Monday, August 30

late summer veg tart

the girlchild and i enjoy early morning walks almost every day. we see bugs and plants, and we visit the cows and dogs. and occassionally there's a little gift, such as butterflies dancing about her head, goats frolicking, or the moon still out. this morning, it was our good neighbour's harvest.

we brought home a bag heavy with veggies. and on the stroll back i got a hankering for something quichey or tarty or something.



i don't have a favourite pastry crust recipe, i think i probably try a new recipe every time a need one. this time i went for a cup of wholemeal flour with a dash of white, a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, tsp of baking powder, and water.

i sauted the peppers and onions until lightly brown, added the next veg. in our case it was aubergine/eggplant. courgettes/zucchinis are a great alternative. a herb of choice, oregano for this one. thyme and basil also work marvelously.

i made a double batch of the veg. i'll keep some for tomorrow, add tomato juice, few more herbs, and toss it into pasta.

after you've let the dough chill in the fridge, throw it into a quiche/tart dish and it push down and up the sides. apparently some people roll it out first. how silly. bake it until light brown. let it cool.

whisk together 1/2 cup of cream, 2 large eggs, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

add the veg to the crust, pour over the cream and eggs, add sliced tomatoes on top, and bake for 20-30mins (180C/375F) until golden brown.

eat warm with a salad, preferrably outside with children running about.

Friday, August 27

beautiful things

phew, how many of us have been, and still are, having a tough time of it? astrologically, the energies have been very difficult this year indeed. it means we've all, to one extent or another, have been experiencing big changes, difficult choices, obstacles, limitations, one step forwards two steps back......

for some it has been too much, for others, it was enough to survive. but, for those of us who have strived and fought and remained strong, we're slowly but surely coming out the other side. and oh, i can tell you, if you're still fighting through, the other side is oh so beautiful. hang in there.

much burdensome energy has lifted around me. and many beautiful things are now flowering.

we didn't have electric for 10 days or so, and have had enormous problems with it all year. if i listed for you each one you wouldn't believe it. but it's fixed.
water pump, fixed.
registration of electrics, sorted. (big deal here).
work, trickling in.
finances, tough, but we have food on the table and the occassional book or tube of paint, life is good.
life plans, open, flexible, exciting.

the hours were nowhere to be found
mixed media collage

and then, there are the creative beautiful things.

i am brimming with creativity once again. i hadn't stopped altogether, but there was a weight on me that was distracting. now, i'm popping into the studio throughout the day once again.

and, and, i have two big creative projects that will involve you, and i'm very excited about them both. one is so big, read potentially complex, that i'm taking it slow. the other is really fun and i will share it very soon. i've sent some feelers out to test the waters. as it involves others, well, i need to know if others are interested!

i have a deep soul need to be creative, to encourage creativity, to bring wonderful people together, and to Do Good in the World. i may have found at least two ways to bring this all together.

i know, all very vague right now.

i've written some more for my book. i know! yes, i'm still only getting 5hrs interrupted sleep, but where there's a fire there's a way!!

aaaaaand, i've experienced an enormous spiritual shift recently. and i so want to share it with you, but how to put words to this? i'll try soon.

but don't worry, i'm not manic. amongst all this fire is a new relationship with soothing waters. all this enthusiasm is tempered by inner peace. a peace derived from fulfilling my purpose, however painful. of being authentic. of being open to growth. of not fighting with time. and even from witnessing other beautiful women spread their wings around me.

so i've been amongst the murky shadows, of mine and of others. and it has been tough, and painful, and sad. but it's been worth it.

when we embrace darkness, accept the shadows, we come to know the light in a way that is unique.
and it's a beautiful thing.

Thursday, August 26

time

what's your first reaction to that word?
slips away,
never enough,
must fill it...?

i came across a blog discussing how to simplify list making. list making has never been a part of my reality. partly because i can keep things in my head well, but it got me thinking. for someone who has reacted to the word time with...

not enough, not enough, not enough...

as i manically multi-task my way through the day....

i wondered why i had never had To Do lists in my life.

it occured to me that whilst i have desired to Achieve A Million Things Before I Die, i have never felt pressured to Must Dos.

my battle has always been with the Want To Dos. in my recent bloghops i have noticed this distinction. between women who feel an anxiety about Needing To Do and with those feeling it with Wanting To Do.

so i can learn from someone who feels relaxed about time, who feels at peace with letting go of the need to make each second worthwhile. and others can learn from someone like me, who feels no need to check off a To Do list.

