Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Robbers

"Honey, there's been a string of burglaries in our neighborhood. Just down the street, burglars broke into a house when the occupants were there! Can you believe this?"
"They would never come to out house."
"What do you mean?"
"They would trip over stuff."
"I think that is the first time you have seen an advantage to my domestic challenges! I might just kiss you!"
Later on:
Davis on the bed, safely in the middle, me puttering in a drawer trying to find stuff to get dressed with. Davis creeping. Me not noticing. Suddenly...THUMP! I run to scoop him up. He is unharmed. Saved by a soft pillow of clutter by the bed.
Of all things Waldorf, keeping a simple, clean house is the biggest challenge for me. I would set up a beautiful nature table if we could then find it. The fact is, I work from home making stuff, so materials are everywhere. Right now I have 3 sick kids and am in hyper-making mode to prepare for an art fair. FlyLady just wouldn't cut it. Housecleaning just isn't on my daily list, although it's probably not as bad as I think.
But today, I announce with pride that my slovenly sanguine house ways have saved my child and saved the neighborhood.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Michaelmas

This will soon turn into another to-do list if I'm not careful. Right now it is just a current report of our life, and that is: 6 birthdays in 3 weeks...all immediate family. Happy Birthday to Madeline (9/18) and my beloved mother-in-law Jane (9/22). 3 down, 3 to go. I've been working as hard as I can on the art fair, navigating tension in relationships, pondering and reading about life in your 40's since I have GOT to come to terms with this spiritual stuff that is going on and what better time than Michaelmas? That is a post that is simmering away on the small burner. Not doing too well at making my sentences shorter and more coherent.
My big decision is, that after 17 years of making Christmas gifts for my kids, I am going to take a break and am not going to make anything. I will most likely renege because I most definitely do not want to buy things for Christmas. I am just thinking, that in getting ready for this art fair, making Christmas gifts is just not a sustainable venture for someone with a baby and a job and 4 kids. I think I could relax a bit more as well. That does not sound like such a big decision to some, but it feels like a load has been lifted for me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

She's not that girl, Part Two

"Mom, will you teach me to fingerknit?"
*perk* I look up and peer at this child who was supposedly climbing a tree while I was in my knitting zone.
"You want to learn how to finger knit?"
"Yes."
"really?"
I am trying not to run and am containing my excitement as we pick out some fat rainbow yarn. I show her how to make a loop and demonstrate.
"This is your rabbit hole. This is your doggie. The doggie goes in the rabbit hole, looks around , and then asks his friend to come catch the rabbit."
She does it while I narrate. Make your rabbit hole. Your doggie (index finger) goes in, looks around (twists 2 times) and asks his friend to help (thumb goes into the loop, pad-to-pad with pointer) and they catch the rabbit (pointer and thumb open up, and swoop down to the working yarn to "catch" a rabbit and pull him back through the hole)
She gets it. We do it again and again and finally, she is finger knitting (finger crochet, to be accurate)
I settle back into my own knitting and dream of days when we will be casting on, knitting together, sewing together, talking through the years. She can make her own clothes. I can teach her! She wants to learn. My heart soared with the possibility.
Child of my spirit!

