The Story of the Chinese Farmer (2:20)

Yanic A.:

I don’t often reblog things. But I couldn’t help myself here. This is One of my favorites! My daughter (4yo) jumped up and screamed “Just like Stillwater in Zen Shorts (author Jon J. Muth)… I love that my daughter recognizes Tao and Buddhist story telling. Makes my heart sing!

Good night everyone!

Originally posted on Zen Flash:

▶ The Story of the Chinese Farmer – YouTube.

A parable about life and nature narrated by Alan Watts, animated by Steve Agnos, and with music by Chris Zabriskie.

View original

Posted in Buddha, Cultivation, Life | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Moving along…

Did I ever mention how absolutely random and undisciplined of a quilter I am? I think I’ve always been a bit scattered. I’m the kind of person that has a lot of trouble forcing herself to do something she doesn’t feel like doing. That being said, I usually have to have multiple projects going on at once because I need a variety to choose from. Just cause I feel like knitting, doesn’t mean I’ll feel like knitting the one project on my needle at the moment. Hence the 3 projects going on at once that you saw on my Q & A blog hop a few weeks ago.

I’m pretty much the same with quilting : Some project require less sewing, more cutting. Some are the exact opposite. Some require a lot of both! So depending on my mood, I usually have a lot of ongoing projects that will all get finished together. In this case, the holiday drop-off.

I wanted to share a bit of what I’ll be working on for the next few weeks. A few table runners and an overdue baby quilt. I’m sorry for the state of the pictures (they are horrible really), but now that I’m sewing downstairs, natural light is not my friend! LOL!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their week. I’d love for you to share what you are working on now!

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Posted in Crafting, Quilting, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

{ This moment }

{ This moment } – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

 If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by SouleMama.

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Posted in Family Life, { This moment } | Tagged , | 29 Comments

Slowly closing up shop

My husband is on vacation today and tomorrow. Which means, he will probably be more tired come the week-end than he would have been if he would have gone to work. There is usually one thing that makes my husband take time off in fall, and that is closing down the house and yard for winter. The weather has been nice some days, but also brutal on other days here this fall, it already feels like late November out there. So the window coverings are going up, the pool has been tarped up, the flower beds have been given a good shave and new dirt, compost, newspaper and leaves are being spread lasagna style over our fall cover crops, filling our beds to start building our soil for next spring.

That being said, I’m inside. *grunts and growls* I usually love to get my hands dirty. I love working outdoors. But of course, this year, it is not possible with my arm still busted. So I’ve started the more delicate and meticulous job this season brings : Drying the last of our herbs and flowers and collecting seeds for next year’s bountiful harvest!

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Taken last August

Agastache (also known as Anise Hyssop or Bee Balm) has to be one of my favorite herbs. Growing it attracts so many pollinators (hence the name) and to make tea with it is simply divine. As I type this, my fingers smell of anise and I’m already daydreaming of hands wrapped around a warm cup of tea as the snow falls outside.

I use to buy it, not realizing that it was not only perennial, but very happy in our cold climate. So I planted my first stand which gave me just enough to fill my 4 tray dehydrator and to collect enough seeds to quadruple my stands next year. Not to mention that the stands already in place will most likely double if not triple come spring.

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It amazes me how this life we’ve chosen can be equally hard and simple all at once. Some of it truly his the hardest work we’ve ever done. Bodies sometimes aching, staying up late into the night or up before dawn, ensuring we seize every opportunity the earth gives us. But the processes themselves, the rhythm of the seasons, the cycle of life we are truly apart of makes it seem all okay somehow. Better than okay. It gives what we do and who we are meaning.

So as I sit at the table with tweezers, coaxing the seeds out of their delicate and fragile pods, I smile. Knowing I hold life in my hands. Not only the seed itself, but our very existence.

Have a wonderful day everyone and stay warm!

Posted in Family Life, Homesteading, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Thoughts and struggle concerning time

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You may have noticed that I’m still not very active on my blog these days. Honestly, I can’t blame my arm anymore. Although there is still some healing to do, it’s feeling much better and I’ve recovered a wide range of movement I had struggled with the last few months.

No.

If I was to blame something (although, I’m never big on blaming), I would have to point the finger at time : fleeting, escaping, running away with it time.

Ever since I became a stay-at-home mom, I’ve been trying to find the right balance in my life : Between kids and home, cleaning and playing, me time and family time, outdoor and indoor… The process of introspection I’ve been on about my schedule has been constant, if not a bit overwhelming at times. How to best spend my time, how to best use my time, how to insure I’m giving all the different parts of my life the appropriate amount of time and most importantly, what am I DOING with my time that I feel I have so little of it?

