Saturday, March 31, 2007

Staring into the Chocolate Lucky Charms Abyss

I finally did it.
Finally drew a deep breath.... shut my eyes tight.....calmed my racing heart......and said......."Okay, son."

This was Friday.
So let's have one more for good measure. again. (shudder)

He's been asking for a long time, for several months - probably since they first came out.
I told him (quite honestly) that I didn't think he'd like them, as he usually doesn't like stuff like that - pretend food. But he kept asking, and I kept saying "not today."

So I've been thinking about it, and went through the thoughts of "what if he likes them?" and considering what, exactly I've been objecting to. Besides the eew factor.

He had his first bowl last night. I poured a half bowl, in case he didn't like it. He did.

After the small bowl of lucky charms he had a whole ham sandwich. (I'd like to insert here that we buy nitrate-free meats and organic milks, vegetables and fruits, so my children are exposed to mostly healthy foods.) Then celery, carrots, cherry tomatos, pretzels, a popsicle, more celery, cucumber slices, and a few other things that I can't remember. All in about two hours.

I don't know what I was worried about. It's not as if I'm feeding him a bowl of Chocolate Lucky Charms and then calling it good and sending him off to school. Or expect that to last him throughout the day. It's not even terribly likely that he'll even eat them for breakfast. Might be lunch. Or after lunch. Or (rolling my eyes) more likely, as we're cooking dinner.

Since life ebbs and flows, and this week I was an observer, and not a doer, it was the perfect time for me to pull out my RU WonderMama cape and fly into the Chocolate Lucky Charms abyss.

And I came out alright. I'm not soggy. It's funny how if you don't give something magical powers, and just view it for what it is it just sort of quickly fades into the background.
Now it's a non-issue. I'm unattached to them.
And I don't have a single one of the sticky little things stuck in my hair or to my cape.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


If you're into metaphysics, or imagine yourself to be on a "higher" path (I don't mean to judge, but we sometimes have these moments), then the thought may come up once in a while that your life should be about Service. "How may I serve?" may seem the (necessary for inner peace) mantra or building block for all of your endeavors.
And, if you aren't, then mayhaps you're laden with guilt, and self blame.
I've been pondering this lately, though perhaps sometimes on the back burner, and not at the forefront, where it's obvious.
"How may I serve?"
I am selfish.
I'm imbalanced.
I'm easily riled.
Perhaps I shouldn't be a mother.
Perhaps I shouldn't be a wife.
Perhaps I shouldn't be a member of society, but a recluse on a hill (somewhere relatively warm) where I can grow my own plants and commune with the ocean Every Day of my life.
Service? I know what it means. Or should mean. I don't have it.

But then, wait....

A thought comes to me, that service of one kind... might be different from another's.
Someone like Me.

My servitude might not look like teaching at a library for Women's Literacy (which I long to someday do). It might not look like donating time at the hostpital for AIDS patients. Or organizing blood drives. It might not be a 10% tithe to a church.
But that doesn't make it any less.
My time is offered to home educator's. It's giving others resources. It's connecting those in my community. It's speaking my mind. It's offering an alternate opinion, lending my ear, speaking my truth, and putting my heart on the line, and laying it bare for anyone to step on, condemn, or judge. Again and again.

It's something I can do.... I've never been one to need the approval of my society at large. That's not to say that it costs me nothing, for that isn't true. Sometimes it costs me the esteem of those I would like to call friend.

But my contributions are different. They're more.... me.

I live my life according to my own truth, and raise my children while being conscious that I want the world to be a better place.

I spose we all gotta do it the best way we know how.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cleaning the Soul

I gotta tell ya.
This is one of those things that just Really makes me happy.

