quejimenez Jumping, Jumping. || This early afternoon the kids and I skipped our new rope inside, with socks on the wood floor. Sliding and learning to keep time with the rope's clacks.
I remember deep disappoint when I landed at Bret Harte Middle School--there was no Double Dutch. Hours and hours I perfected pop-ups, and scissors, and 'round the world turns with somebody's mama's long phone cords. I wish I had a tribe of Sisterfriends on my block to Double Dutch with. To sing, "Big Mac, Filet 'o Fish, Quarter Pounder, French Fries, Icy Cola, Milk Shake, Sundaes, and Apple Pies." Friends to turn the ropes faster when I sing, "A little bit faster...a little bit more," before exploding into a burst of pop-ups. Our Sisterfriends knew our rhythms. They knew what was coming, and how to turn the rope just so, so we could soar in front of the crowd. (And that boy we was crushing on.) So we could shine. I miss the click-clack of Double Dutch and playground sisters that had my back, sisters who could make the ropes sing. I miss how high and fast we soared. 👭
3d

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quejimenez Calendula + Caterpillars. || Took a break from the computer work to walk the garden and this hot, orange blossom begged closer inspection. Warmth on a chilly, windy, and grey afternoon. Hungry caterpillars wanted in and migrated themselves from my Cole crops to the calendula. I don't blame them. Everything about calendula is good. I should clip these heads for salves, I chide myself. And that is always my intention. But when I walk the garden they give me life and I say, just one more day. These critter finds remind me of an important garden and perhaps life practice, walk your garden (nature) and inspect often. Bend down, get close, touch and smell, inspect, study. Seek to be in tune with Nature. Listen. Use your senses. Make it a habit to follow the dance patterns of bees, the journeys of ants, the flight of birds, and so on. There is so much life to be gained in slowing down and giving our senses over to this beautiful planet Earth we call home. I mean, how lucky are we to witness the miracle of it all daily. My friends, that is no small deal. Live it up, lick this life clean of all the simple pleasures it gives. 5d
  •   vinovenitas Great! 4d
  •   audracherii could you recommend a book about using my garden medicinally? As in preparing salves? Want to utilize my garden more this season! 3d
  •   fedricka Bravo!! @eq64 babe read her writing!! O . You need to put her in the studio or have her write some lyrics. My friend is so poetic! Can be a rapper ! My boo got bars ! Better lyricist than these new age rappers! Lol. By the way this is Kiandra - the one who sent us pics so we could see the remodeled kitchen. 3d
  •   quejimenez @naturelover1141 Thank you! @vinovenitas Thank you! @audracherii Do you need books about making the salves or medicinal properties. There is a book "Body Products for Idiots" (I think that's the name) that is is good. For the different medicinal properties, look for a book on Herbs, I'll try and look through my library to see what I have. But if you do a google search you will find *tons* of recipes to get you started on salves. Which are the easiest to make. A number of the sites who sale the products actually list recipes too. Brambleberry is the first that comes to mind. Let me know if this helps or you need other info. 3d
  •   quejimenez @fedricka Awww! You are too sweet bestie!! Lol I'm gone be feeling myself today, now. Telling Edward and the kids I got skillz! 3d
  •   quejimenez @fedricka Now, I'm all rapping in my Biggie voice..."if you don't know, now you know...." 😎 3d
  •   fedricka Hahhaha and I'm on the side bouncing around like puff daddy ! 3d
  •   quejimenez @fedricka lmbo! Let's take it on the road! They ain't ready! 3d

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quejimenez Me time. || Taking a break from the computer, homeschooling and such to plant these turnips and rutabagas. They have gone far too long and I can no longer wait. I had intentions to plant them this weekend, but our gardening & fence work was more than we thought. Cleared a batch next to the last summer squash growing, alongside the basil growing like mad. I think they'll do well here. Time will tell. Wow, do I have my work ahead of me. These leaves are tangled! 6d

