Tag Archives: Water

Healing Garden

Well, it’s been just over a week since the cat died. I feel much better today than I did a week ago: I cry a little less each day. I planted a whole garden a couple of days after we buried him, and now the seeds are coming up. I go out to water them every day and I always say hello to his little mound by the cat statue.

In his absence, his sister, Samadhi (sah-mah-DEE correctly, but we’ve always said it wrong and accent the middle syllable: oh well), has taken up his old habits and sleeping spots. Not all of them, but enough for me to notice that her behavior more resembles YinYang’s than it did before. Which strikes me funny, because she’s never really liked him, nor him her. Not that I don’t have pictures of them sleeping together, but they did have a classic sibling rivalry going on throughout their lives. I’m sure she misses him in her own way. Though I think both she and their mother knew far before I did that he was on his way out of this world and said their goodbyes a long time ago. It occured to me later than neither of them had really spent any time with him at all in a couple of months, and it was odd for his mother not to tackle him every now and then and give him a bath. Something else I didn’t notice and am trying not to beat myself up over.

Back to the garden, though. I think I may have mentioned before that I’m planting a “Three Sisters” garden, the traditional Native American combination of corn, beans, and squash. You can use any vining vegetable, not just squash, so it’s filled with pumpkin, gourds, cucumber, squash, melon, and watermelon. I have several seed varieties of midget melons, which will be perfect for our three-person household. The plans I’ve read call for planting the vining plant seeds in groups of three, and vining seeds are usually planted three at a time anyway, so there are three groups of three in each area. Some of them have three different things growing out of them! Or will, anyway. So there will be about ten different things growing out there, hopefully, and not too much of each thing, so we won’t have to worry about wasting a lot of fruit.

There are also four kinds of beans and two kinds of corn growing. There’s some colored corn, like you can get in the fall, and also broomcorn, which should grow in a bunch of different bright colors and can be tied into bunches for decoration. If there’s enough, I’ll be gifting some of that to my friends. I’ll be gifting *any* leftovers or extras to my friends, for that matter. Anyway, the beans. Two bush varieties and two climbing varieties. One of the bean varieties is called “yin-yang” because they’re black and white swirled together. I thought that was fitting. ūüôā The others are “dragon’s tongue”, pretty purple beans; Hidatsa, a brown traditional Native variety; and “mother stallard”, a red-and-white speckled bean. Two of them are for drying, the others for eating fresh.

I’m very interested to see how this garden patch turns out! I’ll be posting pictures as soon as there’s anything to take pictures of. Elsewhere in the garden, the Mediterranean herb patch is growing extremely well. I’m already pruning back the various oregano plants so they bush instead of sprawl. Next year I bet it’s wall-to-wall oregano and thyme at that end of the raised bed. At the other end, the rosemary, lavender, and Mexican tarragon are all doing great. I’m pleased to be successfully growing a rosemary plant! And it will *stay* there. I’ve killed them before by trying to transplant them. They just don’t like it. I’ve also killed them by overwatering them. All three of those plants will thrive in poor, relatively dry soil with infrequent watering and fertilizing. In fact, they prefer it. So they’re at the other end of the garden bed where they’ll get less water than the rest. I’m also eager to see that end bush out nicely. And today, I got a blood orange tree! ¬†I *lovelovelove* the way citrus flowers smell. ¬†I’m *so* looking forward to it blooming and making oranges for me.

Got back to work on Tuesday. There were many emails awaiting me. I spent most of my shift just catching up. The next day I went to a social media marketing seminar, which sounds incredibly boring (and was for a couple of hours: I know how to use Facebook better than most people already), but gave me a lot of information I can use at work. That seminar combined with another about non-profit marketing strategies and a book about non-profit sustainability gives me a whole lot to work with in terms of better promotion of the school.

I really enjoy my job. I haven’t really enjoyed a job since I worked at the bookstore way back in the mid-to-late 90s. I’m quite passionate about books and am also an organizing nut, so things like the Dewey decimal system and bookstore sections get me all hot and bothered. It was very hurtful to me when politics and personal drama seemed to overtake the mission of the store¬†and I eventually had to move on. I’ve been looking for something that really fires me up ever since then, if not in exactly that way. I think I have it now and hope I have the privilege of staying on for a good long time.

