Yesterday we had "family dinner" at our place, but turned it into a potluck/birthday party for Vera and my dear mother-in-law (who’s birthday is on the 9th. We thought they would share a birthday, but alas, my labor had other ideas). So, we had the whole family, Jeff’s side and my side, in our little house. The only person missing was my brother and one brother-in-law. It was crowded and noisy and I kept running out of plates and forks… but I have to say, I’m so grateful for this. I’m so grateful to have so much family just at an arm’s reach. And despite our close quarters, they all show up and hang out and it’s lovely. By the end of the afternoon Vera was rosy-cheeked and overstimulated, but seemed very happy. She got some great toys. I continue to be really pleased with people in that department- it’s all either really high-quality stuff from a "green" company, or it’s used, or just something. They always let us know that they have us in mind. I really appreciate that. And my goodness, did this girl make out like a bandit!
Jeff made her a toy kitchen. It’s so beautiful.
She also got these sweet cloth food items from my parents (that’s a leek there in the pot- so cute!), and also the little blue pot and stuff, which was all made from recycled milk cartons!
I think I might have to play with this kitchen for a while…
Here she is with the little nursery set she got for her playhouse (from J’s mom). So sweet! It’s so funny to watch kids at a birthday… they are like little vultures circling the toys, using every ounce of self-control to keep from launching in on it all.
V also got a really adorable used sleeping bag that looks like a bear- with paws and a head and everything. That’s been under the coffee table all morning, and the girls keep climbing in and out of it. She also got a hand-me-down stroller from her cousin, although I’ve already had to hide it because it’s causing terrible fighting. Sharing is lost on this age group. We have to do damage control here and there. Jeff’s other sister brought a pinata which Jeff hung from the chandelier in the dining room. Those things are not made to break! They had fun whacking at it, though, until Jeff started violently stabbing its belly with the end of a spoon and all the goodies finally fell out. Good times.
Lots of garden planning happening lately, although not much for my own garden. I’m confident enough about just winging it with my garden (and the planning is all kind of related anyway). I’m thinking all the time about the work garden… the massive thing that it is. I’m really excited about it, although it’s definitely new territory. I’m thinking I’m going to share more about specific garden thoughts on Wednesday. But, I was talking with my sister a couple of days ago, and she said that in her spiritual circle of women they all choose an intention for the year. I thought that was a good idea, and only one thing came to mind. My intention for this year is to listen and to absorb. I don’t want to focus too much on output, I’m sure that will just fall into place in time. I’ve been learning a lot in my Organic Gardening class, and the most recent class was about native species. We learned all about how things grow naturally in this area, what kind of habitat that provides for little critters, and just generally what an important thing it is- to preserve natural spaces. We just don’t pay attention to what we’re doing! I guess I’m just finding that we don’t have the whole picture- not by a long shot. We (humans) are smart, and we’ve learned how to utilize the land and go into outer space and… we’re smart. But we’re so arrogant, too. There’s just a whole language out there that we’ve lost- one that enables us to see the big picture, one that could help us to heal the land and ourselves. I want to learn this language. In the next year I want to just watch, listen, and soak in whatever the world has for me. I want to go outside and feel the ground beneath my feet, listen to the birds and bugs and wind… just listen. I’ll be doing a lot, as well, but I’m hoping that my doing can be more and more mindful as a result. This intention is also for my relationships, most notably my relationship with Vera. I want to listen to her, watch how she’s growing, just absorb. And lastly, I want to do this for myself. Yes. It feels like a good intention.