Lizards

Hello Everyone!

I am done hibernating and am ready to get back to this blog.  This is a poem I wrote over the winter, I hope you enjoy.  I am nervous about putting my voice out there, but what the hell.  I am getting bored with keeping my writing to myself!

Where are the Lizards?

The only lizards now are the ones running across my memory.

Their little bodies are asleep somewhere, curled up like dogs under layers of fall.

In truth, I do not know the way they sleep, or how, or if what they do can even be called sleep-

If I were more like Mary Oliver or even more like myself,

I would know.

Maybe in the spring I’ll wake up.

And like the Lizards I will unfurl.

I will stop distracting myself from being myself.

I’ll shop less, clean less, and I’ll un-busy myself with worries of the future.

Next winter I will write about the Lizards and

I will tell you exactly where they sleep and how.

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Buckwheat Pancakes with Cricket Flour!

Buckwheatandcricketpancakes

Making these pancakes was easy; taking a picture of them wasn’t.  Food photography is hard!  Anyhow, I discovered buckwheat and now I am in love.  Buckwheat is so nutritious and full of protein, fiber, and magnesium which we all could use more of.  Another thing going for is that it is low in phytic acid, so it is a bit easier to digest.  It’s not even a grain!!!  I had no idea.  To make them, I mixed together 3/4 cups buckwheat flour, 3/4 cups water, 1 big banana, and a couple tablespoons of cricket flour.  I used coconut oil and fried them in an iron skillet which makes them even better!  Next time I make them, which will probably be tonight, I am going to add more cricket flour because I was a little too shy with it.  Lastly, when you make these, use real grass-fed butter because life is too short to eat the crappy stuff.

The Simplicity of Honesty

 

I have been reading the “Exquisite Risk” by Mark Nepo and I took a picture of this chapter because I really want to share it with you.  This is one of those books that found me and his words are exactly what I need to hear right now.

I have done a wonderful job at physically simplifying my life.  I live in a bus, I share a car with my boyfriend, I have parred down my wardrobe, I cook and eat healthy food, I am able to create time for myself, and I garden.  Yet, the inner peace I thought simplifying my life would provide still eludes me.

As a girl, the characters I most admired were the revolutionaries, the warriors, the singers,  the teachers and poets.  As a young woman I tried to be these characerts.  I approached what ever I was doing with the desire to help people and the environment and while there is nothing wrong with that, I was pursuing that desire without being aware that I was also searching for something else: peace.  The kind of peace that can only come from being seen and recognized for who you truly are.  I struggle with work, because I don’t feel seen. I feel like a shadow of myself when I am there.  I realize now that when I feel like quitting work and running out the door, my real desire is to use such a bold action as  if to say to myself, family, friends, and community: “This isn’t me goddamnit!  Being a receptionist is not all of who I am.  I am Amanda.  I love being outside and getting dirty.  I am a revolutionary in my own way. My passion is homesteading and entomophagy, and helping people reconnect with nature!!!!!!”

Maybe if I can be aware of what I am searching for I can be more honest with who I am and what I want to do with my life.  If I am not searching for fame and just peace, how might that change my actions and life path?  How can I can satisfy my need to be seen without the grandeur of fame?  How can I see myself and honor who I truly am?  These are questions I will think on for a bit and in the meantime I want to practice noticing when others are just asking to be seen for who they are and honor them:)

 

 

 

 

Keyhole Garden Update

I made a beautiful mistake and I am so glad that I did because I learned so much!  When I was adding materials to my garden bed I didn’t pay enough attention to the carbon/nitrogen ratio, so now I am struggling to bring my bush beans back to their beautiful green color.  Plants need nitrogen to grow and when they don’t get enough, their leaves can turn yellow.  Nitrogen can be added in the form of green stuff like grass clippings, or urine, manure, blood etc.  I am currently using an amendment derived from dead sea birds and I am slowly seeing my plants regain some color.  I have been spoiled in the past with really great soil to begin with, so I don’t have experience building soil from scratch.  I am fortunate to have this opportunity because it gives me an appreciation for the complexity of soil life.  I am noticing that without the right balance, my garden is void of the variety of bugs that I used to see in my old garden and I don’t have mushrooms!  My plants are also not as big as I think they should be at this time of year.  I’ll keep trying and learning and let you all know what happens!

Image 7-4-16 at 6.41 PM

DYI MacBook Sleeve!

Why Apple can’t just include a sleeve with new laptop computers is beyond me.  They come fully charged and ready to go, but no sleeve. ughhhhh.  I had a difficult time finding a sleeve for my tiny MacBook Air, so I decided to just make one out of materials I already owned.  I ended up using an old shrunken sweater, two buttons and a rubber band and I love how it turned out!

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Drought Tolerant Polyculture Keyhole Garden

I never plant anything in rows, and have always had great success with polycultural gardening.  My gardens look like a wild mess, but this way of gardening helps maintain a balance between the the “good” and the “bad” bugs and weeds.  I planted lettuce, carrots, collards, alliums, turnips, parsnips, and a bunch of other stuff.  The idea is that when the lettuce comes up first, I’ll harvest the whole plant which will make room for other plants to grow.  Everything is planted close together, but not every plant has the same needs.  For example, lettuce is shallow rooted and carrots have long roots so they don’t really compete for space.  Also, the onions won’t be ready to go until later on in the season, so they won’t be needing the same space as plants that are coming up early this summer.

I am looking forward to another year of experimenting and learning more about polycultural gardening, and  I am super extra excited this year because I created a raised keyhole garden bed based on a design that has been successful in dry parts of Africa and Texas.  The basic idea is that most of the garden is composed of compost materials like wood, cardboard, weeds etc and has a wire mesh basket in the center for kitchen scraps which provide nutrients and moisture.  For more information here is an interview with Deb Tolman who is an educator and teaches others how  create these types of gardens: Interview with Deb Tolman) Here are photos of my garden and I’ll keep you updated on how it evolves.

 

 

 

A Bird Came Down

The other day I followed a little Chickadee down a path and watched him collect material for his nest.  I felt my humanness unfurl as I perceived the world as though I was him, but it was given back to me more whole and beautiful the moment he flew away.  It is our immersion with nature that makes us human, not our distance from it.  Here is a poem by Emily Dickinson that reminded me of the little Chickadee:
A bird came down the walk: