Thursday, October 6, 2011

enquiring minds...

Savannah asks,  "How many of these beets do I need to eat to get the red poo?"

'nuff said.

{huge changes around here...i'll be back when i can summon the energy for the epic catch-up..likely this weekend}

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

garden wisdom

we were set upon in great numbers by Japanese beetles this summer....the shiny bastards ate their way through my Virginia my extreme distress and dismay.

it seems the little shites can't really be dealt with in any sort of pleasant and earth-loving way so apart from occasional crushing sprees {yes, the earth-love went right out the window} i couldn't do much about their mission of annihilation.

then because i couldn't bear to look at the skeletal remains of the leaves, i asked my Grandad {he's the master gardener} if it would be okay just to trim the vine back and  hope it'd rebound next year. {wherein i shall have beetle traps in place}.

so i trimmed the poor vine back to baldness.

and then whaddya know....

just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
it became a butterfly.


not that it'd be at all noticeable, but i'm taking a bit of a digital sabbatical for the month of September...time to spend some time unplugged...big shifts afoot requiring a greater measure of Presence...

i will be back, though...of that, i'm certain.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

yup, still here

it seems strange to just wander back in here.

but i'm going to do that, seeing as how i'm at a loss as to how to segue from nothing to something after several months of absence.

i shall just carry on then, shall i?


almost September...well, if you believe the newspaper flyers pushing school supplies and the Dollar Store with it's Halloween decorations {wtf? seriously, i saw it with my own eyes}.

it's been a stinking hot summer -- but an enjoyable one.

overall, anyway.

charmed, i'm sure

i do feed him, really. 

 we found ourselves mostly at either the pool, the beach {what passes for such around here} or hiding out in the air-conditioning. thankfully, the well-timed purchase of those two little units of cooling nirvana enabled us to brave the blistering heat more often -- knowing we'd have cool respite on our return.

which was a great improvement over last summer wherein we lay about like great sweaty slugs without the will to move unnecessarily for fear of generating more heat.

so endeth my high-minded notions on the perils of air-conditioning.  i'm still not a huge fan of bottled-air --  much preferring the open-windowed approach but i concede to the reality of global warming and peri-menopausal influences.

'nuff said.

so yes.


Savannah and her beloved Penny -- so happy she can't open her eyes. :)

things have shifted considerably -- inner and outer.

the 'outer' being in the form of rather monumental financial disruptions -- monumental in terms of near-catastrophic at times which has meant a bit of reshuffle and re-prioritizing.

basically -- those priorities being shelter and food.

i'm not kidding.

not a bad thing -- seeing as how simplicity is what we've always aimed for and craved. the Universe provides and all that....

and this is the way of the off-the-trail, dream-following folk that we are. these are just the deeper, fiscal lessons that come with such wacky notions, yes?

inner-wise...a shift in focus as well. gradually moving toward a more unplugged existence. i  treasure the great value in this interwebby world, but i find myself happier these days with only brief sojourns in the ether before slipping  back to the pen-to-paper, face-to-the-wild-wind approaches of connection.

an effort toward conversation over monologue, y'know?

i must confess to massive influence by certain books --  prompted by certain podcasts. {omg - if you have a minute to spare go and peruse the rest of the juicy {FREE} library over here.}

and then the children.  growing and changing before my eyes -- joy-full and sad all at the same time. i catch myself staring at them sometimes, marveling at their brilliance and Beauty....and getting mildly panicked that it all seems to be moving too fast.

and then there are the days when i'm tearing my hair out and wanting to throttle them.

such is the magic...:D

so we're back in this space. it was a long time sorting out what it might become -- it can't be about an inventory of our days -- they are too much the same and too much wildly different to try and chronicle as such. and for other reasons...more bound up in sovereignty and what is truly mine to share.

so it might look a tiny bit different -- or maybe not at all.

i have a thought to bringing making this the place to pile the moon-stones as well....a thought that this is the place to find those moments of Presence and acknowledgement of Beauty.

which is, after all, the point of everything.


{i tried to upload more photos -- but Blogger is being tiresome -- so i'll catch up in the next while}

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

small stones - blogsplash

a little project i'm taking part in.....;)


Kaspa & Fiona have taken over my blog for today, because they
need our help.

They are both on a mission to help the world connect with the world
through writing. They are also getting married on Saturday the 18th of

For their fantasy wedding present, they are asking people across the
world to write them a ‘small stone’ and post it on their blogs or on
Facebook or Twitter.

A small stone is a short piece of observational writing – simply pay
attention to something properly and then write it down. Find out more
about small stones here.

If you’re willing to help, we’d love you to do things:

1) Re-post this blog on your own blog any time before June the 18th and
give your readers a chance to hear about what we’re doing. You can
simply copy and paste the text, or you can find the html

2) Write us a small stone on our wedding day whilst we’re saying our
vows and eating cake, post it on your blog, and send
it to us.

You can find out more about our project at our website, Wedding Small
, and you can also read our blog at A River of Stones.

We also have a July challenge coming soon, when we’ll be challenging
you to notice one thing every day during July and write it down.

Thank you for listening, and we hope we’ll be returning from our
honeymoon to an inbox crammed with small stones, including yours.

Kaspa &  Fiona


although i fell out of the habit {what? who? me?} -- i started writing my own small stones here -- as part of the January challenge and plan to take part in July's. it's a lovely, simple exercise in mindfulness -- something i perpetually struggle with...;) 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

and so it goes...

because there's always time for silly

summerish days are upon us....although i think we're all a little leery to relax into it, seeing as how we've had a few false starts this spring...

it's like The School Thing never happened...but of course it did...and we're grateful, because it's made us all - especially Savannah -- see the joy in our days with fresh eyes.

a bit of gardening was done this past weekend....and to my {possibly ridiculous level of} JOY -- our worm compost is finally ready!!  *squeeeeeeee*

thank you worms....:)

we are pleased....

i realize this is one of the few places i could post pictures of compost and know there are several people grinning as widely as i was when i opened up the lid of our bin.

our adventures in vermiculture started way back here -- and then after the loss of our worms over the winter, and our decision last year to not replace them but experiment in break-all-the-rules composting...we are now reaping the benefits. patience, as they say, is a virtue.

{is it strange that feeding our plants this yummy mixture gave me that same satisfying feeling as when i see my kids tucking into a good meal?}

ahem, moving on.

added to our list of JOY this past week has been a dose of parcel JOY from the beautiful Rose.  having heard that Savannah wanted to learn Spanish, she sent along a few things she just happened to have lying around...;)

oh, how we *HEART* those picture-puzzle-find-it books!!! {and i LURVE tea}

missing from the pile is the spanish vocabulary sticker book that Savannah was reading at the time of the picture -- we amused ourselves greatly with our poor pronunciation for a good hour last evening and that led to a sojourn down memory lane for B and I and plans to research the provided links for correct pronunciation. i just love this organic process of Learning Stuff.

i'm in my own personal heaven with the packet of tea {sipping some chamomile/vanilla as i type} and the arty bits that never fail to delight.  the giant puzzle book and the snap game are going into our backpacks for our camping trip at the end of June. hopefully, the mancala game i ordered will have escaped the perils of the impending postal strike and will go with us as well. {fingers crossed}

in other news, we rescued a baby chipmunk from The Bloody Cat....long tale of high drama and late evening scramble for chippy-rescue supplies and a trip to the Cat Hospital {i KNOW, the irony, right?} where Napoleon* is, i'm relieved to say, convalescing satisfactorily.  {fingers crossed}

so yes, it's all good.

*so named because he is rather small, but evidently quite mighty. ;)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

and so we are free....

greenin' up nicely....

after many more discussions...many more tears (mine and hers)..and a conversation with Angels (excellent advice..thank you Sarah and Jacqui).....we found the source of this sudden interest in school.

{kelly- reading your comment made me smile}

turns out...after having seen all the kids coming  home from school looking so buoyant and joy-filled, she figured she was missing out on a good time.  i gently explained that perhaps they were happy because school was finished for the day....

i let her sit with that awhile.

and then she asked what Sebastian and i  would do when she was at school all day -- i answered, "oh, you know - our usual stuff...." and listed all the things we do, the visits we make, our little adventures....

as she started to cry, i asked her to think of the ways in which she is free...

and she remembered that she's: to lie in bed and read a whole Junie B.Jones book before getting up in the morning; free to spend two hours on YouTube researching how to play Sims: Medieval; free to check her email umpteen times a day to see if L has sent her a note from Pakistan; free to eat, sleep, play, talk, run, jump, skip, paint, build....whenever and howsoever she chooses.

i didn't sugar coat it....i told her the truth; of how there are some fun things that happen in school, but that fun isn't the point of the exercise. and that the fun stuff that occasionally happens at school, is the stuff we do every day. she hadn't realized that.

{i now have a venomous dislike for the various and assorted ways that 'school' is portrayed on television and in young children's books -- it had been my suspicion that her desire was stemming from a misguided notion of what school is like....seems i was right...grrrrrr}


so once our tears were dried, we discussed how she'd like some more "out and about"  {it was a long winter and a very rainy spring} and books she'd like to read and how she's going to save her money to buy the new Sims game now that she has an idea of how to play it {she counted up last night and discovered there was enough -- and so it was ordered}....i showed her Stephanie's blog and how they play a lot of games and maybe she'd like to try that too -- {"oh YES! that looks cool"}


so now i find myself with new appreciation for this life we lead. i'd taken so  much for granted, i suppose -- and to find it all hanging perilously on the verge of upheaval was eye-opening to say the least.

but i'm grateful for the challenge this has been -- emotionally exhausting though it was. it has served to remind me how deeply i value this sweet  freedom we have; and it made me see what a strong and self-possessed child this beautiful girl is growing to be -- and how fiercely i will protect her right to continue on that way -- even when that means the agony of simply trusting her to make good {albeit well-informed} choices.

but it also showed me the scarier side of this right of autonomy -- that they are going to choose to do things we'd much rather they didn't....and i was risking everything i'd ever preached by wanting to take the decision away from her. but how could i not? ugh - it was a wretched conundrum indeed. it wasn't like she was wanting to do a tight-rope walk across Niagara Falls. although i could easily argue an equivalent danger...;)

 in the end though, i realize that this mastering of  the fine art of letting go will be the hardest lesson i'll ever get out of this parenting gig....

so thank you, one-billion-fold, dear friends -- i drew on the love and support you all sent and kept that and your wisdom in my heart as we navigated this part of our journey. i am ever grateful to you all for witnessing this unpleasant bump in our road....

blessings and love to you all....xo

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


thank you, thank you, thank you -- your thoughts and words are a gift to me...

i've been in deep contemplation this last couple of days and i keep going back to my first instinct -- which was to say "no". but i need to know it isn't coming entirely from fear....or a need for control.


i'm reading John Holt {again} -- {i should read him every day} -- and it's helping me recognize the magic that has already happened....i'm unwilling to disrupt the spell.

my biggest fear, though - and Stephanie, you named it -- is that she will lose herSelf.  in my heart i don't think she's strong enough....she's a sensitive soul-- deeply, deeply so -- and let's face it, school is a shark tank. it took her years to overcome what five months of kindergarten did to her. {you're right, Sam - she's 8}

but how to communicate that to her without making her feel a lack -- that i believe there's something wrong with her? i'm painfully aware of how the early messages we hear can inform a lifetime...{an argument against school right there - lol} i also don't want her to think i underestimate her...which perhaps i am.

i still believe that this is coming from a different need -- although i've asked thirty ways to next Tuesday and she insists she wants for nothing. i'll keep digging though....

don't mind me...i'm just thinking out loud...;)

Monday, May 16, 2011


you know, i keep thinking i'm going to stop posting here -- feeling as if i've not a whole lot to share of our days...rambling and feral as they have increasingly become and certainly without a litany of things-we've-done that would be of interest.

but then i stop in for a quick visit and find myself smiling at what i find....and so i come back, especially now - as it represents a place of comfort.

because things are going to change, it seems, as Savannah has expressed a serious interest in going to school.


i know, right?

i'll be honest....i cried. i sat and grieved for a good hour before i could pull myself together enough to join the conversation.

the Green Man waits...

my first, panicked, thought was to say absolutely NO - we don't believe in school. {well, at least i don't - B  can appreciate the philosophy on both sides of the argument} and other parents refuse their children access to things they don't believe in, right? television, candy, religious beliefs...the list goes from the trivial to the deeply personal...

but what kind of life-learning proponent would that make me?

new leaves sprouting...finally

if this is how my child chooses to explore her learning, then i have to respect that and support her and provide her with that outlet. denying her based on my {admittedly biased} beliefs is fundamentally opposed to the whole concept of educational autonomy.

nevertheless, i'm freakin' terrified.

we've had conversations since, about the 'good' and the 'not-so-good'; we've explained how we are not (and never will be) concerned with tests and grades and the other measuring sticks that schools require to monitor the masses -- but we've also made clear that if she chooses this road, then those things will be applied to her. i don't want to demonize school {i don't believe that's fair} but i want her going in there with her eyes wide open.

