Saturday, August 27, 2011

CSA Potluck

 Our neighborhood CSA is run by Mercy Corps/Grow Portland and  is leasing land from the city
 Today, they hosted a potluck that included CSA members, growers, and neighbors.   



 Wonderful to share in the food and meet one another..



The kids really enjoyed the big trees and swing
Feel so blessed to have this project so local.. a little bit of Heaven.. Amazing what an empty lot can turn into..  


There are still some openings for Fall Shares!
http://www.growportland.org/programs/growers-alliance
http://www.growportland.org/csa-signup



Surround Yourself With Beauty




Surround yourself with Beauty

If the world feels too dark 
or the pace of it pressuring you to go too fast..

Someone in your life or space- in a "bad mood"
and that mood is getting to you..and bringing you down..

slow down..

Surround yourself with Beauty

Take a deep breath..and find the quiet within..

Surround yourself with what makes you happy..


What makes you happy?

(For me, lately: writing, knitting, cooking,  holding my baby, or going on an adventure)

 Refuse to be someone you don't want to be
even if that someone tries to pull you there..

I am not going to go there..

Refuse to let them in and corrupt your soul with darkness, expectations(mine and others'), guilt, or negativity..

There is no point in that..
It does not help anyone and it dishonors yourself.

I am going to surround myself with beauty
and be happy and be the person I want to be..

I'm going to only let that beauty in...let it shine into my soul

So that I can shine too..

And that is who I want to be.

To do this, I surround myself with beauty..


Nature, 
quiet moments, 
love, 
sweet moments..
beautiful art
photography
beautiful people
beautiful attitudes
Abundant garden
Luscious fresh food
lovingly prepared
sweet fragrances
sweet, happy music..
a great book
a new skill
a sweet prayer
a warm bath
steaming bro-thy rich soup
good coffee
good company
a warm snuggle

Beauty


What is the "beauty" that you surround yourself with?

Monday, August 22, 2011

On my bike: groceries


Well, I finally did it...something that has been on my list for a very long time to try.  Tonight, I biked to the grocery store with the bike trailer in tow and used it to lug the groceries..and it was not nearly as hard as I thought. It worked.  I got exercise, I saved gas, I had an adventure, I had time on my own, and I got food for the week.  Baby steps..

S P A C E


Over four years ago, we moved into our home.  I still remember the feeling of when it was empty and how good that felt.  The kids felt the "space" and ran around in the joy of it..exploring the nooks and crannies and the openness of it.  

In it's empty state, it held "potential"..promise of the ideas of how that space could be used.  It held future and vision in its non-defined state.  

Since that time, we have filled it up!  (-;  

In some ways, our home was "too polished" for us...Shiny-new remodel.  Trees already planted.  Yard tidy and polished and pruned.  It had a sprinkler system to water the grass, an central airconditioner, dishwasher.. carpeted, finished basement.  Being that polished didn't really "match" us as a family..

Since that time, we have taken out the sprinkler system...since part of it "burst" during one of our winters..and we also had to dig in our yard to put in a french drain and drywell, because our basement flooded because of hydrostatic pressure from all the rain/and non functioning downspout drain system that was clogged and degrading underground. We have disconnected most of the downspouts..

We have planted 2 apple tress and one cherry tree, put in 6 raised beds for growing food, and also put in blueberries and raspberries,  and changed a flower bed into an herb garden.

Our shiny new dishwasher being as most dishwashers these days died after 2 years of use.  It is a nice dry rack now.

We took out the carpet in 2 of the basement rooms because of the flooding..tore out drywall from  a wall, and then replaced it.

And our yard has been overtaken by weeds, thistle, dandilions, and blackberries...One tree has grown into the power lines in our back yard. Another tree has been sending out watershoots all over the front yard..bushes need to be cut back every year or they "clutter" and take over..

Our cheap closet doors have been taken out due to their lack of true funcionality...

So, we have adequately, "lived in our home"..  (-;  It is resemebeling less and less the former owners and looking more and more like us, (I suppose)--but it does not mirror exactly what I want it to..  I don't want "clutter"  and "unkempt" to be part of what we "are"...(the wild beauty of the raised beds are okay..but not the water shoots..or the blackberries..or the excess of toys and uncovered closets.) Our home has  not quite been  congruent yet with who we are..Has not quite matched our values..  Decorative trees and bushes that do not provide food, are not quite beautiful, but require quite a bit of upkeep..  We are not into being simply "decorative"  Too many toys is not congruent with our view on sustainability..  The incongruities have been wearing us down.

