Monday, August 11, 2014

Taking Inventory on Life

This summer marks twenty years from the summer I graduated from high school...which is totally Weird! I still think of myself as a young adult - so what then does a young adult think of me?

(hiker: Kelly @joyinmyheartxo)

A time to take inventory - the only problem is I don't have time for THAT! I can honestly say that my worst fear, twenty years ago, was being bored as an adult...I even wrote a song about it during my closet-song-writing-novice-guitar-playing days. Boredom is not so scary now...yes, it's just beyond my grasping hand, now.

(taken by Shannon; @solnatura)

Over the past twenty years, more than one person has said to me, "Patty-Jean (or PJ), pick ONE thing and stick to it, DO that One thing well!" That is Fantastic advice! Do I wish I took it? Perhaps if I heeded it, perhaps I would have been face to face with what used to be one of my worst fears. At least I can say I have overcome that fear!

 My List these days...

God, Worship, Creative Arts, Creating, Old Kitchen Arts, Dehydrating, Cultured Foods, 
My Husband-Partner, Babies, Toddlers, Children, Children Praying, Filled With Creativity, Honesty, Caring, Compassionate, Bold, Spiritual...

Supernatural, Outdoorsy, Dancing, Modern, Ballet, Old Fashioned, The Soil, Planting, Tending, Harvesting, Preserving, Housekeeping, Laundry, Hanging Laundry, Schooling, Reading, Classics, Music, Song, Singing, Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Leading, Serving, Following, Painting...

Teaching, Being Taught, Oils, Aromatherapy, Herbs, Healing, Nursing, Sewing, Community Sharing, Renovating, Organizing, Writing, Waking Early, Exercise, Conditioning, Scripture, Prayer...
not too mention some future dreams, of being a Doula, Natural Birth Educator, Health and Wellness Counselor, World Traveler, Aromatherapist, Author...It's only been twenty years...There's still time for more dreams. And hopefully one day I can say that I can do at least one of the above well?!

What is your life blessed to be crowded with?
 Or what are your dreams?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gardening for the Family

Here's to our second year of gardening on our own! It's wonderful to share gardens - and that is what we've done in the past. But it is actually wonderful to see a dream fulfilled. Being able to step outside with my morning coffee and see the fruit of our efforts before our eyes...not a drive away. 

 My next dream is to be able to garden for winter storage! It really must have been a full time job for those truly living off the land. This year, WOW, the soil was cold! Three weeks, we waited, before seeds had poked out their green from under the dark soil.

To mulch, or not to mulch! That has been our question! The worry of introducing new weed seeds,  it's not conventional, etc. But, seriously, I wanted straw so I didn't have to walk in mud after the rain! I don't really know much about planting onions or garlic except that you plant it before winter in the case of garlic? When we tilled (gasp, Yes, sigh, we tilled), there was a corner of onions and garlic that have been growing for who knows how many my experiment? I pulled it all out, split it up from the clumps, into individual cloves and bulbs and planted in a row - in fall, I 'll see what has transpired. Feel free to share your onion or garlic wisdom in the comments..I can use all I can get.

 One thing I am NOT doing anymore is planting spinach. Maybe it does better in different climates, but as long as I have the abundance of chickweed and lambs quarters (weeds), we are all set. I've been using these weeds in our daily green smoothies and salads.Tastes Just Like Spinach to me!

Low and behold, I've jumped on the Essential Oil battle wagon! This step OR hop was not been without a lot of thought and body/soul searching. I can't say enough of how this has made a difference for me and my family. For the first time in 10 years of motherhood, I've found a cure for pesky, sleep depriving growing pains! Not too mention other happy results.

In closing...

  • Please check out my sweet friend, Coralee's Beautiful Purse Sale!!! You do not want to miss these beauties before she is sold OUT! And what a lovely fundraiser too!
(Sorry for the poor image, snapped it with my phone off her blog)
  •  I have a necessity to clean out, destash my HUGE vintage collection of all sorts - from doll clothes, to magazines, toys, clothes, to crafting stuff...SOoooo, what better way than to put together some GIVEAWAYS! I also have the need to find my writing groove.

See you soon!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Years end...

...nursing around the clock these days, Shilo, eight months, is just cutting his two top front teeth...funny how some children barely react to teething...and well others react - full blown out - SICK!

...this too shall pass, mon bebe...

...when sporadically the sun and moon align themselves and I am unleashed to actually blog...I feel compelled each time to apologize profusely for my absence. 

...The Long Winter, I think about summarizes how most folk felt about winter in the western hemisphere - we too, up where lakes are still partially covered with ice as I type...feel this way. And so Spring, is that much sweeter - ain't it!

That God manufactured fragrance of buds bursting, intoxicates my nostrils.

...spring sprung, season's ending, season's starting...

...the end of  year for many things...

