True Political Engagement

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Today is the day that Scotland decides on its future! While I am very disappointed to not have the right to vote, I am thrilled by the level of political engagement taking place; people are discussing what they want from a democracy with their friends, family, neighbours, teammates, and colleagues. A friend wrote about this engagement.

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Honey and I went to the polling station this morning just after 7am and it was busier than I have seen it at that time for previous votes and elections. This makes me proud. I have also felt proud to see people on Scotland show passionate patriotism. I do not mean the ‘patriotism’ shown when Scotland’s rugby squad is playing or any other sports type patriotism which is generally the strongest sort displayed, but real discussions and beliefs that Scotland could be better (regardless of the outcome) and that it is our duty to drive that change. Pride in the country, what it is and what it could be. In the past decade I’ve lived here, I have never seen such a high level of pride in this nation coupled with the crucial belief that what citizens want to see is valid and worth acting on. I hope that this is the start of a more engaged society because it makes me proud and I believe that it can take us far!

Our Yard Was Web Bombed

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This is the scene we woke to this morning, a yard full of spider webs as far as the eye could see! Most of the time, I couldn’t get my camera’s focus spot to work on the webs so these are mostly full manual focus with much to be desired but it should give you an idea!

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(I should have moved some of the clothes pins!)

Geocaching

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A few weekend ago, Honey and I tried geo caching. We read clues, wandered around Stirling looking for them,and saw the space around us–in the beautiful early autumn warmth- in new lights and with reawakened eyes.

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We’re headed out this weekend to see what else we can find.

Weekend Joys

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This weekend, when my friend came to drop off these awesome and gorgeous children, she handed us a bag of plums and a dozen beautiful eggs from these lovely ladies.

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We spent the day with four kids (our neighbour came along too), enjoying wonderful fall weather at two parks, in our back yard, and around the campfire. When our house was silent once more, Honey and I headed back to the fire for an evening watching the dancing flames.

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New Eagles Hoodie

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In the spring, along with my Project 333 focus on my wardrobe, I realised that I had stopped wearing my current hoodie. It was grey and so it just didn’t give me the lift I wanted on dull days and it sat shorter on me than when I first got it. I thought that it was time to move on. Since it was from my university here, I thought that my little sister might like it so I passed it on to her when we were over visiting. During a trip to a charity shop in the US, I focused on looking for the tank tops/ singlets for Honey that we went for and also looked for a hoodie for myself. In the back of my mind I thought that it would be nice to pick up one with a Philadelphia sports team, but found myself looking for green, blue or purple. As we were drawing our shopping to a close, I thought ‘well, maybe I’ll find a hoodie somewhere else’ and I wandered to the men’s section (I usually look in women’s, juniors or boy’s) and saw a green hoodie.

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I saw that it was also an Eagles hoodie and quickly took it from the hanger to try on, thinking that it would be too big. I scrambled to a mirror and tried it on and the moment it was in place, I let out an audible ‘yes'; it fit perfectly, is very cosy, was in great condition and cost $3! On top of that, what makes me love it, is the fact that it is within my colour palette and is a reminder of my PA home. After wearing it for weeks, and finally looking at a photo of the hoodie, I see why it was barely worn and in the charity shop: the NFL logo is crooked. Not that I care one bit, but I think that may have helped me score this beauty considering the ones I was using for inspiration before our trip cost at least forty bucks. All in all, I feel properly prepared for the fall now that I have a warmer layer to cheer on my home team from afar (read: not watching a single game but being happy to know that the season is happening)!

August Garden Update

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In our garden, some things are slowing down (we took half of the pea plants out last week because they hadn’t flowered for weeks and were dying back), others are in the middle of their production, and others have now gone to seed. The sweet peas have all ‘podded up’ and the calendula is still flowering alongside the seed heads. I didn’t use any flowers this summer because I was focused on ensuring that we had enough seeds for next year but they were prolific flowerer and seeders. Since I’ve already tucked at least a pack of calendula seeds away, I may make some calendula tea soon.