But, here is the wave of what is happening now:

We are purging...and creating "space" again.  

And my husband rented an industrial weed wacker and rototiller and bought a chainsaw from a yard sale, and has tacked the blackberries, removed the bushes, and the neglected bark chip borders (overtaken by grass and weeds)..and has cleared it all out..  Yesterday, he mostly cut down the tree that has to be pruned away from the power line every year (so we don't have to constantly maintain it)..  We are going to also cut down the tree that sends out water shoots..  Our goal is to eliminate most the the things in our yard that create mainenance requirements on us that don't seem worth it..don't give us payback (like producing fruit/food)..  

Our time and our space is precious.

Yesterday after going to a workshop on Simplicity Parenting, I rode the inertia of inspiration and courage and put away the little upstairs TV..probably will sell/give it away.  Now, if the kids want to watch TV, they have to go to the effort of going into the basement TV room..(and most of the time they don't want to do that)..  I also purged out more of their toys.  And instead of picking out toys from the bins and the floors, I dumped it all in a box as if I was getting rid of it all..then I picked out a few things to keep.. I realized THIS is what I have to do if I REALLY want to make a good enough dent to feel good about!  

Pretend I am getting RID of all of it...take it out of the space completely, then only put back into the space what is TRULY cherished/needed/used!

(I think the key to deciding what to keep is asking yourself "do I LOVE this thing" and if you don't LOVE it, don't keep it..it is taking away from you/diminishing you...  Only keep what you LOVE and what you really USE..  (there is still much more to do...) but this step, felt liberating..Keep only what you LOVE and what brings you joy and beauty..  Even butterfly bushes that can be beautiful become "junk" and "burden" and "overwhem-ment" if there is too much of them and you feel diminished if you don't have the time to prune them. ..You look at them and think.."I still need to get to those!" instead of "how pretty is that one bush!

And you know what happened.. This morning with no TV in our living room, we instead sat out on the front porch (on a new bench I found at a yard sale).. and talked and watched the birds..got out the binoculars and looked more closely at the birds... We NEVER would have had that moment if the TV had been in the living room.  

That is what I mean by when you create space, something else fills it up..  a good something..a real something..  

And when I looked out in the back yard at the places where we used to have weeds and bushes and a tree...I see "space"..and that "space" is amazingly calming..

and filled with "potential" again..future that is not "defined" yet.  

Beauty




Thursday, August 18, 2011

Baby Chehalis Apple Tree and Recipe



recipe at bottom of post

CHEHALIS  Large crisp, sweet yellow apple.  Ripens with Mac.  Very productive.  Considerable scab tolerance 

Large greenish yellow apple, usually with a pink blush on exposed side. Resembles Golden Delicious in looks and flavor but larger, crisper and more elongated. Crisp, cream colored flesh. Medium-fine texture. Sweet, slightly honeyed, juicy eating and baking apple.






This is my poor little Mamma tree that bent out of shape to carry the weight of these delicious (heavy) apples!  She is much relieved now and her apples are being enjoyed! http://timecapsuleeighties.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-i-have-felt-these-past-2-weeks-or.html




Basic Apple Pie Recipe

The Crust:
I made 4 crusts for 2 pies

5cups of flour
2 1/2 tsp. salt

I used a pastry tool to cut the butter into the flour and salt
3 sticks of chilled butter

12 TB of ice cold water

I added the water a bit at a time using the pasty tool..to keep it all cool.

Then I put saran wrap over the dough and refrigerated it overnight.

The next day, I rolled out the 4 crusts.
put them in the pie plates and topped the top crust with a little brown sugar, cinnamon and butter

put slits in the top crust for venting (I think)

Apple Filling

Lots of apples cut up mixed with:
enough brown sugar for your preference
cinnamon
nutmeg
allspice

I baked the pies at 350 for an hour.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Minimalism and Puritanism

image from: http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/149/149syllabus5summary.html


I'm sure this is not an original thought, but it occurred to me how often we are looking for balance..and the tide often turns from one extreme to the other.

