Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wonder~The lovely process

Have you ever? I've never made bread, like this. It's cooling on a rack. I hope it tastes good- my house smells divine-bread bakery smell. It's taken me three days to make. I didn't read the recipe directions through before I started making it- I had no idea it would take three days. I started on Friday with the ferment, Saturday for rising and folding, salt water and more rising, Sunday to cook. It's been a process- bread is a lovely process. It shouldn't be rushed, it needs time to develop. You have to be present in the process.  I really enjoy learning how to make things from scractch, especially taking time for the process and finding appreciation for the fruits of the Earth that provide such beautiful ingredients to meld and savor. It makes me happy to my soul to be learning how to cultivate with my hands.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Growth~Feeling a little hidden among the changing shadows

The slow shift from Fall to Winter has left me feeling on the verge of everything-anxious almost to just know what it will feel like once this change has settled in and become routine . But I remind myself that change is the beauty;where the power of the Universe reveals itself in unbelievable colors and shapes and lights and energies; and humble hearts, and I suppose the anxious feeling is instinct shouting to take notice; once it shifts you'll miss the newness, it says. But it's hard to recognize this when the day stops short and the mixed emotion of weather tires my bones and causes deep pressure in my head.
Today after two days of rain without a glimpse of sunlight and after the day gives over to night without so much as a sign its closing I begin to waver. I went for rainy walks with Korlyn- her covered in warm layers and I drenched in the goodness of  Fall rain. I listened to music and found every color in the fallen leaves- piercing colors against the rain-painted jet black of the cement walking trail. I gave thanks for everything drenched in dreary and took a deep breath of midst. Yet, I just want to sleep. And as I lay on my bed after fixing dinner, tears in my eyes, as daylight as left me feeling vulnerable in the grip of midnight at 5:00 my three come charging in- drawings in hand. Cole says hers is scribble. I tell him that is how she expresses herself through drawing at this age and his used to look somewhat like hers when he was two. He shows me his detailed drawing of a dragon with colors "in a pattern" and tells me that his has always looked liked what he shows me now. I guess we are both correct. Who knows what she was drawing, but I know she must have had a perfect vision for it. So with warm tears and a fatigued spirit J asks me whats wrong- and I think for the first time, I blatantly admit that the change from Fall to Winter throws me into moody sadness; I sigh in his hug and feel peaceful with my admittance. I go to sleep at 8:00- I've spent years resisting how susceptible I am to shifts of whatever kind- weather, moods, time, permanence- empathic. On the verge of my next birth year I find myself resisting myself less and less. And it feels peaceful.
 My heart the other day in church felt wide open- i could feel the warmth of spreading possibility deep inside and it felt fantastic. Like delicate layers of tissue paper folded gently open and the energy surrounding my heart felt warm and unblocked- like it can often when I worry. I felt on the verge of everything again; except this time it was welcomed with much more hope.

Today the sun came.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Artistry~A Part of my Writing Memoir


I loved these rocking chairs in the loft of the cabin where we stayed during our vacation. I wish I could have spent more time here; rocking, wondering, dreaming, internalizing, and most of all writing. Writing from the heart, honestly. While I was here I thought about the intricate relationship between the unassuming power of wind pushing against and flowing through the magnificent structure of the trees. How the seemingly subtleness of the wind can bend and sway a being so revered in strength as we see the trees. I am reminded through and through how the answers are already here, in nature, in our day; if we listen, if we watch, if we see the understanding in the relationship of coexisting. I thought about how every thing and being is a teacher in our lives.

 As I enter this important work of becoming teacher I've been thinking a lot about the voice of our children. I took a writing class this summer and we were asked to write our writing memoir. The most powerful thing I learned in this one week intensive class was that we do not write like we talk. I feel empowered by this understanding. This is not to say  I am a brilliant writer, far from, but that when I write I feel honest and that my writings express the realness of me better than I can often verbalize. Here is part of my writing memoir- I wrote about my writing process. We all have one- whether it's where we sit, or where we are emotionally and spiritually in our lives, even right down to the visual cadence of how are words form on the page. We are all writers because we all have a story to share. Here is part of mine.


