About Bridgett

Bridgett has been a member since June 24th 2014, and has created 18 posts from scratch.

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straw bale gardening and my happy place

full garden

Living with stage 4 cancer means I have learned to do what I love whatever way I can for as long as I can.  I have been fortunate to remain relatively healthy and without debilitating symptoms, at least for now. So, this means I have energy to do things that put me in my happy place.

One such activity is driving my tractor to haul bags of mulch, to cut down tall grasses, mow the lawn, and move firewood for stacking. No matter what I’m doing on my John Deere, it makes me happy!

A few years back, I discovered straw bale gardening.  It met the criteria for ample tractor use plus a few added bonuses.  I have wanted to share this process and so here you go…

Straw Bale Gardening

Why use straw bales?

For me, the sunny spot for full sun is in the back of our property where the water table is high.  It tends to be a bit soggy for many plants.  Using straw bales allows gardening virtually anyplace you want, regardless of the soil, how much space you have, or what kind of conditions you have. The straw bales become your containers. Some people put bales on their porch, along their patio or driveway, basically any place that can take advantage of good sun.

Another advantage of straw bales is that they allow me to garden without a lot of kneeling and bending.  This is less strain on my body and allows me to tend to my plants easily. I can talk to my tomatoes and encourage my tomatillos and without getting on my knees. The bales create a raised bed that makes it easy to harvest too.

One of my favorite things is that straw bales serve as a container for my plants while providing them a rich, nutritious base.  They are rather self sustainable.  When treated properly, the bales begin to decompose over the course of the growing season.  This is like growing veges right in a compost pile.  The plants, send their roots down through the straw and get all kinds of good nourishment.  And at the end of the season, the composted straw can be used in your gardens or potted plants.

What you need to get started?

Here are the basics for getting started using straw bales for your garden.

Gather your materials:

  • buy your straw bales – Here in upstate NY, I get mine in May so I can start treating the bales at least two weeks before planting.  I will explain what to do below.
  • get a bag of soil and compost – we will use this just as you would when planting in conventional containers.
  • get a high nitrogen fertilizer — we will use this to treat your bales. Please know there are other ways to do this and I am showing you how I do it.  I use liquid fish fertilizer.

Where to put your bales:

  • plan out where you are going to put your bales.  you can have just one or a whole bunch depending on how many plants you want to grow
  • don’t cut the string or whatever material is binding the bale together.  You want it to keep the bale intact.
  • make sure the bale is placed so the binding is on the side – you should be able to look straight down and see the cut straw as in the picture to the right.
  • you will want your bales to be in a sunny location
  • you will want access to water, or be able to haul water to your bales
  • you will want to place your bale where you can eventually gather it up as compost or spread it around
  • be sure to pick a spot and plan to leave it, unless you put it in a wagon or other rolling base.  once you start to water the bales, they can get heavy

How to treat your bales:

  • do not plant anything in your bales before you treat them properly.  This requires watering, fertilizing, and cooling before plants go in.  It’s easy…really!
  • plan to water your bales daily for 12- 14 days
  • on day 4 through day 10, mix your high nitrogen fertilizer with water and pour over the bales, then water as normal to allow the fertilizer to soak in
  • after day 10, just keep watering.  your bales will begin to heat up inside from the decomposing process.  this is good but you need then to start cooling off before planting.  typically, they are ready around day 14 or so.  I make a hole with my trowel and stick my hand down into the bale to feel the heat.  it’s kind of exciting!

How to plant your veges, herbs, flowers or seeds:

  • Remember, planting in your straw bales are just like planting in a container
  • plant anything you want to grow in your bale, keeping in mind to space your plants as you would in the ground.
  • I planted these three cucumbers in one bale and will allow them to drape over the edge as they grow
  • dig a hole into the bale. I use a trowel that allows me to hack into the straw
  • once the hole is dug,  fill it with dirt and compost just as you would do in a container
  • then, plant your starters and water as normal.
  • you will want to make sure your bales do not dry out, so water regularly
  • plan to add fertilizer every week or two to keep the bales decomposing


This yellow squash started budding right away in my bale garden.









