Leaf Day!

IMG_3346Sunday Afternoon- What a great time to start seeds indoors!  Today would be a great day to start cool season greens inside – kale, cabbage, chard, lettuce… if you have a cold frame or even row cover and are ready to begin your outdoor watering routine.. you could also start all those things outside today (especially down south Amber!!)I am also starting my sunflower and pea shoot sprouts so we can have fresh greens asap!!

 

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I have to admit I am missing my own Planting calendar this season, so I dug up a few posts from my archives from the days before I ever made the glossy pretty calendar… So for this year I thought I would just share with you some of my informative blogs posts, already written and ready to go!!  My gift to you to jump start your growing season!

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Here is the Recap from my seeding class from years past

How to make Homemade Potting Soil

How to make Wooden Planting Flats

Garden Planning

Bed Prep

Also, if you are a more hands on learner- My dear friend Amanda will be teaching an indoor seeding class next weekend at the wonderful Ampersand Learning Center.  I am sure it will be super informative and get you growing!

There are also some cool classes Home Grown New Mexico is putting on this season too that I want to check out, including a cool looking one called Evolution Gardening/Revisiting the Victory Garden in the 21st century Awesome!!

So no shortage of things to learn and do these days!  Let’s get Growing!IMG_5210

The end of the season

This morning I glimpsed through this blog of a gardener gathering up her garden bounty before the last frost (you may have seen it too) and thought, I should really do that today… or tomorrow, or sometime soon.  Thoughts like that usually take me about a week to actually accomplish these days, but when I went out side I found little Jacky frost had already made his way to my door!!

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Sneaky bugger!! So there you have it, first frost ten days earlier than predicted here in New Mexico and even earlier than Maine… though FYI New Mexico and Maine have very similar growing seasons according to Elliot Coleman, (a genius of a farmer from Maine).

 

 

img_3434It was disappointing for a minute, but then honestly a huge relief!  My garden has been tremendous this summer, but I have been a less than impressive gardener.  In fact my garden has just started to make me sad, as one more thing I haven’t gotten to tend to these days, as babies occupy me day and night!

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So it all worked out, and surprisingly I worked for 2 hours straight thanks to my new babysitter (as the baby chair is so charmingingly named!) and a very beautiful day and good timing on my part, (post lunch pre-nap, well feed, energetic kids).  We all were actually in heaven and I had some fierce gusto for ruthlessly pulling any and every fruit I could see and then tearing down the wilted vines.

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The season is not completely over, as I hope to have greens till Christmas, but it felt darn good to clear the deck a little…. well  kind of, now the work is in the kitchen with 40lbs of ripe tomatoes, 50 pounds of Green ones (seriously someone please just take them off my hands). This has actually been one of the oddest and unproductive tomato years yet, but again, I am grateful cause I couldn’t have handled any more!

img_3653I have decided I am doing only freezing this year as canning with one adult and three tiny children is a down right bad idea in this house.  The good news is, there is always next year! So off to the kitchen I go, adios garden, thank you for all that you gave us it will  nourish us all year and now, with a sign of relief we say good night!

Santa Fe Harvest Swap 2016

Honestly I am amazed I have pulled off raspberry picking, apple picking, salsa making & cider pressing this season with my three tiny people at my side.  It is only because I have had community to share and support the process, shepherd the children, carry the baskets, and wash up when the day is done.  I just can’t help myself but harvest like the mad woman I used to be even though I am often carrying one or two people while doing it.  There is nothing worse to me than to see food wasted, dropping on the ground when we live in a world where so many go hungry.  It just isn’t right and my deep instinct to gather and feed lives on even in my weariness these days…..so_3033

The time has come again to share what the good garden gave ya.

Come join us Oct 23rd for the 4th annual Santa Fe Harvest Swap to share and swap the bounty of the season!!

Sign up here and I will see you soon!!

And if you can’t make it but have more than you can eat this season, please remember to share with those who need it, there are so many who would be deeply nourished by your care.

Good Times

Most of you who read my blog know me and my family pretty well…and if you are new here (thanks to Soulemama’s sharing of our garden), Welcome, so glad you came!!

I write here mostly about gardening because that is what inspires me most….but these days life has been so intensely full, gardening is on the back burner, as I have been home with three children while my husband has been working in New Zealand for two weeks.

Yes there are all kinds of hard things going on in the world and I really have nothing to complain about, but if you have been one of the many angels to grace our homestead this summer with a meal, a helping hand or to whisk the kids off for a walk, you know that things have gotten pretty ferrell, somewhat chaotic and at times a bit bleak around here.

IMG_2695First it was “WE are out numbered” now it is just Me who is outnumbered and I simply can’t help and hold three tiny people all at once.  7 am and 7pm are intense to say the least!  I have only made it through because so many of you have helped us, and for this I am alive today, but there is that moment where every mother realizes, ‘ No one can really help me, because no one else is mommy to these guys and sometimes only mommy will do.’  Though luckily we have found some pretty close seconds!!

