I’ve been thinking


I am a hugely lucky person. Things come easily to me. This is things, I am talking about.

If I want to plant a garden, it blooms for me. I am not scientific about it, and I frustrate experienced gardeners greatly. If one knows I am new to doing in the garden, or am planting something I have never taken care of before, they want to give me all kinds of advice. But I just say “I’m experimenting. I’ll take care of it”. When we were given dirt for our raised beds in the back of the property, nothing would grow. Several people decided to send some of it to Texas A&M for testing, paying for the cost, and while I donated a buck or two to them, when the word came back that there was too much phosphate and other matter, and wouldn’t hold the water, I was told I would need to buy some special sort of growing matter, and spray the plants regularly. Instead, I took some iron and zinc capsules I had and threw them in the dirt, and mixed it all up, with lots and lots of water. Now I have broccoli and collards growing, and ready to cut. That is because next week I will be going to Home Depot to buy starter plants and dirt to put in my raised garden, tomatoes, green onions, several types of peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and beets. In other words, salad. I expect them to do quite well for me.

I planted a small garden in front of my apartment – only those who live on the ground floor can do this – in a small triangle in front of my door. I planted flower seeds last summer and fall, and having heliotrope and alyssum growing. I planted two Norfolk Pines a couple of Christmases ago and they are doing lovely. I have Gerbera daisies and Coneflower (Echinacea), Greek oregano, rosemary, and lavender doing really well. Since we had a very mild winter, they are still growing. I put in five okra plants last summer, and got five okra trees from which I got lots and lots of okra. I cut them back, but expect them to come back up. So I just need to buy two or three plants to put in a couple of empty spaces where Marigolds and Impatiens did not survive the hottest of the summer.

If I want to go to an arts and crafts class (we are about to have a new one start in March), I am successful at whatever I decide to do. I took an art class once and did some work with oil pastels, some impressionist style art, and was complemented by the teacher who told me I taught him something about using coloured artists paper for my backgrounds. They are frameable, and I have been asked for one or two of them. I also use acrylics occasionally to do more modern-style art. I have two of them hanging on my walls. I was told by an artist to take off my glasses, put some paint on a palette, and just start daubing the canvas, turn it to the wall to dry for a few days, and then look to see what I have. It comes out rather fascinating – and good. I crochet, although I don’t do fancy work – never was interested. I do well with counted cross-stitch, and have several pieces hanging. I made a wreath for my front door. I just seem to have a knack.

I took writing classes a couple summers ago, and some of the things I wrote are printed in a book that can be bought at stores. I have a knack, though I don’t try to write conversations. I am not good at conversations, so I do better with life stories in essay form. There will be another writing class this coming July here.

I am not saying all this because I want to be a braggart. In fact, I have been told many times I have no talent, but when I put myself to it, people are surprised at what comes out of my imagination. But I don’t ply myself to any of these things. Sitting in my apartment, I am most likely to watch television and work crossword puzzles. My supplies sit and sit and sit. I recently bought myself a colouring book, but I have done nothing with it. No ambitions – or at least none I will act on. Lazy, that is what I am.

I am also very intelligent when it comes to book learning, and trivia, and retaining things in my head.

So why do I say this? Because I realize that most of the blogs I have written were written about something that I was not happy about – like what politics is going through these days. Or why liars bother me so much. I wish there was a way I could get over the little things like that, and just do the things that make me happy – that satisfy me. Despite all my talents, and enjoyments, I have had to go through psychotherapy three times to get over suicidal thoughts and depression, and am going to be seeing someone in the next week or so to help me overcome the anger just one person causes in me. I need to talk this through, and find a way to get beyond it. Perhaps when I have done that, I will have more ability to really do something with those talents I do have. Colour my colouring book; do a counted cross-stitch pattern I have had for a couple of years; take my paints and canvas out of storage and use them. I spent the money, I might as well make it count for something.

During my working years, it seemed like I managed to make time for things. Now that I am retired, and have time for myself, I do nothing. So I guess this writing is going to be a sort of spur to get myself going – perhaps my New Year’s Resolution. Quit letting the outside world get to me, and get to my artistic pursuits. One thing is certain, when I buy the things for the garden in a week or so, that will get me up and outside, and maybe that will cause me to come inside and continue with other things. I know the two classes, in March and July, will get me going again.

I should, after writing all this stuff, let you know that I am well aware of my many faults. The biggest one seems to be that I am not as sociable as I used to be, and I am absolutely no good at small talk. Living where I do, and not active in some of the organizations I used to be, like Celtic organizations and science fiction organizations, has taken me right out of activeness. I can sit and blame lack of money, and my painful knees, but really, those are just excuses, not reasons.

Just musing. And writing down all this stuff.

Carol Stepp
Austin, TX

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About carolstepp

Music is about the most important thing in my life, and I follow a large number of musicians, particularly Irish, Scots, Classical, Crossovers of any of these. I was writing a blog about Celtic Thunder regularly on MySpace, and now I have left them after a year, and will start writing my blogs here. I am 70, retired, living on Social Security, and have a lot of social network fans.
This entry was posted in Mental health, Other media, personal thoughts. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to I’ve been thinking

  1. Bex says:

    HI Carol! I like the way you muse along down the page. It feels a bit like you might be sitting in the same room as I am- chatting away, sharing some of your interior monologue. Makes me feel a bit like I’m “in”.

    You mention that you aren’t as social as maybe you used to be. I feel that way myself quite often. I’ve a smallish group of friends but really only 2 or 3 close friends. I just don’t feel like wasting time on people and their bull. Also- I’m kind of grumpy these days- living in a VERY southern, very red state- it’s hard for a liberal girl to get along and play nice. Everyone assumes because I’m white and middle aged- that they know things about me and they are SHOCKED to find that I’m a bleeding heart liberal who takes exception to racist talk and won’t be quiet about it. They are even more surprised to learn that I am an atheist with no interest in their invisible sky wizard. “Tell you what,”- I like to say- “when all of you Christers start living up to your own religion- then I’ll think about giving your Baptist hootenanny a try. Til then- piss off.”

    Ok- that counts as a share then. Thanks again for your sharing- you are an interesting lady.

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