...end of my side job; teaching dance and early childhood music and movement - yup, since the big mama career started,  called Motherhood, that pretty much takes up center stage, no pun intended. Or should I say, no bun intended, while dance and music education really take a backseat. was my first full year, really teaching on my in not being in a community of other dance teachers and arts educators around me...just me, making the decisions and calling some shots...eek...I don't even like calling the shots! But living in a remote and small community now, wow...from a city where, what you offer is a dime a dozen, to moving to a place where, you're it...well, now's a time, as ever, to be brave, (smile)...Gotta love how life offers character building experiences... modest classes killed it in our local arts festival, despite small town politics...although Selah, 9, may not be a good fit for Abby Lee's dance company - grateful - (I'm drawn to a more wholesome approach, that is, value based on the process rather than on just performance), here are some shots from her piece to Fall Afresh, the Loft Series, Jesus Culture.

....cheers to your year ends...and blessings on your new seasons...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Celebrating a decade of motherhood...

Yes, we are alive....I let my feelings of self consciousness get in the way of writing....when it's been so long since I last wrote...I shan't dwell on it tho. 

It's been interesting how cold it has been this year. I think about how in 'The Long Winter', the very old native man told Ingalls and the towns folk that this was the beginning of a very cold cycle of winters. I wonder if we are entering a similar cycle.

As I write, our Fisher wood stove crackles at the other end of the room. I told my mom recently, that for all the years she dreamed of having a wood stove/cook stove in our home growing up....I am certain we had no idea of how much work it is. Cutting, splitting, carrying, stocking....But I guess that is the unfolding realization of every homesteader. The work it took to survive, for the early homesteaders, and tribes living of the wilderness and land, is almost unfathomable.

And yet, with each little homestead step, it sends such waves of joy of accomplishment.

On the subject of joy, my content, chubby baby Shilo is now five months. Oh, why are they all so eager to grow up?

It was a revelation to me the other day that it has now been one decade of motherhood for me, one decade of babies, toddlers, preschoolers and children....which means a decade of teenagers!!! Hahaha - I can't even imagine that. I just hope and pray that they love each other jealously and are the best comrades to each other.

 For now, I the families, of whom the adult children have excellent camaraderie, compassion, faith, honesty and an attractive humility.  How can I grow that in my home?

 A snobby proud mama moment for me was when one of my children at age 8 had said, "Who's Dora?"...and then the 5 and 3 year old at that time, chimed in, "Ya, who's Dora?" Meanwhile, I was shocked, with a tinge of waldorf-parent-satisfaction, that they were not attached to the trendy characters.

I'm told that during Waldorf School interviews it is strongly recommended that the families allow their children a modest to minimal amount of mainstream media.

There are so many excellent stories, rich characters, plots, adventures, with noble themes amongst literature, classics, Scripture, and fairy tales, etc. My proud mommy moment this week happened during a play that my oldest three (9,6 and 4yrs) had created. It was about a knight on a brave and treacherous quest for some precious treasure. He met an old wise lady, a fairy, and a princess, on his way, until he at last found the treasure; a piece of paper, and on it was written, 'LOVE'. And the narrator announced, 'because the greatest treasure of all is Love!' Where did they get that, I do not know, I had expected a treasure of gold and silver, or a million bucks or something. Although, all those folk and fairy tales always reiterate bravery, honesty, wholesomeness, integrity and humility, well, and of course, Love!

I really do enjoy taking the time to blog. Many days I'm overwhelmed by the day to day tasks in front of me. And being out of the groove of it, insecurity creeps up....thanks for visiting - I know in the case of this read it's a bit of a one way conversation - but I look forward to reading your commentaries and hope to reply back to you or visit your corner of the internet, with my coffee in hand., 5 eBooks for $7.40!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

God's Glory in Babies and Calendula

Dearest Long Lost Blog,

Days have grown shorter and shorter, both with the season changing, less and less sunlight and family changes and growth.

This summer we watched things grow...delighted, that with our move 7 hrs north of Winnipeg, we've gained 10 more days worth of summer sunlight hours. It was strange watching the sun set between 11pm and midnight. Of course now, it's much darker, and also strange to see the sun set on a steep angle.

Yes, besides watching plants, vegetables, herbs and the above Indian Calendula grow...we watched our baby grow. The seventh little member of the family, and fifth baby, was eagerly and impatiently waited and longed for.

After receiving prenatal care here from a local obstetrician, it became more and more apparent to me that I earnestly desired to birth the way I want to birth. This may seem presumptuous to some, especially in the case of emergency. But it is totally acceptable to have this view in the case of a low risk pregnancy where unfolding events stay low risk....if that makes any sense?

(Us at 41.5 weeks at the beginning of September)

 I traveled back to our home city with the 4 children at 38.5wks to await baby's arrival to birth at The Birth center with my wonderful midwives who've supported me with each birth. 

