six months of garden class under our belts

I so desperately wanted to title this post “White Trash Wednesday” but today is actually Thursday. Oh well, haha. : )

Today is Thursday! That means, as it has meant most weeks since January, Gardening with Maddie. To celebrate six months together, half a year of exploring the wonderful world of plant science and creativity, we visited a very cool local snow cone shop called “Trailer Trash Treatz.” We indulged in tall styrofoam cups loaded with sweet, cold perfection. Her flavor of choice was Wedding Cake and mine was good ol’ Pina Colada. We ordered both “trashy,” which means they hide a small scoop of ice cream in the center of your extra syrupy shaved ice then wedge a square of cheesecake on top, plus of course some heaps of whipped cream and a fresh strawberry too. I mean obviously. All of the slushy goodness melds with the creaminess and it is quite heavenly. Both snow cones were works of art, and the bar for such a treat has been permanently raised. Wow. Not to mention the shop itself was a pleasure to visit, really. So colorful and quirky. So lighthearted. I feel like I could be good friends with the decorator of Trailer Trash Treatz. Behold:

TTT front porch

TTT menu

TTT wall art

TTT hipster cups

 

While we lingered over sugar and enjoyed the frosty air conditioning, Maddie and I discussed the learning work we have done so far as well as gardening goals and dreams and the related work ahead of us. We agreed that our first six months together flew by unbelievably fast! I am so proud of her enthusiasm, of her willingness to get dirty (literally!), of her ability to absorb lots of gritty information just in the course of long, casual conversations, of her overall penchant for plants. She has a deeply rooted appreciation for symbiosis in nature, and she is beginning to show signs of true passion for localvorism. (Tear rolls silently down my mud-flecked cheek.)

Maybe the best part is that this weekly effort is playing a small role in helping Maddie carry on gardening legacies from both sides of her family. Really cool. In fact today after snow cones she and I drove to both her Dad’s garden (the tomatoes!!) and her Nanny’s garden (hydrangeas!!). I was so moved to watch her point out the special parts of each space, the secret areas and childhood memories, why she loves little things. She named a few trees and shrubs and was able to rub the fuzzy grey-green leaves of sage between her fingers to correctly identify it.

Although in the latest weeks of winter we spent a fair amount of time planning a flower bed and brainstorming all sorts of eye candy, things shifted. One little hands-on project at a time revealed that she is more interested in growing edibles, specifically herbs. So we’ve focused our time and her budget on that so far, knowing that as summer winds down Oklahoma will invite us once again to that spectacular display of fall color. We will be working hard in her flower bed soon enough.

For the remainder of Summer 2016 our goals are in four parts:

  1. Maintain her container gardens, including herbs, veggies, and a few flowers.
  2. Harvest the edibles and host at least two family dinners using those items. So far we are thinking pizza (for all the basil, oregano, tomatoes, etc.) and ice cream (chocolate mint!)
  3. Visit nearby public gardens that we had previously visited just as spring was starting and monitor the changes since then. We also have a list of private gardens to visit, so she can see different design styles, work disciplines, etc.
  4. Do a handful of art projects related to the garden.

All of this should keep us plenty busy until September, especially with a week of vacation or camp thrown in here and there.

maddie at ttt

What a fun day. I love White Trash Wednesdays that are actually Thursdays with Maddie. And I love gardening. And I love friendships that grow in actual soil.

Over and out.

XOXOXOXO

 

happy international day of yoga!

Ahh yoga. I feel like I love you for reasons I am just beginning to understand and perhaps in ways that make you scoff at me privately. Except that scoffing’s not really your thing, is it? You don’t mind me being a complete amateur. You welcome everyone. Oh yoga, you peaceful, sweetly smirking, soft-gaze-having beauty with only positive vibes. I groove you.

