Clementine, how does your garden grow?

My grandparents had a garden and small greenhouse in our backyard. My grandmother loved plants, though I don’t remember any of them being indoors except on our side of the house. My mother shared that love and often kept corn plants in big pots on rollers, Christmas cactus, spider plants, and a pothus in our living room.

Off my grandmother’s back porch was a giant Staghorn Fern that was cradled in its pot in the fork of a woodpecker-measled tree. Nearby was a huge plant that only bloomed once a year at midnight; It had long-necked, flamingo head bulbs that turned into enormous white flowers that glowed in moonlight. It was a special occasion for all of us when they bloomed.

My grandfather kept a Farmer’s Almanac on the table next to his reclining chair. He swore by it so I did, too. It was where I first learned about companion planting, keeping green in your home to reduce stress and breathe better as well as using local wildflower honey to fend off allergies. Folk remedies became an area of interest for me.

Here are a few resources for making your garden grow happy, indoors and outdoors…

Companion Gardening

How plants interact and form symbiotic relationships has always intrigued me. Check out this article on the Farmer’s Almanac site on companion planting before you layout your garden. Some plants help each other, but some plants need to be separated as well.

Rain Barrels

Build your own for $40 with This Old House on YouTube. Tip: Check out local resources first. Here in Berea, KY we have a group called Sustainable Berea that has two tutorials on making and painting rain barrels (under their Resources menu at the top).

Zines a Plenty

All throughout May, as part of the process installation I’m doing at Peoples Bank & Trust at 419 Chestnut Street
in Berea, KY, I’m dropping off zines as little birthday gifts for people visiting the display. For those of you who aren’t local, though, don’t worry. I’m not leaving you out! I’ll be posting the zines here on Clementine’s page as I make them!

As always, thank you for being here. I’m looking forward to sharing all sorts of goodies this month with you in celebration of the release of Clementine’s Garden! xo

Kia kaha

For about 20 some odd years now I have had some very dear friends in New Zealand. The shootings in Christchurch have shocked and hurt so many. From my knowing, they believe they are one people (a lesson we could all learn) and this has been devastating for them.

“Kia kaha” is stay strong in Te Reo Māori, one of New Zealand’s official languages. It is the equivalent of “my thoughts are with you” and it seemed appropriate. You can download both cards here:

Version 1 with Silver Leaf ferns

Version 2 with Kōwhai plant

If you would like to write cards full of love for the people of Christchurch, where many have been impacted by the recent shootings, please send your heartfelt written cards to the following address:

Sending Love
PO Box 90701
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142
New Zealand

Sending Love has a Christchurch area coordinator will get them to where they need to go. I have designed two cards, each prints two invitation/A2-sized cards per page, that you can print and mail. I am posting this on my Patreon as well but my logo is not on it on purpose, I’m not out for publicity, this is solely to do some good for my whānau (extended family).

Thank you for being here, no matter where in the world you are. We are all one race. The human race. Let’s act like it. xo

Week 10: “Heart”

Everything should be done with heart. From the smallest act of kindness to the biggest endeavors. Investing a little piece of your self into what you do increases your joy.

I’ve always taught my daughter to do things wholeheartedly. To agree to something without committing to it 100% is the fastest way to be unhappy and create conflict. If you say yes, do it with your whole heart and invest your self in it.

My daughter’s beautiful watercolor card, I’m so spoiled. #blessed

Living your life intentionally – saying yes to the things you want in your life, saying no to the things you don’t – makes such a difference. And the people around you will appreciate it (and you) even more since it’s less stressful for them, too.

Think carefully about the things you commit to. Are you doing it with your whole heart? Are you holding back from doing your best because you really aren’t happy with the decision? I never say yes unless I can commit fully to the idea of jumping in head first down the rabbit hole.

So for this week, commit to your joy to bring joy to others. What you do has impact, how you do it even moreso.

Enjoy your weekend! Thank you for being here. Don’t forget to share your #positivityplague with me.

