1. Tell the Truth. Lasting relationships are built on trust. Trust is built on honesty. Honesty isn't hard and it's a good habit. Bite the bullet, tell the truth. If your relationship can't weather it, you are in the wrong relationship; but it probably can. Telling the truth is easier than lying, all rumor and myth to the contrary. Lies are a lot of work. They weigh you down and isolate you. Small lies get lonely and seek out bigger lies. Don't ask one lover to lie or keep secrets from others. Secrets may not be lies but they breed lies. Secrets build walls and discourage intimacy. Know the difference between privacy and secrecy.
Resist the desire to tell someone what you think they want to hear or try to protect them. "Especially do not feign affection." If you're not sure about love, say so. If your relationships are not a high priority in your life, let people know. Encourage honesty in others. Above all, be honest with yourself. Are you looking to build a family or for a little sexual variety?
2. Know Yourself. This is the most important tool and sometimes the hardest to find. Spend quality time with yourself and find out what you're like. Most people never do. Learn to tell when you are moody or unreasonable or defensive or hyper-sensitive or blinded by New Relationship Energy. Know your limits. Discover where you could do better. Learn what's healthy for you and what's not. Figure out what your priorities really are. Learn when to take a walk and cool off.
Many people never see the consistent patterns in their own behavior that are obvious to everyone else, like always pursuing the same type of lover or always turning relationships into soap operas or lovers into adversaries. They are blind to themselves. What don't you know about yourself? If you know about your addictions you can transform them into a preferences and eventually into a choices, but first you have to know about them.
Take time to discover things like: what baggage are you carrying from your childhood or your last relationship, what do you need and what do you only want, what pushes your buttons and why, which things are you willing to compromise on, what are your core motivations, what makes you jealous or insecure or competitive, at what point are you over-extending yourself, what are your patterns, strengths and weaknesses, etc. Remember to learn your good points too. A lot of this goes back to honesty.
3. Take Care of Yourself. Work on you. "Grow your own garden in your own soul, don't wait for someone else to bring you flowers." Instead of looking to other people for validation or satisfaction or happiness, learn to make it yourself. This is a vitally important skill for living. You will always be at other people's mercy - until you learn to satisfy your own needs. Once you do, you gain a freedom and confidence that can never be taken away. You can meet people as equals and choose to enjoy each other instead of carefully exchanging needs in a scarcity-driven emotional economy. Ironically, people find this kind of independence very attractive.
Take time by yourself to think about what you need to work on and give yourself the space to do it. Take care of yourself, be kind to yourself, like yourself, love yourself, accept yourself, forgive yourself, respect yourself, serve yourself, nurture yourself, just be yourself and please, sharpen a knife and cut yourself some slack. Everyone is too hard on themselves and everyone's mirrors are warped. Yours are too; learn to compensate. Learn emotional first aid. Your relationship with yourself is the foundation of all your other relationships.
4. Take Responsibility. Own your feelings. No one can make you sad or angry or happy either, they are your emotions. They exist in your head and nowhere else. You own them. You. There are always choices. Accept that sometimes you feel good or bad for no reason at all - not because of the people or events in your life. When you make someone else accountable for your feelings, your disempower yourself.
Playing the victim or martyr is just a way to manipulate people. To say, "I hurt you because my parents hurt me", is to surrender your life to other people and to the past. Be here now. Take charge of your own feelings and actions and life. You are responsible for seeing that your own needs get met. (Yes, even your own sexual needs.) Don't tell other people "do me, make me happy, protect me." Learn to take care of yourself.
If there are problems in one of your relationships or if your life is a mess, stand up and carry your share of the responsibility (and no more), even if you don't think you deserve it. Taking responsibility is not taking blame. "It's all your fault," causes new problems, it doesn't solve any. The more responsibility you take over your own life, the more freedom you have.
5. Encourage Growth. Remember to care about your lovers as human beings. Support them in advancing their careers, spiritual pursuits, educations and ambitions. At their own pace and in their own way. Help them to heal and understand themselves better. Encourage them to take time by themselves and give them the space they need. Help them cultivate strength. Ask them to do the same for you but tell them how; they can't read your mind. One way to encourage growth is to give those you love the freedom to love others.
