Friday, May 30, 2014

This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."SouleMama". 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lawn Furniture Makeover

I'm skipping posting about our secret project this week to show you this project instead. I have often dreamed and drooled over new fancy lawn furniture sets in garden magazines, but we can't justify dolling out enough to buy a new car just for chairs that sit outside.. So I dream on.
This is what our patio furniture looked like. Two different colors of stained plastic. Ugly and boring.. But functional. We also have a rocking love-seat and table made out of extremely silver and weathered wood. ( I forgot to take a before picture of those).
After some new paint and cushions (Made out of a patio love-seat cushion we bought on clearance last fall), our patio now could fit in quite nicely in any garden magazine. The red pot is actually a bubble pot fountain that retails around $80, but we snagged it at a local thrift store for $4! They thought it was a strawberry planter of some sort. Now I can listen to the sound of running water again ( I miss our pond and waterfall).

Just one last view. Everything looks so fresh now. I love our new/old patio furniture. Even the gazebo was a thrift find. Our gazebo was crushed under the weight of an ice storm followed by a blizzard the night our son was born. I found a replacement on Craigslist cheep. I needed to sew the canvas and create a new top piece, but it turned out rather well. A new Patio set for under $40!
Be well and thrift on!. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Morning, Noon, and Night

Playing along with Mothering With Mindfulness today.
Three little windows into our day
 Morning: Homemade Dairy free Chai Tea, strawberries, gluten free toast, and Scrambled eggs with sauteed Morel mushrooms (found on a nature hike Sunday), topped with fresh chives from the garden. Heaven!

Afternoon: Work in Progress...
Night: View out our dining room window.. Flowers in the rain.. All you can see is blossoms and all you can smell is Apple blossoms right now (crab apple that is). The trees are so thick and mashed up against the house. I love it!
Thanks for visiting. Be well. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Letter to my Son

Dear Son,
This was such a beautiful weekend I'm not even sure where to begin. You went on your first Morel Mushroom hunt. It was your Poppy's birthday. We had many MANY gardening projects this weekend. We filled a kiddie pool for you and you tore around the back yard giggling, naked as a Jay bird, going anywhere but in the water, and you were happy and exhausted at the end of each day. This sweet picture was captured by your Poppy and I'm so glad he caught it. You love to imitate and shadow me. This morning I went to fill your little watering can up and when I turned around you were struggling to bring me my watering can (which is almost as big as you are) to be filled. It was such a sweet moment. One that I never want to forget. So I guess that is what I am choosing to share with you in this letter. You are such a sweet soul. I am so proud and honored to be able to call myself your Mum. I love you, shine on,
Love, Mum~

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Stage 3: Mushrooms!

Stage 3 of fixing the scar in our yard. In the corner of the fence where our waterfall used to be is a jumble of rocks and a broken birdbath. I liked the way the sedum grew up around the rocks, softening, and enhancing them. I also knew that there had to be a use for that broken birdbath. 
I saw a neat trick on Pinterest, and gathered up some bowls from my son's kitchen. He has other wood bowls so I knew he would not miss these. I found them at a thrift store several years ago when I was living in an apartment. 
 I painted them up....
And using wood glue and screws I attached one to the bird bath and the others to logs of birch... And we have Giant Mushrooms. Already they have met with the neighbor children's approval. Can you guess what we are doing with this scar yet? More coming next week.....
Be well. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Morning, Noon, Night,and Letter

Playing along with Mothering With Mindfulness today.
Three little windows into our day with a letter to my son because I was unable to type his weekly letter yesterday.
Dear Son,
Every morning I watch the Sun dance along your cheeks as you wake. Today as I watched the Sun on my Son I made the choice to soak as much of that golden light up today as we could.
In the afternoon you picked the "pretty yellow flowers" by the fistfuls out of our lawn. You have a fascination with flowers right now. Of all the flowers in my garden you are the most beautiful and graceful one dancing in the breeze; arms outstretched to the Sun. 
And tonight as the Sun started to lower in the sky we munched on finger sandwiches in the gazebo. I think the Sun is staying up a little longer tonight just to see you glowing a little longer. So now we must begin our evening rhythms so the Sun remembers it's time for him to lower his golden head for sleep for the night. Tomorrow you will play with the Sun once more. Good night my darling, sunny, golden boy. I love you. Shine on.
Love, Mum~

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Stage 2: DIY Plastic Butterflies

