Taking Stock

Making :commitments to myself 

Cooking : wontons in bone broth

Drinking : nettle, sage and yarrow tea

Reading: knitting patterns and blogs about knitting, Kingdom of Kammebornia,  hello cool weather handcrafts

Wanting: to have as many arms as Durga so I can do all my tasks at once, and hug my family, garden and still knit…

Looking: at the tree line against the incredible blue sky, at what grows when you give

Playing: Harmonium, piano, accordian, Set, Chinese checkers

Wasting: energy worrying about all that I shall not accomplish today. I shall stop now.

Sewing: a quilt very slowly but I better hurry up for the birthday

Wishing: I had a few more me’s or a few less interests!

Enjoying: expanding  out into the world, being employed in an area I totally love and get to use and share skills my family don’t request from me. Knowing I’m going away to see my family really soon!

Waiting: for seeds to sprout, ideas to bloom, kettle to boil, to let go

Liking: that I am learning, yes I am, to go at my own pace a bit more!

Wondering: if I can just keep on nurturing that second of time before habitual response, that allows me to look below words to the unmet needs of another instead of taking things so personally

Loving: laying on the ground, half in the gentler sun of the season, feeling supported

Hoping:it will rain, my children will grow through to adulthood with good inner and outer health

Marvelling: at Cedar riding a bike so happily and strongly suddenly!

Wishing: for some tips on what I could do, see, eat and hear when I go to Melbourne solo soon!

Needing: continuity, rain, sea, to express myself, camping, fire, flowers

Smelling: geranium oil, sawdust, sunshine

Wearing: a gift from my mama

Following:  my nose to the blossoming tamarillo tree! Wow .

Noticing: the changing light, the cosy nights, a tall adolescent, 

Knowing: this too shall pass.

Thinking: I’m ready for all this change

Feeling: encouraged

Bookmarking: poetry by Timothy McLaughlin

Opening: my eyes before the sun

Giggling: with a beautiful bearded fellow

Feeling: grateful, anticipation, loss, tolerance


Thanks to Pip over at Meet me at Mike for the taking stock inspiration.

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The BlueForest (Blueberries in the BlackForest) or When nothing goes right, go left.

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This fellows shirt said it for me!(apologies I don’t remember your name….if ever you see this post, email me!) 

It’s taken me a while to pull this story together because some days are painful and ugly and Who wants to hear about that right?.  Even when I awoke that day  determined to be optimistic and cruisy, my effort does not stand up to the challenges of the day. A story about needing to go left. When the small things in life are not going right! And trying to maintain humour and gentleness amidst trials. The blessing is that all things pass and I’ve learnt to just hang in there, do what I can, drop what I can and tomorrow is new.

Many days ago now, We left Switzerland on another stinking hot day. Paused in Basel to busk (unsuccessfully), parking was very hard to find but we ended up near the river so kids and I could swim, by stalking a shady parking spot . The water was gratefully crisp enough! I heard later that even 15 years ago the Rhine was too polluted to swim, now it’s very popular with people dipping and floating along.

We where right by the historic bridge which is beautiful and in the distance could spot the spires of the cathedral and old city. It was strange to be looking at buildings with barely a gap between, facing the rivers edge. I guess the parks are elsewhere. I really wanted to go to the old Paper Mill museum but it was just too hot to walk around. I felt thwarted in my educational efforts and bizarre to come all this way and not be able to do more than keep sane and do nothing really. Have I mentioned yet my family calls me a grumpy polar bear when it’s hot? Hot hot. Im not averse to a bit of whinging about the heat… Really it’s such middle class western  luxury to have the options we do and I’m very grateful.

We pulled into Freiburg late that evening after a disappointing detour past Bad Bellingen (should’ve realised by the name!) bad means bath in German.  I was hoping for some natural place to bathe but it’s a turquoise pool set up. There’s a lot more happening in the Australian Bellingen! Lovely in winter I guess. 

Anyway, disorganised, tired and hot, past dinner time, we got busted for jumping on the tram without tickets! We didn’t want to miss it and wait longer to get to some dinner! They showed us how to function the in tram ticket machine and let us off thankfully! Ignorant travellers I guess. I get anxious in the face of authority and doing something wrong!