So did my tomatillos!













At harvest time

  • harvesting is the same as for other gardens.
  • in my garden, I allow the bales to keep on decomposing over the winter.  come spring, I use it as a great compost for other plants.
  • the picture shows flowers planted into soil that is rich with last year’s decomposed bales.  they look happy!






There are several websites that can give you other tips or methods. Just search “straw bale gardening. ”   I hope you have abundant growth, budding success, and find your happy place in the process.

Let me know how it goes!



healing and the art of resiliency

my inner wolf

Wolf is a teacher, meant to come back to the pack with life lessons and insights.

Life, as a force or energy, has its own rhythm, ebbs, and flows. Our individual lives follow a subtle, circadian beat. Our days unfold in predictable patterns of space and time. Many of us, without knowing or meaning to, grow complacent, dispassionate in our course.

Then it happens. A split moment, or emotional jolt blast us out of our orbits. 

An accident, a death, an illness throw us into a tailspin. Traumas and tragedies take center stage. There is just no way life could be sustained as we know it. Borrowing from the wisdom of Breñe Brown, we fall with our face on the arena floor. The challenge is finding the courage to pick ourselves up, through the daze and hurt and unknown.

My split moment was when the doctor said, “stage 4, treatable but not curable.”

For the next full year, my primary focus was getting through surgery, enduring chemotherapy, and wrapping my head around what appeared to be a predictable, inevitable, statistical demise.

I didn’t know two years ago that I would be alive today.

As I picked myself off the “arena floor”, it became quite evident that life had changed forever. I was determined to make meaning out of the trauma. For a year, my loved ones gathered. Their familiar warmth and laughter was all part of the healing. I allowed myself my every heart’s desire.

As it turned out, the first year of my diagnosis was so full of love and life; it had left me searching in its wake. I hadn’t considered that I would be so healthy. I kept gearing up for the sucker punch that hadn’t come. I soon realized that I caught myself between living my life and waiting for something to happen.

It was time to re-examine my life.

Stripped of my daily routines, patterns, and identities, I found myself staring in the mirror, searching. There, reflecting back was what I had always known. I was so much more than my profession. I was worthy beyond all the roles I play, and richer than the things I own. As each day ticked by, my remission lingered, like a long expansive plateau, where the drop off is seemingly way off in the horizon.

From up on the plateau, I was reminded that true healing was not only of body, but especially of mind and spirit. If I was to heal in all ways possible, it required “medicine” that connected me back to my truest essence. I also knew that healing was much more enduring that any cure.

I have often drawn insight from symbols, visions, and dreams. They have been a path to my own inner wisdom. On this journey of healing, I instinctually knew that integrating my intellectual mind with my creative self was essential. Among the wealth of creative expressions available to me, I dabbled in music, felting, and clay forms.

But, what took me by surprise has been the emergence of the art of drawing. Drawing has been the medicine that has resonated deep within my core. This medicine required as much faith as my weekly chemotherapy treatments, perhaps more. I had to trust that the medicine would be effective and cumulative in its affect.

I started by drawing stick figures. Then I would copy simple drawings, line for line. Just as the chemo, I had to persevere. I had to keep at it, giving myself time to practice and refine the skill of putting pencil to paper. Most of all, I had to let go of my tendency to compare myself to others. The medicine required that I allow the drawings to evolve and emerge.

Then the magic happened. The gift of pyrography came into my life. I picked up the burning tool as if my soul had been reborn, restored. Trusting in this medicine, it touched a very deep part of me. I opened a window to my inner self.

So, there, emerging in the grain of the wood, I found my “inner wolf.  Wolf empowers the teacher within me to share medicine with others. This is what I had learned:

Re-examining my life has, and still is, an exercise in trust, persistence, practice, allowing.

Re-examination enables me to dust myself off and pursue life from this step forward.

Re-examining has helped me to emerge from the grief and loss.