And we waited....and waited....Papa, my Hubby, joined us when  I was 41 wks...if I had been home up north I know I would have really felt the pressure to be induced then. Being overdue is challenging at the best of times...and I've been overdue with most of mine...but the pressure was so much more intense, not being home, everyone around on hold. Life's challenges always offer a chance to grow in character...Haha, never tell a hormonal, overdue pregnant women that! But it is definitely true in hind's sight.

My poor garden was left to fend for itself. I was grateful for a few good friends that went a picked! One even froze some for me, what a Peach! Over due, and a garden overgrown. Yes, that's the almost 2 year old getting lost in the Swiss Chard.

But Shilo's birth really was the birth of my dreams. The little life plunging out of me, into the water, catching him, pulling up to me...only my hands...only me and him in the water...another story for another time.

 (Shilo and I, a few hours after birth, resting)

We were eager to get back, and find our new norm. Those first couple of weeks were interesting...the newborn is the easy part usually, right? It's the older 4...adjusting their own new levels of responsibility...them adjusting to mama dividing her time a little more. This is a quandary. Juggling my hours and minutes amongst my 5 and all the other homemaking, does not necessarily mean I cannot give one on one attention to each child. Some parents of 1.5 children have tried to tell me that it is too difficult to give children the adequate attention when there is more than a couple. The beauty in homeschooling...and not over committing to 1000 extracurriculars...the beauty in not always sending children off to play, but absorbing them in life's tasks, right next to that they are close to you....Toys are over rated...sorry, I've probably said that 100 times in previous blog posts. Darn the toy industry, children just want to be with people, adults, their parents.

  Back on topic....

So, those sweet early days were spent nursing and reading together....ya, mostly that. And then there was some harvest to deal with. Five gallons of apples did not go far. 8 pies, and a little apple sauce. And with meals with other families those are disappearing fast.

My girlfriend says that having babies is like wine. It betters with age. Some might argue this. Maybe I just get amnesia...yes, I think I do...Am I suppose to clean the chord stub, again? Just kidding.
Yes, the little miracle is something sweet. And I'm that bee, attracted to my honey of a Shilo Joshua, born at 42 weeks at 11:59pm on his mama's birthday, September 4th. 7 lbs 5 oz.

And with the recent festivities of our Canadian Thanksgiving...I remind myself, I have much to be grateful for.

 Happy Thanksgiving Week!, 5 eBooks for $7.40!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Garden, garden, garden....

Growing, growing, growing....
A season of growth for us. Another baby, due in August...Some 'littles' are not looking so little anymore. And our very first OWN garden, after 4-6 years of garden sharing.

 There is nothing wrong with garden sharing. We've quite enjoyed it the past 7-8 years. 
An excellent remedy when you either don't own your yard, or live in an apt. Of  which we had experienced both over the last 10 yrs. We started with a community garden plots, and potted herbs, moved to sharing a large garden 20min out of the city, to raised beds in my mom's yard, to our finally our own this year.

Our new garden had not been cultivated in two years. So we know we may very well have the battle of the weeds! Currently I'm looking for a few bales of local hay to help us in the fight.

This year we mail ordered (online) our seeds from the Heritage Harvest Seed company located in the south parts of our province. Happy to receive heirloom, non GMO'd seeds!

Presently there is not too much to see. Our growing season starts a lot later, being close to the 54th parallel in the north: Planting was the last wk of may, first 2 weeks of June.But things are starting to pop out. Someone gave us some raspberry plants, and we are working on a mud play area, to help contain the littlest ones while the plants are tender...complete with the start of our bean fort in the "mud kitchen", as kids call it.

I feel a little like we have bitten off more than we can chew with a 31' by 34' garden as our first, and expecting baby number five just before the harvest season begins. Ready, Fire, Aim, right?

Isn't that how it is, it all happens at once!  I'm imagining newborn in tow, with four little; runners, helpers, helping bring in the harvest, drying the tomatoes, canning, freezing, chopping, simmering...

It's a good thing that Waldorf Inspired homeschooling is all about just this; having the children, pick, chop, stir, sort....

(Our river; the Carrot River).

These days, I have to admit, I'm tired, 31 weeks alarm goes off at either 5:30am or 6am, so that I can get that.....





 and Meditate before the house is a buzz with my early risers.....

But a turn about the garden, perennial bed and by the river with my coffee made from freshly ground whole beans helps.....Yes, yes I know I need to be drinking, rather that Raspberry leaf tea these days...I'm thinking it's better these days as an afternoon tea on ice...because, frankly, nothing beats that cup of coffee with heavy cream in the morning.

::Thanks to Soule Mama, for her inspiring post; this week in my garden. And thanks to any of you who have taken the time to read my garden post., 5 eBooks for $7.40!


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