Odd, isn't it?
I've been making a general cleaner that I use for dusting and cleaning various rooms as well as the children's bedroom's for a few years now. But a few weeks ago, in anticipation of my shipment of essential oils from Wellington Frangrance, I've ventured into the Every Day stuff.
I've been making and using my own carpet cleaner, bathroom disinfectant and scour scrub, kitchen degreaser spray, and general all purpose cleaners. I tell you, I couldn't be happier.
To add to my bliss and smugness, Eric (while cleaning the kitchen) the other day shouts from the other room "I love this cleaner that you made! It cleans so well, and it smells so good!"
(Mama Bear beams)
Frankly, I can hardly believe it, as he's so particular about smells and such. But he honestly does love them!
And for me, even viewing them under my kitchen sink makes my heart happy.
Cleaning just seems so... resonating, and flowing now.

Now to the meat of this particular topic...
It struck me earlier that maybe taking joy in such things may see odd.
But to me, (being the bearer of such odd feelings and thoughts for thirty-something years) it seems perfectly reasonable, in fact, even balancing.
My friend Melissia said something to me one day about emotional children, and that they feel pleasure as easily as they feel frustration.
Well then. That would be me.
I suppose if I accept the highs.... finding satisfaction and even momentary elation in such simple matters as homemade Household Cleaners, then I can more easily accept the frustrations and "lows"; momentary panic, anxiety, frustration, guilt, etc.
What I am coming to learn, is that I am an Emotional Creature. I might even venture to say that on most days, I am ruled by them.
But if I can view that emotion as simply a part of who I am - one with a passionate temperate, or nature, that makes the swallowing of such high and lows a bit more palatable.

Something to think about.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Happiness runs in a circular motion.....

Life is just a little boat

upon the sea.....

Everything is a part of everything, anyway

You can be happy-

if you let yourself Be.

There is no way to express the joy this day has brought me.
But I shall try to convey the importance of it, none-the-less.

Lee came over and cut down our cherry tree stump for us - to the exact height that I had in mind. It's straight, and it's perfect for a table top for my east altar. I can set incense, hang ribbons, do whatever I need at the time that I need an altar here. Wonderful. I can't tell you how thankful I am for his doing this for us. Might not seem a terribly big deal to him, but for me, it means a great deal! Perfect.

My seeds have finally begun (today!) to sprout in the Julianna.

Mr. Woodpecker was lightly tap-tap-tapping on the apple tree next door, and I attempted to capture the happiness he brought me this afternoon.

I've completed my Companion Planning page, and it's up into the website. It's pretty thorough, if you'd care to care to investigate- provided such things interest you.

I found some blooming violets today, though none in the common (grassy) area, only in my herb garden. Just as well. I'll be picking and preserving those fragile blooms for spells, teas, or whatever may suit me in an inspired moment.

My blue folowers are blooming, I want to say they are berengia, though I might be off. I'll try to track down what exactly it is, and let you know. They are so beautiful! These giant heart shaped rumpled leaves, with these beautiful tiny, so delicate flowers.
So lovely!

The pluot tree is blooming, and the sweet smell is so lovely and promising.

Also today I seriously started gardening for the season, put in onions, beets, radishes, garlic, spinach, all those appropriate for early spring.... all the time keeping in mind who loves whom, and what might be most beneficial. (also: note that the moon is currently in cancer, which happens to be the most moist and fertile time in the zodiac... coincidence that I had so many seeds bloom and show life today? I think not!)

Happiness runs in a circlular motion.....

Saturday, March 24, 2007

March 24

The weather has just been too beautiful to spend time writing about life and decisions instead of actually living and experiencing. One specific example is Gardening! I've managed to keep up on the our family blog, Ordinary Life Magic, but to sit here at this one too, instead of flashing my face a few more moments into the seemingly newly emerging sun is just too... confining. Taxing. (Seems to me I already do too much Planning in life, and not enough Experiencing, since I am a gatherer!)
So that's my excuse.

Current challenge.... and it's a biggy! Not judging. Not others, but myself. My own faults. Lacks. Mistakes. Short-comings.

sidenote: Trev has been amazing me with his insight for quite some time now... a year? Like just now Maddie cried out, and he calls, "Mom, Maddie wants you to cuddle with us!" They're on the couch, watching Star Wars. He's usually amazingly accurate in his assessments of any situation.

