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It’s a brilliant day

Today, it is. The heat has decreased and the humidity torture is less depressing, as well. My blog posting gaps have increased, though, thanks to all kinds of unexpected issues. It is a time when I am aware of all things I still have to tackle and bring to some conclusion, yet, I don’t do anything here and there. The privilege of older age is that you can mentally sort through the urgent things and make a reasonable decision: there’s hardly anything that cannot wait for a bit longer. For instance, posting a new article which won’t be seen by that many anyway.

It’s a wrong decision from the point of being present on the internet, but a very beneficial from the view of general feeling-and being-well-aspect. Ever since we became billions on every social media site and every blogging platform, the importance of one single post lost its meaning. Life is not long enough whatever way you look at it. I’d prefer much longer stretch of feeling like in 35-50 period. I find that around 50 it was when I had still huge energy and motivation to fight every internet battle and to squeeze myself out like a lemon to grab attention. Over time, the need to be present everywhere has really lost its attraction.

Being present in moments which matter for me personally has become more important. Sooner or later, we all realize that there will be things which we aren’t destined to do, learn or pursue. Time limits our ability to perform everything at the same level of devotion and achieve the same level of success in all areas which appeal to us. It takes huge time to achieve adequate skills in any area nowadays. However, the abundant numbers of experts and people who do counselling means there’s too much advise about everything. 

Let’s talk about how-to posts. Mainly, there are 2 groups. The first group, usually, in technical aspects of using software, app, social media or blogging platforms, writing or drawing and painting tools are helpful. The second group is where the heading says “how-to”, but the article lists reasons why and immediately takes you to the button to purchase something. We already know why, if we are looking for the practical application of this new whatever it is. I’m really interested in finding examples of using a tool, a strategy, I want to see how it looks in reality, but that’s not possible. There are immediately ads and all kinds of offers to buy. Food takes very much space on the internet, as well, too much for me personally. I stick to the old and extra simple recipes, better yet, the ones which consist of a few ingredients. That’s also very beneficial for our digestive system.

Then there are the numbers articles: 10 things what to eat and 10 what not to, 7 ways to wear an outfit, 6 ways to relax, 5 ways to prepare a particular food and to exercise. Very often it is “how to be happy” in numerous ways. It’s usually a list of things which we all know, have or do not intend to have, do or do mind doing. It’s something which we are aware about, but we have a reason not to engage in it, or we are already mastering that aspect. This type of list provides with no discoveries. One advice can never suit all. The most interesting articles for me are about personal experiences, the diverse ways we live.

Today, it is a really brilliant day. Just with the right amount of heat and sunshine. With well-formed attractive clouds sailing the bright blue sky. With bees still working blooms and butterflies hurrying from one flower to another. With tomato branches almost touching the ground because of the heavy fruit. With fantastically orange and perfectly round pumpkins. I also saw hummingbird 2 times this year. That’s so cute for my location!

The summer has been too short as always. It was too hot, we had too much rain, it was too dry sometimes, too stormy here and there. And it will be definitely too cold in the winter. No perfect weather for us, and here I laugh a little. Our feeling of entitlement has spoiled us. I personally do not complain, I take summer over winter any time. The virus has had big impact on our life here in Ontario, as I suppose, in the place where you are at. We thought it will be a fairly swift battle and we would be done with it. Maybe you have lived as you wanted, but I here couldn’t. Restrictions are still all in place, except, there is no lockdown.

I have such insanely huge amounts of produce, I’m not sure what to do with it. We are giving away part of it to husband’s colleagues, sometimes to anybody who will take it. I am seeing all benefits of growing vegetables and flowers from my own seeds. These plants are very strong, they practically do not suffer from the regular plant diseases. It makes a lot of sense to take care of your own seeding material. Since I haven’t been anywhere, only at home (almost 2 years already!!!), I am attaching a few pictures of my garden. It can be enough, but dreams and memories take me to other places; where I have been, which I will visit and what I’m not going to see. Well, the Earth is small and big at the same time, just like this life: so uncomplicated and manageable one day, but absolutely stunning or overwhelming the next.

Have a good September which is just around the corner! Thanks for reading!

Spring: gardening for everybody

Waking up after a very long winter

We’ve got spring finally! It is the second spring-like day with sunshine and warm air. It feels so good!

I mentioned that in my previous posts: if you have a severely manifesting seasonal affective disorder, this is the time of the year you live for. This is the time when I wake up. All my vitals normalize: blood glucose becomes perfect, energy returns and mood goes up. This feels as if somebody opened a curtain to a previously hidden scene where everything happens. Life is beautiful once again.

