Saturday, August 18, 2012

Feng Shui, Bagua Map, and Inspiring Sayings

aka feng shui

Since I'm still recovering from 2008's multiple fractures and 2011's cancer, and now have "primary hyperparathyroidism" (don't know much about it yet) to deal with and get over, I have become interested in the principles of Feng Shui to help with healing in particular and energy in general.  My bedroom in Winston is now painted a soothing Sherwin-Williams Creme and the bed is in soft pinks.  I have always felt peace at the condo so I am not concerned about Feng Shui there.  But the Yadkin house and yard, although also feeling very peaceful and soul-soothing to me, will be going through the Feng Shui process, beginning with the house.

Mary Lea Bradford,, is going to be involved in the yard "work" but I'm not ready to tackle that yet.  I hope to make use of Louise Klein's help,, with the inside.  Until I can free up some funds for those wise women, I'm on a strictly DIY path with something I know nothing about!  That's never stopped me before, and it's not stopping me now.  So I read that clutter is definitely bad Feng Shui, bad energy.

So I've been on a campaign to de-clutter.  This is no easy task.  Hahaha.  I am good at clutter, making it, that is.  Not anywhere near hoarder status, but a nice medium-size clutter maker.  It is hard for me to throw things away.  Fortunately Farmer Lynn does not coexist well with clutter and so he helps me with this "tendency".  It does help that we are still moving this into this house and into place in this house, so as I look at items, I can think "ok, trash" or "ok, Goodwill" or "ok, freecycle this".  I can also group like things together and realize when I have more than plenty and can do the trash/Goodwill/freecycle processing.  Nowadays I hear that de-cluttering is called "space editing".  Doesn't that sound much nicer?

The second thing I've done is to look up Feng Shui and discover Bagua Mapping.  I had never heard of this before.  It has taken over my arranging of things.
bagua map

There are roughly nine rooms in the Yadkin house and there are nine different Bagua Map parts, so figuring out what goes where, according to the Bagua Map, is easy.  I can do what I can do, and then let those who know more about this rearrange things later!  At least I ought to be in the general neighborhood, I figure (she says confidently).

I find myself wanting to put lots of blues pretty much everywhere.  A completely blue house would feel healing and peaceful to me.  I have decided to go with that feeling, since it's so strong, and still put lots of blues around the house since it comforts me (and since it's my favorite color and Farmer Lynn's favorite color too).  But I have been surprised at the nice effect that the other colors, the Bagua colorings, have on me as well.  So this will take up some time in the short- and medium-range.

One of the first things we did when we moved in was to get together sayings that we liked.  Bible verses.  Love sayings.  Inspirational words.  I really like the work of Mary Anne Radmacher,  She has beautiful drawings to go with her quotes.

I already had a few of hers framed and then I ordered a few more earlier this spring.  So we hung those up as we found the right place for them.  Recently I discovered Craft Cuts,, that has vinyl lettering sayings that you can put right onto your wall -- no framing or nail holes.

I like quite a few of those, haha.  There is a lot of beadboard here so I will have to find just the right spot for at least 2-3.   You can also use their wooden letters to spell out whatever you want (see  but I'd have to really give that some thought.  Those don't come easy for me.  I really like hers though.  While you're checking that out, join the raffle there.  You could get a $30 gift certificate to Craft Cuts.  If I won that, I'd check out their vinyl chalkboards and wall murals (for the man cave!) also.  Otherwise, I'll have to wait a while to go any further.

The Man Cave, by the way, on the Bagua Map is in the "career" spot.  I'll have to read up on that more to see how that relates to what goes on in a man cave!

The Yadkin Yard is a Good Garden Yard -- Part 2

The Speckled Swan gourds took off, went crazy, or as my grandma used to say "went down yonder"!!  Farmer Lynn had to check on the vines about twice a day to keep them from trying to grab onto things they shouldn't.  They're all across the back, up the supports for the sunroom and the screened porch, up and across a maple tree -- they're everywhere.  I'm looking forward to to fixing them up for the birds to nest in.  Maybe some Purple Martins will come stay with us!

