Monday, October 29, 2007

Learning should be FUN!

I'm such an idiot.
Really, I am. Not that I expect anyone is disagreeing with me. Hmmph.
I don't know what the tarnation is wrong with my head.
I got some Bizarro World bee in my bonnet, and lost my ever-unschoolin' mind for a moment.

When I was downstairs today, I thought - "Hey, I could get out the puppets, (I've been meaning to, and to ambitiously put together the puppet theater again sans instructions) and the felt letters, and we could play some fun games! Yeah! Learning should be fun!" The wiser me now shakes her head. Blockhead.

Honestly, people.
School talk.
"Learning should be FUN" is school talk.

Of course learning should be fun... If You're In School!! Or learning school, for that matter.

If you're practically forced into learning something not of your choosing - but laid down by some gray-haired boring old bureaucrat who knows nothing -and cares less!- about your interests!

Around here, learning is life.
Playing and being and scooping and imagining and loving and digging and experimenting and helping and cooking and eating and rough-housin' and listening and measuring and spying and discussing and arguing and questioning and reminding and communicating and running and looking and figuring and estimating and laughing and guessing and supposing.

Point being - (obviously) trying to make learning fun is like... trying to make the moon shine bright when she is at her most resplendent.

Once again - I can't help but think -
School imitates life.

Glad it didn't take me very long That Time to come to my senses.

banishing the doubt

I have this hung up on my wall downstairs.
I need it hung up on the wall. I'd tack it to my forehead if I could see it all the time and I thought it'd sink in.

I'd like to thank everyone for the encouragement over the weekend - for all the helpful and wise words - and to Steph - that was a hilarious comment, and I appreciated it well!
I've had a couple of days to think about the whole thing.

It was never about (well, not in any sense that mattered - maybe for a split second, but I know better than that) my son not being up to par with peers. I'm encouraged enough by the knowledge, skills, and interests he demonstrates. Trev is very interested in his world.
I think what it came down to first was wondering if writing is something all children are interested in quite naturally at that age, and then if I had been dismissive of its importance in my own thoughts and actions - ie, been of the mind "he'll do it when he's ready" and not thinking twice (until now) about it.

We have tools around, of course. Worksheets that I've made for tracing, lots of dry-erase picture books and workbooks. They're never used. Aside from drawing letters outside with sidewalk chalk and our few games that we play writing letters, we don't do much.

So the question becomes - have I been remiss?

Since most of the time my children don't seem to have any lack of interests and resources, I don't bother them. I just let them go on their merry way. All on their own they get out tools, equipment, different toys, or ask to do different things.
Most of the time I don't lead them at all.
Strewing has become a non-issue around here, as it hasn't been necessary of late.

I wonder now if I have been a bit careless in leaving it entirely up to him. I don't intend to take his choice away, and demand (or even request) "you will learn this now", of course, but I wonder if I've been remiss in not demonstrating well something that is extremely useful and valuable.
Such as "I'm going to make the grocery list - do you want to help?" And "I'm writing in our blog" and "I'm writing a letter".

I had a thought along these lines that I could offer to write down his very interesting stories. He loves making dinosaur movies, but is embarrassed by the way his voice sounds (aren't we all?) in the recordings.
Perhaps making books would be more to his liking. I could write the pages. He could help if he wanted. He could draw dinosaurs, or plants, or put stickers in, or whatever.

These ideas are absolutely not meant to manipulate him into satisfying my own needs and ego. It's about exposing my children to yet another tool or medium that's at their disposal. The last thing I want to do is to create hard feelings related to learning and discovery.

So my best answer is to practice consciously -but naturally and not manipulatively!- offering this tool as an option - while being completely unattached to whether my children pick it up, or not.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Great Moments

How 'bout this.
How about a "notice great moments" challenge/meme?
Keep track of your wondrous moments for a week - all in the same post, if you please!

Things that are related to parenthood.

Wonderful things that made you laugh, or cry.
Great moments of learning.
Great moments of loving.
Great moments of kindness.
Great moments.

Ten things - you have a week to notice ten wondrous things that happen(ed) in your life, then share them. If you can't name only ten, then we'll all be really happy for you!

I tag seven people:
Child's Play

Happy Living!

note: do it however you like - save it in a draft, then publish at the end of the week, or publish your Great Moments as they happen. It's up to you.


Okay. I know better.
I really, really do.
But today (while at work :) ) I watched John Stossel's Stupid In America (gosh, I love that piece) and this lady said in an aghast voice "My kindergartner didn't know how to write her name!!! Can you imagine a kindergartner not writing her name?!?"
And I thought "Oh."
My six year old doesn't write his name. I spose he could - with help, but he doesn't. (has once or twice)

It really doesn't matter, right? I'm freaking (sort of) and stumbling over nothing, right?

I'm so glad that I'm having this moment (or few hours) at work, and not taking it out on my son!

Friday, October 26, 2007

timeline details

I don't know if it was a rhetorical comment, but here's a better close up for Evie.

It consists of things like
1 bya Multicellular organisms appear; initially colonial algae, and later seaweeds living in the ocean
900ma The choanlaflagellates develop. THese protists are considered the ancestors of the entire animal kingdom.
750-580 ma Precambrian Varangian Ice Age - So severe that oceans freeze except for in the tropics. Last big freeze, after this evoloution begins to accelerate.
600ma Spounges develop from cell colonies. Following spounges are jellyfish and multicellular animals, appearing in the ocean.
590ma Cambrian - Aquatic life is developed. All modern phyla of animals develop. First vertebrates arise, trilobites are abundant. Flatworms, the first animals with a brain have developed.
360ma Plants evolve seeds.
You get the idea.
Very fun.
Well, for me it is.
Trev's thrilled that we're in the carboniferous and the Permian, now.
I wish my desktop was working so I could print out some pictures - but it can wait.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wierd Things meme

Evie tagged me for this one. Maybe I should just pretend that I didn't see it?
No, that wouldn't work, she knows I read her blog daily....

10. Taking a cue from Evie (aka Edie) I'll say that to touch my tummy (belly) button is to journey into the center of the earth - it's quite violating and sends my brain into spasms - Don't Do It. I may never forgive you.

9. I really don't like spiritual/inspirational music (and don't consider myself Christian), but I could listen to Bing Cosby and Perry Como croon Christmas carols all year long. Don't ask me. I don't know.

8. I detest jazz. Except for Blues. In fact, I'll take probably take any and every other kind of music over jazz.

7. As a kid when we were road-tripping, I'd count the (lane devider) lines on the road, and if my Daddy was driving too fast so I lost track, I'd get into a sort of panic mode. The good news is that I was able to save myself, and talk myself down, which I believe to this day is the fine line between true OCD and not. OCD is something I believe I truly understand, but do not suffer from. Very edgy feeling, that.

6. Sported a mohawk for three? years. Think I've mentioned that one before.

5. I still have a baby tooth - it's my left incisor. Dentist offered to pull it and then dig for the big one behind it, with best wishes, but I thought "What? No, thanks."

