Tag Archives: lifestyle

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. 

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

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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. 

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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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The Balance Between The Bright Colors Of Humor, Serious Issues Of Identity, Self-loathing, The Possibility For Intimacy And The Love That Is No Longer Necessary.

“I hate solitude, but I’m afraid of intimacy. The substance of my life is a private conversation with myself which to turn into a dialogue would be equivalent to self-destruction. The company which I need is the company which a pub or a cafe will provide. I have never wanted a communion of souls. It’s already hard enough to tell the truth to oneself.”

― Iris Murdoch

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24/7

Some days, 24 hours is too much to stay put in, so I take the day hour by hour, moment by moment. I break the task, the challenge, the fear into small, bite-size pieces. I can handle a piece of fear, depression, anger, pain, sadness, loneliness, illness. I actually put my hands up to my face, one next to each eye, like blinders on a horse.

~Regina Brett

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TGIF

It’s Friday and I don’t know what to do. Last Wednesday was mother’s day Ascension Day, therefore, National Holiday. My son decided to bestow on us a royal visit fresh from a month holiday all over Italy where he was canvassing for an ideal place to buy a house which he said I could inhabit if in case I would really go through with the divorce. He said he will never hinder my freedom since we will never be married. Nice to know I have some options. 

We ended up taking a very long walk of 12 kilometers along the coast. Far too far for my limit these days. The outcome is I was flat and out yesterday and just about alive today. I want to go to the shopping mall for no specific reason other than to buy a massage oil for my aching bones. I gulped down a shortbread raspberry tart (a big no-no for my gluten and lactose intolerance but what the heck) with real green tea in the hope of perhaps it could revive me but only succeeded to make me feel heavy and bloat my tummy. When I’m going to learn? 

I’m off to take a bath now to feel human again. Till next time and Happy Weekend!

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What Is Your Addiction?

I don’t have one.

I do have a fixation problem once in a while but it doesn’t last very long. For the moment it is succulents and cacti. It used to be scarves, then handbags, then blazers then shoes or pizza. My son’s poison is coffee. For D. anything sweet, in particular chocolates, but cakes and ice creams will do. He’s onto it too much that he hallucinates if he can’t eat any of those within three days. My Ex’s weakness is more lethal: alcohol. It’s a habit, a dependency, an enslavement it cost him our marriage and I heard that history is about to repeat itself. I hope not. I hope that he learned already his lessons but does leopard really lost his spots?

How about you? What is your addiction? 

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Door Slam

Many people might read this without having a clue what an INFJ is, let alone an INFJ “door slam.” However, INFJs and those who have been involved in relationships with them will understand exactly what it is.

INFJ is a personality type characterized by the Myers Briggs Personality archetypes. INFJs are believed to make up approximately one percent of the population and the initials stand for: introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judgment.

Out of all the INFJ traits, the “door slam” may be the most infamous. The reason is not due to the actual hypothetical door slamming, but because of what takes place up until it’s firmly shut.

When INFJs connect with someone, they give it their all, so if someone repeatedly takes advantage of the fact they have become emotionally invested, or if they are abused relentlessly, INFJs eventually decide enough is enough, and they will sever all ties. This can include blocking telephone numbers, social media links, and, in extreme cases, moving house and giving no forwarding address.

INFJs are tolerant creatures and are renowned for allowing people to treat them badly. They are compassionate, empathetic, forgiving souls, and they try to give people the benefit of the doubt and offer chance after chance in the hope the person will change.

Some INFJs hope that by slamming the door it will make the other person realize what they have lost and trigger them to put in a huge and genuine effort to make amends and attempt to work things out. INFJs don’t enjoy drama or leaving on a negative note, so in many ways, the door slam can be a final chance for the other person to be jolted to action. Even if the relationship can’t be fully salvaged, at least there would be no lingering hard feelings.

Often, by the time the door has been slammed, it is “too little, too late” to make amends, as too much water has passed under the bridge. The INFJs want the other person to get the message that they have gotten to this stage, so they don’t try to walk back through the door thinking everything is okay.

What takes place following the door slam gives the INFJ all the information they need about the state of the relationship, friendship, or family dynamic. If silence follows, the INFJ will just keep on walking without glancing back.

