Wednesday, June 29, 2011

a very early morning

a wedge of morning so so early
~this made me think of Rumi & so I'm sharing it with you~

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.


~Rumi~

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

thankful

my kitty is home

in the early morning hours he fell
from the top of our old willow tree
he broke off a tooth
broke a paw
cut up his mouth
is bruised
and drugged up

but he is home
and he'll get better

it is not so strange, the depths of love and worry and responsibility we can feel for furry little troublemakers like Bitsy...when he is not able to stand, and can only throw his weight left or right, falling, to get from one place to another, and he chooses to throw himself up into my lap in pain and confusion, it melts my heart...


Monday, June 27, 2011

a summer rhythm

there is a gentle beating of a heart in these roses
I do not know where they came from
and the sweet lady who lived here before us
told me, "oh honey, we didn't have any roses."
when I asked her about them


they are sweet and small and profuse
the bush is as big as a couch


gentle breezes come each morning and each night
and I love to watch them play at the laces on my windows

We are eating the lettuce and spinach from our garden now
and it is sweet and thick

the summer has found its rhythm and now we are finding ours
the children each get one wooden bowl full of chores that must be completed by the end of the day. We know they are done when they've moved the pretty piece of card from the "to-do" bowl, to the "done" bowl. They must also pick a "sometimes" chore from the basket; only one of those a day. they were very excited to get to move the strips during the day. It was all so gentle and easy today with that. There were a few opportunities between all their play times when I would ask them to go look in their chore bowl for a few they'd like to do right now.
Our night time routine is so much smoother now as well. An hour before bed we all go around the house picking up our own things, then mommy reads, then something together on the tv, bathroom routines and in bed.

*thank you so much, Adie, for the article you suggested on 9-year-olds - my husband and I have benefited from it tremendously!!! We feel so much more confident and calm with our son...a little space, consistency and a lot less nit-picking seems to help the most*




I took a picture of this kitty who came with the farm
this was the sweet lady's kitty - we named him Fatty Tatty (poor tatty)
He is nice, but he isn't really our kitty.
I am missing our little kitty today
we think that somehow Itsy Bitsy fell out of a tree in the early morning hours
when I heard him screaming (ever heard that? it woke me out of a dead sleep)
and then he went running under an outbuilding.
when we finally got him out and he wasn't good
we got him to the vet, and he has a broken paw and
something wrong on the inside...we are waiting to hear

poor kitty - he isn't happy anymore with how the summer is turning out -

but here I am with my feet in the dark brown earth of my garden
thankful for what is going well
and praying for what is broken

lately...

my days are filled with

painting bathrooms
painting laundry rooms
basic chores
getting help with basic chores
family
chicken coop doors
a plethora of eggs
garden maintenance
garden maintenance
garden maintenance
(there are three)
finishing a class that is due in August
learning how to fix an old sewing machine
so I can make curtains and pillows and other such
making breakfasts
making lunches
making dinners
cleaning up after breakfasts
cleaning up after lunches
cleaning up after dinners
trying to put together a schoolroom
gathering curriculum
reading everything Waldorf and coming to the conclusion that there should be moderation in all
things or else I'll go crazy
reading books and quickly giving them up when they don't touch me like they should at the
moment
writing uninspiring blog posts without pictures because I am feeling uninspired

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

patience

my son is trying mine in the last few weeks...something about almost being 9 years old that causes a boy to ask 'why he must say sorry to his sister' and 'why he can't do this' and 'why he can't do that' and 'why must it be done this way' and do you know what i've been finding myself saying? Good grief, I've said, "Because I said so, that's why!" and "Because I'm the mom and what I say goes!"
Not good, but I'm working on it...
i want my son to ask questions, he wants to be some sort of scientist when he is grown, and asking questions will be his work...but Goddess, I ask for PATIENCE in the waxing and waning of my son's questioning.
the lovely bit is that It has caused me to look at the rhythm of our days (even the lazy, unstructured Summer days) and to really truly conclude that while that is all well and good for awhile, there really must be a rhythm (my new favorite Waldorf word) to our day so that Mama doesn't get headaches and has enough patience to answer her scientist son's question with logical answers which settle his bones and at times remember to answer, "Because it is the nice thing to do and I'd be oh so proud if you grew up to be a nice man."

