Sunday, November 7, 2010

Still breathing

Alive and well :)

I've taken the summer off to be present in the moment.
Here I am, refreshed and hopeful for a new year.

I understand this one is not yet over, but oh what a horrid year and I'm ready to proclaim it's end.

All is well on the home front.

I'm letting go of many material possessions and I've come to understand my own way of thinking.

It has been a rough year with change, loss, pain, yet also one of healing, growth, and understanding.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm been fighting a losing battle with an image. I've been trying all of these years to "find" myself. Who am I aside from mom?

I must say it was very much a classic "lightbulb" moment when I realized that I needn't be anything other than who I am.
This very moment... I'm mom. I'm pretty good at it too.



Now bring on the rain!!!!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

video


We enjoyed a peaceful weekend on the Oregon coast.
Our days have been spent working in our garden, swimming in the river, or lounging outdoors under the sunshine. what an amazing summer thus far.
Living in the Pacific Northwest....we know it will be over too soon.
We're soaking it up while we can.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

today



The sun is shining and I'm thankful for the love I have been given and the love I am able to give :)
Missing an old friend today. He and I shared a love of jack johnson. His little girl and I....we will never forget what a wise man he was and what he taught us.
He always told me not to worry about the little things....not to argue over which bread to buy and such....well these days I make all our own so no conflict there.... :p

Living for today...in the moment

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mindfulness







Where have I been? :)
As you might know the rain finally let up and it has been sunshiny all the day long.
We have been spending our days in the garden, grass or lazily swinging in the warmth.
The days have been noisy and busy, but I can't complain.
My truck has even been in the shop for days(far too many if you ask my pocket book) and I've barely noticed.
Soccer camp took up much of last week, but this week has been slow living.

This book has really changed my way of thinking. I've been reading it for a month on and off and now I can't get enough. The author is Sarah Napthali. I have other books of hers as well.

Here is a small bit that really touched my heart.

"For mothers, desires abound. We desire that our children be happy, smart, popular, and beautiful. We want our partners to appreciate us, to do their share around the house and to live up to our expectations as fathers. We want our lives to be sometimes stimulating, sometimes relaxing. At times we want friends to clamor around us and at other times to leave us alone.

The flipside of attachment is aversion, a strong desire for our lives to be other than they are. Our aversions, too, can be numerous. We often find ourselves wishing the present moment to be other than it is. We resent the tantrums, the whining, the nagging. We begrudge our partners working long hours away from home. We rail against the insensitivity of our friends or relations.

From our own experience we know that when these desires and aversions become too intense, they undermine our ability to be calm and content. Although we know on a rational level that perfection cannot exist and that we will never satisfy all these desires, we continue to behave as though it is possible."

These desires are not sins. They are perfectly natural, but we are challenged to study these desires. What happens when we satisfy them? Do we live happily ever after? What happens when we don't satisfy our desires? How do desires make us feel? Are we ever free of them in any moment and how might this feel?

The answers to such questions are clear to us all, yet we continue to live as though happiness is a simple matter of fulfilling our current desires.
Once the mind understands how clinging leads to suffering and unease, it will naturally avoid it.

"Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,
You exhaust yourself in vain"

"Finding happiness is not about attaining what you believe you want and ridding your life of annoyances. Rather, it is about fostering enough inner peace that external conditions no longer matter.

The author made me think. I literally stopped my thought process(which tends to be monkey mind) and considered what she was saying. When I began to question if this meant I shouldn't have hopes and dreams I realized that I was overthinking :)
One of my favorite things about this book is how deeply I identify with much of what she is saying as a mother. We are all so much more alike than we realize and struggling with similar situations.



With the kiddos home it seems the house is in an uproar. I found myself short on patience and hubby was feeling the same....and lets not tell him but he was frustrating me with his lack of patience with the kids.

I joined in the Mindful Mothering workshop over at Threading Light.
The messages were truly inspiring and often left me in tears, not tears of sadness...but something more, some sort of understanding and relief.

