Cow parsnip has come and gone. Queen Anne's Lace is suddenly everywhere in abundance.  Lawns are brown, potted flowers a bit leggy.  My kale grows tall under the warm sun, watered daily but rarely cut.  I've noticed the last two nights that it has been dark earlier, and this morning it was still dark just a bit past 5 when my husband got up to put the kettle on.  We're slowly turning with the wheel, feeling leggy.

For weeks some things were weighing on me that I couldn't shake enough to do much of anything, but as some knots have unraveled my spirits have lifted and I've gotten back to work on some projects I abandoned in May.  I abruptly stopped painting the house exterior and deck railings, but Thor has helped by picking up where I left off, and the entire front is painted a creamy white now, the railings a deep smoky brown.  It's a bit overwhelming, but I figure if we do a little bit every week, before the cold weather comes it *should* be done.  And it's so nice to work on a project with my son.  The red shed's exterior is now that same smoky brown, the interior that creamy white, with ochre window panes and shelves, and a new floor in place.  I wanted it to feel like a cabin in a dark forest, the ochre windowpanes like golden candlelight spilling out.  I love it.  

I bought a juicer back in May, and the slow and meditative process of choosing, cutting, and processing fruit and vegetables has become a favorite part of my day.  This is part of an effort to boost my body's defenses against cancer, as well as just being something I've always wanted to do.  Now it's habit, and that feels good.  Also with carcinogens in mind, we went through our bathroom cupboards and threw away multiple products (mostly scented lotions but also some makeup).  My husband and I have both been using plain shea butter as a moisturizer for a while now and love it.  It hasn't made either of us break out, and our skin feels great.  It's a little bit more time intensive than lotion - you have to rub it between your hands to soften it up - but I don't mind that.  Sometimes I add a drop of lavender or tea tree oil and it feels and smells more luxurious than any (chemical) lotion I've used.

We got rid of our microwave a few months ago.  It's not that I think microwaves cause cancer (though I can't say I'm completely comfortable with them either).  We needed the counter space in our tiny kitchen, and I really enjoy the process of slowly stirring something on the stovetop or carefully watching it in the oven as it warms up.  Not everything needs to happen lickety-split.  Slowing down this way also makes me appreciate what I consume more, as I'm putting more time and care into it.  

slow notes: 

⩥  Last Sunday was World Listening Day.  I love the concept of acoustic ecology (touched on here), concerning the soundscapes of the earth, natural and human-made.  I often think of this in positive terms, as in paying attention to the sounds of the natural world, but I also worry about the effect of noise pollution on wildlife. 
⩥  I've just read Kerri Andrews' book Wanderers: A History of Women Walking.  I am a little bit obsessed with the idea of going on a walking trip.  As in, a trek through the Scottish highlands, along the coast of England, or through the forests of the Pacific Northwest.  Long gone for me are the days of wanting to be a runner.  I have always loved walking, as you can take in so much more of your surroundings.  The plants, trees, flowers, wildlife, houses, sounds, textures, and smells.  The sensory benefits are high, and that feels like it's good for my brain and my well being.  The NYT has this to say.  
⩥  Still in keeping with listening, this from Hakai Magazine's podcast, The Sound Aquatic.

Aside from being a dining room in general, the shed out back was also intended to become a special place for moon dinners.  Full moon, new moon.  Any reason to celebrate the moon.  I can't wait for these to commence.  I intended to get the interior set up today but we have decided to escape to the sea this afternoon.  Either way, we will raise a glass tomorrow night and think of all others basking in her glow.  

Until next time ~ L.

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by mlekoshi