More on fun stuff and a Daily Summer Rhythm later...

Monday, June 20, 2011

the summer day


Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?Who made the grasshopper?This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?~Mary Oliver

And do you have an answer for that question? I do, and it becomes more clear every single day, like leaves being counted. Before you are finished there will be so many more than fall and so many more that have budded and covered the fine strong limbs. But they will all be counted, and they will all, in one way or another be there, against a blue or a lavender or an impossible-peach sky.

(all photos are right out of the camera of my very fine Yellow Locust Tree)

coming along


This last week in my mailbox came this wonderful soy candle...
and this entire box full of cleaning supplies from Melaleuca...

It is all very exciting for our little family - we don't get giant boxes in the mail often! I have been so impressed by the cleaning products for about 5 years or so, and finally decided to completely change our home's cleaning supplies with Melaleuca supplies!! Amazingly good for our family, and for the earth and they work like nothing else I've ever used.
I've been playing with the schoolroom...I asked my son what he wanted the school room to have and he said, "Well, I guess it should have Math posters and things hanging up." I said, "Why?"
"Oh...you don't have to have that?"
"No."
"Okay then, what I really want is a place to take apart mechanical things and make my own things out of the parts!"
"We can do that!"
"Coooool!!!!! Wow, mom. You'll be the best teacher, ever!!"
**YEAH!!**

When I asked my daughter what she wanted in her schoolroom, she drew me a picture:
She says that the drawing on the left is of a project table with papers and glue, scissors and colors. "Yes, we can do that, Emma."
"Yeah!!!!"
"But, Emma, what is that castle for?"
"Oh, and I want a castle that has stairs that I can climb."
*silence*
"Ummm, I'll do my best on that one, Emma."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a little time


i took a little time today just for me
i wandered around an antique store, and just because I could, I filled my arms with numerous goodies and then deftly walked back around 3 or 4 times and put them all back
then i found the vintage school supplies and my eyes got big and i filled my arms up again
i found the best dictionary for my son and a picture dictionary for my daughter
i found a 4th grade reader with interesting little stories in it
and a sweetly illustrated (a la Dick and Jane) 1st grade reader as well
i know that will not be the sum or even an eight of the reading i will do with them, but i liked the idea of having something i knew for sure was at their grade level, seeing as they had just finished a typical American school education *sigh*

I'll come back to that.

anyway, i found myself at a second hand store with a doll-sized washboard for $1!!! Emma was big-eyed and so happy i'd found something like that for her dolly. in my opinion her Waldorf dolly should have more clothes, and what better way for her to wash them :)
i also found four wooden bowls, shaped like pears, that i will use for math time...have you EVER heard of Math Gnomes?! OH. MY. GOODNESS. I cannot wait to show you, if you don't know what they are. My daughter will love them, and I think my son could get in on it, too...

so onward with my time alone today: i took myself off to my new library (since moving I have a new library, which I found quite peaceful and soo much bigger than my last library), and of course, I found some new reading for me (The Soul Thief and its sequel The Witches Kitchen), a new night time chapter book for the family (I'm going to take us on a trip to Narnia this summer) and a couple of choices for the children as well (pretty summer picture books for sissy and a book in a trilogy about magicians and silver spiders and a boy named Gwin for Ethan).

***
 i am in charge of my children, and thank the goddess it is possible for me to teach them at home.
My kids are more than excited. I have been DREAMING about it, and really should be doing laundry and dishes, but can't seem to.

i also can't think of anything wise or heart-changing to say these days, as my mind is on our new classroom and what we will do there. anyway, thank you for sticking with me through all my changes and if my few readers would only, please, keep encouraging me, I'd be ever so grateful!

