I’m burping feathers.

Be prepared- a week’s worth of thoughts and pictures here…

Yesterday morning I awoke early to find a little baby grunting and crawling her way out of her bed and into mine. It was dark and surprising and incredibly sweet. I mean, she sleeps half the night right next to me anyway, but it was like she woke up and thought "No, I’d like to be over there with Momma instead." I die from cute snuggly mornings.
She’s exploded developmentally, at least in more obvious ways. Just in the past week she has: pulled herself up to standing on various things (couch, coffee table, baby gate, etc.), picked up some serious speed when it comes to the army crawling, taken a few "steps" crawling on her hands and knees, stands on her knees and says "Mama" when she wakes up from her nap, plays this game with me where I’ll mimic her laughter and she’ll laugh back and so forth. Oh, and she’s also eating a bit more. She loves Cheerios and apples- both of which I’m not super thrilled about being her first foods, but it’s good that she’s getting used to eating. The only down side to all this stuff is that she’s getting into more things. I mean, I’m pretty attentive, but you turn your back for a minute and she’s got a piece of dog food in her mouth (ahem, yesterday…) and I’m constantly swooping leaves out of her mouth and finding grass in her diaper. I feel pretty relaxed about it all though. She’s doing great, she’s exploring, and the only thing I really have to do are vacuum more often and try to find some way to remedy the dog bowl situation. I have no idea what to do about that. We don’t really have any place to put it that could be off limits to the baby. So for now it’s this juggling act- putting the bowls off the ground and swooping in just before disaster strikes, and so on. A little dog food never hurt anyone, right?

So the issue with the friend has been confronted. I mean, it’s hard to say that it’s been solved- it really comes down to her and how she chooses to deal with it all. It was an enlightening conversation, and I’m glad I dealt with it the way that I did. I just did my best to take responsibility, something that was interesting for me under the circumstances. I didn’t take more responsibility than was necessary, but I kept it all on me. I just sort of knew that if there was any resentment on my part it just wouldn’t go as well as it could. You know, like those "I statements" that you’re taught to use in elementary school. A helpful method, I think. I mean, it’s just an interesting place to find yourself in, when it’s really just somebody else’s problem and through their own poor communication and whatever they’ve made just more emotional work for you, and yet, you have the ability to just rise above and say "I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling this way, maybe I can work on this a bit more in the future." It’s humbling. It’s good for me. And yes, there were moments where I felt like it was kind of bullshit and I shouldn’t be catering to this and yadda yadda, but I really believe that sometimes things aren’t meant to be fair. It’s not really how the world works. I shouldn’t be a push over, or take all the responsibility for the relationship, and certainly not for her own issues, but I was direct and kind and I made amends. I also told her not to take my lack of involvement (based on previous standards) personally, because, well, it’s just not personal. She seemed relieved and a little intimidated, which surprised me some because this friend is always the loud and much more in-your-face kind of person. It’s just, you can’t ever stop learning about yourself and what kind of an impression you leave on people. I guess I have more of an effect on her than I thought I did, and I think I’ll learn to be a little more sensitive to what kind of a friend she needs in me in the future. Anyway, it went well is all I’m saying. I love getting shit like this out of the way. 🙂

My (well, Vera’s) birth story got published in my midwife’s zine last issue (Fall 08). It was kind of exciting to have it out there for people to read. It’s a great zine for those of you that are interested. I really recommend it, and not just because my story is in it! I’ve been thinking a lot more about how important it is to me to live thoroughly, to walk the walk and say what I believe in. Lately it hasn’t been quite enough to just do it all myself. I’ve been contemplating ways in which I could be more of an activist. My new plans so far are as follows:

1- I’m going to create a recipe book for next year- filled with fun seasonal recipes that are easy to make. I have fun secret plans for it, but it’s just going to be a real attempt at making seasonal eating something to have fun with, and it’ll make great xmas gifts next year. So yeah, I’m going to be experimenting in the kitchen from now until next October.