Some people find neediness and weakness very attractive. Maybe they think they'll be abandoned if their loved ones get strong. They might try to keep people weak and needy so they'll stay. They might give generously but with conditions and strings attached. This is not unconditional love - it may not be love at all - it might just be aggressive need.
Growth can be stunted by difficult emotions like insecurity or fear of abandonment. One way to manage a limiting emotion is to meet it head on. "The only way out - is through." Don't hide from it; that just gives it power. Dive in and weather it and survive it and examine it. Your fear is far worse than reality. Learn that and the emotion loses its power and you grow stronger. You can even use jealousy, insecurity, etc. to teach you about yourself. They are valuable. Pay attention to them and learn from them.
6. Respect. Respect is a form of love. Respect yourself, set limits and boundaries and respect those of other people. Know how and when to clearly say `no' and how to listen when others say `no'. Never tolerate abuse. You deserve better. Remember to be polite to your partners, they deserve it even more than the stranger down the street.
Try not to save all your best stuff for one partner and take your partners for granted, especially when they are together. Try to treat them evenly or someone will feel slighted. Comparisons make people compete and force someone to be the loser. Find a way for everyone to win.
Respect relationships as well as people. Each relationship seems to have a natural shape; don't try to force it to be something else. Think of each relationship as a separate entity that could be healthy or sick. Resist the urge to use a relationship to get your head in order; a lover is not a life raft. If you need therapy, see a doctor.
It's easy to project your expectations onto other people. "Maybe they'll change." Don't try to force a person to be someone they are not. People are package deals; accept them for who they are, good and bad, or don't accept them at all.
If you want respect, keep your word. Keep to the spirit of your agreements; don't squabble over semantics looking for loop-holes to exploit. If you make an agreement in the kitchen, keep it in the bedroom. Every agreement you've ever made is really with yourself.
7. Communicate. If you want a healthy relationship, strong communication skills are a necessity, not a luxury. Trouble usually starts when talking stops. Things come up all the time that have to be worked through patiently and lovingly, even when you're having a bad day. It gets easier over time, but it takes work and a willingness to break up scar tissue and tear down walls. Communication skills are what make a person a good lover.
Arguing skills are not communication skills. Arguing better than someone doesn't make you right, it just makes you better at arguing. Sometimes people strive to `win' an argument at the cost of their own relationship. Negotiate a way for everyone to win.
Listening is more important than talking. Listen actively and don't just hear. Make eye contact. Be here now, don't wander. Paraphrase their words to see if you heard them right. Notice your own words and feelings, ask why they are what they are. Listen to unhappy feelings (yours and those of others) without needing to fix them. Listen to disagreements without taking sides. Listen to non-verbal communication, which usually speaks more clearly than words. Be aware of how the people in your life are loving you.
Some talk is not communication. If you get lost in the woods and pass the same landmark several times, you are making the same mistake over and over. Raising your voice or speaking harshly makes you harder to understand, not easier. Use "I" statements instead of "you" statements. "I think you're wrong" is easier to accept than "you are wrong." Directness works better than manipulation.
Clearly express yourself; people can't read your mind. Tear down the wall between your feelings and your words. Set limits and boundaries and communicate them. Make sure everyone knows what they are getting into. Learn how to defuse arguments. If necessary, learn how and when to say goodbye. Actions communicate better than words. Show people that you love them. Share kindness and affection and laughter. When in doubt, rub their feet.
8. Attitude. Having tools isn't enough, you have to really want to use them. Ya gotta wanna. Your disposition will make it work or blow it. Find a way for everyone to win. Make important decisions unanimous. Shine a positive light on difficult situations too; many relationships wither from negative energy. Don't turn little things into big things. Look for solutions, not someone to blame. Practice tolerance, patience, flexibility, generosity, understanding, forgiveness. Learn to apologize. Laugh at yourself.
Be wrong; you can't learn from errors if you always gotta be right. Let it go; be happy instead. Listen more than you talk. Give someone else the last word. See things through their eyes; empathy is the cure for anger. Stay calm and remember to breath. Let down your walls, trust, open up, risk and let yourself be vulnerable. Without vulnerability there is no intimacy. Take your time and emphasize friendship over romance. Savor what you have instead of dwelling on what you don't have. Practice truly unconditional love. Share.