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quejimenez Hey, Hay! || We kinda, sorta cheated. We were suppose to lay mulch, re-do the fence, and finish the front yard (HOA problems), but our food garden needed attention. Weeds, spent flower heads with seeds, plants waiting weeks to stretch their root feet in the ground, and bales, bales, bales of hay. Supposedly we'll get some rain, so the hay work, deadhead work, and transplanting work won my attention. While E and the kids painted the fence, I got to throw around hay bales. Have you ever lifted a hay bale? My word they are heavy, dusty, and scratchy. E moved them in place and I spent *hours* breaking them apart and mulching the entire garden. The entire garden--by myself. My core, back, and sinuses are spent. But, promised the kids family date night to celebrate me finishing another semester of Grad school. Time to pay up. In other garden talk, look at these hugelkulture beds! They are doing so well! So happy I decided to try something new! The third raised bed in this series will surely be another hugelkulture bed. I'm sold on the method! 1w

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quejimenez Married Now. || While editing my manuscript I look up and find two crooked-eyed kids from LA smiling their shy, young smiles at me. He from East Los, she from South Central. Both their eyes will need glasses, him in a year, her in fifteen. Like me, his eyes don't always match when he smiles or tries to focus. Doe-like they move inwards. My Mama says my Daddy's eyes was the thing, the thing that got her every time. And now I know that love. He has a million eyelashes stacked on another million. His eyes don't match, like mine. So commonly beautiful, he is. He still smiles that same quiet smile. Even when I call him beautiful and he scruffs, "men are not beautiful," and I repeat it over and over till he blushes and proves my point. Back to my 40 pages I go, grateful for these two LA kids. || Edward, about 7/8; Kiki, about 2/3. 1w

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quejimenez Overcast Sowing. || Love Them. They decided to join me and we talked, and sowed, and laughed, and threw carrot seeds in tiny seed frustration. Perhaps I'll have to pull an all-nighter to make up the three hours I spent sowing seeds. But it's worth it. They told me about 'gram memes they like, things they find random and confusing, they confess they're tired of school (and I said, me too), and we laugh about everything and nothing. It's so easy in our hyper-connected, 'social' world to constantly see the great things our peers are doing--vacations, promotions, awards, wonderful new careers, etc., etc. and compare our lives. To fall into the thinking that our lives should be equally great, that something big is hanging around the corner for us, too. But, those big days do not make us. The everyday ordinary moments need all our attention and love and praising and celebrating too. Overcast and mundane days. These moments are extraordinary if we are present for them. And, if we cannot show up and be truly grateful, truly present for the everyday ordinary, how could we ever be worthwhile for the extraordinary. Perhaps, we are even missing the grandest moments looking for the fanfare. Mothering, being fully present and available for our children is the most sacred calling. It is the extraordinary, the grandest, the fanfare and bee's knees of my life. This morning was so grand and ordinary. || I wish presence and peace for your day too! 2w

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Normal Kiandra Jimenez
quejimenez Sowing. || Sometimes the stress of 'busy' forces me inward. This and next week are the roughest of Grad school. All at once books to annotate, poems to edit, portfolios/artists to gather, analysis to write, and on and on. Meanwhile, my husband, my children, my garden still needs me to be present, to sow the seeds for our food tomorrow, to correct schoolwork, to make dinners Papi hasn't learned. As much as I need to be inside doing homework, I need more to sow seeds and listen to the birds, crickets, and lizards do their work. I need also to listen to the earth and answer God's call. This is the only way I know how to hold on and pull through. Finding my own space of gratitude in service to something outside of myself. 2w

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quejimenez Purple Bean Blossom. || There is something about the color purple in the wild that always catches my breath. It's quite possible this is a Gita bean bloom, but my suspicion is it is another bean that self-sowed. I've not noticed these blooms and I've had Gitas quite a while now. Whoever she is, she's sensually beautiful. If I had the time, I'd sit out for hours and paint her, or poem her. But, homework and homeschooling calls. 2w

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quejimenez Throwing Shade. || What a difference. Yesterday, while I did homework Edward finished building and installing the form of our shade hoop. I didn't get a chance to do much gardening besides some front yard weeding, so this morning was my first time experiencing the hoop shade. We only have one of our two cloths up, but wow, what a difference it makes. The plants are standing so stately and tall. Every plant has perked up. I am amazed at how much better things are growing. The soil is moister, which means less watering, less opportunities for the plants to experience drought and have checked growth. I feel like a real, bonafide urban farmer today. And, let me tell you all, looks like we are going to have cabbage, Brussels sprouts for days this season. Seeing how well the beds are going, I may get a little crazy when I finally (!) sow my peas, and carrots tomorrow. With less heat the carrots will be slower to germinate, but in the end I think the trade off will of better growing will be better. And now that I think about it, time to sow lettuce and more root crops too! Perfect conditions for direct sowing! 2w