The only sad note is the upcoming surgery in May. I am trying to work every day because I need everything done by that date: everything planted, watered and myself prepared. I could not walk for a long time after 2016 surgery, but I certainly believe I am much better prepared this time. I know by now that with the health care we have in Canada, the patient has to double-check everything. So, I have already prescriptions for post-surgery medications, I have a home-care nurse who never stopped attending me anyway, but it is going to be much more frequently. I usually cut my hair shorter because it is sometimes impossible and sometimes difficult to wash it.

Garden is awake, too.

Any place is good for gardening

This place is not what one could call a splendid living space. It does not have many of very necessary things to live easily and get chores done without problems. We do not have practically any storage and the place is also overloaded with my paintings. They are everywhere. I could fill up a few big galleries or at least sell some to be financially prepared for the post-surgery no income period. The wonderful thing is this garden, however. It wasn’t here before I arrived. I made it from scratch. I am good at making gardens and I have started at least some 10 of them, maybe more, because I moved a lot in Latvia and it is the fourth place in Canada. I always make a garden wherever I go. I do it always myself: prepare for hard work, find the best spots with the most suitable soil: less roots, good sunlight; get the shovel, remove the sod, and ahead I go. The rest is the easy part; digging can be a problem, especially with my previously broken joints and other fractures. It can be hard. I was walking around and working in the garden with infusion pump and its tube inserted in my vein the year before. However, I am extremely happy afterwards.

Gardening is a Latvian thing. I would say I do not know anybody back in Latvia who does not do some gardening: big or small. This means providing oneself with the best things possible: clean fruit and vegetables and also getting a lot of exercise in fresh air. In my opinion, that is the biggest plus: air smells like flowers, grasses and trees, sunshine, birds are literally pouring themselves out in songs, extreme beauty and such a pleasure to watch how everything grows.

Starting from seeds

I am seeding everything this year. I used to buy plants before, but it makes no sense. It is a lot of money, however, that is just one side of buying quite big plants. We did not have a good summer last year and I had to replant literally most of my garden. The plants that I bought at garden centers died off after I tried to rescue and revive them for numerous times, they got plant diseases and were doing simply bad. All plants I started from seeds, were doing extremely well, it felt the bad weather was not affecting these. I think: wherever money is made, something will be off. Basically, my own plants were much stronger and much more resistant to bad environmental effects. Therefore, I am starting from seeds everything.

How to place seeds in a seed starting container

I would advise to get some packs of early spring vegetable and herb seeds and put them in tiny containers in a very light and warm place whether that is already outside or inside. We seed one to tops 2 seeds per container. It can be difficult with small seeds, use plastic or metal tweezers. I do reuse all my seed starting containers from previous years (I have very many) or when I am still too short, I cut wrapping paper in longer slices and roll them around a small bottle or glass or any cylindrical object. Fold and press together the bottom and as you add seeding mix or soil, its weight will create pressure enough to keep the container just fine. It is ok to start in plastic containers (small yogurt containers or similar), but paper is better. Also: the parsley plants I started from seeds last year, survived winter and they will be just fine, so, I do not need new ones. They are already up. Chives are also up, although, it is just 2 days after freezing temperatures.

Nature awakes

Well, and the newborn rabbit had crawled out of the rabbit hole. It seemed it went back after a while, but I don’t know what to do with it because I will dig up that part of the garden, as well. It’s good I noticed the hole; otherwise I could accidentally injure somebody inside it. Even though rabbits, just like squirrels here destroy quite a lot of what I am growing, they are still so nice. What’s a little bit of lettuce compared to how nice they look! Squirrels can be nastier, but I discovered a way to plant so that they do not get to dig up roots. It is inexpensive and simple way and I wanted to sell this stuff after testing it last year because it is very safe, easy to apply and it doesn’t involve any chemicals and any substances, but did not get to that part.

Baby-rabbit looking for adventures

Everybody can do gardening

Gardening is so easy, absolutely everybody can do it. Think about the great healthy and clean things you get with a little bit of work! It is not a rocket science. Use common sense and planting instructions. Things like herbs grow on their own, literally, just plant or seed them. Choose the least sensitive plants at first. However, tomatoes and cucumbers are just fine if the plants are good quality and healthy and the weather does not do any absurd things. Good luck!

Therapeutic horticulture for realistic optimists: one step closer to good life

I would like to suggest implementing a few rewarding activities in our daily routine.

We can certainly find happiness within ourselves, but since we are also very social creatures, our happiness, feeling of fulfillment, pride, love, satisfaction with life and desire to embrace life as is, will quite often depend on relationships, appreciation of other people and interactions with them whether in a small family circle, in a larger social group or even global context. Therefore, we need a strong support. A strong something to hold on, or somebody who is always up to the challenge, who we can always rely on, who we can trust completely.

There is a person who we can always count on. This person is us. It can be extremely hard to make somebody else feel happy and satisfied with the current life settings if the situation is far from brilliant. However, it is practically always possible to make ourselves satisfied with life.