Re-examination has enabled me to find the courage to trust my instincts, to take new paths, redirect from dead ends, and learn by discovery.

I am grateful for this journey, sucker punches and all. I have come to realize that resiliency does not always mean a return to how things have been. It’s about my capacity to move forward. Although my body may one day succumb to disease, I am most definitely healing.

I have discovered the freedom that wolf inspires.

As your coach, I would be honored to help you re-examine your life. Please contact me at bridgett@bridgettperry.com

life and death – where science and spirit collide

exploringFor much of my life, I have been exploring how life works…the source of our lives and how we express it through our bodies. This exploration presses me to search beyond the physical into an energetic realm beyond what seems tangible or acceptable.

I feel like a closeted student of the universe. But here it is, out in the open…

I believe we are energetic non-physical beings playing in physical form!  

This is the stuff philosophy and religions attempt to interpret.  I have always approached this from a spiritual perspective.

So, why the closet?  As a baby boomer, I lived through the rising of the “new age” which many labeled as for “kooks” and “weirdos.”  It was a time of resistance to anything that didn’t fit in society’s controlled and well-protected paradigm.  Although I was certainly not alone in poking around in the astral, it felt especially taboo.  Back then, it was easier to keep these explorations to myself. Now it’s out of the closet and into the streets!

So, why now?  Well, if something like stage 4 cancer doesn’t shake things up, nothing will.  Being told that the cancer in my body is incurable has kicked me into high gear. The obvious issue here is what happens when we die?

What I have come to appreciate over my many years as a student of life is that death is a perspective. Death is a concept. Going in and out of physical form is what we globally and collectively have called “death”.  Most of us were taught to perceive and perpetuate death as the end of our existence.  But I have come to believe it is a transition – not a disconnection from others – merely a change out of physical form.

My grappling with death started long before my terminal diagnosis. I have experienced the loss of loved ones since I was quite young.  In my adult years, I have been honored to witness others dying. In hindsight, I realize some have been mentors with awareness and openness in their transitions.  I found deep appreciation in observing their conscious process.

There have been many teachers over my years that have spoken about our existence in body and in spirit. I listened to them repeatedly as if absorbing every word would enhance my understanding.  I sat and studied with Stephen and Ondrea Levine, Ram Dass, Gary Zucker, and Carolyn Myss.  I have been a student of many western and a few eastern Buddhist teachers such as Sogyal Rinpoche, Pema Chodron, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Gil Fronsdal, Jack Kornfield, Thich Nhat Hanh, and the Dalai Lama.  Admittedly, I have been moved by the teachings from non-physical intelligence, starting with Jane Roberts and the Seth Materials, and more recently with Abraham Hicks.  Regardless of the non-orthodox means that their messages have been shared, there is some profound wisdom being expressed.  It resonates with me deeply.

Perhaps what has encouraged me most of all has been science.  I have long been a big fan of quantum theory.  Without fully understanding this academically, I truly appreciate how the nature of our physical world can be explained through this scientific framework. All objects are made of molecules, which are formed from atoms, which are made of bundles called quanta – energy.

We know that energy never dies!  Looks like quantum theory saved my life 🙂

Scientists, like Professor Robert Lanza, have helped to translate how quantum theory relates to the concept of death.  He teaches us to view life and death differently.  He claims that death is an illusion created by our consciousness.  Biocentrism turns our thinking around to realize that it is our consciousness that creates the universe, not the other way around.  Dr. Lanza says about death, “we’ve been taught we die, or more specifically, our consciousness associates life with bodies and we know that bodies die.”  I get giddy with excitement when my spiritual teachings and my respect for quantum theory overlap.

Today’s science has set us  free to embrace that which we know deep down to be true.

We now know through studies and research the big role energy plays in our lives.  We can measure the effects of meditation on the brain.  We can detect the impact of positive energy on our immune system.  Our nervous system can be soothed by consciously focusing on positive emotions.  We can change our beliefs and habits through consciously altering our brain activities. Death is a not an end of life, but an energetic shift from physical form.

