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Category: Beautiful Things

The world needs more beauty in it.

Warming weather means… PLANTS

Warming weather means… PLANTS

After that serious post, I want to write something with more levity: maybe something like help my brain is in serious gardening mode. The problem is that I’m no gardener! I used to have some success with plants, but lately it’s black thumb for everything I touch. But I won’t give up! Nor will an excellent grandfatherly fellow volunteer, who likes to enable my desire for green things. This January he enabled it by giving me this beauty for my birthday.

A baby Christmas cactus with a bow stuck in the dirt next to it.

Last year he gave me cuttings, but taking a vacation or two without someone to water them was a bad idea. I won’t give up this year, though. I have plenty of people to help me figure out what in the world I’m doing, and every time I tell someone what I want to do in a backyard garden, they nod sagely as if I’m making sense. Between the grandfatherly volunteer, a gardening friend, and a friend who’s a soil expert, and a friend who grew up learning about landscaping, I figure I have a good team of people to ask for help.

So a couple of weeks ago, my landlord floated the idea of a vegetable garden by me, and ever since I’ve been daydreaming about what to do and how to do it. I do think that my landlords are too overwhelmed to do anything with a vegetable garden, though, and I’d have to put some kind of fence around it so that their chocolate lab doesn’t get excited and tear up whatever I may plant. Neither of my housemates seem to have any interest or expertise in growing things, so it seems like it falls to me, the least outdoorsy of all of us, to figure out what kind of gardening I want in our backyard.

And I’m so on this. (Well, except for the part where I haven’t yet gone to the store to find prices for wood planks to make a raised bed and chicken wire to keep around the bed and talked to the landlord about what she thinks, and have I mentioned that I’m the least outdoorsy and also most disabled of everyone in this house?)

At least I have a team of people who like to talk about gardening with me!

When I last went to the garden store a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t leave without a plant. I bought a philodendron and managed to make it unhappy by forgetting to water it for a few days. Yesterday I finally got around to repotting it. Here it is in its nice new pot soaking some water up:

A newly potted philodendron plant soaking up water

Here it is today in its home in the window:

The potted philodendron in a window

It’s already perking up extremely well! Hopefully this means I did it all right and can move on to plotting a vegetable and herb garden in the backyard. Wish me luck!

Beating anxiety with fairy tales

Beating anxiety with fairy tales

On the one hand, I can believe it’s been over a month since I last posted. On the other, I never wanted to get this bad at posting. Anxiety has taken over my posting capability for the last month; instead of pushing through it, or acknowledging it so that I can get past it, I’ve hid from the online Tarot community and my cards.

There are some things I’m brave about, but facing myself is not one of them.

I miss it, though. I did a Tarot reading yesterday, and it amazed even me at the cards that came up. Tarot proves itself over and over to me, that it taps into something greater than we are. I miss that, and I’m still working on incorporating it into my life.

There will always be brain demons telling me I’m not strong enough, or good enough, or that I haven’t done enough other work to write blog posts, or that I’m a failure so I shouldn’t try. So here’s to beating those brain demons.

I recently opened a new-to-me deck of the Fairy Tale Tarot, and I’m thrilled with it, so I took pictures.

Pack of cards on the left and companion Fairy Tale Tarot book on the right

The Fairy Tale Tarot has 78 different fairy tales represented on each card. I looked to make sure that fairy tales from around the world are represented, and while it is heavily biased toward European fairy tales, there are a few sprinkled throughout from other cultures.

But let me take a minute to show you my beat-up childhood copy of Andrew Lang’s The Red Fairy Book.

A well-worn copy of The Red Fairy Book

Yes, folks, this book was new to me when I got it, and I have paged through it time and time again. It’s even got my childhood bookmark in it still. I almost successfully bought the rest of the books in the series, but my focus petered out as the stories seemed to follow the same patterns. This one was always the one I loved best.

So you might recognize that when I say I’m into fairy tales, I’m not kidding!

I’m sure you’ll be surprised to learn that I’m absolutely delighted with this deck. From the back of the cards, the evoking the idea of unlocking the door to a world of enchantment…

The Fairy Tale Tarot deck fanned out with the back facing with its antique key design.

… to the magnificent, detailed, and complex representations of each fairy tale …

Four sample cards from the Fairy Tale Tarot

… I know I’m going to get along well with this deck. I mean, just check out those angry trees doing their own Fae thing. And I have to hand it to the artist, Lisa Hunt, she also evoked some modern-day fairy tales in the cards. For example, in the top left of the last photo, does that not look like Lyra from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials? And wasn’t that trilogy a modern fairy tale in some ways? Other cards were reminiscent of Narnia, and I’m sure if you were a bigger Harry Potter fan than I, you’d see some of that too. Fairy tales are told over and over, and they change in their retellings: there’s something powerful about that, too, and these cards force me to consider the retellings as part of a great cultural mythos, as well.

The accompanying book also retells the stories in each card:

A sample page from the Fairy Tale Tarot of the Princess of Cups, telling the story of the Little Mermaid

Lisa Hunt combines the different versions of “The Little Mermaid” that I’m familiar with, and recognizes the commonality between all the versions is a sensitive, romantic young woman, a fitting Princess of Cups.

Check out the Nine of Cups:

A sample page from the Fairy Tale Tarot for the Nine of Cups

Cups, swirling imagery, more mermaids for the watery element—well done.

If you’re a fairy tale geek, too, you should check out this deck. I can’t get over the details in each card. They’re filled with moving stories, and they’re doing a great job of reminding me that it’s okay to take up the cards and try again.

Five Minutes of Magic

Five Minutes of Magic

I usually hate videos on the Internet, but I’ve been somewhat bored at work lately and easily tempted by makeup blogs. Most videos don’t impart any information that could just as well come through text and photos, so I still don’t enjoy most of them. This one, though, is absolutely better as a video, and absolutely worth watching. It made me tear up. (I rarely cry!)

What’s your five minutes of magic?

How to have a great Friday

How to have a great Friday

The company I’m temping at sold flowers for Appreciation Day today, which I didn’t quite take part in, as I am not making enough money to spend on appreciation for my coworkers. That said, however, apparently my coworkers were taking note of the flower sales, as I received four emails when I came in that I received flowers from my coworkers with messages about how much they appreciate what I do.

Sniff. Sorry, my contact lens is bothering me…

I found a vase in the break room to put my four flowers in for the day, then the people around me realized I had one and gave me all of their flowers to keep in water for the day. And this, friends, this is how to have a great day.

Delicate flowers

I need more flowers in my life. Do you, too?