view from the picnic

it's not a done-deal yet - we need to make an appointment with the Principal of the local school -- and i've no idea how they'll take us me. if i sense they aren't receptive to our philosophy - and yes, i realize they aren't required to be - then i may still veto the whole thing. she has come too, too far.....

i'm wracking my brain, trying to find alternatives...wondering if she needs more structure {although she claims not to}. my first instinct was to think i've failed her in some way...that i've not fulfilled her needs sufficiently. so i'm not laying down my sword, just yet...;)

any and all thoughts/suggestion/nuggets of wisdom are welcome....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

the gift of days

...days all to ourselves.

to run
ride...on a new-to-her bike with squeezy brakes not back-pedal brakes which is terrifying and careen-ish

to entire afternoon for me, my tea and a whole world made of ink and imagination
to set a goal and pursue it and then
excel.....a fifth-place ribbon at Pony Club Quiz -- of course, not the reason why - but so full of affirming  goodness that one feels brave enough to try her D-test this spring.

to converse....about winning and losing and how mistakes are a great way to learn something

Monday, March 21, 2011

we're still here...

doing what we do best. which is to say....everything. ;)

finding grace in ancient trees...

and, of course, the joy...

it's been rainy days and robin-spotting; decluttering and sparklification; library trips and first-picnics; family, friends and sweet, blessed silence.

and gratitude for this life.



Spring blessings to you and yours...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

love and gratitude

ever had one of those weeks when you're not sure if you're coming or going?

we've had one a bit like that.

our car was broken into and vandalized {along with 10 or 12 others in the same parking lot}...we ended up needing a new steering column {$300+ later}...*sigh*.  i can never get my head around why people do such things. we were quite fortunate in that we don't keep anything of value in the car....some other folk lost GPS units and CD's and tools and whatnot.

temperaments are clashing. i think the winter has outstayed it's welcome and we'd all be much happier if we could get out and play's been a challenge to say the least but we're navigating our way with  lots of talking and venting and bouncing on trampolines.

but, in the way of balancing and harmony...

there have been homemade pancakes..

{teeny pancakes made especially for our house-brownie...left on the doorstep of the faery-house}

and MadLibs and MathBlasters and researching hauntings and the price of a pony...;)

and {of course} paint and poetry and some music tossed in for ambience

and decluttering and rearranging and sparklification {to borrow a phrase from Stephanie}....getting a head-start on spring cleaning, y'know?

a gift of art for me...{swoon}'s currently perched on my newly-rearranged art-table so i can catch a glimpse of it from almost every angle of our main living space...


a gift of inspiration for Savannah....{same beautiful culprit...we are so, SO blessed to have him in our life}

{and a little card reminding her that she holds the key to all of her heart's dreams}

and then....just when we thought we were so full of joy and gratitude we might explode...another..YES, another parcel arrived on Friday...

Savannah and Cowgirl are regular mail-art are Lis and I...but this...WOW...we were so blown away by this!! You can read about the magic of these fairy bundles here -- they are all safely resting in our own 'power places'....little sacred nooks we've all carved out for ourselves.  also included were traditional red envelopes celebrating Chinese New Year {Cowgirl's birthplace}...complete with organic lollipops which were slurped up in enthusiastic fashion. Thank you, thank you, thank YOU...Lis and Cowgirl...

so yeah....we're feeling mighty loved.

and thankful...did i mention that?

oh. we are indeed.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

the week

it's been an odd week....a lot of 'heaviness' in the air. there've been more than the usual number of spats and aggravations in our little abode.  i think cabin-fever has reached it's peak and we're all quite ready for spring.

i woke up this morning thinking i wanted to open the windows. which i did, ever so briefly...but, oh - what a difference! it gives one hope. :)

most mornings of late i'm woken by the tip-tapping of doggie feet around the bedroom -- our ancient boy Tyler can't quite hold his bladder like he did in his younger days and nature's call is coming ever earlier. apparently i wasn't quick enough out of bed today and i followed him to Sebastian's room where i caught him lifting his leg against the table (Tyler, that is).  i'm not sure he even realized what he was doing.  thus it is to be an old dog.

i'm reading Lord of the Rings -- first time, although i've had the book for years. (GASP! i know, right? where have i been?). i haven't got far - i'm exhausted by bedtime these days -- but i've found the foreword to be of great interest and have enjoyed a quiet giggle at the way Mr.Tolkein views his critics. this also stood out {on the topic of suggested motive and meaning of his story} ...