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quejimenez Almost. || We've worked hours in the sun digging holes in compact, clay soil to build a shade structure for the raised beds. We wanted simple, quick. But, oh...we were wrong. Turns out all we needed was to connect two pieces of PVC and bend them from one side of the planter to the other. No digging for hours. No shoveling dirt. Only after trying to build the first structure we saw the error of our ways. Three hours later. Good thing E made me a tall glass of chocolate almond milk this morning for fuel. Lunch break, then back out to buy more pipe and make this right. Then front yard work. I'm starting to realize we will never ever have chill weekends. 2w

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quejimenez Little Yellow. || In my recent poetry series there is a scene where Kiki, 'Little Yellow', sits holding a fishbowl filled with rocks, seed heads, odd garden curiosities. She is knock-kneed, sitting legs out stretched in the middle of a grinning cloud while the Elephantman preaches mayhem on the corner of Vermont & Century. Sight & Mama is there, covered in blue-green, violet bruises. I didn't know where the image came from, three months ago, when I wrote the poem. As a child I ran from butterflies, bees, even flies, often tripping, falling, and busting my lips. This morning the is born. || Snail shell found beneath the Red Rubin Basil, Cheyenne Spirit echinacea found beneath Chile Relleno & Red Giant Mustard Greens, Monarch Butterfly wing found alone in the black rock path. 2w

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quejimenez Upland Cotton. || Flower heads. I know because I peeked in between the green, sawtooth leaves. I am so excited to see this plant bloom and harvest a few balls of cotton. It has been a very hardy plant in my garden, requiring no care, attention, and surviving drought like a champ. Will surely plant more. 2w

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quejimenez High: 90 Low: 60 || It takes a good two hours to water all the vegetables and cool them down in this heat. I've never wished for white skies and rain so much. The tougher greens (kales, collards, cabbages) are doing okay, but the tender greens (Bok Choy, baby bok Choi, and cauliflower plants) are struggling. We have another busy 3-day weekend of house and garden work ahead, plus I have tons of homework, but for sure we'll try and build some sort of shade covering to help the plants through our drought and warm weather. The garden always sends lessons. This season it's teaching me patience, adaptability, and how to surrender and accept what is. || Some good gardening news: Gita beans are still aphid free and are starting to produce lots more beans--the more I harvest, the more the beans come, Meyer lemons are yellowing up and look close to harvesting, a few baby Kaffir limes are growing, Goji berry & pomegranate tree seemed to transplanted/adjusted well, hugelkulture bed is stellar, cotton plant may be about to bloom, all the beet starts I transplanted are doing well, and patchouli, hyssop, clary sage plants survived their transplants. 2w

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quejimenez Wishing. || To be back in the local mountains, sitting on rich, humus earth, listening to the creek babble stories. Last night me & E cuddled, watched a documentary following a group of artist traveling the John Muir Trail over 25 days and I all but wept. Those are the trips and experiences I, we long for. "You could never do that in 25 days," he teased, "You'd want to stop and photography, name ever plant, every view you'd have to sit and 'soak in'." And he's right. I love to be still, be a witness to Nature. Listen to her short stories and poems, and memoirs. They are scattered all around the wild. With another 6+ months of grad school, our vacation dreams must wait a while. But my heart is planning, dreaming. When he and Mama ask if I want a graduation party, I tell them, "Yeah, a month-long backpacking party exploring what California has left wild." || #wildsooncome 2w

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quejimenez Louisiana Crunch Cake. || From Scratch. Granma would say, "What you think about a crunch cake? Don't that sound good?" She loved her crunch cakes and would sort of prod us into thinking we'd chosen it for a treat. Mikey loved ice cream, and she did too, often going out late, in the dark, much to Papa's annoyance to get ice cream for cake. We'd sit in the kitchen, nice and warm, Papa reading the Bible or listening to a preacher on cassette, and Granma talking to one of her girlfriends on the line, or entertaining company over coffee. There was always a pot of coffee in the percolator, cause there was always company. Always. Granma's house was magic. 3w

