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
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 otherbooks 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.....
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 :)