although i have only 2-3hrs to myself, need 8hrs sleep to feel human but average only 5 (interrupted), have a velcro child, and no outside help (family, nanny, whatever), i never feel overwhelmed by Mounting Tasks.

why?

somewhere along the line, it was never embedded into my psyche that i am only of value if i am productive, achieving useful things.

there was a time not so long ago that if you did not do the washing or cook daily, your family went without. and in many circles, the work ethic of the previous generations has continued. but often to our detriment. despite, washing machines, fridges and freezers, dishwashers, various ease-making equipment, abundance, and availability of resources, some of us still harbour anxiety. and actual hands-on fun time with the children was either a luxury reserved for Sunday, or unheard of.

more than fear
mixed media collage
6x7.5"

my mother-in-law and i were discussing the changes. she, who has worked hard all her life, both in and out of the home, admitted that this was no longer necessary. all she has ever known is darning socks, scrubbing floors, cooking daily, and so on... until perhaps around 15 years ago.

she told me that she spent very little time with her sons, because there was just too much that needed doing, and it all took time. we romantise the bygone days, forgetting that the average woman had to break her back to get through each day. even when modern appliances came into the scene, there still remained a deep anxiety about keeping up on the domestic front. if your neighbour scrubbed her windows every day, so did you. if your neighbour had a lovely garden, you certainly strived for the same.

hard work and perfection. and little to no play.

she told me how all the time i spent reading with the girlchild, playing with her, doing art for myself, reading for pleasure, taking strolls in nature, going to the beach, crocheting fun hats.... and so on..... was something she can only be thankful for in our generation. she loves how much time i have for her granddaughter.

and we throw it away.

why?

because our neighbour, or other blogging mamas, do so much? they knit and do crafts and plan meals and conduct nature studies, and renovate furniture, and cook from scratch, and write books, and blog......
or because our parents struggled, and there was no such thing as leisure.

PHEW

husband has the work ethic, he feels anxiety at All That Needs Doing. I feel anxiety at having no time to do all i want.

so we have to keep up right? with others. with our embedded stories. we must fight time, wring as much out of each second as we can. right? and the days we don't manage that?

we go to sleep with guilt sitting nice and heavy in our gut.

and that's how we wear ourselves away. ultimately, feeling we are not good enough.

my mil said, you have so many choices these days, so much time.
she said it with awe, and admiration, and pride, and thankfulness.

i feel i cheat her every time i think - i have no time, or, when someone else thinks, there's so much to do.

how much needs doing, really?
and although we've learnt now how important play is, we've made it work! i must create a schedule of fun for my children! i must fit in play with baking and knitting all our clothes and doing something educational.

whether we want to do or feel we need to do, we. can. not. do. it. all.
us women finally managed to understand that with the career-family tug-o-war, but now we've moved it back into the domestic sphere, we must be super-crafty-hands on-book loving-waterbirthing-babycarrying-cooking-cleaning-creating-domestic-goddesses.

and while we're fiercely doing or feeling guilty at not doing, life is getting on with the business of passing by.

i am not more part of life just because i do more. 
on the contrary, i am disconnected.
most of my life is occuring in my head, in the anxious thoughts.

we ought not to want to do it all.

that's been a loooong and sloooow lesson that i'm still learning.

Wednesday, August 25

wednesday whim

armchair travels


Tuesday, August 24

bounderies

our property, like every other in the known world, comes with bounderies. we know where our land starts and ends, and so do others. but we have no walls. that is, anyone can enter.
the message is, we're not afraid, we're welcoming, but i'm not going to be okay with you using my front lawn for a BBQ, 'kay.

without emotional bounderies we look up one day to find we have become doormats, or we're going unheard, or we're being taken advantage of, and so on.


a friend recently set up some bounderies. that is, i feel that this is what she's done. i feel that in her mind they are 'appropriate bounderies'. but with the subsequent consequences of this i see that what she's built are walls.

walls protect us, and walls are also barriers.

connections of value as well as soul growth do not occur with walls up.

now i'm not saying building up walls is a bad thing. on the contrary, sometimes it's essential.
we are not all capable of soulful connections or ready for soul work.

if we have the experience of paranoia, disliking being vulnerable, afraid of facing our Shadows, belief in a loss of personal power, or lack of trust with the world, well then, we cannot live without constantly putting up protective barriers.

those feelings, experiences, and beliefs, must be dealt with before a person can jump on the deep soulwork train. and when i say 'must' i never mean should, but rather it doesn't work any other way.

