Thursday, May 26


Some things got done this week!

Castle visit:

Bangs cut (All off! Yay!!)

Wet bags! We cloth diaper at home, but I use disposables when out and about. I really want to stop doing this but I hate carrying around plastic bags for the used diapers. So I finally got around to making wet bags :) Now we are down to just one disposable at night, which means a single pack lasts a month!

Fabric snack bags, no more ziplocks!

Sandwich wraps, they fold around the sandwich and velcro. I love them. Really.

And I REALLY love this fabric :) Popeye is the reason spinach is my favorite veggie.

Quiet here.

Sorry I have not been posting at all this past week (has it been only a week?), I've been doing a lot more doing instead. The sun has been out and people are smiling, I just can't find the time to sit and write anything. Although, there is a lot on my mind, art, sewing and baking projects, friends and future plans.
I have a beautiful post that needs writing pertaining to a garden party that happened in my yard last week.
I've even been reading! I have two books going at once (Buddhism for Mothers and Simplicity Parenting- both of which send me into my 'thoughtful place' for much, much longer than I expected) and at least two more waiting in the wings. So that's that.
I'll be back around soon :)

Thursday, May 19

Four things.

First, an impromptu art project:

Second, a visit to our friend Ellie's house (that ended with a gift of fresh, local honey!):

 (happy to find her elderflower tree and looking forward to tea and healthy tinctures!)

Third, a gift for Johnny of hand-made pottery and fresh eggs from our sweet neighbor:

Fourth, a preview of today's photo/friend project. More to come on that very soon! 

Monday, May 16

Pioneer summer.

My friend and neighbor Zak and I were doing some sitting around flipping through my copy of the Ultimate Guide to Homesteading. We were talking about how cool it would be learn all of this stuff, maybe not because we have to know it all right now but because this stuff may be really good to know in the future (the future where we all live on a giant piece of land and barter and trade with each other to stay self-sustaining.) Several of my friends have undertaken learning the 'basics' and I've done a little here and there (dandelion honey, bread baking with my own yeast starter)- I think it's high time we actually put this plan in action and get down to it! 
There are several great books to help along the way, like Back to Basics and the Foxfire series.

I really wanted to gather and dry my own tea, so that was researched and done yesterday. I was able to get a few bags full of raspberry leaves and nettle leaves. I picked all the leaves from the stems and laid them out to dry on sheets hung from my ceiling. Chris isn't thrilled with the sheets hanging over our head in the entryway, but it's just for a few days.

I learned two valuable lessons yesterday while foraging. One, raspberry bushes and dreadlocks DON'T mix. Two, jeans don't do much to ward off the sting of nettle!

Zak, Brenda and I sat down and made some clay dishes. It's the first step in our cooking outdoors endeavor. Dishes for eating our food on... Unfortunately the first go was a bust. I was trying to sort of bisque fire them before the actual firing in a pit, but the temperatures were probably too varied and everything broke or cracked. We'll have another go!

And this one is a cheater but I'll take it... A friend passed along a yogurt maker and I ordered some cultures off the internet. Right now there is almond milk yogurt warming in the kitchen, we'll see how well it works :)

Sunday, May 15

To sum it up...

The past 24 hours have been wonderful...

We sat around the fire pit and had a few warming drinks.

I took a long walk alone (with the dogs) to 'harvest' some nettles and raspberry leaves. The weather was off-and-on, but thankfully mostly on during my walk.


Flowers are finally starting to bloom now that it's begun raining again.

Signs of summer are coming, slowly but surely.

We took Johnny to the park and then sat around the sand box for a little while. He's not feeling well, he's been up and down like the weather, but I'm trying to keep his spirits up.


Next month will be the end of my second year sharing our lives with you here. I'm getting all of this printed up into a book to hold onto for future generations. Maybe someday my great-great-great grandkids will read through it as I've read through my family's journals. That, and I don't trust the internet with my memories- I have a hard enough time remembering things, I don't need to lose it all in an instant!
Getting it done now feels like the perfect transition- right before summer starts and as Johnny goes from baby to boy oh-so-quickly... Forward ho!

Sunday, May 8


Since today was Mothers Day, I wanted to show you a photo. It's the first time I really, truly felt like a momma, as I carried that teeny baby out into the world! He was almost 2 weeks old and I remember feeling like he was so precious and I never thought I would ever be able to put him down!

Mutters Tag.

Hanging out with a mother I dig, and realizing that being a mother really does change everything. For example, fancy brunches with champagne aren't the calm escape you'd expect them to be.

 (J took this picture, by the way!)

And, boys seem to NEVER sit still- although I did manage to barely capture them each once. That's J's buddy Anton peeking around his mom.

The rest of the time I was lucky to get at least a half-clear shot. Look at these carefree boys!!

It was a great day of fun and sun :)

I love my own mom very, very much by the way! And this is my sister's first mother's day, I am so proud of her!!

Friday, May 6

I smell summer...

Summer cupcakes:

Summer grilling:

Summer drinks:

 Summer flowers:

Dirty summer kids!!

Thursday, May 5

Why morning is awesome.

When I was a kid I hated oatmeal.... except for the little paper packets of 'fruit and cream' (a.k.a. sugar) which I basically ate dry anyway (yuk!). 
As J started eating solids and I knew how good oatmeal could be, I made it my mission to learn how to make it right and delicious...

This is our favorite way to eat it, Jamaican style!

