The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making


11 Comments

Core New Year

It was near the end of 2014 I came across Danielle LaPorte and her book entitled The Desire Map, and even though I have yet to purchase and read the book, it still has reached out to me. That’s some pretty powerful stuff – a book that can reach inside your brain without even reading it! So, I thought I would share with you what I have been given and hopefully also benefit you and of course, Danielle in some way in reciprocation.

The premise of The Desire Map is that you/I/we are setting goals. We’re setting goals we hope to reach and well, when we do, they somehow feel “soulless” (in the land of plenty and excess). Yeah, so what? The Desire Map invites you to explore what you are really striving for, and that is, the feeling that you hope to have/achieve when you reach said goal – not accomplishing the goal itself. Example: goal is to lose 10 pounds, whoopee lost 10 pounds but feel beautiful. Goal (desire) is to feel beautiful. Mental narrative: will that piece of rich, dark chocolate cake help you to lose 10 pounds? No. Will that piece of rich, dark chocolate cake make you feel beautiful? Depends – there’s more meaning  (aka soul) to that question. Immediately maybe my taste buds will feel beautiful and perhaps my mood. But honestly no, it will make me feel fatter, guilty, weak, angry at myself. Much more powerful reasons for passing on that delectable piece of cake. See the difference?

New Year’s Eve 2015 I spent in my rental in Cedar Key – quietly, cooking a nice dinner – AND exploring 5 to 6 words of what it was I wanted to feel for the remainder of 2015. And for every question, decision that I would have to make on my life’s path in 2015 I could simply ask myself does it make me feel … independent, ritual, creativity, earth-kissed, sexy, respected, worthy. Words I felt described my core desires for 2015. I even made myself a little graphic so that I could reference my words often.

1fca456f69e86fbf0a7e7e00f1220ee8

I admit, the answers waned by mid-year but I wish they hadn’t. I wish in the middle of summer, when the going was a little tough on the job and me on myself, that I revisited these words to set me back on course.

[Side note: I also use Pinterest to motivate me. My meditation board is designed to “adjust my attitude” at any given time and it helps. It helps a lot.] … But taking some solitary time exploring core desires helps me more.

The exploratory exercise truly helped set my intention for the year of 2015 and I thoroughly enjoyed spending New Year’s Eve this way so much so that I did it again for 2016!

This past year (2015), I once again made a hopping john dish (a Southern tradition for bringing in luck for the New Year): hopping john fritters. (Recipe here.) And I listened to some frequency healing music (my new addiction) to add to the aura while sipping wine and mapping my core desire words for 2016. What did I reveal? What are my 2016 core desire words?

Expressive – Constant – Soaring – Channeled – Bohemian

And once again I made myself a little graphic which I think I will print and hang up in my newly rearranged and organized office (when I return home) so that I am reminded each and every day of what my core desires are for this year (and don’t wane).

2016

Does it work? Just by writing this I realize that in 2014 I was feeling a little slighted – maybe working for free or not making enough for my time – and a little frumpy – getting fatter by the day – and a little too dependent upon things. I no longer feel those things – I feel more worthy and respected. I respect myself more than ever. I have been working out more and more and refining my Vegan diet, and so I’m also feeling pretty good physically, and I sure do have quite a new collection of sexy under ware (·)(·) ???

My intention this year is to be much more dedicated/consistent to my art and garden as well as building my place of peace (our new property on Grass Lake), and I think that is reflected in my core desire words “constant” and “expressive.” I also want to exceed, excel … “soar,” but I still want to feel grounded to my mission – “channeled” – yet keep this beautiful feeling of freedom and independence – quite “bohemian.”

I am looking very foreword to 2016! I hope you are, too, and that your New Year is revealing in its desires and that those desires bring you nothing but happiness.

Advertisements


10 Comments

Christmas in Gulfport

We spent Christmas a little further South of Cedar Key in the cute coastal town of Gulfport. Gulfport is a tiny jewel in the midst of sprawling St. Petersburg. It has a cozy, small downtown feel and views of the Gulf. The houses are kitschy and eclectic. They are smaller, older but snatched up by ambitious owners who rub the genie’s lamp of charm and bring them back into their glory days. Many are for rent and yes, we are staying in one. Take a small tour with me and jingle all the way.

The local hangout is O’Maddy’s and it’s where we spent our Christmas Day Eve with a jolly ol’ crowd singing Christmas carols with the band. It put the fun back into Christmas for me. No preparation, no presents, no fancy food, no glitzy decor … just hey, this place is open on Christmas and is rockin’! Let’s walk right into some cheerful holiday comrade and child-like fun. Even our dog Mojo got into the spirit of things down at O’Maddy’s with its bar side seating open to the Gulf.