A treat to eat out in the old city. Mexican in Germany? Freiburg has a very pretty inner city and good vibes in the evening, lots of people about and delicious foodie smells.

Back to our hot van late to get some rest. Camping in a hot tin can is so difficult!Especially with tired hot kids in the city which does not cool down til dawn. Jesse saved the day by putting their bed outside under a tree and sleeping with them. We found a mobile home campground for 9euro a night near Bissier strasse park and ride. Cheap but noisy from the railway. Thank goodness for earplugs.  The next night was more pleasant at the Hirzberg Campground. It’s 1.2km from the enchanting old City centre. Also green and shady. It can be really tricky coming to a place you don’t know and looking for a place to stay. I ignored my intuition about going straight to the campground the first night unfortunately. 

The next day we met with friends who guided us to nearby lakes and the day was easier. There are a lot of man made lakes along the autobahns, dug out to make the road beds. Another late hot night in the city. Jesse Was busking and we walked in to meet him for dinner. Some moments I am thinking wow this is crazy! Cosmopolitan culture in Europe, dinner at 9 pm and some crazy gigantic ice cream and berry dessert! strolling old cities (600+ year old buildings) balmy summer nights, wonderful and romantic and different if only my inner mama voice could be quiet! My kids where in bed at a wholesome 7.30pm before we left Australia!  This life has such diverse moments. It’s challenging and reallY good also to let the restrictions drop a bit. ItS so temporary. Soon we will be back in home rhythms. I have little resilience for lack of sleep unfortunately. Blessings come though in the form of kind hearted folks and hilarious storytellers in the dark city streets.

From Freiburg we are invited to go berry picking and then swimming in a forest lake higher in the Black Forest mountains. 
Yes please. My days in the city where hot and bothered and I was stretched to breaking. But I hung in there! Not too many tears! Me, not the kids…. But As lily says, ‘it’s not really a holiday because we are doing everyday life. And why can’t we do more holidayish things anyway?’ Memory making.

 My spirit was so renewed by this afternoon tramping the woods and having the warmth of friends. Being outside is my greatest gift at present. Soaking in the different greens of the broad leafed woods and the unfamiliar bird calls and wind whispers and rock songs. It’s fresh and new still and the foreignness leaves me a little thrilled. I really am far far from home. If you have read Ronja by Astrid Lindgren you would see the grey dwarf holes in this wood and Ronja running about and giving her spring yell. 

this handy little rake catches the  blueberries for you, but be careful you don’t strip the leaves off also.    I loved this moment! The papas with their matching picnic baskets! Beautiful masculinity in motion    Cedar said he could stay here forever, well, until it snowed…   There where few berries left and small this season, despite that, the reward of gathering something deliciously tart and sweet from the woods filled me with happiness. It’s so simple.   Tiny finger staining treasures. A worthy hunt! I hear the wild blueberries in the US are enormous! I would like to experience picking there one day…
The lake water is stained amber by leaves and tannins I guess.  The trees surrounding shade the water green. Be brave it’s very cold below the surface! The skin feels soft and wonderful after swimming here.     I was excited to see this small orchid growing in the ditch as we left the forest. Another tiny wonder. 

And thanks goodness we where off to visit dear friends after this. The last challenge of travelling in the unknown was done and from here on we are sheltered by good friends until we fly home. Phew. We did it.

the well

 I wrote these words some time ago as I reflected on the question ” for what purpose do I blog”.  I was wanting to rekindle this place of expression and found myself connecting this story.  
Once upon a time a windswept and painterly girl fell into a great hole of solitary sadness and weeping. Though many tried loyally to throw her a rope her suddenly clumsy hands could not hold the fibre for long enough to climb. It seemed slippery as a silken strand of silver lining. She tried to weave herself a shawl to fly on, a basket to sail away in, a raft of stitches and baked up a magical cake. But alas, she was doomed to stay in the midnight shadow for many days and many nights with broken body and bound heart.