4. Acquiring a drivers license well after the age of 16 runs in my family.

3. I love just the thought of a convoy.

2. I love classical music but I honestly have No Idea how people can tell one composer from another. In my defense of complete ignorance - my brain needs the voice to tell me who the music is by.

1. I wave my fork in the air between bites of food. My son does the same thing. Surely a grave offense.

I tag...
MD - wait! Dang! Edie snagged her!
Organic Sister
Life With Us
Wild and Free.

That's it since Evie stole KM, Laura, CP, Rinnyboo, Stephanie, and MP, that's all the bloggers I know! :)


Begin the timeline.


Well, they sold the house next door!
It's finalized, and she's young, and single, and pretty, and seems very hyp!
I don't see her and Mrs. K becoming bosom friends, but I could be way off. I'm not threatened by the possibility, I just don't want to feel that my family's lives are fodder, you understand.
Trev was outside in a long-sleeved shirt and underwear, I went to meet her across the front fence, said something about runnin' around in his undies, and she said "I do it all the time!"
I think we're good.

I'll write more later.
Thanks so much, everyone, for the well birthday wishes. (It was a dud, by the way, but it's not a big deal - if I want another one, I'll just have another one! With balloons, and cake, and pots and pots of honey.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October 23

On this fine birthday morning - very dark, very early, and very cold, I have no idea what the day will entail.
I do know that my husband was so worried about his missing work keys that he forgot to wish me a happy birthday. :) (I forgot his, too.) Though he did wish me it last night. I didn't remind him, but let him go on his grumbling way!

The babes are asleep, the dishwasher is running, and I have started to clean Trevy's room (just a couple of toys and books around).
A very good beginning - mornings like this are just what one needs to remain open-minded enough to enjoy the day.

We'll see what the day holds!

Have a great one!

Monday, October 22, 2007

acceptance vs. initiating change (or) Shine On

Thanks so much to Mama Podkayne for nurturing these thoughts along - carried over from my last post. (Lah, I'm not getting anything done today 'cept sittin' here in the peace and quiet thinkin' and writin'. How lovely for me!)

The question was "is my own intolerance any different from another's?"
After bristling initially with an offended "Of course it's different!" which eventually melted into a meek "oh, on second thought, maybe it isn't." I have come full circle to a place of "I believe so, yes."
Here's why. (I'd love others' thoughts and even contrary opinions on this.)

As I said in my last comment to the mentioned post, if I imagine this same situation being put to Gandhi, or Mother Theresa, or Jesus, or Siddhattha, how would they handle it?
Would they be satisfied with letting the souls around them remain satisfied and righteous in their prejudices and intolerance? Or would they lovingly and kindly try to encourage their fellow man to reach a higher, more loving tolerance, and maybe even understanding?
(I'm not imagining my importance equal to these Enlightened Souls, you understand, this is related to my recalibrating point. It comes in mighty handy!)

Not only that, which simplifies matters immensely for me... but do I care enough about this issue to press the matter, to put my heart forth, to be sick and anguish over it for several days (as MP has recently done) if I get stomped on and hurt over it? Do I care enough to risk the disdain of my community?
My answer will sometimes be yes.
Not because I am arrogant, and know better. Which is sometimes true (one or the other, you decide).
But because I believe folks like me can -and do- change the world.
One thought at a time. One question at a time. One loving deed at a time. One kindness done at a time.
That isn't a boast... I believe it's a fact.
I believe that my stumbling on the thoughts behind RU made me a kinder, better mother. In that mothering, arriving at a place where I long to be kind and unconditional and accepting and sweet and loving I have changed the world - I shall put forth two small souls who had a better start in life than they would have otherwise. Instead of being raised by a bossy and domineering (authoritarian) parent, they are taken into account, and have a voice, and know they are important, and heard, and loved - instead of just being told they are.
Ideas that were put forth for me to discover by folks Just Like Me.
Not saints.
Not prophets on the mount.
Not political leaders or revered scholars or famous fast talkers.
Just people.
People who care enough about humanity to Stand.
Offering their own wisdom and understanding for other folks to take, consume, and ponder.
People that feel that it's possible to Change The World.

So, Yes.
I believe that one should Stand when one sees an opportunity to right the wrongs of the world.
And those "wrongs of the world" to me would be all things that are not the promotion of kindness, and empathy, and love, and greater understanding, and tolerance.
I don't believe in these things simply because they are the foundation of my own moral mount.
I believe that these things are for the greater good of humanity.
All of humanity.

I believe that when we feel the need, it's a request of our spirit to Shine On.

a tree falls in the woods

Verbalizing or acting upon with prejudice and bigotry is to incite and perpetuate bigotry and prejudice.
It doesn't matter if that's what is intended or not.
If it weren't so very important to me to point out this simple truth, I would just let this post go unsaid.

Some of us try hard to be accepting and nonjudgmental of people. Some of us are not perfect at it, and have a really, really hard time embracing our immediate society when members of that society say hurtful, intolerant, closed minded, self-righteous things about others' ways and the things they believe to be true.
And guess what? Some of us are even offended when what is said is not of our own actions and choices, but those of our fellow man.

Some of us wonder if we are just as bad for holding those that profess such atrocious (to us) things in disdain and contempt.

I do not like intolerance.
I especially despise intolerance in myself - and holding others in contempt is practicing intolerance.

Please, please.
Think about hurtful words before uttering broadly unloving personal beliefs.
Save it for people who expect such things from you.
Save it for discussions with intimates.
For your church.
For your next door neighbor.
For your spouse.

Don't assume that the world at large is with you.

Some of us want nothing to do with that particular poison.
If we (I) were stronger we could overlook harmful actions and easily dismiss them.
But sometimes we're not.
Sometimes they leave us feeling angry, hurt, outraged, and sad.
It's unkind and inconsiderate to incite anger in the hearts of others who are trying to live in love.
Thank you.

This post was written in response to a local HS board email. Right after writing the last post (about bigotry, oddly enough), Julie dashed off a note to me saying that things on my state HS board were getting heated. Someone sent in an email saying "Why didn't they tell us before (our children got hooked on the books) that a Harry Potter character was going to be gay?"
Instead of adding to the bad feelings (though I think the list owner has put an end to all trailing posts) I decided to voice my thoughts and feelings here.

Addendum: But I reserve the right to change my mind about that!

Empty Noose

An empty noose was brought up today by Harry on the Early Show doing an interview with Maya Angelou.
Evidently (I don't know the circumstances) an empty noose was hung somewhere - somewhere significant I am supposing, (not in a halloween sort of way) to make a statement of violence and bigotry.

I was very much relieved when I heard Dr. Angelou's response.
She said that it's important to recognize that we have come a long way. That it's not a matter of calling the glass half full, but that in order to encourage young people to know that leaders do make a difference, we need to recognize progress.

