Writing discipline, velvet queens and teddy bears.

I am a sucker for any seed packet that recommends contents as perfect in a child’s garden. Enter jack-o-lantern pumpkins and dwarf teddy bear sunflowers.

I understand that the way baby-sized plants become small is by taking what was once an undesirable genetic trait and breeding specifically to reproduce it. But I don’t care! Give me two-and-a-half-foot sunflowers that have no petals and tell me they’re “teddy bear”. Sold!

Segue: I’m crossing my fingers I can keep writing regularly as I wrap up summer to begin the teaching life. I’m sure it’ll move from garden-flavored to singing-centric. I just hope I’m not too tired to write about it.

I have a stack of books I’ve written about my kids (Blog2Print, a great Christmas present for the child who wants to read every detail about themselves) that stay on the shelf in my bedroom. Actually I hide the books under quilts because I catch the boys poring over the nitty gritty details and I feel embarrassed they are reading my stream-of-conscience woes from the mother-of-toddler years.

Writing is one of my favorite disciplines. That sounds nerdy, but I am convinced the best things I have produced in life come from a consistent, persistent, diligent observation of small, boring things.
Drawing is up there, too (cartooning, especially). I just tend to place it towards the bottom of the discipline list because I want to finish what I begin and that’s hard when you’re pretty terrible at sketching appendages like arms and legs.
Reading is another—nonfiction, or historical fiction. I’m hacking away at all the things I didn’t learn long ago. Reading the Bible—the most solid, alive book I’ve ever come across—saving me from countless sleepless nights and all-the-rage modern therapy.
Exercising—nothing more than extra intention to move my body regularly and use food as fuel for activity. Some days it amounts to chores: clothes on the line, pulling weeds, putting away house clutter, picking blackberries, getting the mail.
Practicing music—listening, producing, playing, writing, riffing. Usually with the kids, sometimes, not.
These disciplines keep me in check with my place in the world. They keep me from comparing my life to the lives of other people. I’m running my own race and peace of mind is a daily prize.

Writing is the most effective way for me to understand my personal worldview, and it is the only way I can express myself with confidence. In this way, disciplines are not burdensome.
I crave the boring life, I guess. It’s a joy. To be a human who is always learning and always creating and connecting—this is fantastic.
But to also be a person who leaves a trail of awesomeness by an example, or words, or wisdom, or funny cartoons, or memories of hilarious jam sessions—it’s worth whatever effort you put into it.

Speaking of boring things, I also love cataloguing the seeds I buy along with a picture if and when the plant produces. Surely it has something to do with my obsessive observing habits. I’m think I’m a Ferry-Morse kind of gal.

Dwarf Teddy Bear. Happy to report it took less than 75 days to bloom! But weirdly still longer than the regular sunflowers.
Chamomile. Been chewing the stems while I voluntarily play board games with my kids. Maybe it has a sleepytime calming effect?
No surprise these are prolific, almost weed like, these are so indestructible. I faux-zoodle them (no zoodler here except yours truly) with butter in the skillet, garlic and basil and parm.
Velvet Queen! Stunning, super tall. Couldn’t wait to chop the first one down and look at her up close. I’m hooked.

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