Some nights the stars seemed closer and she could almost see the moon. Some days the sun did seem to rise just for her once more. Those days she captured what she could of life’s gifts and in golden ink scribed them into her magical tome with ink illustrations, and these pages and pictures became a scaffold of good memories to rise her up. A sturdy reminder that her life had beauty and light and gifts and company, a place to reach out shyly to the world with her gifts of word, colour and pictures.
The hole she was in, seemed to floor itself up under her and rose her until she could once more see the ground beneath her souls. One plank at a time a new frame is made. Sometimes she sits on the edge of the well of dark sorrow and sometimes she floats amongst it’s thick insidious air, and when she finally returns she will gasp for air and lay upon the blossom strewn grass giving thanks that these days pass.

 Roselinde 

Taking stock.

TAKING STOCK {making stock} May

inspired and borrowed from Pip over at Meet me at Mikes

a glance around my life presently. a record to reflect upon.

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Making : The choice to be grateful; Many times a day for many small momentous moments. Ziggy for Cedar. Dolls. Turn a square for Jesse. (shhh but it will be really cold in NZ in June…) lots of clothes for the children, a crafty mess!
Cooking : fish head soup! i know. weird and primitive. salsa verde, jaffles, 24 hour ferment sourdough bread, scones

Drinking : fermented grape juice. oops left the Black muscatel juice out of the fridge… tummy soother tea
Reading: The Endless Forest also Veggie Gardening magazines
Wanting: a field of carrots and potatoes to call my own, a third day off school for children
Looking: forward to playing with friends, singing, watering the garden in the early golden day
Playing: more games with Lily in the evening. Quirkle and Uno
Deciding: to write more, join a choir, be funnier
Wishing: i was a happy early riser
Enjoying: Autumn’s cool kiss, sleeping in the bus,
Waiting: to get hungry, to grow up, to see my mama
Liking: straight talking
Wondering: why i behave like a nuclear reactor some days
Loving: patience, forgiveness, repair
Pondering: the fact that i am buying cabbage seedlings. i must be settling in here!
Considering: the madness of leaving again in 8 no 7 weeks! {now it’s 4! eek}
Watching: small things grow bigger

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Hoping: my raw liver pills arrive tomorrow, i can learn the female vocals to Bob Marleys Hold onto this feeling
Marvelling: the magnificent jewel coloured gowns the deciduous trees are wearing these days, the good clever smart of solar powered lamps

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Needing: to run downhill and play like my children
Smelling: the first orange harvest, bread, Autumn winds
Wearing: brown velvet autumn leaves
Following: my instincts
Noticing: it makes me happier
Knowing: i need time to walk and breathe. alone.
Thinking: what will the next chapter be?
Feeling: amused by a playful fellow, the depth of love for my little people, excited about up coming photography work
Admiring: others photography, people who are storytellers, a meditating mama friend, honesty
Sorting: a tiny fridge after growers market abundance appears. wardrobes. my head.
Buying: woollen unders, Josephs coat yarns, a seatbelt
Getting: joy from laying on the ground and feeling
Bookmarking: willy wagtail woollens

Listening: Loren Kate  esp Deeper than the deep blue sea, The Neville brothers, Yungchen Lamo, Jesse 

Writing: seasonal poems, songs, poetree, silly words
Disliking: lack of fire place, self criticism, forgetting,
Opening: bags of fresh ground flour, pecans, hazelnuts, oranges, mama’s day gift, my heart

mama
Giggling: at farts, dancing, my little genie


Feeling: happiest outside, cosy under wool quilts, grateful for rain, incredulous at the rewards of gardening, different
Snacking: Jennifer apples, salsa verde, Lily biscuits

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Coveting: a fire box to warm my heart and tootsies
Wishing: to remain in the now or somewhere nearby it. i could knit faster.
Helping: little people learn little lifelong skills
Hearing: the big moons silvery shimmer, plants grow, farts, inner giggles

xx

ps this Taking stock was compiled in mid May and almost disappeared into the dusty archives of never published words to be nibbled on my cyber mice making nests, BUT luckily was joyfully retrieved and released { by a great librarian in diamente spectacles none the less}
to the world this good day in June. Hope you enjoy and had at least one giggle. Jesse this ones for you xx

How To talk to your daughter about her body…

http://hopeave.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/how-to-talk-to-your-daughter-about-her-body/
Inspiring words to share for all us parents aunties uncles grandees and friends at this link above which i read this morning. It has inspired this spontaneous stream of thought. enjoy.

