Nurture, nurture, nurture

Each year in May gardeners around the world celebrate World Naked Gardeners Day! This year I fancied gathering large red heirloom roses off the back arbor, as well as some small yellow rose blossoms and some branches from white lilac in the front garden, creating a floral wreath for myself as I “hid” behind a local painted fence. So fun! May is also a time when working in the garden becomes more a focus of our lives as the tasks of spring emerge and take our attention. These two activities brought to mind the chapter in my book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden based on the simple lesson, “Nurture, nurture, nurture,” which here follows for your reading pleasure.

Nurture, nurture, nurture

Near as I can tell life on planet Earth is mostly about taking care. Taking care of our families. Taking care of our friends. Taking care of the work that we take responsibility for. Taking care of our homes, taking care of our possessions, our animals, our gardens, our plants, our cars, our water, our air, our land. Our churches, our communities, our cities, our roads, our poor, our sick, our wounded, our frail and elderly. Taking care of ourselves. Taking care of ourselves physically. Taking care of ourselves mentally. Taking care of ourselves emotionally. And taking care of ourselves spiritually. Yep, I’d say that pretty much covers life on our planet for we human beings, and it certainly reflects my experience!

Now how we go about that is endless in its possibilities. As varied as the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the plants in the forest. And notice they are all taking care as well.

If I ask myself what is the central principle behind this endless and perpetual taking care, I’d have to say life itself. Life reaching towards life. Life ensuring life continues. That essentially is the drive behind it all, is it not? Each and every living thing on planet Earth is hardwired for doing well, for keeping the whole thing going, for perpetuating life. The lengths various species go to ensure their sticking around boggles the mind.

As we are caught up in our own individual dramas and the illusions (and grandeurs) of our sense of separation, it is easy (and convenient) to forget what the essential driving force behind all this is. Truly there are beings walking planet Earth thinking it was about them. “What? It’s not about me?” Well, it is. You and over six trillion other people and a several trillion other species. It is humbling to contemplate when we take the time.

And the distorted ways in which some of us choose to take care of ourselves and others are absolute abominations, there is no doubt. But often underneath the aberration one could find this slender thread of life’s longing at the core, hard as that might seem.

What would our lives look like if we consciously brought the value of taking care, of nurturing to the fore? How would aligning ourselves with that single focus impact our lives and the lives of others? If we acknowledged fully our intrinsic programming to care and nurture for all that came within our view, our path, our neighborhood, our own small radar, what impact would that accumulative shift have on our larger reality?

Jesus said to love one another. Was that not the same?

Love and garden blessings from my heart to yours,
Kathryn xoxo

Note: This post is dedicated to my beloved Border Collie companion, Thistle, who this week moved to heaven. I will forever be grateful for our shared life together and for our deep loving bond.

Best and Easy Blueberry Muffins!

Happy New Year, dear readers!

I have no idea why I thought really good blueberry muffins might be somewhat elusive. They’re not. And, amazingly, this recipe slightly adapted from Joy of Cooking, are incredibly fast and easy! You don’t even need a mixer! Here are the ingredients and what you do.

Preheat oven to 400°. Then grease a 12 cup muffin pan. I use butter.

In a large bowl whisk together:

2 C. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

Measure out 1 1/2 C. blueberries. Sprinkle with sugar and set aside until ingredients are mixed.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together:

2 large eggs
1 C. heavy whipping cream
2/3 C. sugar
1 stick melted unsalted butter
1 t. vanilla

Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture, mixing gently only until the the dry ingredients are moistened. You are not seeking a well mixed batter.

Now, using a wooden spoon, fold in the blueberries. Do not overmix. Do only what is needed.

With a large spoon, fill each greased muffin cup. This might feel a bit awkward at first. Use your best judgment. You won’t be disappointed.

Bake 15-20 minutes. I stick a salad fork into the top of my muffins to test for doneness. Note that electric ovens tend to need the lesser time; gas ovens tend to need a bit more time. Timing can also be affected by whether the blueberries were fresh or frozen.

Pull from oven. Allow to cool before removing from muffin tin. Serve when cool. You can also easily freeze and use gradually. I nearly always have some in my freezer!

So easy, right? Enjoy!

Love and kitchen blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

Book News: I am loving this quote I pulled from the script of Romance is a Bonus Book (on Netflix). “A book may not be able to change the world, but I’m sure it can still leave something warm inside.” It is my fondest wish that Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden leaves something warm inside. Many thanks to those of you who bought copies during the holidays for your loved ones and who have contacted me directly letting me know you have loved the book. So lovely to hear.

Plant Whatever Brings You Joy has a birthday!

It’s true! Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden was published in July 2010! Gosh! Ten years old! And what a decade it has been!
Plant Whatever Brings You Joy has allowed me to continue to meet gardeners and readers from around the globe for which I will ever be grateful.

Here are some of the highlights of this publishing journey:

*Having my book be carried in over sixty bookstores around the country including at San Francisco Airport!

*Having a chapter from my book be translated into Dutch by Ode Magazine.
*Discovering my e-book was carried by Walmart and bookstores around the world via Kobo books.
*Publishing articles in Science of Mind magazine, Journal for Quality and Participation (reaching the business community!), GreenPrints magazine, Western North Carolina Woman, and more.
*Receiving almost exclusively 5-star reviews on Amazon!
*Doing a booksigning at Readers Books in downtown Sonoma, with wine provided by Frey Winery. To this day I have fans who attended that event!

*Finding a graphic on Twitter quoting one of my lessons.

*Having over 1,200 folks watch my book trailer even though so many marketing people thought it was “too long”. I thought it was nice. 🙂

*Learning that readers of my book were spontaneously using it as an effective oracle.
*Receiving exclusively positive reviews from the media–without exception! You will find a list on Estrella Catarina!
*Doing a virtual book event with a book club in the UK! That was particularly very very fun! (I didn’t want to leave. Trust me.) Here they are. You can see why!

*Earning back what I invested in doing things My Way in the first six months after the book was published–and having Amazon deposit monies into my account monthly even ten years later!

*Having readers tell me over and over again two primary things:

“I love your book.”
“It’s sitting by my bed.”

There is more to come. I know that and welcome that. So many doors open for authors. This is a decision I will never regret.

My deepest thanks to all who have read Plant Whatever Brings You Joy, to those who have purchased it as gifts and to those who will one day buy the book for themselves. I am so very grateful. I hope my writing has touched your hearts and given you some things to think about as you move through your lives.

Love and blessings,
Kathryn XOXO

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