What makes me happy lately:

Well, my baby of course.

She’s been very expressive lately- in a way that makes me squirm with joy when she’s smart, laugh until I almost can’t breathe when she’s silly, gets my attention when she’s angry, and so on. In some ways I feel I’m growing just as fast along side her, as her mother. My love for her explodes and envelopes me daily, and that can’t be a bad thing…

She decided to stick all of the alphabet/animal magnets from the fridge in her onesie. This picture doesn’t do it justice, it was a big bulge, and she was just so matter of fact about it. As if to say "Well, Mama, if you gave me a basket then I wouldn’t have to stick them all down my shirt…"

Morning mischief. It’s becoming a regular thing. Pictured here is her lovely knit soaker that her Aunt Gretchen made on top of her head and some ribbon around her neck. Remember? Hats are funny, especially when they are not really hats.

We like to make faces at each other in the car through this mirror I’ve got.


I’m loving all things food, too. Freshness all around me. Our chest freezer was able to be emptied into our fridge and regular freezer, signaling the start of the new season. I’m now having to be really creative with everything left over, as we’ve got to hold out until the garden and our CSA start steadily producing. Also, the meat is becoming scarcer, so I’m doing my best to incorporate it all creatively. I haven’t been posting as much about food because I haven’t been pleased with my camera, but I can’t help myself now that the summer has started.

This meal was one born out of a fridge that initially said "There’s NOTHING to eat!" It’s how my most fabulous meals begin, so I never stop there. It consists of the end of the soaked oats for the week (I soak them in a big batch at the beginning of the week and then keep it all in the fridge to use without the fuss). I mixed them with an egg, leftover chicken (the wing meat that I never really feel excited about) and onions, and fresh asparagus (which has been sneaking its way into every meal lately), and a little salt and pepper. I spooned it into a skillet with a little butter and fried them up like pancakes. I ate it with a little plain yogurt and cilantro, some leftover black bean and beet salad, and radishes.

Strawberries. I eat them late at night with a little maple syrup and raw milk in a bowl.

Fresh mint. I throw this in my tea, my water, my kombucha. I like mint. I’m excited to use it in new ways.

I feel spiritually drawn to simplicity. I mean, there’s a lot of complexity in this world. It’s unavoidable. We seem to create drama for ourselves when circumstances aren’t stormy enough… it’s an ingredient in our humanity. Our bodies and our thoughts get jumbled together and create a lot of beauty, but also a lot of pain. They go hand in hand, I think. However, the longer I’m on this planet the more joy and purpose I find in simple pursuits. Growing food, cleaning, being with my people, feeding a hungry friend, walking my dog. It’s not that I don’t aspire for greatness and knowledge- I mean, I want to feel like I’ve contributed to this world in a meaningful way and haven’t spent my life sitting around or just doing menial activities. I’m ravenous for information, often spending large portions of my days with my head in books (or more often on the internet…) and coming to drastic conclusions about the state of the world and my responsibility to help save it. However, there’s a clarity that comes with resigning myself to simple activities, almost enabling me to think more honestly and realistically about myself and my roles, stepping away from the wreckage to see where to start working.
I was thinking about this the other day because I’ve found that since I’ve been home with Vera, I’ve stopped caring about the news. I used to listen to NPR every morning, I’d read the new stories on the web before I checked my email, I was just kind of up on it. Now, though, I’m often in a situation where someone is talking about some big thing going on in the world and I’m just thinking "Whoa, I wonder how long I’ve been clueless about that…" I listen to podcasts of This American Life and I read mama and gardening blogs and blast Ani Difranco while I clean the kitchen. That’s kind of the extent of my media intake, some days. I can’t say that I miss it, though. If anything I’m more focused and less cynical. I’ve got the necessary brain space for more action towards good, rather than being in a constant state of mourning, or even worse, of pretention and self-righteousness without any real motion towards what I believe. I feel in touch with my limitations, my tendency to be overwhelmed, and my responsibility to actually DO something rather than just THINK about it all the time. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do want to know what’s going on and I want to save the world. I do. I just think that I actually slow down and become helpless the more I pay attention to things that scare, or worry, or disappoint me. I have to have faith that my small actions in my own life will create a ripple effect that I see so often illustrated from the negative end. I have to pour my energy into living a radically good life- one that truly displays what I believe. This tends to take up all of my brain space as it is, it’s a lot of work trying to comb through everything and actually change, slowly but surely.
I heard something recently about how the planet is just sort of doomed because of this huge looming natural disaster. I don’t remember what it was exactly, I just remember it freaking me out a bit (it’s a freaky thing to think about all of us freezing over or burning up or whatever…) The person who told us about it seemed confident in technology’s ability to conquer it and preserve us, although it was a really scary thing for me to think about. I remember saying something like "What do we do?" I felt so helpless about it, and I am. And later it occured to me. It’s like all of life. Some day, the worst will happen. I’ll die, maybe late in life of old age, but maybe from hot molten lava… I mean, who knows. I’m not going to let that stop me from living day to day, though. And contrary to what some people say, it doesn’t mean I should do whatever I want because it won’t matter. I always will believe that it matters. I’m rambling. Done for now.

