Our Memorial Day

Today we took Pollywog to the zoo. She had so much fun. She has an affinity for animals and nature. We rode the train and made the sounds of all the animals. It was overcast and sprinkling on us. Perfect weather...
After lunch and her nap, we decided to play in the rain. We looked at all the pools of water, found wet stones, admired our lovely container garden, and filled buckets with rain water.
We ended the evening with a nice glass of red wine and relaxed.
CJ went to a BBQ and had a great time, although we missed him. (click to enlarge pics)

Memorial Day

Enjoy your day


~princess pollywog's first time in her pool~

daydreaming in the sun

Today the house is quiet. Pollywog is asleep~ The house is clean as we await the arrival of grammy and papa~ There is a calm breeze slowly making it's way through the house~ my chirping friends our singing their daily chorus all around me~ and I am foggy with dreams~

I am lost in thought while staring out my kitchen window. This is my favorite spot in the house. The concrete floors are cool under my feet. They are a deep, walnut color. Rugs woven of fiber lay across the floor. Succulent plants fill my kitchen. Aloes, Hens and chicks, jades. They hang or sit in pots I made from the clay down at the stream (this is truly my favorite nook). Outside my window, chimes ,tinkle and plunk together. I love chimes so it's no surprise that they are all over the yard and the trees. I am kneading bread that I will let rise on the patio, in the warm sun. The same patio that I poured my blood and sweat in this past fall, (literally). I found the stones by all of our favorite rivers, and Brian graciously let me hull them home in our truck each time. I have always had an affinity for collecting rocks and stones. They almost have a heartbeat to me. I love the stories they tell, the way they feel in my hands, and the colors. My patio's floor tells these stories and displays these designs, that spoke to me near the rivers and streams.
I love the smell of the patio when it rains. The rocks earthy smell steams, and the mint, lavender and lemon basil that surrounds the patio, is a mist of heaven I often stand under, letting my pores sip.
Brian and Henry built a wooden, trellis overhang that honeysuckle and wisteria crawl, creep and wrap around. Under this shelter of sorts, sits a wooden table and chairs, a large candle and and usually someone napping, reading or lunching.
Out in the green meadow of wildflowers, mint and whatever else has managed to push through, sits an old, grandpa oak- and this oak kindly holds our hammock. This tree and me have become dear, old friends. I have made so many promises to it and in return he has loved me in only a way a dear, old, tree can.
I am so happy we finally made it. We found the perfect land in our blessed Oregon. Purchased this land with a few, dear friends. Each of us building our little nooks and straw bale homes.
It is here that we will eat from our land. It is here that we will laugh at our quirky friends, the chickens. It is here that we will name and fall in love with our goats and ducks. It is here that I will mold my clays, paint, cook, watch my children flourish,learn explore and dance with the seasons. It is here that we will all sing, make great meals and enjoy our piece of earth. It is here that Brian and Henry and whomever else joins in, will make, build, invent and create.It is here that we will give to the earth and she will give back in abundace. It is here...our casa...

Doris Day or night....

I have been really into Doris Day films as of late.
There is just something about them that make me feel so warm and cozy.
Some have made me cry, others laugh, a few have inspired me to decorate my home...they all make me smile.

I'll take what I can get...

Breastfeeding Rocks! literally...

artsy fartsy...

I haven't really talked much about art on this blog...or have I? I don't remember I've slept since then. It is a passion of mine. When I was young I planned on going to art school and living in Europe as an artist...he he...well that didn't happen. However my love of art has remained. I love painting and in the last few years I have become interested in primitive pottery.
I don't create art for anyone- I make art b/c I have too. My head is overflowing with images and concepts. My emotions are usually tied up into these images so painting and creating is cathartic and necessary for me to function in a healthy way.
The pictures I posted are of a few older paintings I have done in the past. They are all from dreams-usually influenced by my awake life, i think.
I quit painting for awhile, but have recently been filling up with ideas again so I have been working on a series. It is different from anything I have ever done, and it's more from daydreams rather than night time dreams.(did I mention I'm a "dreamer"?)but im not the only one (sorry I couldn't resist)
Here is a brief description of the paintings posted, I apologize for the poor quality of pictures. This is an ongoing theme in my blogs, but I promise soon I will post super bomb diggity pictures...(click to enlarge)
Starting with the left side going down- The top left is called, "Wine Belly" I painted her when we were living on the Oregon coast. I would stay up late at night with a glass of red wine, listen to Eugene public radio and paint. This is still one of my favorite paintings. It hangs in my kitchen.
Below that, is a painting I did this year for an auction to raise money for a private school. I painted it while my father was ill, so it is strange to see. It was purchased at the auction so I will probably never see it again. There are hidden symbols and words that I painted over, that helped me get through this rough time. It doesn't have a name, but I call it Morocco b/c of the textile pattern.
Beneath that is a painting I did when I was reading a lot about my Native American ancestry and listening to Pow Wow music. It has an abundance of texture that you can't really see in the pic. I call it leather feather, It hangs in the living room.
Below this is another painting I did in Oregon. I painted her in a couple of days. I am not sure what it was all about, but I did have a miscarriage around the same time, so I think subconsciously it was about that. I love this painting, especially her shoulders and hair. I used clay and Oregon coffee grounds in this painting. I loved painting her. I don't have a name for this one.
The top right I did at the farmhouse. I had been reading and looking at books about Mongolians and Tibetans. I have a fascination with these areas of the world. I hope to someday stay in a yurt in Mongolia. I also have a slight obsession with nomadic lifestyles. I used clay from the spring on the property in this painting, along with paint.This painting is called, "Turquoise Nomad"
Below that is a painting of a dream I had. I had been listening to CocoRosie quite a bit...maybe that influenced it. There are secrets in this painting that you probably can't see from the picture, or wouldn't know what to look for. This one is called, "Fish Dreams".
I look forward to sharing more when they are done.

Manic Monday...long, probably boring post

Today was a breezy, beautiful, dare I say summer day (i know it's spring, but it felt like summer) Today was the kinda day that you dust off your box fan and get'r running. So that is exactly what I did. I cleaned it up and turned it on.
I love the sound of a fan. It has such a peaceful hum. It reminds my of my grandmother's house.

The day hummed along like the fan. The breeze gently lifted the kitchen curtains all day. The sun was bright in the clear sky. Birds chirped around the house all day and I spotted our regular friend Mr. Cardinal and Mr. Bluejay, eating the seeds pollywog and I put out the day before. The house was peaceful, and filled with natural light.
Although the day hummed, it went by more like a breeze. Here and gone.
While CJ finished his chores- I quickly picked up the house and threw some laundry in, which had piled up in a matter of minutes. (When CJ cleans he tends to throw all cloth items into his laundry bin- gotta get that thing outta his room)...

Once pollywog went down for her nap (more like closing her eyes briefly as of late)...CJ and I decided to make pizza dough for dinner tonight. (more like I begged him to hang out with his poor mother...why do i keep saying, "more like"?) He must've felt pity for me, b/c he agreed. We measured, mixed and kneaded our dough and let it rise in the warm kitchen. I got the recipe from, "Moosewood Restaurant New Classics"- its a goodin'.
He actually cracked a smile while hangin' out with his ol' mom, and it was nice to spend time with him. He is growing up so fast...(click on pics to enlarge)

He was having so much fun that he agreed to do a craft with me. I saw this craft on another mom's blog and thought it looked fun. We basically unwrapped all of our crayons and sorted them by colors, broke them up and put them into a muffin tin- then baked them for about 20-25 min. on 200, let them dry and popped them out. He is an artist like me, so we enjoy colors and projects. He loved the blues and said the different browns made him think of the desert.

Just about that time we were really getting into it, CJ's friend came to see if her wanted to ride bikes, and I was left at the table to finish the craft. Well it was fun while it lasted...teens. Sometimes I wish he was little again, but I'm pretty proud watching him grow up too. They did turn out great though, and pollywog colored with them, stacked them and showed the birds outside the window.

...and the pizza was a hit...

