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trusting

Hmm, trust is a funny word. It seems to visit my thoughts often now. I would say of all of the things I wonder about most, its trust. It’s amazing how the experiences in our lives shape how we feel about things and how we see things in our lives. My personal experiences with people have given me a rather negative outlook on people’s trustworthiness. It brings up the question of what people in life can you trust, and even when you do trust them, how do you know they won’t betray that trust? I am convinced that most of us will only ever know a handful of individuals who we can truly trust.

Trust is defined as this:

–noun
1.
reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
–verb (used without object)
13. 

to rely upon or place confidence in someone or something (usually followed by in  or to ): to trust in another’s honesty.

I have heard it said that to find out if you can trust someone, you must first trust them. It’s a true statement, although there is a serious element of uncertainty and surely one of cautiousness. I great deal of care goes into finding for ourselves the level of trust we feel we can place in an individual. It is a fairly stable trait that develops over time in our social history with other individuals and is a general expectancy that others can be relied upon. It is a function of which the degree of trust has been honored in a person’s past history of social interaction and is most often affected most greatly by novel and aberrant situations. This shapes our perception of people’s character in general. If we have repeated losses of trust in certain situations it affects how much we trust someone in future transactions of similar nature, this is compounded when we experience more profound losses. There is a tendency to become less willing to offer support and cooperation in relationships when we experience these kinds of violations. Trust begins as a calculus-based process in the early stages of any relationship, where calculations of how another person will respond to positive and negative sanctions. It is a largely cognitively driven trust phenomenon that is rooted in judgments of the trustees predictability and reliability. As our level of trust deepens and we find common goals and values with another individual, we form a more identification-based trust based on repeated interactions. At its peak, trust is an emotionally driven phenomenon, grounded in perceptions of interpersonal care and concern, and mutual need satisfaction.

Now, I suppose you may be wondering what this has to do with me. I am at a point of heightened interest in how trust works and how trust is determined. I have had been in different situations where my trust in other people has been severely compromised. I am more cautious about who I trust, what a person’s motives are, and what my own responses to their actions are. This is why I am at a place of examining what trust as it pertains to individuals means to me, how I view it, and how I determine it for myself. I am interested to hear what you think about all of this. How do you determine if a person is trustworthy and the faithfulness of that trust? Please feel free to leave comments.

Coffee shop is closing, ciao for now.

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working girl

I started the first job I’ve had in over a year today. I now work at the Wildseed Farm in Fredericksburg, the largest wildflower growing farm in the United States. Today I was trained by a really nice lady name Sarajane, and we got along marvelously. She has five great grandbabies. The fifth one was a girl born last Friday. I’ve only lived in Fred for a month, and already I see a huge difference in the social norms between this little town and the metropolis I have come from. Here, everyone knows everyone. There, you could live in near anonymity and never meet the same person twice, unless you count the woman who checks your groceries out at the store. When you meet someone, they ask you who your family is and there is a good chance that they’ll know them. There is a respect here for your elders not limited to people under 20. Even middle-aged men and women show a certain respect for those older than themselves. At H-E-B, the local grocery store, there is a little man they call the Mayor of H-E-B. He sits in the cafe almost every day and talks to anyone who comes to his table. I see old men having coffee and talking with him, and women come over and stop to say hi and chat for a minute. There is also still a lot of German culture here as the original settlers here were mainly German. The ones born and raised here consider themselves “natives”. The chain goes from there to the people who have moved here and stayed for a long while and those people they consider, “locals”. Others, like me, who have not been here long are called “move in’s”.

I personally will always consider myself a Texas native, being born and raised here for half my life. It feels good to be back here again. I was nervous about what it would be like coming from a huge city with lots of things to do and a greatly varied culture. It has been more comfortable here than I could have imagined. I have arranged my little nest, and have found places in town that I like to go. When I need to get on the internet, I usually go to a coffee shop in town on Main Street. I enjoy looking out the window at all of the tourists and am glad not to be one of them. They have really good toffee cookies at this particular coffee shop and have the most reliable service. I shop at places like Dooley’s 5-10 & 25 cent store on Main, and am getting to know all of the hardware and landscape supply companies in town. I am getting to know the flow of Fred quite well. When you see a funeral procession coming through town, they always have a police escort and everyone pulls over until they pass. As I said before, there is a lot of respect shown here. As a whole, there is more here to do than you would think. We have a Wal-Mart, a bowling alley (which is also where I go to church), and a nice library.