I can't find the original recipe, but ours basically goes like this:

1/2 c. milk
1/2-1 c. water
1/2 c. oatmeal
1/2 banana
1/2 small chopped mango, or 1/2 c. chopped pineapple
heaping spoon-full shredded coconut
some sliced almonds (or not if you don't like almonds)

Cook all for 10-20 minutes, until consistency is as desired (add more water if too thick or cook off a few more minutes if too thin). Take off heat and stir in a 1 tsp. vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. If it's not sweet enough for you then just add a tsp. or so of maple syrup, but the fruit sweetens it pretty well.

I could eat like 14 bowls of this, and Johnny loves loves loves it too :) Hooray for getting him to eat things that are good for him!!

Monday, May 2

This is so weird.

I heard of the Myers-Briggs personality test recently. I took a kind of fake one (since it costs like $150 to take the real one) and got INFJ.
This is what is describes me as:

As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.

INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.

INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.

INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get "feelings" about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ themself does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.

But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people's feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.

Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubborness and tendency to ignore other people's opinions. They believe that they're right. On the other hand, INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves - there's always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. In deference to the Feeling aspect of their personalities, INFJs are in some ways gentle and easy going. Conversely, they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families. They don't believe in compromising their ideals.

INFJ is a natural nurturer; patient, devoted and protective. They make loving parents and usually have strong bonds with their offspring. They have high expectations of their children, and push them to be the best that they can be. This can sometimes manifest itself in the INFJ being hard-nosed and stubborn. But generally, children of an INFJ get devoted and sincere parental guidance, combined with deep caring.

In the workplace, the INFJ usually shows up in areas where they can be creative and somewhat independent. They have a natural affinity for art, and many excel in the sciences, where they make use of their intuition. INFJs can also be found in service-oriented professions. They are not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks. The INFJ will either avoid such things, or else go to the other extreme and become enveloped in the details to the extent that they can no longer see the big picture. An INFJ who has gone the route of becoming meticulous about details may be highly critical of other individuals who are not.

The INFJ individual is gifted in ways that other types are not. Life is not necessarily easy for the INFJ, but they are capable of great depth of feeling and personal achievement.


I've been mucking about in a weird emotional grey area lately, trying to figure out exactly where I stand with a lot of people and where they fit into my life as well. Mostly not even individual people, but 'society' as a whole. 

To be honest I have no idea how people see me. I used to not care about it at all- like who really cares what people think of my outward appearance? (I still don't!) But for some reason I've recently become really sensitive to how some people, other moms especially, perceive me. This has nothing to do with how I look, more with how I parent and its minute bearing on social situations. My ideals seem to be getting in the way of us being invited to social gatherings, friendships that could be, and overall normalcy of life for a mom and kid. This goes both ways- people are making judgments and I am as well, as it happens sometimes, based on my ideals. And then I read the above, "They don't believe in compromising their ideals," and I can suddenly see why it's so hard to move forward from this point. I won't compromise my ideals, and I won't apologize for them either. I have spent so much time standing up for things that seem very silly to most people, but to me, they mean the world. One of the things I think is the hardest to get people to see is that MY ideals do not reflect what I think about YOU. They are about me and my family and should not be taken as a judgement on you and yours. 
Yes, I choose to do things a certain way. Yes, social situations that are drastically different or blatantly opposite from our home life make me uncomfortable. But I will always make an effort, even if it means stepping outside of my comfort zone- it is the best way for me to learn and grow and I care about people too much to just give up. 

I'm so sick of defending myself. I feel like I should write out a brochure to hand to people when I meet them so that they know that whatever I do or say isn't about them:

I don't like plastic toys in our house, we have very few and J rarely plays with them. I don't care if your kids have them, and he can play with them as much as he wants at your house.

I don't play t.v. or movies all day. I don't care if you do, but don't be offended if I don't want my son sitting around all day watching at your house.

We don't eat boxed food at home. We eat as much organic, sustainably farmed/raised food as possible. We don't compromise on that much, depending on what it is- it's up to me to decide if we will eat what is served us or if we will bring something different, and I don't think that is ungrateful. Alternatively, I love to cook for people and will always try to accommodate their tastes.

To elaborate on that, we don't eat unnatural foods in our house. No dyes, no chemicals, no artificial anything. I really, really don't care if you do. J can eat almost anything he wants at a birthday party, holiday party or some other celebration, with the exception of soda or straight-up food coloring out of the bottle. I am not against letting my son have a good time and with all the steps we take in our house to eliminate this stuff, it certainly won't harm him to have it once in awhile at your kids' birthday parties.....

Please don't ever assume that because we live differently than you that we are judging you. I am a firm believer in people taking steps in their lives to improve each part, educating themselves so that they live long and happy (informed) lives.... (hmmm... from above, "there's always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them.") That certainly comes across as judgement to some (to many?) and I'm just now coming to that realization. Yea, I'm slow on the uptake. 

So how do I do all these things in my life without making people feel like I'm attacking them personally? What's the deal that people can't just take responsibility for their own decisions and not worry about how ours 'may' reflect on theirs? Where do I find the balance between doing what I feel is right and not ostracizing those around me? 

So there you have it, I told you it was weird. Sorry for the emotional word vomit but I feel much better :)

Sunday, May 1

Happy trees.

I love watching painters. I also love painting, but I think watching painters is even more interesting.... It must stem back to sitting home on sick days watching Bob Ross on PBS.
So it could go without saying that I love watching my son paint the absolute most.

He really, really had fun this time! And I think Zak did too!