When I was lee and little
My teen sister illustrated
(and wrote dainty lines) a book for me
Each image swept with
Movement and bulgy
A lady enjoying a day at the zoo.
First and foremost I remember
her solitudinal pleasure
on a day at the zoo
Second was the knobby knees
Her knobby-kneed thick legs
I will never forget
And her hair bounced giddily in
like my sister’s
Then a marmalade picnic and
Page after page of animals
Christened in soft colored pencils
My favorite was the elephant
delighting in the gift of peanuts
On that day I knew the elephant
Was my spirit animal
And it still is
This week the idea came to me to start noting odd things that make me very happy, in case I forget them when I’m in a bad mood (another of the many things I feel the need to journal). Apart from the obvious, like spending time with family and friends, so far I’ve remembered two things that make me very happy: decluttering and visiting plant nurseries, the latter of which can also get expensive if I’m not careful!
Today I went to our local Raska Nursery in Broken Arrow, my favorite place to shop for plants, and found a beautiful little blue juniper evergreen to replace the evergreen that died in this last winter freeze. I was advised to plant it a bit raised because we have a lot of clay soil in our region and if you plant trees too deep here, they can’t drain well in the clay soil.
In other news, my little tropical/succulent garden is doing well. The tropical plant is flowering like crazy in our rainy, hot summer! Some of the succulents are starting to form new buds, too.
I’ve also planted about 100 watermelon seeds in the backyard raised beds and I think all of the seeds sprouted and they are growing fast! On dry days I mist the garden for about 20 minutes and they’re thriving! I hope we have lots of wonderful watermelons soon!!
Lately I’ve been having fun making these Mermaid Pride rainbow jar candles for the shop. There is something so satisfying for me in making different candles: choosing the wax and scent combinations, pouring the warm wax, and having a physical item as a result of it. And there was more of a learning curve to making these colored layers than I expected; I went through several jar candles before I got it right! But each one gets better with practice and I now have some up in the shop. They come in a sweet, crisp sparkling grapefruit scent.
If you want to pour your own rainbow candles, here are three important tips I learned:
Don’t pour the wax if it is too hot, or it will melt with the other colors. I keep my wax on a low-medium setting on the stovetop.
Don’t let any wax drip or splash on the sides of the jar, because the drips and splashes will be visible after the next color pour. It took a little time for me to learn to pour without splashing. If you do splash, you can clean it up between pours.
Don’t let the wax in the jar cool too much between pours, because if this happens, wax in another color will slide down the sides of the cooled wax in the jar and it will look very messy. It took me several hours of sitting and waiting to get all of the colors in just right, and not letting the candles sit overnight between pours because they would cool too much.
A new journal means a new beginning, pristine clean paper, ready.
This is a new journal my daughter gave me today; she is the kindest soul and she knows I love journals ❤️ Ever since I was young I’ve had a compulsive need to scribble down plans, poetry, moods, stories, and anything else that comes to mind. Most of this stuff gets tucked away and lost, never to be seen. My silly haikus are a way for me to creatively express a fleeting feeling or thought, and this is my concerted effort to share more.
Two weeks ago I bought six plants for the succulent garden, and this morning I went back to my local Ace to shop for more, and saw the six-packs of succulents were on sale for $3.50! So I bought another pack and planted them today. The soil in our yard is pretty dense, so I also bought coconut peat potting mix and pebbles to mix into my succulent area for better drainage.
I tilled the soil a bit, and then placed the coconut coir peat potting mix blocks in a circle around the central tropical plant. Then I planted my six new succulents around the last six I planted. After this, I soaked the coconut coir blocks to loosen the soil, then spread them around all of the plants. I had bought a small bag of pebbles so I just tossed those around the garden and mixed them in with the coconut coir for extra drainage.
Coconut coir comes from the husks of coconuts, and when used as a peat, it has several advantages:
Makes dense soil more breathable
pH neutral so it quickly adjusts to any type of garden
Absorbs moisture and slowly releases it to plants
I love coconut, and use it as much as possible. In fact, all of the soaps in my Etsy shop are made from coconut oil and coconut oil/coconut milk combinations. I hope my wonderful little succulents love it, too!
