Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Inspired by Lindsey Alyce I decided to tell you my own little story...

If I were to write a small story today it would be about...

wind weaved hair
tanned hands
sun-kissed shoulders
breathing fields
whispering trees
naked babies
picnics in the long grass
lemonade & iced tea
rows of green
overflowing baskets
long driveways
wooden screen doors
peeling paint
dancing curtains
dirty feet
happy chickens
sun warmed tomatoes
flapping laundry
dancing barefoot by candlelight
tales of bravery & beauty
sleeping babies
warm quilts
soft words
a room without walls

What would your story be?

go gently & be wonderful


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

House Beautiful

Tea For Joy & seesaw

Country Living

The cold wind is keeping us snuggled up inside today.
Snuggled up and admiring the beautiful works and creations of others.
Feeling a little stuck.
Feeling a little inadequate and lost with my own creativity.
Wishing so many of the ideas I see were my own.
Aching for a clean slate and fresh paint.
A new perspective.
I can't seem to satisfy the need to purge what I don't love or use despite truckloads gone to charity, neighbours, for sale, and to the dump.

Sometimes the thought of learning everything I want to learn stops me in my tracks.
Lens flare, soft muted tones, vintage blur, Polaroids, film, photoshop.
Metal stamped jewelry.
Silk screening.
Basic woodworking.
Waldorf lifestyle & celebrations
Canning & preserving

Will I ever see myself as the artist I so yearn to be?

go gently & be wonderful


Thursday, April 22, 2010

As promised.

And just because she's cute...

go gently & be wonderful
I spent the morning making felted soap "pebbles" and silverware plant markers {pictires to come} in the cool wind today. The sun wasn't as friendly as it has been so with runny noses and cold fingers, Poppy and I came back into the warmth of the house. I haven't been able to stay inside for more than a few mintues it seems since the nice weather hit last month and it has been wonderful.

Today though, I thought I would let Poppy nap upstairs rather than outside while I searched for Farmers' Market supplies online. Now the only problem with this activity is that I can't avoid all the lovely treasures for sale mixed in with the supplies! So I thought now would be a good time to compile a list of favourites that are haunting me...some oldies and some newbies. After all I do have a 30th birthday, a Mother's Day and a Wedding Anniversary coming up ;)


Vintage Fans print

A most lovely hair clip

Tub Caddy
One day soon I will have my clawfoot tub in which I will sip tea and write letters by candlelight. A bit spendy for something I could easily make myself, but isn't that picture just so romantic!

A sweet interpretation of the traditional locket. I guess I would need four {gasp} birthsones/eggs

This is just so pretty and practical entertainment for a nursing baby {or for diaper change distractions}

Oh so lovely for oh so many reasons!

I will need a sling for the newborn stage before moving back to the Ergo and these are just lovely!

Too sweet
, but would these newbie kntting fingers know what to do with such a sweet little pattern?!

simply perfect.

I could do this for days. Seriously. But I should really get back to business!

go gently & be wonderful


Monday, April 19, 2010

So Many Things To Be Grateful For...

farm fresh eggs delivered with love
early morning laundry
rich topsoil courtesy of Ellenberger Organic Farms
grass seed
some one's first mouthful of good clean soil

{taken before the mouthful of dirt}
first batch of sun tea warming on the deck
farmer's tan in progress
homemade spaghetti and meatballs

dirt under my fingernails
herb, tomato, and pepper seeds started
organic root beer and cider
a freezer full of organic beef and pork
the highly anticipated arrival of our new retro phone

a tidy and fairly organized house
enjoying the newly made patio set from found objects and cedar stumps
child benefit cheque from the government {God, I love this country!}

It is on days like this that my heart swells with gratitude for the life that I am so blessed to live and for the husband and family members who have made it so possible. I am living the life of my dreams and a simple thank you never seems to suffice. It is my goal to live each day with gratitude and to do each of them proud.