2- My dad runs a local drug treatment program located on a small farm. He’s asked my sister and I to help the residents can all these pears they have dropping off their tree. It’s a little late now to do it this year, but the woman who would be working with us has asked if we can work with them for next years food storage stuff- and I couldn’t be happier to help. This is a really good way for me to feel like I’m spreading the love. I’m a tad intimidated by it all, I don’t really feel like I know what I’m doing, but who cares, right? I mean, I just have to go for it and do my best.

3- I’ve been thinking more about things I want to learn. The more I think about it the more I think that leaving college was the right decision for me. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s no cop-out. I mean, it’s given me the opportunity to rethink massage school, which I think is really what I want to do professionally. I’m also thinking about all the things I’d like to take classes in, things I’d like to be certified for. I don’t think I’ll have time to get a degree until later, and that could be fun to go back to school when I’m more established with the things I’m interested in now. In addition to massage therapy, I’m interested in becoming a doula, an herbalist, and a master gardener. I’d like to take classes in yoga, art, photography, sewing, cooking, and writing. I’m also interested in having another kid, at some point, although we’re not making plans just yet. It’s just a full and beautiful life, and I want to use it how I choose.

4- I’m feeling pretty settled on the idea that we’d like to stay in downtown Ypsi for now. We’re gonna start looking for a house semi-soon, next summer, and we are going to plunge head first into urban farming. I’d like to get involved with other families, try to get chickens and maybe a goat, and just go for it. I thought a lot about how I wanted land and stuff, however, I feel much more drawn to creating a life that is accessible to most everyone. I mean, our population is only going up, so I think being a living example of how self-sufficient a city dweller can be will be a valuable thing. Also, I love living here. I love walking everywhere, I love the community, I love all the good people who want to make this place the best it can be. I sort of think that to make myself an exception would be sad. I really like the idea of being part of a movement, and I can’t very well do that out in the country. At least not in the way that I’d want. In the future I’d love to set up a solid "cluster" of friends and family to live nearby and focus on community and self-sustainance.

October 15th:
I love fall. Everything is kind of going to sleep, and yet it makes me feel so invigorated.

Oct. 16th:
On this day we went to see David Sedaris. I got Jeff and I tickets for our anniversary. We had sushi with some friends and then laughed harder than we had in a long time. He’s so awesome. Anyway, I took this picture because Jeff, my heart, had spent the earlier part of the day on some unexpected project around the house. So him, but I noticed when we dropped Vera off at his brother’s house for the evening that Jeff’s fleece was all speckled in sawdust. It’s just so… my Jeff.  <3

Oct. 17th:
I figure before I bake them all and turn them into pies or butter or whatever, they might as well make my house look happy.

Oct. 18th:
I landed this basket for free at a garage sale this past weekend. I’m finding that I’ve become a basket junky. I use baskets not only for storage all around the house, but also to house plants, and to truck loads of stuff from room to room. It’s so nice to have a big basket to grab all the toys, the phone, my book, and those mugs left over from the visit earlier all in one trip. For me, right now, I couldn’t have too many big beautiful baskets.

Oct. 19th:
More veggie storage. We’re wrapping things up. Aren’t they all beautiful?

Oct. 20th:
My friend Chris and I go out to eat together from time to time. He likes to leave these little stories on the backs of the reciepts. This one says "I think if I had to pick two words to describe myself it would be ‘unable to fulfill self imposed word count guidelines.’" and "If you can’t think of a word that rhymes with ‘orange’ then you are uncreative, unimaginative, and unglorange."

Oct. 21st:
We’re doing our best to soak up as much time as we can outside, while the sun is still warming and the green is all around us.

Oct. 22nd:
I made breakfast potatoes for a get together this morning. I find dishes like this immensly satisfying. No fuss, just a bunch of potatoes, some butter, a cast iron pan, a little salt and pepper.

Quote of the day:
"Last night I dreamed I ate a ten-pound marshmallow, and when I woke up the pillow was gone." -Tommy Cooper


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