Captain’s log, stardate 8232013.1. The cucumber plants have all begun to perish. While I understand the cycle of life, I can’t help but think that I did something wrong as I look at their withered, brown vines that once held so much life. I’d clapped my hands with tearful joy when the seeds first sprouted, then again when I saw signs of the first itty bitty cucumber.
I cheerfully ate 2-3 cucumbers a day for weeks – I especially liked them topped with smoked salt as a simple snack and now I’ve only two or three left in the crisper until next year- if I even choose to grow them again as it’s just so sad to see them run their course without an opportunity to offer them a fond farewell…
I snuck out this past Thursday for a much needed getaway. It had been two years since I had taken a trip that was just for me and boy, did I need it! From Thursday to Sunday I went to The Great Rhythm Revival which is described as “3 Days of Ecstatic Rejuvenation + Conscious Learning.” It is run by my friend Jim Donovan who was one of the founding members of the band Rusted Root.
The event is held on the same farm where the Blue Heron Music Festival takes place in Sherman, New York. I’m not typically one for camping but find it a little easier in this type of environment when there are hot showers available and super tasty organic food being prepared for you three times a day.
After the event ended midday on Sunday, I stayed in the area for an additional three days at a friend’s house near Findley Lake, NY. Now I feel refreshed and more in alignment with the path of least resistance!
In this photo I am holding a small orange Webbie which I use as a gratitude journal. Inside is a four leaf clover that I found while taking an outside yoga class at the retreat.
Who doesn’t like chocolate? Or a chocolate Rhodiarama Webbie? Each time I visit the health food store, I discover another interesting type of chocolate bar. Pretzels in chocolate, sea salt with caramel, and hot peppers are a few that I’ve tried but the one I bought a few days ago was what I believe to be the most ultimate chocolate bar flavor ever: lavender and blueberry. It sounded so wrong that I had to buy it. One bite and I was amazed at how good it tasted and how well those flavors worked together.
What has been the most unique chocolate bar flavor combination you’ve tried?
Image courtesy of chrisbfu on Instagram
Review of the Rhodiarama Pocket Web Notebook on Life Imitates Doodles
Transforming Fear Through the Power of Journaling at Creative Write Now
Art Journal Prompts Galore at Daisy Yellow Blog
Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper at Notebook Stories
start by starting at Wild Thyme Creative
Where nibmeisters differ at And ALl Other Tasks
How to Keep Motivated When Working From Home at Under30Ceo
Review of Neon Ticonderogas at Pencil Revolution
365 Collages | Week 30 – the Post It Note Edition at iHanna’s Blog
Fader Vanishing Ink Highlighter at Office Supply Geek
Sanford / PaperMate Liquid Expresso Extra Fine Line Pen at A Penchant for Paper
Pen Loop at The Well Appointed Desk
Creative Every Day Theme for August 2013: Cycles at Creative Every Day
The Persistence of Pencil at Little Flower Petals
A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: Embarrasing Moments at Writing Through Life
Image courtesy of spanisharchitect on Instagram. What was in the cup? “It was tiramisu mocha, really yummy!”
While I did not think to take notes of what and how I was planting, I do have a few things worth noting about my first real year gardening.
- When you put seeds in the ground and give them water, they grow. So simple yet so very magical…
- Plants grow really big. I now know that I planted too many things way too close to one another.
- Nothing I built prepared me for how these cucumbers would sprawl…
- I planted two types of tomatoes three ways. Some seeds were started indoors then transplanted to the ground – others went in buckets. I also planted some seeds right in the ground. Transplants into the ground are doing the best.
- Herbs bolt. I didn’t even know what that word meant. It means that the plant starts to flower and the taste changes. My cilantro bolted early. Best thing to do is to sow seeds at different times so they don’t all bolt at once.
- Next year I will plant a better and more functional variety of herbs. I don’t even like parsley and I have no idea what to do with that pretty purple sage.
- I should have bought 50 lavender plants instead of just one.
- The Indian Poona Kheera cucumbers I planted (from The Seed Savers Exchange) can be eaten at any stage. They seem to have more flavor when they are smaller. The skin turns brown like a potato when ripe. (Shown in my hand above.)
- Some tomatoes bear all their fruit at once. I sure hope the ones I’m growing don’t do that.
What have you learned about your garden this year?
Got a new sketchbook, journal, tablet? I love testing them all with anything close at hand. Favorite pens, markers, pencils… It becomes a rite of passage to initiate a new pile of pristine paper in this way.
A few years back when I was performing countless notebook reviews, my big thing was to grab a dozen different fountain pens, (each inked with a different color) then test each one on the first page of a new book to see whether or not the inks would feather or bleed on that particular brand of paper. After the fountain pens, I’d typically try a few watercolor washes to see how the paper would hold up to the water.
Do you have a favorite “new notebook/sketchbook” ritual that you would like to share?
