Ah, another year…

Well, my sister and the kids have all moved in, and we’re in full swing here. The kids are playing pretty nicely so far. I’m watching all four of them until mid-afternoon every Monday, so I’ll likely be updating in an effort to have some adult time amidst the kid frenzy. Kind of like sitting in the eye of the storm. As I type this, the girls are being "baby monkeys", Tuula is weilding a large stick that came off of one of our walking toys (although for now she’s said she’ll be very careful and that it’s just a magic wand). Max is toddling around and pulling all the books off our lower shelves, and Asa needs a change. All is well. I am sipping on my coffee and planning out my day, all to the tunes of the fabulous Mountain Man

As for resolutions? I don’t have many really (although I do plan to exercise more now that I have my sister around to help with childcare for an hour here and there, but I would do that any time of year), although I am reading "The Legacy of Luna" right now, and she said something that really resonated with me.

When I pray, I ask for guidance in my life to be the best person I can be, to learn what I need to learn, and to grow from what I learn. Always when I pray, I ask to let go. Letting go is the hardest part.

Letting go seems to be a theme for me in the past year. So much of what we do is brought about because of expectations about some kind of result. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say there’s some kind of master plan out there- I do think that a little bit of faith goes a long way in life. When I was in labor with Asa, and just felt mentally weak and overwhelmed towards the end, I asked for help, and the message that I got was ultimately "Let go." Reluctantly I did let go, and out he came before I knew it! Then in those difficult early days, when he would cry and cry for those few hours in the evening, again, the resounding message was "Let go". And lately, with feeling like I never really have enough time- for myself, for my work, for my art, for friends… again it’s a matter of letting go, and allowing for my life to take shape. I could be resistant to it all, but I’d be a lot less peaceful and happy. When I am open and accepting, then I find that I am able actually find more time for those things, probably because I’m not trying to force it to happen. I’m also able to have more fun with the things I’m actually doing, because I’m not spending the whole time resenting where I am. I’m finding more and more that our expectations and feelings often get in the way of our progress. I make lots of plans, and I do think it’s a tad impossible to let go of all of our expectations, but I am finding that living in the moment and being truly present and open is a really good course of action for me. So, I’m working to make that more of a reality in my life. Not worrying so much about the details, just doing the next thing, and always working to maintain an honest and open attitude. It’s funny thinking about that, too, because I feel assured that if I do that- just stay open and learn and continue to be active- I’m sure to find myself in a new and exciting place at the end of the year. 

As for things in the works- here’s a little run down:

  • Garden to plan
  • Taking an organic gardening course in a couple of weeks
  • Lots of stuff for work
  • becoming more of a "freegan" (I was in so many ways already, but now I see there’s a name for what we’ve been doing…)
  • Build greenhouse
  • working on buying the land across the street and developing a real urban farm for the neighborhood. Jeff and I want to sell eggs and possibly have a neighborhood CSA, I want to sell greens year round, and I’d love to get goats and ducks… when did I become such a farmer? This is one thing that I really need to work on being open about, only because I want it so. dang. bad.
  • More crafting time. I’ll schedule this with Jeff if I have to. It’s so important for me to have time to create and practice sewing and stuff.

I’ve gotten so many seed catalogs in the past week. It’s crazy. Last year was my first year actually ordering seeds, and it’s like I suddenly made it onto this list or something- I’ve got several catalogs now, and while normally it would irritate me to have my address just out there like that, I have to say, these little books are like (forgive me) garden porn. I flip through these and day dream about spring. I have visions of juicy purple tomatoes and striped cucumbers, deep purple and orange beets, yellow carrots and rainbow chard… drool! I may have to enact some rules or something when figuring out what to order, I fear I might not have much self-control…

Yesterday we were joking around and figured out what our "Totem Vegetables/Fruits" are… you know, like totem animals? It was hilarious to me. Here’s how it broke down:

Jeff : Zucchini. Productive, active, easy to grow. Well liked. Sometimes you don’t know what to do with him, but he’s beloved just the same. Can be prepared in both sweet and savory ways… 

Me : Parsnip. Sweet, earthy, grounded, easy to grow. Good prepared in a variety of ways. Not a very mainstream vegetable, but is hearty and delicious if you give it a try. Can inspire one to be creative in it’s preparation. Makes an interesting pickle.

Doug (friend who lives downstairs) : Leek. Surprisingly delicious, but often under appreciated. Has a long growing season. Does not do well prepared as a solo vegetable, rather it is best paired with other things. (as a side note- Doug is one of those people who is brilliant in many ways and yet painfully disorganized in others. Thus, he has good friends to help him, and he rewards us in many ways.) Do not mistake this for a boring vegetable or just a glorified onion! The leek is worthy of it’s own place in the spotlight.

Gretchen: Grapefruit. Sweet and sour, with a twinge of bitterness. An acquired taste for some. Needs a certain climate to grow best. Those that love her, really love her, and appreciate her depth of flavor. (Tuula also chose grapefruit, independent of knowing that’s what her mama chose, and I think it’s so true for her)

Vera : Tomato. Sweet and juicy and bright, a favorite in the garden. I like to imagine her as one of those little yellow pear shaped ones- the kind that are really prolific. 🙂

So, what are you? What is your totem vegetable?


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