"its just another manic monday, ooohhhhh ooohhhh"


Maybe it was the film I watched before bed...maybe it was the prayer I have had on my heart for years about adoption and Brian's prayer to do work in Africa...(he went on a Mission's trip there in college and has been forever touched)...or maybe it was the large, consumption of chocolate chip cookies before bed- whatever the case I had two very, vivid dreams last night that replayed over and over in my head. First one: We bought this beautiful land in Oregon that was surrounded by hills- we called it "Resting Mountain"- it had hammocks hanging, an outdoor kitchen, a common fire-pit and several little cabins. We called it "Resting Mountain" because we opened it to traveling missionaries, as a place for them to rest, after their journeys. In my head I kept repeating, "resting mountain for nomadic ministries" Second dream: we adopted this little boy from Africa named, Isaiah. He was so cute and sweet and I couldn't stop hugging him. He had never been hugged and loved and was enjoying all the attention. MMMM?

A Walk to Beautiful

Last night I watched a documentary called, "A Walk to Beautiful", on PBS.
It was about women in Ethiopia suffering with a condition called, Fistula. This is when there is a leak in the urinary tubing, caused by complications in childbirth, and urine leaks uncontrollably from the woman. A combination of physical labor (starting as young girls) and poor nutrition, causes poor development and they're bodies don't develop properly, causing them to be small. They are married off as young as 8 or 9, and pregnant as young as 12. So you can see how they have difficulty during child-birthing. Some of these woman labor for up to a week, (usually carrying a still born at this point) and without the aid of a doctor. This is a widespread epidemic in Africa. What is so sad, is the woman are ostircized in their villages. Because they are leaking urine (and feces in some cases), causing them to smell. Their husbands leave them and they are sent to live in makeshift shelters (if they are lucky) where they live alone until they die. The emotional heartache the women suffer is so horrible.
The documentary showed a few woman getting treatment at a clinic in Addis Ababa, specializing in Fistula. It was so wonderful to see their lives changed. One story in particular, (Wubete) was particularly touching. She had no mother, or family to speak of. Her father had married her off at age 10 and she kept running away. By age 12 she was pregnant and suffered complications. Her incontinence was not able to be surgically fixed, however they were able to let her go and work in an orphanage so she wouldn't have to go back to her village.
The whole story was touching and eye opening.
CJ watched it with me. Sometimes he forgets (as we all do) what others have to endure. It opened up our world a little bit.
I decided that the baby stuff I was going to sell could be better used at the orphanage (Grace Village), as they do accept donations.
This story will remain in my heart forever.
Check out the clinic and orphanage:

I Miss you soooooo much

I miss you
Not a day goes by that I don't think about you.
I love you
and boy do I miss you.

does your Toddler eat like a birdy?

If you have a toddler that is picky like I do, here are some ideas that have worked for us.
First let me add that she is still nursing and that we are pretty choosy about what she eats. She doesn't really drink juice, or eat sugary foods. We try to stick to whole foods (grains, fruits, veggies) and expose her to a variety of foods.

Toddlers in general are picky eaters. I don't just mean in terms of only eating"certain foods" and not others, but I mean they pick at their food. This is normal and healthy and fine. They are grazers. Not all of them, but a lot of them.
This stage is a time to expose them to all sorts of foods and let them explore fun ways to eat.
If I am stressed about her consumption at meal time, or make eating a "stressful" time, this will make her/him a picky eater- they dread meal time, rather than enjoying this Family Time... (this comes from someone who spent their entire adolescents sitting at the dining room table till nightfall-did I mention I was stubborn?)
I want eating to be a time with laughter and a time to nourish, not a time of stress and forcing foods
If they're hungry they will eat- old saying but so true
So get creative!
Preparing food for my children has given me a renewed joy for food. It's the simple foods that we forget about that are, oh, so good. Yummy fruits and crunchy veggies.