My daughter describes me as somewhat gentle and soft. When speaking of another woman the other day she said "so much like you..only more rough"
I have always struggled with kindness. It seems too difficult to be anything but. At times this has gotten me nowhere and often my children have questioned why I did not return anger or act as others sometimes do toward me.
I don't know why I am this way, but I do love me as I am.
This helped when participating in the workshop. I was able to stop and think more clearly...to see my children in the light I have always longed to. I learned ways to turn a potentially unhealthy situation into one of understanding and compromise, a situation where we all win and all feel loved.

I've also learned to stop and breathe. Now I mean this literally.
I've said it a million times and even had plans to have breathe tattooed on my wrist..but I literally stopped and closed my eyes and took a deep cleansing breath, placing myself in the moment of here and now, continuing to breathe until I felt calm and clear minded. Wow. What a shock when it worked. :) I'm sometimes(too often) a glass half empty kind of girl.
I'm still working on using positive statements and if you were walking by our home you might just(for sure would) hear me yelling at one child or another to do this or that or to stop doing this or that....but I am getting there with
turning a statement that goes like "Why didn't you bring your laundry down like I asked you 6539820 times...?" into "If you bring your laundry down we can get to the turtle pond that much quicker and might even have time to stop for a smoothie on the way" :)

SO that's where I have been. A bit inside of myself these last days and happily so.
I read a fabulous gardening book by Steve Solomon and in it he said something that really tickled me and made me say to myself "hey that's how I feel"
It was something like this...
"I like my own company better than most other people's; usually I'd rather meet the authors of fiction through reading their novels than visit with the neighbors or friends. I don't enjoy tricky games, subtle dishonesty, office politics, or using people as though they were production units."

~don't quite agree with the neighbors and friends part, but the rest is right on.

Aside from all this overthinking and house craziness I have been baking up a storm....and taking long walks.....

We are indeed blessed.





















Friday, June 11, 2010

{This Moment}

{this moment} A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.


Monday, June 7, 2010

A summer day, finally

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”

~Jane Austen

Tonight I'm dirty, sunburned, exhausted and so thankful to be so.

Summer must be here somewhere

Our evening was spent together....the girl and I.
She sat beside me and together we pushed beans and peas into the moist earth. This is our second planting....little sprouts of the same already poking their heads through...saying hello and reaching toward the warm sunshine.

We fed night crawlers to the girls and stood in awe with our necks bent and faces toward the sky as we watched our friendly neighborhood bat twist, dive and swoop as it fed on flying buzzing insects. We spoke of the misunderstood reputation and overlooked beauty of the bat. Graceful as can be.

On the swing with my arm around her shoulder and my cheek on her hair...I inhaled and captured that moment forever in this mommy's mind. The scent of her, the innocence, her willingness to sit with me and listen as well as speak, inquire....not thinking she already knows it all, so curious and optimistic.


With these little ones I still hold out hope...but the teens....my teens...I feel I've lost them. Little adults.

but before this,

Rain. That's what I have seen, heard, felt, heard about, spoken of, and grumbled toward for months...what seems like years. Again and again I ask the sky..."isn't that enough? I think we are safe from drought this year." Then I realize I'm being somewhat ignorant and tell myself to appreciate what is. The same as I tell my children about others...accept them for who they are or move on.

The past several months have been garden related in one way or another. Catalog browsing, garden planning/drawing, soil preparation, seedlings,trips to territorial with my bestest friend/sister lady. (shh don't tell, but I go to territorial about twice a week, we're tight)

I planted a ridiculous amount of seeds. I said I wasn't going to again this year, but I did. It's an illness, lol.
Would you believe I planted over 30 tomatoes :(
cherokee purple, japanese trifele(my fave), chocolate cherry(yum), yellow pear, pineapple, black prince, black cherry, sweetie cherry, mortgage lifter, golden treasure, black, new hampshire, sun gold, and probably more that I can't recall right this moment.

Over the last week I have been finishing everything up, putting the last plants(seedlings are growing up and leaving the nest) in the ground. Then disaster struck. A tree fell from the neighbors property. Luckily no one was hurt. It was a mere five feet from my chicken coop, with the girls(hens) inside. There are two trees grown together. It covers half of my 60x40 ft garden, the rest of the tree remains on his property. It sits there still...after nearly a week. I won't even get into why, but will say that we would take responsibility were it our tree on someone elses garden, a garden that feeds five children no less.
There seems to be a squirrel who is somewhat confused. He comes out from under the tree and comes almost right up to us. He accepts treats. I warn the kids not to touch...just in case.