I've always felt the same way.
Not necessarily to encourage others toward acting progressively- though I see the importance of that, certainly - but I just imagine what the world must have looked like a bit over fifty years ago.
I can hardly even imagine it. It angers me when folks at my work demonstrate their racial prejudices through ordinary dialogue with me. It angers me that because my skin is a similar shade to their own they assume that speaking such things is acceptable to me (I'm not speaking of atrocities, but blithely expressed prejudices). Leaves my head spinning, sometimes.
How hurtful it must have been to a gentle spirit - one who understood in their heart that all men are equal - to have to guard his words, and her every action. How debilitating to have to guard one's self from interacting openly and civilly with others on the streets of their own town.
As much as I think an empty noose would pain me - and it would, it would hurt my heart, I cannot even imagine seeing someone swaying in that same noose.
I cannot imagine people gathering underneath it and cheering and hissing while a man is being led to and then hanged until his death.

I don't profess to have to no prejudices of my own. Sometimes I have a thought and think "where the hell did that come from?" such as assuming someone isn't as bright or as thoughtful as I simply because they do not speak my language. It's ridiculous. I have no explanation for it. I don't understand it, as I truly believe that the color of one's skin is of no more importance than one's hair color in the name of humanity.

I pray for a time when there are so many shades of humanity that we cannot discern where one stops and another begins.
In the name of this aim, I smile on the inside (and probably on the outside, too) when I see families that are inter-racial. One small step for man, one giant step for mankind sort of thing. They are the beginning of it.

I believe that noticing progress is not only vitally important toward encouraging leadership as gentle Dr. Angelou pointed out, but I also believe it's helpful to put one's mind on the upswing, if you will. That keeping one's mind and heart and fears in the dregs is not a very uplifting place for anyone.
It doesn't lift anyone out of the gutters.

So I'll notice the difference.
I'll shudder at the thought of an empty noose, but be so grateful.
I'll honor time passing well by continuing to smile at people I pass on the street.
I'll be glad that it's illegal to ask on an application the question of "Race?"
Though I would find great satisfaction in placing upon that small black line "Human".

Sunday, October 21, 2007

In Stillness

On the heals of my last post I tucked myself into a quiet corner early this afternoon.
While I haven't received any earth-shattering insight, I was reminded of a few things - things my spirit may be in need of or wisdom that I'd do well to remember.
Being in Stillness is always time well spent.


I've been wondering why I have been feeling everything is so urgent, lately.

I'm not a person that has to be on the telephone twenty-four hours a day (Eric and I don't even have cellphones, if you can believe that. We are the last on the planet, I think.), and I'm not always buzzing from this to that, hurry, hurry, hurry, let's go, go, go, people!, and my personality is not one addicted to chaos or constant entertainment and high energy. I am a lover of tranquility.

But for some reason, for the last while, I'm not sure for how long, maybe it's been a year, maybe it's been always, I have an almost sense of Urgency.
A sort of feeling of "I have to get this done now so that I/we can enjoy the rest of our lives".
It doesn't make any sense.
It's not that there is something greater, or more important, either.
We (as a family) certainly live each day well, I think - and by that I mean what best suits us as individuals and as a family- and I'm not discounting the importance and celebration of that...

But I still think "if I can just hurry up and get this done, we'll be all caught up, and can..." and now, here, I think, "...what?"
What is that something that I'm so eager to reach?

Maybe I have been for a long time, and am only noticing it lately because I keep hearing about our American society is in such a hurry. Maybe the lady last night in the cereal aisle was the catalyst, when I walked past her for the third time and she said "In a hurry, aren't you?"
"What?" Was I rude? I'm smiling and reasonably cheerful, even if it is six o'clock at the grocery store and I just got home from work and the children need supper.
In a hurry?
Well, maybe.
I'm not a mosey-er. I walk at a fast clip. Always. I drive at a fast clip, too, if the truth be known. Not Medusa-like, you understand (in the Rescuers, she goes around corners on two wheels), but still, I don't like to be impeded.

So again, what's the hurry?
I wonder now, as I write this, if it isn't lots of things.
When my house is messy, there's a "hurry up and get this done so we can enjoy our lives" thing.
I have an urgency to provide my children with a magical childhood.
I also have a sort of panic about my children growing up without my noticing and appreciating every moment.
Being unschoolers - life learners - might have something to do with it, too. I want to make sure that we have a chance to live our moments richly and thoroughly.
Maybe mortality is a contributor.

On the surface these things don't seem bad, I guess.
Other than after writing all of this I think "White Rabbit. I'm the White Rabbit!"
My fear is of carrying (and demonstrating) an attitude of "more is better", and "that will be even greater than this."

That attitude discounts our lives.
Dismisses the moments and the people as not fulfilled.
Portrays an attitude of "happiness is not something to be experienced, but pursued."
Not entirely, I feel that I temper it with loads of recognition. That's what OLM is about. Still...

My impatience is related to this, too, of course.
It's like I don't have time to lose.

That's it. (it occurs to me now.)
Every moment of my life is a too hurried means to an end. Even if the end is experiencing joy.

There's more here, but I'm not sure what it is....
I'll be thinking on this today.

Anyone have any insight or thoughts on this?

Friday, October 19, 2007

cheerleading 101

Life gets complicated, doesn't it?

For instance.
Today was (very early on) pretty humdrum. I'm thinkin' "change the banners today." That means time for harvesting herbs, children playing in leaves, seasonal escapades, et cetera, et cetera.
I should have known! (Indeed, I do know better. Truly I do.)
"Children! Leaves! Fun! Kicking and frolicking, if you please."
Now what did they mean by "what?"?
"You know. Autumnal romance. Crispiness. Crunching and frolicking and leaves in the air - with smiles of joy, if you please."
Please know that staging - as I mentioned earlier to my df Evie, is not my forte. I just don't like it. Never had much fondness for phoniness, if you will. It's all about capturing and finding the magic for me.
Well, 'cept for today.
Well. Gotta come up with somethin today.
Not in a pressure sort of way, you understand, but in a "find something to rejoice" sort of way. I wanted to. I had a need for celebrating and being joyful. Finding joy. Celebrating it.
So onward.
The children... not so much.
Just Not Interested.
"No, no, no..." they seem to say, twitching their pointing fingers back and forth. "You know better than that! Attachments perpatchments."
"Of course I know that!" I say. "But... it's just The One Time, and it's not as if it's not fun..," I say as I grab a handful of leaves and toss it into the sky, "See? Wheeee!"
"Huh-uh", they insist.
Stomp, stomp, stomp.

Much later, after quite throwing the children to the wolves :), I seek out less... uncooperative lively friends. Twitching leaves, if you will.
Caught a few things In Their Glory, I think.
Course, I came inside smelling suspiciously of dogpoo and a few sticks tangled in my very unromantically dreaded locks.

So while all of this is taking place, I'm thinking about the way I communicate with others.
Thinking of my place in this world, and how I can best serve in friendship and love my fellow man. Er, girls, actually.
I tend to think "fix it".
Not so helpful.
I've said that before, but still... I like to help, iffen I can.
Eventually my head gave up on 'action', and just went back to pondering.