These tools apply to lovers (monogamous or poly, straight, gay, bi or sell) but also to friends, children, parents and yourself. They won't give anyone a healthy relationship, but if you find yourself confounded and don't know what to do, one of these might help.
Here's the thing, The bag worked FUCKING awesome, as far as growth, and keeping pests off. (there was a little bit of a fly issue late in the summer those little white ones, but a sticky trap took care of that PDQ.) And even bloom wise it was pretty impressive. The Problem with it was No Pollinators visited. I do not know if this was caused by the bag itself, like the plastic or the pattern weren't attractive smells and sights for the little buggers or if it was because for the first time the cement farm had no flowers besides the blooms on the tomato itself. (not for lack of trying but the marigolds just didn't come up this year) So it is possible the garden just didn't look yummy enough to attract anyone.
Irving got to be about 6 feet long and for the most part grew down and out a little, A few vines branched off and up, but the central stalk of the vine is thick and healthy, about 4 inches around and a good color and not rotted at all. (which are a few of the concerns reviews of the bags brought up before I tried it)
So I think if the bag held up its' integrity (no holes or patches that look like they are about to be holes) and turns out to be relatively easy to clean out, I will try it again with the superbush, only this year as soon as there are open blooms I will go out there with a qtip and hand pollinate right away, just in case.
I do think I will try one of the strawberry ones, though, since the basics of the bag worked out so well, and I may get a second one for a bell pepper.
The first set of Chili Peppers is now hanging and drying in the dining room. The orange fogo. And so far (fingers crossed) the plant is surviving the winter and may make it to next spring. If it does then YAY but I do have a seedling ready to replace it just in case in the greenhouse.
The loofah have come up in the greenhouse just fine, so that should be interesting, they look really healthy and they could be transplanted now if the weather were going to stay like today. but I doubt it so they are staying in the greenhouse for now.
The tree experimental seedlings are looking good too, so far I have what 5 different 4 inch tree seedlings, and they are either apple, pear, lemon or limes. Judging by the leaves I believe I have apples. So the next step there is to transplant them in the spring to bigger planters, I will most likely get a set of quart pots and put them each in one, by the end of next summer I may have some to give away if they all grow like gangbusters, but if you comment and say you think you'll want one for your yard, keep in mind I am not 100% sure they are apples, and it will be a few years before you'll know for sure since they started from seed this past summer. They are definitely a tree and they are definitely a fruit tree, but I failed at labeling which row of the tray had which seed, All I know is they are not the row that is bell pepper seeds cause they are all down the center and the peppers are along one edge (and, oddly enough haven't sprouted)
Anyway we will only be keeping one, so if they are all doing well in the fall I will let everyone know and ask who wants to come grab one. (even if you comment here you want one, look for that and comment again so I don't forget)
The Bearded Iris are still leafing and looking nice each year, but that pot is really only big enough to keep the corms alive, I really need to get those into a bigger pot so they'll actually come up and bloom
The garlic looks good, got about 70% on actual viable plants there so not bad.
The basil was fantastic all season long it was really nice to be able to walk out and grab a few leaves every night for cooking, and we have jar of dried fromt he last harvest in the kitchen, plus the plants themselves are wintering over really nicely so far, so I think those should make a nice comeback in the spring. Also the chamomile is looking fantastic and I expect beautiful things from it when it's time for bloomage, however I do not care for chamomile tea so when harvest time comes around a bag of dried chamomile will be made available for whoever wants it. (I just like the flowers and my mom sent me a beautiful packet of a lovely heirloom seed for them, so I had to plant them)
The nicotiana is growing well (I had to re-start it) but it did not get enough heat to actually go to town last summer, so I expect a good show from it this coming season.
Adding to the garden this coming year I plan on starting another hot pepper variety, the aforementioned strawberry bagsket (I made that word up!), and some herbage past basil. Bottled herbs are so F'ing expensive, so I am going to grow the ones I use the most from now on. So Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Oregano, and such.
