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Archive for February, 2008

The pictures aren’t working well for some reason. I apologize- I’ll have to get to it later. I can’t figure out how to take down my post without losing it entirely.

Yesterday was The Boy’s birthday celebration. His actual birthday is today, but he’s working late, so we celebrated last night. I made him the meal he requested, which was steak, mashed potatoes, and cauliflower au gratin. For dessert, we had gluten free black forest cake, which I found here. The gluten free thing is actually going quite well. I’ve been able to keep up the baking I love to do, and being gluten free has been an interesting challenge to my cooking skills. But you want to see the cake, right?

Look- my first two layer cake!

 

And the inside:

 

And after dinner, we settled in to watch the Muppet Movie- we are going through a Muppet phase right now, it’s something we can enjoy with Fairy Girl, without me having to worry whether it’s going to scare her or not. But half way through, I remembered we wanted to see the full lunar eclipse, so The Boy hauled out his telescope, and I got the camera, and we oohed and aahed. We got there in time to see a small sliver of it disappear, and then it stayed fully eclipsed for a long time, til it rose so high, we couldn’t see it over the roof anymore, and we all froze our toes and ears and fingers off.

 

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I saw that episode on Oprah recently, about “The Secret”- I have to admit, I can get the theory, and be on board with that, but I’m always doubtful about the practical applications. So, I decided to try something small. I was about out of soap, and I don’t like to use store-bought soap- I either buy it from the Renfaire (the lady there makes an awesome almond bar!) or somewhere else- I haven’t bought store soap in years. The last soap I had was a gift from someone who brought it back from Hawaii for me- coconut, mango, plumeria, and lilac. Yum! But I was about out- the bar was just a sliver- I estimated I had a week left of soap. I told the universe I needed soap- goats milk please- I love goat milk soap, it’s so soft and creamy.  I didn’t care if I had to pay for it, but free is nice.  I ran out of soap faster than I thought, so I had to take a couple soapless showers (I used baking soda instead), and yesterday, Fairy Girl got into my overnight kit, and lo and behold, there was soap in it! Admittedly, it was a tiny sliver too, and I thought, “This isn’t what I meant universe, but I”ll take it.” But today, I went to pick up my first share of raw milk and eggs, and there it was- SOAP! For FREE! A full bar! I have no idea if it’s goat’s milk or not, but I don’t care- it’s soft and creamy, and it smells good. And I don’t have to get it from the store! Granted, the soap won’t change my life (though the lack thereof might have! lol!), but it was nice to see that this Law of Attraction really DOES work. I’ve been visualizing a small herb shop for a year now- I don’t expect it to materialize for another few years, but it will. I’m visualizing a tiny cottage home to go with it, with lots of space for a garden and chickens- again, I don’t expect it to materialize immediately here, but I DO expect that I will have my cottage, garden, herb shop, and chickens/cats/ more children one day. How can I not, when the image is so clear in my mind?

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Our Valentine’s Day

Today has been a day full of love. I woke up this morning to about 22 sticky notes that said “I love you” in various places around the house. I made pink oatmeal with red sugar for Fairy Girl, and proceeded to scramble to make goodies for our Valentine’s Tea Party!

We had two of Fairy Girl’s little friends over, and we all had raspberry tea, tea sandwiches, croissants, and chocolate covered strawberries. As you can see, they were a hit. (with the mamas too).

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I thought I’d share some of our Valentine decor- this is the first year I’ve really had a chance to decorate as I envision for the holidays, and I’m very proud of it. It makes me happy to look at. We’ll be keeping it up for another month, til St Patty’s Day.

I took down our Christmas wreath, and I wanted to put up a heart shaped wreath of red roses, but that would be expensive to do with fresh flowers, and I for some reason can’t get into silk flowers. No matter how real they look, they always look fake to me. So, I got this as a good compromise. I like it.

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Next, I made this cloth banner, as seen on Mom in Madison’s blog. I want to do a green one for St Patty’s Day, too.

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And I stayed up one night when I couldn’t sleep, and strung these hearts over the window. It’s wax paper and crayon shavings. I like the effect, except I think that big one in the middle looks like it has measles. *giggle*

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We have a display over our entertainment center that I change around every so often. I kept the red and ivory candles for Christmas, and took down the (extremely pointy) greenery, and added these craft store letters that I glittered. (An idea I took from Dawn)

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I set our table with a red poinsettia tablecloth from Christmas, but covered it with a piece of white lace I picked up from the fabric store, and topped it with some candles I got from the dollar bin at Target.

