Monday, May 31, 2010

Rain, Rain

It's raining here.  And raining, and raining and raining.  I'm not usually one to complain too much about the rain but I would love a few sunny and warm days.  Just a few. 
There have been a few bright spots in the last couple of weeks that are helping me through.  The upstairs is not nearly as disastrous as before.  There are boxes in closets and bags filled with giveaway items, and somewhere in there is a little bit of a more settled feeling for me.  I'm looking forward to this and to this and today I received my Mother's Day gift which is a subscription to MaryJanes Farm magazine which so far is proving to be really fun and cool to read.

So despite the rain we are getting out there and checking out the puddles, rain drop covered, droopy flowers, and the lush grasses and trees that are certainly loving this rain. 

The Outdoor Challenge is feeling a bit more like a Rain challenge to us these days.  But we can at least tell that it's spring when we see such bright colours outside and the rain is mostly warm too. 

Rain tends to be a bit distracting but if you keep a look out you can find some surprises like this spider's web glistening with water droplets.   And so we'll keep wading through puddles and donning our raincoats until this little deluge is over.  At least I'm getting some of those pesky things checked off my "to do" list. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Wonderful Piece of Art

A lucky girl I am.  Why you ask?  Well, look at what was gifted to me recently.  This original piece of fairy wonder by the multi-talented  Sarah Biggs

She is my garden fairy but of course she won't be in the actual garden just watching over it.  I love the colours on her wings, the delicate hands and the tilt of her head. 

It is interesting to see yourself reflected in a piece of art that someone makes just for you.  I am amazed by  her aesthetic and what she mirrors of myself.  Regardless of the fact that Sarah and I have never met she was able to get this impression of me from this blog. 

I'll say it again, I'm a lucky girl.  Now I just have to find the perfect spot for her...and maybe she needs a name too.  What would you name her?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book of the Month: May

The journey into wellness that began this year is taking me/us into some mind expanding territory.  I have never before thought about food or my relationship to it in such a profound way.  One of the books that has taken me on this path is Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation by Sharon Astyk.  To be truthful I haven't finished this book yet but it is way more than just a guide.  Sharon's perspective is very much like a manifesto of living with purpose and responsibility on this earth.  Sharon blogs, farms and teaches others how to prepare for taking care of ourselves in this time of uncertainty when natural disasters and resource shortages are possiblities.  The style of writing that she used is not doomsdayesque though. Astyk is about empowerment, knowledge and action.  The message I've taken so far is: decide what is really important to you and your family and make it happen now.
As my relationship with food is changing I think it will be a more frequent topic here.  Perhaps a monthly feature around food will be added to the mix.
Some local mamas and I are gathering together this summer/fall to preserve food together.  This will be the first concentrated effort for most of us to really make use of our local produce all year round.  I may share some snippets here as things progress...or it may turn into something a bit bigger than the blog.  Time will tell about that but I'm really excited at the prospects it offers.  What are your plans for food conservation/growing this season?    

Monday, May 24, 2010

Outdoor Challenge Monday

Here we are almost through May and this is my first post for Outdoor Challenge Mondays.  Monday it seems is not conducive to me posting.  But I'm here today and I wanted to share this photo. 

Ky watering the sunflower babies.  I can't wait for him to see them in full bloom. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Herbal Health Amulets

The craft aspect of witchery has ebbed and flowed in my practice for many years now.  Spellwork, amulets, and the like are not a frequent part of my practice.  There are several reasons for this, some of which I am sad to admit are linked to a lack of discipline on my part.  But I feel that most importantly for me I must do spellwork that I am compelled to do.  If it means enough to me I will make the time to do it sort of thing.  Last month I did just that.

Both of my parents have been dealing with health issues since the beginning of the year.  They have both been relatively healthy over my lifetime but, as I'm sure happens with everyone, eventually your body can begin to experience the wear and tear of age.  Since I am so far from my parents I found myself feeling helpless to help them.  Even if I did live nearby there is little I could do to help them deal with their physical ailments but on a magical level I felt that I could create an amulet for each of them that could help them heal.

Because both of my parents work closely with the land I chose to use herbs and essential oils to create  healing energy for them.  Since I do believe that magical work is best kept quiet and shared only with the person it is intended for I won't share exactly what was in their pouches but I will share the basics of how I created them and what I decided to include in case you are interested in attempting some yourself.

I gathered the ingredients myself from dried and fresh herbs and plants in my neighbourhood.  Each pouch was different according to what qualities I believed they needed.  You can use a table of correspondences to help you with this as each plant has magical energies attributed to it.  My instincts pulled me to certain plants.  I then sewed two small pouches in green fabric and embroidered a symbol on one side and the respective initial of their first names on the other.  I mixed the herbs and then added the oils to each in sacred space.  Also during sacred space I read out the intentions of the amulets, consecrated them with the elements and raised energy through chant and movement.  After the spellwork I set the one for my mother out in the light of the full moon, and then let both charge in sunlight for a day. 

It felt really good to create these amulets and send them out to my parents.  They are sleeping with them under their pillows since in sleep we recharge and our bodies relax enough to accept the essence of healing.
Having spellwork come to me like this was a nice change to my practice (or lack there of at the moment).  I hope to continue to be open to these ideas as they present themselves and craft when the universe calls for action. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'm still here

I really am. I'm just waist deep in life at the moment.  My plan is to get several posts done after some other looming deadlines and then be able to relax a bit for the long weekend.