And I arrived to where it gets complicated.

Maybe it's not about responding to people at a (supposed) progressive level. Maybe it's not about communicating to them on a level that I know them to be.
Maybe the souls that I surround myself with are just like me, and have (a lot of, in my case) moments of doubt and vulnerability. Maybe I shouldn't treat them as if they already are where they so long to be (including impervious, above-it-all, and immune), but be sensitive to any temporary retrograde.
This isn't about superiority, or anything similar, it's about my own insensitivity.
It's about making allowances for, and recognizing, with empathy, when a friend (or relative - my mother comes to mind) needs a supporting hand.
It's about being a cheerleader in another's moment of adversity.
It's about saying "That sucks! You deserve So Much Better!" with outrage and indignation.
It's about saying "I suck", and "I am so sorry", and "please forgive me" when I don't.

It's hard to know what the best path is when you're inside your own head, and not exactly sure what another is needing most right this minute.
We can think that it's not as important as it is, or suppose -often in our respect, esteem or high regard of another- that another is far, far beyond our own vulnerable position - how we might be feeling under similar circumstances.
Not necessarily Truth.

So with that being said... I'd like to express immense gratitude as best I can for my own cheerleaders and supporters when I am feeling down.
They are:
All of those that have ever commented on either of my blogs. I thank you sincerely. Shallow and superficial and egotistical it may be, but I find much happiness and am honored when another takes a minute to respond with a comment. Thank you! So much.
I hesitate to mention this, in fear of offending new friends who I am already coming to like and appreciate, but I'd like to give thanks to dear friends, too...
My personal cheerleaders:
My sister, KKS.
CP/SA/T :)
S'pose I should mention Eric, too (though he has Never Once commented) since he is a dedicated reader. Even if it is by force.

I shall try to be a better friend and supporter. These friendships (even the barely acquainted ones) mean much to me, and I am a better person for the communications through this supposed virtual reality.

I am a better person for having known all of you.
While it may be apparent that this post is in response to a specific circumstance, it is really for anyone that may read this.
As much as I try to convey my thoughts and feelings exactly (it's a great fear of mine to be misunderstood) I can often misrepresent or poorly express an idea.
I am appreciative of all the friendships that I possess, here as well as in person, and hope to do better by all of you.
My blabs and babbles are over!
(squinting my eyes closed and hitting "publish post")

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ZipZap, Connecting, and Recalibrating

My, my.
You just never know, do you?
Here I am, going along, thinking things are pretty mundane, but not unsatisfactory or flavorless.
I saw the calendar, and noted that my birthday was five days away.
Evie wrote today about how she was checking out for a few days to clean up her surroundings.
Laura wrote a powerful, affecting post about how life began.
Madeline wrote that she was on her way to a soul's retreat.

Beginings, friends.
I wrote yesterday of recalibrating.
I didn't know how right I was.

I spose by the dictionary's definition, it isn't a good description, but to me it means starting fresh with a perfect alignment.
Everything is new.
The path ahead is very clear to my soul, if not my eyes. The trail might not be broad, and perhaps not traveled by many, but that just makes it all the more special.
It's like it's alit with the glow of fireflies and faery wings.
The earth of the path is so soft and darkest brown.
Friendly noises bristle.
The air is fresh and clean and cool, and rests lightly on the soul as well as the skin.

I feel like I'm standing at the footpath's beginning, pausing for a moment just so I can marvel at the beauty of the glowing sparks, smiling with anticipation and so eager for what's to come.
I don't expect any great surprises, for all my other paths have led me to this one, and it seems familiar, not so very different from the ones behind me.
Still - magic abounds.

I curl my toes into the cool earth, and with a laugh I grab a handful of skirt away from my feet and dart forward.
I'm coming! I shout with gleeful abandon.

Gratitude - Chores

In my quest for peace and gentleness lately - two ideas that others have offered have really helped me and made my life easier!
One, as I mentioned, is Melissia just saying that she pops her head in her daughter's room a few times a day and puts anything away not being played with.
I cannot tell you what a difference this has made in my head and my spirit!
Spending thirty seconds cleaning up three or four times a day is Infinitely preferable to three days every two or three weeks. Obvious to some, maybe, but when you have the rest of the house in need of almost equal attention, it's easy to think "this is not a priority"!
I thank you sincerely for those simple words.

Next - my sister Kim suggested separate laundry baskets for everyone.
We have a HUGE plastic rubbermaid garbage can that we use for the dirty clothes, so that is not a problem, but clean laundry certainly was! I'd just pile it higher and higher, or drag it to the antique sofa in my bedroom. Then we dig for drawers or socks several times a day. Not fun!
Sorting the clean laundry out of the dryer into five different baskets (one also for rags and towels and sheets) has made a HUGE difference also in my temperament and our general aggravation.

I know there are people like flylady, and all that stuff, but I don't operate well under someone else's ideas. I do best to spend the necessary time in each room each day (when the house is clean), say fifteen minutes in each (dusting, polishing, vacuuming).
But ideas such as "do this" and "don't do that" never sit well with me. (too rebellious, I guess.)

Anyway - these ideas were/are life savers, and I just wanted to say thanks for making my life so much easier. My heart is lighter, my head is clearer, and my spirit feels free.

And now I'm off to happily clean my house!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Practicing Mindfulness: Recalibrating

I was up from one until almost five last night reading.
Reading on boards, mostly.
I started to write yesterday about getting to the bottom of a couple of things that I'm missing - but I wasn't quite able to say what I wanted, or get to a place of conclusion.
I think maybe the reading was an external search for what I was trying to figure out.

Somehow I believe truth always comes from the inside, best from experiencing still waters, yet it seems that I'm often led to it from something outside of myself.
Maybe it's like second and third chances - if you can't/don't get it in absolute stillness, then you get lots of hints all around you - and eventually even a brick to the head.
I have not receives any bricks to my head (lately), just so you know.
Hopefully by exploring this topic I'll be able to avoid them.

A couple of days ago I was reading about grabbing and sharing, and conflict resolution. At first it appeared to me that the discussing parents were siding with whichever side of the dilemma their child most often found themselves (quite naturally). If they were apt to be the grabber or the grabee, if you will.
My hackles rose a bit, and I sided -though not voiced- with the child that originally had the toy.
Everyone agreed that there needed to be lots of validating feelings, and coming to a solution that was acceptable to all.
After thinking about it further (and being unsatisfied with labeling a grabbing child as "wrong" or "bad"), I saw clearly that I needed to recalibrate.

I think one of the reasons that I've had a bit of trouble with the writing of this post and getting these thoughts in order (ahem - most of yesterday and all day today) is because it hasn't emerged all the way. I wasn't sure exactly where I was trying to go, or for what I was searching. But this does relate to things that have been in my head, so I'm trying to put all of it together.
Of course initially my response after "I can see that you really want to play with that" is "let's find you another toy, and give this back to your brother - you can have it when he is done."
It seems fair.

