An Enigma

I have a landscaped beautiful garden in my suburban home. Though it is done by a professional, I can’t help adding my personal touch to it, making it the cottage garden I adore and love but on a minimalistic side. There are still lots of blooms, but they are contained in specific spaces. The landscaper planted few key elements in clumps like Hydrangea Macrophylia, Spiraea Japonica ‘golden princess’ Some Buxus clouds by the front door, Choysia Ternata on the side gate and pachysandra terminalis as a ground cover. Oh, there is a lone  Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ at the front. There are also few trees suited for small-ish gardens like Cornus Kousa, Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ and a couple of Acers and three others I can’t recognize. I added a lot more since then. There is a Hydrangea Petiolaris climbing on three poles by the right side of the house and a huge pergola at the very back of the garden covered with Wisteria. Directly by the kitchen door, there is a kitchen garden with three small pear trees and five different sizes of wooden vat planted with Mediterranean herbs. There are Lavander in some corner front and back, hardy Geraniums I can’t kill no matter what, a border of roses and one Hydrangea Quercifolia. Ah, I remember there is a large clump of Liriope muscari ‘Moneymaker’ also, and that was it.

The first thing I did when we moved to the place is to rip out the expensive real looking pseudo turf by the bay window at the front of the house and put a mixed border. You know… Delphinium, Asters; Monarda, Liatris, Phlox, Japanese anemone, ligularia dentata Desdemona and Othelo, Heucheras, Astrantia and such. I planted around the box clouds on the right side the same mix, they are under a small(?) grafted tree I don’t recognize. I think it is some Cherry Laurel on a stick, has white flowers with a subtle smell. The Buxus clouds suffered the heatwave this year so I dug them up and put them under the three towering Acers by the gate to recuperate and replaced them with a mixed border to mirror the left side under the bay window. This time I added Verbena, sedum (I doted them throughout the borders around the house too) Agapanthus, Rudbeckias, and Echinaceas. I added also some Valerian which seeded everywhere since then and bay leaves trees in the kitchen garden.

Did I mention there is an ornamental bubbling pond next to the circular terrace directly outside the bay french window in the living room? When we bought the place (which is a model/show house of excellent quality) there was only one kind of flower around it, Rudbeckia. I planted Echinacea, Verbena, some grasses, creeping sedum, and Crocosmia. D. Had his choice of water plants. No fish. I don’t do annuals unless they self-seed like Digitalis (by far my most favorite flower) forget-me-nots, Marigolds, Cosmos, and this year Hollyhocks because D. Not gardening not interested D. Decided he wants Hollyhocks. 

For all the beauty of the garden and all the hours I put beautifying and tending it we never use it.

I don’t know why.

We have a romantic bistro/Mediterranean inspired powder pink garden set directly next to the kitchen door by the kitchen garden in the view of the pond. There is a complete three-piece lounge set by the pond shaded by a huge umbrella, there is a big wooden bench under the pergola, and there are lounge beds around the garden but like my spare rooms in the house, they are museum pieces. Nobody uses them. I don’t go out in the garden unless to work, nothing else. Our front garden inside the first gate has a place for at least five cars but it is another lost space. Somewhere to traverse from the gate to the front door, that’s it.

I often wonder and ask myself why we don’t go out in the garden to relax. The only thing I could come with is the noise of the busy traffic outside the gate. Something we never anticipated when we bought the place. We heard the noise day and night and we don’t like it. Although there is a lot of space between our house and the actual road and there are double privacy hedges and trees still it’s not relaxing. If I can uproot the house and put it somewhere quiet I already did by now. I am willing to move one last time if I find a place that will make our current residence a second best but seven years of searching brings me nowhere and the longer it takes, the prospect of moving again doesn’t hold the same allure anymore for me. And my condition doesn’t make it easy either. 

I don’t know what we gonna do but in the meantime, I will enjoy (looking at) my garden from behind closed windows.

Next time I will tell you about a garden we do use. 

A Safari Experience

Last Saturday was a corporate family day. They do this event once a year. I like it better than any other social occasions like Christmas party and such because, for an introvert like me, it’s heaven. You can be among people you are not forced to socialize with. They hired the entire place for member only, free food and drinks and personnel enough to cater to your needs. What could be better than that?

This time it was a zoo they hired. I was skeptical. I hate animals in captivity and if they are there to parade for your pleasure, I hate it even more. That is why I don’t go to the circus or zoo. But I was pleasantly surprised. There were no cages, no fences, all natural open-air surroundings. What they did basically is to turn acres of acres into a jungle, then section off the place into different rooms, each designed for the needs of a particular animal. The division is so subtle it isn’t obvious and each section is so huge you can get lost. You will have an impression that the birds are free to fly around but if you look closely, high above are concealed nets to keep the birds where they are supposed to be. You can even walk among the vultures. They keep track of your movements but other than that, they are pretty docile. The enclosures and viewing areas are so cleverly designed that you can watch the animals without interfering with their privacy. They don’t even know you are watching them.

They named the areas according to the kind of animals you will discover in that specific place; what do you think of Rainforest, Taiga, Tundra and Savannah? Inviting, isn’t it? 

There is an amazing play area for the kids (including big kids) with a huge seating area to rest tired feet, also a number of small play areas dotted along the way.  And those little interactive sections throughout the zoo are also fascinating. There are restaurants and places to drink and have snacks. The parking area is big enough to accommodate thousands of visitors. All and all, it was a positive Safari experience. No wonder the establishment is voted year after year including this year the best park in the country.

I don’t know if I’m going to be back. I hate doing things twice and new surroundings are much preferable than something I’ve already seen. Besides, once you already have seen something, the novelty is gone. How many ways you can see a giraffe for example.

But I did learn something. The lesson I’m walking away with is ‘give something a chance’ who knows, like me, you could be in for a very pleasant surprise.

(Pardon any mistakes. Too tired and too lazy to edit today)

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All In A Day’s Work

“I am not a great artist, but I have always felt impelled to write. So each day I sift the sludge anew, going through the cast-off bits and pieces of observation, of memory, of speculation, trying to make something out of the stuff that didn’t go through the filter and down the drain into the subconscious.” 

― Stephen King, Night Shift

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Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind

I took everything too seriously. I analyzed things to death. I turned every word, and the intonation of every word over in my mind trying to decide exactly what it meant, whether there was a subtext or an implied criticism. I tried to recall the expressions on people’s faces, how those expressions changed, what they meant, whether what they said and the look on their faces matched and were therefore genuine or whether it was a sham, the kind word touched by irony or sarcasm, the smile that means pity. That is what I would often be thinking and such thoughts ate away at the façade of self-confidence I was constantly raising and repairing.

― Alice Jamieson

writing

Today I’m Alice

“When the black thing was at its worst, when the illicit cocktails and the ten-mile runs stopped working, I would feel numb as if dead to the world. I moved unconsciously, with heavy limbs, like a zombie from a horror film. I felt a pain so fierce and persistent deep inside me, I was tempted to take the chopping knife in the kitchen and cut the black thing out. I would lie on my bed staring at the ceiling thinking about that knife and using all my limited powers of self-control to stop myself from going downstairs to get it.” 

~ Alice Jamieson

insomnia

 

Scattered Thoughts Of Sleep-Deprived OCD

When I started blogging (not here, somewhere, wrong platform good for learning) I only use black & white images for that time, colors terrified me. And the contents of my blog page were darker than the images I cringe whenever I remember it. Which I cannot understand because at that time I was still more or less alive and actually having a life. Those were the days also that I could not type nor incorporate the word ‘love’ in any of my articles. I just could not do it. I tried though. But the feeling is akin to trying to eat something you utterly despise and trying to swallow it makes you want to vomit violently. Even now I have difficulties in tackling the topic. I just don’t do love, I don’t do happy.  


It’s been in my mind for quite some time now, experiencing it first hand with my own family and seeing it happening almost everywhere I cannot ignore it. Pleasing or trying to please both or one of your parents is what I’m talking about. It seems that most individuals are trying to live up to the expectations of their fathers or mothers. My son spent most of his teenage and young adult life trying to prove to his uninterested in him father that he’s worth loving and someone to be proud of. Though they are both sensitive to my opinion, my daughter has an unhealthy competition urge towards me to the point of she hates everything that I am. D. who has a model childhood experience and fairy tale existence has an incomprehensively tense relationship with his own father he avoids seeing him if possible. And if they do meet, they try to outdo each other in their achievements, social status, financial aspects, and material possessions. I don’t understand.

Why, Because I never had the urge to prove myself to anyone. Not only to my own parents but to anybody. I don’t know which is healthier psychological wise: Their confusing behavior or my nonchalant approach to it. But like most of my attitudes and actions, this particular practice of mine is also not deliberate. In fact, I might continue to overlook the difference if I wasn’t born perceptive and has a habit of overanalyzing everything I noticed, trying to understand whatever it is so I can disregard its importance in my existence or add it to my huge collections of points to ponder and something to learn from. Any which way I think it’s not normal. But what is normal, especially nowadays.


I think I’m getting better. I can sleep now with the door open. Not every day and never in the night but early in the morning when I tilt the window for ventilation. Speaking of tilting the windows and doors, I can leave them open now during the day without thinking someone would get in and attack me. No, that would be a lie. In the back of my mind, the thought is still there but not quite so strong anymore not to do it. I can take a bath now too when I’m alone in the house. I still put a knife next to me but still, in my norm, it’s a colossal improvement. I hope I get there before it’s too late for me to care.


That’s my thoughts for today. Until next time and thanks for coming. 

breaktime

Somewhere In Between

I sit beside the fire and think 
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring 
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet 
And voices at the door. 

― J.R.R. Tolkien

 

staranime 2

To Understand

Yesterday I found an article that said something like this among so many other things:

“For countless women (and many men, too) it’s an abusive relationship: whether verbal, emotional, or physical. In many cases, it’s the most sensitive and empathic of us who end up in these relationships and are then left to cope with this aftermath.

