Living In the Garden.

The before, March. The after, June.

In keeping with getting you up to speed… for the past few years I’ve been learning and practicing a number of different hobbies, gardening in particular has been a point of focus. My garden is on its 8th year. With each passing year I learn a little more and manage to kill things off less. The learning curve has been hard on the plants to say the least. However this year I kind of impressed myself. The garden is thriving due mostly, I’m sure, to the fact that I’ve finally taken the time to read a few gardening books and follow the instructions therein to the best of my ability.

Gardening has a lot to do with creating the ideal environment for the particular plant one is attempting to grow, or the insect or animal the gardener is hoping to attract. Both require one to asses what the environment is and know how to change it. The quality of soil was something I had never really considered, for example. All dirt is not created equal: soil PH, composition and basic nutrient levels really do count. I (finally) tested and amended the soil. Watering is also something I had to adjust. I relearn obvious things like, earthworms can drown.

It’s equally important to take into account the things one cannot readily see, to be able to recognize what’s a problem and appropriate response. In keeping with personal values I garden organically, in this case meaning heirloom seeds and without the use of chemicals or pesticides. Because of this I expend a lot of effort to provide the right micro-environments for beneficial predators. Few things give me greater pleasure than to see dragonfly, lady bugs, praying mantis, and assorted others doing what they do best.

The Path Less Chosen.

It was a bitter winter in Minot, but then what winter isn’t up there. Always a few days out of the year where it’s the coldest place on the northern content, or so I was told. You left your car running no matter where you went or for how long, few options though there were. Mine was running in the parking lot of a tiny frozen strip-mall where the only independent music store in town was located.

I was inside the store, rummaging through CDs looking for this months four selections. It was a game I invented, one of many I employed to keep me occupied, interested, and yes, stimulated, in the land of 70 below. The idea was this: I would pick a section of the store at random, and flip through disks until I found a band or musician I didn’t know, one album set aside and look for the next. One album from four I didn’t recognize. One for each week of the month.

The months that I religiously crossed off, one black X at a time, on the calendar I kept to count down the days I had left. Tourette’s-cold days like this one: one agonizing day closer to completing my ‘tour’. I had time to kill.

I wouldn’t be able to wait to listen to all of them of course, and as soon as I got back to base, I’d listen to them one right after the other. Then pick the one I’d listen to for the next week. Some were a bitter disapointment and I’d be totally bummed that I bought something I didn’t like. Some had music that completely blew my mind. Broadening my inner horizon despite being landlocked in this flat frigid wasteland. It didn’t matter if I loved it or hated it: I had to listen to each for a week. There were some weeks I’d start out disliking something only to find by the end they had grown on me.

Lamb, found and heard, in the middle of nowhere, was one of these for me. I find it humorous to this day that the album is called ‘Fear of Fours’. How could I resist? I had to have it. I hardly even noticed my nose hair freezing, or the inadvertent “Shit-Fuck it’s cold” that slipped out of my mouth when I could catch my breath after stepping outside. I slipped, without slipping, into to car. In the blessedly somewhat warmer air I unwrapped the jewel-case with stiff fingers and slid the silver-rainbowed thing into the player.

What I heard was this: B-Line.

I didn’t know what to think. Much to my consternation I couldn’t quite figure out if I liked it or not. I kinda thought I didn’t at first, was sorta put out that I spent money on an unknown instead to giving in and buying one from who ever it is I thought I wanted at the time. However, by the seventh day the heavens and earth were made. And over a decade later Lamb is still a keystone in my inner-scape and a fun reminder of the ways in which the Universe gives me what I need, reward I suppose for delayed gratification of those things I think I want:

 B-Line.

What’s Rational?

Many, many moons ago when this site was nothing more than a glimmer of an idea started in a collage course about blogging being the fifth estate, I was given a research assignment that led to the discovery of Elizabeth Pisani and her blog called The Wisdom of Whores.  Today while reviewing Project links, I watched a TED talk given by Pisani called “Sex, drugs and HIV — let’s get rational” 

HIV is about sex and drugs, and if there are two things that make human beings a little bit irrational: they are erections and addiction. – Elizabeth Pisani.

I’ve been thinking a lot about rationality, being reasoned, and it’s funny that erections and addiction have been much featured in my life as of late. Her call to reason could not have been more timely. Thank you Elizabeth.

Floored.

As has been readily apparent I’ve been absent from the project for some time. Not for anything disastrous or dastardly, thank goodness, though certainly a most dynamic time is being had. All very Self centered.

While You Wait For the Others. 

So my aim here is two-fold: On one hand I’ll do my best to catch you up and on the other I really, really, need post something just to break the awkward silence and lack of creative internet presence for what seems like ever.

I had just started tearing up the flooring last I wrote. I took a few pictures of the process which all told sucked in the whole of March.

The new floors, though not perfect, are beautiful. And well worth the huge chunk of energy needed to make it happen.