But I am now reminded to practice mindfully - and to not get lost in automatic responses.
What I would like best to do (I am quite pleased that I've -usually!- gotten to a place where my initial response to what appears to me as disharmony is "is everything okay?" or "do you guys need help?" instead of "what's going on in here?" which sounds accusing and not open-minded) is enter with no judgments or assumptions, and come to a resolution as efficiently and lovingly as possible.

What is my ultimate goal in helping to resolve conflict?
Helping my children to learn how to get their needs met while understanding that others have true needs as well. With that knowledge/skill I believe they are assured self confidence, healthy relationships, empathy, and excellent communication skills - though I'm not necessarily attached to that outcome.

In practicing mediating/diplomacy (when a mediator is desired) mindfully instead of going by automatic responses I am hoping to become more mindful and engaged in the moment - in any moment. And hopefully that will lead me to being better prepared for people and circumstances that are not a part of our everyday lives. As well as to model skills, empathy, and diplomacy for my children.
My regular practices aren't too far off the mark. And just by writing these words I can see that I've come a long way, amazingly enough.

Another part of this quest and practice of mindfulness is wanting to refrain from the experience of so often getting myself into a really steep and uncomfortable ditch.
Usually it's a deep one. And narrow. Usually I'm upside down in it. Often with a face full of dirt.

While perhaps appearing lazy about posting on this blog lately, and doing any real personal work, I've been dedicated to my intimate Outside World.
In plain language friends, housework.
I've known for years that I am an organized sort of girl - I like knowing without a doubt where anything and everything in my home is presently residing. It's what makes me tick. Well, keeps me ticking in a harmonious and even time, anyway.

For some time things around here have been seriously out of whack.
Askew, awry, and slightly chaotic.

I find myself all of a sudden looking around, and the steam blows out the top of my ears, the electricity comes out of my fingernails, and fire comes out of my mouth.
Not my children's fault.
My responsibility.

I read from Sandra Dodd last night/this morning something about "don't think of your children at all while you're cleaning, unless it's to think of what a happy and pleasant place you're making for them to play and discover". (Not an exact quote, but it was like 3am, and I am not sure I could ever find it again.)
Oh yes.
That's what I most want, isn't it?

Every act to be mindful.
All deeds to be done with intention.

I am learning.

ps: I'm going to really miss the rain.

Compass Point and Views on God

I'd like to use this post as a reference.
Instead of inserting in particular posts why or how I believe God to be, I would like to reference this one, and one can choose to read it, or not.
My thinking behind this is that I'd rather connect with people, and explaining what I believe God to be might be counter-productive to or distracting from that aim.

So here it is, much of it taken from another post.
I believe in God, but it's a sort of "The Force" sort of God. It's everything. It's in everything. It's the energy that binds us - indeed, the Universe- together.
I don't believe in a judging, condemning God.
I believe that God in His Wisdom, and absolute Love for Her children, would never condemn one of those beloved children to an eternity of damnation.
I sometimes refer to God as a person - but I believe that God is All things - there is nothing that She is not, and He can and does appear in any form.

Which leads me to the second half - the compass point.
By this I mean getting to a place where I can recalibrate - like a compass calibrating to true north.
I personally am best and quickest able to get there by imagining how a discussion of the particular topic would go with God. And how God would embrace me and my ideas (as all are embraced, and none is above another), while also communicating with me and not passing judgment.
In this place I am able to shed all judgments of "good" and "bad".
In this place there is no fear, no superiority, no righteous indignation, no name calling, and no failure.

This is where I like to begin to find resolution.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

They'll Do Nothing

When I keep track of my children's doings, like today, most times I am astounded.
That's not to say that there is anything extraordinary or outstanding about my children or our/their days. I really don't feel that there is. I am sure the same goings on will/would be happening in homes everywhere - should the children be given the opportunity.

My bemusement comes from hearing about folks saying or thinking "my children wouldn't do anything if I didn't make them."
I can without a doubt in my heart say (should I ever meet one in real life) that You Are Wrong.

None of our activities I say, I say none of them (in a Foghorn Leghorn voice) are coerced by me.
Yesterday we looked through some binders that I have downstairs (from my former life as a potential homeschooler) to see if we could find any interesting seasonal crafts or projects. Trev chose today's ghosts and when I also offered that we could make skeletons out of pasta and wooden pieces, he wanted to do that, as well.
The children chose them.
Maddie drug up the engines into the kitchen - but wanted me to go down and get the "hill". We ended up setting up the track downstairs.
Mad got out the dominoes.
All of it.
They chose all of it.

I've said before that to some it will look like Just Playing. To outsiders, that is. I think that unschooloers know better.
I don't have the head or heart to pick apart everything we do and label and divide it into "this is good for this" categories. It doesn't interest me, and I don't have the desire to defend our learning and my children's development.
I will say, that though it may appear to be Just Playing, that I fully expect that my son will not be content with the very same things that he is interested in today for ever after.
Why would his development be arrested all of a sudden?
Why would he just choose to stop discovering and exploring and making sense of his world?
I am thinking (being his mother and seeing him in action every day) that he won't.
As he matures, so will his tastes.

Their discoveries and games and imaginations are perfectly appropriate for the young beings they are today.

I don't tell them how to spend their time, though once in a while I'll offer something up, something that I'd like to share with them. If they don't want to, they'll say "no thanks". Or "maybe later". Or "not right now, I'm busy."
They know their days and their learning and their lives are best chosen by themselves.

I may from time to time label something in olm's categories as "learning" - but most of the "Learning" posts are just living, and certainly all of the "Living" posts are really learning.
You can't have one without the other, and it really isn't necessary to fret and frown so over coercing something so magical as living - it comes automatically with learning and laughter and love.
It just does.
If you let it.

a conversation

"Do you worry that our children aren't learning enough?" I asked my husband yesterday. I wasn't questioning it myself, but every once in a while I like to check in, to make sure he's okay.
"It's easy to not worry when you remember the school's programs are arbitrary, and that it doesn't really matter when," I said.
"When you take everything you think about school and learning, and turn it completely upside-down, and consider resources such as libraries, the internet, and books, it just isn't necessary. School becomes obsolete."

Yay Eric.

Monday, October 15, 2007


7) Implement Steps From Home.

I've put this one off until I felt like it was incorporated into our lives.
And I'd say three trips says that.

We really enjoy these outings together.
They feel special, even though it's all rather ordinary.

This post is related to Joyful Quest: 103 in 861, which began here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Party On

There's a party goin' on.
There's a party in my ...not hair. Not house. Not my pants, either, just because I am feeling completely irreverant and amusing and amused.
Head. There's a party goin' on in my head.

The only ones that have shown up are the folks who live in the same house as me, BB King, Lena Horne, Jimmy Buffet, Echo & The Bunnymen, and Bob Marley. And now The Beatles.