I have also been keeping rather busy putting the garden in at Meme and Papa’s. It’s 24×40 feet, so it’s pretty darn big. We have Coastal Bermuda grass all in the front yard. Great for grazing cattle, not so great for your garden. I am going to be making an investment in black plastic here in the near future. I have mostly worked outside alone now that it’s tilled up. Papa helped me get the Monster (this is what we call the tiller) and he’s been a great teacher about mechanical things. He taught me how to use the tiller and the chainsaw. He cut down some dead trees for me and has been on a yard working rampage lately. It’s quite amusing to see him puttering around the yard on his 35-year-old lawn mower with his Gilligan-style bucket hat and old man sunglasses. He’s a hoot. Our garden looks out at the neighbor Peter’s land which has a beautiful hill with trees and tall grass and granite boulders. It reminds me of the scenery from The Last of the Mohicans. I love listening to the wind blow through the trees and sweep over the grass. It was overcast the other day and more humid and I found myself taking a break from raking the grass out of the dirt and breathing deeply of the sweet-smelling air. There is nothing like the air here. It is a perfume of dirt and cedars and bark and cleanness. When it rains it gets even better, the water heightens the complexities of the smells in the air and adds the pungent odor of bark and green tenderness of leaves. I found myself standing in the middle of my own piece of dirt, feeling exactly content with where I was. Even completely by myself with no connection to people and events. It’s moments like those that I think I could be a hermit. Yes, it’s unrealistic and thankfully, a fleeting thought.

Life is getting along fine here in Fred. I am comfortable, and not feeling too lonely or isolated. I am happy with having a job and being a student again. It feels good to have a workload and a schedule. It feels good to be part of the land. More to come later… school is closing. Peace and blessings.

Now playing – Nessun Dorma – Luciano Pavarotti

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new projects

Ok, here’s the deal. I really want to do some long-term projects. And finish them.

I think my problem is that I want to start too many of them, and then I get overwhelmed. Anyone would I suppose. I think I also need to lower my expectations for some of my projects. Some of the things I am already doing include:

  • Growing Paperwhite and Hyacinth bulbs (not lightbulbs, heh) in my apartment.
  • Playing my guitar every day.
  • Blogging at least once a week.
  • Taking at least one picture a day.
  • Reading my Bible every day.

I have already discovered that I am not going to die from lack of internet at my new place.I don’t miss TV. I have already been reading a lot more and it’s really nice. I am having to come up with my own entertainment instead of just getting sucked into staring at my computer. I don’t always accomplish very much just sitting there anyway. I have a goal of reading 100 books this year. I am hopeful. I have a TON of time on my hands, so it should be relatively easy. I forgot how much I loved reading and didn’t know how much I missed it until I began reading again. Right now I am reading The $64 Tomato, Ansel Adam’s Autobiography, Botanical Latin, and some gardening books. Yes, I am turning into a plant nerd. I think that may a whole other post in itself. Heh. It’s funny to think about how I thought I wanted to be a photographer, and now here I am poring over copious amounts of information about plants. I still love to photograph, but maybe it means that I will be making portraits of plants instead of people later on down the road. I digress, it’s time for me to quit rambling and get out of this coffee shop’s hair.

 

Snow pictures from the drive back from Kentucky…

 

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Moving In

I am mostly moved in now. It has taken me a few days to find places for everything. It’s quite strange not having a kitchen or a bathroom under the same roof that I live under. I never realized how much I took either of them for granted until I couldn’t just walk into one of them without going outside first. My tiny apartment is set up with an office space, a living room, my bedroom, and a “kitchen”. All of these things are in the same room, but I try to think of them as separate areas. It seems convincing enough for now. I hung some black and white photographs I made a while back. One of them is of a hotel in downtown Phoenix and the other is one of my medium format contact sheets. I also have some glass objects on the chest beside my chair. The whole place is pretty colorful. I didn’t want to make everything just one color so I have yellow, pink, red, green, and blue in various shades and forms all around the room. I turned the fabric part of my hammock chair inside out so that the dark green side is facing up. Anyway, pics of my new house are on Facebook.

I was just realizing how much of an introvert I must be. Or maybe I have just adapted to being by myself. But I realized how content I can make myself all by myself reading, or studying something. I really need to make sure to get out on the weekends and not stay cooped up at home. I just need some people to hang out with. I told Meme I wanted to learn to knit socks with her, so that is one option. I can always listen to Papa tell stories. Those are both two options as close as home. I don’t want to get stuck in a rut, and sometimes I am afraid that I might. Anyway, enough of me rambling. I am going to be fine and do fine, and I am going to have a great experience while living here. I am already so excited for what the Lord has in the time for me. More later…

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marathon year

How can a year go by so quickly? I am not sure I have ever experienced time disappear so fast. My life has changed so dramatically over the past year, and I often marvel at how difficult, yet freeing it has been. This year is a testament to the goodness of the Lord, the redeeming power of Jesus, and the tenacity of the Holy Spirit. A year ago, I could not have told you that I was going to be single, making a huge career change, and moving out of state. The fact that I am now, almost seems surreal. It’s a bittersweet time, one of hopefulness as well as uncertainty. One thing I am certain of though, is that the Lord will carry me on this new journey the same as He has on the last.