Monday, April 12, 2010

As Poppy lay napping beside me, snuggled under my favourite little quilt made by my great-grandmother's own hands, I joyfully peruse my new cookbooks. The windows are open to the cool spring wind and my fingers feel cold and slender. My rings swivel and turn with ease and love how slim fingers make my whole body feel slender and feminine. I look at Poppy's pudgy little hand poking out from the quilt and decide that going back to the thrift store for the faded, candy-coloured duvet cover was a brilliant decision. It matches the tangerines and pinks of the paper party lanterns I hung above our bed. Paper party lanterns I hung so we could pretend we were laying in the green grass of a picnic watching hot air balloons floating far off in the distance.

I, without guilt, scour my new cookbooks {Apples for Jam, The River Cottage Family Cookbook and The Tassajara Bread Book}some long-sought after and one new to me, but beloved-by-many bread bible. I love to cook and turning the thick beautiful pages reminds me of road trips and new flavours tried. It reminds me of that divine moment when you take a risk and order the item describing flavours and textures you would never put beside each other. It reminds of those times that the risk pays off. The flavours mingle and scratch an itch you weren't aware was there. You carry them with you for the rest of the day and think of them fondly as you slowly fall back onto the old faithful recipes you could cook or bake with your eyes closed.

Perhaps this is just what I need to finally rise up to the nasty {but entirely necessary} task of touching a whole, raw {eek!} chicken for roasting. Freshly made pasta, homemade butter and fresh loaves of bread all call for a little more organization and commitment, but I feel healthier just thinking about eating {and feeding} food infused with a little homegrown love and sweat.

So yeah, I got me some artful new cookbooks and they took me somewhere poetic and romantic...

Don't you just love when that happens?

go gently & be wonderful


Friday, April 9, 2010

Yesterday began with a happy baby sporting a wicked case of bed head rivaled only by her mama's. I skipped the shower and bed making routine and pranced down the stairs where Poppy and I danced to The Beatles. A good start I must say!

I put Poppy in her highchair with some apple and Cheerios to hold her over while I crafted some of Gramma's apple fritters (basically a thick crepe batter with apple chunks, cinnamon and sugar). But because she has lost her sweet disposition to teething over the last couple weeks, she began to dramatically shriek while I let the wet dogs back inside. The dogs proceeded to tip the water dish over sending water rushing down the hall and through the jungle of books that Poppy had removed from the bookshelf the night before.

And there it went. I can safely say I went bananas as a confused Soma tiptoed across the kitchen floor with his spongy, muddy feet. I nearly cried while the dogs pondered their next move to make me mental. I suddenly noticed the sink full of dishes and the tufts of dog hair under the table and thought of the unmade bed left upstairs. How silly of me to try for a zen-like morning ritual! Who am I kidding?

But a promise is a promise and, quite frankly, I am tired of breaking the promises I make to myself. I took a deep breath and gathered the ingredients and before long I was lost in the quiet moment of chopping an apple. My breathing returned to normal and I began again. I sat down with a stack of fritters and an eager Poppy. I read a meal blessing aloud while Poppy impatiently yelled over each word, but I concentrated on the words and meant what I said.

The water, the hair, and the dishes were eventually tended to while I contemplated the logistics of Poppy getting apple fritter stuck to the back cuff of the new bloomers I made for her. The dogs even redeemed themselves by eating the crumbs stuck to Poppy's pants and tolerated her playing in their dishes as they tried to eat and drink.

Despite the crazy teething baby and less than perfect start, it turned out to be a pretty successful day in which I got excited about a more frugal and green lifestyle, read to Poppy, found a perfect meal blessing, took some pictures, made tortilla chips from the leftover wraps, a spicy black bean dip, a fresh salsa with dill, and some yummy graham crackers from scratch.

Days like these make me realize that though I want to be a better mama who can go with the ebb and flow of any day, it doesn't necessarily mean I have to change everything that I am. That may be more work than it's worth when acceptance is probably a healthier solution. I can hold onto that daily shower and blow my hair dry because it makes me feel better. I can make the bed and do the dishes because it makes me feel calmer when it is done. I feel more inclined to make creative messes when the other messes are in control. That is my reality and where I am at in this moment. Growth is tricky and deciding what you are willing to part with and what you aren't is key. Pick your battles wisely.