Today, there is a longing for minimalism, because our culture has become so opulent...

I think there is a parallel to the Puritan movement..  The Puritans began (I believe) as a rebellion also against the opulence of the Catholic church..They thought it had become too materialistic, grandiose...had lost its true purpose.  They wished to simplify..get back to the grassroots..

I say this not as a criticism, just as an observation... It is interesting that we do this back and forth..  But, I think it is important to note where Puritanism went wrong too..  And how our current desire for Minimalism could also go awry..

Caution for becoming too judgmental/superior (for ultra success in detachment) or feeling shameful..for not living up..  What virtue are we really ascribing to in simplifying our homes and lives?  One must not feel superior or inferior in the accomplishment or lack of accomplishment in this category..

It used to be Prideful to have "stuff"--And now, it is "prideful" to have less.. (Or actually, it seems it is still virtuous to have lots of stuff (as long as your home looks like you don't have stuff/clutter)..  Where does our true virtue rest?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world









I thought of this poem recently...I suppose because in my memory of it, it seemed so alive and powerful, purposeful.  I couldn't remember its context (other than from the movie Dead Poets Society)  The internet is great when you want to quickly find a little tidbit of info.  (-;  Thought I'd share.  






image from: http://animal.discovery.com/guides/wild-birds/i-r/red-tailed-hawk.html


Walt Whitman


from Leaves of Grass, Book 3 (Song of Myself), the last poem:

The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab 

    and my loitering.



I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,

I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.



The last scud of day holds back for me,

It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadow’d wilds,

It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.



I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,

I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.



I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,

If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.



You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,

But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,

And filter and fibre your blood.



Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,

Missing me one place search another,

I stop somewhere waiting for you.


you can find more of the poem here: http://www.bartleby.com/142/14.html





from: http://dictionaryperson.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/yawp/



yawp

Perhaps you know this word from the work of that most American of poets, Whitman:
The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me…..  he complains of my gab and my loitering.
I too am not a bit tamed…..  I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
Song of MyselfLeaves of Grass, Walt Whitman, 18551
Webster’s Third defines it as “a raucous noise; foolish complaining talk; something suggestive of a raucous noise.”
The OED dates the noun “yawp” to 1824, but the verb form to around 1400.  Definitions there are:
a. A harsh, hoarse, or querulous cry, esp. of a bird.
b. fig. Applied in contempt to speech or utterance likened to this. Chiefly U.S.
Many of the poets (see Allen Ginsberg and the beats, for instance)  cherish this word; they identify with Whitman’s yawp.  Yawp in this sense embodies a stridency — confident,  assured,  and loud  — that will be heard, no matter what.
It is not to be confused with yap or yowl!

Adventure Self-Care


Yesterday morning began as one of those days that were going to overwhelm me.  I had not gotten very much sleep the night before and the day before I had been in limbo as my husband roto-tilled part of the yard. It was going to be an especially long day since it was also my husband's "night off" to be out with friends and family..

I was tired and buggy.

I needed to sleep, but napping with 3 children at home is beyond me..Not something I would be able to do..  Seems when I've tried, something almost always happens to sabotage it and I end up  angry and frustrated.

What I needed most was to get out, and this time, visiting haunts in my area was not enough for me. I wanted to REALLY go somewhere..like for the whole day..

We used to live in Corvallis almost 8 years ago now.  My husband and I met, married, and had our first child there.  Special place for us.

I needed to go there...

So, we just did it!  Drove 2 hours..and as I drove the song "Simple Gifts" came on..and it gave me goosebumps...  I felt more alive than I have in quite a long time.  Free.  With my kids.  The song was perfect..because it reminded me of how to reach "realness"..

I recently purged a bunch of "stuff"..and it seems the reward for that..the empty space that is left..is being filled with "realness"..This feeling of being alive.

It was a BLISSFULY full day.  And we got to visit some old friends there... Sweetness..

We didn't get home until 10:17PM.  And the kids traveled beautifully.  (with some squirrelyness during some adult conversation), but other than that they were happy..and I was happy..and ALIVE.