IMG_2635This afternoon, only minutes after our helping angel had departed, I found myself saying, “Where is Eva” one too many times.  This little 18 month old critter is getting into everything!! But finally after weeks on end of overwhelm, my stress broke into laughter ….

First we were peacefully doing laundry together when I stepped out for just a minute and returned I couldn’t find her,  ” Where is Eva?” I said.

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She had figured out how to get into the dryer and I hear her priceless, ” HI” and the door swung open and there she was, happy as a calm in her new favorite spot!

We finished the laundry and I had to sit down to nurse Oakley, within minutes I asked again” Where is Eva?”

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Of course, throwing my neatly chopped Chard all over the Kitchen floor!!  (Jaengus thought this was especially funny).  ‘Awesome’ I thought, and picked it up off the floor, “I am the only one who will really eat it anyways!”

It went on like this all evening, she was on a role… while I was trying to get dinner on the table I passed her water to hold her over…and one quick trip into the kitchen and back…and what do we have here, a baby fountain!! Soaking herself entirely in a matter of seconds!

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After dinner, ” Where’s Eva?” Now she has crawled up on the log, figured out the spray bottle and is giving herself and bath… IMG_2817

“Where is Eva?”now she has caught herself with her net…IMG_2810

There were of course a few things I couldn’t photograph, like slipping off to the backyard and climbing to the top of the swing set by herself and when I spotted her shouting “YEAH!!” at the top of her lungs and bopping up and down inches from the edge!! ( heart attack for me! not a photo opp!)

And while we were laying down to bed she wandering off for one last “Where is Eva?” for the day …. tearing up toilet paper bleery eyed of course!IMG_2820

Oh Eva are you a Cartoon or a real child? Either way you make me laugh when I want to cry and I love you for that, because sometimes that is all a mother can do!

 

Finding the New Normal

It has been over a month since Oakley was born, my third baby, that makes 3 under 5 years old.  I gotta tell you, this isn’t parenting thing isn’t for the faint of heart.  It is taking everything I have got…and I am getting a huge amount of help from my family and have been feed almost every day by friends, bless them all!!  Sometimes I do lay awake in bed sweating and think “what am I going to do when the meal train stops, Joel goes back to work and mom goes home!!”  …..But I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  For now it is time for me and the family to find the new normal.  What is the flow of our days when mommy has to tend to baby’s need before breakfast? IMG_2295How do we navigate one small lap when all three kids MUST be held at the same moment, or worse need a diaper change at the same moment?  I admit it, sometimes one, or two does cry a bit while they learn to wait for mommies free hand and I must learn to spread my heart so wide to hold them all with it when my hands can’t reach.  It is stressful and I am tired, it is true, but I am finding new tricks, like singing more, as they can all hear my song equally.  I am holding them more and being even less ambitious than ever though that does kill me cause often all I want to do is get SOMETHING, ANYTHING done from start to finish without interuption…But it is getting easier everyday and we are all finding our way together.  I am getting many moments witnessing the beauty of my children while sitting breastfeeding and watching them play, something I honestly rarely do ( sit that is!)

Life is slow, but steadying and summer is the perfect time to let things unfurl and find their own equilibrium.  So I guess all this to say, no news is good news here from the nest.

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Wrapped in love

To stray from the rise of gardening spirit for just one moment, I simply must share that today is my daughters first birthday.  She was born in the evening, in front of the fire and her birth was indeed a fire birth if you will.  She is turning out to be a little fireball herself and I simply couldn’t love her more!  I love her so deeply, as all mothers do, but I am just astounded at how much she has taught me in this short year.

Her first lesson to me was “you can not do this alone”.  I love community and people but I can also be quite the loner, especially when it comes to hard tasks and challenges.  She told me loud and clear, “Gather the troops mama, you will need them this time around!”

So I boldly did.  I asked for something that required attention, care, focus and most of all time, which is solid gold to most mamas I know.

IMG_0310I asked them to weave together a net for Eva and I to catch us when we fell, ( which we in fact did about 5 weeks into her life).

IMG_0504I asked them to knit us a blanket to warm us with motherly love in the coldest, darkest days of the year (and what felt like the darkest days of my entire life at the time).

IMG_0321I asked for them to stitch us a rainbow bridge which we could cross over, into the many phases of our life together….

IMG_0502And so they did.  Without any hesitation, they got to work, rummaging through their stash baskets, finding a simple form for all to fit into, holding gatherings to knit and laugh and do what needed to be done.

 

Stitch by stitch, square by square we all prepared for the day of her birth, together in our thoughts of this little girl who would come and be a part of our woven fabric of womanhood.

Each hue handed to me with a prayer and a kiss tucked inside.