I am not afraid of death. I know it to be a transition. I exist as non-physical energy and use my physical body as a tool to experience life through the stimulus of senses… taste – sight – hearing – touch – smell.  When I “die” I will no longer use my Bridgett body, but will continue to “live” as the energy-based consciousness that I am.

These are no longer the ideas of a kook, eccentric, new-age weirdo. My worlds of spirituality and science have collided.

you mustn’t be afraid of death
you’re a deathless soul
you can’t be kept in a dark grave
you’re filled with God’s glow

– Rumi


If you, or someone you know, would like guidance along life’s journey, I would be honored to help. Contact me for personal coaching at bridgett@bridgettperry.com

World’s Best STEM CELL SCIENTIST talks SPIRIT (Robert Lanza)


What Science Is Telling Us About The Heart’s Intuitive Intelligence



a simple path to change

There is a simple path to making change in our lives.

From our mood to our inner core beliefs, it is possible to create the life you want…really!

It’s about awareness – choice – taking action.

Thanks for watching…your comments are welcome!



If you, or someone you know, would like guidance down this simple path, I would be honored to help. Contact me for personal coaching at bridgett@bridgettperry.com





well-being in the face of hard times

live like someone left the gate openHow do you hang onto your well-being when life hands out hard stuff?

Since my cancer diagnosis, I have become keenly aware of how much my attitude shapes my life.  You don’t have to have cancer to know this. There are plenty of life challenges to go around.  No matter what difficulty comes your way, it’s attitude that determine how well you manage and retain your well-being.

It’s not what you are handed, it’s how you handle it.

Perspective is how we view life and interpret experiences. Perspective is influenced by culture, age, genetics, social norms gender, and environment…many other factors. We tend to think of it as the cup half empty, half full concept.

I appreciate what I learned about perspective from an article on taoism.net. Someone might delight in finding the cup half-full.  That’s the universal sign of an optimist.  However, here is what I hadn’t considered. It is possible that someone could find meaning in a half-empty cup.  Rather than assuming they are pessimistic, it’s possible they prefer to find a cup that needs to be filled. That’s fulfilling to them.  It’s all a matter of perspective.

Our attitudes are how we respond to life’s perceptions. We learn attitudes from people in our lives, and develop them from our life experiences. Our attitudes can be positive, negative, rational, unreasonable, conscious, or unknown.  Attitudes influence the beliefs we hold, the assumptions we make, and the thoughts we form.

In other words, attitude is how we create our own reality.

Ok, so you don’t need cancer to become consciously aware of our attitudes. But, for me, living with cancer was when my attitude became so damn obvious.

Here’s the thing… “health” is not only about the presence or absence of disease.  It is also about our well-being.  I discovered that true well-being is all wrapped up in my attitude.

I think of my true well-being as something cancer can’t take from me.  Cancer cannot take away my thoughts, beliefs, or motivation for life.

My attitudes have shaped how I respond to the world. When my attitudes are in alignment with my values, I have my well-being. Life is good…cancer or no cancer.

Recently, I have thought about what attitudes bring to my well-being.  I want to share a few:

Life is about people and what we do together…the exceptional moments along with the ordinary. It’s the sharing of a meal and simple conversation.  It’s being vulnerable in laughter and as well as our tears.  It’s about delighting in each other’s creations.  It’s discovering and observing the world together.

Nurturing relationships is a blessing.  We nurture when we engage in our friend’s lives, show up to support a neighbor, find a way to contribute to community.  Nurturing relationships makes our bonds strong, even in small ways. Relationships are how we go on when the going gets tough.

We can break free of the thoughts and beliefs that hold us back.  This is the gift of conscious living. We become aware of which thoughts we breathe life into and which we let go. We can break down beliefs that don’t serve us.  We make choices and decisions based on our values.  When we live with awareness aligned with our values, we experience well-being, no matter what life is handing out.

It all comes down to this. I am living like someone left the gate open!

How about you?