Well all right then.
I'll do it.
Give me a week or two for everyday posts while I collect my thoughts, and then we'll finish what we started.
Some days are hard.
Some days my children have misplaced their good attitudes and kind manners. Some days they don't want to help or participate or cooperate.
Some days are all resistance.
Sometimes as a parent it's hard to find the loving words. And the patience. Sometimes it's hard to keep my cool. To not raise my voice. To not resort to simply being the boss and choosing more old-school "because I said so" parenting energy, or inching towards punishment and reward.
Yes. Sometimes it's hard to practice what I preach.
But I'm trying everyday to keep at it and parent they way that I believe. I keep inching towards becoming the mom I want to be.
Sure, I slip. But as soon as I recognize it (or find the capacity to change my path) I return to what feels right.
Last week I was at the lake with my kids. A mom, struggling to keep up with two toddlers and two dogs in the company of an un-supportive boyfriend turned to me with an exhausted look on her face. "Why don't you have to yell at your kids to get them to do what you want?"
My heart was breaking for her. She was working so hard. I told her that my kids were older than hers and that we'd found our groove. 5 and 9 is not 3 and 4. Not by a long shot. I acknowledged that toddlers were a lot of work and then she ran off down the beach, chasing a child or a dog while her boyfriend baited his hook and smirked at her rushing about.
Before we left I told her that she deserved more respect. Because she does. She deserved to have support. Compassion. Connection.
We all deserve these things. And as mothers it is vital. If not from our partners (if we have one), if not from our extended family, if not from our community that surrouds us - at least from the communities that we find or create elsewhere.
Last week I peeked around at the peaceful parenting conversations going on in our More Peaceful Parenting Facebook Group and was so inspired by the support and love that you are offering each other there.You are talking about big and personal struggles, and you are being met with grace and love and wisdom. I'm so glad.
As some of you have noticed, I quit the More Peaceful Parenting series her on the blog. When things got a little strained last month I felt a bit too vulnerable to write about parenting - a topic that seems to stir up a lot of energy and emotion.
And now I'm wondering if that has let you down.
Today I want you to tell me if you'd like the peaceful parenting series to continue. Was it helpful for you? Do you want more tools or have you had enough? Or do you prefer things a bit more light over here?
I've intentionally kept the subjects more superficial here during the past few weeks, but what about now? Should we dig back in? Are you wanting more?
Tell me what you think. I'm listening.
My sewing machine got a little dusty this winter. After I moved my sewing room to the basement last fall I couldn't bare the underground temps for long. I gave up on sewing for the better part of the season. Knitting filled the void and I hardly missed my other hobby.
But now it's hot. That wool yarn is feeling heavy on my lap. And that cold basement is downright lovely.
We had a wedding to attend this weekend. I made four large napkins as a gift. The couple has more modern taste, so I tried my darnedest to make patchwork look mod. (Is that possible? I don't know. I hope I pulled it off.)
These were a little hard to give away. I fell in love with them somewhere along the way. Maybe the colors. Maybe the new fabric. (New fabric! I never buy new fabric.) Maybe the near-modness of them.
I made two coordinating pairs, one with a patchwork strip on a simple grey, and one with large blocks of black, grey, and orange.
At the last minute I added a gift tag, in an attempt at humor. It reads, "I made these. So you're stuck with them."
Unless of course they want to give them back. Because I'd be okay with that too.
Speaking of weddings (and therefore proposals), have you seen this yet?
I've watched it three times and cried every time. Best proposal ever. This could turn an earthworm into into a hopeless romantic. I mean really. The world is a better place for this being on YouTube. That's my two cents anyway.
Well good morning.
Last night I was up late. But like every morning, I still woke at 5 am. So I've had two cups of black tea (I don't normally do caffeine) and my thoughts are all over the map.
Let's run with it. The following will be random, but that's how I'm rolling today.
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My garden is so happy, I could almost hear the collective sigh of flowers and veggies as the young plants soaked in that rain. Standing out in the garden this morning felt so good with wet grass and soil beneath my feet. Rain! Finally.
Sage, Lupine and I have spent the past two days gardening despite the heat and the dry soil. Lupine has been having considerable flower envy as we walk around town, ("Look mama! They have peonies. And poppies! Oh, and irises! I love irises. Oh, mama - they have LUPINES!" And then appreciation turns to tears and I carry her home. We talk about how pretty the flowers are but I say no, we won't plant roses here. We're moving. Really. I think so anyway. And then she cries a little more.
So I took her to the greenhouse this week and we picked out some annuals to brighten up a bland corner of our yard. This girl is ready for some acres of soil to dig in, but for now we've still got our yard, and for that I am truly grateful.