In order to avoid disappointments, I’d say we should

rely on ourselves whenever possible;

ask for support and advice people who we trust when we feel lost, and

always treat the situation realistically and appropriately. problems don’t solve themselves, we do.

horticulture find happiness in your backyard

Plenty of people suffer from pain, severe disorders, stress, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, mental disorders, obesity, diabetes, liver or kidney diseases, cardiac and vascular illnesses, post-disease traumas and simply fear from life once they have experienced an unpleasant treatment from somebody, bad situations and accidents or loss of and detachment from people who they cared about.

That is painful, devastating and overwhelming; and although, we tell ourselves to forget and live our life as if nothing ever happened, it takes time and huge effort to either start everything from new, or correct whatever we are able to correct, change and adjust.

horticulture flower therapy

After a very bad accident about 2 decades ago, I can hardly recall any single day when there was no pain. It can be extremely bad or just irritating, but pain is always with me; my nasty companion, never leaving me alone. Multiple surgeries and long treatments were the reason I got into complications. Quite honestly, it’s not a pleasure, even though nobody would notice any visible changes in me. It is tough because I am on a strict schedule which doesn’t allow for any deviations. So, what do I do?

I love life even with all its troubles, with all its restrictions and limitations. There are many. However, I choose not to focus on limitations, but my abilities, talents and rewarding things.

I am writing in my other blog how art can be an extremely useful tool for maximizing our potential and doing something valuable which brings a lot of satisfaction and fulfillment in our life. There are many people who attend my classes, I would not have met them without my love to art and teaching.

horticulture treatment for mental health

Many people do gardening, love flowers, plants and nature, and that is fantastic!

Gardening can mean many different things: gardening for profit, gardening to provide oneself or family with clean and nutrition-rich produce, gardening for fun and as a hobby and gardening as therapeutic horticulture. You probably have not heard that much about the latter before, but this means using your garden, balcony, backyard or any natural space for growing plants, vegetables, herbs, flowers and similar, and doing this all mainly for therapeutic purposes. “Hortus” means “garden” in Latin, and that’s why we call it horticulture (cultivation of a garden). Horticulture has extremely long history and it deals with multiple food growing, exploring and enriching, and non-food aspects, including psychology, design and even treatments.

One does not have to be a scientist to see how many beneficial effects gardening has on the person who loves it.

How could gardening for therapeutic purposes help somebody who is not a gardener and doesn’t want to be one, but would love to still enjoy being out in the nature?

horticulture grow your own nutritious vegetables

Beautiful and delicious

horticulture and health

We are spending enormous time indoors: in buildings and in vehicles nowadays. That is a huge part of our life. We have lost the connection with natural processes and we have forgotten that nature has and always has had a cure for everything. The truth is, we simply walked away from it being sure that chemicals will replace anything we need and technology will make our life a dream. That did not quite happen, and the easy life came at a very high price: epidemic numbers of incurable and difficult-to-cure diseases, damaged DNA and inherited conditions from which children suffer and will keep suffering as adults all life.

Most people have forgotten or have never known how that feels: to touch the soil.

Well, they should try that because the Earth has incredible powers, and it can do both: cleansing and re-energizing. Therefore, people who would benefit most from growing something or participating in outdoor gardening activities are first of all small children, kids, adolescents, elderly and sick people or those who suffer from mental conditions.

horticulture healthy herbs

Contact with soil, plants and flowers can be not only of huge aesthetic value, but it also contributes to everything we so badly want emotionally and physically: get rid of stress, sleep well without pills, become more confident, happy and satisfied with life by watching the growing and life cycle in the garden.

Here is what clinical research has found: therapeutic horticulture can help with

reduction of pain and stress, improvement of attention and focusing ability, decrease in agitation and anxiety, improvement of the quality of life;

gaining new skills and regaining the lost ones, improvement of memory, sense of responsibility and social interaction and many more depending on the person who needs some relief.

horticulture use it to be healthy

My beautiful garden: there is always only good news

horticulture flowers for mental health

How does the therapeutic horticulture work for me?

I do it mostly for pleasure and I simply must have a garden. I have always had one and have made numerous new gardens anywhere I lived, always from scratch. I take care about my flowers, plants and herbs every day and every moment when I can afford to be outdoors.

If I cannot walk or something else is wrong on that day, I can sit there and simply adore all shapes, colors and the natural perfection. The morning dew or afternoon heat, the mystic colors through foliage at sunset, the first berries or tomatoes: that is a source of endless calm, happiness and satisfaction. Being out in the garden re-energizes, takes away pain and cheers me up even in the worst days. I am drawing and painting my garden, flowers and vegetables, and garden becomes my art and inspiration. Well, it is an integral part of my life. It can replace so many things which I cannot do, attend or go to. I will return to this theme some time again because it is essential for me to share with others how much such simple activity can give us.

horticulture beauty and health

Beauty and health plus energy