In 1999 we bought our first house and moved in... me with grand designs for a fabulous vegetable garden, and gorgeous plants... which is what I'm going to posting about today.
...All of my failed, failed, failed gardens.
Every spring I spent so much money and time preparing a garden, buying and planting, and then weeding all summer... to end up with about 5 tomatoes... maybe a few cucumbers, and some zucchini... and that's about it.... would have been a hundred times cheaper to just go to the fruit stand.
And yet, I still tried... and planted year after year, confirming and substantiating that I did not have the necessary green thumb.
Oh... and I do have a florists license, and do floral design for weddings etc... so the whole brown thumb syndrome really stings.. and irritates the heck out of me.
Then this spring we built this really fantastic raised planter box. It's 4' by 8' by 4' Filled it with dirty.... top soil we had to buy... and planted....
Things seemed to be coming in rather nicely.
I left for Brave Girls Camp and came home to this:
You see, I thought I had an understanding with the plants that half of them would die, and the remaining plants would be stunted and not really actually grow any bigger than they were at the store.
We've had this understanding for 12 years...
Instead I have attack of the tomato plants. There is suppose to be a row of tomatoes and a row of herbs and peppers. The herbs and peppers are completely buried under the tomato plants. The tomatoes are in cages, which they have completely grown out of.
As it turns out, I do have green thumbs, and really, really crappy ground soil.
Really. Anytime I tell someone "I'm going to Brave Girls Camp!" I get a lot of blank stares... actually blank stares would be nice... really it's more an expression of "sommmmmebody's been hittin' the sauce."
And then after I tell them, "It's this amazing life and art retreat for women that changes the way you look at yourself, and helps you to refocus and recenter your life around what's important, and real, and true.
Then I get the "somebodies a little phsyco" mixed in with a little "brainwash camp" look.
Needless to say, it's impossible to explain what happens, or how such amazing life changes and life friendships can happen over such a short period of time. For some women Brave Girls Camp is the first opportunity in their life when that they allow themselves to believe...
That they are beautiful on the inside and out.
That they are valuable.
That there is a purpose for their life.
That there are other people who need them.
That it is okay to forgive.
That it is okay to love, and be loved.
That everyone... no matter how pulled together they appear on the outside... has challenges and insecurities on the inside.
That there are other women who understand what they are going through.
Cam and Ali
Brave Girls Practice Camp Sept. 2010
Back then I was so sure of myself.... I was so sure I was:
I'm not perfect, sometimes I still struggle with all of these things.
Brave Girls Club helped me "find my balls" literally.
They were in Cascade, ID (who knew, right?).
Brave Girls Club helps women to feel confident with who they are.
It helps women to see themselves clearly.
There is just something about stepping into your Brave Girl boots and hitting the floor running.
After Brave Girls Practice Camp, the First official Brave Girls Camp was held in October of 2009. I don;t have a group picture, but I believe there were about 35 people.
Then February, 2010
February, 2011 Staff Picture (minus one unicorn. aka Tanya)
Brave Girls Camp is an art retreat, but not like any other. All of the art projects are introspective and designed to help women really face what's holding them back, deal with it, and move forward. Almost everything involves collage, and lots and lots and lots and lots of Mod Podge.
For real.... invest in their stock.
Brave Girls Camp is about taking a time out from all the roles we play, responsibilities we hold, and people who rely on us, and remembering who we are, and that we can't function well for anyone when we are depleted ourselves.
It's about listening to what your heart needs to tell you and then doing something about it.
Facing the lies, and moving past them.
Wanna see how far I've come? I made this next piece at practice camp. It perfectly described who and where I was mentally:
And then I made this leather bracelet at February 2011 camp.
Because I am.....
Tomorrow Staff heads up to McCall, ID to start prepping for July 2011 Camp, as well as the first mother/daughter Brave Girls Camp.
It's going to be crazy busy. Tons of hard work. Really great food. Amazing new friendships.
Brave Girls Club.
Just think of it as the enigma of Art Retreats.... and then COME.
There is something that's been bugging me for a long time. I haven't blogged about it before because I don't want to offend anyone. But honestly, I don't think most people are even aware of their behavior and how it is received.
Raise your hand if you like to hear a thin girl talk about how out of shape she is... or fat she is... or how she has gained weight?
Yeah, That's kinda what I thought you would say.