Untitled

Untitled

23924435761_b67ee4ce67_o.jpg

There are a slew of salty, tiki bars and restaurants to pick from. All within walking distance from the charming bungalow houses and waterfront condos.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

I wanted to try some Mexican Cantina food here at Peg’s but they are on vacation! Maybe next time …

Untitled

One of my favorite little restaurants is Mangia’s offering the perfect mix of American standard and VEGAN food! It is fresh and delicious with many homemade items including all sorts of delicious hummus such as beet, wonderful soups and salads, and sweet treats for dessert. You can dine inside or al fresco upon this lovely nook of a patio.

23924470431_f76c45305d_o

Post Christmas we dined al fresco here at Pia’s – magnificent Italian fare and large, waxy candle bras to put you in the mood. “Più vino per favore!”

Untitled

Walking is the best mode of transportation here because you can take in all the sites at your own pace. I love the variety in architecture, the secret gardens, artsy decor, and of course live Oaks with Spanish Moss.

Untitled

Untitled

23898812262_1500a45ab9_o.jpg

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

This fa la la la la stroll has me thinking about the New Year, my next steps, the years ahead … how I long to have my own little Southern getaway with its secret garden! … and how to get there from here. For now I am content to soak up the sun and inspiration. I sure hope your holidays were just as merry and bright and that the New Year brings promise of good things to come.


11 Comments

Merriment & Mood

It’s different getting into the spirit of Christmas in a climate one isn’t traditionally acquainted with. Note I stated different, not difficult. Yesterday was such a beautiful day that we walked around the small town of Cedar Key and please, don’t despise, in shorts, flops and tanks. Butterflies flutter about, flowers bloom. Festive indeed.

Untitled

As I walked around I fretted just a little because well, Christmas is coming up right quick! But this is one of the many things I enjoy about my Winter home … Christmas isn’t a grand retail event here. It is a one to two-day holiday celebrated but for a brief time of the year. I like that I shop and celebrate all within a week or two. It is not a long, arduous, stressful, has-to-be-perfect performance. I don’t decorate our rental. Sure, I miss a Christmas tree but I prefer live Christmas trees and well, the last one I put up really stirred up my allergies so it was probably my last. One day I will figure out how to display my favorite ornaments. I also prefer living plants so I just may splurge on a Poinsettia. Last year, my tree was a small Rosemary topiary. This year, this is the extent of my decoration (or celebration) if you will.

I no longer bake cookies since I’ve become Vegan. Not that there aren’t some incredible Vegan cookie recipes, just that I don’t indulge as much. There is so much food around the holidays. I will be making a Vegan key lime pie for Christmas dinner. That seems to be my new tradition.

Here, I really don’t have neighbors since we are transient. That will probably change over the years and I’m sure I will bake or make homemade treats once again for giving.

Anyway, I’ve digressed. Yesterday we walked around town and it was the day of the annual Christmas boat parade so the decorations came out and about and I took some time to admire them and get in the mood. I love the nautical and local feel of these festive feasts for the eyes.

I thought the live greenery around this ornate door particularly beautiful.

23078016483_8da1bb744b_o

This manger scene is beautiful day and night. At night, if you look carefully on the trunk of the tree, the starfish lights up in tiny blue lights.

Untitled

This angel is merry and poignant.

Untitled

The colors of Christmas here are slightly different in hue.

Untitled

Then we made our way towards the town beach to get a little sand in between our toes. Wreathes along the way remind us of the sea.

Untitled

Untitled

I loved the use of palms in this gated door adornment.

Untitled

Another wreathe that sparkles day and night.

Untitled

Another merry reminder of the nearby sea.

Untitled

Around here they say the mullets jump for joy so when you see them jumping up out of the water you exclaim happy mullets! A tribute perhaps on the town lights?

Untitled

Untitled

Finally we reach the beach and the town tree!

Untitled

By far the most fun to be had was watching the Christmas boat parade. One can sit on a select few balconies of restaurants high above and look over to town on one side and the ocean on the other where the boats parade by all lit up.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

My favorite decorated boat was not a boat at all but a small kayak carrying a lit up Christmas tree of which I did not manage to get a picture. My second favorite boat was this “jellyfish boat” – creative and beautiful streaming by.

Untitled

We were able to stroll back home among all the lights now in a festive mood.

Untitled

Bringing you tidings of comfort and joy from Cedar Key.

Untitled