Monthly Archives: August 2009

Home. Away

Thanks for all your lovely comments about my last post.  The worst part of my status with my ex-husband is being uneasy posting anything or letting anyone know that we are going to be out of town and our house is going to be empty.  Yes, I know, unfortunate, moving on.  The girls and I were gone this past Saturday through today, Monday.  Only about an hour away, but familiar territory was needed for the first official single mother vacation (wow, that’s another post), but the girls had a pool, I had a book and we saw scenes like this:

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In the meantime, I have seven more days of vacation at home, which is why I plan on getting myself organized and prioritized as mentioned before.  Seven more days!  No work!  Seven more days!  Did I say seven more days?  So I’ve come home to beans harvested from the garden and snapped for me (thank you Grandmom) and my most appreciated plant that I got this year, the aloe plant.  Because when you come home from the weekend looking like this…….

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the first thing you want is a slather of this.

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So in answer to Camie’s question.  This would be the only medicinal plant I planted this year, but my interest has been piqued.  Since the vegetables seemed to be such an investment in time and stress, I am going to minimize them next year.  After all we have expert farmers just down the road.  What I would like to focus on next year is expanding my herb base beyond the kitchen basics to add some more medicinal and aromatic herbs and plants to encourage my growing love of natural cleaning and care of our bodies and home.  So looks like I may have some education and research to focus on this winter.  If anyone has any resources they would like to recommend, please, do share!

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Harvesting Small Scale

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I have to say things went well considering this was my first veggie patch in nine years and first in this home.  The massive amounts of rain didn’t help and it still continues to fall, day after day after day. We are down to just the beans and the peppers.  My real joy was getting the herb patch started and there is no doubt it flourished.  I am looking forward to planning ahead for the next year.  In fact, I am looking forward to planning in general, seizing the opportunity this week to put into place some short and long-term goals to get where I want to be.

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Me, The Goats

I posted before about my love for goats and my desire to one day have them.  I mentioned that my Great-Grandparents raised goats on this piece of land we now call home. I finally found it……the photo of  little me and the goats standing in what is now my backyard.  This photo was taken by my Grandfather who seemed to always have a camera and a favorite subject (see below girl) and had his very own darkroom in the house.  It seems that it is not only a sense of place that gets handed down.  Today as a grown woman I find myself standing side by side with him oftentimes both of us with cameras in hand.

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On the theme of goats, I have been reading tales written by a very smart and very lucky goat over on This Goat’s Life blog.

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Wordless Wednesday-1st Day of School

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Namaste

In yoga, “Namaste” means “the light within me honors the light within you”.  It is one of my favorite words in any language.

In her book, “The Wisdom of No Escape”, Pema Chodron writes about one of my other favorite words “maitri” meaning “loving kindness”.  She says, “maitri toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything.  Maitri means that we can still be crazy after all these years.  We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness.  The point is not to try to change ourselves. Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better.  It’s about befriending who we are already“.

See that line highlighted above.  To me this is key.  I fail everyday.  In so many ways.  I can get bogged down in my discontent.   I can beat myself up for who I wish to be, who I am not, but in the end I am just me, as I am, both goodness and let’s just say, not so goodness.

I learned to love myself this year.  My clutziness, my monkey brain, my not so perfect body, my impatience, my anger.  Meditation taught me this.  Studying Buddhism has taught me this.  Meditation (to me) is not about a required mat time with a mantra.  It’s about taking those moments to quiet the monkey mind and listen to that still soft sweet spot inside of me (in absolute truth, call me a Buddhist-Quaker).

I am neglectful in my yoga practice, which is a shame.  My mat is dusty,but I can walk out into the moss at the edge of the woods and sink my feet into it’s lush carpet.  I can stretch out my arms and reach to the heavens.  I can scoop up the energy of the natural world around me and pull it into my chest and be there and breathe with it.  I can take those five or ten minutes and indulge in the quiet and the calm.

Several of my blog friends are having dark days it seems.  Depression, sadness, loss, betrayal, bewilderment.

I am sending to you loving kindness. To tell you the dark times will pass.  To take this lesson that I am wrestling with everyday, that I am trying to teach my daughter, the anxious one.  This too shall pass.   So as there is light there is dark, so as the joy seems to pass all too rapidly so will the sadness.  A year ago I was broken and thought my heart might not recover and this journal, this diary, this blog as well as friends near and far, gave me the strength to find the beauty again.

“Namaste” my friends.  The light within me honors the light within you and I hope it wraps you with gentle arms and coaxes you to find peace.

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“Family”

Or otherwise subtitled “I Don’t Think Brushfire Records Has Ever Produced Music I Don’t Love”.

Even when I am an old 94 year old woman I will still have a mad crazy crush on Jack Johnson and his beautiful music and besides being talented and lovely and proactive  he has this great company that bring me more talented, lovely and proactive musicians I come to love.  Case in point, Zach Gill, who has performed with Jack, and  I thought this song a bit fitting today (besides which I’m  too lame to put up a real post).  But no really, I love to share music about as much as I love to share books and I haven’t posted any music in awhile since I tend to listen to the same six people over and over.

If you are having one of those crazy frustrating days like I had today, or your family is getting on your last nerve, or you like men who play the accordian, or you just appreciate a good Jack Johnson cameo, enjoy this!

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It’s Laundry Day

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I always thought it would be kind of complicated to make my own laundry detergent.  Why?  No idea.  It has been sitting there patiently on my list of things to do this year.  So after finding the necessary ingredients (thank you Target, you are worth the drive) I took to it today.  Having lost (of course) the original recipe I had found from the library, I remembered this post over at Red Gate Gardens last month.  So after assembling my three ingredients, two mixing bowls and grater, I managed to get it done in say, oh 10 minutes (minus photography time of course).  Because I do like a nice scent we used a bar of handmade honeysuckle soap that I bought from Etsy earlier this year.  It almost looked good enough to eat, the washing soda in the green mixing bowl and those sweet white curlicues laying on top.

I know that this is definitely the way to go from now on.  Less trash, less money, another handmade off the checklist.

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