldn't get back to sleep. I was enormously happy, though, lying there in the dark, listening to my husband breathing, and watching the fireflies outside. I heard the person who drives by each morning around 3:30, go up the road and then a few minutes later, come back down. I wonder where they work. I wonder who it is up the road who gets up and goes to work at 3:30 am.

Finally, I roused myself out of bed at 4. Went down and made some coffee, pulled on my jeans and sweatshirt, and took the coffee out into the garden, where the light was just faintly showing in the east. The roosters were going at it; they had already started at 3. I stood there on the cement path for a while, just drinking coffee and watching the bats flying around. Birds were chirping, coffee was good, the barn loomed in the pale misty light, and I was happy, happy.

Then I had to go to work. We are all emotionally insecure in my department these day. We have a new boss, and we don't know his agenda for the department. My coworker met with him yesterday, and she is convinced that they are going to let her go, as he doesn't think much of her writing qualifications. She doesn't have an advanced scientific degree, and he seems to be of the opinion that one is necessary to write in this business. He laughed at her nursing school credits, she said.

She shook me up too, so I came home and meditated, had supper, went out to garden to get something planted, some lettuce, then went to bed at 8:30. Slept for 11 hours, then it's back to work again. At least it is Friday, and I can get some planting done this weekend.

No strawberries this year. I hope to go to the local farm stand and pick theirs this weekend so I can make some jam.

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