Tuesday, January 30, 2007

WHAT a concept!

I have never read a book that affected my complete being as much as The Continuum Concept. Besides having intense regrets over not having known about this book before my children were born, the emotions run far deeper. All my impossible-to-understand, impossible-to-fulfill yearnings for support and fulfillment suddenly make sense to me. I feel like I've been searching my whole life for this one concept. Even my husband makes more sense to me -- his insecurities, his "stories", everything. This book was first published in 1975. I truly don't know why it is not required reading for every pregnant woman in the developed world. Our so-called "progress" comes with a distinct disadvantage in being mothers. Our continuum has been disrupted and many of us, hell, MOST of us don't trust our intuition enough to keep the continuum intact in our own children.
I find that this book is affecting every aspect of my life and I yearn for open-hearted people to discuss this with. I've asked several of my friends to read it, and I'm hoping for some brainstorming on how to mend the continuum in our children who are still young enough that this is possible. Hopeful.
Have you read it? How did it affect your life? Please share.


Well, our month of holidaying up at the skihill is over. We've spent every possible moment up there, skiing, tubing, skating, walking, and hanging out in the winter wonderland that is SilverStar... Aaah. What fun it's been! But now time to get on with life... So much to do... Like
Practice our best camera smiles...
Aaah, that's better! (Our sweet neighbour knit him this sweater!)

Wiggle out that VERY FIRST loose tooth!
Go see our beloved GG... (this was yesterday)
And prepare for our Imbolc celebration on Friday...
and, oh yeah! it's daddy's birthday on Friday too! oh! so much fun to look forward to...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


One of the songs on the soundtrack of my life just now... There are so many versions, but this is the one that resonates in my soul. The amazing harmonies by these two just adds to the whole meaning for me. Mmm...
Enjoy! (Click to hear)

"With My Own Two Hands" by Ben Harper and Jack Johnson

"I can change the world with my own two hands
Make it a better place with my own two hands
Make it a kinder place with my own two hands
With my own, with my own two hands...
I can make peace on earth with my own two hands
I can clean up the earth with my own two hands
I can reach out to you with my own two hands
With my own, with my own two hands...
I'm going to make it a brighter place with my own two hands
I'm going to make it a safer place with my own two hands
I'm going to help the human race with my own two hands
With my own, with my own two hands...
I can hold you with my own two hands
I can comfort you with my own two hands
But you've got to use
Use your own two hands
Use your own
Use your own two hands
With our own
With our own two hands
With my own
With my own two hands."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Life as I Know It...

