Monthly Archives: January 2019

G is for Green Thumb

brown thumb ivy

Victim – brown ivy

LOOK HOW I END UP WID A GREEN THUMB, DOH DOH!

I had just about come to terms with my “brown thumbedness” when a friend shared some pics of her gardening success in a WhatsApp group chat. And those images of healthy-looking heads of lettuce, among others, evoked a few feelings within me. I was initially impressed, then envious LOL, baffled as to why I just can’t get tings to grow well, and eventually inspired as she gave me some tips. Ok, ok…maybe envious before being impressed. 🙂

Being quite versed in growing up bacteria and other microbes using all kinds of growth media, I was flummoxed as to why I just can’t manage plants. Clearly I’m a microbiologist and not a biologist. Started from seeds…. reached germination and feeling hopeful (Yaay!) …seedlings start to grow… then Monkey, my cat, reasons that the seedling tray is its new playground and scratching post and digs up seedlings, or better yet decides to get in on the fertilizing action and pees on them. Done wid dem! Tried starting out with seedlings cuz that cuts out the period of waiting for seed dormancy to break….. got healthy parsley, basil and coriander seedlings …sturdy, green, well-established ones, not nuh scrawny tings…..within two days leaves dropping off and death ensues. Purchased several air-purifying plants….happy peace lilies (these survive but ain’t suh happy and that manifests as brown leaf tips and failure to flower), ivy (leaves drop off within days), spider plant (appeared to be doing so well, putting out new shoots and ting….then sudden so dat dedding too), snake plant (takes special skills to kill these …. skills that not even brown-thumb Suzanne possesses…these live).  Heck, I even managed to kill succulents. Aristaloe aristata met its maker within days. 

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Just so… de ting collapsed

By this time I was giving up and resigned to resorting to my Blueair air purifier and open windows for adequate air quality, and realized that I gine have to rely pon Boppa or Central Growers for my herbs. Enter Jaxx with pics of her produce…..enter inspiration and the thought that if a CFO dat is deal wid numbers cuh get plants to grow I who deal with small living tings musse cuh get bigger, green living things to grow. LOL Interestingly, what hadn’t dawned on me was that she was giving them all they needed to grow and I wasn’t. Plain and simple. I give the bacteria what they need and voilà, they grow. But this poppit wasn’t really doing the same for her plants. And before yuh tink I is a real idiot, yessss, I used to water them (apparently too much LOL) and I tossed some fertilizer (of some sort) at them … when I remembered (i.e. when they looked bad and I figured they needed a boost). But my biggest mistake was that I was trying to grow them inside and inside gets way too hot when I am out and the house is closed up. Now, I sure used to notice the heat when I came home. First order of business was to open up all windows and doors and air de place. Leaving on a fan while out only meant that I was met with warm but well-circulated air when I got home. So my poor planty wanties did getting a serious heat shock when I went out. Would look wilty wilty and little swibbly when I came in so I would douse them wid water… but the damage was done (repeatedly) and eventually the extra water would allow root rot to set in…….. and the poor plant would be struggling, if not soon dead.

I ain’t gine say how many plants met their death at my hands, but suffice it to say, Nature Care get a lot outta me and my “planticidal” tendencies. 

So armed with tips from my friend, Jaxx, and a lady at Nature Care, and with renewed confidence and excitement, I got a few plants and set them up outside.

AND THEY GREW!!!! 

So I embarked on a mission to set up a garden, growing various herbs and veggies in pots.

Fast forward to present day and lo and behold my thumb green as ever and I fussy enuf and feel I iz a farmer. 

How ya like muh?

Now I can understand and experience the satisfaction of gardening….watching seedlings grow and mature and reaping a harvest from your own garden. Insert the big beaming smile emoji here. And throw in the little guy doing cartwheels or backflips too.

Did I say I am fussy?

That’s a gross understatement.

And there’s more to report on re my green thumb… but I will leave that for my next blog post.

Till then….hope you less than green-thumbed readers feel inspired to start your own garden.