In April, my sister and I tried something new, a fast, and we were extremely exciting during the planning phase! Our original plan was to last for five days and nights, consuming only liquids. We allowed ourselves one coffee with cream each morning, but other than that, no soda or alcoholic beverages, only tea, and our newfound fasting friend, Suja (this is not an advertisement). Apparently Suja makes an entire line of fasting and cleansing drinks, and you can even have them delivered with a plan if you want to go on a full swing Suja fast. We didn’t want to spend a lot on this new adventure, so we simply bought a small variety of them at the store, and also got teas and V8s. After day one I told my sister that I felt great! And I did feel lighter and full of energy on day two. We were also excited to find that we had also each lost 2-3 pounds since the previous day! All of this was wonderful until the 48 hour mark, when I came downstairs feeling dizzy, at which point my sister told me I was white as a sheet. I grabbed a handful of peanuts and that tied me over until the next day, when I resumed my usual eating habits.
I think we probably went overboard from the start, but I’m not ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. A recent series of strange happenings has made me want to give it another go. For one, this year’s allergy season has been exceptionally trying for me, and these spring days are too often Benadryl-laden. I’ve also felt a bit off ever since my second vaccination, but don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the vaxxes. Then there was my knee twister… Who am I becoming??
The point of all of this is that I want to make a conscious change and see if it improves these odd health concerns, so I have decided to start a more responsible fast, and maybe make it into a weekly thing. I downloaded the “fastic” fasting app, which lets you choose time increments based on your level of experience, today’s fast will last for 16 hours, because I am a beginner 🙂 And it gives you a timer and biological updates along the way, which I find very interesting. Right now I am at the stage where my “blood sugar level rises.”
Tonight I am drinking Suja’s 20-calorie “Turmeric Love,” containing cleansing lemon, turmeric, pineapple, and passionfruit. The white quartz crystal pictured here was one of this year’s Mother’s Day gifts from my daughter, and it represents cleansing and healing. I have several different types of crystals that have different meanings, and I love having them around me, both for decorative purposes and their meanings, and I keep them on my most used tables and desks.
I enjoy bringing the natural structure and beauty of crystals into my home, and also use them as a reminder to be thoughtful of the qualities they are believed to possess. The first time I fell in love with the idea of having crystals in my home was when I first toured the Price Tower in Bartlesville, and saw a crystal paper weight on one of the desks. It was perfect.
Last night I went to the Tulsa Zoo Conservation on Tap event and got to see some of my friends for the first time in over a year. It was really wonderful but today my allergies are saying “no more of the outdoors this week, please.” Also, the garden calls but I must stay inside for now if I am ever to get better. Besides, today I got beautiful petunia colored yarn for the freezing February days in my temperature blanket, and Kazuo Ishiguro’s newest book, Klara and the Sun, so the rest of the weekend will be a cozy one of crocheting and reading.
Few things are as gratifying to me as spending a long weekend at home, which is exactly what I did for this Memorial Day weekend. This entailed planting some flowers, taking down the blinds and putting up new curtains, catching up on some crochet, and enjoying some backyard time with the dogs with the new fence that was built this week.
Tulsa’s 2021 deep freeze winter wiped out everything in the front yard except for the plants closest to the house, so I set out filling those spaces this weekend. I started with some pretty daisies for the pots, and a tropical and some succulents for our little circular “garden” area in the front yard. I spread a few of the succulents out in the hopes they will multiply on their own and fill out the area. I probably should have mixed some pebbles in with the soil for better drainage for the succulents, but didn’t think of it at the time. Perhaps that will be my next project.
Inside, I finally took down our old blinds and replaced them with curtains. It feels like I sprained my knee somehow while doing this; I’m getting old. I shopped around but always came back to Target’s super cute curtains – here are the owls I got for the kitchen window.
Another indoor project I worked on was my temperature blanket, which I really need to catch up on since I’m only on February 8th! This is a good project for me to do while watching TV, and the pets love it when I relax and crochet; they feel like they can settle down, too, and they nap around me, which explains the dog and cat hairs that are an inevitable part of this blanket.
Speaking of pets, I couldn’t be more excited to get a new fence in our backyard for several reasons, but most importantly so the dogs can run free and I don’t have to worry about them jumping the fence! My daughter bought them kiddie pools to celebrate and they loved it all!
Now it’s starting to rain and the plants are getting a nice shower 🌧️