i'm feeling so muddled. like i have 3 or 4 lives going on at the same time and i just can't keep up. 1. I'm feeling so creative and want to spend my entire day rearranging and cleaning and purging and crafting and sewing and sorting...
2. I'm also feeling like sitting in front of the fire and knitting whilst watching my children build block cities and stage puppet shows...
3. I'm half way thru the Continuum Concept so my mind is reeling with all that. i've been reading bits and pieces of it for months on the website, but now i'm reading the whole book paragraph by paragraph, slowly, deliberately, and taking it all in.......... it's SO much. Of course it makes me wish yearn piiiiine for a rewind button where i could start anew with my babes. WHY OH WHY doesn't someone (me?) hand this book out to every single pregnant woman that they see??? If only... sure. But I'm loving reading it for NOW because it makes my emotions make more sense. It makes my husband's feelings make more sense. It makes the whole world make more sense. if you haven't read it, DO.
4. I've finally completely had it with my discomfort in my body, feeling the extra layers when i sit down, etc. so am keeping a food journal starting today. already been for a big walk/explore down at the creek. hoping for another one later.
5. BR and me are SURGING ahead in our relationship. such good, deep talks and huge progression. going deeper deeper and it feels SO good but makes me just want to be with him all day long. damn this culture where our work takes us away from our families!
6. I am consciously being more present with my kids, so lots of playtime (we played store this morning and read some books and did a big play down by the creek in the snow) with them.and 7. I need and want to go see my Gma.I'm feeling SO many things at once. I'm being pulled in so many directions at once. I am so overwhelmed. it's SO all goooood. but sooooo much.
Oh! and 8. I want to be doing more crafts with Annika. i still haven't taught her how to hand sew. we haven't made any paper mache puppets yet. we did some watercolour painting, but need to do more...... she's FIVE. i just can't believe it. she's getting so grown up. in every way. oooh! my heart pains but is excited too. and P is nearly 3. THREE!!! my sweet boy! oh my goddess. he's struggling with his communicating. i forget that he's still so little and have to throw out expectations for, well, for everything... with Annika too. and Brent. and ME!!!
My word for this year is "acceptance". I'm working on just accepting myself, appreciating myself, and then that flowing out to everyone around me. I started with this last year, but making much bigger gains now that I'm really focused on it. And so, of course, that means throwing out expectations, living in the moment, being present, and open and loving and ALIVE.
I'm also finally getting that there are no absolutes in life. At least not in mine. Buy local or don't buy at all? Yeah, that's a great goal, but when you need a humidifier in the middle of the night and Walmart is the only place open, guess what? the resolution goes out the window. So I'm choosing, whenever possible, to support small, local businesses. I'm choosing, whenever possible, to buy local produce. I'm freezing more, canning more, making more from scratch and going to the stores a LOT less. But there's always room for improvement.
Which brings me to my anti-word for this year: judgement. I am seeking to judge LESS. I am seeking to judge not-at-all, but as in buying locally, this being human seems to require lower standards than I'd like, and so the "no absolutes"... I find that judgement comes allllllllll too easily to me, and I am consciously STOPPING myself in mid-sentence, in mid-thought and looking for the need beneath the emotion. I see my reflection in the mirror and I realize this does not fill my need for beauty. And if someone looks fantastic? All that means is the vision is filling my need for beauty. Using my NVC a lot more in my life and it is truly miraculous...
Less judgement, more acceptance. More inner reflection, less whining. More sharing, less consuming. More reaching out, less us/them. More living, less worry. More rituals, less TV. More appreciation, less blaming. More creating, less planning. More picnics outside, less fake food. More organization, less clutter. More authenticity, less pretending. More courage, less fear. More exploring, less boredom. More dirt, less soap.
Bring. it. on.

Don't get me started...

Okay, as promised, here are my thoughts about Christmas...
Christ was not born on December 25th. Not even close. Some astronomers believe he was born in early Spring, based on the situation of the bright star. Other historians believe he was born in September, 6 months after passover. So why is his birthday associated with the festivities of December? Because the Church wanted to convert more pagans back in the third and fourth centuries (that's right, three hundred years after Christ), and so instead of forbidding them to celebrate the pagan solstice (well, actually they tried that and it didn't work), they plunked a Christian celebration into the mix and sat back, pleased with how everyone was suddenly so festive about Christianity. (here and here and thousands of other places offer more detailed info.)
Okay, so there's really nothing wrong with all that, is there? I have often thought of moving Annika's birthday to June so that the festivities of the year are spread out a bit more... But here's why I refuse to play along. It bothers me a great deal that we don't honour the earth. The whole destruction of the pagan ways, the death of midwives and medicine women branded as "witches", the shift from the earth as holy to man being given "dominion" over it makes me crazy (don't get me started). It bothers me too much that we are destroying our planet in the name of "progress" and finding any and all excuses not to stop this horrifying trend. My own brother was saying over the holiday that he thinks this whole global warming thing being caused by pollution and MANKIND is just a hoax! He thinks it's just the natural progression of nature, and he's not alone. I could go on and on and onnnnn (trust me) about the follies of our species, but I'll just say this: WHAT IS WRONG with celebrating the earth? WHY does the Christian church find earth wisdom dangerous? Why aren't we bringing back the earth-honouring traditions of yesteryear? Why are we still afraid to call ourselves witches? My daughter has a song (by Anne Hill) that proudly sings "Who were the witches? Where did they come from? Maybe your great great grandmother was one! Witches were wise wise women they say... And there's a little witch in every woman today..." It talks about how the witches were the women who helped with childbirth, who knew how to use the flowers and leaves and bark from the trees to heal people.
Okay, so we don't know what went on in the crazed minds of the crusaders or anyone using religion as a weapon... But is this really so threatening to us now? Why wouldn't we choose to teach our children about earth wisdom? Well, this is my point. I choose earth wisdom. I choose pagan. I have nothing against Christ, truly. I think if we followed his true teachings our world would be a very peaceful, earth-honouring, amazing place. But out of principle I choose to call Christmas what it really is: the celebration of the return of the sun, the longest night of the year, the celebration of light... Yule. Winter Solstice. It is not Christmas. So don't send me cards reminding me to "keep the Christ in Christmas" unless you're sending those cards in March or September. And really, what DOES it mean to be Christian if it's not about honouring the creation of God? I choose to find my God(dess) in nature. I choose to worship the Sun of God... and the moon and the stars and the rain and the trees and the earth and ... and from what I know about Christ, I think he'd join me. How about you?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Keep or pass?