a person i know where i live doesn't like me. she could have set firm bounderies and we could get on civily as we mix in our mutual circle. but she chose a strong, high, wall instead. she believes it's the only choice. worse, and spiritually a not so good thing, she encouraged a mutual friend to do the same. passing her fears to another through subtle emotional manipulation - you have doubts? see, put up a boundary now. behind those words - i'm afraid, this is how i react in fear, if you do the same i am justifed.

so, while bounderies are very very good, i do wonder if someone using the term is referring to a healthy line, or a barrier. if they're referring to fleeing, running from facing something or someone, denial, or cutting themselves off from possibilities. it's not the walls that are a problem, but the thinking that walls are the same as appropriate bounderies.

walls are an external crutch that do work. but while we feel safer and thereby happier for a bit, there is always an underlying lingering bad taste. walls provide safety, not peace.

many of us have need to learn the empowerment of setting bounderies. how many of us are aware of needing to learn softness?

thing is, bounderies empower us, and others. walls keep us safe, until we're ready to face the world, including our own inner selves. but they have nothing to do with self-empowerment.

Monday, August 23

mama records: toilet learning

day 1:
mama buys toilet seat.
girlchild sits happily on seat and tries to go. knows exactly what to do.
but nothing there. not 30mins later either.
child bored.

evening
girchild sits on loo for 40mins reading and been read to.
tinkle occurs by default.
girlchild mildly interested.
mama pleased.

day 2:
girlchild sit on loo and after 45mins, a tinkle.
mama thinks, this seems so disconnected.

evening
girlchild going for a #2, mama scoops her up and attempts to place her on loo to screams and general protest.

aftermath: "not going toilet anymore"
marvelous.

mama decides there must be a better way anyway.

Mission: aborted



3 weeks pass....

mama thinks that intuitive relieving must be better than going by default.
i intellectualised it with the toilet seat idea.

day 1:
mama asks daddy to buy potty.
daddy brings home potty.
girlchild suspicious of potty.
potty allowed to sit and settle in.

evening
diaper removed
2 spills
girlchild understands mess has occured, uses potty at next encouragement.
immediate results pleases her. bingo.
mutual happy-dance ensues. (feet stomping and clapping).
bed.

day 2:
potty used first thing.
1 and 1/2 spills.
mama encourages use throughout morning. girlchild uses.

afternoon
girlchild stating 'need a wee'.
mama taking to potty.

day 3:
girlchild requests potty upon waking!
butt nekked child running through garden. glee occurs.

evening
girlchild going entirely on her own.

discounting failed first attempt, toilet learning achieved in 34hrs.

Mission: successful

or, partially successful. #2 in potty hasn't occured.
she's very particular about this personal business. she isn't fearing the potty for this, and knows what she's supposed to do, but isn't entirely convinced. i think it's something about the position.
no pressure from us, but.... 4 days without. she became constipated. argh.
finally went last night at 1:30am in diaper.

so still need to work on phase two, for #2s.

i've always preferred, for my child, that she learns what her body needs (although, i do wish i had ignored child-lead weaning).
rather than giving cues to relieve herself, or waiting for things to just happen to occur, i felt this worked for us because she felt the need to go herself and had immediate relief. totally understood her body.

......

had to have a c-section, breastfeeding failed, doesn't sleep longer than 2.5hrs during night, barely eats solids (she was 2 in april), so to say mama is (in her mind) dancing on a tabletop and singing songs of joy, would be an understatement.

now, to convince her to put clothes on.....

Saturday, August 21

elements of self... the shadow

ah, our Shadow... how do i tell you about the benefit of facing it?

it is all us...
but not all of us.

it is nothing without us...
we gain everything without it.

it is a window into who we are...
and a window of escape.



join in with self-portraits with the lovely juliana at shakti mama.

Thursday, August 19

resistance

resisted with all her might
mixed media on card


i'm a diver. right into the deep end of life. i embrace it. move into it. flow with it. take it in my stride.

but even i resist things.

i used to resist being wrong.
i used to resist help.
i used to resist less than perfect.

arrogance shadow soothed.

nowadays, i resist relaxation. actually, i always have. not completely. i can be tres lazy at the drop of a hat. but i meanthat  i'm almost always doing something, or thinking deeply.
i resist letting time slip by without productivity. and so i experience mental exhaustion. and when i resist sticking to one idea, i experience burnout.
i'm working on this.

when i think of how people resist, i often think of astrological elements.