Laterz!!

So, what’s on my cards for 2019?

Happy New Year!!!!fullsizeoutput_2090.jpeg

Insert a series of emojis: fireworks, champagne, party hats, noisemakers, the lady in the red dress dancing…..everything that conjures up an image of me reveling in the arrival of 2019…ushering in the new year with a bang.

Now come back to reality where the appropriate emojis were: the bed (with clean sheets ..yaay), the dog, the laptop (does that one exist? probably does), the chocolate bar (wasn’t a bar but the bar will suffice) and the coconut bread with cheese emoji (not created as yet but one could improvise with the coconut, bread and cheese emojis).  And I guess yuh cuh throw in some of those musical notes too cuz I could hear the music from a nearby party for the new Ross Univ. students……ohhhhh…and the iPhone emoji too, as I chatted with other “non-go-outers”… as well as some who were out “shaking a leg”.

So what’s in store for 2019? I chose the title “So, what’s on my cards for 2019?” cuz it was a bit catchy… or so I thought. But truth is, no one knows what this new year will bring. But I do have an idea of a few things I would like to achieve in 2019.

So lehwe start:

I) I think it’s time for the big divorce!!! (Insert the kinda music that goes along with suspense, anticipation….heck, even throw in the Law and Order sound.

Well, I ain’t married so clearly I don’t mean a literal divorce. And if I am honest it is more of a separation than a divorce …an amicable separation…..trial separation (oh dear, I’m caving already). Got ya thinking?…guessing? 

It’s a “cellphone divorce”….well….separation….trial separation. Essentially, it involves putting my phone on silent (if it’s that important the person will call).  I want to test the hypothesis that I will be “better off”) more productive, happier, more well-rested, less irritated) with my phone on silent. I’ve reduced phone usage significantly since Apple decided (for me) that it would be good to install an app which monitors screen time. But I still find myself peering at the blue screen at all hours of the night… when I am roused for my sleep for a bladder emptying (perhaps TMI), when I am waiting in a long line… or even a short one. So I want to carry it a step further because I really find the notifications distracting and I’m sure that I can achieve more without constant interruptions. So wish me luck with this! 

II) I want to up my reading! 

Not really hard to do because I really don’t read that much at present. I don’t get the time to. Correction: I don’t find the time to. So that’s one thing I am already en route to achieving. Ordered plenty books (BookDepository.com, Kindle, Audible, Cloister….yesssss, an actual bookstore), so the next step is to set aside tracts of time for reading. Who knows, as I read maybe I will find more interesting stuff to write about in this blog and post more frequently. But if I don’t, 2019 will still roll along. 🙂

III) Must rest more!

Now this is a biggie! A huge one!

I started to read the Alex Soojung-Kim Pang“s “Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less” about a month, maybe two, ago. I haven’t made it past the first pages of Chapter 1 (Ok ok…The Introduction, if I’m honest…but it has a rather lengthy, and informative, foreword), but it has already made an impression by pointing out something which I think is so critical. Rest more, function better, achieve more. And I think it is even more crucial for someone with a chronic illness which in itself calls for plenty rest.

I am acutely aware that despite this “epiphany”, I still do not get enough rest. In fact, I fall woefully short. So a major goal for me this year is to embrace rest. Embrace doing nutting…and being fine with it. (Cuz that’s part of the problem. I tend to feel like I should be doing something.) Or embrace doing restful things…things that are restorative, cuz rest is not equal to sleep. Think I can hear my dear friend, Mera, saying “Iz bout time” with that trademark expression that conveys that she been trying to get me to see this for ages. So many “Father Lords” later, I am seeing the light.

I also need to find the time to finish the book…at least to make it past the first chapter. 🙂

IV) Think less! 

Sometimes your mind can be your biggest enemy.

Lemme be more specific: my mind is often my biggest enemy.