     "The prime motive was the desire of the tale-teller to try his hand at a really long story that would hold the attention of readers, amuse them, delight them, and at times maybe excite them or deeply move them.  As a guide I had only my own feelings for what is appealing or moving, and for many the guide was inevitably at fault."

this actually brought tears to my eyes....because i think it's a lovely way to look at life in general; that if we act from a desire to amuse and delight, to share and encourage then we are approaching our lives with a beautiful purpose. inevitably, someone is gonna dump all over it, but that needn't be our concern. i think that's the part i struggle with most....the surrendering of perspective.


and there was art commissioned for the downstairs-bathroom wall. i'm on a mission of un-beige -- i don't fancy painting the walls from their delightful shade of industrial beige (far too much upheaval involved there)...i much prefer the splashes of colour a smattering of fabulous art can provide.

from the Creature Feature Savannah

B was away on biz-ness on Friday and Saturday so there were bonus trips to Nanna and Grandad's and the baking of brownies and procurement of ice-cream for a movie night.  we watched Skellig the Owl Man....absolutely wonderful.

and in amongst all that....we just carry on as we are.

Monday, February 7, 2011


There are three stages to Truth

1. Ridicule

2. Violent Opposition

3. Acceptance

{...we'll wait 'til you catch up}

...and for those of you already here...for your love and support -- both here and privately, through email....

rock on, sweet friends...

Sunday, February 6, 2011


i knew the moment he was conceived and a short while later, he told me his name.

i asked him not to come until he was ready -- the trauma of his sister's early arrival still hanging over my heart -- and he ventured forth on exactly his due date.

i wrote him a letter a few days after he was born, as i'd done for his sister before him, and in it i named him my 'child of peace'.

as an infant, where his sister had screamed bloody murder for the first five months and torn my soul into tatters, he smiled a lot and loved to be cuddled.

he was exactly what i needed to heal my heart; to show me that perhaps i wasn't such a failure after all.

when he turned a year, he didn't delight in the party we gave him the way most yearlings do -- basking in the adoration of his family and friends who all waited expectantly for that Kodak moment of cake-smearing and a first taste of ice-cream.

instead he screamed until i swooped him away to a quiet place -- just he and i and the silence.

after that, any attempt at going out was near impossible.  at the grocery store he'd scream if anyone looked at him...when he got bigger and was walking, he'd lie down in the aisle and cry until i picked him up and took him out.

eventually, we rearranged things so he wouldn't have to go out in public.

naturally, everyone thought there was something *wrong* with him.

  "he must be autistic, you should have him tested"

i ignored them, but secretly researched autism in the dark of the night when everyone slept. in the depths of my mama's heart - that place where you really Know -  i knew there was nothing wrong with this magical boy who loved so fiercely and whose eyes crackled with sparks of joy every time he smiled.

when he was 19 months old and not talking i did have him assessed -- only to be sure there was no physical reason for him not doing the usual babbling and chattering.  all that was fine, but the speech pathologist insisted he needed 'intervention' and put him on a waiting list.  they finally called when he was three but we had never needed it.  she told me how to direct his play and encourage him to make noises with his trains and animals. i knew that would never fly, he was always very intense -- yes, he lined them up in fine autist fashion -- obsessing over making sure they were just-so -- there was no way he'd allow me to join in uninvited and i certainly couldn't be the one driving the bus! so i nodded and smiled and thanked her...and took my perfect child home. we never had trouble communicating...if he wanted a sandwich, he'd bring us a loaf of bread and the jar of peanut butter.  we learned how to communicate without speech.

from about 10 months of age onwards, his sleep patterns were governed by the phases of the moon. he is restless and wakeful prior to both the New and the's easier now because he's old enough to entertain himself while one of us dozes -- he falls asleep when he's ready.  trying to regiment that has never been successful -- forcing an early 'bedtime' means he's awake at 3am and raring to go.  eventually, he taught us to honour his cycle.

he's 6 now. he's not a typical 6 year old boy and going places and doing certain things still involves a degree of challenge. he doesn't always transition well and immerses himself deeply and intensely in activities -- he sucks the marrow dry before he moves onto the next thing -- apparently 6 year old boys aren't supposed to to that -- so typical 'groups' and activities don't fit our style. we can't take part in structured activities -- but really, who's to say that's the only way, anyway? he opened the door to unschooling -- and we gladly walked through it.