Quote of the day:
"We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions to correspond with them." -Abigail Adams


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Comments (11)

  1. miniaturize

    I’m about to get up so I can’t read your entire entry right now, but I wanted to tell you that you have one adorable little baby <3.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Hey thanks! You’ve got a crazily cute one too, although I wish I saw more of her!

  2. ladyfaith3

    very good post. I find myself dreading things I am actually too small to change…like what if we do have some major political shift and someone like Hitler decides to destroy our famillies…what if the major energy sources are all used up and we are going to live 1800’s life…then why on earth would I stay in NY???? its plain old cold here!! I get to the point I am absurd! I need an outlet!!!! some of the time I feel like I just need out. I feel like marriage, and parenting were a mistake for me…and if I could just get back to what was fulfilling in life I’d be ok, it was more a time in my life than a profession, or person…its just gone.

    Your daughter is adorable. I think Jorri did the same thing with toys, putting them in her onsie and keeping them that way. Jabin is my hat kid, I have a pic of her with a diaper cover on her head too. My kids always looks so mix-and-match they are fun! I don’t mind the crazy fashion sense of two year olds. I don’t mind if they have a dirty face once in a while either. Some days are just like that. I feel the critisism of others for some of that…like someone pointed out once “homeschool families dress a certain way” it made me squirm a little feeling guilty for not caring as much…I go ’round and ’round sometimes.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I’m sorry that you are feeling so overwhelmed by your circumstances lately. I think it’s really good, though, that you are thinking about it all and processing it. Sounds to me like you don’t need to go back in time, but rather make some kind of meaningful change for the future.

      Oh, and you have two adorable little girls. I’ve been wanting to ask you- how did you think of your daughters’ names? Are they pronounced just like you see them? I think they are so great and unique!

      1. ladyfaith3

        Thanks! Jorri is a feminine form of Jordan, it is Hebrew
        Jabin is pronounced Jaybin (short I) but since we have moved to Ny we had a middle eastern lady pronounce in “haben” which is likely correct as it is also hebrew found in the old testiment and is a man’s name. Jorri means “descending” like the rive jordan. Jabin means “God built” both middle names mean the same thing
        jorri Elizabeth
        Jabin Elise Means “consecrated to God” Really I wanted to choose origional names for them, someting different but not weird. My friend in MO has children named “Blue Berry” and “Royal payne” “Little Brook”
        SO even though I wanted uncommon names I didn’t want them to be goofy. A lady that used to go to my church named her kids after cartoon characters the only one I recall is “pepper ann”
        I don’t really think silly names are good, but Vera is a beautiful name! It is uncommon, practical and pretty.

    2. Gracie (Post author)

      Also, I don’t even know what someone would mean by the homeschooling/dressing comment- they meant sloppy or something? I’ve had no experience of homeschooling families dressing any one way. You know, it’s stuff like that that reminds me to keep my stereotypes in check and approach all situations and people with total respect from the start.

      1. ladyfaith3

        Well the lady who said it, was telling me her sister had commented on her daughters. They were wearing longer dresses and one was in boots, it was cute. I think that some homeschoolers dress more modestly than others. but there are homeschoolers who dress REALLY differently too, long loose dresses long hair and head coverings…my kids are wearing hand-me-downs so they aren’t completely fashionable all the time. Though I do not try to make them completely different. I do consider the lenght of dresses, and the fit of clothes.
        🙂 but had the comment be made to me it would have hurt my feelings for my children.

  3. pithy_epigrams

    In my musical theatre class I sang the song “Another Day” from Rent. I never really listened to that particular song much. But after singing it like, ten thousand times, the words kind of sunk in.

    The heart may freeze, or it can burn. The pain will ease if I can learn, there is no future, there is no past, I live each moment as my last. There’s only us, there’s only this, forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way, no day but today.

    It goes on, but your entry made me think of that song. 🙂

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I like those lyrics! I wish I could hear you sing… 🙂

  4. unicorntapestry

    My darling, I love you. ANd I love your baby.
    You know what I’m discovering tastes good? Warm rice with milk and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. It’s like rice pudding, only not pudding texture, more hot cereal texture.
    I’m all for simplicity–I went to a Quaker school after all. I can’t wait to SEE you and TALK to you about stuff like this FACE TO FACE!!! I’m so excited, and I get to see you in lees than a month!!! woo!!!!!!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      HOORAY!!! I love you too! Just a few weeks now…

      When you are here we are having rice pudding thingy and root veggie casserole! YUMMO!


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