Monday, June 13, 2011

from my heart


this moon is amazing
not because she is the most breathtaking i've ever seen
she is not
not because of the dusky hues that wrapped around the sky
though i love them
this moon is amazing because she is seen from my farm
she is amazing because this is my garden fence
and because the meadow on the other side is mine
she is amazing because in all her loftiness, she grounds me
***

the gathering

i've been gathering up my imagination and learning to watch for what truly interests my children:

stories told without books
stories read without pictures
making little worlds
making big worlds
touching ideas
being in the wind and the rain and the tall grasses
laughter
spontaneous learning
my son loves to create mechanisms
he also loves to take apart and fix mechanisms
my daughter loves to nurture
she also loves horses


i'm gathering my thoughts and emotions about my children:
precious, beautiful sweetpeas
entrusted to my husband and I to do our best with

i want her to have more time for this - as she was making a little home for her tiny bunny family, she was singing a song she'd made up that went something like, "Fiddle-I-Fiddle-I-fee"

i've been moving things to the new school room, and will have the children help me put it together later. I imagine lots of baskets and natural elements. Open and serene, ongoing projects and cozy spaces. I'm interested in a big cork board for putting up our work and books, books, books (all usable and used). I imagine our cupboards full of REAL art supplies.

i've been most inspired by these places:

I'm sure I'll find more to share later...it is all just a beginning.


Friday, June 10, 2011

this is how it's going to be


Tonight I wrote in a notebook I'd not finished, but had written notes from a favored book in (Confessions of a Pagan Nun):

"Sitting in the sunset like a young girl, muddy from before when I traipsed through a creek with children...dreaming of my future, my forthcoming.
My children are laughing and playing together. They play a game of putting a pillow case over a head and leading the blind one through things and around things, and I'm struck with the care they are taking with each other as they lead: 'Watch out, there is something big coming. Uh oh, be careful of this step.' I am also struck with the absolute trust from the one being led: 'teeheeeee teeeehee heeee. This is fuuuun!'

Then I wrote down my main goals for this next year:

GOALS

*Love
*Creativity
*Imagination
*Problem Solving
*Nature
*Handwork
*In-Depth learning
*Outings

and when I'd written this, I got up, dusted myself off and went inside. That's the sum of it for today. The details come later. This was the most important reckoning.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

i'm thinking...


of homeschooling my children...just a thought that has been forming for awhile...

What matters most in their education? That they "did it the way every other kid did it", or that they had the most fun doing it the way THEY needed to do it, and learned how to be IN the world, not just floating over it in a textbook?
These prompt so many new and sometimes uncomfortable ideas in me:
will I be patient?
will I do it right?
what will our families say?
what will I do for friends for my children?
what does this mean for me?
how will I know if I'm doing it right?

lots to think about...
I just do NOT slow down, now do I?

Saturday, June 04, 2011

i love...

Knitting the Wind...
so, I shamelessly have copied her on the blog header idea.
Oh Sarah, you inspire me. I hope you'll understand :)

Friday, June 03, 2011

telling the truth


Today my daughter had her Kindergarten Graduation. She looked beautiful and fresh and new. We found a Waldorf baby at the thrift store today - a mermaid...just perfect. My mama came and gave me a big hug and told me all the things we grown up mama's need to hear: "You are wonderful. You are excellent at what you do. You just figure out what you are going to do now and do it!" I was so so grateful to have my mama today.
We watched my baby sing her songs and do what she was told, and they handed her a little certificate and we took loads of pictures and then we went to lunch and talked about health and happiness and Melaluca, while we ate Marinated Artichoke Quiche (what lovely crust...) and special salads made with peas and cashews and big noodles and rice vinegar. We bought scented geraniums (apricot and orange and lemon-lime), and black hollyhocks (hard to find!) and I bought an old round tablecloth with beautiful lace that I'll be making a skirt out of, and I had REAL ice cream (refined sugar just does NOT serve my body) on a cone, and the Maple Nut flavor was just heaven.