-Multi-grain cereals: We sneak lots of yummy goodness in her night-time, multi-grain, cereal. (we just started giving her warm cereal at night in the last couple months to up her iron and slow down the night feeding, worked) In her multi-grain organic cereal (which daddy feeds her while she sits in her bath, spoiled?) we add mashed bananas, flax meal or oil, cinnamon, and Flora Baby (a probiotic...not always just random for a week at a time) Sometimes if needed, we sneak some prunes in there.
- Kefir Pops: she loves frozen pops so for both kids we make Kefir pops. We blend various frozen fruits, with non-sweetened juices, and Kefir and freeze. Kefir as well as the probiotic treatment are important. If the gut is healthy the overall immune system will be strong. They love these pops sometimes we sneak in sweet potatoes. I
-Soups: We often give her soups (she loves veggie soups and pasta soups) , this is another great place to "sneak in" some flavors and goodness. We'll mash in sweet potatoes and add garlic cloves. We freeze leftovers and break off pieces throughout the week.
-Garlic: This is something we give her especially if she is getting a cold or around other sick people. Raw garlic is not usually high on the toddler's palate, so we roast the garlic and spread it on her pasta noodles at dinner or whatever else she is eating. She doesn't mind the sweetness of it roasted.
-Dips...Toddlers love to dip. Rather they are dipping crackers, steamed veggies, fruit, bread or their little fingers- great dips are Guacomole, Hummus, blended fruits, Laughing Cow cheese (her fav.) and yogurt.
-Smoke Salmon and Cream cheese on crackers- I love that she loves this- its the Oregonian in her.
Please share your tips.

Mama's day

~These are my two wonderful children. You can't see my son's handsome face but I still like this picture. He lives on his bike. My daughter is making a craft with feathers and stickers. Blessings abundantly~

I have a feeling this might be one of those long, rambling, blogs of mine(are any of them not?) There is so much to tell about my wonderful day and of course- the million's of thoughts that go through my head...(okay not millions, but seriously a lot)...Maybe I will make two posts.
Last night me and CJ stayed up fairly late. I was going through stuff to get rid of and organizing space for my new(well used, new to me- it's actually quite old) beautiful desk with a hutch. The wind was howling- I mean really blowing. I thought maybe a tornado was coming, then all the power went off. CJ, who had fallen asleep on the couch came in our room with his bedding. We turned on our wind up radio and listened, but it was just strong winds. With the commotion and due to the fact that she is a light sleeper, the baby woke up and got excited that we were all in the bed and talking. She was kicking her feet and squealing and kissing her bubbie. We talked and laughed and enjoyed the family memory. Of course it took forever to get her back to sleep, so I think we actually went back to bed around 2 (ugh).
I woke up at 8 to nurse Pollywog (aka,baby, well toddler now) and noticed, thankfully, the power was back on.They told me to sleep in for Mother's day (ahhh) Around 10:30 they brought me breakfast in bed (2 eggs over medium, Ezekiel toast with fresh jam, two soy sausage links, coffee and o.j.- yummy) plus two home-made cards (my favorite kind). My son's card had pictures of me in the sand dunes in Colorado, at Joshua Tree and one of the ocean in Oregon. It said, "Thanks for keeping us straight" (thats about as much mush as you get from a 13 yr. old boy...)
So sweet. I sat in bed eating my food and then I heard Pollywog at the door wondering why mommy was in there. She started kissing the door. It was too much cuteness and frankly I missed her so I let her in bed with me.
The day was beautifully breezy, and sunny.
Later I made us lunch- mozzarella, tomato, basil, olive oil sandwiches mmmm and grapes.
 After lunch the kids picked wild flowers for me and I also got chocolate candies and my son got me blue, hanging dice for my vehicle and a stick of thing that says "get r done" (he said cause I always get things done). They made me smile and I am so grateful.The rest of the day has been very nice, except I felt sick for a bit. For the past week, for a little part of the day I feel really nauseous. It last for about 20-30 minutes and I usually drink some mint tea or eat some anise seeds and it goes away. Now I have a headache. I don't know what it is. I am gonna try and only eat fruits and veggies and whole grains this week and nothing else.
I also got my desk and hutch set up and I have so much more storage in my kitchen for bulk foods! I love it.
I will display pics. soon. I think I mentioned that I don't have a digital camera yet, so I have been taking pics. with a disposal one (yuck)
Well maybe I will post my rambling thoughts later. Right now I'm gonna sip my mint tea and relax...it is Mother's Day!

First blog

My first blog...my first adventure into "blog world"...all new to me, but I am excited to share my life, reflect and I love reading other's blogs.