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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Foggy Perceptions

Here we are blanketed in fog. Low temps for May in the Midwest. Waking up to the forties puts a damper of thoughts of gardening and playing outside. I stood on the porch and listened to the dripping leaves. It is wet. First thought I want to fret about the plants which desperately need sunlight and warmth. There is nothing I can do about the weather. Next.

Coffee and pen
Last week I began the practice of mindful doodling. Initially it was really challenging. As I learned to slow down on focus on the movement of the pen, I let go of my expectations. There are no mistakes but an opportunity to shift the design. Doodling at the start of the day opens my perception and expands my horizon.

While I loved fermenting - yogurt and sauerkraut - last year I discovered natural sodas fermented with a ginger bug. Once I got it going we had fermented beverages daily. I mixed the bug with teas and juice for a second ferment. As it started to require more attention (constant kahm) I drained the solids and added the bug to whiskey. Talk about tasty. Last month I decided to try water keir.

Making water kefir requires water kefir grains. In the store they cost $16.99. Before I buy anything, I ask first. (That was the initial title of this post - Ask First.) I have very few "friends" on Facebook and even fewer connections in real life. However, I am connected with someone who is connected to hundreds of others. That means I am too.

I met the fellow who offered to share some of his water kefir grains with me at the local urban gardening center. I arrived in time to have dinner at the member potluck. I am a member but received no notice of the gathering. I am rarely social beyond my online connections and this was a fabulous opportunity to connect with others who garden, ferment, and live closer to the earth. Besides the water kefir grains (I offered a hat I knitted in exchange), I learned the gardening center delivered compost to gardens. Boom! I thought.

Their price was cost prohibited ($50), but the place where they get compost is very inexpensive. My son and I loaded his car with 10 trash bags of compost for $12.80.  It sells for about $4 for 2 cu ft in three stores in town. BOOM!

It is worth the savings to ask first. Check with connections on any and all social media. Connect with local free-cycle groups. Craigslist has a free section. Neighbors - they can help. Thrift stores, local interest groups, friends, and family. Whatever you need, it is probable that someone wants to share. Allow others to be a blessing to you.

That brings up to art. The three year old and I wandered over to the big thrift store. Last week we picked up a popcorn tin filled with crayons, pencils, markers, and color pencils - for free. It made a great sorting activity. Yesterday we made this creation.

Holding  the heat gun, JP proclaimed, "This is amazing!" Yes, it is. Not only melted crayons, but the time, space and attention to make it happen.

I'm here, living blessed.

Doddle away...