In the hyper-informed and connected world we live in, we don’t even have to experience trauma first-hand to experience the effects of it. More of us are absorbing each other’s trauma. We are exposed to so much of each other’s pain and suffering through the news and social media that it’s actually hard not to be affected.

The other aspect of trauma that is being talked about more lately is inherited, or ancestral trauma. After all, energy can be passed on from one person to another, and if our mother or father, or even our grandparents experienced something deeply traumatic, it’s not uncommon for us to still be carrying some remains of that energetic baggage, generations down the line.”

Afterward, I thought: Is there still hope for someone like me who didn’t only suffer traumatic experience during my childhood I had to endure the same experience throughout my marriage too. About inherited or ancestral trauma there is no hope in that area as well since I know from stories I heard when I was growing up that my father had been mentally and physically abused by my grandfather. There is even a talk about a curse on his side of the family and for what I have seen, I have no choice but to believe it. How else I could possibly explain the incest, the blood betrayals, the violence and the poverty that stubbornly clinging to every member of the family in spite of everyone trying to outrun what seems to be inevitable.

I know it’s hard to believe in this day and age especially if you are an outsider and came from a totally different upbringing, education, environment, belief, and culture that there is such thing as warlocks sorcerers and witches. Heck, I don’t believe it myself even though I witnessed some proofs of the claim but people say my family from my father side are paranormal practitioners of magic, black magic, and all possessed a magical ability so strong because it is hereditary and pass through the bloodline whether the recipient likes it or not. It is imbued in our genes. We are all natural born witches. And with the power comes all sorts of consequences, one of them being dirt poor no matter what. It had been said that a woman, one of so many wronged by my sorcerer grandfather put a powerful curse on the family and to make it irrevocable she paid it dearly with her life.

What is the curse entails?

According to the family, anyone who carries the bloodline will never be happy, rich or peaceful. No one will have a successful relationship or marriage. Madness will be a common affair as well as incest and violence and blood betrayal will be rampant. To my knowledge, no one escapes the curse yet. Not even me who managed to flee across the continent. I pity my children and all those innocents who have to pay for the sins of the fathers.

You might say: Is there really a curse? Life is what you made it right? You made your bed so you have to lie in it. You are the sole architect of your own destiny and all that yada-yada-ya. I believe it too, but it is difficult to ignore what is in the front of your eyes. I saw and see people trying to alter their course, I’m one of them but look at me, look where I am and what a mess I made of my life. True I am more blessed than some of us but only in material aspects. Rich, I am not. Deep down inside I am still a prisoner of my past and my family heritage: Sad, unhappy, betrayed, abused and teetering on the brink of insanity.

Or I could be imagining things. Who knows…

DinnerDate

Calendar

“Time spins away like a mad spider’s web, cast open over the gulf of time and existence…the pages of the calendars tear themselves off the screen, like in old movies. The pages flip past before we realize. It’s astounding! I never remember traveling this quickly in the past.”

Here we are again, another year is about to end before it could really begin. It seems like only yesterday when we started writing 2018 on greeting cards, personal agendas, and journals and look where we are now, Christmas is just around the corner and Halloween is on the threshold following hard on the heels of Thanksgiving and after that, another year, a new beginning all over again.

What I have learned this year?

Well, after years of waiting for a definitive conclusion, I now have a clear diagnose of what is wrong with me. They say I have Fibromyalgia as a direct result of Ehlers–Danlos syndrome along with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Arthrosis and all the painful consequences of the illness. I have Celiac disease and Lactose intolerance and I have abdominal ulcer since I was sixteen.

I learned how to take care of succulents and Cacti. They are still dying on me on a regular basis but out of my 200 collections, only ten of them have perished due to TLC. One died today.

I also learned the importance and benefits of air purifying plants around the house. I suffer from chronic grass/pollen allergy the whole year through and I have a serious case of sinusitis. Since I have my green babies, I have yet to visit a doctor’s office. The only downside of indoors gardening is it is quite addictive. I found out that you can never have enough plants to satisfy your cravings.

What else I have learned this year?

I found out during my three weeks vacation in La Palma that I am not as daring as adventurous as I thought I was nor I love peace and quiet that much. Though my son said to me that the real reason why I don’t do any more risky endeavors is because I have already done it all before and it is long lost its charm since then. I blame it on old age.

I learned how to use make-up and dress up properly without losing sight of comfort which I value the most. I learned to budget and the importance of wants versus needs. I am still learning the art of minimalism in the true meaning of the word which means Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom that allows you to pursue purpose-driven lives.— Sounds great, right? Easier said than done believe me.

This year I discovered the value of learning to accept, forgive and love yourself. I hope to master the art of letting go of the past next year.

What about you?

Do you think that time does really fly?

Did you learn something new this year?

What is your hope for next year?

If you have the time, tell me. I appreciate other people’s stories.

Have a wonderful weekend and see you next week.

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