Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In the Absence of Stuff

This isn't a stuff blog.  I don't have products or things to promote.  I can get pretty excited about a great pair of shoes, and find me a pretty new dress and this girl will be spinning and singing down the block.   But ask me to write a post on it?  Nope.  Not my thing.  

Give me space and the absence of stuff and you've given me room to breathe.  

In the case of our camping trip last week, the subject was rocks.  I love rocks.  I dream of creating rock walls around our property.  I love finding great big rocks (and than finding great big people to lift and position them just so) and I love the tiny rocks that fit perfectly into the fairy garden or other small planted areas.  I love sitting on rocks, stargazing or sunbathing.  I love holding a rock in my hand as I walk, rubbing my thumb into it, meditating on the shape and feel. 

As it turns out, my children love rocks too.  We arrived to a rather manicured campsite and began setting up.  Within less than an hour my two had collected all the rocks they could find and formed a pathway to our tent. 
 Later, when our friends joined us, the rocks became the major players in a construction drama that unfolded late into the afternoon.
 On our hike the stone steps provided a destination so great that our meandering team of flower collectors swung into full speed for a chance to walk on the great stone steps.
 And later at the water, the stones were arranged in circles to make homes for the crawdads and salamanders we found tucked away into the rivers crevasses.
There is nothing marketable here.  No advertisement running down the side of the page explaining the benefits of spending time in the absence of stuff, but I promise, not all things worth your time are worthy of being advertised.  Just head outdoors, leave things behind you and all around, you will see magic unfold.

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Different Side of the Story

Life is full of passions.
My passions are my family, flowers, gardens, lovely gestures, kindness, stories, storytelling......and as odd as it may sound, flamenco.  Dance is not typically on the agenda for this blog but as I have just returned from a performance at a local vineyard I am filled with the desire to share a bit from a different side of my little life.
Dancing.  Flamenco.
Delving into our passions even when the prime of youth has passed.  I always wanted to be a dancer and though it is only a tiny part of my already full life, dance is my storytelling in motion, the great unfolding of a flower blooming.
There is a feeling I get when I dance of utter freedom.  Once I have mastered the steps and put the many pieces together I have a sense of unity with my physical self, with the story I am telling and with the art it creates.  Believe me when I say, I am no master.  I am far from a great dancer, but I have a love for what I am doing that transcends the need to be great.  I don't have to be great (not for me anyway), I just have to do it.  I have to let all those pieces of myself come together.
I have only been at this a few years and finding the time to practice is a definite challenge but I set the goal when I started to stick with it for at least three years.....I am at the beginning of year three and going strong.  Let's hope for another ten.

Do you have a passion outside the realm of what you would normally do?  What is it and how do you find time to fit it in?  What does it mean to you?  

Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lost in Berries....No Sugar Necessary

It's been a whirlwind month.  The raised beds seem intent on producing with a force previously unheard of to my garden-loving eyes and we have been rolling in their wonder for weeks now.  The beds have been prolific but raised as they may be, they couldn't have done this alone.  Our countertops are lined with jam jars, our bellies filled with beets, pole beans, and 101 ways to eat a strawberry.  Fatigued from great eating, we point our fingers at the mushroom compost.
It is a thing of wonder and richness so steeped in nutrients that when it arrives on the truck in large heavy loads it steams for days.  I watch it while I wash dishes at the kitchen sink in my own cloud of steam and wonder at the heat that lies beneath.  In fact, when we mixed it into our beds we had to be careful not to use too much or risk burning our plants before they ever saw the sun.
 To celebrate the strawberry bounty I made twenty jars of sugar free jam....and that doesn't mean Splenda either.  I don't consider that sugar free.  I used white grape juice concentrate and ignored the instructions about not skimping on sugar.  I didn't use a drop and it is delicious and perfectly set.
At the end of a day, Saffie loves to flip through garden magazines and wax poetic about his latest successes and failures on the growing front.  Lately it has been all about the compost.  "That stuff is really incredible," he says as he flips through the pages of Mother Earth News.  I agree of course but what, I wonder, will I do with all those beets.  They are growing like gangbusters.  I say this out loud and Saffie shouts, "Ah ha! Look at this!"  He flips to the page on canning for the backyard gardener.  A beautifully laid out article with answers to all my questions.  You get what you ask for around here.
The only remaining problem seems to be losing Lola in the strawberry beds.

Thanks for stopping by,
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