Image courtesy of almighty5 on Instagram
Well now, this is different! Anitropius seems to have a knack for expressive minimalism – not to mention a fearless attitude towards creative expression. I like it! I’ve seen stickers, paint and leather covers. How have you personalized your Webbie? Send me pictures: stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com OR post them to Instagram and use #Rhodia to tag them.
Image courtesy of Anitropius on Instagram
Are you familiar with the concept of “Morning Pages” from Julia Cameron’s popular book The Artist’s Way?
From Julia’s website: “Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind Continue Readering »
This is one of the new 8×11″ Large Quo Vadis Habana Notebooks and to tell you the truth, I can’t decide how to use it. For journaling, I typically prefer something in the 5×8″ range or smaller – like the 4×6″ Habana. Are you familiar with the concept of a vision board? I’m thinking about using this as a “Vision Book”
How would you use this book?
Writing has been my therapy. A place to say the things I wouldn’t normally say out loud or that I need to say when no one is available to listen. I used to go back and read through older books whenever I’d start a new one, but I don’t really do that any more – which leads me to the question of why I’m still keeping them.
What do you do with your notebooks when you’ve finished one – do you keep them? Read back through them? Toss them?
Image courtesy of Myriam Thibault – follow myriamthibault on Instagram.
Me & Pop-Pop. The infamous photo where I was being bribed with a writing tablet to sit with my grandfather for a photo. (I was afraid of old people) This is the beginning of “Biff Loves Paper.)
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how I had once again come back to the task of trying to fill in the gaps of my family tree. I had only been able to get so far on Ancestry.com but once a kind reader pointed me in the direction of the free FamilySearch.com website, I was able to almost immediately go back five generations on my paternal grandfather’s mother’s side into the Great Plains of Northeast Hungary.
Growing up and through most of my adult life (read: until about a week ago) I knew nothing of Hungary except for the stuffed cabbages, noodles and cabbage, and chicken paprikash that I ate growing up. (I still occasionally make the paprikash because it’s sooo delicious. It’s a simple broth made from chicken stock, onions, salt, pepper, paprika and sour cream served over stewed chicken with chewy drop noodles. Yummo!)
Learning of my new found 62.5% Hungarian ethnicity and how so many of my relatives came from a single village, I decided to see what I could learn by perusing various tourism sites and reading the history of Hungary on Wikipedia. 1000+ hot springs, inexpensive travel accommodations, wine, goulash, beautiful tiny villages… I wish I had a passport! (They also boast one of the most difficult languages on the planet which is oddly related to Finnish.)
Every time I go back to searching another name, I think about what their rural lives must have been like and how they came upon the decision to take a giant leap of faith to come and start new lives in America. Then I start wishing that I’d been left a journal or two describing life in the old country and what it was like to travel to the US- and that hopefully, the change was for the better.
For a Reader of Harper Books at Contrapuntalism
How does writing on good paper make you feel? at Quo Vadis Blog
Journal Writing: Stop Multitasking and Start Focusing at Personal Growth Journaling Blog
Writing Tips: Abolish the Adverbs at Writing Forward
Journaling Techniques: Writing on the Stream of Consciousness at Writing Through Life
Do You Know the 3 Steps to Journal Your Way through Difficult Situations? at Journal in a Box
Planner Pad Insta-Pocket at Plannerisms
The World’s Coolest Pen at Office Supply Geek (I want one!)
Platinum Preppy Highlighter at A Penchant for Paper
Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki Ink Review at The Pen Addict
TWSBI Diamond 50 Inkwells at Ink Nouveau
Eric’s 2013 LA Pen Show Take-Aways at FP Geeks
My new Folded Ruling Pen and Friday Favorites at Quilt or Dye
Crayola Crayon Tower as a storage solution for Caran D’Ache Neocolor II crayons at Lung Sketching Scrolls
Pens with Names at Paper in Hand
10 Uses for the Pencil at This Old House
How Small is Your Sketchbook at Notebook Stories
Namaqua Rain Frog at Real Monstrosities
Living on the east coast and a 90 minute drive from the ocean, I don’t claim to know anything about surf culture except what I’ve seen on TV and in the movies. One film in particular that piqued my interest was the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. Continue Readering »
Here on Rhodia Drive, we maintain a blogroll consisting of sites dedicated to paper, pens, pencils, ink, art, art journaling, and writing. It’s about that time of year when I check to make sure all of the current links are still functional and also when I start looking for cool new links.
If you have or know of an awesome blog you think we should consider adding to our blogroll, leave the link down in the comment section and I will be happy to take a look. I can’t guarantee we will be able to use each and every submission, but please know that we are always looking for relevant sites with quality content. Reciprocal linkage is always appreciated.
Oh, and please let me know if you regularly peruse our existing blogroll links.
To me, there’s really nothing that gets my brain juices flowing like doodling. At my last office job, my manager would glare at me for my frantic doodling during conference calls. Once I left that job, I was sure to send her a copy of the Time magazine article about how doodling helps you pay attention. Continue Readering »