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It Seems I Am Not Alone in My Love Of Being Idle.

.1. Banish the guilt. We are all told that we should be terribly busy, so we can’t laze around without that nagging feeling that we need to be getting stuff done. I rejected my guilt upon learning that Europeans in the Middle Ages felt no shame for lolling about. Their favorite philosopher, Aristotle, had praised the contemplative life, and the monks spent a lot of time just praying and chanting. Guilt for doing nothing is artificially imposed on us by a Calvinistic and Puritanical culture that wants us to work hard. When you understand that it hasn’t always been this way, it becomes easier to shake it off.

My last few posts have been about time and how I have been enjoying life-especially doing nothing. Then today I get to my August issue of “Real Simple Magazine” and find this article-
“10 Ways To Enjoy Doing Nothing” by Tom Hodgkinson. Holy crap have I been successful at this list in the last few months!

7. Lie in a field. Doing nothing is profoundly healing―to yourself and to the planet. It is precisely our restless activity that has caused the environmental crisis. So do some good by taking a break from “doing” and go and lie on your back in a field. Listen to the birds and smell the grass.

8. Gaze at the clouds. Don’t have a field nearby? Doing nothing can easily be dignified by calling it “cloud spotting.” It gives a purpose to your dawdling. Go outside and look up at the ever-changing skies and spot the cirrus and the cumulonimbus.

The day before my knee surgery we all went over to Horner Park to let Lilo play with the ball. I was nervous about the anethesia and was distracted by how much work I wanted to do around the house to get ready for the slow down that recovery would bring. For those reasons I wanted to make her playtime as short as possible. Then we got under the trees and the next thing you know I was laying on the ground. Canyon was sleeping in the stroller and I realized that this was a moment he would enjoy so I woke him up and brought him down in the grass with me. We laid there, staring up at the leaves and trees for over an hour. I blew bubbles left over from Mary’s wedding and we snuggled in the grass. We threw the ball for Lilo and just enjoyed being in that moment. John stood the whole time, playing games on his I-phone. “You know I don’t like the grass” he said. We love him anyway.

I don’t remember the rest of that day-how much laundry I may have done, what we had for dinner or whether or not my kitchen was clean. But I do remember how connected I felt to nature, my family and my life.

The other day Canyon and I called John at the theatre to thank him for working so hard while I get to stay home with Canyon. During the day I play a game-“they don’t do this at daycare!” and appreciate how fortunate we are that we can afford this luxury. But I also appreciate the fact that we saved and are willing to sacrifice a lot of the perks we use to enjoy for this freedom. But I do feel guilty that the house isn’t spotless, the laundry is not always done and I am not dressed in heels and pearls when he comes home-the picture of the perfect house wife. Instead I am usually wearing lounge wear, hair in ponytail and no make up. There’s almost always a delightful meal but it’s not always at a well set table.

Now my goal is to keep is to keep up my “idlyllic art of idling” but balancing it with some house work and creative course work. I think I can do this. It’s a new season and I am ready to begin.


Nature and Babies Are Great Reminders of How Fast Time Goes

Whenever I see people, or let’s be honest, read their Facebook status updates, the conversation always goes to how “fast this summer went” or how “time races by”.

It’s easy to let time pass you by. I am the Queen of Losing Whole Days. Yesterday Canyon, the animals and I somehow spent 8 hours in our king size bed-we watched non-stop episodes of The Office through Netflix on demand, played with toys, invented games and played pathwords on Facebook. The bedroom was only left for bathroom breaks, food and water. It was awesome. And the day flew by. Before I knew it John was almost home from work and I had to hustle downstairs and try to do accomplish at least a small amount of housework.

But even as I waste my days away I am aware that it is happening and I appreciate the freedom to spend my days that way. I enjoy watching the passing of time, minute by minute, hour by hour. After a crazy, emotional, wild roller coaster ride of getting pregnant, losing my job(identity), ending up in the hospital and having a super premature baby who required 48 days in the NICU, (whew!) my life is much simpler than it has ever been. I try to spend time in nature. I honor the phases of the moon with full moon fire jams and try to take a moment each night to see the changes in the moon as she passes by the open sky of my backyard.