i still find myself at odds with Common Belief -- that he should have had speech therapy; that he should be forced to do this, that and the other; that he should be expected to behave in a certain way in certain situations. and in the moments that i wonder if maybe everyone else is right and i'm the one who's wrong -- for  stubbornly defending this child's right to be his own person -- i remember everything he's taught me; i remember how he has challenged everything i  thought i knew about parenting and the world; how i've had to stretch further and harder to meet his needs -- all of which he has the Divine right to have taken care the simple truth that he Is. and when i remember these things i remember that he's perfect.

every child is born Perfect

it is not our job as parents and adults to mold these children into our own ideal of what they should be. if you look around -- even in the so-called Positive Parenting movement, the subtle signs of manipulation are there. well-meaning, i've no doubt -- but designed to funnel development along a prescribed route. most of us may have unknowingly done that -- i was doing it with Savannah until her brother showed me that it could be different.

that it could be so much different. and that we'd be all the better for his gifts.

i have a hard time, still, sharing my boy-child -- he defies definition...describing a day with him would be beyond difficult. but i've realized recently, that my decision not to share him is based in fear. i feel tremendously protective of him...and fiercely defend him and his right to be himself....and i'm afraid -- afraid that he will be judged, that he will be seen as somehow Less....simply because he drums his own rhythm. 

and sometimes i'm afraid that i've got it all wrong and that i've failed him in my own stubbornness and blind love.

and so, again, it comes down to a matter of faith. and trust. and  the ferocious love i have for my boy -- and a belief that, as he has always done, he will show me the way and somehow, some way, i will simply Know.

and this....i first saw via the lovely Stephanie...and it made me cry -- sweet happy tears -- and now you know why...

Thursday, February 3, 2011


there is painting and stories by candlelight....

Monday, January 31, 2011


it came to me when i was scribbling madness onto my morning pages. {which is the Reader's Digest version of how it came was actually a week-long battle with Great Cosmic Forces and my penchant for being a bit slow at times.}

the even shorter version is i've realized this unschooling journey is exactly the same as our journey to art. well, it's mostly my journey to art -- children are born artists -- so says Picasso. and i happen to believe him.

i have learned that in opening ourselves to the creative source....we open ourselves to a place of infinite possibility.

kind of like unschooling

i was tidying up today and i came across a pile of Savannah's GIANT drawings. she creates complex scenes of fantastical creatures on the giant vellum Bristol that i buy for my big paintings.  and then she drops them in a heap in the hallway to be recycled.

occasionally there's one she loves and decides to tape it to her wall. or she'll gift one to one of us. but otherwise, she's done. in the moment, they are her Masterpieces; while she's working on them, they are precious. once they're finished  though, and she's shared the story behind them, she can set them aside and move onto the next thing.

assemblage of found objects {raiding the recycling bin} ~ Savannah

she is completely disengaged from the product*. it's all about the process.

kind of like unschooling 

so yeah, i'm done looking in other places for our extraordinary. it's clearly right here under my nose.

and so the drumming finds a rhythm.....and our haze of paint and poetry isn't such a mad idea after all.

*my next post will illustrate that this isn't always the case...;)

Monday, January 24, 2011

shift work

frost on the window pane
~life up close~

things are moving around here. subtle, but profound shifts that leave you with that "Ooooh, now i get it" feeling.

good stuff. but it means change.

i'm not sure of the future (if any) of this space. i'm struggling with the purpose of what was my original intention and where is it now? i am afraid that it has become a place to justify how we choose to live, rather than simply a chronicle of our days. it's just how it's become to feel whenever i think of posting.

i also want to be mindful of my children; of their journey, of how their future-selves will look back on this.

i feel less moved to document our lives with photos, strictly for the purpose of blogging here. i see how that works so beautifully for some families...and i love to visit with them...but it doesn't seem to capture who we are.

how do i capture the wild wind and the rain, and the fast-beating hearts of my faery children? because these are the things that are the pulse of my family....the feral days of paint and poetry...tomatoes for breakfast, the fire of our disagreements and the vast, vast love of our forgiving.

 i look at the photographs and i know there is so much more to them...especially my beloved Sebastian- who seems to get very little air-time...only because of the elusiveness of his Bright and Shining soul. it is he who has taught me the most - even more than my magical girl - yet the one who i seem unable to share. at least, not yet.

so i'm still around. i'm peeping in your windows and leaving wild honey on your doorsteps.....