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I sure can remember things people have said to me about my body or being

gangly, awkward, too thin, too tall, big bum, bony, unco-ordinated, shy, weird, daggy

most of the above is from other kids! who taught them to think this way about bodies? who criticized them? or who did they hear criticizing themself?

it’s these words which come into me at times of negative self reflection.

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i also aim to remember the beautiful observations

graceful, beautiful, healthy, strong, elegant, flexible, brave, calm, reflective, kind, generous

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it is such a habit to focus on the things i struggle with or think are my weaknesses

i’d like to move towards recognizing my skills and strengths, accomplishments and achievements and keep on working with the weaker aspects but not dwell on it so much. positive thinking. is it really so simple?

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also reflecting recently on how  we compliment Lily on how beautiful she’s looking.

i’d like to keep working on replacing this generality with specifics

great outfit, i like the color combo

you look strong when you are climbing

it looks like you are having so much fun with the dog right now

you look happy after you’ve been running around

you are adventurous

you look peaceful this morning, i guess you slept well

your hair is healthy and shiny

i see you so calm and self contained in your crafting, it’s lovely to watch

your body is growing so well and is healthy

i heard you speak so kindly and patiently to Cedar

when you climb so high on the rocks i think you are brave

you thought up a creative solution to that argument

etc etc

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dear daughter of mine

it is an honor to witness your adventurous soul explore the world. I see qualities such as kindness, creativity, patience, strength, courage, softness, grace and good hearted fun shining from you and I can only wonder what the future holds. This moment is quite beautiful with you and I cherish your presence dear Lily. Thankyou for the gifts of self reflection and joy you have given me. You came to me when I was so young and I have grown into the mama/lady/woman I be, on my journey shaped with your presence. Love you my precious darling. xx

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what do you have to say on this topic of woman’s/girls body talk?

Roselinde

ps say something friendly to yourself right now.

 

 

 

Cedar’s blanket

When I was pregnant with Cedar I moved far far away from my own family and friends (well mostly, i actually moved a little closer to some..)

At times i felt so lonely on my journey. disconnected from established support as i grew this great belly, endured immense ongoing nausea and began to put tender roots into my new community.

I drew comfort from the idea of a love blanket for this new baby.

I put out a letter to friends old and new, Australian family and distant relatives; to send me yarn in ocean shades and i would craft a blanket for my new babe. Weaving together the threads and thoughts of the beloved people in my life.

From all over Australia and Europe came little parcels, cotton, wool, indigo dyed hemp, silk, mohair, alpaca in all shades and textures. some with tales describing a special ocean moment of the sender for me to enjoy. some with memories of our relationship or good wishes for birth and baby.

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as i crocheted i would hold my thoughts on the sender of the yarn and reflect on our relationship and memories. i knotted the strength of love into this warm wrap for my little one soon coming. {by the way,  i was convinced baby was a little mermaid girl named Iona}

it was a beautiful way to feel connected with my extended network and bring the reality of this baby into my community.

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and now i wrap this gentle, nut brown, three years grown boy in these aquamarine, turqoise, royal blue, azure, teal, deep green, gold and tawny shades; i never fail to be reminded of how precious beloved friends and family are. no matter where i am or they are, the richness of our relationships has the warmth of my heart.

thankyou dear ones, i am thinking of you

do you recognise your yarn?

have you made something special for yours or others babies in utero?

xx

Roselinde

ps on a technical note, i began my first ‘proper’ granny square and kept on expanding from there. most yarns an 8 ply with a 6mm hook. as he grows beyond the bounds of this blanket i imagine i will extend it to single bed size as i did with Lily’s.

cedar baby blanket

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Waking up to…

Sometimes our 1.8m by 6m home really feels like 1.8m by 6m!!
Waking up to chaos and cramped ness after the weekends work at the markets is over. Last night was an incomplete pack down and departure as I had a date with Lily, to kick off her birthday week, to see Tango Amor (brilliant Traditional tango music on Violin, cello and Accordian)
Hence this mornings scattering of random objects…
In a motor home everything really must have its place and be in it before we drive anywhere. Very quickly I can be overwhelmed by this scenario of disorder.
Remember the scene from the castle film where they have to move all the various cars to pull out in the one they need. It can be a bit like that around here. (Can you move the guitars, oil tin, clothing, books, wee bucket, didgeridoos, sticks, tractors and shoes so I can get to my toothbrush…)
thank you Jesse for evacuating with the kids this morning. (Self preservation mechanism!)
I know the space will take less ten minutes to be back to vogue living but far out! It’s a moment of remembering how tiny the space is we four live in! Is that less than 2sq metres per person?? We are a bit crazy… Or brave.. Or both…
must remember our garden is the whole country…