The truth is, is that I have been many students' favorite teacher. I have intervened in a student's troubles, and REALLY helped them. I have inspired and uplifted. I have loved where there was lack. I am an absolutely wonderful teacher so, I guess I better just put on my big girl panties and figure this out. I've done it before, and there isn't any reason I can't do it again.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

lying to myself

I'm grateful for a place to write just what I need to, as I do on and off. Most of the time I write about how wonderful life is, how much I love my chickens and my kids and my cats and my husband and the countryside, but tonight I want to talk about lying to myself and the aftermath of that.
There is this really stupid side of me that thinks to herself, "you can't possibly be unhappy after you've moved to this beautiful place that you worked so hard to get." The reality of that is so friggin' stupid. Whoever said that having your dreams come true means eternal happiness? Oh yeah, those fairytales that even I love to recite wherein they live happily ever after. I just found out that isn't so.

I LOVE my home. I LOVE all the broken things and hard work and time we've put into it. That doesn't mean I'm always smiling. In fact, often I'm sweating and cutting my thin skin and bruising my shins and dropping heavy things on my toes and bonking my head on cupboards and fighting little ants and things like that.

But what I've lied to myself recently about was that I didn't need anything else now. NOW that I'm in my forever home that I worked so hard and so long to get, I don't need one other thing. That's a load of ...

I was going to family functions and speaking to other teachers like this, "Oh you know, if I do, I do. If I don't, I don't. Maybe it's a friggin' sign of maturity that I just am okay either way." uhhhhhh....yah.

Just today, while I'm perusing the clearance aisles at Wal-mart, I get a cellphone call. "Cowboy Casanova" starts belting out from my purse just way too loud, so I struggle to get it out and answer...I did not get the job. I did NOT get the job. I honestly thought it was one of those jokes where someone is sounding sad like this, "I...just wanted to ...to let you go ahead and know...we feel really badly, but we want to say that...you...........got the job!" No. It did not go this way. It was sad and then more sad and then, no punchlines. My brain was telling me to just be all interested in that $7 tabletop grill that was marked down 5 times instead of letting my brain register what just happened. I made to the car with the kids and then I just couldn't keep it together. I was bawling and trying to keep it in, which caused lots of lip trembling and shoulder shaking and it just hit me right in the yellow chakra: you did NOT get that job. That job with those little kindergarteners? You don't get it. That job with those really wonderful teachers? You don't get that one. that job with the really low, old-fashioned chalkboards and the little wooden tables? Nuh-uh, not yours. I thought I might vomit.

That was the extent to which I had lied to myself. As soon as I did not get it, I felt it. I am feeling it right now. It is like butterflies in your kidneys. I feel like one of those wooden toys that are standing upright with taut strings, but when you push the button on the underside, they go floppy and lay down. Someone pushed my button. I found myself standing in the chicken coop saying, "You are so stupid. Why would you even apply to a job like that? You KNOW those teachers. They are so professional and go by the rules and you just do NOT have enough experience. What was that you said at the end: 'I know I may not have as much experience as someone else, but I am such a quick learner and I have so much enthusiasm and energy, I'd be learning all summer whatever it was you needed me to learn so I could make you proud.' How altruistic of you...how naive...how pathetic. Nobody cares about your enthusiasm and energy." Then I hugged myself because I'd hurt my feelings. What a mess.

Oh what a mess. I haven't had my feelings crushed this badly in a long, long while. I'd forgotten what it felt like. This isn't like when we almost lost the house. I felt that in my throat, like my words were being stifled. It hurt in the back of my throat, which is where I feel that kind of fear like you might loose something you really care about, and you can't take a deep breath or swallow very well. This is completely a self-confidence issue...which does not surprise me at all.

 My barn school is looking better and better today...