Anyway. Melissia said something the other day about Jon or Myla Kabat-Zinn (authors of Everyday Blessings - The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting is the book I have) saying how at one moment they are feeling totally at peace, then the next "all hell breaks loose."
Exactly what I've been so down on myself for.
Seems to me, I KNOW the rules (life lessons, natural laws) so why can't I just make the permanent leap from a to z? Really, I'm being sincere, here. I recognize it as the right, correct, wise thing to do, so why can't I do it? If I make up my mind, I should be able to do it. Though I do take comfort in the fact that there are others around me whom are striving for a diferent way are also finding daily life a bit perplexing.
I'm dissatisfied, perplexed, angry, and disappointed with the in between. "b" through "y" doesn't interest me. I do know that life is not about the end of the trail, but the journey, but I still think I should be able to leap ahead. It's taken me twenty years (I'm 38) to get to this place of truth, not superficially, but step by step, pain by pain, so why the hell can't I make the total transition?

So that's my next project.
Or (groan) at least to figure out why the hell not.

(half laugh)
Other than that, life is wonderul.
Things have really started to green up around here in the last five days or so.
I've got my seeds planted, I have my companion planting info in, and almost ready to upload into the website, and life is pretty even and easy.
The children are happy with "fire celebrations" and playing in the water. dirt, sandbox, and swingset, and Eric is thoroughly enjoying his last days of skiing, before it's back to fly-fishing season again.
Life is good.
Steady, fun, remarkable, enchanted, and comfortable. Just the way we like it.
God(dess) Bless.

Monday, March 12, 2007

March 11

Mucho thanks to Julie for inspiring me to get outside today to tend to my gardens!

I call this picture "Mess".
Later on in the afternoon, Eric said "You realize, of course, that in a couple of weeks this will all be covered up with six inches of snow."
"It doesn't matter," said I. "I'm doing it because in a few weeks I'll want to put my plants into the ground, and I want my gardens ready!" My thinking is that it may rain all througout the early and mid spring. Have to have a place to put them. might should also be pointed out that I call my areas 'gardens', mayhaps glorifying what others may call flowerbeds, but as they each have a different purpose and theme, and they are Mine, I may call them whatever I chooose! :)

What a mess it was!
That damned (or demmed, if you have delicate sensibilities) bindweed is a menace! Oh, wait. That's what I call Cakes (MaddieCakes).Then... blasted. Bloody. Cursed. Vexing. Grr. Blasted vines and seeds encroaching upon my Utopia. Curious, only at north and northeast borders. Hmm.

The first picture is before today's maintenance.
Next is after.

Not nearly as important or gratifying to you as it is to me, Dear Reader (does anyone besides me care to read about the workings of my beleaguered mind?) but I'll not worry about that at this particular moment.

This photo is of my herb garden, it harbours from front (view) to rear... lavender, mint, yellow roses, chives, sage, St. john's Wort, pink roses, Lamb's Quarters, roses, and more roses.
What is missing, and has not returned, is chamomile (seedlings to be coming soon) and Echinacea.

A few things to be added this year.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Juliana

Thought I would tell you about my newest treasure.
This isn't my picture, it's theirs, if you click on the picture it will link you to the buying information.
I live in zone 5b, and our last frost date is officially May 15. For a gardener, it's tough to wait that long before you even throw seeds into the ground!
I usually start seeds indoors at the beginning of February. But this is a messy process, I use big trays with little individual cells, and it's tough to find a place to put them all.
This year we have Maddie the Menace :) not to mention a horse in the house, and I just couldn't chance them getting to my babies and knocking a flat or two of 72 seedlings onto the floor.
So! My friend Sam starts hers, too, but she has had a greenhouse for the last few years.
This year I was determined to buy one!
They are about a hundred dollars, but I figure I spend probably over $700 in plants over the early spring, so a hundred plus whatever for seeds seems like a better deal.
My friend (the same one) found one online at for $59!
So I bought us each one. (I hadn't gotten her birthday present, yet.) Bonus- I paid no shipping and no sales tax.
It's actually larger than this picture shows, but I tried to take a good picture, and it didn't turn out very well.
It will hold two flats of plants on each shelf, plus room for some 4 inch pots. I suppose it would depend on the flat shape, but two of the ones I have floating around.
So I can fit about 150 seedlings and pots on each shelf. Four shelves. Not too shabby!