And then, ever so carefully and communally, the rainbow was woven together, stronger than any net ever made, brighter than all the colors in the universe, and warmer then any blanket on the coldest of winter nights.

I had it to lay my baby on the day she arrived in my arms.

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It caught us and cradled us, warmed us and brightened us, all because of the women who rose to create it.  They kept coming too, with food and flowers and friendship and still do, even a year later, and I have no doubt they will be with us till the end.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 11.09.09 PMOn this day I weep in love not only for my daughter and her wisdom but for the women who rise every time, in every way, every single day to do what needs to be done, to care for, to feed, to comfort, to celebrate, even to scold.  These are the women of the whole world and I am proud to raise up yet another woman on this spinning earth who I know will be taught by the very the finest, to do what needs to be done and to not be afraid to ask for help when it is needed.  I am proud of my women today and proud to be a woman who loves so freely, so fiercely and so necessarily!

I was also taught by my daughter, to give thanks for what you are grateful for and to sing that thanks to the world.  So sisters, Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart, there is not much more to say than I love you.

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Adapted by Katie Feldspausch from ‘The Tapestry Poem’ by Corrie ten Boom

My life is but a weaving,
Between my world and me.
I cannot change the color
For Life works steadily.

The dark threads are as needful
In the skillful weavers Hand
Aside bright threads of rainbow
The world’s stitched up in my plan.

Often times It weaves in mystery,
And Many days of cheer,
Wrapping it all around me,
My world is far from fear.

Now the room is silent
And the wool will lay to rest,
The life weaved in this blanket,
Will forever be so blessed.

  • Read to me with the gifting of the blanket

Processing

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I have been doing a lot of processing lately- mostly thoughts & emotions, struggles & triumphs, births and deaths.  I have never really used this space to share these things, mostly because I am not really sure how.  When big things happen I don’t always know how to put words to them, I live through my senses and images come more naturally to me then words.  IMG_8720

I am not always sure what to do with all that life offers and doing is what I know best.  I feel good when I do, I get my hands in the earth and it grounds me.  I grow food and I feed and thus am feed.  IMG_8714

I bring life, but sometimes it is simply taken away.  There are times in life when things are out of my hands, I get disoriented and somewhat lost.

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Lately this has been true, I have been thrown off by what life has thrown at me and the way I process is by doing things that make sense to me.  Lately there has been a lot of processing internally and externally in this processing I am finding healing.

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If food is medicine then maybe food processing is therapy.  So in my muddled mind when my hands can do I am made whole again.  So picking and processing I go. Grinding the berries, sorting the seeds, whirling the blender. IMG_8766

Time to harvest the bounty and make the food and I feel it healing all the confusion of the world.  So I give thanks for the ability to be processed by my processing of the food that will feed in the months to come.

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The Birth of Spring

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Our tanks runneth over and the garden is wet, the days are growing longer is it spring yet!!

The water draws me out, I can feel the sap rise and my weight sink into the mud.

The buds swell and then freeze and then thaw again to bloom full.

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Spring is erratic around here, unpredictable and swinging for months from perfectly perfect days like today and then the blustery dusty days that have past, but we all know will come again.   Death and birth as so closely linked that spring is not always comfortable and smooth, but so full of promise, a bloom around every corner, a tiny miracle reminding us daily that all this flux is worth it.  Hope is what draws the shoots upwards and our faith in new life what carries our spirits forward towards the ever shining sun.

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This spring especially, I am fully embodying rebirth, now being 6 weeks into parenting two children all the metaphors of spring are my daily truth. These past weeks have been a tender and transformative time for my family with all the gifts and shadows spring brings.

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We have all been born into a newness; my son now a brother, my husband and I now responsible for two little lives and our daughter, brand fresh new to it all!!

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The baby bubble is starting to expand and we are all slowly dipping our toes back into the “real world”, but really what could be more real than this?  Birthing life is down right as real as it gets.  Luckily my work is aligned with the cycles of the seasons so I have a very gentle transition from winter to spring, all I MUST do these days is feed the family and plant my seeds.

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I go from the rocker to the kitchen to the garden and back and though I didn’t go to school for this, I realize how well suited I am for the work of nurturing and nourishing life.  As my dad put it, “good work, if you can find it.”  And though it ain’t always easy, it really is good.

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So today I take the gift of life carefully into my hands, rolling it over, feeling it’s texture and weight for the very first time.  Seeing it all with new eyes, washed clean by the spring rains and time in the cave of winter.  There is a rawness to it all, an uncertainty,  but faithfully I embrace the precious possibility that rebirth brings.

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The stars are aligning, the sun eclipsing, the winter departing, the spring is birthing, the door is open for new life just over the threshold.  With my new babe in arms I bravely step through with all the faith in my heart that I too will be birthed safely into bloom.  And so I wish the same for all life on this blessed birth day of spring.