    They're all across the back, up the supports for the sunroom and the screened porch, up and acrossa maple tree -- they're everywhere.  I'm looking forward to to fixing them up for the birds to nest in.  Maybe some Purple Martins will come stay with us!

The other bumper crop this year was sunflowers.  Farmer Lynn planted the seeds in the garden originally, but soon afterwards we had a huge flooding rain that moved around a lot of the freshly-planted garden seeds.  A lot of the sunflowers ended up (downhill of course) in the reforesting area.  They're hard to get to down there for us, but the birds will enjoy them.  We do need to reach a few in order to save seeds for next year.

Here's the garden now.  We have plenty of watermelons that will be ready soon.  We both love watermelons and so do our families, so we're very pleased at how well they're turning out.  

The corn just didn't get enough water this year and the soil was so hard.  It was still tasty though.  These marigolds are from seeds that Farmer Lynn has planted, saved seeds, planted, saved seeds, for 18 years now.  They're a very pretty color and add nice bunches of color to the garden and that whole side yard actually.  

The Yadkin Yard is a Good Garden Yard.

Chickens free-ranging, oh my!

When we first moved in here, we thought the parade of rooster, chickens, and turkeys coming through the side yard on the south side were just adorable.  But soon they showed their destructive side, scratching at the landscaped areas, throwing mulch out into the yard and uprooting small flowering plants.  One of our goals was to cut down on the area to be mowed, so Farmer Lynn and Elder Son Chris had spent quite a while, and quite a few truckloads, building a mulched island around several of the trees and an old TV dish.  They put the wrought iron settee and two chairs out there and it was a nice place to sit a spell.  Plus it accomplished the intended purpose of cutting down on mower turns and passes in that area.  Then the rooster led the chickens over there and they threw all of that out also.  We'd really hoped to extend the mulched area over time to really cut back on the area to be mowed, but that was not looking possible with the free-ranging chickens scratching all into everything.  

However, after only a couple of conversations with the neighbors, they put up a fence along the property line to contain the chickens.  Voila!  Problem solved.  Much relief.  And now Farmer Lynn and Elder Son Chris can work on the next phase of the landscaping of the south yard.  Hoorah for fences!!  And hoorah for nice Yadkin Yard neighbors!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Yadkin Yard is a Good Garden Yard -- Part 1

Awww, Farmer Lynn came in today with a basket of ripe fruits and vegetables.  Yellow squash, a watermelon, corn, and cooking tomatoes. The watermelon will need to ripen a while longer inside.

But I'm going to break into the corn tonight or tomorrow morning.  A lot of what he planted this year were heirloom seeds, from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

Although the soil was broken up by about 7 passes with the tiller, it was & is still really hard red clay.  That was all we could manage for this year and we were late getting that much done.  Next year, we hope to have some compost mixed in, and then even more the following year.  Gotta be patient there, little garden.  But I think it's doing really well, especially
for being the first year!

Farmer Lynn has been bringing in a few sunflowers also.  The birds will eat most of the seeds outside, and that's as it should be, but we need to save some too for next year.  The sunflowers are so cheerful-looking.

The heirloom seeds this year are Country Gentleman sweet corn, Early Golden Summer Crookneck squash, Banana Melon, Black Diamond watermelon (yellow belly strain), Cucumber Delikatesse, Speckled Swan gourd, and Tiger Eye sunflower mix, all from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

This year, because the garden didn't get the water it needed and deserved, and because the red clay didn't have many nutrients despite the Miracle Gro applications, the garden struggled.  Farmer Lynn struggled to keep enough water out there to at least keep it all from dying.  Squirrels took over the tomatoes as soon as they got remotely ripe.  But we still had a good crop -- yay!!