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Ps before this photo was uploaded its all ship shape and the eggs are cooking for breakfast:) (wow I can cope so much better than a year ago even though it is Monday!)
momentary madness
And Lily loved the performance as did I, she is so inspired by the potential of her violin playing and the ladies costume and sparkly stilettos…
When I grow up I can be like her…
So heart filled to share this moment with my girl and see her confidently imagine out another possible future of creativity!

So far.. away…

on departure the morning mist cloaks the hillsidesIMG_0024

departing the fertile valleys of the mid north coast and headin south… it’s a beautiful perspective of the folds and crests of the land hearabouts from up sky..
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the big smoke… a fleeting stopover…IMG_1761

on the plane i listen with empathy to the crying babes

and turn back to my book with glee… it’s not me with puking kids, this time…

at the airport Sydney I am famished as the few mouthfuls of breakfast I distractedly inhaled have worn off, i seek the noodle bar my mama described to me and am so enjoying my broth and reading and then the $2 massage chairs…

i forget to check in for my next flight…

oops, lucky i got a self proclaimed ‘nice’ man at the counter who lets me on anyway…

{feeling abit country mouse at this point but enjoying myself…}IMG_1702

arriving into a babble of easy banter with my oldest young friend, we join her friends inner city for lounging, ethiopian eating and dancing! wow feeling so bold and dashing in my red wool coat and that new wool skirt i made… {details one day. maybe}

in between i had a stroll in the road and delighted in my find of this Pincushion Hakea a favorite from Western Australia. What a quirky flower and great name. Some aspects of the medicine of this flower is

to have an open mind and be open to new ideas and interested in the world. {can you see how the flower reaches out in every direction confidently?}

Think that might come in handy this week for me?IMG_1755 IMG_1711

dinner, Ethiopian flavours astound me, smoky paprika or warm cumin or slightly vinegar pickle or sweet beet or queer fermented pancake bread… mmmm new things to experience

and 5 other lovely ladies to enjoy with…IMG_1760 IMG_1759

and then and then there was more at The SubstationIMG_1704

Dead Quarry Mountain Rats play high speed twanging tunes, handsome talented lads with flying fingers

{but i snobbishly think they could do with some articulation assistance…}

I cannot keep up and go out for a breather and a cuddle with the radiator

enjoying people watching and trying to digest the days stimulation!

until the highly quirky and amusing Perch Creek Family jug band step up and have me soon in stitchesIMG_1757

four siblings and a partner, all beautifully talented musicians and a couple sporting magnificent vocal range! harmonies to soar in this great hall and hilarious almost embaressing banter betwixt.

when did dorky become cool? i think i could really fit into this scene in Melbourne…

In another life I played double bass and when i see the instrument hopping and jiving in this folk/bluegrass/soul context i long to be there thumping out the bass line. it really wasn’t so much fun at the back of the orchestra…IMG_1718

this sign greets me in my dear friends kitchen. I say YES yes yes!IMG_1736

being idle in the sunroom for hours… luxury… my thoughts can come to a natural completion with no interruption! hoorah! i can think any think i can think…

and then such a long long invigorating seaside stroll with a myriad of greys and mauves and silver sheening water for companyIMG_1763 IMG_1770

and pressing my face into WA wildflowers growing happily in the garden

Geraldton wax my favorite since ever has taken me on a great healing journey {still on it actually}

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in another life i spent a year working on an artwork of this flower and a dear friend put it onto my skin. daily reminders of the medicine of this flower…

have you ever crushed some of the leaf and smelt the divine aroma?

and then check out these enormous pillars of Banksia. Im not sure which variety but so striking.

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and then later…

IMG_1753my daily victual awaits…

ahhhh so full of gratitude to all who have made this a possibility and to myself, yippee you’ve given yourself a mini sabbatical… xx

what would you do if you could run away from life for a few days?