Let me preface all of this by saying that I know there are women (and men) who have legitimate frustration of their weight, and they do not have options, or have very limited options, to do anything about it. I understand medication and medical problems, can take control out of your hands. If anyone who is going through that right now is reading, I sincerely apologize if my post offends you in any way. I in no way mean to say anything to belittle your situation.
My current rant is really going out the to the people who can do something about their physical image, and choose not too... and then still complain about it.
Do you know no matter what size you are it's still frustrating when your "skinny jeans" don't make you feel sexy, because you think you look like a stuffed sausage? ... And your fat pants are your "new" skinny pants?
Do you know that it's frustrating to work very hard to stay in shape, and then stop being diligent for just a couple days, and be able to see a difference in your body.
Do you know it's frustrating to feel unsatisfied with the current state of your body, and want to talk to your close friends about it.. about why you feel down... and their response is::
Oh for real?? Don't talk to me about your skinny-ass problems!
It's not much different than saying ,"shut up! I know I'm not putting in the effort you're putting in, and for some reason that makes me feel justified to be able to complain about why I'm not getting the results you're getting." Telling someone thin you don't want to hear about what's bothering them isn't a compliment, it hurts. And yes, I do know and understand that some women do try very hard and have a very difficult time with their weight.
Most women who you would assume should be 100% happy with their bodies do still obsess about what's wrong with their figure, just as much as every other women. So saying things like, "I'd be freakin' overjoyed if I looked like you!" is probably not a true statement, you might honestly believe that it's true right now... but losing weight is a slow process and it's hard to get rid of that mental block that tells you you're still out of shape.
Kudos. Kudos, kudos, kudos to the women who are completely confident in their bodies no matter the shape. I admire you so much. I would love to be like you... but I feel like I need to loose 5 more lbs... and then I'll be satisfied. Just 5 more pound.... There are always 5 more pounds. I've passed my 5 lbs goal several times and when I reach it... I just extend the goal. I'm still trying to lose just 5 more pounds.... that's my current goal, and I know when I do lose 5 lbs... I'll feel like I need to lose 5 more.
True. There are the women who really do complain about their weight in a way that makes it clear they are fishing for a compliment. And yes, that is annoying.
The mentality that skinny people are skinny because they just are... and they don't have to work at it, ...they can just eat anything they want and have a perfect metabolism... Yes, there are women like that, and it is OKAY to hate them.
I'm kidding!! Relax!
But most women who are in shape work very hard at it. I certainly went through an overweight phase. Yup. and no, I'm not talking about being a size 8 or something. I was big. Embarrassing big. There is a period of about 3 years that I do not have a single picture of myself. When I had my children I gained.... are you ready for this... 50-60 lbs with each pregnancy.... and didn't know how to lose it. Actually it wasn't that I didn't know how to lose it, I was just convinced that I was meant to be fat the rest of my life, and didn't think it was possible to be considered attractive. It was completely in my head that I was suppose to be fat now. Staying in shape is not easy for me... and it's not easy for most of the women I know who are in shape.
When I say I'm feeling uncomfortable about my body. It's because I'm feeling insecure. And it's okay for a thin women to feel insecure sometimes. Don't belittle her insecurity. Don't verbally compare yourself to her, and tell her just how great she's got it. Just validate her. It's okay to say, "I think you look great, but I totally understand your frustration about not feeling satisfied."
I know I am thin. I'm not particularly interested in necessarily being thinner. But I am not very toned and I really want to do something about that. I heard a fitness model say it best when she described herself, she was never heavy, but she was what she called "skinny-fat" --small pant size, but low muscle, and high body fat content. I use to run... everyday. Now I don't do much of anything except watch my caloric intake. I just seem to have so much more to do, and never have time.
Excuses, excuses... I know they are. I'm just not making it a priority.
And so... Last Friday I bought myself a little pressie...
Are you as excited as I am?? Because I'm dang excited. When I was a teenager I had a loft in my room. Loft = ladder. Ladder = pull ups. Lots and lots of pull ups. I use to be able to do 15... now I can do three. Coupled with my gymnastics background and even now I have good definition in my arms. Not nearly as good as they use to be, but certainly not bad either.
I just want to keep them that way... slow the age deterioration as much as possible.
Now I just wish there was something I could do for my abs that I love as much as chin ups...
I have a goal. I want to be able to do 50 push ups in one set. I'm only a third of the way there. But I'm setting a goal publicly to be there by the end of the summer.