Dill worked out really well last time I did it, but I only use it for a few recipes and I still have a GIANT bag of frozen vacuum sealed dill in the freezer from last time I did dill, so I think I am gonna skip dill this year, but I will probably add it next year.
Flower wise I am going to go for a few butterfly and hummer bird attractors, and probably direct sow into a big planter a mix of things that have about the same season. Whatever comes up comes up.
I'd really love to try a potato bag or some baby carrots, but I think that will have to wait, I don't think I will have enough room for those this year.
As far as other pipe dreams for the cement farm, I'd really love to get the rack and the cabinet moved so I can get lime and lemon container trees in front of the patio sliding door we never use. (If you've never seen our patio, the front wall of our apartment has two windows, then the front door then the sliding glass door then the kitchen window, so the sliding glass door pretty much acts like a clear wall we never use and usually have the blinds pulled in front of. But I like the idea of getting some small container trees along it. So eventually I want a small japanese maple and a lime and a lemon and if I can find one locally, the tree you harvest cinnamon bark from. They have them here, but are sold out. The can grow up to 32 feet! But since we plan on eventually having a yard to put these trees in, I'm not real worried about it, if anything, when it starts to puncture the balcony awning, this will be our queue to start house hunting. lol
Anyway I've had a nice gardening babble, if you want to call dibs on spare
1) possible apples (next fall)
2) Loofah seedling (early spring)
3) bag of dried chamomile (next fall)
4) Possible spare fresh herbage (late summer)
Please keep in mind you will have to come get them yourself, since I am still carless and don't know when that will be fixed, and you'll need to comment again when I say they are ready and come and get em, to ensure I do not give your thing away to someone else because I forgot.
Amy's brain: That was really fun today
Amy's Brain: Oh nothing... hey even though Tony isn't snoring particularly loud or un-rhythmically, I'm gonna have that wake you up, K?
Amy: oh crap
Amy's Brian: SO I was thinking...
Amy: Shut up brain... need more sleeping.
Amy's brain: Oh, sorry. *whistles innocently*
Amy's brain: Wow listen to that snoring! You should put some earplugs in. But first you should q-tip your ears... the right one feels a little itchy...earplug probably be annoying on that, and while you're up you should pee.
Amy: GAH! *gets up, q-tips ears, pees, comes back to bed, puts in earplugs* There! Now, shut up!
a few minutes pass
Amy's Brain: Hey you know what song I like? that one from the end of that episode of futurama... no not the one you know all the words to and own so you could get it out of your head relatively easily... that other one...(sings) little bird little bird fly through my window..... yah that one... I'm gonna loop that part of it about for about 20 minutes now, k?"
Amy's brain: Oh btw remember how tony won that thing at the picnic today? I wonder if he can trade it for that other thing with that guy? what do you think? Wow you can seriously still hear the snoring through these earplugs.
Amy: Don't make me come in there and kill you!
10 minutes go by
Amy's brain: Hey you know what? I think you're hungry! Yah! you had lunch like at 2 o'clock and then only had a couple of tortillas with cinnamon sugar at around 8... you're really hungry! Hey! you know what's tasty but you can't have? A sausage McMuffin! Man those things are great... and you have to be some sort of logistics genius to get one, cause you're broke, have no car and they only serve them for like 10 seconds every day! But damn, that would taste really good!
Amy's stomach: oh yah I love those things!
Amy: argh! *gets up" That is it! I have had it! *puts on glasses and goes to living room*
Welcome to why I have been up since 4 in the morning.
Okay this tote bag contest means a little more than you may think to me, and there is a reason I am stumping so hard for votes.
My car has been stored in a garage, non operational, since shortly after the divorce. Part of the arrangement with Ken was during the separation while waiting on the actual divorce was that since I had not yet found a job, he would continue to make the car payments on it and also take care of the registration. Of course it turns out he did neither of those things. So once the registration was up, I tried to get the forms from him, he claimed he never got them, and I parked the car off street in the garage and started to try and get the appropriate paperwork and such and the car paid off.