those with strong earth (sun, ascendant, or moon in capricorn, taurus, virgo) resist change.
it can mean patience, responsibility, feet firmly on the ground.
but also stubborness, possesiveness.
in resistance, earth people risk stagnating, as well as developing physical restrictions in their bodies.

those with strong water (sun, ascendant, or moon in pisces, cancer, scorpio), resist vulnerability.
it can mean deep intuition, empathy, and healing abilities.
but also emotional chaos, paranoia, oversensitivity.
in resistance, water people risk being overwhelmed or closed-off, as well as a build up of toxins in their bodies.

those with strong air (sun, ascendant, or moon in libra, aquarius, gemini), resist being tied down.
it can mean brilliant leaps of imagination, relational awareness.
but also fickleness, avoidance.
in resistance, air people risk living in the world of ideas, being too detached, as well as exhausting the nervous system.

those with strong fire (sun, ascendant, or moon in leo, sagittarius, aries), resist being contained.
it can mean tons of enthusiasm, passion, inspiration.
but also trouble going beyond the initial fire, such as a difficulty in finishing things. or being consumed by emotion alone.
in resistance, fire people risk lack of results to show for all their passions, constant frustration, as well as burnout.

what do you resist?

thank you all for your kind words about Missus. it brought tears to my eyes to know there's such wonderful people in my life.

Wednesday, August 18

goodbye missus

there is never a time that i'm not thankful for following my intuition. but there are times that i am especially thankful that i did.

i blogged recently about a stray dog that adopted us. that as a large and dominant dog who appeared to have had little to no affection, we were concerned about safety around the girlchild. but i went with my gut and kept her.


and she turned out to be calm, affectionate, and taking little effort to care for. happy to have found a pack, she forever shadowed us, it was difficult to take an outdoor photo without her in it. and she had accepted me as her pack leader.


she was content to roam alone around the village if we left to visit town. the perfect dog for us. no fuss, calm. a good dog.


and then she got a skin disease. actually had had it all along but it progressively got worse. the vet this evening diagnosed it as untreatable and potentially dangerous to us. her liver was failing. he put her down. and like the compassionate vets they tend to be here, he sedated her first so that she felt nothing.

i cried and cried. i accept death, but domesticated animals, pets, break my heart, because we have created them and then abandon them. they are dependant on us.

i hate the universe for bringing animals into my care that die. this is the 3rd in 2 years. it's so hard on me.
i love the universe in it's infinite wisdom for bringing animals to someone that will give them lots of love for their last days.

Tuesday, August 17

friendships


how stringent are you with choosing friends?

as a loner, and someone who does best with 1-2-1 intimacy, i've never been one to have many close friends. so, i do choose my closest friends carefully, as do many of us.

but how stringent are we on differences? how often do we allow someone into our sphere that seems so very different to us? even holds different values or beliefs?

in my spheres i can include a christian or two (i'm not religious), social mothers (i'm a mindful one), city dwellers, homesteaders, a polythiestic shaman (don't believe in gods), working mothers, homeschoolers, pagans, business exec, hippies, meat eaters, a vegan, a few working hard to accumulate material security, crunchy mamas, some airy-fairy sort, the very down-to-earth......

when you examine your friendship circles, both inner and outer, how many different types of people can you spot?

do you have the courage to let in someone who challenges you? someone you disagree with on their parenting? someone who doesn't need your help? someone you feel could improve their lifestyle but has no intention on changing?

we find safety in sameness. and in our own fears we find security in gathering those who agree with us.

we grow with support and love, and sharing same values or lifestyles is satisfying and encouraging. but we stagnate without challenge.

i've learnt about the most difficult aspects of myself from those who are most different to me, and from those who trigger my fears, insecurities, and shadows.

also, i have become more compassionate.

online, i have witnessed so much division, between breastfeeders and formula users, between the semi-green and the super ecoconsious, between working mothers and the i-make-everything-by-handers, between schoolers and homeschoolers and unschoolers. we divide and divide and divide...until we are left with ultra exclusive and acutely narrow types of friendships.

and this breeds intolerance. even in the nicest of us.

can you stand firm in the uniqueness that is you, and allow another into your sphere that shines a very different light?

Monday, August 16

Bear Snores On

what happens when you're decluttering your posts in drafts? you find posts over a year old that you forgot to post.... and you accidentally repost old ones, sorry about that.



Bear Snores On, Karma Wilson
Illustrated by Jane Chapman
Board Book
Suggested age: 2+ years (but my 15 mth old loves it)

a winner of several awards this is one cosy little read. the girlchild really enjoys this one, and i do too. i prefer text that contains a solid rhyme and rhythm. this one's got it.