Here we are. Stage 2 of our plan to fix the scar in our yard. Chain length fences are ugly. They are. It's a fact. The only thing you can do is tear them out or decorate them. So I've opted to decorate them. I used floral wire to attach butterflies made from plastic bottles and acrylic jewels to our fence. They catch the light so beautifully. I thought up this neat idea last week... But as my mother was so happy to point out, other people have already thought of this, Oh well. So I've posted below several links on how other people made their butterflies and how I made mine.
I cut the flat sides off of a water jug/milk jug (and recycled the rest). Any plastic container will do, this is just what I had on hand. 
Next, Draw your butterfly shapes.
Cut your shapes out and then use sand paper to rough them up a bit in circular motions. Whenever painting plastic it's a good idea to sand the plastic a bit first to give it a bit of grit for the paint to hold on to. 
Then paint your butterflies. I used acrylic paint and then sealed them with a thick diamond gloss finish.
That's it!
Below are some links to show how other people made theirs:
Sorry for the weird font and color thing. I was having a hard time fixing it with blogger. The last link has a neat 3D butterfly that I am tempted to make. I want to cover my whole fence with these. As for other people having this same idea.. Well I guess it's true what they say.. Great minds think alike. hehehe.
Have fun, Be well, and Shine on!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Morning, Noon, and Night

Playing along with Mothering With Mindfulness today.
Three little windows into our day.
 Morning Tea
Afternoon Rain 
(example of why our beds are not in place yet and why we need raised beds in the first place *groan*)

Evening Tea (and a sneak peek of Part 2 of the Secret Project coming tomorrow!)

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Letter to my Son

Dear Son,
This weekend was our second Mother's Day together. I can't even begin to tell you the joy it gives me being your mum. One day you will have children of your own and then you will understand how I feel. This year it was a quiet Mother's Day. Your Poppy had to go to help your Aunt move, so it was just us for a large portion of the day. I was not feeling well, but your Poppy and I did not know how bad off I was at first. It turns out I was very sick and you cried because you were scared and didn't know what was happening, I called Poppy and asked him to come home. I wanted so much to pick you up and tell you it was "Ok". It tore my heart out to not be able to comfort you, but at that moment I just couldn't. Luckily it was just a short burst of fear. You figured out pretty quickly that Mum was not feeling well and then did your best to 'take care of me'. It was so sweet watching you bring me all of your favorite books and then climb up on the couch and snuggle down. You have a gentle heart and a sweet soul. Today I'm still not out of the woods, and you have been bringing me books and "reading " them to me all day. Your sweet voice rises and falls with the same tones I use while I read you those stories. Other people might not recognize them as words, but I know what you are saying. Then you went and got my hairbrush and started to gently brush my hair. I thought my heart would melt. Ok.. Maybe it did melt.. I am so very privileged to be your Mum. Being sick is no fun for anyone, but I will treasure these moments. My loving, gentle boy. Never change. Shine on. 
Love, Mum~

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day.

For those that do not know, I’ve been taking part in a challenge every day this month to go out and sit with nature. To become closer to nature and more observant. To learn the lessons that can only be learned in stillness. Today’s challenge (in a nut shell) was to write a story about nature and incorporate morals. This being Mother’s day (If it’s not too pretentious of me) I would like to make a gift of this story to all the Mother’s that have helped me over the course of my pregnancy. To the women who held my hands during the pregnancy when I was afraid, who came when our homebirth did not go as planned and we rushed to the hospital. To the women who held my hand through delivery and during that first month of motherhood when I was laid up on bed rest too sick to even change my own son’s diapers. Thank you. We are not bound by blood but something deeper. You are all my mother’s in spirit and I love each and every one of you. I also want to give this to my son. Without him I would not be a mother. During this first year he has already taught me so very much and I know there is still much, much more to learn. Thank you.

The story of the Earth Mother and her Child.
As written by ‘Appleshoe’.

