Planting, unpacking, kittens… and other things that made me a little crazy this month, ahh!
Grappling with “Me”
I’ve experienced a mini-identity crisis over the past few months.
Aside from the general stress associated with responsibilities, I feel pressure to succeed in a field that may be unachievable. But perhaps that’s the uncomfortable magic in chasing a dream.
I should be grateful to be in a position that allows me to pursue my creative goals, and I am, but is it enough? How can I be both grateful for something and resent it? There’s an ever-present fear of failure that lives inside me. It lives in my everyday.
I sometimes wonder if I share too much. I am navigating the sea of successes-uncertainty while using other writers as my compass, my map, but they don’t share in the ways I do, and they don’t write in the ways I have. So sometimes, I feel like I’m drifting, moving farther away from where I need to be. Then other times, I believe my differences are the navigation, the guiding light, the thing that brings me to shore. But it depends on the day you ask me. I may find these thoughts profound today and cringe at them tomorrow.
It’s challenging to pour hours of yourself into work that reaps no financial reward. Money isn’t everything, but money can be a symbol of status. It’s the power that transforms the way people see me, not as a housewife but as a writer.
There is no room for instant gratification here. I live in a privileged stigma. Financially supported enough to stay home and write, equally disgusted with myself for being able to say that.
If this fails, then who will I be next?
What’s Happened Lately
Household Goods Arrived
Our-household goods arrived (aka all the stuff we didn’t carry in suitcases), and the house was in pure chaos for a few days.
It was really exciting to have all of our things arrive, and also incredibly stressful. First, because we were not allowed to pack any of our things, it felt like Christmas – opening boxes full of items wrapped in paper, wondering what we would get – the experience morphed into a cluster fuck: What will we do all of this? Do we need all of this? Do we need any of this?
Needless to say, it’s all worked out. We still have a few loose ends (anyone wanna buy a 65′ flatscreen?), but the stress and chaos of it all has passed.
Let me know if anyone’s interested in a post dedicated to my experience with a military move – resources, prep-work, answers to questions I had, things I wish I’d known, etc.
We have kittens!
Well, we have wild, crazy, feral kittens (for now) who run a-muck-ous and are, more often than not, terrified of people. But I am hopeful things that will change soon. Sophia and Rowena (yes, Supernatural character) are the two kittens we are socializing and hoping to make our home their fur-ever home.
We have two others we hope to socialize and find a home for, but their journey is more challenging. They are terrified of people, and it’s caused them to lash out.
If you don’t already know, Hawai’i is home to a large population of feral cats. Unfortunately, the wild cat population poses many problems to the islands, including their predator nature, which has led to the endangerment and extinction of many native bird species. The problem has become so profound that “Feral Cats” are listed as an invasive species by the government of Hawai’i. Moreover, due to their classification, debate on the treatment and control of these wild cat communities is ongoing. People are divided, some see these animals as pests, and others see them for what they are, living creatures introduced to a location outside their control, guided by instinct. Unfortunately, due to their negative impact, feral cats are not protected by any laws. Most recently, a bill sanctioning the mass poisoning of the wild cat population has been put forward. Fortunately, that bill is currently stalled in legislation.
Now that you know the general information surrounding wild cats in Hawai’i, I can tell you we found these kittens in the jungle behind our house, and that won’t sound completely strange.
We brought them to Catfrinds, to be spayed. Normally you’d release the cats back into the “wild,” but because they are still kittens, we’ve been doing our best to socialize and ideally re-home them.
One of my goals for 2023 was to get more hands-on with gardening. I’ve had experience with house plants, and I love having them. They improve every living space. But I wanted to take things a step further and try growing veggies, fruits, and herbs. I did grow a carrot once during the pandemic. It was teeny tiny – like, as big as a quarter. But it was a success, and I’m proud of my little accomplishment. However, this year, I plan to be more successful than that.
A lot of satisfaction comes with nurturing something from seed to plate, but it also takes time and energy to get the hang of it. I am lucky here in Hawai’i because there’s plenty of sunshine and warmth to help me out and many things love growing here.