In a cave in the woods,
in his deep, dark lair,
through the long, cold winter
sleeps a great brown bear.

a bear sleeps and sleeps, supposedly hibernating, and various creatures sneak in. they brew tea and pop corn and generally partake in merriment. the bear wakes up! but all is well and they enjoy themselves together.



nothing scary or weird, just a bunch of critters having fun.
i found some of the text a little awkward at first, but it soon grew on me.

An itty-bitty mouse,
pitter-pat, tip-toe,
creep-crawls in the cave
from the fluff cold snow.

I haven't read any others by Karma Wilson, but on the strength of this one I've ordered a couple more.

edit: since this draft i have read more of Wilson. also, the girl-child still enjoys this one.


Fishpond.au

Sunday, August 15

when it rains

word rain
art journal entry


what's brought down with the rain?

old memories, a clean slate, energetic connections, residual pain, bounderies, sadness, a fresh start?
sometimes rain reminds us of tears, other times we feel the relief of the washing away of what no longer works.

when words are rained upon us.... do we have the strength to let them seep in? or do we close our hearts, because it's easier, safer?

what can't you bear to hear? which words make you run for shelter?

great shifts have happened for me. shocked at the blog template?

Wednesday, August 11

Sunday, August 8

storm brew



lighting hit the ground around us, possibly the lightning breakers on the house itself.
sparks flew near the outside electrical switchboard.
even let the dog inside who huddled in a corner.
the girl-child and i alone.
first time i've been scared in a long time.

august break

Saturday, August 7

through the keyhole #8 - nightstand

real people, real homes
we don't care how 'unpolished' it is, we're just nosy!

as someone who gets up 4-6 times a night, i like to keep an eye on the time. so i always want a nightstand. but we didn't bring any with us to Montenegro, and now that we're in the new home... well, there are so many things we need/want to buy. but honestly, i'll happily do without a 'proper' nightstand and enjoy my piles of boxes instead. well i do admit to being bohemian.



they contain old love letters, mementos, craft bits, and forgotten what's at the bottom... the torch is there because we have blackouts.

in life BC (before child) my nightstand always held a book. now i need it to hold various child-related things as required. not too long ago, it was a thermometer.....

so, what sits beside your bed?

link below to your direct post. you have till monday night. make sure to comment or i'll miss it. and do visit each other.




next one (in 2 weeks): relax (a creative one.... where do you relax around your home?)

Thursday, August 5

jump


"not get off tampleen!"


august break

p.s, i'll be doing the next through the keyhole on saturday - nightstand.

Wednesday, August 4

elements of self... the eyes

i don't think much about my eyes. they're just there. i notice them in photographs which seem to pick up my bags. and they're not that prominant.

i say a lot with my eyes. because i'm an empath, i don't look at eyes that often.

from me, this is what you'll see often...



this you'll see occassionally. i tend towards smirks. but i've been told that when i smile it's with my whole face.


unlike many women, i embrace my lines. i can't imagine the lack of character without them. these crows have stories to tell... if you're brave enough...

this feels incredibly intimate...


that window reflection was happenstance, honest.

join in with juliana's elements of self, it's scary and fun.

i'm joining in with the august break. seems i was already in this mode with the last posts, and through the keyhole to come... might as well carry on.

Tuesday, August 3

the days in photos

oh i've missed you guys! and missed blogging, and missed reading your blogs... although i have tried to keep in touch as much as possible.

the out-laws left this morning. sorry to see them go. we've had a lovely time together. mostly simple days of food, pottering about the property, the wildflower playing with her grandma..... we also had a day trip to dubrovnik, some fairground time, the beach, a funeral, guests, visits....

besides less sleep (!!) for me, and over-spoiling the wildflower, it was fab having them here. and i did have a little mental rest while they entertained the girl-child.

so i'm just here to say hi, i'm back, and here are some pics...

no point in having in-laws over if you can't get them working


the trampoline came first, but this was a close 2nd fave


patroling the grounds


fluke pose or modeling future?


walks with baba (grandma)

i'm looking forward to getting back into a rhythm.

it has been super hot, with a couple of storms. hope my friends in the north aren't melting too much.

shall we have the next through the keyhole this weekend?

oh, and that fruit from my last post looks like being a type of plum, according to general concensus and my in-laws. jenn, do you know exactly?

no month in review this month, but others have done one..
lisa @ my world edenwild