Trained to think….to be analytical…so it’s kinda like my default. It’s kinda like how ya train someone in the army for combat, they are deployed and in the battlefield for many years and then you expect them to return home and re-enter the community and shut what has become instinctive down one time. Nahhhh…not so easy.

But ya need to quiet ya mind and shut it off. So my goal this year is to find that switch that I have been looking for for quite a while now and turn it off…. put it on pause…. rest it…. turn it into a dimmer switch.  Switching it off is crucial to rest. So I invite any fellow overthinkers to join me with this one. 

V) Listen more….hear more…talk less!

Now this isn’t an open invitation for people to offload pon me. So guess again!

Rather, I am recognising that often we (I) don’t really listen to someone and hear them…we (I) often subconsciously feel a need to respond or comment, come up with some plausible solution to the problem (if there is one..and even if there isn’t one LOL), when in trute and in fact de body just wanna verbalize thoughts or feelings and get some stuff off their chest…or just wanna share a life experience.

So another 2019 goal is to just listen, so I can hear and keep my opinions to myself …unless they are solicited. And be careful if ya plan to ask for that opinion cuz lawsseeeee, if it’s something I’m passionate about or, heaven forbid, knowledgeable about ya gine get an earful LOL. 

VI) Be more organised!

I remember once a student complimented me on being “soooooooooo organised”.  Tell de trute, I did wondering who dem mean cuz I think of myself very differently, especially at that particular period of time when the wheels or the Organization Wagon (if it ever existed) had started to fall off. But, it taught me that I was able to create the illusion of being organised and that I was perhaps in some ways more organised than others. It also taught me that people’s perceptions of others can vary significantly and that we (I) can be hard on ourselves at times.

One consequence of living with multiple chemical sensitivity is that one tends to struggle a bit (a lot) with being organised…. for a variety of reasons: i) too exhausted after an exposure to pack away items that need to be stored so ya just drop dem dey so….got thru a dose of the supermarket’s “chemical assault” and ya want muh pack way groceries too?; ii) ya can’t handle such and such without ill effects but it’s an important document so ya put it with other “untouchables” and keep them away from ya so you safe …but then ya fuhget where that space it (SMH)….in fact, ya create so many of these spaces that ya lose track; iii) the very space-saving, organisers etc. mekk outta de same tings that triggers ya so ya can’t use dem…..alternatives are pricey….soooooooooo….put that on pause…de floor will do for now; OR iv) truth is ya just inherently not very organised but managed to fool one student several years ago LOL.

Suffice it to say, I plan to invest in that which will bring a bit more order and organisation to my life.

VII) People a bit more…but not too much!

I consider myself what nowadays is termed an omnivert. Previously I would go for introvert but in more recent years (since they moved away from the bipolarity of extro- vs. intro-vert and came up with other “verts”) I think this cap fits me a bit better as at times I really do want to be around others….AND THEN I’VE HAD ENUF and need to recharge sans people. I went with ambivert once cuz that was what was available tbh….seemed to be an in between; but ambiverts basically have very extroverted moments and can manage both high energy and the lotta buzz and boisterousness that I may tolerate but never love. So omnivert it is.

But I do acknowledge that people need to socialise…even those whon feel they don’t. We just need it in different ways, levels, formats, and for different durations…..but we need it.

So I will attempt to people more (and I’m off to a good start in 2019, she says patting herself on the back) but not to the extent that I find it exhausting ….and conflicting with my other goals of rest and reading.

P.S. How ya like muh use of “people” as a verb? If “fellowship’ and “outreach” can be verbs, why not? Picked up the term from my neighbour….a “non-peopler” LOL.

I think I’ve spent enough of January 3, 2019 on this blog post so I will done up this hey so and end off by wishing you a great year; greatness being measured by that which brings you closer to your purpose, that which brings you true happiness (not fleeting moments of joy but sustained contentment) and that which is congruent with peace and love. 

ENJOY!!! ♥♥

Confession: I came across the term “omnivert” for the first time today…just about 15 min ago, actually. So I started this post as an ambivert…or so I thought. Google um and see if you iz one too.