My mum was a passionate artist. Her whole life she was drawing, painting, making porcelain dolls, heirloom teddies and was an incredible seamstress. I inherited her (overwhelming) collection of books and magazines and have been sorting through them for nearly 7 years now.
I have given a lot of her things away, sold some of her books on Ebay, and still have lots more. Today I'm trying to decide what to do with her Sew Beautiful magazines. I have about 40 and they are an incredible resource for all things sewing. Mostly they contain heirloom sewing (christening gowns, flower girl dresses, etc.) projects, but they have lots of fun applique ideas and quilt designs, etc. I DO find them inspiring, but pretty sure I don't need to keep all 40. I will not be making any of these fabulous things for my daughter, but I do dream of making a beautiful princess dress for my grandaughter... Will I be the seamstress then that my mum was? I would need to be in order to "pull off" one of these projects. Here is just a wee sample of what these magazines contain: (the shadows are from my windows. i was trying to take the photos in the sunshine)

What do you think? Should I keep these magazines? Should I sell them on Ebay? I want to hear from you. Thanks!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My Foundation...

I've been so inspired reading chickadoodle with all the symbolism Andrea finds in her life... I've been looking at my own foundation differently, and here's what I see:
This is my crafting room/studio. I have a hard time calling it a studio because studios are used by artists, and I haven't quite claimed that title for myself as yet. I have a burning neeeeeed to create, I love the creations that flow out of me... but does that make me an artist? I haven't quite gotten there yet. Anyway, this is my space, but it's frequently taken over by everything we don't want in the rest of our living space. It's doubling as my winter greenhouse just now (for my beloved geranium collection) which seriously cramps my space (you can't really tell, but my serger is SURROUNDED by plants).
This is the storage area between the kids' play area and the new TV area (I put the TV downstairs yesterday as everytime weeP looked at it in the main living room, he begged for it to be turned on). The baskets were a great idea, but what is up with all that stuff on top? You know I look at it all and there really isn't a thing I could happily toss. It just needs to be better organized. While we were at my brother's in Alberta, I was so inspired by how well organized their house is. They have SO much stuff in there, all the treasures of a very full-lived life, all the reminders of their lost children so lovingly and beautifully displayed. I was inspired because I live in constant guilt of being a packrat. I constantly look at my heaps of things, that I'm too attached to, and think that I really should be getting rid of it all. But looking around in my brother's beautiful home, I realized that I just need to embrace my stuff and get better at displaying the things I want out, and storing the things I don't. So, that's my mission for the next few days...

And this is the kids' play area. It mostly works realy well, but there are lots of things I can do to get it better organized too. What is that pink and purple box, you ask? That's their craft table covered in an old bedskirt (I never throw anything away, and you know what? It makes the PERFECT fort! Just the right amount of dark and soft and size...)

This is the other side. We are so lucky to have a sink in their little area! But you can't see it, can you? Too must stuff piled around. Watch this space... It's about to get transformed. hee! Exciting! And I LOVE the image of what it does for the foundation in my life when I clean up the basement in my home. love love xo

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Here's what our house smells like today...

We couldn't keep up with the carrots from our garden last Fall, so I froze a bunch roughly chopped in 2 pound bags for THIS wonderful recipe.

Carrot Lemongrass Soup (with coriander, ginger and coconut) from ReBar cookbook

serves 6 to 8 hungry folk!