The reason INFJs get to this place of strength is that they grieve and mourn the loss before they actually lose the connection with the person. This makes it far easier for them to accept that the relationship they thought they had was based on an illusion and what they thought they had didn’t actually exist.

INFJs are introverts, which means they internally process much of what goes on around them. Therefore, if they do not feel emotionally safe with someone, they may not openly express what they are thinking or feeling.

Instead, INFJs will figure things out in their own time, in their own way, and make decisions that may appear sudden and shock those around them. However, at an internal level, the decisions are far from sudden and are usually the results of days, weeks, or years of deliberation.

Before the door slam, INFJs usually give out numerous warnings and let whoever is involved know that they do not find their behavior acceptable. Door slams usually happen when an INFJ has distanced themselves after being repeatedly and relentlessly hurt by someone, and most likely when they do not feel the other person is willing to make any effort to change.

Therefore, when an INFJ is done, they feel liberated and lighter, and they swiftly move forward. They may remove all reminders of the past and appear to others, or the person they slammed the door on, as though they are cold and calculated. However, they only reach this place if that person has continuously been cold-hearted with them.

INFJs are not the types to make demands upon people and tell them how they want to be treated, or how they should, or should not, behave, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. They hope that if someone cares deeply about them, their actions and words will reflect how they feel.

The trouble here is that because INFJs are highly intuitive and read situations well, they sometimes forget that not everyone has this ability. They may expect people around them to be mind readers and to analyze situations as intently as they do, and when they don’t, instead of offering clues, they might close off contact. Although INFJs are compassionate, it would serve them well to try to communicate as openly as possible and explain how and why they feel the way they do before opting out.

INFJs would do well to not allow the situation to get to the stage where they feel burned out, used, and abused. Although the door slam is done as a self-protection mechanism, INFJs can try to discern whether they are devoting too much time and energy to those who do not hold the relationship in the same high regard. Pulling back from relationships that are not mutually respectful prevents INFJs from feeling hurt and disappointed when people do not treat them fairly, or do not show them compassion or care.

Although the door slam sounds severe, INFJs are forgivers and may allow the person they’ve slammed the door on a place in their lives in the future, but that is only if they feel behaviors have changed and they aren’t going to fall back into the same unhealthy dynamics.

Sometimes the door slam only happens in the mind and heart of the INFJ, and they continue to remain in contact with the “door slam” person. However, a significant change in the relationship has occurred by this point, and the INFJ will no longer be investing the same time, attention, and energy into a relationship, and the contact will be limited to functional communication.

Either way, it is rare for an INFJ to entirely trust someone that they once slammed the door on again, therefore, the relationship will likely never be the same as what it once was.

Those who are in a dynamic with an INFJ can work out how serious the door slam is by observing whether the slam was done in haste and fury, or calmly and rationally. If it’s the latter, the likelihood is that the decision has been firmly made and there is little chance of getting back in.

INFJs are far more likely to slam a door quickly, and for good, when someone has hurt someone they love and care about. Sadly, they may allow themselves to be abused over and over, but they will not tolerate abuse of any kind when it is directed at anyone else.

~ Alex Myles via Relephant

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It’s That Time Of The Year Again

…to go on holiday away from everything and everyone, to have a longer me time and be in the sun.

By the time you are reading this, I’m already halfway to my destination. I left around 8:00 a.m. Two hours earlier than necessary but better safe than sorry you never know what could happen in between. Starting a vacation with stress is not a good thing so, better avoid it if possible. I have chosen to drive myself to the neighboring country’s airport because of an ongoing strike at our own. They say the situation where I’m departing is also far from ideal but I have to choose the lesser of two evils and I hope I have chosen wisely.

As usual, I will be gone three weeks and will not be able to post or read and answer comments because as always when I’m on vacation I don’t go online or take any gadgets aside from my camera, but I scheduled posts for my readers so when they visit they will not go away empty-handed.

This year will be different also because I will take three annual vacations instead of just one. One this Spring, another in Autumn and two weeks between Christmas and New Year. I don’t want to spend another jolly season in cold.

Well, bye for now and see you in three weeks. Be good! 

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