Simple Gifts






    'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
    'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
    And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
    'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
    When true simplicity is gain'd,
    To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
    To turn, turn will be our delight,

    Till by turning, turning we come 'round right.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Taste of Homeschooling



It has taken nearly 2 months of summer to undo the boredom effect of school on my kids.  When school ended they did not know what to do with themselves...expecting entertainment and direction..


Now, a wonderful thing is happening.  A theme of interest is evolving.  First, an interest in dolphins and sea creatures, now the Titanic(the library is our friend)...and then a desire to make a boat..and my husband figured out how to help them make one out of things we have and it floats! The pride they felt was priceless!  They named it Mayflower.

I am realizing how this works/can work..the theme on the Titanic is a lesson in history, but can be so much more..science of the water, the construction of the boat, the ocean, effects of depth.  Math-the size of the titanic, geography-the location of the ship and its voyage, etc... then there is the art of making their own boat..and they could create a presentation on the topic, etc...

Wonderful...3 more weeks left to go with this taste of unintentional homeschooling...bliss (potentially)

Some books I have heard recommended from some friend Homeschoolers that I have yet to read..I think I will read, whether I ever homeschool or not.  I figure, even if I do not "officially homeschool" I can still adapt some of the ideas during the summer or vacation times..  (and figure out what kind of homeschooler I would be.


















Food and Control



Food and power/control  seem to often happen on so many levels...look at WHO controls our main food supplies..  and what food is cheaper..  what foods are subsidized.. and what foods and farms are not subsidized.  (watch the movie Food, Inc for starters)


And even the seeds--Who controls the seeds? and what species of food are continued or are mainstream.  (Monsanto)

And how often even at a young age food can be used to even control little children to get them to behave..what foods are used to reward them?  

And overeating, how and why does that happen?


how is food used to manipulate in the media even in schools..in our homes..in our childhoods?

And the image of women and how food is linked with that..  (or deprivation of)

That is just for starters..

Now..  look at what happens to small farmers and co-ops?  and raw milk supporters?  

we don't pay enough attention to our food..considering we need it to 

survive..  
thrive, be healthy...because of this dependency...we are vulnerable to whomever controls our food.  and how much we need a doctor... 


 food-health-medical care

Here is a message I received today:





here is an excellent letter from michelle lasley, another local Food Buying Club coordinator. please help spread the word! this is a time sensitive issue, so submit your comments by August 15th. Food Buying Clubs and CSA drops in Portland are being threatened!!!

food buying clubs and CSA drops ought to be allowed in residential areas. forcing them into a commercial space, which is what happened to Know Thy Food, is akin to shutting them down. not every club could survive or afford such a move. the City should not be allowed to tell friends and families how and where to buy their food and restrict such private activities.

thanks for your support!
--rebecca

Dear Friend,
I co-coordinate a food buying club in my neighborhood. This idea arose from many things, one the example is the one set by my grandparents who always had access to local food through their garden, animal husbandry, and local grocery co-op. Mostly, though, I do this because food quality for my small family is very important. I also do this is a way to increase food security for everyone.
Nary a day goes by where we don't hear about another food recall. These food recalls largely involve large industrial food complexes, like confined animal feed operations. I don't buy from those operations. I buy directly from the farmer. My family eats fairly locally and seasonally. We learn how to preserve our food and make things from scratch, like bread -- a lot like my grandparents learned post World War II. We develop relationships with our farmers, our distributors, our producers of the food we eat. We do this to increase our food security. We know where our food comes from. We visit the farms. We know the names of our farmers' children. We are invested in them, and they are invested in us.
But that investment is being threatened. The City of Portland has hosted several meetings to revise the food zoning laws for our locale. Their recommendations are to increase the hurdles one has to go through to have access to local food.
This is a problem. A big problem. And, I need your help to tell them it's a problem.
Find out more about the city's plans and please take the survey. Please tell the city they are going in the WRONG direction for CSAs & Buying Clubs. Tell them it matters to you because food security matters to you. Tell them having access to local food is important to you. And, most importantly, pass this message on and have your friends and family take the survey
Urban Food Code Policies: http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?c=53834
The Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FoodCodeConcept
Thank you for your help.
In food!
Michelle Lasley
community advocate | green coach | nurturer
www.michellelasley.com
michelle@michellelasley.com