....but mostly we're going to follow the wild drum-beat of our souls....into the woods for a while.

blessings and Light to you and yours.....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

where we are

it's been a week of questions....mine, theirs, ours.

i wonder sometimes, about these chronicles of our goings-on -- how much is too much, where are the lines that we cross or don't....and to say nothing of the agony of doubt. there are days when i look around, slightly bleary-eyed, shaking myself loose from our sandalwood-scented haze of paint and books and dog hair and wonder what the hell i'm doing.

in my heart of hearts i know...i believe...that we are walking the right path. but how that looks from day to day, or where the road is taking us...well, that's where my faith is tested.

i asked Savannah the other day, if she felt like she was missing something...if she wanted more.

"Why? Did someone complain that we weren't learning something?"  

from the mouths of babes.  you can tell that we offer full-disclosure around here. she knows well of the trials of family and the doubting and questioning and disapprovals.  we want her to know, so that we can explain how we see it differently. and she gets it. she's a perceptive kid.

but no, this time i didn't ask in response to an external judgment. this time it came from me.

at last...there is snow

i recognize my biases. i recognize i've leaned heavily toward art and literature in my strewing of their path. i've offered the science -- we have a deep fascination with the world around us...but, again -- my bias is that of Biology -- it's where my partial degree is, and then my vet tech training -- and the art/stories far outweigh in influence. so i worry that they're getting a lopsided view of the world. not that it's a bad view.

Sarah wrote a couple of lovely posts about how she has moved through curriculum-based education to unschooling to something somewhere in between. it gave me much to think about....although i've been thinking about it rather a lot lately.

i'm not a rabid unschooler. i believe strongly in the principles therein...but i also recognize that each family -- each child -- is different. so to paint us all with the same brush, is as inherently foolish as the way the conventional educational system operates.

a modest snow-person....coaxed out of not-packing snow

i suppose what i'm struggling with mostly, is trying to discover what unschooling looks like to us. and even then - how it looks for Savannah is vastly different to how it looks for Sebastian.

so where are we?

Savannah has decided she wants to learn how to tell we dusted off a workbook and are meeting at The Table every morning to explore that. she's also decided she wants to learn Spanish. i'm still working on that one....

we have Arthurian legend on the brain -- and enjoyed a boisterous session of sword-fighting on the Wii at Nanna's on Friday. we've also just started watching this documentary on Netflix - and are marveling at the vast beauty of this country we live in. for me, it's an affirmation (at just the right time) of the extraordinary that exists right under our noses. there's a new hidden object game from Big Fish that the pair of them have been glued to for almost two days.

and of course....there's the art and the pursuit thereof.  big paintings and small paintings, illustrated story 'books', air-drying clay's never-ending.

but is it enough?

i really don't know. it's a blind faith, this road.

mostly we're just bumbling along.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

painting and piercing

it would seem that arting is mostly what we do these days...painting, art journals, sketching...forever we are on the hunt for the next thing to draw/paint/glue/imagine.

and because i'm taking up the 'big painting' wall-space.....she paints on the floor.

and then there was yesterday....we had a consultation with Ty the Piercing Guy (not actually what he calls himself, it rhymes so i felt i had to use it) -- he and his partner have the tattoo and piercing shop  next door to my all of our piercing and tattooing needs are taken care of by them -- such as those needs are. :)

Ty is a funny little man...lots of piercings (naturally), some body-modifications of the pointy-eared variety and a plethora of ink.  he's also Very Serious about what he does.  his standards of cleanliness would leave most hospitals wanting.  we're talking aseptic. (and i happen to know about these things). i covet his autoclave. so of course i would trust my baby girls' ear lobes to him without a second thought.

BUT...she had to go through a bit of an 'interview' first. he's not in the habit of piercing minors. but since we're neighbours and all....

naturally (because we've been talking about it since she decided she wanted it done, way back in November), she passed muster. dazzling him, even, with her understanding of the process and the responsibilities therein ;)

she's quite pleased with herself and is diligent about the rather stringent cleansing guidelines Ty wrote out for her.

{inspired by Rabbit}

(can you see the hint of a sparkle in her ears?)

it was strange, actually...watching her chat, quite unconcerned she was, by Ty's rather striking appearance - surgical mask and all. thinking "wow...this is my daughter" took me back to the first time, way back, 8 years ago when she was born, and the first time i ever said those words -- 'my daughter' - and the weight of what that actually meant settled into my heart and forged itself to my soul.

it's all very surreal sometimes, isn't it?