I like my writings to be tangible. I usually write by pen first. I like to feel the words on paper, looking like inked graffiti, weighted against my hands. By writing I can share and move my understandings and ideas outward; let go of possession over my internalization and instead take ownership of my ideas. Like the last thistle floret gripping against the rounded belly of a dandelion, my words are held close, unsure of when to let go. At first, in the beginning, they are just seeds of thoughts; growing and blooming into fractal formations, a kind of chaotic system of context and convention; parts becoming a whole; Then the detachment.

At first my writings linger close, as the mother does when taking her baby to kindergarten for the first time.

I look up and around as if I am staring at them form against the stationary in my mind. Then like a bloomed parachute my ideas float quietly and slowly downward, towards the page.

Writing allows me to let go. As I write, the words stir and move from within to my fingertips in movement to pen to paper, down along the page allowing me to express and reflect and release. I’m giving over to the words so I can express my growth. I notice when I am energized by authentic free-flow writing, I write fast. My handwriting becomes less legible. My hand tightens to hold the pen securely so I can write more, write faster. Words lose letters, letters lose formation, but it is all there- I know the rules, mostly; letters, punctuation, semblance; but expression takes precedence over convention. My writing stops and starts randomly and sometimes I use the wrong word or context, but it flows and makes sense to me. When I get out what I want to say, then I can come back to fill in the rules. I feel writing, and I feel alive.

I will always write. I need it to house a lot of my creativity. Not all the time, or at any particular time, but most significantly when inspired.


I put this picture on the back of my portfolio for my launching class into the Master's program for Teaching. It's become my informal teaching mantra. I attached to it the words~

 Children are made from Dreams and Superhero Powers.

We still are, I hope.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Grow~Waking up Happy

Cole made this for me at school. He asked to hang it above the dresser in front of my bed, so that upon waking I would look up and see these hearts and be so happy. He even acted out waking up and smiling to them. In these moments I can feel my lungs expand with air and everything in that loved-laden moment slows down. Everything feels simple, less adult~ish. I think to myself that childhood can be a sense not just a memory. Like when I am laying on the trampoline staring at the sky, wide open and accepting of all that is possible, as I've done a million times as my younger self. That honest feelings and open hearts are not lost upon children. Each day I wake to these happy hearts and I smile that one smart four-year-old has so much to show me, and that because of him I must continually grow.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nourish~Three Books Cooking Up Change

For the past six months I've been really concerned about food. After having a second child and turning 30 I've noticed some changes within myself. Less tolerance to certain foods, less sleep and exercise left me feeling worn. So a few months ago I tried the 21-Day Cleanse. It was intensely hard. Getting off of dairy, gluten, sugar, and meat was a huge change to my diet, which had consisted of all of them. I bought a list of all foods on the diet, but didn't take into account the time for preparation, mostly during lunches because I had a baby and lunch needed to be fast. So for the majority I stuck to what I know I like, beans. Usually fixing them with a Tex-Mex taste-a lot of beans, jalapenos and rice.

 It became very boring, very fast. Then I purchased this book and loved the flavors- reminds me how my parents so often cook. I love using more herbs and broth to get flavor rather than salt and oil or butter. The taste was fresh and earthy. I found at the end of the 21 days, I felt cleansed, lighter and I loved feeling satisfied by food- I found that bread and dairy cause my weight to stay and leave me sluggish. I realized I love eating vegetarian and it doesn't bother me, I also began to see overindulging in white breads helped me clarify moderation.

 I did go back to eating meat, dairy and gluten, but less of it. I found though that after eating without strict moderation I felt so ‘weighted’ is the best way to describe it. Over the next several months I toyed with the idea of going vegetarian for a longer period, possibly vegan. I loved the energy, the food choices, and the knowledge that I was digesting, healthy and purposeful food. I had noticed before the cleanse how my skin had become so red and blotchy over the past several years and during the cleanse my skin cleared and felt soft.