Watching the stars


Last night there was a meteor shower at 11PM. My kids have never seen a shooting star.  We live in an urban area that is usually cloud covered the majority of the year.  Last night it was clear.  We still had the obstacles of city glow and a full moon, but we went out anyway.  We set up a blanket to lie down on and sleeping bag/blankets to keep warm and sat out late with our two older children until they were about to fall asleep..about 1130. In that time, we saw a few meteors that were actually quite bright, but mostly we snuggled, identified stars, talked and snacked. It was one of those very simple, real, and memorable moments together that I will hold in my heart. (So much better than fireworks)  Sweet, Quiet, Tenderness..

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Birthday Expectation




When my son (first child) had his first birthday, I wanted the whole family and friends group to all be there to celebrate and bask in his one year birthday.  To celebrate HIM and his birth and his existence and to have them all be a part of it.  I was a new mom and there seemed to be nothing more important to me than cherishing my child..and I thought that the way to do that was to put all my effort to make that day special.

Since then, I have hosted and been to probably a hundred birthdays...or so it seems..  The work of putting it together, the money spent on food and gifts...I really don't want to know how it all adds up!  And now my kids "expect" something very special each year...

When I was growing up, I think I had 4 parties total..and one of those was with one friend eating ice cream.  Simple.

Sometimes a little disappointing..but simple.

The baby/toddler parties were usually at people's homes. That wasn't so bad..socializing with friends and family while basking in our little ones while they play together..Sometimes they were small parties, but sometimes they were quite large too--

But, then there came the parties at the play-gym type places..  The worst for me was at Chuck E Cheese..the pizza made me feel nauseous!  Many of these places were loud..and the kids were running around everywhere and it was hard to keep track of my own kids..  My kids have loved it there, though (and all the other places too)..  (-;

But, now the problem is the expectations of my own kids..and the idea that you make big parties if you love your kids, and you attend the other parties, because you love your kids and want to support your friends' kids..and show your love..by going and by "buying" presents and throwing big bashes.

I am afraid of disappointing...my kids..having them think I don't care enough to go all out.  And afraid of disappointing other people by not always attending all the parties every year.

It is a gopher wheel I'm not sure how to get off of.  And it not only costs hundreds of dollars, but it also costs a lot of time...Many a weekend has been taken over by attending (and hosting) these parties.

Seems to me, there are other ways to "show the love" other than through a "materialistic form of consumerism"  LOVE = BUY

I have had this gut feeling for quite awhile now..and each year I attempt to simplify the parties I host for my kids.  One year we took a couple of my son's friends to a fishing pond.  This past year, we went to a local beach on the river and only invited 3 families.  And my husband and I decided to only host or attend adult birthdays for ourselves and other friends every 5 years.  (with some flexibility)  (-;  

Simple and Small and in Moderate Frequency

"I love you very much and I actually want to spend time with you on your birthday and give you attention...rather than entertaining a huge lot of guests or giving you a ton of gifts"..because those parties make me grumpy...and stressed...and they just don't feel right!  

The consumerism culture...seems to eek into everything pure...wanting us to associate love and self worth with love and appreciation..  I don't want my children's birthdays to be tainted with that any more..  (I may not have a complete choice, because the expectations are there. already from what I have done for them in the past and what they see their friends parties are like...  

"I want a PlayGym birthday too"

Anyway...  I actually haven't heard anyone really complain about it much, but in my gut it feels wrong...and it is all around us...  Birthday parties every weekend for some folks..  Sometimes there is a weekend of birthday party hopping...sometimes there are 2-3 birthday parties to go to in one weekend!  (talk about OD on sugar!)

And usually my kids have a great time, but when they come home, they "melt down" from the let down of the excitement and sugar...and then they are bored..want to be entertained..want the over stimulation or feel jealous of the toys.. Real life isn't quite as super-real exciting as one of those Bday parties.

I don't wish to alienate anyone who enjoy this or believe in this or who do this because of all of sincerity..they feel it is the right thing to do..  Enjoy it (or)..

A parent can feel a lot of GUILT..for not doing it..  hosting and attending..

seems like a trap..  