I need to take inventory on the seeds we've bought, and figure out what I still need. Starting them outdoors requires a later date than early February, but they grow so much faster outside than in a windowsill, they can and should be started at the beginning of April. Thanks Sam! for that info.
I can't tell you how thrilled I am with this rack! (Though I am surely trying.)
It comes with the cover, of course, and they also sell a replacement cover for $20.
I'm so pleased with it!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Disapproval Showdown

Had one of these today. It's been a while. I am proud to say... I won!

We were in the shoe store, in a hurry, we're late meeting friends, we need shoes for Trev, he has ony one pair and they're wet and muddy. Found some sandals... seemed appropriate, it was like 54 degrees today, or something.
Get in line, turns out we're third. The first person is returning like 10 pairs of shoes. (???) She has to fish for yet another receipt, it's taking a while. Trev is in his socks, and there is a space of 15feet by 10 feet or so of blank tile, nothing around, except wide open slippery tile.
Trev starts "Woh, I'm slipping, wo-o-oh", having fun. I laughed a bit at his antics, asking him if he's having fun. He's slipping, and sliding deliberately, NOT hollering, but using a very decent appropriate-level volume of voice. Another two minutes of waiting and sliding goes by. Keep in mind that we're on our way to play in the park on this gorgeous seems-like-spring day. The people in front of us are an elderly lady (not ancient, but grandma-ish) and another, I presume her daughter, another grandma. I glance at them from time to time to gauge their feelings about the goings on. Neither is apparently taking any delight in a little five-year-old boy enjoying himself and being silly in the shoe store. The younger of the two gets on her phone, I ask Trev to come to me, and say something about "I can see that you're having a great time, will you lower your voice just a bit, this lady is on the phone?" I didn't want them to think us rude. Again, he was absolutely not shouting, but I was asking now that he whisper.
The lady gets off the phone, and the older one is like "Ahem. Should we just come back? Your father is going to be mad", and the other one is saying "No, we're here, let's just get them," and Trev continutes on his merry way.
All of a sudden the older lady just bursted forth with "Will You Stop Running Around!?! You're Driving Me Crazy!" Shouts it, actually.
Trev complains (in full hearing, of course, we're all right there), "That old lady won't let me play! She's driving Me crazy."
"Yup." said I. "Sounds to me like you're driving Each Other crazy."
He didn't stop, but he did slow down, it's a more standing in place slidey-thing now.
He continued to complain about her a couple more times, I continued to let him be free to express himself, and to let her be free to choose to disapprove, and to form a "Oh! You wouldn't Believe what happened in the store!"... there was this horrible lady, she had this awful child, what is this world coming to? story in her head.
At first I was thinking of all the times I'm thoroughly annoyed in the grocery or whatever store, at the obnoxious guy shouting into his cell phone, or at the checker that Screams over the intercom "Child Apparell, Line One!" or whatever. Do I shout at them? Nope. Do I want to? Oh, yes. I may grumble how my nerves are being rubbed raw, or say "I gotta get out of here!" but I'd not attack the person. It's my problem, not theirs!
And then I almost felt bad, just because I thought "Well, this lady is going to be spreading venom around all day, and that's not making the world a better place." Then reality kicked in, and I refused to take responsibility for her feelings and judgments, especially since I have the wisdom to know that you cannot please all the people all the time, and being responsible for others emotions is definitely something I'm moving away from.
It was now her turn (it had been maybe 5 minutes?), and she apologized to the clerk for shouting in her store (showing her good manners, I suppose!) and said that she had a grumpy husband at home and "It's not Your fault." to the clerk.
We then paid for our shoes, the clerk says "Sorry it took so long, and about everything", and I smiled (still cheerful) and said "No problem."
We skipped out of the store, and went to Michael's to get our Art & Craft Circle box, and headed to our friends' home.
The rest of the afternoon was very nice, aside from a moment of dissention between Trev and Eden over the ship's helm. Trev also had a moment of dragging down sharks that did not want to be sharks, but we straightened that out quick enough. ("Everyone has the right to be safe, happy, and free.")
Worn out on the way home, but I believe harmony has been restored, and all is well on this frontier.