We're singin' the blues. We are cheeseburgers in paradise. We are forever yours nocturnally. We are runnin' from the law, 'cause we shot the sherriff. We are back in the USSR.

We're washin' windows, and shinin' up the books.

We're wishin' we had next door neighbors who would come over and say "Got a beer?" or "Wanna barbecue somethin' tonight?"

Oh yes. There's a party goin' on.
No reason.

Stop by iffen ya can.

October 14

I miss writing!
I miss it so much that I wanted to write to complain that I don't have anything to write about! :)

I notice these periods every once in a while - couple or few weeks.

I think this (thinking drought) spell is about paying attention to the outside for a while - cleaning and polishing and sparklifying - to make room for what, I'm not sure, other than it's been months since my entire house (including the basement and windows and carpets and laundry) were all clean at the same time.
It was much needed, let me tell you.
So maybe that's all it is.

Life is messy.
Clean it up.

Make way for the next round.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

practically perfect corners

the livingroom
my room
the den
my bedroom

the playroom
the bathroom

madeleine's room
trev's room.

I love this clean house.

Good Morning

This post is of no real import, think of it as a morning chitchat over coffee, if you will. :)

It occurred to me yesterday when I was cleaning my bedroom (alone and happy) that "living only love" for a day might take much practice. (Laughing at myself.)
Maybe the real essence of that Joyful Quest would be to try for it everyday of my life - over and over again!
I actually did pretty well yesterday with my Joyful Cleaning, but I tell ya, I'd be doing just fine, then here comes one of the babes, and knocks pictures (polished a few seconds before) off the wall.
Or grabbing stuff off my shelf, and tossing it on the floor.
It wasn't that they were annoyed with me, and that it was intentional, it was just usual life stuff, but I sure found it annoying!
So I've been thinking about #83, and wondering exactly what that means.
I guess it means no barking (certainly no harridan behavior). Feeling enchanted and gushy. Lots of snuggles. Lots of yeses. Lots of doing whatever our hearts wish.
Have to think on that some more.

As for this morning (I got up at 5:47), by eight o'clock I had cleaned Trev's room, Maddie's room, the picked up the playroom, cleaned my bathroom, picked up, dusted and vacuumed the livingroom, took stuff on the stairs (stuff for filing, craft papers, a lincoln log, marbles, legos, piece of track, magnets) downstairs and put away where they belong, and picked up a pile of thirty+ videoes that Maddie insists on strewing all over the den forty-nine times a day.
Not bad. I'm off to a marvelous start.
But you should see my kitchen!
Definitely the order of the day.
Along with lots of following the babes around to see what they're up to.
A Happy Day to you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's Done!: Addendum

Dang! I knew I should have been more clear.
See, while I did clean my bedroom today, (prim sniff) and Do It Well (finishing at like seven something PM), the rest of the house sort of Went To Pot in my absence and inattentiveness.
So you see, it's all Been Done, but much of it needs to be Done Again.

But, fear not!, Friends.
I have Great Expectations for the morrow!
Aside from the carpets all being shampooed, I'll need another day or two for that.....

Since we'll all be in my bedroom when I awake before the sun, I am thinking that I shall have most of my cleaning/dusting/vacuuming/good mojo juice permeating throughout before my three babes even awake.

I am ever optimistic!

It's Done!

My question earlier wasn't if it was possible to be extraordinarily loving in a clean house, but if it were possible to be extraordinarily loving whilst creating the clean house.
It is surely a simple thing to be free and loving while residing and basking in bliss!

Making it so is another story entirely.

Why did it take All Day Long just to clean a bedroom, you ask?
It began with about twelve loads of laundry that needed to be hung up downstairs.
Then, as time passed by, it became apparent that this was going to be no ordinary cleaning job, but a spring autumnal cleansing.
First, friends, was under my bed.
No big deal, you might say. One might assume as much.

First of all, my bed sits high, and is a king-sized four-poster. Maxwell and Rabbit (both no longer with us) both slept under that bed, and aside from the occasional vaccuum stretch under the bed, it has not been cleaned. Ever. (We bought this house 4 1/2 years ago.)
Until today, I am pleased to say.
Once that was done - and the various legos, books, socks, dried up this and that were disposed of or put in their rightful place, there was no turning back. I beg your admiration here, friends - I was under - all the way - that bed today. Seven feet over. Against the wall. Brushing the dust bunnies (is that a romantic word for cobwebs?) and pushing out God Knows What out and over and into the light.

After that, with a sigh (and a shake of the spiders out of my tangled hair), and much encouraged by Melissia - I tackled the rest.

All of it.
(Dang! I had to replace this lamp today with my one from the livingroom - my bedside table lamp spat fire at me today when I moved it! If I'm to read (I'm on page 42, Evie) as I soooo long to do, then I need illumination at my bedside! I'll be shopping for a new addition very shortly. Oh! My birthday is coming.... :) )

Windows scrubbed.
Curtains washed. All of them.
Dust ruffle washed and hung out on the line.

Clean sheets - even though they were just changed. (may as well do it right.)

All pictures polished. Including The Lady Of Shallot.

Cobwebs (yes, there were a few on the walls).
All pillow cases and blankets washed - even the ones that were residing on my dear Grandma's antique couch, already clean.
It's done, I tell you. Done.
From the literal top to bottom.
And it smells like flowers and roses.

And it's glowing a sort of sunset golden with a cast of pink.
Just the way I like it.
With clean skin and a fresh nightie, she sighs, and says
"G'night, Friends. Sweet Dreams."

October 10

This one's probably going to have lots of subjects - :) but not necessarily any interesting ones!

Whenever I add on a couple of things for "103 Things" I repost it again. In doing so, like yesterday, I am often reminded of the things I'd like to do to better enjoy my life. Well, maybe not better enjoy it, as we do pretty well, but of joyful things -bigger or different things - that I might forget about. That list was a really good idea (if you'll remember it wasn't mine, I got the idea back in June from Sally - she has since taken her list down).

Yesterday was pretty great for me. We played alot, and did some crafty things. After reviewing my list, I was thinking maybe I'd be able to claim #83 (live only love for an entire day) for yesterday, but while it was an easy and flowing day, I think I'll try to make it especially shiny, and try to claim it for today.

Today I'd like to be able to cross off #83, which means always acting out of love and patience.

I'd also :) like to get my house the rest of the way cleaned. It's all done but my bedroom, -er, add the kitchen to that, too - but 'course everything else will have to again be wiped down or polished or dusted and vaccuumed, but that doesn't take too long.

Can you have lots of love and a clean house in the same day?
That is the question, isn't it?
We'll see....

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


56) Do a cartwheel without hurting myself.

Beverly left a comment on my posting about my clean den, saying that I could do a cartwheel in there.
So this morning I did.
Without hurting myself.

This post relates to 103 Things in 861 Days.

I'm a Delicate Flower....

