walloped.

In the 10 days since we’ve been back I have fought off an infection, contracted a cold, developed a severely (according the the chiropractor) pinched nerve in my lower back that prevented me from lifting my legs higher than a couple of inches and made it impossible to do things like sleep or find a comfortable (read as non-excruciating) position ever and today I was officially diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  Again.  That’s without even mentioning the ailments of the rest of the family, some of which we haven’t even been able to identify yet.  I think I’m ready to be done with this week please.

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bountiful blooms

Below you will find the post I abandoned in the chaos of preparing for our trip.  I came back with an infection, everyone came down with a cold, my storage devise is informing me that there is no room left for my pictures.  I haven’t so much as managed to finish unpacking.  And I’m generally feeling at odds with the world at the moment, but trying hard to get back on track.  So in the mean time…

We’ve reached that glorious time of year where people just bring in wild armfuls of blossoms and foliage.  The peonies are amazing.  Every year I think I will make some sort of form to hold them up and I never do.  They just flop their giant, blowsy, tousled ruffle covered heads every which way.  After four summers here, our flower garden is really starting to come into it’s own.

I had been reading a gardening book by Christopher Lloyd when Sissinghurst: Vita Sackville-West and the Creation of a Garden arrived at the library for me.  I found myself completely gobsmacked by the photographs, the stories, the little hints here and there and perhaps most of all the sensuous descriptions of so many wonderful plants.  I want to look up each and every variety mentioned.  I’m afraid the venerable Mr. Lloyd very quickly found himself unceremoniously tossed aside.   So sorry Chris!

I whipped up a quick pair of spring green toddler booties to replace the outgrown striped pair.  I divide the yarn up just so, making sure there was enough left to finish the two ties, with perhaps a mere inch of yarn left to spare.  Having been called away after just having finished the second one, I returned to find two booties and one tie.  The other is lost, seemingly never to be found again.*  It’s been several days now, but I’m still holding out hope (secretly I’m still holding out hope that the the half finished sweater that I lost while on vacation 7 years ago will somehow miraculously reappear in my life, just to put my hope when it comes to lost knitwear into perspective).

* It has since been found closed up in a math book!

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24/52

We’re home, safe and sound.  I haven’t had a chance to transfer my pictures yet.  I fell behind on the 52 project as I was busy preparing for our trip, so I thought I would take this chance to start catching up.  There are actually pictures of all of them, counting the giant feet!

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Cherishing Womb Wraps

“I want us as women to enjoy our timeless beauty and feminine essence.”

~ Claire, owner and creator of Cherishing Woman

I’ve recently had the privilege of trying a womb wrap for the first time.  It’s a concept I became interested in after my last pregnancy.  On her inspiration for creating these wraps, Claire says,  “I was needing the comfort and warmth on a physical level as well as on an emotional/comfort level. Like feeling wrapped in loving arms and held there all day till taking it off.”

My wrap is the lilac organic cotton one.  I tie it a little funny.  I don’t do well with things tied around my waist, so I wrap it around my hip bones instead, which would also work well during pregnancy.  My bone structure in that area isn’t terribly stable, so that bit of extra support doesn’t hurt either.

The idea is to bring warmth and a very gentle support to the back, kidneys, and womb area.  The wrap itself is a pleasant thing, and it’s worth wearing as is, but the really incredible, brilliant part is this: there is I pocket.  I know, you are so not impressed, right?  But wait, there is more.  This is not just any pocket.  Oh, no.  This is a pocket to hold a hot water bottle!  Right there, all attached to your body!  Front or back, where ever you need it!  Hands free, going about your life all warm and cozy and comforted!  I think that other people -normal people- may not be as in love with hot water bottles as I am.  But here is the thing- other people are just wrong because hot water bottles are wonderful.  You know that kind of chronic pain that you get so used to living with that you don’t even really recognize it as being there anymore?  It’s just the background noise of your body until something happens to relieve it a bit and that little reprieve is just pure bliss?

I can’t help but think how amazing this would be for a postpartum mother.  It would certainly be a truly unique gift.  You can totally lay and nurse comfortably with a hot water bottle kept in just the right spot.  I know, I tried.  The wee miss liked it too and drifted off quicker then usual.

I’ve been eyeing up the grey bamboo fleece for winter time when I’m always cold.  I think it must be like the equivalent of a teddy bear for grown ups girls.

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glimpse

What is it really like to have a large active family with a multitude of food allergies?  With in this house there is at least one person who can’t handle each of the following: eggs, dairy, gluten, corn, grains of any sort, legumes (all beans and peanuts), chocolate, mold in food (including fungi- in other words, mushrooms), almonds and potatoes.

Special feeding circumstances I have to contend with this week include; backpack food for children on a day long hike, back to back dance recitals, a potluck, group family day on the beach-including picnic lunch, and planning for a week long camping trip.