Seems like there could be a different way of showing love and appreciation for our children and support our friends and family members without having it tainted by "Consumerism"

I came across this article today and it made me happy.  Perhaps we can band together for ideas in finding many more creative ways to celebrate our most precious souls--in a way that gives dignity to their birth and their being alive and reaching milestones..

Good Enough Birthday:

http://thehappiestmom.com/?p=1887

Using our Feet


My husband used the car today to go to work. Normally he bikes.  It is a 10 mile bike ride mostly on a bike trail.  It is quite ideal for him to be able to do this.  Grateful.  It is a win-win on many counts.  Exercise for him, de-stressing from work, less wear on a car, not using fuel, and much less aggravation...getting stuck in city traffic/rush hour, etc..

I was grateful today, that he had the car, because I had an errand to do that was only about a mile away.  Normally, I'd make it a simple trip and drive out there, but this time, without the car, I made it into an adventure..  

We started out by having breakfast at a local waffle/art house.  The kids played checkers as we waited for our waffles.

Then afterward, we worked off the sugar by walking out to Walgreen to pick up our 300 photos.  finally printing out favorite pics from 2007-2010..  

It was pretty idyllic...although the way there was pretty urban-like..not ideal in that way..lots of noisy cars..Still, we saw an osprey or eagle..and some bugs and other birds and plants along the way..little snippets of nature.  The kids were happy and exercised..and I could tell they felt good about themselves..

Makes me think, I need to do this more often...walk more instead of using the car even if it turns a simple errand into a 3 hour trip..  It was a complete experience..food, exercise, quality time together..  

Feeling inspired by all the bikers around here..(my husband included)  I can't bike with the baby yet..not until she is one, but I am thinking that with my third child, I may go down this path that I was hesitant to do before with my first 2 children..  Not too late to start.  In the very least, we can get around to quite a few places on foot..There are many places to go to that are within 1-2 miles.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Reducing the need to use grocery store



And eat organic foods on a budget.

I picked up 20# of coho alaskan line caught salmon tonight from food buying club. Know thy food. This may be enough salmon for our family for the year.  I think the price averages to about $10lb for very good salmon. 

This is now one less thing I have to buy from a grocery store.

Other ways to reduce dependency on grocery store:

1. Buy less or no processed foods. Stick to real veg, fruit. Meat. Nuts.

2. Find source for milk and eggs from a farm.  From grassfed jersey cows..or goats. and chickens that are truly free range.

3. Invest in large freezer and buy meat from farmer.  I have a meat csa, but I have also. Purchased 1/8 cow. 1/2 lamb at times.

4. Participate in a local CSA

5. Find or create a local buying club that supports local farmers.

6. Sometimes there are also ways to buy bulk grains and nuts.  I order from azure standard and they drop off food/groceries such as TP and soap to a neighbors home once a month.

7. Plant your own garden if you have a yard or grow in pots if your space is limited.

8.  Visit your local farmers market and get to know your farmers. Store up on some staple fruits and veggies to can or freeze while they are in season.

9. Go berry picking.

10. Forage your neighborhood for berries, fruits, nuts.

11.  Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities and networking to find the best food and to know what a good deal is on that food.

12. If you are really adventurous, committed, and have a big enough piece of land:  get your own laying hens, honey bee hives, goat, rabbits, or ducks, etc..



Monday, August 8, 2011

Parenting Book Recommendations

I was at a play date today and one of the things we talked about was how to discipline our children.  I wrote on this quite awhile back and will have you link to what I wrote then.

Here are some books I recommend reading for developing your own synthesis if you are leaning towards an attachment parenting approach...I tend to lean towards that philosophy, although in frustration, I often revert back to punishing, etc..  I am still working on my parenting skills...every day..  It is never easy..and I realize I can never become complacent about it..Each stage presents very interesting challenges.









The first book I recommend, is one of my favorites because it gives a balanced approach..with some nice skills/excercises.











Another very good book/approach for developing specific skills..giving choices..












A great book for altering the punishment/reward paradigm.  I'm still not quite sure HOW to implement this sometimes, but the idea of "doing WITH" our kids instead of "doing TO" our kids is a really good place to start from..  It also challenges our traditional idea that we have to "punish and reward" in order to raise our children effectively.. Like with attachment parenting, it is the idea of the relationship as being very important...and not to "sell it out" in order to "control" our childrens' behaviors..or destinies..