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The chard is having mixed success, with some plants taking off and others staying quite small.

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I thought the asparagus peas were near their end a week or so ago and so we’ve let two pods stay on the plant to seed. Checking it again today, I see that they’re still flowering and there are a few new small pods on the plant so we may be going for a bit longer. Next year we’ll definitely plant more of these.

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The blackberries are producing like crazy, which is good because the wasps are certainly taking their share! This year, I’ve been able to pick a large handful at a time in addition to picking a few when I walk by. The blackberry canes that we trimmed off in the spring have begun growing again so although they didn’t seem to ever root, I’ve stuck them in the ground under the mother plant in hopes of more productive canes next year.

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The amaranth continues to reach for the clouds and is a couple feet taller than this photo taken earlier in the summer…

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and the quinoa is looking close to harvest. I check it every few days and, after getting a few seeds in my hand, I thought that yesterday was harvest day. I grabbed a paper bag and shook the top into the bag but only managed to loosen up a few bugs.

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The brassica cage that Honey created this spring has been a wonder. With strawberry netting, the bees and hoverflies can zoom in and out to search (fruitlessly) for nectar, but it has kept the butterflies out!

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Limitations Stop Us From Seeing Where We Really Are

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About two weeks ago, I went to my yoga mat to get reacquainted with it and my legs after our holiday. I stretched a bit then started playing in poses that made me feel happy, made me feel powerful and strong. Some of my absolute favourites are cat-cow, prancing tiger, prancing tigress, and incomplete camel. I did these until my smile appeared then continued to play. I was in shoulder stand and feeling strong and thought about plow. Since I learned early on in yoga not to push myself if something isn’t happening, plow became a pose that I told myself that I ‘couldn’t’ do and always sort of just held my legs there without trying.

I thought that it would be a good idea to try plow this time. Immediately, I told myself that I couldn’t do the full pose, so I should hang there like I do in class, with my legs sort of parallel to the floor. As I was up in shoulder stand, I responded to myself asking why the heck I didn’t just try to do plow. I asked myself what the worst thing that could possibly happen was because even if I fell, I was already laying down!

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As soon as I told myself this, and thought that I didn’t need to push myself into it, I relaxed and my feet fell to the floor. They were there. In the full pose. And you know what? It was only about an inch away the whole time. I just couldn’t see it and I doubted myself.

I laid in the pose getting the most wonderful stretch in my back and neck and feeling so freaking awesome. When I came out of it, I knew I needed to remember that what goes on in our head in yoga is a reflection of ourselves.

Tonight in class, my teacher had us practicing head stand and plow. When I tried and heard the clunk of my toes against the wooden floor, I giggled loudly with joy! This even made some of my classmates giggle too. My teacher came by during one of the next few times I was in plow and told me to push my feet and hands into the floor, lifting my bum into the air. That brought the stretch even further and made me feel amazing again. I even tried another pose that I had always hesitated on, realising that I’m so much closer than I ever let myself see.

Plow is my new reminder that when I doubt myself or am fearful of trying, I set unnecessary limits. These limits are irrational and hide from me how close I already am to succeeding! If I just relax and remember that I don’t need to push or doubt, I will fall into the things I am already on the way to doing.

Potatoes 2014

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Last weekend we dug up the potatoes and let them dry out a bit in the basket (covered with fabric, placed in the pantry). Today, we transferred them to the box for storage.

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I think potatoes must be one of the most satisfying things to grow. Seriously, we plopped a few potatoes into the ground in the spring, watered them when it was really dry, occassionally covered them with dirt, and then came back to see what we got. I don’t know if I said this last year, but Honey and I really enjoy digging potatoes. It is like we are digging for treasure, not sure what is going to come up but inevitably thrilled with what we do unearth. Potatoes may be worth growing just for that thrill alone!

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