I am feeling the love of all things Luna with the phase just having been full and eclipse season kicking off. I am feeling the love melt my heart through my childrens tiny hands slotting neatly into mine still ~ I am grateful they are still small.
I love that their voices are still squeaky and high pitched despite their eloquence, I am grateful for the things they say and their perspectives on life ....
Zander said the other day 'Mummy I don't want to upset you ~ I love the things you buy me - the crystals and things but Daddy knows what I want best, he is better at buying presents but I love the presents you give me too.' I was totally made up at his rection to the amethyst point I bought him home from Glastonbury. I figured he'd be unimpressed wish it were a piece of plastic tat and discard it and forget it. But he gushed over it and held it constantly for the next few days. He wanted it by his pillow when he sleeps and has taken it into school to show. He said what he said from a place of love ... how wonderful he see's our differences and embraces them.
Gaia told me 'Mummy you would look good even if you were covered in jam and paint' ... just love, that is all I can say to that!
I am unimaginably full of love for my friends light dawning on this world again after so much darkness.
I am full of humble love for fresh starts, opening to signs and hair cuts being exciting
Love for the flowers in my garden now that it is warmer. Love for the evolution of my outdoor space, the self seeding, the randomness, the surprises from year to year.
I am loving nurturing community ... little moves me and the universe are making together to bring more of that into the world around me ... establishing mama lunches here at our place every fortnight and friends with enthusiasm for fascinating projects who want me involved.
I always feel love when I can sleep (yes I am STILL working night shifts!)
I love that starting college in september became completely and entirely possible in one tiny instant today when I found out about a new scheme to help with finances.
I love that I have maintained some sort of regular practice both of meditation and yoga for the last few months. Casual relaxed attitude rather than rigid scheduled pressure.
Gaia and I enjoyed our first lunch of the year outside today! And look ~ she has started wanting to learn to read. She loves the usbourn word/picture books and actually got a surprising number of letters right when she sounded and speld the words out. I don't need any excuse to croon over child lead learning some more but see here!
She's my baby, my littlest that will start school this autumn. It will be hard to let go in a different way to when Zander started but the same in that it seems way too quick, family life blurs by so fast can she really nearly be four? But there are encouraging signs she will blossom with it too. She has that lust for learning.
Look who literally dropped out of the sky in front of me today
When I saw a peacock butterfly for the first time this year the other day I felt maybe I should research it's significance and I found that the butterfly offers us wisdom in times of transformation asks us to accept the changes going on within and without us as casually as she does her own metamorphosis and not to freak out. She teaches us to hold our faith and that frustration will not serve us along this path.
I reached out to her, something was calling me, the way she shut her wings just the once, then as I reached again she purposefully opened them just the once again. I was drawn to her and she did not flinch the closer my hand got, I think I may have asked if I could speak a while and I picked her up, she seemed totally cool with this so I figured it was. She was all fluffy up close with big eyes you never see from a distance and I exchanged a sort of greeting with her, she said something back, then I gently placed her back where she had been.
I am certain I can apply those teachings to my life ~ I feel so stretched for time at the moment - wanting to fit meditation and yoga practise in as regularly as I can but also sleep too! Then there are much neglected friends and exciting new projects that have crossed my path which had me unable to sleep for a whirlwind of possibilities last night. I could have honoured any one of these this afternoon when Gaia went to nursery but in the end could not turn a blind eye to the filthy floors anymore. I decided, philosophically, to find zen in cleaning and if ever anyone considered the relationship between clean floors and an easy soul ... they were right ... me and my homestead feel much refreshed!
In this fresher space we ended with a happy goofy half hour before bed tonight ...
awaitin' this beautiful ol' full moon a comin' ....
if it ain't broke don't fix it ... if it don't work try something new.
I'm trying something new with bedtimes since I got back from my sojourn. They have always seemed so chaotic but partly by following Gaia's lead and partly going with a natural flow I hadn't taken time to notice before, bedtimes seem to be more peaceful just now.
The main difference to how we used to do things is that straight after a bath and getting into pyjamas I ask each kid to go find their story for the evening and get into to bed to wait for me whilst I sort the other out. This seems to maintain the calm the lavender bath brings and doesn't see them having that mad half hour when they used to jump and clown about in the living room with Cliff. I have Cliff come up and say goodnight to them in bed now which keeps them from getting distracted and hyper by whatever TV he is watching and it avoids the bonkers battles I have with them when I tell them it is time to go up.
Reading to each separately in their individual rooms brings a precious opportunity for one to one time instead of always having to share me with each other. It gives us a chance to talk about happies or worries from the day and for me to offer reassuring wisdom about the dark of night time and the dream world.
I am loving that we have found this flow, loving I was open enough to follow down that path when I glimpsed it one evening.
I just love the love between my girl and my bro. She loves all my family, she tells me so regularly but there is something about Alex that she just adores ....
He is so good with all the kids - mine and Fiona's. Yesterday we gathered at Fiona's house for Mums birthday lunch and as we were sitting totally stuffed and unable to move Alex got up to go play football with the kids outside. Secretly I think he needed some fresh air after such a fabulous big lunch but he always takes a turn with them like this, it is so beautiful to watch, makes my heart sing. They seemed to be having so much fun we all got up and joined them in the end. A whole family game of football - no rules, no teams just plain good fun ~ even Grandad who is nearly 90 took a couple of shots! It was the best move ~ we all felt so invigorated afterwards and I even ached this morning! I love having this kind of fun with my siblings now we are grown, it is as much fun if not more than when we were small and hopefully they are moments our kids will remember with fondness too.
