Daily Prompt: Unfinished

Many things seem to remain unfinished. Isn’t it the goal of every project to see it come to fruition? If that is so, then why is it that so many projects remain in the state of “unfinished?”

As is look at my world, I see so many unfinished projects; in the house, in the yard, in the garage, on my desk, and in my mind. Is it that I demand too much out of life, is it that I am trying to fulfill a need that is somehow not being met?

Would I be more content and at peace with my self if these projects were completed? That remains to be seen but until then that too is unfinished.

via Daily Prompt: Unfinished

Here and Now

Here and Now

Here and now should be such an easy thing to deal with. When we participate fully in the here and now we don’t have the regrets that may haunt us of what was done or what might have been. We cannot change what has transpired, nor can we go back and relive the moments that we hold dearly in our hearts.

Here and now should give us comfort from the worries and anticipation of the future. All the worry that we can muster will not have even the slightest effect on what is to be, nor can we rely on having the future even come to be as there truly are no guarantees in this life.

The only real guarantee that we have is the here and now. How we are living, how we are thinking, what we are doing, these are what we can count on and what we have to work with.

The best tool we have at our disposal to make our lives as meaningful as possible is the knowledge that we are living our life to the fullest, to the fullest in the here and now.

Brian

Daily Prompt: Silence

Silence,

The one truly golden moment when we are in tune to our environment. We can hear the crickets chirp, the leaves rustle in the wind, the sound of nothing. At times the silence can be deafening as we can hear our heart beat, our breaths, our watch ticking on the night stand. When we are amidst true silence we have the opportunity to listen for God’s gentle words to fill our hearts and souls. We are at peace finally…and then the ………………ALARM CLOCK!!!

via Daily Prompt: Silence

Communication and Connecting

Today as I was working on a presentation today, based on the book by John Maxwell, titled “Everyone Communicates Few Connect” I was reminded of how good, effective communication has taken a back seat to poorly attempted and mostly failed communication techniques.

John Maxwell says that he knows when he has connected with people he senses certain feelings and they include:

  • Feeling an effect of extra effort where people are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that a solid connection has been made and that it is sending positive signals between both parties.
  • People when they are connected with will offer up unsolicited appreciation and will say positive things in response to the positive connect that has been made with them.
  • People will demonstrate and unguarded openness by way of showing that they place their trust in you and have a confidence that it is safe to share their thoughts, ideas, and feelings with you.
  • You can also expect to enjoy increased communication as they tend to wont to continue further with their communication with you.
  • If you are connecting you should also experience a sense of joy knowing that they are enjoying communicating with you and it will be an enjoyable experience.
  • There will also be what John calls and emotional bondedness in they way you are connected on an emotional level with your communicator.
  • There will also be a feeling of positive energy that is being shared between you and your communicator and that both of you will fill a re-charging of your emotional and intellectual batteries.
  • A growing synergy will develop the connected effectiveness will be greater that the sum of the parties’ contributions.
  • And finally there will be a feeling of unconditional love and a deep acceptance of each other without any sort of reservation.

As Maxwell says, “Everyone talks. Everyone communicates. But few connect. Those who do connect take their relationships, their work, and their lives to another level.

Don’t consider communication as something that just occurs, it is a true essential skill that need to be learned, practiced, and elevated continuously.

It is been said that we are the recipients of over thirty-five thousand messages each day. Everywhere we go we find that someone, somewhere is trying to get our attention in some way, shape, or form. (especially during campaign season) We not only have face-to-face conversations, but phone calls, text messages, emails, not to mention social media. With all of these messages begging for our attention how do we determine which ones are worthy of our attention and which ones are not?

An average person will speak about 16,000 words every day, this amounts to the equivalent of a three-hundred page book each week. Imagine the volumes that we contribute to over a lifetime.

Talk is easy, but how can we make our words count, how do we really communicate with others? How do we choose which messages to tune into and which ones to ignore? If you truly start connecting with those we communicate with, it will be much easier to answer these questions.

Where Has The Summer Gone?

Well, with the calendar turning over to August and the wealth of back to school sales and even my own preparations to begin teaching classes again this fall (or should I say in two weeks) it may be a time to reflect on all that has occurred.

My summer started off with dreams of planting gardens, working in the soil and harvesting an abundance of healthy and wholesome produce. CHECK. Yes, I have had a wonder summer of gardening and it really has been a joy being a part of it.

I had and am still having a great time working the learning gardens at Trollwood. The community garden at Daily Park has been a hundred times more successful than I ever imagined. My home garden has been quite active. All I can say is WOW what a year!

Oh now don’t think that it has been all wonderful, there has been some trying times. Most of June was very dry and crops were stunted and yields suffered. The vine borers got ahold of my awesome looking zucchini and winter squash, and then the rabbits and raccoon have been more than a little greedy in the size of their shares of the harvest.

I soon will have bushels of tomatoes to be picked, canned, donated, thrown, and left on unsuspecting neighbors’ porches and back car seats. As my dad always says, “Eat what you can, can what you can’t.”

We do reap what we sow and happiness is what I mostly sowed this spring and happiness is what I am reaping now. God’s blessings are abundant.

“Keep Those Fingers Dirty!”