We’ve planted a few things this month, including carrots and cucumbers. Aside from cilantro, we also have a relatively stable herb garden going with just about everything you can think of. We have been working on areas of the property that need a little TLC and I look forward to Aprils recap where I plan to share DIY Planter Boxes. But until then, the star of the show for March is…
Our Grow Tower
We finally got our grow tower up and going again. We planted a variety of leafy greens, and the one thing missing from our herb garden, cilantro.
What is a grow tower & how does it work?
Our grow tower is a vertical gardening tower designed to grow fresh produce in areas that wouldn’t typically grow. The tower consists of several tiers with slots for pods. The planters are connected by a central tube or column which houses the watering system. Once the tower is planted, you can add water to the tube or column in the tower’s center. This water will then spread to each planter, providing consistent and efficient watering for your plants.
Why I love it…
Not trying to sell you on this, but damn, I love the grow tower.
- One of the highlights – because it’s self-sufficient, you can plant and forget about it. Of course, some maintenance is involved, but we have yet to have to do much of anything after our initial planting in the first week of March. This makes growing your produce much more accessible than traditional gardening methods, which we are still doing with other things.
- 2. Secondly, the growth period is quick. As I mentioned, we planted at the start of the month, and our tower is almost ready to harvest some greens, and they’ll only keep growing.
- The vertical design of the grow tower maximizes growing space, allowing you to grow more produce in a smaller area. This is especially beneficial for urban gardens or small outdoor spaces.
I linked one similar to ours in the title card above, you can also find that link here. The large grow towers can be really pricey. I also have a countertop hydroponics system that I love, and it’s a bit more affordable – AeroGarden Harvest.
Aloha Animal Sanctuary
I dedicate this post section to cute pictures from the sanctuary this month.
At the beginning of March, which strangely feels like long ago, I reorganized the pantry in my parent’s house. In doing so, we purchased some items which maximized the space and made the organization process much more effective.
Remember: Some items on this list contain an affiliation link. This means if you choose to purchase products via my links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All products listed are ones I purchased, tested, and enjoyed. 😊
Product List & Uses:
- Wave Open Front Bin (x4) | Stackable bins used to store items not typically associated with the pantry, which we keep to the side, including tape, flashlights, etc.
- Y-Weave Easy Access Storage Bin White (x2) | Pictured bottom center – general storage
- Light Wood Crate Natural (4x) | For holding food supply groups. For example, “salad toppings” bin has croutons, cranberries, crispy onions, etc. Also designated a “Baking” bin containing flour, powdered sugar, baking soda, etc.
- 15″ Lazy Susan Turn Table – Brightroom (x3) | Used for condiments, cooking oils, vinegars, and various seasonings
- Punched Metal Shelf – Brightroom | Used for canned goods
- Paulownia Wood Potato Bin Natural (x2) | Snack cubbies
- Anchor Hocking 1-Gallon Jars | flour
- Ball 32oz 12pk Glass Wide Mouth Mason Jars | I use these to store dry goods, not only because I like how it looks but because when we buy bulk items like nutritional yeast, chia seeds, lentils, or rice, it stays fresher than when stored in the thin produce bags.
- Boho Plastic Bag Holder Set of 2
- Piyl Broom Mop Holder Wall Mount Broom Hanger Wall Mounted Metal Organization
This month has been stressful. There’s no way around it. I’ve cried more days than I have in a long time. Not because I’m sad, but because things build up until crying is the only way to release all the crap. It’s not healthy. I’m going through the motions of things that relieve my stress, but sometimes when you’re making yourself lunch, and you drop it on the ground, your dog promptly scarfs it down and vomits it back up… an ice bath or meditation isn’t the answer. Sometimes you have to handle it and move on.
I have a threshold for 3 stressful circumstances within a two-hour period per day – 5 on my good days. That’s very specific, but it’s what I’ve learned about myself. I also understand that I’m sensitive to environmental stressors, and our household responsibilities have recently grown. So, lately, I’ve been hitting 3 early in the day, and it tapers off. It’s not sustainable. Something needs to change. There is room for growth inside of me and how I process things outside of my control.
