Welcome, September.

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Welcome, September!

I always love this month. September signifies beginnings; new notebooks and pens, starting projects, a change of seasons and wardrobe. September brings Autumn to the northern hemisphere, and Spring to the southern hemisphere.

Some random fun facts about this month: Band-Aids were invented in the month of September. September 19th is “Talk Like A pirate Day.” Ahoy, matey!…the poem “Mary had a Little Lamb” was published September 1st, 1830 (we celebrate this fact with a toddler in the house), and the very first comic strip was printed in an American newspaper in September of 1875 (source: Dixie Allan).

And for star-gazers, photographers, and those seeking to connect with the cosmos, September 9th will be the last supermoon of 2014.

Whether you have Spring flowers or Autumn leaves, wishing you a wonderful new season.

Tracy

Orange You Glad?

IMG_4917Hello!

With the change of seasons in the southern hemisphere, we are transitioning from Winter into Spring.  Some sparse green grass blades are pushing up through the soil, leaves are budding on trees, and color is seeping slowly back into a rather brown and beige-hued world we’ve known during the dry season. The temperatures are warming, and the ritual commences of taking coffee and binoculars outside in the early morning to watch the returning birds.

In Mbabane, August also brings gorgeous plump and heavy oranges in droves. One of my favorite colors, and fruits, is orange. This time of year, oranges are piled high in the backs of trucks and fill market stalls. I’ve been scooping up loads of them to bring home for eating and squeezing into juice. Our little boy knows how to peel them, and he likes taking a deep breath of the fragrant orange peel and says, “nice!”

I love the scent of oranges, too.

And today, I ate a tea cake made with real orange juice that was delicious, and the creativity in the cooking was my muse to start a new art project.

Do you have a creative muse or a morning ritual?

Wishing you days full of color and light.

Cheers,

Tracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tend Your Garden

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“Tend Your Garden.” This phrase keeps popping up in my life lately, in conversation, books, and in magazines. Tend your art garden, tend your soul garden (self-care), and literally, planting and tending to flowers and herbs. It seems appropriate this time of year, with Spring and soul renewal.

With Spring cleaning and busy schedules, there are so many thing to tend, but as my best friend reminds me, as they say on planes, “put on your own oxygen mask first, so you can help others.”  This is hard, sometimes, as it feels selfish to take time for hobbies when laundry and dishes are piling up like a Shell Silverstein Poem, but it isn’t good, either, when the house is immaculate, but the creative well feels empty.  My floors are always clean, so our little one can crawl and not get gritty hands or eat dust bunnies, but today, Mama needs some Mama time.

(Do you know this Shell Silverstein poem? It’s funny…

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would not take the garbage out! She’d scour the pots and scrape the pans, Candy the yams and spice the hams, And though her daddy would scream and shout, She simply would not take the garbage out. And so it piled up to the ceilings: Coffee grounds, potato peelings,… it goes on, but you get the point).

So, today, like Sara Cynthia Stout, I did not take the garbage out.  Instead, I bought a window box for the balcony, and filled it with baby seedlings of rosemary, basil, parsley, and lavender.

IMG_1209 Gardening is not my strength, but this was a simple project, and it felt good to touch the potting soil and smell the earth, nestling the roots into their new home. The contrast of bright green stalks against the black dirt is pretty.  I’ve watered and tucked them in securely, and hope nature will help them to grow.

And, to tend my art garden, I signed up for an on-line mixed-media art course with Jeanne Oliver, one of my favorite artists.  Whatever your week is like, may you remember to put on your own oxygen mask first, and tend to the garden of YOU.

Happy Soul Gardening.  ‘Til next time,

Starry

Blossoming Spring

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower... 
first line of a poem by British Poet, Dylan Thomas

April showers turned naked, leafless branches into gorgeous blossoms and  flowering, fluorescent green trees that show off their glory. Even on the grey days, green shoots push through the soil (and bravely force their way through concrete) to announce the end of winter.  Fat, heavy rain drops sit on petals and cobwebs, hydrating the earth. I am grateful for the abundance of beauty in nature.

This month of May, as petals open and the weather warms, may you shed any remnants of winter, feel lighter and brighter, and experience Spring with the wonderment of a child.

Our son, Ramsay, will become a one-year-old in a couple of weeks, and this is his first Spring. Taking walks with him brings me endless joy, as he observes and studies every detail of life around him. His reaction to a thistle reminds us to find fun in the little things. Enjoy this quick video:

Soul Food

The Groundhog was Wrong.

Late last week, with hopeful signs of Spring, I swept the deck, and put out the patio furniture and umbrella, anticipating warmer weather and sunny days. Alas, it was a bit too early, as there are inches of snow on the ground this morning. Cold weather makes me pine for hearty soups and stews.

Makes me grateful for internal warming with great friends and good food.  A Moroccan meal with friends in their inviting home recently has a special place in my heart, conjuring up memories of travel to Marrakesh a few years ago when I lived in London. Fragrant spice markets and the aromas of roasting tagine dishes were a feast for the senses.

Wishing you warming thoughts and soul-nourishing food on a wintry day. – Tracy