 

Brian

Square Foot Gardening Simple Tools

“Our aim should be not how much strain our strength can stand, but how great we can make that strength. With such an aim we shall incidentally and naturally find ourselves accomplishing more work that if we aimed at the work itself. Moreover, when such ideas are attained, work instead of turning into drudgery tends to turn into play, and the hue of life seem to turn from dull gray to the bright tints of well-remembered childhood.” FISHER AND FISK, In How to Live.

Square Foot Gardening is such a simple process and it requires no specialized tools or abilities. All we need is a bed that is 6 inches deep, a good soil (Mel’s Mix), some quality seeds and what used to be a chore is now an enjoyment. Add to this God’s blessing, a get-it-done-attitude, a good bit of sun, some water and a trowel, pencil, and a scissors and we are gardening.

Now that is how to live.

Brian

“Keep Those Fingers Dirty!”Cabbages

I JUST GOTTA GARDEN!!!!

Today it was 20 degrees, my little fountain that I prematurely started made a beautiful ice sculpture. The Robin’s were in the trees singing “Baby it’s Cold Outside”, the wind was down right nasty but that is April here in Minnesota/North Dakota.

People are asking “What can I do to get in the garden?” Well, let’s not rush things too much, our last frost date is May 15th for zone 4. If your garden is dry you can start cleaning it up, gather all the leaves and let over plant materials if any and get them in the compost pile for goodies for this summer. If you haven’t yet, you might want to get your peppers, tomatoes, Cabbages, etc. started indoors, so they will be ready to go outside to start hardening of in a couple of weeks.

If you just have to be putting seeds in the ground, please wait another couple of weeks. You can plant radishes, onions, lettuce, spinach and even peas, but beware that there are lots of frost possibilities yet and the rabbits are looking for something green to eat too, and your sprouts may be just what they are looking for.

There are so many clean up chores to be done that I would work on those first. Clean out your bushes, shrubs and flower gardens. It is amazing how nice things look after a good spring cleaning. Get your lawn tools ready for use, put away the snow blower and get the mower out. Be careful about raking the lawn until it is good and dry, that is not a problem here this year as we had very little snow and not much precipitation yet. Get your windows washed so that you can see what your lawn and garden have to offer you. Clean out the shed and garage, get things spruced up and then we can get serious about planting.

Patience is a virtue.

Brian

Keep Those Finger Dirty!!IMG_20160402_223836736[1]

Try Gardening Therapy for Dementia

April 1st here in the Red River Valley of the North and God has the last April Fool’s joke on us…it is snowing. My dad always says you get three snows on a Robin’s back. He is usually right. As the weather will now begin to warm up many of us are looking to break free from the cabin walls we have been climbing all winter and are eager to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer us. Gardening provides us with a means of spending meaningful time with loved ones, even those with Alzheimer’s.

The garden, which is what God intended us to live in, is a beautiful place to spend time reflecting, nurturing, and observing the wonders of nature. It is also a great way to get in some fresh air, warm sunlight, and some mild exercise. Reasearch has even shown that outdoor gardening can be beneficial to those with Alzheimer’s and that gardening can engage their senses and allow people with Alzheimer’s to experience positive emotions that they don’t get on a regular basis. Who would have thought that gardening could be a way to help patients with Alzheimer’s rediscover thier world.

Patients with Alzheimer’s become more with drawn and paranoid as their disease progresses, but many of thier long-term memories are intact. Gardening may actually help patients recall pleasant memories and allow them to live in a healthier time.

  1. Other benefits to gardening include:
  2. Great exercise for the mind and body
  3. Creating a sense of purpose for a loved one facing Alzheimer’s
  4. Boosting energy levels and promoting a good nights sleep
  5. Creating a sense of community of gardening with others
  6. Allowing loved ones to experience success, ultimately building confidence.
  7. Helping to maintain an existing skill set

If you are interesting in the benefits of gardening for yourself or for your loved ones, please contact me at brian@squarefootgardeningfortheredrivervalley.com

or by calling 701-640-8985

I do have a class scheduled on April 5th at Rasmussen College here in Fargo at 6:00pm, for more information and to register go to EventBrite at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/square-foot-gardening-for-the-red-river-valley-tickets-22756988766

I will have more information becoming available so stay in touch.

If you are interested in obtaining an elevated Square Foot Garden contact me:IMG_20160323_165804926

If you are interested in donating to help get gardens to those in need please see my GoFundMe site at:

https://www.gofundme.com/f6wy56f8

Keep Those Fingers Dirty!

Brian

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More About Composting

Composting is a process in which organic materials are allowed to decompose, it is a biological process more so than a chemical or mechanical process. Decomposition and transformation of the materials is accomplished through the action of fungi, bacteria, and other micro organisms.

With proper control of moisture, temperature, and aeration, composting can result in an overall reduction of volume of the material by as much as 50%. The final product is called compost or some call it humus.

Composting can increase the organic and nutrient content of soil and improve its texture and ability to retain moisture. Home or back yard composting is practiced by many people; if properly done, home composting can divert up to 30% of a typical households waste from a municipal landfill or incinerator.

The number on problem with a compost heap, is if improperly maintained it can become a foul, slimy. smelly mess and rather intense. This problem can be eliminated by proper aeration of the pile by aerating and turning the pile frequently, eliminating the process of anaerobic decomposition.

Keep Those Fingers Dirty!

Brian