I've built three trellises. Two with jute for the peas and one with fencing panels for the beans. Both climbing and bush varieties of peas and beans are already sprouting. Thank you endless rain.



I've been out of sorts lately. Feeling a bit toxic and thinking about my options.
Needing to get back into a routine with my herbal infusions and eating healthy.
I find myself with an addiction to sweet coffee drinks. Who would have thought.
There was a time when I didn't touch such things, no candy or sweets, no soda...etc...but lately I seem to be controlled by such nonsense. I haven't had a soda in about four years(I think), and won't, but the coffee...it has it's claws in me. Anyhow......lol.

This overwhelming urge to sew has been pestering me....but all sewing machines and fabrics are still packed, untouched for months.
Some lovely items have found their way into my home from the thrift lately.
I have this terrible weakness for vintage wood dining chairs. If you saw my garage you might faint....that or roll your eyes way back...maybe call an intervention :)
You see I have plans for them all....colors...chair pads sewn by me..where they will be placed....some in the yard under trees in the grass with tables covered in linens...with snacks and tall glasses of iced tea filled with borage ice cubes...

The slugs will be drinking in style from the sweet little china bowls I picked up from goodwill. My kiddos are appalled that I am actually going to buy beer!! from the store!! where people can see me and everything, ha! ha!

We would really love to see something like this around here.
oops it's 2 am. this also explains the dark circles under my eyes. can't sleep.


also addicted to photoshop and lightroom editing. Still trying to figure it all out.

"About the house" update....we withdrew our offer. The seller was dishonest about the removal of the asbestos. It tested positive and in the end we found out it was never removed at all. We started to feel a bit ill about the whole situation and thought it was not meant to be. I only hope that the other family trying to purchase it knows the truth.









to be continued~ and soon I'm going to share our favorite recipes for sweet whole wheat bread and iced basil lemonade :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Seeing green

Isn't it funny when you figure out at 35 that you have just become a grown up?
I'm loving the older more understanding and accepting me and my family and the saturation of the colors outside and thoughts that are all new to me.
I didn't know that you never stop being amazed by what you thought you always knew, but learn more about as you get older......and when it hits that you are still learning....am I making sense? Probably not, but I am so thrilled to be alive and at this stage in my life.

We have been spending all our time outside. I'm seeing green......and pink
(those bubblegum dogwoods take my breath away), and white, and purple, and blue, and yellow and orange.......









Oatstraw infusion. I don't like it so much. I do drink my nettles 24-7











Saturday, April 3, 2010

Messenger

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

~Mary Oliver~

Friday, April 2, 2010

dream homes




I will get better photos when the sun is shining and my girls aren't hiding inside.
It's been nearly two weeks. They've stopped laying.
I shall be patient. They were free range and had a coop of mansion proportions.
Now I must remember to move them around as much as possible so they have variety in bugs and greens. This was supposed to be a chicken tractor.
If it were about 250 lbs less I would call it such. Heheh.
We've had rain, rain and more rain. Oh and I don't let me forget to mention the rain.
At this rate, my veggies had better be 50 feet tall :)


My seedlings are growing like weeds (which some are haha)
If only I could unearth my sewing machines from the mountain of bins that came from my sewing room. No sewing room here, just a laundry room with a table.
I don't mind.

Here's a secret. The home we loved and wanted so badly.... It just came back on the market. "A personal issue" we were told as it's only been sold for a few months.
We toured it again with an agent and I helplessly find myself more in love with it than I was before.

It's walls were stripped down to the original paper and floors. Some floors were removed and many "upgrades" were torn out.
I believe the new owner had the same visions as I.
He removed all the same things I would have.
On the back door is an old bell.
Were it possible to fall in love with a home for the door ringer alone, I would surely have done so. This home as it did before, calls out to me.
It caresses my fingertips as I run my hand across the wall, cushions my feet as I gently tiptoe across the timeworn hardwood floors, whispers my name in a "whoosh" as I open yet another door.

As I stand and gaze from the window I feel as if I'd been there before, looking out the window in another time. The flow seems familiar as though I'd roamed the halls a hundred times before in the near darkness of dusk.