Many things happened that prevented this from working out, mainly of which is the car is kind of needed to get a job around here, cause the public transport sucks in the south bay. everything, even the nearest useful transit area is a half hour drive away. (the closest bus to me doesn't even go to the most useful transit hub without like 3 hours worth of transferring) So with one thing and another and other more pressing bills piling up and trying at one point to force the finance company to take the remaining blue book value on the car (which they refused to take and actually got nasty at me for trying to give them money, I still don't understand what that was all about, but at least that part is taken care of now.)
Basically where the car sits now, situationally, is I need to register it and insure it and fix the things that happen to a car when it is sitting in a garage for a few years not being used. (tires, battery , oil change, possibly having the gas tank drained, and hopefully paying someone braver than me to clean the spiders and cobwebs out of it) The prize money from winning this competition is enough to do the things the car needs to be running again, which means I can get a job, take stuff to galleries and art fairs and make some money.
All you would need to do to help me achieve this is vote for my design and share the link as much as possible. Voting ends three days from this writing. I can see who has voted and you all I say thank you, very much so!
To everyone else, PLEASE take the time to vote, it costs you nothing and could make a world of difference to me.
Also I think the design turned out pretty cool and it's worth voting for!
Well we took him to the vet today because he's been having a hind leg weakness issue, which sounds like (after a little research) might be diabetes related. Chances are, if that is indeed the problem, he'll be fine with some medication. Cindi is really stressed out, cause Hero is her special little guy, so please think good thoughts at Hero, but try to do so in a way that does not further stress Cindi out.
I stopped doing the daily painting UPDATE on LJ, just because it was too many uploads and Links in a day...
Basically once I am done painting, I scan or photograph the finished daily, then I go into Photoshop, crop it (possibly run some camera correction filters if the lighting is off in the picture) add the file info (work details meta tags and copyright notice) and then save the PSD , then I take the PSD and rezize it for Etsy, and make four 1000 X 1000 pixel detail views of the piece (also for etsy) and save those as jpgs...
THEN I make a 144 dpi resolution for the fan page, and a 72 dpi, 252 pixel high thumbnail for the website.
THEN re-open the original PSD and resize it and if necessary clean the edges (to make it print pretty for one thing but also so the original will be easy to spot if anyone tries to pass off a print) and save that as a PNG Then I make a text file with all the file info and tags for cutting and pasting into the listings.
Then I upload to redbubble, fill in the info, share it on twitter save the link int he text file for the "Buy this " page
Then I upload to etsy, including the link to buy prints on redbubble after the etsy listing is up I share that on twitter,
Then I pop back to redbubble , edit the print with a link to purchase the original (I do it like that because redbubble's uploader is slow so I like to get that done first, but etsy is a pain in the ass to go back and edit the listings, so it is imperative that I do not have to edit the listing on etsy, editing the redbubble listing text takes like two seconds)
Then I go t o the fan page, upload the it into the album there and caption it, then I link the sales page for the original and the prints.
THEN i got into Dreamweaver and add the thumbnail to the daily gallery...
and by the time I finish all of that I really am done with the whole thing and making an LJ entry just seems like an added level of "Sick of Looking at it now"
So to that end....
Here is a link to the daily gallery on Leechco
I would love to get back in the habit of sharing new stuff here, but I also like being able to use this space as a private/friends only ranting and venting space. You guys get to see the stuff I don't want anyone but my friends seeing. The Lack of such entries lately should be seen as "Everything is going pretty good and nothing in particular needs ranting about right now"
(although I do feel a rant about book burning jackasses coming on)
for the cost of 5 minutes of your time you could help me win some free publicity. Please take a few to pop over and vote in one of the challenges
Register for a redbubble ID here, if you haven't already
Then go here and follow the links and scroll thru the entries to vote on my pieces
This Link Goes to My facebook fanpage entry with pictures and links to the challenges, It will open a new window.
( The links and Pictures of the works to vote for under this cut if you don't want to go to facebook )
so to honor the loss of one ACEO*, I replaced it with another for yesterday's daily
2.5" x3.5" india ink on illustration board
Today's Daily, "Red Bell"
à la Prima Oil on 6"x6" Museum Wrap Canvas, #4 Filbert Synthetic Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red, Mixing White added to palette
Daily Painting for 6-4-2010