All these recent emotions led me to dive deeper into understanding stress. The tools I have right now; Ice baths – into them, bed before 10 – great, eating right and herbal teas – love it, routine exercise – would implode without it. All of these practices are wonderful for long-term stress relief. Still, in real-time, routine practices can only do so much when stress accumulates in my body (we all know what that feels like, right?). I can’t drop everything for a jog around the block, and a kale smoothie isn’t going to do shit when my trash kittens knock their litter all over the floor.
I wanted to understand how stress works, how it manifests in our bodies (scientifically), and how I can handle my responses to situations in real-time.
That’s where Huberman Lab podcast comes in.
Who is Dr. Huberman?
Dr. Huberman is a professor and researcher of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford University. He specializes in the study of human brain development and how we learn. He’s dedicated his life to uncovering the mysteries of the brain and, more recently (2021), created the Huberman Lab bringing his knowledge to those interested in learning.
About Huberman Lab podcast:
Most episodes are interviews with experts in their field, discussing topics ranging from psychology to neuroscience. He talks about everything from deep scientific concepts to common questions we all seem to have; What makes an efficient morning routine? What’s the deal with fasting? Ideal sleep habits?…
Why It’s Awesome:
What I like best about the Huberman Lab podcast is the level of supporting research he provides with each claim. Dr. Huberman shares his platform with scientific researchers putting theories into real-life scenarios and giving us insight into what’s happening inside our brains. I appreciate the level of detail in each episode, ensuring that even the most significant takeaways are clear.
I also enjoy the witty way Dr. Huberman ties it all together, making even complex scientific concepts digestible and interesting. So if you’re looking for an entertaining podcast that will leave you feeling educated and inspired, this one hits the mark for me.
Episode Covering Stress:
I highly encourage you to listen to the entire episode. Dr. Huberman provides far more information than I would with quick notes – including fact-based research on how each stress control method works.
5 Favorite Things
1. Scream 6 | The Scream franchise is among my top favorite movies of all time. It may sound strange to those who aren’t fans of horror movies, but the original Scream is my go-to comfort movie. It’s nostalgic, it’s witty, and classic. It’s original and was the first movie of its kind to acknowledge the horror movie genre within itself, period.
Even after watching the first film, for what I’m guessing is well over 100 times, I still can’t get enough, and the new movies are truly standing on their own. Scream 6 continues with a new cast of characters that I’m loving as much as the originals. Haters will say we’ve had enough of Ghostface, but I’ll watch these movies for as long as they make them.
2. Orchids & Sweet Tea | This Instagram account and blog has amazing mocktails and yummy recipes for the vegans and non-vegans alike. I’m so inspired by these gorgeous mocktail recipes I want to have my own little bar cart and host a mocktail hour every day!
3. Sunrises | I know, I know, it is a cheesy thing to say, and waking up to watch the sunrise is not something I accomplish every day, but on the days I do, there is a noticeable difference in how I feel. There is something special about being surrounded by the movement of early morning, life is flowing all around, and the birds are active; the sky is a painting. I’m simultaneously small in comparison and a part of something beyond myself.
To start a day off like that, witnessing an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon fills me with gratitude. It’s a moment of reflection and the start of anew. All very cheesy until you experience it for yourself.
4. Pono Potions |
Pono Potions is an Oʻahu based small business crafting deliciously flavored syrups for coffee, cocktails, and culinary delights. They are a proud proponent of locally sourced ingredients, which make their products fresh, unique, and delicious. They also promise to never use artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives for a completely natural and authentic taste.
I’ve been using their Aliʻi Lavender syrup in my morning coffee, which beats any at-home coffee I’ve made before.
5. These ProChoice Majority Bracelets | ProChoice Majority was created to support pro-choice policies and organizations in their fight against injustice. So far, donations exceeding $44,000 have been made. Wear this bracelet, and have important conversations – for the benefit of ourselves, our mothers, sisters, children, friends, and neighbors…
BONUS! 6. The Last of Us & my Pedro Pascal Candle | Sometimes, when you are a consumer like me, you buy things for the pure purpose of owning them, looking at them, and just as Marie Kondo would say, damn, that fills me with joy.
That is precisely why I purchased this candle. Like so many other people I know, I am into The Last of Us series. If you haven’t watched it already, who are you and why?!