Monday, September 14, 2009

She's not that girl

Me, five years old. Maybe four. The whining reaches a fever pitch. My mom reaches for her scissors and says this is the day it is all getting cut off. No more heat rashes on my neck, no more tangles, but also no more thick, long hair and now I look like a boy. A very well-styled boy, but this indignity makes me cry.
Later, as a teenager, she talks me into coloring my hair. I tried to be blonde. And permed. It was the 80's after all. Eventually, I became a lady of flowing, long, straight hair. No style. I think how this must not be exactly what my mom imagined. She went to beauty school to create beauty, and here was this daughter who insisted on having a style-less style. Or insisted on having anything other than what her mother wanted for her....a , messy room, the wrong friends, a messy house, the wrong boyfriend.
I wonder sometimes when women long for daughters, what they are thinking. I know when I longed for daughters, and picked out their names in high school, and wrote out numbers by letters to see if it spelled the name of the man I would marry, and thought we would go shopping together and I would dress her up and we would be best friends.
How un-Pragmatic of me. My first daughter was the one I pinned all these expectations on. But she wouldn't nurse well...it took us 3 months to get on solid ground. We struggled. We struggled later, too, and she has turned out alright. I really do like her, especially when she asks me to sing with her. My second daughter, the child of my dreams, has her own ideas about everything. We don't agree (gasp! that was not part of the plan!). But to my surprise, I like it. She is wonderful and has great ideas at almost-15. They have been daughters who have largely tolerated my whims to teach them knitting or sewing or other things they really weren't interested in, or to buy them gifts that reflected my wishes for them rather than their wishes for themselves.
Then along comes Serena, and the issue I was really not expecting. When my older two were small, I happily hummed and sewed and made them lots of beautiful clothes....I smocked and embroidered and studied French hand sewing. They happily wore anything I made. So, I naively believed that Serena would be the same way. As it turned out, this was not so. Anything I made her, she said she liked, and proceeded to never wear it. She had her own sense of style that involved anything with a character or word or whatever she wasn't supposed to wear at school. Smocked dress? I'm not wearing that mom. I will make you cajole, cradle, cunningly coerce me into wearing it. Dress that mom let me pick out the fabric and went to hours of trouble making? (pink puppies, you all! How much cuter can you get?) Not wearing. Hand me my Dora shirt.
Oh, the agony, the despair....do you remember that song from Hee-Haw? To have a mom who knits and sews and makes and then have those efforts be spurned! Argh! (And we won't even talk food. If it doesn't look much like a cheddar bunny, it will probably get a thumbs down. that doesn't stop me from trying and trying to feed her good food.)
I realized she is the child of my spirit. She is the girl who will wear her hair long, although she knows her mom will cut it any way she wants.
Except, maybe a little shorter.

I am already making weekend plans. We are going to a fiber festival on Sunday. People are harvesting food and fiber this time of year. I'm going to try to find a market to spin at this weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eighteen




To Lexington we go, to celebrate a beautiful young woman. She is the child of my heart, who I named in high school when she was just a dream, a lovely thought, a breath of air on an angel's wing.
So much to say, so many feelings, and they will probably be hidden behind smiles and wishes. Eighteen. What was that like? Whole worlds, epochs, many lives lie ahead.
Happy Birthday, Brianna. Words can never, with any accuracy, tell you how much I love you and how deeply proud I am of the person you are.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blech

I posted yesterday and took it down. I am afraid if I start posting, it will turn into the Depression Chronicles, which is fine, but that could be another blog altogether and I don't want to use this blog for healing that. So, just like in kindergarten, I should take a little rest and have my quiet time to go inward and wrestle those dragons so I can come forth with my inner light shining for the winter days ahead. Yes, it takes months to do that.
But I will tell you what we did this weekend. I ran a 5K, we went to World Hoop Day (hey, today is World Hoop Day! Yippee!!!) and tried out some of our hooping skills, The Big College Girl came home for the weekend (oh, my heart aches for her and celebrates for her too), and we also went apple picking. Sunday I just laid on the couch in a catatonic state trying to recover from Saturday. Maybe later today I can upload some pictures.
Life is getting busier for sure. I am trying to get ready for an art fair, working with some artists to come up with a logo for my yarn business(although I hesitate to call it a business on account of the working-from-home myth I have bought into), and drawing a header/logo for my blog.
By the way, I am loving teaching handwork this year. Is the 8th year of teaching supposed to be a golden year or something? It just feels good.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blogging about blogging