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Well, that’s all the pictures I took that are share-worthy. I wish you could see the full effect, it’s really lovely in here.

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Love

I was pondering the meaning of Love this Valentine’s Day. The first thought came to me as a song I learned in school. It was a Bible verse put to music.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for Love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is Love.” 1 John 4:7-8

It made me think of those cult groups of white supremacists, who spew messages of hate in the name of God. It is pretty obvious to anyone looking that they do not know God. They have no love, they CANNOT know God. But, how many of us are lacking in love from time to time- we may not actively HATE, but we lack love. Another of my favorite verses on love is one that is very familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of the Bible, or who has ever been to a Christian wedding- it’s used very frequently at weddings.

1Corinthians

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails… 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Patient. Kind. Not envious, boastful or proud. Not rude, self seeking, easily angered. Keeps no record of wrongs. Love never fails.

All of those are love. In the Christian church today, I see lots of those things. I see pride. LOTS of pride. Lots of self seeking. Keeping records of wrongs.

But if we have not Love, then we do not know God. If we as a Church are to return to knowing God, there are lots of things that must change.  Goodness knows I don’t know where to start. Maybe with Love. Maybe we need to change our hearts to one of Love, and all will flow from there.

The Bible says that the entire law is summed up in one single command: “Love one another.” (Gal5:4) The whole Law, the whole Torah, is centered around this one command. Paul said that the fulfillment of the law was Love. (Rom 13:10) If we keep Love in our hearts, and act from a place of Love, then we can’t go wrong.

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It seems that I have three or four things tumbling around inside my head, but not enough to write about, and then when I start writing (after putting it off, because I don’t think I have enough to write about), a full post appears. Well, that’s where I am again today. I don’t think I have much to say about any one thing, but a little bit about a few things. But as I’ve learned, your writing really DOES take on a life of it’s own.

So. First- I discovered this great website: Beulah Enterprises

Take the time to read what they said on that page there about spiritual play. It’s got a waldorfy feel to it, and also a kick booty flannel board “curriculum”- I put that in quotes, because I don’t really use curriculums the way they’re meant to be used, but I take what I like out of them, and adapt them to what I’m already doing. And it reminded me of these books I wanted to get, called Godly Play, which are Montessori based- and have sets for each Bible story to go with them- but are super expensive. I bet I could just get the books, and put something like that together on my own, though. Combined with the stuff I like from OyToys.com, I imagine I can put together a great spiritual early education for Fairy Girl.

Looking at those websites brought back my own memories of my spiritual education- I attended a private Christian (not Catholic) school from first through seventh grade. It was so small, first and second, and third and fourth, and fifth and sixth graders were in one class- that is, 1-2 is one class, etc. Overall, I think that this played an essential role in my knowledge of the Bible, and I’m grateful for it. The key was that I was told Bible stories every day, and my teacher would hold up a picture depicting the story as she told it- beautiful artwork, not cartoony stuff. (I should explain another day why a Veggie Tales curriculum makes me shudder- as moral tales they’re fine, as entertainment goes, but as Biblical instruction? *shudder*) I remembered those stories, and they formed the foundation for my Biblical knowledge- along with singing songs and memorizing verses daily. I still remember those verses I learned when I was 6. This is the kind of spiritual education I want for Fairy Girl, not the kind you learn for an hour once a week in Sunday School- which has it’s place too, but isn’t lasting. The Bible says, “Talk about it when you sit at home, when you walk along the way, when you lie down, and when you get up”- spiritual truth should be integrated into your life- despite the fact that we don’t attend church (which I would like to change)- that’s what I”m working towards. An aside about church- I don’t think you have to attend church to be a “good Christian”- whatever that is- but I do think it provides a nice structure to the week, and being around likeminded people is so valuable. So. Church not vital, but very helpful.