I think that last question rings the closest right now because of this nagging feeling I have that I’m always over scheduled and running. You know that feeling you have that you are forgetting something? That is me 23 hours out of 24 and I never thought I would feel this way after stopping working.

I’ve recently come to understand that a lot of the pain in my elbow, arm and shoulder, although truly physical, may have an emotional catalyst. Yes, I’m actually putting this out there for the world to see : I think part of my pain is in my head!

This past Sunday, my husband and I were blessed to get together with a group of Tao practitioners like ourselves and participate in a day of learning about Chinese energetics in Traditional Chinese Medecine (TCM). We learned all about the 5 elements and how they are associated with everything in our lives from seasons to food to major organs in our bodies. But what especially rang true was the negative emotions associated with these elements and how they affect us physically. I wouldn’t feel knowledgeable enough to give the information here, but lets just say I saw a lot of links between the way I’ve been feeling and parts of my body that have been feeling less than “up to par”. And at the base of it all, stress was a major factor.

So how do I solve this? How do I take better care of myself while addressing the REAL problem (my level of stress) instead of the symptom of the problem (the pain in my arm)? Quite frankly, I’m not sure. Little things I guess :

  • Learning to say NO. That is a HUGE one for me. I love to make people happy. I mean, who doesn’t right? But along with loving to make people happy, I have a sometimes unhealthy attachment to my fear of making people unhappy. And if that wasn’t enough, when I do muster up the courage to say “no”, I usually end up feeling guilty about it, which negates the whole effort anyway. So this, evidently, is a huge one for me.
  • Start creating more. That is a given. I need to not only carve out time for creation, but not feel like it should be last on my list all the time. Everything always ends up coming first, that comes with being a mom and I’m sure many of you can relate. But I need to stop brushing it off as “non important”.
  • Continuing with our decluttering efforts. As I feel winter approaching and the indoors calling us in, I’m starting to feel claustrophobic again. We’ve made very huge progress in our home organization, but with us starting to board up windows and fully shutting closed doors, I feel the urge to clean and organize all the time. This means we still have too much stuff. We have become stagnant again. It seems no matter what we donate or get rid of, there is still too much. The more I feel the need to clean, the less I feel like I’m using my time properly. Vicious circle right? So the way I see it, the less we have, the less we have to clean, the less I’ll feel like I’m wasting time.
  • Getting back in shape. I’m tired of feeling tired. Something needs to change. It’s easy to feel like you are getting exercise when you are running after a little 2 legged tornado all day long. But that is NOT exercising and I need to stop relying on it to keep me healthy.

Okay, now that I’ve actually said these things out loud, they don’t seem so small. But I think they need to happen. So I’m starting today. Baby steps right? A drawer here, a sit-up there, a quilt square and a plan-free week-end is in the air. Didn’t mean to rhyme. LOL! Wish me luck and thanks for listening. xo

Posted in Cultivation, Family Life, Life, Simplicity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

{ This moment }

{ This moment } – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

 If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by SouleMama.

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Posted in Crafting, Quilting, Sewing, { This moment } | Tagged , , , , | 45 Comments

Learning a new stitch – a beginner’s dilemma

So, knitting is something I love to do, but honestly, I never really put any real effort into it. The poor friend that thought me how had to re-teach me how to purl about 5 times before it stuck. I love knitting mostly because it is the most portable of my crafts. Although I did pick up some EPP (English Paper Piecing) skills, even that requires papers, thread, needle, scissors, fabric… But with knitting, the whole thing fits in my diaper bag. I’m a happy camper.

Wash cloths and dish towels are my thing. I always make the joke that if it’s square  or rectangle and mostly made with the knit stitch, I’m good to go. But this year, I wanted to try something new. Not that I was going to make much more than wash cloths and scarves, but I wanted to try new stitches.

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I found one that I adore : The Horizontal Weave. A quick little you tube video to watch and I was on my way. The fluidity, the ease, it spoke to me. I thought it would be a nice change for a neck warmer I’m making as a Christmas gift. Only here is the thing… The more I knit, the more I like the WRONG SIDE BETTER! Maybe it’s the chunky yarn I used,  but those heavy warm dense ribs, I’m just in love…

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Is that weird? I’m seriously asking because I’ll be putting buttons and button holes in this thing and I wouldn’t want to make a major knitter’s faux-pas here.

I’d love to hear from all my amazing knitting readers and friends…

Thanks in advance for your feedback and have a lovely night. xo

Posted in Crafting, Knitting | Tagged , , | 19 Comments