I first felt truly curious about yoga while reading that very famous Liz Gilbert memoir. You know the one where she eats all the carbs in Italy, searches her soul after railing against God, then has a trans-continental romance? Such a fun read. Gilbert made yoga seem like an experience. A journey, not just a workout. She made it feel like prayer. But during that chapter of my own life, the whole thing felt incompatible with church. I had a lot to sort through and my own kind of language and balance to discover in the midst of heavy doctrine and even heavier personal crises. For quite a while yoga was a sneaky indulgence that I was content to treat just like a good stretch here and there. But in the back of my mind was always this idea that God was in it, that He in fact created both my mind and my body and therefore didn’t mind one bit that I might try to strengthen and nourish them both. My reins began to loosen on my own soul.

Fast forward several years to when I started running. (HALLELUJAH!!) Once my body was wide awake and on a daily basis filled with adrenaline, delirious with exertion, I discovered the need to remain pliable and comfortable. I started reading about yoga for runners and became pretty good at the most basic post-miles stretches for calves, hips, and hammies. Pigeon pose, haha! The fact that it had a name was enough to make me happy.

In the midst of all this, a few blogging friends turned me on to yoga as a meditative endeavor. They introduced me to Yoga With Adrienne, whose mantra find what feels good is just so soothing. These videos were so fun to explore that soon I found Tara Stiles, PsycheTruth, and much more. (My You Tube favorites are about 35% yoga channels.) The breathing, posturing, and simple guided meditations did for me all the classic favors you hear about: I felt grounded, connected to myself, relaxed yet invigorated, pliable, strong, full of fire (like in my belly!), calm, all of it. And while I have yet to enjoy a spiritual breakthrough during yoga or even cry really hard like so many people report, I have had those experiences while running. By the time I unwind on the mat I’m generally in a pretty good place, haha. Even if I start in a good place, though, I always leave the yoga mat feeling more focused. More purposeful and less scattered around, as my mind tends to be. Yoga quiets me.

morning glories yoga day june 2016

This has been my experience so far, and I am so grateful for all of it. So excited to see what’s next bodily and spiritually. And today is International Yoga Day! To both mark the occasion and spend time with some cool folks in my life, this evening we are opening the farm at dusk. We will gather with quilts and mats in the grassy area between the bonfire and the vegetable garden and watch the sun set behind the horse pond. We will stretch our muscles and breathe deeply, inhaling blessings and exhaling peace. We will ease through some pose sequences that are thousands of years old and remind each other that we are both physical and emotional creatures, capable of more than we once thought possible.

If you are practicing yoga to celebrate this fun day, enjoy!! Consider yourself connected to us here at the Lazy W. If you are only curious about it, let me urge you to explore. Like anything in life the experience is largely what you invest in it. Open yourself to what beautiful things might happen. Maybe you will have a spiritual breakthrough! Or maybe you will realign your back or relax your shoulders and hips. Or maybe you will discover some hidden energy in your intestines or rid yourself of too much and finally get a good night’s sleep. I’m excited for what might happen for you! And I am really excited to see my friends tonight at sunset.

“Allign your hands with your heart.”
yoga mantra
XOXOXOXO

friday 5 at the farm: joy of gardening lately

Hey hey it’s Friday!! Another work week in the books, another special weekend chomping at the bit. In case I don’t get a proper Father’s Day post up by Sunday, if you are a dad to anyone on the face of this earth or beyond, please accept my love and hugs. The world needs more excellent fathers, just like you. xoxo Happy Father’s Day weekend!

While I actually have mounds of gardening news and information to share (The Members’ Tour! The front field progress! Lessons learned!) today I just need to celebrate. Since it’s Friday, maybe just a quick list of five ways gardening has been extra joyful for me lately:

  1. Members’ Tour: GAH you guys. To say that I was inspired is such an understatement. The ideas and affection that flowed from that day could fill a library. To say that I was honored, yes for sure. I still can’t believe I was invited into this gorgeous circle. But humbled. Oh man was it a humbling experience. I cried bitter tears afterwards but am all better now. Whew! Can’t wait to have a few hours to sit and write.TOUR me handsemo with sign
  2. Maddie’s Learning Curve & Friendship. As you know, most of my Thursdays since January have been spent with my new partner in crime Maddie, exploring the mysteries and wonders of plant science. Well, also plant silliness. We have so much fun. I am blown away by the progress she has made in her own front yard herbs-and-veggies paradise, and I am so thankful just to know her as a person. She and her Mom (our dear friend Mer) helped us out during the garden tour last week, and Maddie made me SO PROUD.TOUR me maddie gate supastah
  3. Bartering Services! Fellow Oklahoma blogger Cassie from True Agape recently posted an offer to trade her technical expertise (personal coaching, social media help, or blogging advice) for some garden design work, and I jumped on it. Though she and her family live in Tulsa, she was keen to work out a trade via technology communication, and it has been great fun. This is the first time I have done such a thing for someone I don’t really “know” personally, although she and I have worked together before on a few blog projects. Do you remember me writing about how non-running spouses can support their beloved runners? That was for Cassie’s blog! And I promoted her children’s book and marriage advice e-book too. Usually friends might trade a garden idea here and there, but to have a sketch of her flower bed and measurements, to be set loose with the invitation to “create some curb appeal?” GAH, so cool. I thoroughly totally completely loved it. It took lots of self control to not ask if I could impose myself to help do the digging and planting, haha. By the way, I asked for Cassie’s help in making this electronic space look nicer and work better for readers, and that invitation doubles for you. If you have any suggestions for the Lazy W blog please send them my way! I am once again in face-lift mode. 
  4. Flowers: Do you remember me saying a few months ago that I really wanted to increase our flower supply here at the farm? Well, wish granted. Or actually… Work rewarded. Although it was not much work. My gardens are casual but blooming profusely, and I am so happy. Most years the edibles far outweigh ornamentals, but not this year. It’s been refreshing to walk through so much color.zinnias
  5. Jocelyn is growing her own tomatoes, herbs, and even cacti, all from seed!! I clearly saved the best news for last. xoxo Do you know what’s extra funny about this? The fact that she planted her treasures in containers that can be moved indoors to evade the elk and bears, haha! This is not a problem known to Oklahoma gardeners. Do you know what’s extra sweet about this? The fact that she is excited for the smells. When she told me this my heart skipped a beat. 

Thanks as always for stopping here. Please check in soon for Members’ Tour posts and much more! The honeybees have some stories to tell, also.

What has been extra joyful in your world this week?

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom
which springs from the soul.”
~Henry Ward Beecher
XOXOXOXO

almost wordless wednesday: my heart goes where she goes

This is the view from a peak called Twin Sisters in magical Colorado. Jocelyn, Justin, and Bridget climbed this yesterday and sent me a slew of gorgeous photos just like this.

I can’t help but think of how often when she and her own sister were small, people thought for a moment they might be twins.

view from twin sisters june 2016

Although I miss her terribly, seeing the world as she sees it transports me, and feeling her joy through the miles is a gift for which I am unendingly grateful.

Oh man I miss those mountains and crave a good, long hike.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

“He does not need opium.
He has the gift of reverie.”
~Anais Nin
XOXOXO

 

 

 

motivation monday: sustainable fitness, marathon training, & florzilla quips

Hello friends! How long has it been since I shared anything fitness or health related? Several such posts sit here in draft form, but over and over again I feel like my thoughts are either repetitive or useless. But today! Today I feel a small, welcome personal epiphany and also have cause to mark the calendar, so let’s chat.

First, the calendar. As of today I have exactly one month before marathon training begins for the November Route 66 race. This will be my first time running in the hills of Tulsa, and I am already excited!

RSS-0134_2015_Course_Map_Layout_M

One month means… Four weeks to tighten up my eating habits. (So that I’m not dieting but fueling for energy the way my own body likes it.) Four weeks to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of running when I want, for however much I want, at any pace my legs see fit, or just for fun. Four weeks of spending workout time and energy on other pursuits, if I groove to. This past spring while regaining fitness from that ankle sprain (it is still swollen actually) I fell in love with hiking and barre. Yoga has proven to be much more than stretching, too. Plus we have been extremely busy at the farm, which burns both time and calories. So when my weekly mileage is low, it’s because I have been indulging in these other wonderful activities.