So there I am, sitting at a red light, between classes at school, late at night when I'm drifting in a book, and I'm thinking. I'm totally roped in. "What will my next post be?" "I wonder if anyone would comment on _____-" "Why the heck do I blog anyway?"
Why exactly DO I blog? Why do I make stuff? It isn't exactly cheaper to make it yourself, as anyone who has had to buy 12 skeins of yarn to make a sweater will testify. Or try to buy 4 yards of fabric...which has its own set of designer name brands. Why do I make stuff and blog about it?
It isn't like I'm not busy. I don't have time for most of the things I try to do. In fact, when blogs first came out, I snubbed them. I thought, "I will stay out of the next wave of what's in style and wait until it goes out of vogue" But then all these cool blogs started popping up, and I started learning stuff, and saying to myself, "why are these people taking pictures of their meals and their sewing and their knitting? What's the big deal...people have been doing this stuff for years....haven't they ever seen a housewife?" (you can tell what kind of blogs I hung out around)
It bothered me so much I finally figured out I was reacting to something....recognizing that something in the blogging community was resonating in me. So, what could I do but start blogging? I started a blog, then deleted it. I started another blog and deleted that too. I was writing to try to please someone, anyone, to have some affirmation for who I am. I was a 5-year-old bringing her finger paintings to Grandma for praise but Grandma didn't really give a hoot about my pithy attempts. I was a singer singing other people's songs. Same songs, different person, but not singing MY songs.Then I started this blog in an attempt to shut out all those other voices. You know, the ones that start their sentences with "You really should" and "why aren't you more like so-and-so?" or "That sure was stupid" " your house isn't that clean." I wanted to connect with what is genuine in me.
I have a long way to go. And that 5-year-old girl me is still there, but so is wise, kind, mother me, and she is taking care of that aching 5-year-old. And blogging has brought me gifts...it helps me realize I am an artist, helps me stay on a creative path, helps me explore a new art form. Some days I might do something just so I can blog about it (hey, I'll admit that! And I see it as positive motivation) Blogging is truly a marriage of words and images. It is writing, but a different kind of writing. And I can hopefully find my voice and sing what is real in me.
***updated thoughts***
The other part of blogging that simultaneously appeals to me and repels me is the sharing/show-and-tell/showing off part. But I can totally relate. No one in my house could appreciate my art or knitting conquests like someone else who is there in the trenches, enjoying the same mind trip I am. My husband likes my creativity, but I think he sees it as my excuse to have a messy house when the kid excuse has worn thin. So with blogging, someone else could surely recognize how cool your creativity is, and you can do the same for them :) I know that sounds obvious, but I do admire humility in people, so the rampant show-and-tell initially seemed odd to me. But I'm over that now and want to share. Such potential there exists for blogging. And, as mt husband says, "It takes courage to put yourself out there." It truly does.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The last of the sun


I hope the sun stays awhile. It feels like we haven't had much of a summer with all of the rain here, and now the sun and dry spell comes...in September!
How can one not love this time of year? The days are surely getting shorter, and the nights cooler. Be still, be slow, be busy in your hands...it feels good. I want to slow down time and revel in the halcyon haze of apple orchards and pumpkin picking, hayrides and leaf piles, orange soups and red fires, farmer's bounty and knitting sweaters.
So, last night, a little project came to me to capture these fleeting, golden seasons of sun in the form of a quilted fabric suncatcher, or, "what to do with a silk scrap".
(Email me if you'd like the pattern and instructions.)
And while you're at it, check this out.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Squash Pie

This is our favorite way to enjoy butternut squash.
First, cut in half and bake 2 butternut squash at 350 until they are soft....about 45 minutes.
In a food processor or blender, grind 3 cups of a combination of oats and almonds (or walnuts) to a flour. Place in a bowl and mix in a stick of softened butter (or use canola oil). Add a little maple syrup or honey to moisten, add a little more, taste, and add water until the dough is cookie dough consistency. Pat this into the bottom of two pie plates and bake at 350 for ten minutes. The rest you can make cookies with...your toddler could even do this while you prepare the filling.
Peel the squash (this should be easy since they are already baked) and scoop out the seeds. Puree the squash with a cup and a half of milk (any milk works) 3 eggs (you may omit these) 1 tsp. salt, 3/4-1 cup sweetener (we use honey, maple syrup, or Sucanat, and if the squash is sweet, you may omit this too)
Pour the puree into the pie crusts and bake again for about 45 minutes...350.
Enjoy!