I’ve recently read both of Ellen Sandbeck’s books: “Slug Bread and Beheaded Thistles”, and “Eat More Dirt”. I enjoyed both, but Eat More Dirt had some great stuff for me in it. Unfortunately, I’ve already taken it back to the library! Arg! I hate it when that happens! I will try to remember what I took from it- this is why I have to own books, I’m constantly referring to them, I can’t keep giving them back to the library. 🙂

She talked about how everything is an ecosystem. She cited how the propensity of children for having asthma is directly proportionate to how much dust is in your home- the more dust, the less likely asthma is. Good news for me, as dusting is my hated chore, and I only do it twice a year. And how kids who live on a farm or have pets or go to daycare have stronger immune systems, because they’re exposed to dirt and germs more often. And how people suffering from serious digestive distress, like Crohn’s, got better after they ingested worm eggs. Apparently, just like beneficial bacteria, there is a whole ecosystem inside our bodies, yes, consisting of worms too, that live in symbiosis with one another- throw one off too much, and you throw the whole system out of whack. This is all stuff I’ve long suspected, but it was nice to have it confirmed. I love it when that happens. 🙂

And I’ve recently rediscovered a website from the depths of my bookmarks called School of the Seasons. I signed up for her emails, and begun to read her book, and I love it. She suggests slowing time down to almost a stop, or at least it seems that way to our rushed modern sensibilities. I especially recommend Chapter Two. Imagine- waking when the sun comes up, going to sleep when it’s dark, eating when you’re hungry… how many of us can even fathom not using a clock for even one whole day? I’m going to have to try this sometime soon! And she also introduced me to the word phenology. It means the study of the changing of the seasons. I may start a phenology journal, where I track some of the seasonal changes around me, like first robin sighting(last week), first bud, ripening of the berries, etc. Finding her website is part of a larger synchronicity in my life to live closer to the natural rhythms, closer to what my body was designed for and closer to health and happiness.

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I have really not felt led to write lately. I have a whole page of writing ideas, but I didn’t feel led to write about any of them. So my poor blog has been sitting silent. For far too long. I realized today that a good part of it is  because I recently joined a weight loss group. I don’t really want to chronicle the whole experience here, but it did make me realize something. I have a finite amount of energy to devote to things- I can’t devote all the energy I want to to herbalism, crafting, being a perfect parent (oh, be quiet!), a homekeeper, AND my own body all in the same day. I simply can’t. And lately, it’s taken EVERYTHING I have to work on my own body and just keep up with the other essentials- my home and family. That means book reading, crafting, herbcrafting, and anything else  I’m into (Simple Abundance, even my spirituality- which SHOULD be an essential, but I’m not perfect after all) has gone to the back burner. My mental energy is taken up with making sure I’m drinking enough water, how many calories I”m eating, and when I’m going to find time to exercise. And then recording it all for my group. Despite my resistance to calorie counting, I do feel it’s been beneficial to me- did you know that a Frisco Melt from Steak and Shake (oh, all my  herbal friends are cringing now!) has *980* calories???? 980!! Well, that’s the last time I eat fast food! At least for 8 weeks anyway, and after that, I won’t want to get any because I won’t want to undo all my hard work. And it’s been surprisingly easy to exercise and get enough water for me.  Before this group though, I wasn’t keeping track of water- just drinking when I felt thirsty, but I was getting under the 8 recommended glasses. Now I”m drinking 4 glasses a day- of 20 oz each! 😉 I also wasn’t exercising on a regular basis.

The only problem is that this group is VERY mainstream in their beliefs about health and weightloss, and I”m… rather unorthodox. I have a hard time with the idea that you should set aside a certain time for exercise rather than simply living a more active lifestyle. When all this time I’ve been trying to do the opposite! Finding a way to make my typical daily life so active I don’t NEED to exercise! And some of the women are eating IMO, not enough calories- and of course there’s all the “diet” food- I wouldn’t consider eating fewer than 1600, because for me, that’s where my body goes into famine mode, and starts conserving. And my high fat low carb diet would make most of those women freak out about the fat, I think. Oh well, we all have different bodies. It seems to be working for them. They’re losing weight. Time will tell if my way works for me.

This isn’t NEARLY as fun as crafts and parenting to me, but it’s my life right now. And I know it’s worth it in the long run.

The past couple days, I HAVE been able to do a bit of reading- I’m currently reading “Eat More Dirt” by Ellen Sandbeck- and I’m telling you, it’s been a long time since a book has taught me such new and interesting information! I’m going to come back and post about dust, allergies, and intestinal worms! Oh no, I hope you come back! Here, this will get you. On Feb 5, I’ll be participating in the herbal blog party, which, in honor of the love holiday is about aphrodisiacs! I’ll be writing about my favorite herbal aphrodisiac- can you guess what it is? 😉

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