I saw this on Beverley's blog today, and couldn't resist, as I needed something to write about while I put off filling up the dishwasher, and since I've been letdown - and got the full scoop on England withdrawing troops from the war - I thought they said they were pulling out altogether ("yay!" for Great Britain!) only to hear later it's only mostly out... all but 2500 troops.
Anyway, utterly deflated and denied my "Bringing the Boys Back Home" post, I let myself be distracted by this quiz.

I'm afraid it's pretty much the truth.

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"You stand up for what you believe in, even if it gets in the way of what other people think. You are proud of yourself and your accomplishments and you enjoy letting people know that."

While I do probably like myself a whole lot, I also get just as frustrated and letdown.
There's no middle of the road for me. (rolls eyes at herself - way to state the obvious)
I swing back and forth between a love affair with myself and a contemptuous sneer. The only balance in my mind is the pendulum swing - "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction".
I've confirmed what you've always suspected.
If I am balanced, it's only by extremes.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Today's Gift

My gift to myself today was a clean den.
Clean, clean, clean.

Now candles are casting a beautiful light against the oak bookcases lining the walls, books are alit and beckoning, smells of pine and cedar are permeating throughout the room.

Lovely, indeed.

still here...

Just wanted to say I haven't gone anywhere, but I am really physically exhausted today (not sure why) and feeling depleted - though calm and happy.

If I'm feeling better tonight I'll say hi, if not, see you tomorrow!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Rights to Freedom

The Declaration of Independence states, "all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Life and the Pursuit of Happiness are obvious, Liberty is defined by
freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.

Which we all know, but I'd like to be very clear.

I realize that this is something written by my own government leaders, but I also believe these particular rights are the rights of mankind, not just those within arbitrary borders. Man's life is between he and (his) God, not he and another that resides on his continent.

The voucher vote is coming to my state.
Of course there is much debate over it.
The other morning -or in the middle of the night- my mind was wandering between unconscious and conscious-ness, and I was thinking "I'll just not vote on it, because I just don't know."
I don't know necessarily how much good it will do, as far as money for the families goes.
Schools say "no, no, no, you can't take money away from us." Which I am not concerned with, as the whole "if we only had more money it would solve all of our problems" idea doesn't fly with me. Not that I think funding is adequate, mind you, I think education should be a higher priority than war and nuclear weapons, friends.
One real problem I had was that I was afraid that it would take some of the liberty away from private schools. Private schools can hire people to teach as they see fit, as far as I know. I was concerned that more restrictions would be applied - I don't like restrictions.

On one of my local homeschooling boards a discussion has begun.
One mother (who I respect) wrote "we may see homeschooling as a choice, but it's really a privilege".

I am debating on stepping in at this point.
I absolutely disagree with this statement.
It goes against everything I believe in, in fact.

To see it as a privilege implies that we have given someone else rightful dominion over us and our choices. Who was given that power, gladly even, and exactly when did that happen?

This isn't an I Hate My Government post. I don't.
I understand that there needs to be laws in society, for the benefit of all.

What I am asking is, in the initial development of man's thoughts and society, why was one man given (or did he just take it?) power over another?
To say "it is a privilege" to be able to homeschool is offensive to me. I don't accept that idea. That's like saying it's a "privilege" to be able do dress as I see fit, or to attend a church or not, or wear shoes or not.
If it's a privilege, than I gave up those rights in the first place to someone who decided against it.

I do not feel that my views on liberty and freedom are disrespectful to the founding fathers of my country. I truly believe that any man suppressed or repressed or downtrodden or dominated that had a vision for a different way - that inalienable rights are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - and fought for those rights, and for the rights of his decendants and fellow man - would love for a sense of freedom to be ingrained in the spirit of man. I think they would be honored, and proud, and pleased that freedom is such a part of our (my) thinking that we cannot imagine life any other way. I believe it's what they lived and died for.

That being said, I'll be joining Melissia in her "I'm going to stand, and not be afraid" position. I'll not be voting out of fear, or out of guilt (as the school folks would have us do).

I've decided to cast my vote for referendum number one.
It feels to me like a vote for Liberty.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Plug for Barnes and Noble

Hey - while I tell it far and wide in my own community, I don't think I've ever mentioned it here-

Barnes and Noble Bookstores issues home educator cards, did you know that?
All your books for school - for us child-led families, that means everything, I'd say- are 20% off your purchases. Not including text books.
I swear I save at least $5 every time I go.
It's free to get a card, just take in whatever you have that says "I home educate", whether it be membership card, a lesson plans, or whatever you recieve from your state.

I'm sure it's a national policy for them.

October 5

The last few days I've been cleaning.
I was quite serious when I said I wanted to gift myself with a clean house.
Course, that also means that I'm the one to do it.
But - the good news is, that since it is a gift to myself, that means no getting mean about it, no pressure, and lots of time for interrruptions for games and stories and make believe.

Progress is veeeeeeery slow, as I have to do the same things over and over again, and headway doesn't come very easily.
But it's coming. Under the fridge, clean out the pantry, closets, drawers, blankets washed, under the sink, under and behind the couch and entertainment center.... it's coming along. Slowly, but it's coming.
Hopefully this week I'll have a whole thirty seconds to say "There! It's done!" We all know I'll have to suspend the children from the ceiling in order to get my moment... but a few seconds won't hurt them.

I don't mean to bore you, just wanted to say that I am indeed still being true to my month of Sundays.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Happy Birthday Evie

I write this here instead of her own blog because your/her blog has not been updated in a few days.

I hope you have a beautiful, or quiet, or fun, or restful, or grand, or snuggly, or decorated, or peaceful, or sparkly day today - anything and everything that you desire.

Much love to you, Darling, I hope that you feel really, really loved and cherished today.

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

fanciful notions

Have I ever mentioned that as a child I always believed that my animals and toys came to life when I wasn't watching?
Well, I did. In fact , I am still very careful to not store them upside down (as I get dizzy very easily myself) and always take care to cover them up in the winter. Can't have anyone being cold.
I went in to attack tidy up Trev's room (I didn't really go in with a bottle of moonshine, in case that's what your thinking from this post) and pretty soon -like two minutes in- my children started coming in at regular intervals to ask "Done, yet?"
Grit my teeth.
"Not yet."
About two minutes later here the Little Darlings come again. "Done yet, Mom?"
"Not yet."
They had a notion to play ScoobyDoo and the Haunted Castle, you see. Later to be named Scooby Doo and The Ghosts of Fontecastelo.
The idea was to get a large(ish) section of my son's room clean, and the dears could play there while I cleaned the rest of the room.
After clearing (and vacuuming, as one cannot create properly in a mess) said spot, I started thinking, "Hmmm, wonder how much time I have?"

I just really love The Knight's Castle. Bought it one year for Trev for Christmas, just because I love it so much. And some beautiful Schleich figures to go along with it.
I have time, I thought. My son's expression was an interesting one when he came in and I told him I wasn't quite ready, and that I was playing.
And then it showed serious concern when he saw that I had given my Knight friend a very real mug of frothy ale.
Ah well.
I am absolutely certain that he (my knightly friend) greatly appreciated it. See his smile?