I am preparing our meals in an effort to be healthier and to save money. This summer I have been able to eat mostly fresh, locally grown food. I hit the farmers markets twice a week and have been amazed at how much better fresh really tastes. I buy our meat from C&D Family Farms and yes, it’s more per pound but we just eat less meat than before to make up for it. I became hooked on buffalo mozzarella with tomatoes and basil from our garden, grilled vegetables and kabobs. I bought a rotisserie machine thingie at a rummage sale so I can roast my own meat! Yesterday I picked up a $5 bread machine so this week I will work on baking my own bread. It has been wonderful to try new recipes and experiment with flavors and techniques. I didn’t fully realize just how local our meals have been until I splurged and bought bananas this week. How exotic that banana was! I also got avocados so that will be a real treat to my midwestern feasts!

There is no denying that Fall is here when you take a walk through the farmers market. The selection of fruit and vegetables is smaller and now gourds are mums are taking over. Tuesday is my favorite market and I will have to load up and start freezing items for winter and am looking into a winter share from a local farm. Another reason to freeze the bounty is that Canyon is now moving on to “real food” and we are trying to make it ourselves rather than buying the jars. I am pureeing green beans this week and freezing it in little cupcake molds. Next I will start on peaches, apples, pears, squash and sweet potatoes.

It is so crazy to look at the little manlet and realize that he is seven months old and 21 pounds! Everyday he can do something new. This week I got to bring out a whole new round of toys that he is finally ready for.
He can support his weight on his legs and arms and the doctor has reminded us that we need to start baby proofing because he will be mobile before we know it. I keep a bag by his dresser to toss too-small clothes into and we need to pull out the 9-12 month old sizes in some things!

Now it’s time to prepare for full on Autumn. Yard work, seeds to gather and planters to be emptied and moved into storage. I try to winter as many of my containers as possible so window space needs to be cleared for the herbs, geraniums, asparagus ferns, these pretty purple plants and the hibiscus. Last year I got overwhelmed and didn’t bring in this one pink geranium and I am still haunted by the mental picture of how hard she hung on, through the cold finally freezing up and dying in ice. I feel like I let her down after she was so beautiful all summer. Seriously, I still feel bad. After all this time.

Autumn to winter, winter into spring, Spring into summer, summer into fall,– So rolls the changing year, and so we change; Motion so swift, we know not that we move.
Author: Dinah Maria Mulock (used pseudonym Mrs. Craik)
Source: Immutable


And We Were Swinging….Swinging



Fire Spinning Full Moons and Sunrises

I still made time for the Moon. August we made it down to the Fire Spinning Jam thing. IMG_7356
Sigh. Another summer passes and I still haven’t learned to spin fire. I got the equipment off of Freecycle but haven’t got my act together enough to take lessons. (see previous post). I thought about just teaching myself and after doing some research decided that I would like to not burn down my house or lose my eyebrows. There’s always next year…
Lilo and I also soaked up some alone time with sunrises at the lake…


“So Are You Guys Really Tired?”

Since Canyon came into our lives that is the question we get the most, “are you really tired?” I usually say, “oh no, he’s a great baby” or “he’s a great sleeper but we have a hard time going to bed when he does so it’s our fault”. It’s like I am defending him for being a baby.
And part of me believes that is the truth, but the other part of me is starting to realize that he is eating my brain. Oh now he’s not a real zombie baby, (but that is what we call him when he gets hungry and starts gnawing at his hand-“oh no it’s Zombie Baby!!!!”
He does not literally eat my brain, but since he came into our lives I am definitely not all there.
Even before baby time I was a bit ADD and not the best at focusing. Now it’s reached epic proportions. I cannot focus on anything for more than a few minutes. Whenever I have a free moment this blog is always nagging at me but every time I sit down to write, or post photos I end up dancing all over the internet or jump up to do another load of laundry, or vacuum or dishes, or make dinner. I can’t arrive anywhere on time, I start to make coffee but forget key steps. like adding the actual coffee or the carafe. I haven’t finished thank you’s or sent out birth announcements. I haven’t wrote a think in the baby book. I am a baby lovin mess. If it wasn’t for the quick and easy bliss of Facebook I would have totally dropped off the radar.
So now I will try to catch up a little bit. This is the only documentation I have of this wild and crazy time in my life. Wild, crazy and wonderful.