8 cups soup stock (I use whatever I have, this time I'm using 6 cups of veggie stock I made using up the veggies in my fridge that were past prime, so mostly cruciferous variety, plus 2 cups chicken stock from my freezer)
6 kaffir lime leaves (I use dry as I can't find them to buy here and my aunt brings me dried ones from Australia!)
2 Tbsp veg oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 Tbsp coarse salt
3 lemongrass stalks (I couldn't find fresh so used dried)
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 Tbsp coriander seeds, ground
2 lbs carrots, roughly chopped
1 can (398 mL) coconut milk
2 tsp sambal oelek
1 tsp minced lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon

Heat stock, add lime leaves.
Heat oil over medium heat, cook onion and 1 tsp salt until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, lemongrass, curry paste and coriander; saute and stir for 5 min. Stir in chopped carrots and remaining 2 tsp of salt. Saute for several minutes, then pour in hot stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots are soft (about 15 min.)
Remove the lime leaves and puree the soup. Whisk in coconut milk and sambal oelek and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Just before serving add lemon zest, juice and season to taste with more salt or more sambal. Add spoonful of yogurt (and cilantro if you don't HATE cilantro like I do!!!) to each bowl and ENJOY!

Annika says this soup helps her see in the dark. I don't doubt it! YUM!

Time to take stock, set goals, reflect...

Spiritually, this is my favourite time of the year. I am always filled with such a deep sense of hope and excitement about what the year will bring. January is a very reflective month for me, and I'm wondering if I don't intuitively really START the year in February. It seems like we need a month of reflection after all the busy-ness of December's festivities before we're ready to start the new clean slate? Is that why so many resolutions fail within the first couple of weeks?

Imbolc is February 2nd, and here's what it says about it in the We'Moon calendar:

In the Northern Hemisphere, Imbolc symbolizes the season when Mother Earth cleanses the debris that is cluttering Her delicate topsoil. Glaciers begin to melt, rivers swell and rains wash away that which is no longer useful. She prepares herself to embrace this year's new growth through elemental cleansing.

Imbolc teaches us how to ready ourselves for our own new growth through symbolic cleansing. Do you feel embraced by your life, your tribe and your sisters? How will you embrace your community to oencourage and celebrate new growth?

You might start with yourself first on Imbolc by cleaning your living space, dusting your altar and smudging with rosemary or sage. Weed your garden while sprinkling seeds on fertile ground. For your community, donate unused food and clothing. Create unity with your sisters by gathering in a circle...

Doesn't that sound like the start of something wonderful? So I think I'm feeling a shift within and without, a shift more towards the pagan calendar which feels more primal and in tune with my inner cycles.

This is definitely the time of year I do most of my household purging. I cleaned out the hats/mitts/scarves, and then the medicine cabinet, and today was under my bathroom sink. Amazing what gets forgotten and is no longer useful behind closed doors. Time to pass it along to someone who will use it all...

I love this time of year!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The first of a month of resolutions...

Support local.
Buy local.
Or don't buy at all...
please read this:


oh my goodness! after trying everything we could think of for weeks now, i clicked on the blogger 'B' on dragonfly downunder and I'm suddenly logged in! i've been piiiiiining to blog, and now that i'm in, what do i say? he he
Well, first off, Happy Solstice! Merry Christmas! And a very Happy New Year! We've been so busy and have had the best festive season EVER. We have just been in tune with each other and having lots of laughs and really sweet moments. It's truly been the best. We spent a week away, which was lovely to see my siblings et al, but it made us all realize that from now on we want to spend Christmas at home. We missed celebrating the longest night of the year on the 21st and even the return of the light on the 22nd... We all felt sad about this. We missed our dog, our chickens (one died while we were away, so sad!), our cat, caroling, cookie parties, baking, our advent calendar, our beds, sledding, skiing, our favourite festive foods, but most of all just being snuggled into the comfort of own little home on this favourite time of the year. So? An instructive christmas it was for us, too.
These are a few of our favourite moments from the holidays:
say "aaah!"
a favourite gift -- a teeny tiny music box from Oma

she adores the apron I made her and has made several of the recipes from the cookbook. yum!

singing and playing her new "guitar".
Note the new favourite hats made by our favourite crocheter (she does custom orders) from our own alpaca wool!
dolly love!
SUCH fun riding and singing on the two-horse-open-wagon
my handsome brother and gorgeous son (who loved each other)
the reason for the season...