Quorn (free from tescos thanks to a voucher burning a hole in my pocket so I figured this doesn't count as a purchase right?!)
and I found you can even make a trifle out of store cupboard ingredients (mostly) too!
homemade sponge cakes for the base - flour, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla yogurt for extra flavour.
whipping cream (I had to buy this but it is all I did buy for this meal.)
Yesterday I totally rocked the home made granola thang for breakfast, seriously why did it take me this long to realise how quick, easy and cost effective it is to make this stuff!
And yesterdays dinner was freezer meals ...
homemade freezer meals lovingly stashed earlier this month ...
potato dauphinoise for the kids
spanacopita for me
plus tinned curry (actually bloody good authentic stuff!) and fresh chapatis for cliff (flour & water)
pudding was left over trifle from yesterday.
Today even our store-cupboard supplies are waning so a few purchases have been made
Risotto (for Cliff and I kids don't like it)
flat leaved parsley (bought today)
the kids have had Beans on toast
Bread (bought today)
I think I've done really well at using up supplies and only buying when necessary, it has helped considerably. Next week is going to be even tougher as I crawl to pay day but 's'cool, I'll continue to use up what I can complimenting with new purchases where I absolutely have to. All our lunches these past six days have been store-cupboard but I haven't thought to record each of those - mostly things like pasta and pesto, fresh scones etc.
So be inspired, go raid the darkest recesses of your kitchen cupboards and pantries and don't talk yourself into going out to the shop for something more exotic or interesting, it isn't as difficult as you think to do a little basic alchemy and create something out of nothing!
There has been more peace in the nest since I returned from my little getaway. I always find it a challenge to ride the crest of a holiday wave when faced with all the regular day to day stuff but when you feel you have discovered another layer inside through a specific experience it is a little easier ... thus far! Always only part of an infinite process and realising this instead of constantly yearning for that one eureka moment of enlightenment is what is most soothing. It helps with seeing myself evolve - being less harsh on myself when I fall short, acknowledging the positive steps I take in changing the way I react to life. So essentially there has been more peace inside me since I returned but no time for intentional solitary reflection - perhaps I have not needed to, hearing subtle whispers of preciousness from within has been soul food enough. But it's new moon today, time for going inward so I have meditations and yoga sessions 'scheduled' for myself later.
The sun is proudly shining again so we took a walk to Misty Meadows this afternoon where Gaia found a carpet of chickweed! This is something I have been searching for along the river for over a year now and is especially useful for skin conditions so I have picked a whole bunch to dry.
I found myself really soaking up the goodness in hearing them giggle and play today, this is the best bit of being a mama for sure.
This here is Gaia's favourite faerie residence on the meadow with a chimney, where today she left sunflower seeds as a little offering ...
When we came to the river the other day Zander asked me to give him some spelling tests .... queue a moment to swoon over child led learning again! Like reading the books from school, spelling homework is something I have never pushed on him ... only now two thirds of the way into his second year at school has he started to show an interest and what more perfect and nurturing a location to honour this than our favourite spot by the river?
These warmer brighter days are such a blessing, so many opportunities to spend time in our own garden. This year the kids are finding it easier to exist in this space with their imaginative-mostly-cooperative play. The winter has been so long and harsh that it has seemed like forever since we all spent hours just hanging out outside. It is so satisfying to think back over a day and count most hours spent in fresh air and the arms of mother earth. Finally the veggie seeds and sets are warm enough to start germinating and over the last few months we've been adding to this little space we are now calling the pixie hollow ~ inspired by a resonant article I read a while back, it is our little space for faerie folk to intentionally gather and dance. It is also a space I have taken to sitting beside drinking in its charm whilst drinking herbal teas and coffees.
Day 2 and I confess I bought a block of cheese to do these awesome re-fried bean tortilla wraps justice. All the ingredients except the cheese were from the kitchen cupboards though ... Re-fried beans & tortillas for the beans:
dried turtle beans soaked over night
1 tin tomatoes pureed
for the tortillas:
I have a massive weakness for Mexican food so have totally over eaten and am feeling nicely soporific now. Tomorrow is a cheat day as far as the challenge goes because the kids and I are staying with my sister Fiona but I have just dug a big portion of homemade lasagna out of the freezer for Cliff so that he doesn't waste away or have to survive solely on cereal, so that counts I think.
This last week I took a break. I went away by myself for three days. It was my first lone break since becoming a mama six years ago, it was necessary and the beginning of an annual tradition I dare to think. It was my first ever long distance road trip, my first time on the motorways. An achievement in more ways than one. But a stream of consciousness and metaphorical words is not how I hold the trip in my memory, less is more. Suffice it to say many feelings found me, some more unexpected and challenging than others, some relieving and long yearned for. Each I continue to reflect on. It was just a part of this life long process, one I reaffirmed my commitment to and strengthened in recognising it's infinite nature once more.
In not much of a particular order ....
courage as is
counting my blessings, carrying them forward, love love love X
Things always seem tight here money wise but I have car insurance and MOT due this month so I'm treading an even thinner tight-wire than usual. I actually prefer having less money, in that it is easier to manage less, I become more resourceful with what I have and feel heaps more empowered as a result. I often look through my store cupboards thinking what a lot of dried grains and pulses, tins and things I have but then end up talking myself into buying this that or the other in order to complete a recipe. Well this week I am setting myself the challenge of making each meal from store-cupboard food stuff only. I don't know how far what we have got can realistically go but I am curious and committed to finding out.
Sundried tomato bread cheese on toast
Apple turn overs
ready rolled puff pastry
custard to serve
So day one, not too tricky. Lets see what tomorrow brings.