Archive for August, 2009

yes we are here

the mastitis is gone. my hard drive has failed. i’ve lost every picture i had of my kids. the weather is changing to fall. i am planting mums. i am at the apple store right now hoping they will replace my hard drive and let me keep the old one for a bit while i wrestle inner demons trying to decide if i can spend close to a THOUSAND DOLLARS trying to get my photos.

what would you do? i have to say a break from the internet is ok but i do miss you all.

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i think i’m coming down with mastitis. see how sweetly she naps on me. love heals.

still an iphone blogger. miss my laptop for easier typing.

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little things

sometimes the smallest shifts in energy make space for us to breath. to be. to feel a little bit alright. all right. part right.

today we took a short walk in the fields with my mom and her dogs. the bean held rhyson’s leash (the corgi) with such joy and care. they ran together – their little legs like the perfect fit. my heart welled and it took a deep breath.

we found a few small pinecones which we picked up and carried home with us.

i would like to have a nature table. i would like to get rid of more plastic and create a waldorf inspired play space. i would like to do more hand work and have zero tv.

more inspiring though. more to the point in this time is the idea of our rhythm being an in breath and an out breath. there is something i can be guided by. that is what we shall do.

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trim him

this morning i trimmed his hair. then i let him eat a cookie. i confess.

(my laptop decided to kaput yesterday. i am hoping the apple people can save it and i haven’t lost everything. meanwhile iphone posts will have to do.)

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this morning we savored more summer at the pond.

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a summer recipe

potato salad that stood in at my little picnic with the kids as a meal:

i am not putting exact quantities because i didn’t measure and because i don’t think you can go too far wrong.

  1. first wash, cut up and boil in salted water your potatoes.  i had enough to fill my 3.5 quart pot about halfwayish.
  2. while potatoes cook brown some sausage.  i used breakfast sausage from the farm that i crumbled.  once browned set it aside to cool.
  3. once the potatoes are cooked soft (but not falling apart) drain them and sprinkle with vinegar (i used a little white and some red wine).
  4. set potatoes aside to cool.
  5. while cooling dice up on onion and a few small summer squash.  set them in a low bowl and squeeze lemon juice over them.
  6. chop up some fresh herbs (basil, parsley, dill would all work.  i used sage and tarragon.)
  7. now combine everything in a bowl.  add a large scoop or mayonaise (i love lemonaise) and an equal portion of sour cream.
  8. salt and pepper to taste.


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i was inspired by soulemama’s blog this week to take a shot at savoring summer. it has been hot hot hot here and i do not handle that kind of heat well so i have been hiding inside near the window air conditioner. before this heat wave it has been mostly cool or rainy here so summer is a bit of a missing person.

but she makes it look so…nice (as she does with everything) and so i wanted to at least try. yesterday afternoon we all put on our homemade bugspray (i am so proud of it) and hit the back yard. yes, i think going out to the backyard was savoring summer. i filled the kiddie pool with about one inch of water, added cups and balls and boats, grabbed my knitting, and settled in to savor summer.

you know what? it was nice. truly nice. and today is a better day.

she helped me knit

she helped me knit

then she drank my tea

then she drank my tea

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drowning once

the pool at the y smelled of chemicals and was filled with noise.  spashing, joking, teachers calling out, all muted by the wetness and water and the overpowering scent.  i was in my brother’s swim class this week because somehow we had missed mine and this was my make up class.  i was small and out of place in his class and i clung to the edge of the pool and the grooved cement hoping no one would notice me.  hoping it would end soon.  hoping to not have to swim.

the teacher stood above us all tall and thin and shrill in her instructions.  up a floor, there was a glass viewing room where i knew my mother as waiting.  eventually the class would end and i would be free and done and safe.  i pressed myself into the tiled edges and kept my elbows bent tightly and my head high above the waters disturbed lapping.

most of the activities of the class she let me skip, or she modified, or maybe she just pretended not to notice me opt out.  i did hold onto the kick board with my fingers clutching it so tightly they were cramping and blue white in color while i did some practice kicking.

at the end of the lesson she decided to do a quick round of races before she ended things.  we were to swim to the bouy line and back in two’s.  she counted the pairs off going down the line and each set did a quick race.  i was at the end of the line that had formed and i was certain i would not be racing.  certain.  sure of it.  because, i could not swim like that.  i could not do it so how could she have me do it?

