Saturday, March 12, 2016

Why I Skipped Winter

So... you may have read my post on living in harmony with Fall way back in October, and you may have noticed that the post on Winter that I said I was going to write never appeared. My plan is to get that Winter post written when Winter's presence graces again and the season is back in the air. But, for now, Winter has passed and so has the beautiful quiet energy of it. I need to be surrounded by the essence of Winter when I write about living in harmony with it, so the writing will simply have to wait.

So, why didn't I write about it? 

Well, if you remember reading my New Year's post "The Art of Slowing Down - New Year 2016", then you know that I hadn't been feeling well for quite some time. Shortly after writing that post where I said I was recovering and feeling better, I felt bad again - right back to where I was. Now, don't get me wrong, I believe every single word I wrote that day and it absolutely holds true, but something else was going on at that time that I didn't know about that unfortunately took a really long time to diagnose: I had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Trust me, its a really yucky thing to have and its the reason I never got around to writing about Winter. I simply wasn't well. It took roughly 7-8 months to get diagnosed, but once we knew what was wrong it was pretty easy to treat... laughably easy if you don't mind me saying.

I was prescribed 2 weeks of an antibiotic called Doxycycline. The prescription cost was a whopping five dollars. I told people that I didn't know if I should laugh or cry because I'd been so stinking sick for so long and the cure was so easy and cheap. But, here's something I'm telling for the first time. I was relieved. Of course I was relieved that they found what was wrong, but I was even MORE relieved that it was something out of my control. You guys know I'm a bit of a health nut and I run and do yoga and try to eat a healthy mainly vegan/vegetarian diet. I'm all into the holistic stuff and energy healing, etc. Yes, I'm that person. I try to honor my body the best I can. So, essentially, I felt defeated -  like I must have been doing something wrong to have gotten so sick and not be able to fully recover no matter what I did. I tried all kinds of things: teas, herbs, supplements, old Native American remedies, tons of rest, essential oils, special honey. Really, the health food store was making a killing off of me! But, here's the thing: I WAS healthy, I just didn't feel like I was at the time. Ironically, it was so hard to diagnose BECAUSE I was healthy.

In fact, my body was waging a pretty good war against the bacteria. My body served me well. I was healthy enough that Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever didn't take me all the way down. My body was holding its own and probably given a few more months/years I would have won. But, I'm happy that I didn't have to continue the war on my own. I don't like being sick. That was one time I was actually eager to take antibiotics. I normally don't endorse the use of antibiotics, but they do have their place and if the situation is serious enough it's foolish to not take them. Its now been about a month since I finished the antibiotics and I'm on my way back to my normal self again. Its been a gradual process that I noticed starting around maybe day 4 or 5 of the antibiotics. I won't get into all the details of what Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever does to the body, you can certainly find all sorts of stuff on the web if you really want to know, but I'll tell you that its bad enough that it takes time, even after the bacteria is gone from your body, to heal completely. I'm still getting there. But, I'm well enough that I see it on the bright and shiny horizon.

I also have a renewed commitment to my body. There for awhile I thought my body had betrayed me, but now I know that it certainly didn't. Not at all. It took care of me the best it could, which was pretty darn good given the circumstances. Thankfully, I had a healthy body to start with. One that had been nourished, exercised, and well taken care of prior to the infection. During the course of being ill I've gotten a little out of shape. But, I'll get back to where I was, and I'll do it with love and gratitude for the amazing flesh and blood that carries me through this life, my body that fought so hard to keep the bacteria at bay. I have a new appreciation for my health. I will cherish it like never before! I'm so thankful to be feeling healthy again.

So, I'll soon be working on a post for living in harmony with Spring, and I'll catch Winter next time :)


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

SixTwelve is Greening Up OKC!

There's a pretty cool place here in Oklahoma City that you may or may not have heard of... yet. It occupies a beautifully (and sustainably) renovated historic building located in the Paseo Arts District. It's a progressive and visionary community/events center with a calendar full of events and classes such as needlepoint, growing mushrooms, gardening, music, art, sustainable living, and many other interesting topics. They also have living spaces for artists in residence and run an innovative Pre-K Program as well as an After School Program. This place is leading the way to a greener and more creative Oklahoma City! This place is SixTwelve. 

I'm so very excited about this place! A big THANK YOU goes to founders Amy Young and James Varnum. What a wonderful vision they had when they rescued this beautiful building from demolition and built up a dream around green living and creativity. That dream of theirs is a gift to the rest of us. So, thank you guys for all of your hard work on this beautiful place and for sharing it with the community.

Six Twelve is located at 612 NW 29th Street

I recently took my daughter to workshop at SixTwelve called Pollinator Pals, which was organized for kids. They made mason bee homes and seed bombs, played with worms, and planted a wildflower garden. She got to use a power drill for the first time, which was both awesome and terrifying, but she totally rocked it. I thought this workshop was such a great way to get kids interested and involved in conservation while letting them also play and have fun. So, when I heard that they're hosting a Spring Break Urban Farm Camp I decided to help spread the word! "Farmer Paul" taught the Pollinator Pals workshop and did a great job. He's really good with kids! He'll also be teaching the Urban Farm Spring Break Camp along with Amy Young and a few volunteers.

Parents, if you're looking for a Spring break camp for your kids, this is perfect! This is what Spring is all about. When the weather starts to warm up, the world around us "springs" back to life. I'm a strong believer in living in harmony with the seasons and this is a great way to get kids to notice and observe the world around them and the natural cycles of life, especially city kids. I've noticed a disconnect among kids these days and I think it's really important that they have a greater appreciation of the world around them. Spring is a season of growth. Why not help grow your kiddos knowledge of the natural world?

SixTwelve's Urban Farm Spring Break Camp is set for the week of March 14th—March 18th. It's for kids ages 6-12. If you're looking for a unique experience for your kids over Spring break, I would highly recommend this camp! They're going to learn about bugs, plants, seeds, dirt, and mushrooms, explore composting, play with pygmy goats and hay bales... I even heard there may even be tractor on location. On Wednesday, there will be a blacksmith doing some skill sharing, and on Friday they'll be making a farm-to-table meal from some of the edibles growing on location at SixTwelve as well as food from a few local farmers. There is limited space for this camp, so if you're interested go sign up asap!

SixTwelve's mission is to be a beacon for the community and to create a network of sharing - Sharing skills, sharing food, sharing space, and sharing knowledge. In the future, they hope to branch further out into the community with some pretty exciting projects. Guerrilla gardening may or may not have been mentioned ;)

I myself will definitely be keeping an eye on their calendar of events and attending as many as I can. Here are a few of the upcoming events for March:

March 3rd - Bargello Needlepoint Class
March 14th—18th - SixTwelve Urban Farm Spring Break Camp
March 19th - FUNgi Forever (you get to bring home a 5 gallon bucket of inoculated straw that will grow into Oyster Mushroom, Yum!
March 26th - SixTwelve Bake Off and Cake Walk

I really hope that all of you fellow Oklahoma City friends throw your support behind this amazing place and check out their calendar as well! I hope to watch SixTwelve grow and thrive for years to come!

Follow SixTwelve on Facebook or Instagram!