I seem to recall the light of dawn in the sunroom and I swear I can smell grass moist with dew.

Stepping down into the basement, in my minds eye I see rows of canned goods, shelves of vegetables and fruits, baskets hanging on the walls, tools, old furniture and oddly a wedding dress tattered and torn, tossed over an old chair as if it were held and examined again and again.
Focusing now on the chair, into my view comes a shapely arm and two curvy legs, a worn seat with tufts of horsehair falling from the side, a spring having worked it's way through the faded fabric, dusty pink, perhaps brilliant red at one time.

I hear children laughing and realize they are my own. They've found joy in the stairs. The stairs come down into the parlour as well as near the kitchen. You have a choice of where you want to end up. The house is three stories, four if you want to count the basement. There are nooks, crannies and built ins, hiding places in every room. It seems enchanted.

The living room is enormous with a fireplace and original carved mantel.
Our master bedroom above mirrors the living room.
There is a small butler pantry in the dining room and a small office near the study/library.

I won't continue to bore you with the details, unless of course by some miracle we are blessed with the home. Then you may here endless stories of house love.
It's a good day.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hello Spring...love of my life

Is it spring yet? Perhaps not, but the trees and flowers tell me it is.
I'm with them. I use to say that fall was my favorite season. Well since moving to the Pacific Northwest...I take it back. Winters here are dreadful. Anything leading up to winter just reminds me of winter, LOL.
So spring and summer I adore you, please stay forever. Spring summer and repeat....
I know winter is the period of rest and renewal for plants, but I can wish.

Today was spent lovingly building herb/planter boxes and putting up a fence.
Our new place sits beside a river. The fence is for the safety of my kiddos, mostly the adventurous little man. I will have many herbs as I usually do, but this time they will be steps from the kitchen and slug/snail free(I'm hoping).
I will also separate the medicinals from the rest. My kiddos enjoy picking their own herbs and tossing them into whatever it may be at the moment from basil on bread to mint in teas.....therefore I'd like to have one that is off limits so they don't ingest something by mistake, not that I have anything that would harm them (I'm far to careful for that), but just in case.

I'm enjoying the feeling of working with my hands. The scent of the cedar combined with the scent of the moist cool earth has been an amazing way to welcome spring.
The dirt here is truly wonderful, so dark and rich, so much so that it reminds me of chocolate fudge cake. The wigglers poking their parts out here and there take away all temptation to eat it, lol, but I have been holding some up to my nose and inhaling, taking great pleasure in doing so.

It's been a long time since I've found a moment to kneel upon the grass and peer down into the "goings ons" of the earth.
My best friend and I use lay in the clover when we were girls. While the other kids were playing on the playground equipment, she and I were laying on our tummies at the edge of the playground. It was near a farmers field right next to a narrow ditch. I recall the sound of the trickle of the water and the grass waving as the water passed over it.
We were poking around in the clover and making discoveries such as blossoms, tiny clumps of earth, roly polys, inchworms, ants and sucking on the end of a blade of grass to compare the sweetness. Oh those were the days...................

The boxes will be around the edges of the deck. There is no railing so this really helps to keep the kids from jumping off. It's a bit of a drop and I'd rather them not break a limb.

I have not seen my camera in ages. It once went everywhere I did. As of late I feel a bit more freedom and spend less time focused on the kids or what I can photograph.
I'm trying to live for myself as well as raise them. I'm remembering my goals and hopes, wishes, dreams ;)

Life has truly been wonderful this last month. I've been more busy that I've been in ages, but it's been nice. The hustle and bustle I so enjoy.
We've been gone from the woods for one week. I miss it, yet I feel so ready for this change. Regardless of where we live in this area...we are in the woods, but now it won't be quite so literal.

We will keep a handful of our hens, but the roosters will need homes as they aren't allowed in town. Our bunny was set free ages ago and I have never seen a more content fellow. The neighbor told us that he visits them often. He looks very healthy and seems to grin. I didn't have the heart to put him back in the hutch and force him to live a life in town.
I will post photos of all the things we have been working on as soon as I unearth my nikon. I purchased a point and shoot a few weeks ago so I could slip it into my pocket....maybe I can snap a few with it tomorrow.