truly that must be the moment i started the drowning.  in the moment that i firmly believed i could not swim.  and when i protested her when she tried to send me out to race.  and again when she assumed i was protesting because i didn’t want to lose to an older boy and she assured me she would give me a head start.  maybe she was trying to be equitable, or encouraging, or make me brave.  she insisted i race.  she sent me out ahead.  i made it to the bouyline and and i grabbed onto it thinking i could never ever make it back to the wall.

she called out to me to let go and swim back and i either told her no or i just hung on silently.  i don’t remember.  but i remember her irritation in response, her acidic insistance that i let go and swim back.  the shrill rising with impatience and frustration.

i did let go, and swim a few meek strokes of the gasping panicked variety and then i just gave up and started sinking.  the real drowning had begun.  the decision to let go and slip under.  the acceptance of failure.  the chlorinated water swallowing me down and all the sounds of the pool area muting more and more.

did she yell to me to try harder?

i don’t know.  i know, from the retelling of the story that she stood by the side of the pool watching.  that my mom fled the spectator room and flew down the stairs to the side of pool in a frightened rage.  that another teacher, a man, jumped in and pulled me out.  i do know that the teacher said she did not want to jump in because she had gotten her hair permed that morning and it would be ruined if it got wet.  the swim teacher.  with a sinking child in her care.  she did not want to ruin her perm.

that was one time i drowned.  how i remember it through my memory of the experience and my memory of hearing about it.  what sticks with me might be not the drowning, the sinking below, the fear, the panic, but the rejection.  the truth of knowing that i was worth less than a hair style to someone.

that is still my struggle many days.  believing i am good enough, or that i deserve, that i am not fundamentally flawed.  believing in my own worth.

in the moments i do know, it is always through my practice, through my spirituality, and through seeing the light in everything.  embracing the divine.

but some days i just struggle.  i don’t believe i can swim.  i don’t want to mess up anybody’s hair.

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embroidery hoop


this morning our creativity flowed in the direction of embroidering an old swaddling blanket i found laying around.  bean very much enjoyed pushing this blunt tapestry needle through the old blanket and choosing which thread he wanted to use.  it was an easy activity to set up, he liked it for more than ten minutes, and i enjoyed watching him work.  i would say that is another huge success.  now i just have to acquire a sewing machine and some basic skills so i can turn his embroidery into fun things.  well, someday perhaps.  for now i need to focus on enjoying small successes.

after we finished our embroidery we drove over to my parents house where the bean played ball with the dogs while chickpea and i filled two muck buckets with fully composted material to add to our new composter to help us get rolling more into compost and out of fruit fly heaven.  while we were there my mom came up with the brilliant idea of cleaning out my car.  like really.

we took out the car seats and all the mats and everything.  we vacuumed, wiped down all surfaces, cleaned the windows, sorted through the trash and toys and blankets and sweatshirts.  while we cleaned the kids played with buckets of water and small rocks and crawled around the driveway in the sun and generally were hot and wet and unruly.  but no mind, they were happy and the car is amazing.  amazing!  it was something i really needed.  a large enough project to feel really good about and a small enough project to be able to tackle and complete and a few hours.

you know how when your life is all in a tizzy it is really good to keep your surroundings clean and well organized?  yeah well, you should see my tupperware cupboard.  because in the last weeks i have become obsessed with washing it by hand, making sure it is perfectly dry, matching it with its correct lid, and then storing it by size.  if only i can bring this new drive to all areas of the house i might be in for some good changes after all.

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i have been reading the creative family recently and i was inspired to try to bring more creativity into our daily life. the bean isn’t a kid who loves to sit and draw or paint for more than say, five seconds, so i have been at a bit of a loss as to how to bring more crafting into our time. i also hesitate to push it too much – as much as i think i would enjoy it.  the nice thing about the creative family is that it has me thinking about “art” and being creative on a much broader scale and in ways that feel truly doable.

yesterday i mounted a mission to a local craft shop (too bad all i know of around here is big box – must work on that) and we got a few supplies.  with those supplies we managed to have some creative fun around here yesterday and again this morning making “sewing” cards.  the bean is loving the activity and it is fairly simple to set up and clean up.  a plus.

watch out all you creative mama’s — here we come a crafting:

a card for uncle nick

a card for uncle nick

one of my favorite spots on the card

one of my favorite spots on the card

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