It’s currently 11:45 pm.  I’m sitting here with 24 lbs worth of sleeping baby on my back.  The older boys were kind enough to make some dairy free ice cream before going to bed.  It’s chilling for a special event tomorrow.  They do, however, seem to have neglected the cleaning up part.  I have strips of beef marinating in the fridge, mango slices (they were having a big blow out sale) and strawberry fruit leather drying in the dehydrator, I just took a crustless pumpkin pie out to cool and put some plantain based sesame bread sticks in to bake.  I still have to figure out what to pack for two little ones who will be away from home tomorrow.  They are supposed to bring “light, non-messy, nut free snacks”.  Graham crackers, pretzels or cheese sticks were suggested.  Uh-huh.

My advice to you?  Make babies that tolerate a wide range of foods.

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baby shawls and wealth

A heartwarmer for my wee darling girl.  Just the thing for cool spring mornings and evenings.  The pictures of her wearing it are pre-blocking.  We were just trying it on.  The other two are from after it was blocked.  As sweet as it looked all buttoned on, the buttons kept popping back out of the holes when she moved.  I’ve since sewn some lace trim to the ends, allowing me to tie it in the back, which is far more practical and stays very nicely.

The main yarn is the same skein that I used for the flowers on her birthday sweater.  I discovered it at a sheep and wool festival when she was just a tiny bundle of a babe.  It was locally dyed using indigo and according to the dyer, a mistake!  It wasn’t the color that she meant to make at all, but it was just the color I was looking for.  This is somehow her color.  My Sweet Wild Violet.  It was just this soft shade of pale, muted, grey-mauve-lilac that I craved through my entire pregnancy.

I finished reading Saved: How I Quit Worrying About Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World.  I’ve been asked my opinion, so I will try to give it.

To my mind the book had three main themes.  The first was a portrait of a simple life, far removed from our society’s excepted norm.

That someone would live in a tiny, unfinished home, with no running water, etc, is not shocking to me, as I have done it myself-complete with bucket toilet*.  Nor am I the slightest bit surprised by the subject’s gratitude for that space.  I have never in my life been more deeply grateful for a home then I was for our “Little House”.  That’s where the original name of the blog came from; Little Home Blessings.  It’s also no great revelation that there is the potential for someone to get really burned out living that way.

The middle section is kind of an over-view of the history and workings of our current monetary system.  Which was interesting, in and of itself.  The author has a sense of humor, which I appreciate considering the potential dryness of the subject.

The final motif is a kind of call to arms, meant to inspire people to change, well, just about everything.  The honest truth about what I was thinking while I read this is that I’m tired.  I’m really, really tired.  It’s an exhaustion that’s beyond words.  I’m too tired to save the world today.  Too tired to fight everything…all of society, the status quo, everything.  Even just thinking about it makes me want to curl up in fetal position, with my hands over my head, begging everyone to leave me alone.  And at the same time there is an aching guilt that I have that privileged when so many don’t.

I agree with many of his assertions.  I try to be intentional about most decisions in life- sometimes to the point of paralysis, but that’s another topic altogether- finances included.  That said, some of the concepts he presents feel short-sighted to me.  He believes that ideally everyone would value life and friendship and community above money and that we’ll all sit around singing Kumbaya together and if someone gets hurt or is in need there will be people who happily step in to help.  While that’s a beautiful idea, looking around, I’m quite sure we’re not there yet.  To live as if we are (choosing not to have insurance or savings of any kind, borrowing other people’s possessions, living off their land, etc) puts the burden on others.  And there are many situations where that is a positive experience for everyone involved.  But if something happens in life, and it will because that’s the way life is, the burden of those who can’t remove themselves from the system is now increased.  In the end, living your beautiful, simple life without worrying about money may well mean that someone else has to worry about it all the more and have a lower quality of life as a result.  Beyond which, most of us are so deeply entrenched at this point that we can’t just step off the carousal and go skipping off into the woods…not matter how much we may want to.  So, while I agree with the premise, I’m just not sure it’s all that easy.

This is what I do know; gratitude, a deep heartfelt acknowledgment of all life’s blessings is the most profoundly life-altering practice a person can cultivate.  From gratitude comes an appreciation of what you have, which gives it value.  When you value something you are more likely to care for it.  We can only realistically care for a finite number of possessions, resulting in awareness of the commitment ownership confers and so forth.  You see where this is going?

This is what I say- find joy.  Love life, love each other, try to help where you can, be aware of others and how your choices affect them-including trees, animals, the earth, do the best you can-if you can mange to smile while doing it, all the better and try to be thankful every day for the gift of that day.  I think that Ben would agree with me that in doing so, you will find true wealth.

*As opposed the the author’s experience, our younger children were somewhat in awe of flush toilets.  Repeatedly flushing the toilet and watching the water just magically disappear was the highlight of many rental home tours, somewhat to the dismay and much to the confusion of various real estate agents.

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