 Then a few weeks ago my daughter got a diaper rash, but at the time I thought was a yeast infection because it was recurrent. My son also had a cold at the same time. I am not sure if other parents get overwrought when their children get sick and it seems to last too long. I always feel there must be some outside source-something I can change in diet, washing, etc. that will stop the turntable of sickness. Never mind that diaper rash is common and children typically get 6-8 colds a year and can last 2 weeks plus. I went to my books and online sources and read up on yeast infections in babies. What I came across really changed my perspective and calmed my instincts but heightened my maternal paranoia (have I been doing it wrong all this time, did the foods I gave my children make them sick? hush hush, logic with your 6-8 colds and common diaper rash- I'm being overly protective here:)

When I looked up yeast infections I found several sites on fungal/yeast buildup. I had no idea the level of intolerances fungal buildup can cause. I was under the impression that yeast infections were the extent of intolerance to yeast and sugar. Au contraire. They can cause respiratory infections, chronic pain disorders, skin rashes and breakouts to name a few. I had no idea that certain foods sitting at the grocery store or on a boat traveling half way around the world grow mold faster than others. Now, I understand I wouldn't buy bad produce, but in American don't they throw food away faster than people can buy it? I guess it makes sense that mushrooms are out, but peanut butter, moldy? I always understood that bananas had more sugar than other fruit, but it is fruit and my daughter loves them. So I decided I would just scale down the amount she ate. Luckily I had already budgeted in organic peanut butter because my son ate so much of it - In the Candida Yeast Diet, I found that peanuts have high amounts of fungal growth, and that pesticides harm the body's natural defenses to combat things such as fungal overgrowth. My mother was always so conscious of foods treated with pesticides, or processed foods and I think it's a mindset I've taken too. I want my children to eat real food, not processed, that I want the food they do eat to agree with their bodies, as I am finding over and over again I want the same for myself. And I'm not crazy strict- we eat treats and chips and fast food occasionally. Lately though I've been cooking with more consideration surrounding sugary vegetables and fruits.

Since I live in the suburbs right now it's hard to find locally produced foods, especially grass-fed meats. But this year I would like finding ways to incorporate this into our menu. To buy local and within season. I began reading her blog years ago and found her words so enticing, not to mention environmentally sound. I loved reading about not eating foods for months, the excitement and anticipation of the upcoming season's produce. The tastes of the season! I go to the grocery store in the middle of winter and am able to buy tomatoes. No wonder they are mealy and tasteless. I want to be a part of sustainable foods. I'm saddened by our mistreatment of food (including mine) and the reason for it. To me it needs to be less for convenience- food is for nourishment and health. This documentary so inspired and brought home a lot of my emotions surrounding these topics. I understand how it's cheaper and often necessary to buy cheap. I'm on a strict budget myself, but I read a great article in a parenting magazine that it can be done in small ways. If you eat a lot of one thing, as in my son's peanut butter, buy it organically and the rest buy cheaper. This way the foods you eat most, will be most healthful and most beneficial. Small changes are where it always begins, even if it's a big movement.

These are all things I am trying. I've been trying to find food balance I suppose. I believe we eat pretty well. I take the time to prepare meals and consider what nutrients we need. I feed my kids in moderation. As I turn into my thirties, I want to really nurture my body, my health. I've learned from all these sources that being conscious about food means being conscious about so much more in my life as well. What I eat or don't affects my body as well as business, animals, our earth. The ripple effect. We are always connected. I just feel that nature has a wild perfect ness to it. I want more wholesome, more pure and simple eating. I’m always excited to cook and explore foods and now am on a new quest to see the varied ways simple choices lead to rich health.

Monday, January 25, 2010

~ The rhythm and the movement ~

Grow ~ family, activity, movement, play, daily, awareness,
 objects (found, bought, adored), the things that move us,
interaction, how this family plays, laughs, cries, triumphs
and loves

Nourish ~ food, garden, recipe creations, taste, thirst, regional foods,
seasonal, farmer's market, mediterranean food, vegan/vegetarian,
meat, untensils, raising healthful eaters, farm, cooking with herbs,
sustainability, consciousness

Artistry ~ made, sew, paint, charcoal/cloth, words,
writings, kid's art, music, inspiration,
books, ideas, connection, support, wonder, soul, spirit,

Wonder ~ photo, glimpse, frame, thumbprints, loves,
touch, unity, prints, handprints,
ponder, nature, easy, simple living, presence

These are the words that flow in and out of my daily life.
All the ways I create, live and love.
...the rhythm and the movement.