Day 11. Today I sit surrounded by all the beauty and majesty of nature. Everything, everywhere, contains beauty even if we cannot see it at first. From the majestic Oaks, to the ripple on the pond caused by the slightest of breezes. To the smallest of shoots and beneath the moss covered stones.  Today it is the voice of a small stone far below that I hear.
The lump of coal lay deeper than below the bridge that I now sit on. Deeper than the bottom of the pond. Deeper even still than burrowing things burrow. This stone lay nestled snugly in the Earth Mother’s bosom, near to the warmth of her heart. It was a silky black stone that sparkled like the stars in the night sky, but it did not see its beauty and worth.
One day the little lump of coal cried out, “Earth Mother, Wise Mother! Help me! I am small, sooty, worthless, and unlovely.”
The Earth Mother was sad that this little one did not see its beauty and worth and responded, “ You are dark and silky as the night sky. You shine and you sparkle like a thousand stars. I have given you the warmth of my heart so that you may warm others”.
The coal was not satisfied. “If I burn myself up to warm others there will be nothing left of me. Change me to be something beautiful and useful”.
So the Earth Mother wrapped her strong embrace around the little one and drew it close to the warmth of her heart.
“Earth Mother!” Cried out the stone, “Your embrace is crushing me and the heat of your heart burns me”.
“Sometimes change hurts little one,” replied the Earth Mother.
And change it did. The warmth of the Earth’s heart and the weight of her embrace transformed the little lump of coal into a diamond.
“Look Mother! Am I not more beautiful than the Turquoise and Agate now? Do I not shine brighter than the Emerald and Ruby?”
So enthralled was the Diamond with its new beauty that it did not see the Earth Mother shaking her head. It did not hear her softly say, “One day you will understand little one”.
Years went by. The Diamond was mined and discovered by man. They praised its beauty and luster. They placed a value on its shine. Then they cut the diamond to enhance its beauty and set it in jewelry so that it could adorn Kings and Queens. The cutting and buffing hurt, but the diamond remembered that sometimes change hurts and so it endured.  
“Look Mother! Look how beautiful I am now. See how much I am worth?” But the Earth Mother did not respond.
Many more years passed and the stone was enhanced, split and set in many different pieces of jewelry. Its beauty became known far and wide, but with each new cutting and setting the Diamond felt an unease growing in its heart. The Diamond called out, “Why am I discontent? I am beautiful and my beauty is loved far and wide. Why do I feel this emptiness?”
Only the wind echoed back, “Emptiness…”
The Diamond thought for a very long time and then started to break itself smaller. It hurt, but this time the Diamond knew it had a purpose and so endured again. Smaller and smaller it made itself until it was a fine grit that man took and used to make tools. Those tools helped man and were then used to make finer tools; eventually those tools were introduced into hospitals. Many lives were saved by these fine tools, and many more lives would be. As the Diamond felt the last of its powder being ground away it called out one last time.
“Earth Mother, I understand now.  It is in giving of myself that I find my beauty and worth”, and with that, the Diamond was gone.
The Earth Mother smiled and said, “You've learned well little one”. Then she stretched out her arms and wept. As her tears rained down they caught the light and sparkled like many, many diamonds.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Secret Project: Part 1

Shhh, I have a secret confession. Our yard has a scar. Last year I posted about all the lovely gardens in our yard.. But I kept this monster a secret. It's a little better than it looks. There are flowers waiting to come up and we just did a much needed rejuvenation cutting on the hedge, so that will come back in time. This area used to be a lovely little waterfall and pond with four delightful fishies, and I miss it dreadfully. We had to take it out for Daycare regulations, and to be honest, it's much safer for Panda this way. What was left after we took it out was a broken birdbath (in the back), a few small boulders, a pathway to nowhere, and a gravel pit where once was my lovely little pond. Two years later we now have a plan for this area. I can't tell you what it is yet, but I will be posting a few crafts in the next couple of weeks that will be filling in this scar, so check back next week for the first craft. Oh I can't wait. We have plans for you, oh dreadful scar... Yes we do!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Morning, Noon, and Night

Playing along with Mothering With Mindfulness today.
Three little windows into our day.
 Morning: Sit Spot Challenge
Noon: Completed but not yet sunk raised beds.
(One of the rare shots of my ugly fence, and suburban neighborhood)
Night: The sweetest spot stealing, bed hogs..
Shine on.

Monday, May 5, 2014

A letter to my Son.

Dear Son,
It's been a long day. You have been extra clingy today. I think it is because this was a long weekend. We had a lot of yard projects to work on and while happy to be outside, you did not get as many cuddles as you are accustomed to. I'm writing this later in the day than your other letters because you are off with your Poppy and this is the first chance I could get. Today my wish for you is that you find peace. Wherever this life takes you, learn to find the peace and quiet in every day moments. They are there. Just look for them. A simple and short wish today. With all my heart. Shine on. 
Love, Mum~

Friday, May 2, 2014

This Moment

"A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember." SouleMama