October 4

There is a movie, I have no idea what it is, I only remember this one line.
A girl says in a sweet, sort of sing-songy voice
"I just love Love. Don't you just love Love?" It could have been a hippie scene, or could have been a portrayal of a dimwitted girl. I don't remember the details.
But I remember the words. Probably for close to twenty years now.

That's how I'm feeling today.
Like a peagoose going around smiling and saying "I just love Love. Don't you just love Love?"

I've decided that I'm keeping my day of gentleness yesterday - for I did say that I'd like to experience such a thing for my Month of Sundays, and how exactly does one go about planning and executing a day filled with love and gentleness?
So I've decided to keep it.

And maybe I'll even claim another one for myself today.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Third Sunday

Can you call it a gift to yourself if it just happens?
Probably not, huh?

Today has been so wonderful.
So gentle, and so kind, and so peaceful, and so full of love, and so.... wondrous.
Just... easy.

I did get a tad frustrated - twice - once, when Annabelle ate Madeleine's toast for the third time, and then later when I decided to clean up Trev's room.
I walked in the room and my chest just started gurgling.
Trev - being the Beautiful Child that he is, said "Mom, I think my room should be off limits to you. It just makes you so frustrated, and then you're not joyful, and I like you joyful best. So we should just make you forget about it!"
Can I keep him?

So why have I felt so especially joyful, then, today?
I don't know.

I'm just so in love with my children, and so very comfortable being me today.

It's 7:59, Trev wants a story, I haven't had my supper, and I gotta come up with some sort of party for myself :).....

Too bad I don't have any of Julie's "there's a party in my hair" thingies. I'd take a bath with a few drops of oil, shave my legs, decorate my pretend-they're-not-tangled tresses, and call it good....

See you in the morning, if not late-late tonight....

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Good Mamahood

I'd like to say a few words about motherhood - specifically regarding the trials of those that are doing their damnedest to live mindfully and lovingly.
Something that all r.u.ers strive for, but certainly many others do as well.

It is so devastating when we find ourselves - no matter who we are - being 'less than' what we most desire.

I think a part of it too, is that most of us who are striving for a different way, a better way, have many wonderful people in our lives to show us the way.
We just don't seek out friends who are so very different than us, and who choose to live and parent an entirely different way.
So we surround ourselves with these beautiful supportive paragons, and do our best to emulate and be guided by them (and our little children too, of course).

But in that beautiful and loving space, we often think ourselves alone and without someone to share our dark tales.
We look around for a safe place, a place of no judging, and where we can scream "aaaaaaaaargh!"
It's so painful sometimes!
To Know The Way, and to behave differently (even contrarily) is so incredibly annihilating to our spirit.
We get angry at ourselves, (after the anger at our loves), and reject ourselves utterly - and abandon ourselves to our deserved hell.

Maybe I'm being dramatic, but to me, in these dark moments, this is how it feels.

I know the way. Why can't I do it? Why don't I even care?

It's a place of desolation, friends. It's just not there to give.
I've even said those words to my children. Not often, thank God, but more than once.
"I just don't have it right now."
It's a sort of frantic, desperate, hunted place.

On the other side of that frustration we eventually find our peace, again.
Often it comes with remorse and tears.
Some of us choose to hash out our process in the written word - publicly, even. And some of us write notes to ourselves to place upon the refrigerator - in hopes that we will manage to avoid that dark place for eternity- never to be revisited again.

Here's the thing.
I, for one, have been there.
It is not an enviable position.
It is not pretty.
It's not something I like to remember.

But it's not necessarily anything to be ashamed of either, friends.
Whether you've been there, or not.
It just is.
It's a part of Your (My) Process.
It's a part, maybe, of our own childhood.
It's a part of our own personality.

We need to make allowances for ourselves - and our fellow mothers - and give us all room to grow and stretch and be and discover and evolve.
And most of us do (allow the room).
Just because we aspire to a certain thing, or way of life, doesn't mean that we reside there, in perfection and absolution, in every moment and every day.
I don't think that's a cause to judge or to think unkind thoughts.

Even of ourselves.

Love and more love to all the Mama's.

Second Sunday

Today I was thinking about the month of Sundays.
I was thinking - there has to be some sort of theme, otherwise I may just end up doing a set of gratitude posts again.
Not that I didn't love those, and appreciate them. I surely did.

But the Month of Sundays needs to be done with intention.
So how to proceed?

I hadn't given it all that much thought, I was exploring gentleness, first, then I had lots of other things to take care of.

Today I saw my last few blooms (perhaps) on my roses, and I thought, "Now there's something."

I grabbed my Gathering Basket (anytime I am going to cut flowers, I like to make it as special an affair as possible, I always use particular scissors or my favorite handtool, and my beautiful basket) and scissors, and went in search of the last of my rosy blooms to bring into the house.
I started thinking - gifts to myself.

Things like
a clean house.
forgiveness when it's needed.
spending an hour making an artful project just to take a picture of it.
time in a coffee shop - just me and my notebook - enjoying a scrumptious little pastry and a steaming cup of some delicious exotic tea.
a day filled with gentleness.
patience for my shortcomings.
an early morning start - like getting up around three am, just because I am inspired to write.
a whole day of reading. (to be best enjoyed in a clean house, of course.)

What does Sunday mean to me?

natural patience.
breezy and flowing.
scones or crepes for breakfast.
These are the sorts of things I wish to give myself.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Today for my first Sunday I found Beauty.

Real, breathtaking, let-it-wash-over-me-and-flood-my-senses beauty.

First thing into the canyon I was caught by her oranges, then the smell of the blessed willows rushed over me.

My eyes danced eagerly over the greens, and yellows, and deep reds and even the faded peach.

Beauty all around.

I found myself almost frantic to take all of it into myself -

I wanted to inhale the air so deeply into my mind and soul that I'd never be without it

desperate to take with me the splendor
and peace

and I just wanted to cry for the beauty of it.

My mind was flooded with words


and Majesty

and Glory

And I was humbled.
I was honored.

And I was so very grateful.

October 1

Good morning.

I have finally finished up my work, and can breathe a sigh of relief.

I have no idea what this very first MOS shall entail.
It's family day around here, today, which means Eric is off and it's not fishin' day.
Trevelyn said something about going into the Temperate Forest to gather leaves. Maybe do some fishing himself.
So my MOS nurturing self/the spirit activity has many possibilities.
It could mean taking photos of new snow and bright red leaves.
Could mean gathering leaves.
Maybe I'll be called to wildcrafting - for mullein, or willow (mmmmmm, one of my favorite smells in the whole wide world), or something else.
Maybe I'll gather acorns.
Maybe I'll seek out my scarecrow and update the fall wreath for the front door.
Maybe I'll make a new oil - one specifically for me - that represents all of the things I want to be.

I'm not sure yet.
I'll let you know where the day takes me.
Hope you find you're amid a divine one, yourself.