Friday, January 7, 2011

days fly by

somehow we ended up here...although we always do, don't we? end up where we are, that is.

life in these parts has been a blur of busy -- somehow the days ooze into one another and before we know it, an entire week has passed.

Monday was Savannah's 8th birthday {January 3rd} -- no photos of that...we absorbed the day and i must confess to not feeling camera-ish these days...something about the grey and bleak outside that does nothing to inspire me to take photographs. and there's something to be said for experiencing the day fully, without thought to how it will look afterwards in a blog-post. plus, i'm lazy and keep leaving the camera in places far from where i happen to be in times of inspiration.

so...we girls took ourselves (somewhat foolishly, as the Boxing Week sales were still on) to do some shopping. she had her Xmas gift-cards burning a hole in her pocket....and they were for bookstores and art-supply stores and Wally World (ack! but it meant a new game for her DSi)....which meant i got to hang out with her in bookstores and art-supply stores. suh-weet. there was a book on horses and a new bookmark (horsey, of coursey) and a GIANT Bristol sketchbook for the further pursuit of her latest obsession in large, mural-type drawings.

{the evolution of her horse drawings continues....}

there's also been....

a little science to go with our art

{clearly this happened BEFORE i took down the tree}

{foam robot assemblage}

oh - and more episodes of Merlin. we finished the first season last night -- and would you believe we have to WAIT until at least January 18th for the second season to be released on DVD (according to Amazon)?!?!

we're not sure we can wait until it becomes available on Netflix. we are, without a doubt, ADDICTED.  i am not impressed at all with whomever is in charge of all this licensing and permissions business that makes it impossible for us to view episodes streaming from the U.S. hmph!

so now i'm on the hunt for a decent child-friendly version of the Arthurian legends...i don't want anything Disneyfied nor anything as dry as the old tomes. any suggestions?

oh - and a good do-it-mostly-yourself kids cookbook?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

happy new year...

i woke up this morning (almost 8am - GASP!) to the sound of rain on the bedroom window.  it seemed so perfect....the rain washing away what was left of 2010. then, when i got up and took Emma-dog out....i heard birds singing. (a real rarity around these parts in January). those things together confirmed for me that 2011 is going to be a really, really good year. you can, as do i, interpret good howsoever feels right to you.

goodies from the Big Box o' Art Supplies from Grandma L

i didn't get the house cleaned yesterday -- not for lack of effort. i was tidying up around here and there when i got sucked into the marathon of River Monsters on Discovery channel. B had put it on for Savannah while she was arting and before long, all three of us were glued in fascinated horror to the screen. (we shall not speak of the things that some fish do in the Amazon *shudder*) still, we learned a lot.

after that, we went up to my mom's for an early birthday party for Savannah. pizza, cake and ice-cream on the menu -- although we're all fairly food-ed out by now. and a few more just-what-i-always-wanted gifts to make her soul sing.

she has a passion for EXTREMELY LARGE mural-type drawings these days

my hopes for the Jane Austen movie marathon were not to be realized so i browsed the selection on NetFlix (our newest discovery -- we're trying out the free 30 days!) and made my choice...saw everyone else settled and then tucked myself into bed with a weiner dog, two cats and the first season of Merlin cued up {i do believe i have mentioned that i'm an utter dork...i'm also a sucker for all-things-Arthur..besides, Colin Morgan has the cutest dimples...but i digress}.

well, it was only a short time before it was me, a weiner dog, two cats and two snuggly kids.

Sebastian: "What are you watching....oooh! It's a knight!" (climbs in beside me -- "'scuse me cat...")
{a moment or two later}
Savannah: "Hey, what are you guys watching? Oh, can I watch too?" (scootches along disgruntled weiner dog)
{10 minutes pass}
B: "Oh, i wondered where everyone went to....anybody need anything?" (goes back to the History channel after refilling water bottles and bringing cookies)

 i'm happily brainwashing sharing my interests of all-things-Arthur...although Sebastian's fondness for knights and dragons and Savannah's love of all-things-magic, make them easy marks students.

needless to was a moste excellente way to spend New Year's Eve...we happily leave the parties and noise-makers and drunken buffoonery to more willing participants.

AND -- i have some utterly delectable mail-art to share....tomorrow....because i have just been engaged to paint with my favourite painting partners...;)

hope you're spending this day following your bliss...