My sewing machines are all packed. We are lucky enough to have a very large laundry room. I was able to put a good size table in there for all of my machines.
The fabric is piled sky high in bins.....lol...shame on me for all of that fabric.

We are happy and I do believe things are falling into place as they were meant to be.
I'm seeing much more of friends and I'm also able to feel more comfortable alone outdoors. The kids can't roam as far away from me. We have a large enough yard for a huge garden and room to play. I'm so excited.

I will admit that after hauling bricks today I was tired and my heart was racing....I sat down on a lounge chair and leaned back. I looked up to the sky and my breath caught in my throat. It is just as beautiful as it was at our old home. Did I expect it to be any different? I must have, but happily it was blue and gorgeous and there was more of it to enjoy as the trees aren't as dense in town. We are still surrounded by berries, which pleases the kids to no end.

This house is old. I believe it was built around 1910 or so.
It needs a whole lot of work, and since we don't own it (yet), I don't plan to make many improvements inside, but outside I will work night and day, happily....humming to myself and being thankful for all I have been blessed with.

A pleasant discovery was made today. When I am running the drill or the saw is squealing, I hear no children fighting or complaining. They were trying so hard and I saw their mouths moving, but heard only the peaceful whine of power tools....I thought I was in heaven. ROFLMAO....heehee. It was only for a moment. A moment sent as a gift from heaven in exchange for all of my stress filled days, HAHA!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A New Beginning

Lets get to the facts.
A young man who was quite close to a certain member of my family came out to our place and ended his life.
My husband found the young man as he came home from work.
Not one member of my family escaped the hurt and confusion.
It's been traumatic to say the least.
I cried myself to sleep for over a week. I sat with my child as she cried and asked me why. A question which I could never answer.
I walked into the woods screamed, cried, raised my face to the sky as it rained and asked the same questions myself....why?

Almost a month has passed now and life is just getting back to normal...."normal" as if there is such a thing.
My teenage daughter is now homeschooled.
We are leaving this place to move into a house in town.
I will say goodbye to my chickens and to this way of life.
However....I can garden anywhere.

Our new home is on the river and as I sit on the deck I can close my eyes and fall into a peaceful state of relaxation as the water finds a rhythm and my worries are forgotten for the moment.
I'm closer to the thrift stores.
My best friend lives only blocks away.
We can travel to the park, store, school,bowling alley etc...all within minutes and even on our bikes.
And finally.....we can get a FREE library card :)

oh.....and perhaps now I can step outside without thinking a cougar is peering at me through the trees just waiting to pounce and eat me for breakfast.

Yes indeed I am excited for this new life.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Crying

Thank you to all of our friends who have left comments and emailed.

To clarify, the loss was not one of my children.

I'd like to share the story, but as I've been crying off and on all day, today will not be the day.
We are healing and getting back into the swing of everyday life. It seems almost surreal and I'm still stuck on "why" yet I know that I cannot stop living.

Last thursday was my "me" day. It was a girls day out shopping, exploring and welcoming a new life in a new place.
We were sitting in a cafe and watching the news about Haiti. Numbness is what I felt then.....I thought what can I do? There is a tendency in me to distance myself from pain.....my companion and I, we spoke of those who carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.

that night turned out to be one of the worst in my life.

I've cried for one week. I've cried, screamed, slept, begged, prayed, laughed, lost my breath, hugged my children tighter than ever, pushed them away like never before, threatened to walk away from my life and finally opened my heart to all the pain in the world and let all the hurt, anger, confusion and frustration pour out.

I cry. That's my new hobby. But you know what? It helps.

This blog has never become as it was intended.
It seems more of a diary of sorts and list of to do...it was the ear of a friend, a shoulder to cry on....the place to laugh and share about my family.

not sure if I will be back or begin fresh with another blog....sticking to some rules about over sharing :) just don't know right now

I want to give and that isn't what I've been doing. I surely don't want to give sadness.


2010 was supposed to be my fresh start :)
I'm a believer in things happening for a reasona and that there is already a plan....I'm just trying to stay on the right path....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tragedy

Our lives have been touched by tragedy. Suicide.
I've yet to understand or get past the question Why?
As for me right now I'm dealing with it in my own way, we all have our own way with grief.