Right now I am to tired to look at a screen though.  I'll be back soon. (ish)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Milestone Week

 photo taken in April 2009

This week seemed to pass me by in a whisper of sorts even though something big happened: Kyan is now weaned.  Our journey to this moment was filled with joys and tears, and the slow and steady pace that I am sure is how he will approach many future milestones in his life.  This pace was not mine, it was his.  There were moments of sleep-deprived delirium for me where his need for me and nursing made me feel like I may loose my mind, and then things would change slightly and we'd be okay again.  Before he was born 2 years seemed like the ideal amount of breastfeeding time to me but as his second birthday approached I saw that I needed to make some little pushes towards weaning and take it one day at a time.
I had heard stories from both sides, of children who had weaned themselves and others who had needed some encouragement.  I desperately wanted him to loose interest but he didn't.  Our nursing relationship started off with the typical sore nipples and botched latches but after a few weeks we were a good team and he never looked back.  This boy likes his "malk."    In my ideal world he would have decided he was done and just lost interest but for whatever reasons that didn't occur and so I began to slowly work with Ky to help him let go of nursing one feeding at a time.  Luckily he is very perceptive and good at verbalizing his feelings so we have talked through this process the whole way.  
The process involved extra mama time, extra hugs, and repetition.  Fevers and teething didn't help and were exceptions to any steps forward but such is life with a toddler.  Last month as I sensed a slight disinterest from him at bedtime I came to see that nap time nursing would be the last to go.  Emotions rose inside me as well because I realized that he would not remember this time.  The residual effects will remain in our bond and hopefully give him a good sense of self in his life but the small moments, the cozy parts, the giggles and comfort, not to mention the nourishment are no more.  As the time approached to give up the last nursing I felt sad and wished that somehow he would remember but nature creates these processes to get humans where they need to go.  There is not much room for sentimentality in this journey.  Life moves, breathes and grows and so I will carry this time with me forever as a glorious, often challenging and special memory.  It was a gift to share myself with him for this long but now our journey continues in a different way.  And my "little boy" as he likes to call himself, moves closer to being a "big boy" someday.

Amy at Progressive Pioneer is sharing birth stories once a week until the birth of her second child.  Today she posted another version of Kyan's birth story from the one that I posted here on his first birthday.  Head on over and have a read if you are interested. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Notes to my Future Self

If you have ever rented your home or if you do now then you can relate to my dilemma with home projects....I am very limited.  Some people paint walls, add different window treatments or shelving when they rent but we don't.  We've lived with vertical blinds for three years now.....(no offense if you like them, I don't) and change is not something that Dave likes that much in terms of decor.  He's an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" type and I...well, obviously I'm the "artsy, everything must look pleasing to my sensibility type."  So I've had to limit my changes and dream of future home ownership where I can let my interior and exterior design diva out.  When I came across this project in Garden Wise magazine last month I had a "I must remember this"  moment.  This my friends, is a clothesline trellis!

Isn't it lovely?  Hanging out your clothes along side a flowering vine and doing that thing that I love so much: making a functional object beautiful.  Clotheslines are so esthetically pleasing to me.  I love sheets, dresses, tea towels, even underwear floating in the wind.  The smell on the laundry when it dries this way is fresh, the sun bleaches out stains, and you save energy by leaving your dryer idle.  In the article they even suggest planting lavender or rosemary beneath it to encourage your laundry to smell even more divine.  Some day this will be in my backyard but until then my love affair with clotheslines will continue.   If you want to check out some photo streams of clotheslines from around the world you can do so here and here.  And for those of you that have one, lucky you!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Progress with Climate Change Legislation

Today I stand up to applaud the opposition parties in Canada for dragging Steven Harper and his Conservative cronies kicking and screaming into the reality of climate change.  On May 5th the third vote on bill C-311, The New Democrat Climate Change Accountability Act passed in the House of Commons by a vote of 149 to 136.  Finally Canada is not lagging behind in implementing legislation to deal with climate change and its inevitable effect on our country.  The David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace, Sierra Club of Canada and Climate Action Network have all worked towards this bill passing and support the measures it introduces.   Some of the measure that this bill puts forward:

  • Cuts greenhouse gas emissions – 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050
  • Mandates the government to set regulations that ensure targets are met
  • Punishes polluters who break regulations
  • Ensures government accountability with publicized 5 year target plans
  • Establishes independent reviews to ensure government measures reach targets

The work is not over though.  This legislation now has to pass a Senate vote.   This is a crucial time in the process since in 2008 the Senate was set to debate and vote on the bill just before Harper called an election which killed it in its tracks.  It is so important that we keep a watch on this because the Senate has 105 seats 51 of which belong to Conservatives, 49 Liberals and 3 Independent/others.  If the Conservative Senators all side with Harper and they have just 2 Liberals or others on their side this could not pass.  The House of Commons and the Senate must "agree" on legislation for it to pass.  Here is a list of senators in Canada I urge everyone to contact any and/or all of them to get action on this bill.  I will be letting my voice be heard on this issue.  I feel that it is my duty as a mother and a human living on this good earth.

Democracy lives here.  Let's make sure it's working!
And if you'd like to devote 8 minutes of your life to watch democracy in action take a look at this.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

WIP Wednesday

I'm squeezing in under the wire here but here are the results of the first sewing session with Heidi Joy today.  Our works in progress are two picnic/beach blankets.  They are going to be great.