• Bradley Nickell

Random thoughts...


Winter continues to bring more cold and snow. We are in the middle of February and we are all ready for spring and warmer weather. It took me until Thursday morning to come up with a topic for my blog and as you can see by the title its pretty free style, and I almost just took a week off. This time of year is so easy to fall into a funk, being inside all day, lack of sunshine, I honestly am starting to understand why bears just sleep all winter, its just easier than dealing with winter emotions. I for one will admit that I get pretty lazy in the winter. It takes me twice as long to get motivated to do anything, I have several indoor projects that I've talked about doing and there they sit most of them still in the box they came in. Last night (Wednesday) I was looking back at my week and I think I put together some positive steps towards getting off the couch if I can just keep the momentum going...


I have self diagnosed OCD, before I started using cbd oil I would get so stressed out about getting something done that I wouldn't sleep until it was finished, and then I would think of something else. This is actually my second tour at the company I'm working for. The hours are a little more lenient than other places. I'm a painter and there are times that I'll work odd hours to get things painted when no one else is there stirring up dust or if the weather is better on a certain day. The down side for me the first time was I had a key and a lot of work to do and uncontrolled OCD. I would sleep a couple hours and then go back to work and couldn't break the cycle. I burned out and had to go to a more traditional job. This time, with the help of meditation, cbd, and a totally different mindset, its working out, and fits my lifestyle perfectly, but here is an example of how controlled OCD can be a great tool. There is a car that's been hanging around for weeks, it has some custom modifications which take a lot longer to get done and I've been itching to get it painted because its a pearl white. It seems like the last million cars I've painted were silver so a tricoat paint job sounded like a welcomed challenge. Last week the car was to the point were with a little extra push I could get it painted so I went in on Sunday for a few hours to set myself up for this week. Monday I let myself go and decided I was going to get that car painted and I ended up working twelve hours, coming home to eat and then going back and working another three. Tuesday ended up being a bust between having some things at home to take care of and the weather but I got it ready and by Wednesday it was painted. That is an example of how to take advantage of a normally bad trait and hopefully an end to my winter lazy...


I've had some animals for a few years , I keep chickens, some sheep and two mini pot belly pigs. The purpose for chickens is obviously the eggs the others I kept as pets mainly but also for organic fertilizer for my garden. I've been thinking about selling them for a year, kind of going back and forth. The sheep had become pets over the years but they are also costing a lot of money in hay and feed with nothing in return. This week I finally decided it was time to do it, I decided that the sheep had to go and I was going to scale down the chickens at least this time of year. I don't believe in forcing my hens into laying eggs by adding artificial light, I try to let them rest in the winter like they are naturally supposed to, the down side is I was feeding thirty chickens and only getting three eggs a day in return. I ended up selling twenty chickens and the sheep, which will save me a lot of money in food and also give me eighteen of the twenty four foot shed for my own use. I know I'll end up having forty chickens again but I'll sell all but a few of my best layers in the fall so I'm not feeding "pets" again. I will also finally have storage for my summer chairs and lawn equipment and tools. It was a fun venture but there were lessons to be learned and it was time to cut my losses.


Last weeks garden blog made me really start thinking about planning the garden for this year. Like I said last week I've had a garden for a long time and I love being outside in the dirt, tilling and planting and imagining. Its always been kind of random though. I have things planted where it seemed like a good idea at the time, no real thought about what it will look like in the future. I planted grapes a few years ago and they never really do that well. Maybe the fact that they don't really see any sun until afternoon, I'm not positive about that its just a thought I had this morning. I planted hopps, and again, no real thought or maybe at the time it made sense in my head. So this year I'm going to start early and make a plan of where things need to go by their needs. Gardening with a little bit of purpose, not to the point where its a job but a productive garden is a lot more rewarding. Instead of wondering why things didn't work or tilling up half the garden in July because I planted things too close together, I'm going to try and think about what it will look like at the middle of the season, or with the perennials think about what they will look like in five years or ten years. What fruits and vegetables are easy to can or freeze instead of planting things because they are "neat". I spend a lot of money on supplements and probiotics and its an easy way to do it, but natural is always better so there is another thought I want to put into the garden. What do I need to grow to make sauerkraut, and other fermented foods. How much of each, how many cans will last me for the winter, gardening with awareness....


It took me three days and four paragraphs to figure it out. My totally random blog post turned into an "ah ha" moment for me and a potential to help someone else in the process. My post has turned into a journal entry (why I say keeping a journal is important) kind of me stepping back and examining myself and my life. Winter has always been kind of a rest period for me but I've never looked at it as a time of reflection, and I'll try not to go too philosophical but maybe winter is the time of year for self examination, a time to look back at what you've done over the year good and bad and come up with a plan to continue with the good and figure out how to change the bad. For me personally, from re reading this post I see this year as a new chapter in my life, a time to put a little more focus on what I really want to do, not just in my garden but my life. The first fifty years has been almost like practicing for the last fifty. I'm not saying that every aspect of your life needs to be planned carefully, that would go against everything hippie, but without goals life becomes very stagnant. So here's an idea, while your staring out the window at the snow covered field wishing it was warmer, get a notebook and take ten minutes to think about what positive things you did last year and want to grow more this year and then some things that you aren't happy with and ways to make them better. Set a few goals and make a list of steps to make them happen. A few years ago I made dandelion wine with the goal of it being ready for my annual summer party. Let me tell you before you go out to pick dandelions for wine...it is a very time consuming process. You hand pick the dandelions and then pick all the yellow from the stem because if you don't it makes a more bitter wine but it was a success, and my mom and sisters tasted and finished multiple bottles and there were some tipsy good memories, so one of my goals for this year is to take time to sit out in the yard and pick dandelions for wine....this week, make a list and pick out one thing you can do to make your happy hippie life....


#hippielife, #happiness,#selfexamination

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