Week 9: “Laugh”

WordPress was being a bit uncooperative in aligning my images, so forgive the stand on your head to view situation. ha I’ll try to sort it out later.

I grew up hearing the phrase that laughter was the best medicine. It’s so incredibly true. No matter how down I get, my husband or daughter go out of their way to heal me with laughter.

…I’ve also surrounded myself with some of the silliest bunch of weirdos on the planet and they make me incredibly happy.

I love you all so much.

Laughing at yourself and not taking life so seriously is very healthy, too…

Do something silly today to make yourself or someone else laugh. Have a little fun. Take a silly selfie and share it with me #positivityplague or do a group selfie with everyone in your workplace just for giggles to lighten the day. Sing a silly song or do a little dance. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you laugh.

Enjoy your weekend!

Week 8: “Wonder”

My daily life is filled with wonder, that little bit of everyday awe that keeps me inspired and moving forward. It’s easy to look for if you take a moment, just a teensy percentage of a minute, and look around you.

One of the ways that I have managed stress over the years is to always look for one tiny positive in everything. Life lessons come from the good and the bad – sometimes even more the latter, because making mistakes is how you learn – but if you can find on benefit to something on even your worst day your whole outlook will shift.

Take a minute today and leave a small bit of wonder out in the world. Maybe something like a fortune cookie made out of paper, a book in a ziplock bag with a note, a painted rock, something that will stop someone for a moment to experience their own little bit of wonder.

Photo: Julia Pelish with one of my favorite painted rocks.

Thank you for being here. Don’t forget to share and use #positivityplague so I can enjoy the wonder, too.

Week 7: “Inspire”

Inspiration comes in so many forms. Some of the most unrelated things will spawn an idea for me. shifting my perspective of things seems to work the best.

When I was a kid, I used to love laying on my back to hang my head upside down over the side of the bed and pretend what it would be like to walk on the ceiling. Seeing things from a different viewpoint holds revelations.

Here are a couple of ways you can shift your perspective and get a new outlook that might inspire you:

  • The next time you go out, imagine yourself seeing through the eyes of someone else. This is a great trick for writers, too.
  • Take a class taught by someone new on something you already know how to do and look at it through the lens of their experience. I take classes and online workshops all the time on things that I already do. Despite having been doing allthethings for 33 years, I like refreshing my perspective and seeing if there’s a way to improve. Sometimes I find something I hadn’t thought of. It also help keep you humble.

Thank you for being here. I welcome constructive criticism, so let me know what you see through your eyes!

Guidelines for #ThePowerofaWord project can be found here:
http://www.renmeleon.com/projects/the-power-of-a-word/

Week 6: “Gift”

When I first became an artist, first created something with my own hands, I gave away my work. It was simple when I was a child, to draw a picture and give it away. My mother had countless drawings, my grandparents, my aunt and eventually cousins. Holidays it was expected – I could make it so why would I need to buy anything.

As I got older, and independence from my family became survival. I still gifted, but I had to learn to gift to myself as well. That it was ok to ask for money in exchange for my time and efforts. I was given a gift, one I was told to never stop using or I’d lose it.

Now an adult (most days ha) and now Mother, no longer Maiden, it is a gift to be able to give to someone else. To use the talents and skills I’ve been given, or learned and made my own, to give to others. To create something from nothing and make someone smile. To pass on that joy to my daughter and watch her build her own world where compassion, love, and acts of kindness in giving will be carried forward.

Every day is made up of small miracles. Every day is a new opportunity to make someone else feel important to you. To erite a note, send a postcard, pick up a little something you think someone will like and leave it for them anonymously, to give your time or money or both to someone in need of it.

I have a love-hate relationship with money. I’ve always loved doing charitable work, but seldom able to give financially. I can gift my skills, though, and do so often. Whether I call them joy projects, or I simply offer to do something because I want to see something beautiful out in the world.

A card from one of my new decks.