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quejimenez Granma's Spaghetti. || Almost. I almost got it down. In the nearly five years she's been gone I often forget I can't call her. Recently, my brain and heart fought--for a few seconds my heart swore I could just call her, and she'd be there. It's awful and heartwarming how the heart remembers, how memories protect our hearts from painful mourning. I can still hear her, smell her clean, soft skin, and taste her cooking. Missing is long, hard business. Mourning is life long. Making her food, keeping her memory alive, telling and retelling her stories to the kids, and laughing about her with my Mama soothes. Makes sure my brain doesn't heal and scar over too much. Is it wrong to want to hold on to the pain of missing her? Of wanting to still feel the ache of loss and love. But, oh how the thought of her ways still tickles me, makes me laugh and smile. Those moments my heart and mind get on well together. And I feel so grateful and rich to have had her. 3w

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Normal Kiandra Jimenez
quejimenez Progress. || We took a deep breath late Saturday afternoon and didn't exhale till we were done laying these floors early Sunday evening. We cut ourselves so many times, the house nurse Yali got tired of bandaging us up. But we did it all--moving the big fridge and stove so we could floor beneath it, funny cuts around the bay window, fireplace, and new cabinets. We worked tirelessly on bum knees. Yesterday, after much rest from wearing ourselves out, we installed cabinet hardware, and the photo gallery in the last picture. Still drywall to do, big paintings to hang, wall organization, light fixtures, baseboards, and a hood vent to go. But, I'm seeing the end in sight. While watering the garden and weeding I cut some roses, rosemary, yarrow, curry, and marjoram to make a flower and herb bouquet. The combination of smells is blowing me and the kids away this afternoon, along with the colors. This week makes ten years since we purchased this home and I can't think of a better way to celebrate how we've grown and grown together as a family. 3w

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quejimenez Beautiful Nature. || When I set about remodeling our kitchen/family room combo I knew I wanted to bring the garden in. The room faces east, and our garden, so the morning light, the view, the herb scented air is beautiful. I receive so much peace out in the garden, watching things grow, listening to the birds, and smelling the air. I often take pictures and write poems there. This gallery feels perfect. The bees, the blooms, the colors--I'm reminded of the many moments of peace, stillness nature has given me. But mostly, I'm filled with gratitude. || Top Row (l to r): Bee in peach blossom, bee in fennel bloom, bee flying towards peach blossom; Mid Row (l to r): Bee on Fennel flowers, Bee on Peach Blossom, Fennel flowers; Bottom Row (l to r): Meyer Lemon Blossom, Mammoth Sunflower, and Broccoli. 3w
  •   nikala_smith I love your feed. Your pictures. Your words! 3w
  •   vegnspiration All of your space is so beautiful and serene! 3w
  •   quejimenez @nikala_smith Thank you so much for the kind words! Yours is wonderful too! @vegnspiration Thanks so much sis! My mama was just telling me wonderful after all the headaches and stress. I'm grateful we had a chance to rebuild and that I could do it my way. Now the spaces the kids use...total different story. Nightmare. But long as they leave my spaces alone, don't grow mold or attract bugs, or let their rooms/hallway/bathroom get too crazy, I can continue to ignore. Their childhood is moving so fast, and I'm so busy with school...I pick and choose my battles. The Mr. on the other hand...lol, he gets fed up where I give up. lol 3w
  •   shelbeerene You are so beautiful and talented. You inspire me. 3w

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quejimenez Method of Modern Love. || If you're going to lay floors on a Saturday afternoon, there better be some old school love for you & your husband's bum knees. That way one part of you feels like that little girl heading to Loren Miller Elementary school, while the rest of you feels like a near middle aged woman with busted knees and middle school kids. And an even older Mr. with bursitis. (My goodness I love Hall & Oates!) 3w

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quejimenez Cloud Light || Woke this morning to a wonderful, light rain after dreaming of writing a tomato poem. The sky was moody grey, the crows, wet, glistened their black shoulders on a tall pencil pine. The wind shook lightly the neighbors' palms and the cole plants down in my garden. I wanted to go out and personally greet the sky water, but instead stood watching at the window. As soon as it ceased, I headed out in my thermals to witness the first light after rain. There is always magic streaming in the first part of clouds and the crisp snap of chilled air. || Plant: Brussels Sprout. 3w

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