Earth Whispers Part 1 by Janine Donoho

My spring garden

My spring garden

A proposal: let’s make every day Earth Day. Yes, my hair’s still on fire over climate change, yet I’m learning to walk the walk of a calm-assertive. Thank you, Cesar Millan. This approach comes from dealing with those fearful aggressives known as Deniers, Birthers, and Birchers (DBBs). Just call me an earth whisperer.

Recycling old seeds into balls

Recycling old seeds into balls

Those of us who recognize there’s no valid connection between actual scientific basis and personal belief systems need to set rules, boundaries and limitations. Consider it a rehabilitation effort on behalf of our struggling planet.

Clay & seeds

Clay & seeds

That means no more caving to fabricated ‘beliefs’ that harm our planet. Calmly and assertively explain that tactics used by corporate shills are the same dishonest strategies used by tobacco companies to ‘prove’ that smoking is good for you. And their response to pesky lung cancer? No causal relationship to their product. How has that turned out? With our entire support system aka Planet Earth at risk, where else do you plan to live?

Now invite your DBBs to make seed balls. Our high desert requires that we conserve moisture. Seed balls do just that. Besides, who wouldn’t find unity in this fun activity? Here’s the recipe I use:

  • 2 parts mulch (certified organic mushroom mulch is my fave)
  • 5 parts powdered red clay
  • 1-2 parts water
  • 1-2 parts seeds*
  • Mixing tub
  • Cardboard box to dry and store seed balls

    Seed ball mixture

    Seed ball mixture

Directions:

  • Combine mulch, clay, and 1 part water thoroughly. Go for a lump free version and slowly add more water until your mixture’s the consistency of toy store molding clay.
  • Add your seeds* and more water as necessary, then knead the mixture until well mixed.
  • Pinch off bits of the mixture and roll into balls about an inch in diameter. The texture should hold together easily, so add more water if it’s too crumbly.
  • Dry your seed balls for 24-48 hours in a shaded place. Too much heat causes cracks.
  • Once they’re dry, sow or store in cardboard containers, since plastic bags can lead to unintended germination.
  • When you sow your seed balls, opt for the gentle toss method versus careful placement. Tossing’s way more fun and for me, precision hasn’t led to better results. Please don’t bury or water them, though.
A few seed dried seed balls

A few seed dried seed balls

That’s it. Our first Earth Day project. Consider this 1 part invitation and 2 parts love note to our earth. I’ll share more delights in the future and hope you’ll do the same.

*Some recommend using one species of seed in each ball. I’m not a purist and like the surprises that come from mixing whatever drought- and deer-resistant flower seeds I have. Mine are all rated for zones 1-3, but make sure yours suit your local environs.

How are you finding ways to contribute to the health of our earth? What are you doing to minimize your impact?

When joy happens

When joy happens

Color & texture

Color & texture

Reflections of beauty

Reflections of beauty

 

Zombie Fighters’ Guide to Balancing Process and Purpose by Janine Donoho

Hawk in flightIn the wild blue stratosphere of authorpreneurs, I suppose I’ve fledged. Not ready for the high thermals or gale forces yet, but I gained a few skills. What I’m struggling with? Finding a dynamic balance between purpose, which is to write new stories, and the process of social media success. I’m told this connects me with new readers.

I’m definitely better at the former. Yet as anyone who’s been employed knows,Zombie warrior process can crush your productivity—if you let it. Since this publishing blitz, I’ve virtually met virtual people that I’d love to talk with over an actual cuppa. That doesn’t get the story written, though, now does it?

In keeping with that, I’m relying on the essentials of zombie fighters everywhere:

ZombieGo brilliant with resilience – learn to adapt quickly to new adventures;

ZombieCommit to fit – dodge the body blows with daily strength and endurance workouts;

ZombieOust the doubt – dwell on the successes and treat yourself as you do your BFF;

ZombieCollude with food – eat what fuels you best and ditch the garbage;

ZombiePalm the calm – listen, reflect, meditate, and embrace the joy.

So as I teeter on the precipice with rudimentary flight muscles, I’m also embracing April as my shift from author back to writer. That means taming the blustery media whipping me to and fro. For in today’s world, we writers need to negotiate the elemental mix of air, earth, water, and fire that buffets our social media world. Let’s do so on our own terms.

How do you balance author with writer? Is participating in social media a heavier lift than writing? Or vice versa?Red-tailed hawk in flight

Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27th, 2015
The big day is here.

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