Friday, October 30, 2009

Celebrating our Ancestors

Yes, Halloween is a time for zany costumes and consumption of candy. It is also a time of acknowledging and celebrating our ancestors and friends whom we have loved. It is about noticing the turn in season from the abundance of summer, to the harvest of autumn and then to the turning under of winter, and new growth and life of spring. This natural process of season and death is significant in the cycle of life. The leaves that fall and decay feed the soil and give life to new plants which sprout in the spring. It is necessary for the leaves to come down to make way for new growth. It is a time for letting go and making room for new growth. In all the years that I have been living the cycles of the earth, and celebrating the holidays and sharing the rituals of my culture, I feel deeper in understanding each year. I find that amazing, really. On this day, we were blessed to share the richness of the season with our homeschooling circle of friends and family. What a beautiful day it was.

We held a circle to honor our ancestors on the sacred alter. We shared our costumes and laughed together. We blessed our day and our food with beautiful songs. Cailen, one of our amazing Friday instructors, fired the kids' earthenware pottery in the bonfire. There was a "muffin march" (kinda like a cake walk) to the sound of Cailen's talented fiddling. And be sure to check out his album here! The kids played it the creek, heard their fortunes told (by a most unusual looking fortune teller) ate wonderful, healthy food and bobbed for apples. They made dream catchers, corn husk dolls, carved pumpkins and jumped on the trampoline. Jasper loved pressing the apples, and Vivienne mastered bamboo climbing. Such a fine day, indeed.

Setting the pots to fire, with blessings

Cailen starting the bonfire for the pottery. It is magical to see the elements take transformation from wood to fire.

bringing the fire to life

In loving memory of Aunt Claudia, Great Grandpa Peter, Great Grandpa James,Great Grandma Marni, Great Granddaddy Rogers, Great Grandpa Moffit, all our beloved pets, and the many other relations and friends that have come and gone, touching ours hearts and spirits. With blessings and joyful remembrance~

Friday, October 23, 2009

Harvest season

white sage, red raspberry leaf, lemon verbena

I decided to spend an afternoon with the kids harvesting the last of our gracious garden's offerings before the first frost fell upon us. We found a few sweet potatoes, hidden among the wildly overgrown patch of herbs and edibles that cobbled together this year. Vivienne was delighted and cooked them to eat that very day. I gathered handfuls of herbs, and put them on a line to dry. We picked the very last of the basil and chopped it, added olive oil and froze it for future pesto. There are still quite a few unripe figs that I am eager to pick and hope that they are not lost to the cold weather. Remaining raspberries were nibbled up in a blink.

It is a time for appreciating the gifts of the earth, and thinking ahead to ideas for next year. I am eager to continue my expansion of the garden beds. Every year, I have been adding more herbs and edibles, slowing adding garden beds. There is so much more that I would like to plant for next year - more for the fall harvest -pumpkins, beets, winter squash, kale, pole beans, and corn to name a few.

borage, rose, calendula, lemon balm, stevia

pretty little borage flowers - perfect addition to our dinner salad

jasper's rainbow swiss chard harvest

wonderfully fragrant basil

vivienne's proud little sweet potato feast

Vivienne had fun carving pumpkins for herself and Jasper while Mia was at the farm, attending another stellar Friday homeschool enrichment day. Mia learned to make cordage from Poplar bark, and drill a stone with another rock to make a pendant with Natalie Bogwalker. She has learned about wild edibles, made an herbal first aid kit, and made earthen pottery in recent weeks.

We also were blessed with a huge amount of local apples. A neighbor of our friends' farm had picked up a 20 bushel load of apples that an orchard was unable to sell for slight blemishes from a recent hail storm. He intended to feed the load to the deer, but after seeing (and tasting) the beautiful apples, he decided to give away as many as he could for eating. And how delicious they are! I am thrilled to try and dry apple slices, make some apple butter, applesauce, apple pie. Tonight we had apple cobbler for dessert, what a treat.

page from Elsa Beskow's Christopher's Harvest Time

With Autumn Blessings~

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Corner View Wednesday :Dreams

Dreams... I have so many of them. My nature is of a dreamer. My challenge is to meet my dreams in reality and not just in my imagination. I love the comforts of slow living, not too rushed or frantic, taking time to smell the roses and notice the bird song... But that means that I am less industrious than I would wish to be. I give myself some permission to take in the beauty that is all around me, to allow the wonder of life, of nature and family, of the spirit in all things, to fill my heart. And hope that I will slowly have more courage to create, be as artisitic as I would love to be, in all of my endeavors. My dreams keep me forging ahead, through the dishes, the laundry, the everyday things that must come before my hands have their turn to make something with happiness.

Please click here to get inspired by more Corner View dreams from around the globe.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October Projects

my first knitted mitten (matching one still in progress)

I was so happy to have the time in the car and at the beach house to knit on our recent trip, it is something I enjoy but find so little time to do at home. Here are some little bits and pieces of what we have been working on around here. I would love to carve out a little more time for projects, I keep thinking that as soon as I get organized I can make room. Hmmm, I wonder if I will ever get there.

vivi's knitted hand warmer, in progress

jasper's new vest, same pattern as the one here
mia's teeny tiny doll

vivi' wearing her mask, (inspired by a Ladybug magazine cut-out, drawn free hand)
and her mama-made knitted vest

vivi's fairy and pony art, made just for jasper

my sweetie boy helped me make a yummy apple cake to share with friends

you can find the delicious recipe here at maya made

vivi's little bendy doll

herbal wreath inspired by tthe lovely 5 orange potatoes blog

with gratitude for all the inspirations that keep me striving