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Excerpt from Birth Blessing By Timothy P. McLaughlin

May this heroic lady, her body still aglow

with a great breaking forth to life,

her soul yet ringing

with the ancient song of nascence,

be granted full restoration and rejuvenation

and an easy, natural return

to this world and its insistent rhythms.

And so we begin

Another year has ended and a new one begins…  IMG_6522

As the light subtly begins it’s return, I find myself going even more deeply in, wishing almost that winter was just at it’s brink.  I finally feel like all is wrapped up, feasts and festivities, harvests and projects and all that completes an abundant year, filling me with such a deep gratitude I have hardly yet expressed.

So much awaits, so much to be excited about, so many directions to choose from for my busy hands and mind…but I hesitate looking around at the possible roads I could go down and knowing now, there is really only one place to go… and that place is in.

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My second child is due in the end of February and though the new year calls out with possibility of new seeds to plant, new challenges, new opportunities and resolutions to take on, I know deeply that my real work is just to be better at what I am already, a present and patient mother.  Yes I will garden and make things and buzz around like a little bee, but I really wanted another baby and if having another is anything like the first,  I am in for a whole new birth of myself.

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Maybe not as a mother, as that I am becoming more and more each day, I really don’t know what this birth will bring besides a baby, but I do know I can’t know and preparing for the not knowing is the work I must do right now.  How does one then prepare for the mysteries life will bring, how do we surrender to the deep unknown.  Our culture loves our resolutions and our intentions, leading us to believe that we are the masters of our own destiny…and maybe we are or at least the masters of our own minds…but how do we prepare for what we do not know, what we cannot see, contrive or control?IMG_0480

Well, I guess it is mostly becoming more and more present in each moment, especially those testy ones where things don’t go our way or as we had envisioned or planned.  Arrive to what is with a clear mind and open heart may be the best preparation one can do to birth, be birthed and really to live happily with what is.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a planner, even a manifester and woman of great will and vision, but right now most of that work is done…the seeds have been planted, the arrows aimed.  Now the softer, gentler, more accepting me must arrive and unpack, settle in and get comfy, because there is very little I can do besides be open and patient while waiting for baby, savoring every sweetness before thing change.

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So here we sit, settling into a stillness yet trying to keep a good tempo, as we don’t want to get too still that a birth will rudely awaken us.  So awake and ready, open and calm, patent and accepting… lots of little mantras to hum along while this third trimester ripens my belly and my family into the best state of preparedness one can hope for as our new year blooms us along.

Light of the Stone

The first light of Advent is the light of stone–. Light that lives in crystals, seashells, and bones.-Rudolf Steiner IMG_3606 I am new to the whole journey of advent myself.  As a child we had much anticipation towards Christmas, eating a candy cane every night of December thanks to our advent calendar.  There were some beautiful candle lighting ceremonies in our Quaker Meeting, but I have much to learn about the ceremonies of the season of darkness and light in my adulthood.  Though I do let myself be guided and love when synchroniscities illuminate my way. IMG_6492 I couldn’t decided tonight weather to go out to the studio to work with my magical collection of gem stones or to make medicinal jewelry for my up coming Holiday Sale, or weather to do a little research on how to celebrate advent in our home…I choose being horizontal with research and was pleasantly surprised to find out that advent begins tomorrow, with of course the Mineral Kingdom. IMG_6510 For the first week of Advent the world of stones shall be honored and praised for it’s gifts bestowed upon us, what a beautiful gesture that the rocks, mountains and sands we all stand upon every single day of our lives shall get a whole week of attention in many families homes & hearts, not to mention and ton of attention from me. IMG_6320 Just knowing this will just give my week more depth and meaning, as I plan to spend every evening I can working with the minerals so I can have a bountiful array of jewels to offer at this years Waldorf School Winter Faire.   Working with stones is one of my favorite, introspective and truly magical interests, but alas does not get much of my time since mothering got added to my job title list.  But once a year, around this time, As I lay the gardeners to bed I immediately jump from inside to out, day to night and start working little a little elf for Holiday Sales. IMG_6512 I discovered the Waldorf Winter Faire last year and was so well received by friends and kin that now I see no need to do any other.  You see, amid many different family fun festivities there is a humble little craft sale put on as a fund raiser for this wonderful school in our community, that I am learning to appreciate and connect with more and more.   While kids play and community connects mamas and men, guys and girls alike, can sneak away and do some serious Holiday purchasing.  Though it is small it if full of amazing artisans and promises many beautiful handmade gifts for the gathering, all from local artists which really makes the the meaning of connection potent in the gifts given. IMG_6514 So for the ONE and ONLY Desert Diosa Jewelry Sale of 2014 come see me next Saturday Dec 6th at the Santa Fe Waldorf School Winter Faire and celebrate with me the Light of the Stone.