Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Four Agreements

My dear friend, Pia introduced me to the the Four Agreements this weekend. She lives her life by these four "rules". Four simple and powerful ideas from Mexican author and shamanic healer Don Miguel Ruiz's book The Four Agreements:

1. Be impeccable with your words: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

(This really hit home with me. How often do I speak ill of myself or get caught up in office gossip...too often, I'd say!)

2. Don't take anything personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

(Again, this is a huge one. If someone is having a bad day or not being kind, why do I think they might be mad at me?)

3. Don't make assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

(Well...you know what they say about assuming ~ it makes an ass out of u and me!)

4. Always do your best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

(Et, voila! Just what Mom always told me - just do your best!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Raised Bed

We have been digging up a portion of our grass to put in raised beds. It really bothered me to water the grass to keep it green when we could be using our precious water to water something we could eat! We have one other bed that we use as well. It provided all our our salad greens, herbs, etc. for the entire winter.

Jean Louis and I finally built our double 4x8 raised bed this weekend. I can't wait to fill it with veggies. So, along with 2 more 4x4s, we'll be set. We used redwood on this one and was sure to put the reddest part of the boards towards the dirt. If you want directions on how to build one, email me.

We followed the square foot gardening book and made a soil mixture of 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 peat moss. I also added a little manure and organic fertilizer. It was really hard to find vermiculite in San Diego as I needed the premium grade (course). Do not use pearlite or the other grades of vermiculite as they will not retain the water as needed.

This soil combination is supposed to cut back on watering as the vermiculite and peat retain water. San Diego is in drought conditions and this summer there will be a mandated cutback so this should help.

I'm so excited - it's planting time!!!

For San Diego Gardeners:
Per Sunset Magazine, Coastal gardeners (in Sunset climate zones 21-24) can continue to plant quick-maturing, cool-season crops, including chard, leaf lettuces, radishes, and spinach. Inland (zones 18-21), switch to warm-season crops such as beans, corn, cucumber, eggplant, melons, peppers, summer and winter squash, and tomatoes. In the high desert (zone 11), wait a few more weeks; frost is still a possibility.

Plant beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, lima beans, melons, peppers, squash, tomatoes, and other warm-season crops. Delay planting two to four weeks in the high desert (Sunset climate zone 11) where frost is still a possibility. Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company is a great seed source for less common varieties.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Poisson d'Avril

"April Fools" in France: When my husband was young, he and his classmates would play tricks on each other by taping paper or aluminum fish (poisson) on the back of each others coats or would hang a paper fish around a friend's neck. If you fell victim, the others would erupt in playful laughter. He also has fond memories of chocolate fish being sold at the local chocolatier. Not a bad tradition if you ask me!

The linkage between April Fools Day and fish goes back to the abundance of fish to be found in French streams and rivers during early April when the young fish had just hatched. These young fish were easy to fool with a hook and lure. Therefore, the French called them 'Poisson d'Avril' or 'April Fish.' Soon it became customary (according to this origin theory) to fool people on April 1, as a way of celebrating the abundance of foolish fish. The French still use the term 'Poisson d'Avril' to describe the unfortunate victims of April Fool's Day pranks.

It felt only appropriate to have a tuna sandwich for lunch today since the diet forbids me from indulging on a chocolate fish! I'm holding out for that box of Chocolates that will be sent from the in-laws in France to us for Pâques (Easter).