How wonderful it has been to discover my passion and things that make me feel alive. I have had this time to let go of boundaries that have kept me from being who I want to be. I’ve let a little impulsiveness in. I don’t always just agree with what someone suggests, I weigh their advice and my own thoughts and make my own decisions. I’ve stopped worrying as much about the future because I can’t predict it anyway, I can only trust. Even simple things like deciding that I don’t need to be girlie all the time is OK, and not wearing makeup is the way I like me to look. Dancing and running have given me outlets to be creative and move and make friends.

I had a choice to make: be timid or to have faith. I choose to have faith. By trusting that God is going to do more than I can even ask for, I am giving all the stress of needing to control my life to Him. The Spirit is so gentle and is so personal. He just wants to be my closest friend, and my best protector, and to lead me. It’s like if I had a husband for my spirit. Well, I guess He actually is! I rest in the fact that He is faithful to lead me in the journey He has for my life. It’s in these thoughts I find solace from the depressing shadows of fear, doubt, second-guessing, and anxiety.

This year is a new chapter of my journey and one that I am so excited to experience and share. It’s funny how the biggest changes He’s been making in my life have been right around Christmas and New Years for the past few years now. It’s no surprise that He has a wonderful sense of humor and  such an uncanny knack for timing!

 

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the long and short of it

The year has flown by, yet this time last year seems so far away. Here’s the short: I am no longer pursuing photography as a career. I am not in a relationship. I am not worried about the direction my life is going. I have had to learn to let these things go and to let God take over. Jesus has been holding my hand every step of the way, and without Him, I am totally and utterly lost.

Here’s the long: This year I have discovered (and rediscovered) a couple of big things. First, I discovered that I don’t want to live behind a desk and second, that I am often intimidated taking pictures of people. This led me to another discovery: I don’t want to be a photographer as my “job”. The biggest item on the list of discovery is the unearthing of my deep-rooted passion for plants and growing things. It’s something that has been with me since childhood. I figured out that I want to be a horticulturist. My dream (long -term, of course) is to someday own my own small farm and produce specialty veggies and fruits and flowers. I really love being outside and making something from nothing.

This year has not been easy. But it has been SO productive. I have grown in so many ways, and feel like I made a jump from kid-dom to adult-ness. I feel more grown up and I think differently than I did before. Even my emotional reactions have changed. The Lord has done miraculous things with me in this area, and has really been faithful to increase my self-control and patience. There is still so much He is doing in me, but I am excited to see what trials and triumphs He uses to complete that end!

My current goals are to complete more transfer hours of college course work and then apply as a transfer student to Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I am very interested in their horticulture program and am hoping that they will be interested in me! I would really appreciate prayers regarding this. I also am going to begin to establish residency in Texas, which requires that I have a job. Prayers would also be more that appreciated that I would find a job, especially one that will help to boost my application to A&M. As far as other goals, I have been working on creating a new blog to try to pick up some odd jobs here and there. It’s called Domestic Genius and attempts to create the female equivalent of a handyman. There is still a lot of work to do on this project.

That’s about all for what the Lord is doing with me right now. I hope all of you are in good spirits and good health. If you need to contact me at my new address, my info is mostly the same. Only my address has changed. If you need it, shoot me an email at seedlinggirl88@yahoo.com. I’d love to get real letters from any of you that get a hankering to write some good old-fashioned mail! I promise I’ll write back if you do.

 

All my love; peace and blessings,

Ash

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Domestic Genius

I do ___________.


I will be launching a new blog soon to see what kind of work I can pick up. So pretty much my idea involves finding jobs that are waiting to be had in households everywhere. People are busy, especially in the city, so what better job than to do some of the “domestic” things that need to be done? It’s time for some domestic genius.

“I do _________________.”

This is the tagline for what I “do”. I bake cakes, I wash windows, I do laundry, I faux paint, I organize, I hostess parties, I photograph, I make art, I change lightbulbs, I go to the grocery store, I run errands, I do graphic design, I stage rooms in houses, etc., etc., etc. I think you understand my point by now. My goal is to creatively tackle everyday tasks for other people. Instead of a woman trying to host her huge holiday party all by herself, I can come in and act as a “ghost hostess” and give her a chance to enjoy her guests. I can complete those pesky chores on the to-do list that seem to sit around the house waiting for someone to have the time to attend to them. Things like washing windows, organizing a closet, or hanging art. I love designing business cards and invitations as well.  In short, I do almost anything. So next time you need a birthday cake in a hurry (but hate the ones at the store) or have some other domestic task that you just don’t have time for, call me and we can procure some domestic genius just for you!

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