Right now, though, it’s my day off. Time to resume wasting time on the internet. ūüôā


I’m learning something really damned annoying: I can’t drink anymore. ¬†At all. ¬†Not that it was a problem or anything like that for me, but I do enjoy a couple of margaritas or hard ciders every now and then. ¬†Not to mention I have a patch of mint in my garden that produces 3″ mint leaves just perfect for making mojitos. ¬†It was always something of a point of pride for me, coming from a family of alcoholics and being the only one who could drink and not lose my shit or become a raving lunatic (oh wait). ¬†These last couple of months, while I was being cautious, I retained my happiness that I could still enjoy a couple of grownup beverages without any adverse effects due to my medication.

I’m sad to say that is no longer the case. ¬†There are many things that will cause a rise in blood lithium levels, and booze is one of them for some folks. ¬†Like me, apparently. ¬†Really, the problem isn’t the booze. ¬†It’s dehydration. ¬†Every drug has an annoying Sisyphean side effect: lithium’s is dehydration. ¬†Dehydration increases the concentration of the drug in the bloodstream, leading to fun things like hand tremors and muscle twitches. ¬†I’m a karate student: I can’t have this. ¬†Which means not only do I get to do battle with my own brain, I have to hyper-hydrate and avoid anything that dehydrates me, whenever possible. ¬†Such as anything with caffeine or alcohol. ¬†I’ve also learned recently that if I’m craving a drink, it’s because my brain’s gone manic. ¬†Why I like to drink when I’m manic, I have no idea, but it’s a warning.

Now, the alcohol I can do without. ¬†The caffeine, however, that’s going to suck to do without. ¬†Plus, it feels like a kick in the shins after going through the trouble of quitting smoking a few months ago. ¬†Is this your way of forcing me to be the perfectly healthy human being I’m supposed to be, Universe? ¬†You could have just sent me a text, or an email. ¬†No need for all this physical drama, really.

Then again, I can be incredibly clueless and resistant to change, and perhaps I really will look back on all of this after a few years and see the good that it’s done me. ¬†I can envision the person I want to be and should be if I don’t want to suffer the same fate as my parents. ¬†I have to be the sort of person I’ve always made fun of to a certain extent, the more-enlightened-than-thou types that my fair city is unfortunately saturated in. ¬†Except if I want to tolerate myself, I have to leave out the self-righteousness and judgment that really has no place in that sort of lifestyle.

What does the healthy me look like? ¬†She gets up early and drinks some water (not tea/coffee), takes her meds, and does some meditation and yoga. ¬†Then she wakes up her daughter, and because she’s already been up for a while, she’s not instantly irritated by the normal stress of getting a child moving for the day. ¬†Then she eats and takes her vitamins and such (which are just as important as the meds, really). ¬†And drinks more water. ¬†Repeatedly. ¬†All day, every day. ¬†And she’ll know if she hasn’t been when her fingers start twitching and her legs feel like they have to run or they’ll explode. ¬†When she gets agitated, she has to sit her ass down and meditate. ¬†Right then, if at all possible. ¬†Or do more yoga.

That has to be my life now, as much as possible. ¬†Yoga. ¬†Meditation. ¬†Exercise. ¬†Meds. ¬†Vitamins. ¬†Water. ¬†Water. ¬†Water. ¬†I have to take care of myself in a way that no one else ever really has, even when they were supposed to, so as stupid as it sounds, I really don’t know how. ¬†Which is what makes this so hard. ¬†There’s still a sullen teenager parked on her butt with her arms crossed in the corner of my mind saying, “Fuck you. ¬†You want me to do what other people were supposed to do but were too fucked up to? ¬†You want me to do their job? ¬†Fuck you.” ¬†And I know I just need to fucking get over it, but I have to at least acknowledge her presence and tell her, “You’re right. ¬†It sucks and it’s not fair, but if you want to live, here’s what has to happen.” ¬†And hope she’s not too busy feeling bitter to do the right thing. ¬†And drink lots of water.