What can you gift today? Time, money, something you’ve created. Something small from you could mean the world to someone else.

Thank you for being here, for giving me the gift of your time. I appreciate you.

Guidelines for #ThePowerofaWord project can be found here:
http://www.renmeleon.com/projects/the-power-of-a-word/

I had no idea.

I have 1,182 subscribers to this blog.

::blink blink:: Um. Well, hello there!

::Kermit flail::

Call it me being naive, but I literally had no idea. I rarely get comments, I attribute that to too-busy schedules and “skimming”, but my site stats didn’t even know. One of my plugins apparently did, though. Wow. Um. Yay! So nice to be heard by all of you. Thank you so much for being here, it means a great deal to me. I do this for you.

Lift As You Climb

My intent has always been toward sharing not selling. I’m not big on sell sell sell on my social media and agree with licensing agent Lilla Rogers, “People buy your joy.”. However, I believe in supporting the tools that have supported me and I just posted a new affiliate link for Scrivener to the site. In the process of adding the new widget to my site, I added the blog subscription one as well to keep people notified when I post in case they aren’t on Facebook or other social mediums. When I did, the stats came up.

Supporting Good Things in the World

I’ve always said that one of my biggest missions in this life was to put more beauty out into the world my daughter is growing up in. That all our children are growing up in. It matters. Their generation is going to have to deal with and clean up our messes, so I make it a point to support good people, good companies, good products.

This is something I’ve passed on to my daughter as well. We’ve had discussions on why you shouldn’t wear brands whose missions don’t align with your beliefs, that researching things is important, and that how you present yourself is important. I’m not talking about impressing people, I’m talking about representing your true self for your own benefit.

First, this isn’t a paid ad. I really do love Scrivener. When my husband got stuck on his first novel, Remnant, I bought him a copy and he finished his book in two weeks. I use it for everything from blog posts to formulating short stories, to organizing my research and writing novels. Scrivener has been essential for me to stay focused and I am constantly sending people over to them.

Second, I really do hate selling stuff. ha I do shows to interact with people, to learn what’s people like, to meet the people who follow my work – apparently more than 1,182 of you, still digesting – and if I make sales in the process, I consider it bonus.

What’s of “Value”

Most of my life I’ve had a love-hate relationship with money. I think we all do. It’s a necessary evil since the world doesn’t work on barter, but people value their worth by it which simply isn’t true. My worth or value isn’t based on the money I have or can make, not even by what I can do for others since I can’t always. My worth and value are measured by how I treat people.

Live kindness, Practice gratitude.

Thank you for being here. Thank you if you are one of those 1,182 people subscribed to this blog by email. Thank you if you follow me on Patreon, with or without a pledge.

You mean a lot to me.

“What we leave behind is not what is engraved on stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

– Pericles

Week 5: “Kindness”

“Live kindness. Practice gratitude.” is something I have tried to live by, and it is especially needed in the world right now. There are so many little things that you can do every day to spread kindness. Here are just a few I could think of off the top of my head that I’ve done or would like to do this year…

  • Write a love letter to a stranger and leave it out in the world.
  • Buy clean blankets at the thrift store and hand them out to the homeless.
  • Go even further and tuck the blanket in a bag with useful things like socks, toothpaste, water bottles, and maybe a gift card for food somewhere.
  • Buy and giveaway a gift card to a used bookstore. It helps small business and promotes reading!
  • Mail someone a postcard of a favorite spot from where you live.
  • Send a text out of the blue to someone you haven’t talked to in a while and tell them to have a fabulous day!
  • Send an UN-birthday card.
  • Make a crockpot of chili or spaghetti and take it to the local fire department. Don’t forget cheese and garlic bread!
  • Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

There are a zillion ways to pay it forward. What are some of the ways you will choose to be kind to someone this weekend or next week?

Thank you for being here. Welcome to February!

Guidelines for #ThePowerofaWord project can be found here:
http://www.renmeleon.com/projects/the-power-of-a-word/