A knowing moment

today Some solo moments by a silver shiny sea

reveal an expression of self inquiry

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i want to hear the truth within me

Beyond the babblings of this mind and fear

There lies the knowing and clarity

in a stillness i cannot force

if only i can move aside

To allow this space for it to arise

To put my ponderings down to rest

To connect with the heart of it

I am fearful, I see this

remind me, my soul is steady despite the outer bombardment

The path ahead is divided and I must choose a way once more

Please instinct please knowingness please wise owl

turn up the volume, allow me to hear

in this moment I have forgotten how

learning through letter writing… and lasting friendship


when Lily was on her way to two years old, we pulled up in the fringes of Fremantle WA to make our home for a while. We initially house sat for friends of ours and then stayed on for a few weeks after their return. Their wee boy Fern was only four weeks older than Lily and soon these two where playing, cooking, working, eating, walking, peeing and making mischief companionably alongside each othergrrrumpy faces

 

We nicknamed them straighty and curly (their hair) and told funny stories about their adventures.. during the years we lived nearby, they surely where besties and devoted fans of the Amazing Drumming Monkeys! {do you like all my made-up words?}

the adventures of straighty and curly

we’ve all had a lot of adventures since then, but the connection is alive in our hearts and when I sat letter writing during the week, Lily joined me to write to Fern who now lives in NZ.lily writing to fern

We haven’t seen him since late 2008 but the occasional letter or gift or joke passes over the sea between them.

Lily drew in pencil on the pillow case and I carefully embroidered the artwork. Age 4

Lily drew in pencil on the pillow case and I carefully embroidered the artwork. Age 4

shortly after our arrival in NZ, they haven't seen each other for a year

shortly after our arrival in NZ, they haven’t seen each other for a year

I was quietly hopefull this letter writing would go without frustration (hers) and outwardly, gently encouraging as Lily focused in on this task. She has only recently begun writing more than a few words spontaneously and she seemed abit daunted by the long blank page. Enthused, but asking me to help her decide what to write, she eventually decided to write about her life because he doesn’t know what she’s been doing. {dear Fern I live in a bus it is powered on blueberry gas… thats 8 year old humor for you}After the first paragraph she copies jokes down for him to giggle over, and then drew a cartoon story on the back about life in the bus and so it became a good laughing session and I was so pleased to see her persistence and interest and enjoyment of the ink flowing onto the page, even if some of it was blobs.

Sometimes I am anxious about her ‘official educating’ when she has spent so much time absent from school, yet we have not officially taken up the homeschool banner. I question whether she is stimulated enough or if her skills are developing as they need to. I doubt myself and my ability to guide her along the paths of interest and learning and sometimes wonder if she is simply bored bored bored! I fall into the trap of comparison with other families and how they get on with their lives and education, I worry and celebrate and come up with great ideas and sometimes am at a complete loss.

So you see, when these moments happen and I am shown how naturally her writing and punctuation and word structure and creative writing have developed without formal classes I am so, so excited! From last week to this her skill has remarkably improved in this area, and since this day of letter writing she has written a few more short stories and in depth captions to her illustrations. {she had a fever over the weekend and I do have to wonder about the picture from Anthroposophy in which children often come out of a fever having grown or developed or moved into a new place, or something fantastic like that}

tree monkeys

cheeky happy monkeys!

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the stump in the garden became the centre of long imaginative plays involving fairies and diggers

 

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in Mike Lillian’s {wind willow basketry} abundant woven garden

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I have subscribed to this wonderful blog Simple Homeschool {never let your schooling interrupt your education}

Here I find writings which are so encouraging with regards to some of these struggles I have. One point which  is  repeated is along these lines

“the connection and relationship and enjoyment of each other take priority over

getting the comma in the right place every time”

And so, I am enthused and inspired about this child’s learning which evolves in front of me, mirrored by my own personal learning amidst it all. Particularly the gift of humour!

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did you enjoy the amusing photo’s of the little ones amongst my musings?

{i just couldn’t resist sharing them once I got back into to my old library of photographs}

do you home school, school school or some other?

how have you and your child/ren approached literature skills?

or how do you imagine approaching this with them?

any thing you want to share on this topic?

have you a love of the written word?

peace and ponderings

Roselinde

xx