these are a few of my favorite things

Here are a few things I have been recently enjoying...

1) Tea Tree Oil
This stuff is great! Here are some things I have recently used it on: bug bites, acne, odor in shoes, cold sore (went away the next day), and with the recent rains we had lots of ants trying to move in with us. I sprinkled some tea tree under the door and I haven't seen one since. This past winter we used tea tree to shorten the duration and provide relief of colds and coughs. Tea tree is a powerful antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, disinfectant, and antibiotic. It is to be used properly though, as all essential oils should be. It is toxic if ingested. I read differing opinions on it's safety to use while breastfeeding, so I am still curious about this one- b/c I breastfeed. Haven't had any problems so far. I don't use it around the baby, and we it sparingly.

2) summer nights
After dinner we leave the dishes on the table and all head outside. The sun is beginning it's descent, the birds are busy, the air cool, and there is a mosquito-less window. We play ball, watch the kids, lay on a blanket in the grass, point at passing birds, dogs and airplanes, and digest our dinner. This ritual is something I look forward to and afterwards I don't mind cleaning up the dishes.

3) finally getting into our summer flow
With the slow days upon us, no actual school work (although we learn something new each day), and so much time together~ it took us awhile to get into a flow.,(especially me) . I have learned how to just "be" with my family. That means sitting on the floor playing, giving eye contact and listening attentively to my family members when they talk, that means not obsessing over the house, chores, or "me" time- realizing that these moments can be "me" time too. In other words just living in the moment. To do this I have established Fridays as our "big cleaning day". This is when CJ does his regular chores. Also on Fridays we do the mopping, vacuuming, dusting and change the sheets. Then we enjoy being together. Monday I tidy up from the weekend, and for the rest of the week the days are spent playing, having adventures, swimming, learning (secretly of course), making things and quiet times. Here and there I might throw a load of laundry in or some tidying... but realizing there's always something that needs done, has helped me to let go. No more stress, just enjoyment! (side note: I was listening to Terry Gross on NPR the other day. It was an old interview with the late George Carlin. At the end he shared his "Secret News", one secret was: your house will never be completely clean...I was like, yeah okay, I got it now!) To read the Secret News look here.

4) my recent painting
This is just a peek. It is almost finished (I know I have been saying that forever.) This painting has been fun to do and even more fun to watch it evolve. This is one panel on wood. There is another panel I am finishing up then they will attach. The finished product will be posted soon.

5) balance
Something I am beginning to achieve in my thirties. In my twenties it was all or nothing. I was so quick to define myself- obsessed really.
For me, I realize that living outside the box has so much to do with balance. Being joyful, and healthy, has so much to do with balance.
Defining oneself "to death" is really putting up more walls to live in-
today I feel free. I am me. Flawed and all. Although I fall under labels, I don't feel attached to them.
I choose balance in my diet. That means although I normally eat whole, nutritious foods from the earth- I don't feel guilty when I pop in a frozen pizza and top it off with a cold beer. I choose to not watch television and let my mind takes its own course- but I love LOST and when we can adjust the antennae just right, the occasional Entertainment Tonight(I know it will rot your brain) I choose to live lightly on the earth, but sometimes I leave lights on and blast the AC (till hubby gets home ;) ) well, you get the gest...Balance...this is good.

6) boundaries
Again, something I am just learning. Setting boundaries in your life, and respecting other's boundaries, is an amazing gift to give to your children. This is a gift that keeps on giving. Hopefully it will be passed on to your future generations. Boundaries are the backbone to a healthy, functioning relationship. Learning this the hard way, well, its hard.

7) reggae

I am an avid reggae lover... Turn it on and I can't stop myself from grooving. Even in the coldest days of winter, reggae can heat up a room. I love Bob Marley, The Congos, Lee Scratch Perry and Burning Spear. I recently found a reggae group from Ethiopia called Lasta Sound, check em out. Jah know ya will...