Another very good book that gives some very nice practical examples.













Just started this book, but I like where it is going..  It is about looking at where you are coming from as a parent..be careful of your own baggage..Being in control of our own frustrations/anger/issues..









I have not read this book yet, but I hope to..  It is about giving our children the space to make mistakes..not to hover over them too much...give them some space to explore..allowing some risk..

What have you read, that you recommend??








I have not read this book, but I have heard it recommended, and I know I use the counting --seem it used, and find it works really well in a scurry to get out the door.. or when I need to have something happen immediately.  Let's face it, when you kids are school age, there is a lot of "cattle-driving"..to get them to school and other places on time..which means all the morning routines of brushing teeth, breakfast, getting dressed, etc.. all have to be done in a timely way in order to get to school on time..  (i hate it, but it is a reality)







This book is on my list to read.  I am looking into simplifying parenting...have fewer, more natural toys..












The next few books are on my list to read next...feel inspired just reading about these books..and the Soulemama blog:...http://soulemama.com/

These ideas are along the lines of Waldorf education...which has many ideals I admire..Keep me striving to better myself as a person, a parent..and consciousness towards the planet..









































Friday, August 5, 2011

Experimental Recipe: Cabbage, Sausage, Potatoes Casserole

Update:

Making new recipes is healing to me...I was exhausted tonight and really didn't want to make dinner, but I had already thawed out the meat and didn't want to wait longer to make this dish.  Making this new meal revived me quite a bit...

And I have to say, it is a keeper. It was delicious!!  A great way to use up some potatoes and cabbage! (-;

(original post)Never made something like this and happy with how it came out and tastes!  Will post my adapted recipe a little later.  Essentially, it has potato, ground pork and sausage, carroway, paprika, garlic curls, onions, cabbage, carrots, sauerkraut, sour cream.  I made it because I had a surplus of cabbage and wanted to do something creative with it.

Update:

I adapted it (quite a bit because I wanted to use only what ingredients I had on hand) from the book The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever.


Ingredients:
1lb ground pork
1lb ground sausage
bunch of garlic curls
a couple of small garden onions
4 potatoes thinly sliced
some sauerkraut
1 1/2 heads of cabbage (shredded or chopped)
4 carrots (shredded)
sour cream
carroway
pepper
paprika

I browned the meat with the onions and garlic and added the carroway and paprika.

Buttered a casserole dish and layered half of potatoes
then half the cabbage/carrot mix
then all the meat mix
then the kraut and some sour cream
Then the other half of potatoes
Then the rest of the cabbage
more kraut and sour cream
pepper on top


Baked covered at 350 for an hour.




Thursday, August 4, 2011

Self Care


Just now when I thought I had a moment..while the baby was finally napping, the first moment I have had all day to sit down..the other ones had a crisis..one child fell down and the other thought it would be fun to throw a ceramic pot on the pavement..  a wave of desperation, angst, and exhaustion overcame me...

With 3 children, our lives now are quite constant.   The baby is going through some transitions..teething, and pooping more solid poops..which she is quite distressed about.  She is more needy now..so it is a complete scramble to get anything done.  And that does not even scratch the surface of the parenting demands of the two older ones.  My shift is usually 12 hours before I can even hope for a break from my husband and even then he takes over for one or two hours before I need to attend to bedtime..and then the night time wakings.

Full time parenting is extremely demanding..

And the need for some self care very important to remain on top of it..

Lately I am not all that sensitive, soft spoken, or kind...seems I am often reduced to being a maid and cattle driver...as I sometimes can't get past the chores in the kitchen and laundry room..and the outings for the kids and errands.  I am much grumpier than I would care to admit..sharper, impatient..I am not being the parent I want to be.

As I write this I have been interrupted several times..

Anyone who has been a parent i'm sure knows..

But right now I am asserting my need to do something for myself..taking a coffee break even though the children don't acknowledge it..I validate it for myself..

Especially since I worked ..another interruption..

I worked thru lunch break...