Sage is more of a succulents kid, so he planted a copper box with some plants from his collection. I got in the spirit with a galvanized tray centerpiece for our picnic table of herbs. Oregano, rosemary, and - of course - sage. There is something so satisfying about containers.
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And then I discovered that our freezer was unplugged.
I will spare you the photographs.
I have an uncle who once buried a full, broken chest freezer in his yard because he couldn't bear to clean out all of the stinking, decaying food. Had I waited a week to discover mine I may have considered renting a backhoe. Okay, not really, but I can understand the sentiment.
My freezer was nearly empty (small blessing) and I discovered it while everything was still cold, though thawed (large blessing).
And today we'll be roasting two turkeys we bought in the fall. Yes. Two. Enormous turkeys.
There were bags and bags of no-longer-frozen vegetables from last summer's garden. And a few containers of homemade cheeses. And some chicken livers. I couldn't bear to toss or compost it all so into the food processor it went (one container after another) and then back into the freezer. I'll add some raw meat and feed it to the dogs. I'm glad the food I worked so hard to put by last fall will be consumed by someone, even if that someone is canine.
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And now we roll into the weekend. I'll spend tomorrow selling soap at the farmer's market and likely spend the Sunday and Monday off-line, digging in the garden.
Wow. That was totally random. Thanks for sticking with me to the end.
Have a magical weekend, friends.
It has been ages since I've shared a finished knitting project with you. There has been plenty of casting off, but for some reason I just don't get around to photographing those projects very often.
This spring I cast off my Lupine's shawl.
I've had it in my Ravelry favorites for ages. But I didn't cast it on until a friend (who found it in my favorites) knit one. Hers was stunning so I decided to go for it.
As it turns out I am not a fan of knitting lace on size two needles. (Who knew?)
It was quiet torture for me, by no fault of the lovely (and truly simple) design. But every few rows I'd count my stitches and be off by several on one side. And always the same side! I'm not a perfectionist (thank goodness or I'd have given up on this project just a few days in) so I'd throw a few stitches in here and there to bring it back up the the right number.
But then a few rows later I was off again.
I gave up on the lace one repeat short of what the pattern dictated and called it good enough. I think it looks great as is, albeit shorter (and less perfect) than it was intended. I won't be knitting another one. I just can't do tiny lace.
Oh, and the color! Remember my desire to bust through my yarn stash? This was the project I cast on after this post. An unobtrusive grey sock yarn, varagated with light blue, white, and dark grey.
We dyed it with two packs of kool aid (cherry and raspberry I believe). I had no idea what color it would turn out which was risky/fun. (I know what you're thinking. "She's so crazy!" Okay. Maybe not. Yeah, that's about as wild as I get over here.)
As it turns out, we got a muted cranberry-raspberry color. I like it enough, but didn't go gaga for it.
Lupine, however, did. As soon as it came out of the dye pot she fell in love with it, so I gave it to her. I did make her promise to share it with me, but 9 out of 10 days she wears it, not me.
As for the rest of her outfit (in case you were wondering), it's homemade too.
I sewed these last year when I was on an Etsy kick, selling kids clothes and Waldorf dolls. This was my prototype in fabric that I kind of hated. I was just using it so as to not waste any fabric that I liked.
But somehow that dusty blue and rose has grown on me so much since then then. And now I love it. Truly love it. (The floral print came from my mom's 1980's stash, from something ruffly she made for my sister.)
Unfortunately (for those who are wondering) no there isn't a pattern. There is a slim chance that I could be convinced (someday) to work one up for you but I don't want to promise that quite yet.
The top was inspired by this one and the skirt was inspired by her obsession with twirling when she was four. It is two full circles, connected at the waist and trimmed with vintage thrift-store cotton lace.
Because of the generous sizing she's going into her second year of it fitting beautifully. Two years for one mama made makes me very happy.
What else makes me very happy? That she loves it so much that she squealed when we took it out of the summer clothes box in the basement last week. That's the best reward of mama-made.
And for the record, twirly or not, this skirt is great for wearing while catching barn kittens. I see one now. Run!
My contribution today post is about road-tripping with children, inspired by this adventure. (After re-living that trip through the writing of this post, I am itching for another adventure. I am scheming another trip with my family. And soon!)
Every few weeks I'll share a homeschooling-related post over on Simple Homeschool.
You can find my first post here.
Hello there! I am Rachel Wolf. Lover of wild places, blogger, homesteader-in-training, unschooling mama, & owner of LüSa Organics. At home in the hills of the Driftless. Welcome!
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