How did I win my high noon (er... 11am) showdown you ask? Well, I didn't cave, cower, blanche, or flinch. I did not condemn my son, I did not condemn the woman (to him), I totally let everyone handle themselves as they needed, and let happen what may. (I'd not have allowed her to abuse him, or him her, for that matter.) But the thing is.... I didn't even get upset or nervous over it. I left knowing I handled the situation perfectly, and that each was free to make their own peace -or not- with it.

(grin) I think I handled it so well that Trev may not even have a very lasting memory of it! It just didn't register as a big deal.
So I win!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

March 1

It's been two weeks, already. Goodness!
The last few days I've been working, Backyard Capers calendars are due between the 25th and 28th of the month, and it takes a few days for me to get them done. Big days. (Like 14 hours plus!)
Today I was pretty worthless- having finished them- couldn't get my thoughts and body together enough to accomplish anything, so this day was more of a disseminate and piddle sort of day.
The only thing I did for longer than a minute or two was to play here for a bit while the baby slept in my Resting Spot. We had my favorite meditation music on, a few candles going (the room is in the basement and without a window- so all light is optional) and after checking on a few influential details, I sat down at my work table.
My friend Melissia and I ordered a rather large quantity of essential oils a few days ago, and my mind has been venturing in that relative direction for several days now.

I've had a few pages gathering dust on geocities for quite some time, but I've never found much satisfaction with them, or have been too excited about them.
But the last few days I've been re-motivated to research and examine relative topics - green cleaners, gardening, soaps- and have been inspired to get the pages updated and moved to somewhere ad-free, how about a site I own?
So now Backyard Capers has a tag-along; my personal pages, which I call Enchanted Living.
My thoughts are that while I am chomping at the bit to garden during this and the next month (and it's too rainy and cold to get much done, hopefully! -we live in the desert) I'll have an outlet to express my ideas and knowledge on magickal gardens, butterfly gardens, fairy and herb gardens.
The other pages are also telling of things I'm interested in and fascinated with. Natural, non-toxic cleaners, home-made soaps that don't inlclude ingredients such as (shiver) propylene glycol and sodium laureth sulfates. Now, I don't believe in "living in fear", and I don't live my life afraid of mainstream or common things and theories, but I do like to keep my home and my world as natural and as... free-flowing as possible. I like natural fibers, I'm not afraid of sun-bathing but fearful of "tanning beds", and I much prefer organic foods. Not only because of the consumption of pesticides, but also based on principle.

Wow! All this talkin' and not a word so far about parenting or unschooling! :)

I did, in fact, have a major break-through today.
I was totally uptight and my attitude was "aggravated and tense" today (I think I may be you-know-whatting, I'll let you know in approximately 5 days!) anyway... there were several times today where I was a maniac. BUT, and wow, what a but!, instead of letting it fly, as I am want to do ordinarily, I actually managed to curb it today. Just shouted whatever horrible thoughts/frustrations I was having in my head, and did NOT let them come out of my mouth.
Woohoo! And this was like ten times! (yes, I have days of neurosis!)
Admittedly, I did verbalize said frustration once or twice, but the overwhelming majority was "zipped". Thank God (hadn't thought of it 'til now) that I spoke with Melissia today, and was somehow reminded that this was what I wanted for my life.
In the words of Albert Einstein in "IQ"..... "Wahoo!"

Anyway! So today was concocting and cleaning, getting ready for the arriving shipment. (rubbing my hands with glee!) If I find the quality of the oils to be what they should be (in essential oils), I'll certainly pass on the information, as they have astounding prices. I have used them for candle fragrance oils, but have never ordered essential oils from them. (essentials are relatively new for them.)

And now dinner is ready (thanks Eric!) and my head is spinning with thoughts of food and family, so I'd better check out!

Much love to you and Yours,