I am entitling myself to my coffee break and I am not getting up from this chair for 15 minutes..for anything short of emergency or the baby waking up!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Core: Self Esteem



Stealing some quotes/sharings from Facebook:



If you are not being treated with love & respect then check your "Price Tag". Perhaps you have marked yourself down. YOU tell people what you're Worth by what you will and won't accept. Get off of the "Clearance Rack" & get behind the glass where they keep all the "Valuables "....bottom line is.... "Value" yourself more, and others will too!  Author Unknown


I will not engage in any frequency below love. I will avoid negative people who are looking for conflict. I have amazing loving friends, partner and children who love me unconditionally. This is my true and self made family. I will not allow anyone to treat me with anger, blame or disrespect. I am an amazing loving person and my light will shine through the darkness that other may try to bring into my life.    Anonymous


Let neither en­emy nor friend disturb your composure, destroy your happiness, deter your accomplishment. Rely wholly upon God. Then will persecution and slander make you the more radiant. The designs of your enemies will rebound upon them. They, not you, will suffer.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Crisis and Victory, p. 137) 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bike Ride

Last night, my husband made..uh..encouraged me to go for a bike ride. It was a beautiful summer eve...and there wasn't too much of an argument to keep me from going this time..There were dishes to do, but he said he would do them.. (thank you)

I have not been on my bike for a year, perhaps?  Did I bike when I was pregnant?  I can't remember.

In any case, it felt soooooo good to be "back in the saddle"

When I was a teen, my bike was one of my best friends.  I went everywhere on my bike before I had a car.  It was my therapy, my freedom, my adventure.

I felt a sense of that again, last night.

while I was out, I visited some of some of our neighbors..people with whom I've met from my kids' school and have wanted to get to know better. I stopped by 3 homes just to see if they happened to be outside. I was in luck and I got to have some adult conversation time..(and found out I had put on my helmit backwards!)  Luckily I can laugh at myself...and how silly I must have looked!  (yeah, I'm a pro-biker all right!) Ha!  It must have been the lead paint I licked as a child.  (-;

Ah, my sense of humor..there it is!

So, I felt great from the exercise and the chance to be social and a little bit social (and blond)..

and the chance to (blush) have a break from the kids..

I have got to do that more often!!!  (started having visions of being a true Portlander and biking everywhere..getting my groceries, taking my baby around,...all on bike.)  I am so inspired by people who do that..  I'd love to be that fit too..  (-;  I know someone who has opted out of having a car and truly bikes and uses the bus soley!!  amazing to me!

Perhaps, I could do that with child #3..It isn't too late to go down that road even if I hadn't done it with my other two..

This is where I need some cheerleaders in my corner to tell me I can do it!!  (-;  (could I actually get myself into shape enough to do that?!)

I used to do that as a teen/and college student...there is a part of me that has always LOVED the bike..the feeling of freedom..speed, openness around me..There is something about it that is glorious!  (and a little bit of a rush too when you let yourself go as fast as you can)

http://www.urbanmamas.com/urbanmamas/2011/07/how-to-get-mamas-on-the-saddle.html

Homemade Baby Food is not mysterious or difficult to make!

My 6 month old eating pureed avocado.  

I am not gardening as much on my "little homestead" as I'd like this year, but I am making my own baby food. I do not know why I did not do this before with my other two children!

It was 6 years ago with my daughter and 8 years ago with my son..

Back then, baby food seemed mysterious to me...what was that stuff in the jar? What made it specially formulated for babies?  I did not even question using it for my babies.

Since then, I have learned more and more about processed foods...and that info sums up to this: Processed foods..just about all of them that you buy from a can or box or bag, are changed so much, or have so much added to them that they are not even recognizable as real food at all. They are dead foods...do not have active live enzymes..  They often have hidden ingredients or rancid unstable oils..Etc. etc..

Who knows what baby food is really made out of???  I just learned that even "healthy juice" is anything but...things like oxygen sucked out so it has a life of a year..then flavor packs added back into it to give it flavor..and it is still called 100 percent real juice...
http://healthfreedoms.org/2011/07/31/the-secret-ingredient-in-your-orange-juice/

In any case, I wish to make it known to anyone who does not know it..Makiing baby food is super simple..and you can actually have control over what goes into it...and it can be REAL food..It is as simple as steaming some zucchini and pureeing it in a blender.














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