Today I hope to plan some meals for the week, bake bread, and be present.

go gently & be wonderful


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My head hurts.

You see, this is what happens when I stop writing. I become so discombobulated that it is a somewhat painful detox and de-cluttering process to get me back to normal. Let me see if I can slow the internal garble that runs through my head every minute of every day lately...

Gotta get those leaf piles into the compost before the grass dies under Poppy getting enough variety in her diet...I really hope I can focus on canning enough tomatoes for the winter months this year...we should stop using paper towels...I should make some paper towel replacements...I should really get back on the cloth diaper wagon and make or buy some reusable wipes while I am at it...I really should not be so lazy and hang the cloths to dry year round rather than just on the ideal days...I should really look into freelance writing, but who would want to read what I have to say...We need a new shower curtain...I really need to start my days with more intention...I need to start a morning ritual and stick with it...gotta pay the taxes soon...I wish we were in our forever home...God, I hate our tree cutting neighbours and hope they build a fence and leave us alone...I wish Mike didn't have to drive an hour to work I reading enough to Poppy?...I need to fix the screen door...what will I make for supper?...Oh yeah, Poppy's doctor appointment...which vaccinations are we doing and which are we not?...Root canal...ultrasound...what if people don't like the names we picked out...I want some Doritos...Why the hell did I just eat those Doritos?...I really want to stop buying staple foods that I can make myself like breads and pasta and crackers...I should start cooking with dry legumes rather than the canned ones...I need to find some local eggs...we need some more queen size fitted sheets...must try to find some pretty vintage ones at value village...God I wish we had better thrift stores in Lindsay...Can't wait to get the railing on the much will it cost...are we going to be ok...of course we will be...I want to start making yummy breakfasts like Gramma used to make...crepes with plum jam...porridge with maple syrup, cinnamon and raisins...I should make more jam...but we always forget to eat it...I would really like to find a nice earth-based gratitude blessing for mealtimes...we watch too much online least we got rid of mind-numbing cable...I think we should try potty training Poppy as she has been giving physical signs of going these past few days...Holy good God, how does one train a toddler to pee and poop in a pot?...maybe we will try to elimination communication with the next one...maybe head hurts...I should go to sleep...the house is is always messy...Cleaning Laura's house is so hard with Poppy, but we need the money...I hope the farmers' market goes well...what if no one likes me?...I need to make more of Poppy's clothes...I hate feeling judged about how we want to raise Poppy...mmmm cherry tomatoes!

Seriously. No wonder my head hurts.

I have come to the realization that the chaotic nature of my thoughts stems from me not yet finding my rhythm of being a stay at home mama. I feel as though I stumble through my days and end up feeling overwhelmed with the things I could have done more efficiently in my day. Thanks to conventional schooling and jobs I am surely not alone in feeling out of sorts when left to my own devices. An issue I know to work on now as we plan on homeschooling/unschooling our children and not knowing how to motivate and guide yourself through a day is not a lesson I want them to learn.

Without ritual I busy myself with the mundane household tasks until the day turns into night. Tasks such as laundry and dishes can, and do, have their meditative qualities, but not when we are too busy resenting them {which is something I am often guilty of}. Too many days have passed by without being fully explored, tasted, enjoyed, or thanked.

Some of you reading this may think I am being too hard on myself or even unrealistic, but I disagree. We are capable of a lot of things and can sell ourselves short with the excuses we eat up. I often think of what our grandparents lived through and accomplished and how far removed we are from that not always convenient, but {for me} much more rewarding life than this one filled with excess packaging, branding, processed, sprayed, and abused crap made in sweatshops and factory farms.

So I promise to make the following 3 changes to my days this week:

1) Find a meal blessing, write it out and do our best to say it at each meal
2) Begin each day with a homemade breakfast
3) Taking the time each morning to begin with intention by thinking of what I hope to accomplish, explore, or notice that day

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