Okay. The idea of sustainable fitness is what’s been the small but welcome epiphany for me.

The other day I was wallowing in a custom blend of self-pity and frustration, all about how in five months I have not lost more weight. Five months of watching my food intake, running between 10-21 miles per week, dabbling in strength, etcetera… And my gosh drinking so much water!! I don’t even put sugar in my coffee anymore, haha! (Cue pitiful violins.) So I looked at myself that particular day and freaked out, thinking why hasn’t all this effort paid off better? The answer came almost instantly. Your effort has been medium at best. In addition to all of those great habits (and they are habits by now, truly) I have also enjoyed heaps of popcorn while watching movies, said yes to pizza and greasy Reuben sandwiches and ice cream with friends, eaten salty chips and salsa for lunch more often than I want to admit, and generally allowed myself more easy days than not. So, okay. Honesty with yourself is good. Maybe a touch of acclimation in there, too. Our bodies get used to the status quo.

More importantly, though? In the midst of those healthy-not healthy habits, in the midst of that balance, these four things are very new to me, and this is my proof that I have finally found some sustainable fitness:

  1. I feel comfortable enough with myself to take a fun Hula-Tahitian dance class with strangers or go swimming at a public pool or run in shorts out in public, etcetera, without worrying one bit. Just have fun. Way less self-conscious, way less annoying.
  2. I know that I can keep all of this up indefinitely, that this is my easy-effort baseline even among a hectic schedule, and it’s all fun! I am eating and moving in ways that make me feel really great, whether or not any of it fits a certain plan. The confidence that I can keep myself healthy no matter what is going on in life and without being obsessive in the kitchen is a wonderful gift.
  3. These months of experimenting with different eating habits and exercise options have taught me a lot about my own mind and body. So much. I believe more strongly than ever that each of us has a unique chemistry that asks for a unique blend of diet and exercise and that maybe women especially have fluctuating needs week to week (the moon affects more than the garden!). For this reason I have dropped out of all 90-day challenges. I resist all those cute graphics on Pinterest. You know what I’m talking about. Calories and macros are- ehh- well the jury is out and aggravated. On a related note, I have been weeding out social media accounts that exude any negative or confusing vibes about health and happiness. I still have goals, but knowing what methods work best for me is wonderful!
  4. The things we do to promote our health should be our servants, not our masters. Unless we are in a health crisis, or once we have a grip on things, they should be negotiable parts of our schedule that support a life well lived, not roadblocks to living fully. Does that makes sense? I’m not suggesting that we make excuses to be lazy; only that sometimes we seek a broader view of the world and of how we live in it.

So. I have not lost a million pounds since January. So what. Maybe that was unnecessary anyway. I might have changed measurements but don’t really know because I have been focused on other priorities, which is the best part of a hiatus. What is certain is that I am a bit stronger and way more flexible than I was when I sprained my ankle and had to halt marathon training before it really began. I feel sleeker overall (same weight, more muscle) and more energetic for sure. Having worn a Fit-bit for a few months, I know what times of day I am most tempted to be lazy; and by tracking my food scrupulously I know when I am most likely to eat junk and what that junk is (it rhymes with Florzilla Quips.)

yoga with klaus

With all this glorious perspective, that custom blend of self-pity and frustration is so silly and unwelcome. The progress I have made is more emotional than physical, anyway; so maybe it will be more long-lasting. I wish the same for you, if you need it.

Okay! Happiest possible Monday to you. Thanks for listening, and I hope your goals and methods are serving you really well, with so much love.

“I really don’t think I need buns of steel.
I’d be happy with buns of cinnamon.”
~Ellen DeGeneres
XOXOXOXO