Sunday, October 31, 2010

Money spell

A great money blog that I read, Get Rich Slowly, offered a money spell, by one of the writers I like, for Halloween and it seemed like a fun magical activity.

So in the midst of getting everyone ready for trick or treat I gathered what I needed:
A candle, all the money in my wallet and some magnets. I scratched what I wanted:
"Money Grow" on my candle and lit it, set it on the money and then placed some magnets on top.
Then I lit the candle.

Trick or Treat!

Rob was a
a hulky clown?
a zombie clown?
he was deeply insulted when my mother was disgusted by his green face and glowing fangs.

Lily was a witch with a scar on her forehead.
I was a witch with my new hat. (I still need a better photo.)
Georgia was tigger.

Down the street, trick or treating was hoppin'

It got really really cold, just as my mother said it would (I had thought she was being so worried and silly, but I was so happy she talked me into wearing a fleece vest or I might have had hypothermia by the time we got home!)

Georgia's ponytail peeking out.

Georgia, scared and tired and cold "my feet feel tingly, like soda," got carried by her uncle, the Bat Pirate.

So happy to get home and warm up in front of the the roaring fire to count out candy!
We'd only been out a little over an hour but it felt like the entire night had passed.
Happy Halloween!

Lucky Us!

Remember that huge pile of firewood we were so thrilled to get delivered?
The one that was still there a month later?
The one that blocked the driveway and the door?
The one that was getting rain poured on it every other day?
Filling with chipmunk hotels?
Making us feel defeated and overwhelmed every time we came home?

Our amazing friends helped us pile it up! Hooray! They offered! And then showed up all peppy and hardworking! How lucky are we?

They wouldn't stop until every scrap was piled up or put in a kindling bucket.
We are so thankful every time we walk in the house.
Every time we don't have to move the cars so the other can get out of the driveway.
Every time it rains....

Ahhh, hooray for wonderful neighbors and friends.
Thank you guys!

And the kids discovered our very first egg in the chicken house.
They were so thrilled and proud.
The egg is tiny and the shell is soft.
Sweet chickens.
I almost forgot they were going to provide us with eggs!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mastiff puppies!

My friend Barb breeds these beautiful dogs. Mastiffs are Lily's favorite dog in the world so she was so excited when we went for a visit with these two this weekend.

Here's a link to Barb's website.

10 weeks old.
So damn cute.
And huge.
Still nursing from their very patient mother.

The girls would have loved to bring them both home but luckily for us both these enormous puppies are already sold.

That said, we are getting more and more ready to get another dog.
Probably a mutt.
Maybe in the spring?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blue Rose of Sharon

a flowering shrub I have wanted for years.
I have been haphazardly hunting all year.
I finally found several at Wanczyk nursery in Hadley.
Everywhere else I called or went over the last few months was sold out of them.

A single Rose of Sharon flower floating in the foreground.

Wanczyk nursery was enormous!
I picked a bedraggled looking specimen and clutched it to my chest.
Finally, I found you!
Not on sale, even though it is the end of the season; I bought it anyway.

I'll plant it soon and hopefully get some of these lovely blue blooms that the hummingbirds love.

A little video of the HUGE flock of starlings flying out of a tree in the back end of the nursery.

It was that warm drippy day and Georgia and I took our time wandering through the town of young plants.

Pumpkins pumpkins
Gourds Gourds Gourds

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Martha Beck's speech

from The Women's Conference going on this week
Watch it and feel inspired and connected!
(Her intro and then speech start 9min 18 sec in.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Love this youtube video

PS22 Chorus "I AM NOT A ROBOT" Marina And The Diamonds

click on this to see this 5th grade Staten Island Public school chorus having a great time.

It was on Martha Beck's facebook page and I couldn't stop listening to it and smiling today!

Picadilly Farm Fall Harvest

I went to Picadilly alone again this morning.
The bins of vegetables were so gorgeous.
It was nice to take my time and enjoy the warm fall day.

I took a walk around the perimeter and said goodbye to the pigs. They are so big and friendly, sad they'll be gone soon, but they seem to have had a really lovely life.

Even the pig food scraps are beautiful.

A cabbage
a huge purple flower....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Festival in Turner's Falls

The first year of the pumpkin festival.
Not to complain,
it seemed like there were more cigarette smokers and food vendors than pumpkins.
some of the pumpkins were really magical.

Rob and Lily didn't like the crowds or the smoke
Georgia loved it!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Celebrating the mortgage refinance!

We went to Hope and Olive and ate a fancy dinner while a babysitter watched the kids to celebrate the refinance finally going through.
It took forever for the bank, assessor and mortgage company to all get back from vacation and finish the paperwork, but as of today, Rob and I have paid off our credit cards!
It feels so good to not have that nasty interest growing and those due dates looming.

We will slowly be able to pay off our other overdue debts.
I can't believe how much better I feel to have a bit of money in the bank already.
It makes me sad to think of how stressed I've been. And how hard it is for so many people....

I'm excited to cut up the credit cards and stay out of debt (except of course for the mortgage....and the car.....)
Anyway, we're pretty thrilled.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin carving

Lily made this fairy all by herself!
I am amazed!
All I did was glue the hair on.
It's tiny and the cutest thing ever!

Lily made a cat drawing on her pumpkin after much agonizing about what the perfect pumpkin would be.

I cut it out. Thankfully, I found one of those tiny knives I have been pushing around the back of the knife drawer since last year when I bought it for carving last year's pumpkins.

Last year we cut a shape of a turtle for Lily's pumpkin and the girls played with the turtle cut-out for a few days (which was slimy and wasted away pretty quickly)

Georgia somehow remembered this and wanted her own little turtle. I cut it out and she played with it, wrapped it in a dish towel and sang to it.
She named him Tiny Tim and first thing, she woke up and ran downstairs to find him and start their day together.

Sadly his back leg has already fallen off.
And she is leaving a slime trail wherever she brings him.
Oh Tiny Tim.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Goldenrod Flower Essence

I looked up Goldenrod flower essence a month or so ago and it struck a chord for me.

I read that it is good for people who are fearful of being judged by others when they reveal their true selves. I realized I still have some fear about being a weirdo and alienating people if I really let myself be free and open.

I decided I would make an essence for myself as soon as I had a minute.

But I never took a minute.

And when I finally looked out at the lush fields of yellow goldenrod with my scissors and bowl ready.

The fields were dry, gray and crispy.

Ack! I missed my chance to make medicine to help me bust through my fear of being a freak.

(Here is a blurb about the flower essence from a website I found that quotes the FES book which I love)

Positive qualities:
Well-developed individuality, inner sense of Self balanced with group or social consciousness.

Patterns of imbalance:
Easily influenced by group or family ties; inability to be true to oneself,
subject to peer pressure or social expectations.

Our earliest sense of Self unfolds within the context of others-parents, extended family, and community. Gradually, through a healthy maturation process, the soul acquires a clear sense of individuality.

Some souls do not successfully complete this individuation process, remaining too subject to group more and family ties. These souls need to establish their own inner values and beliefs, otherwise their inherent weakness is easily exploited. They tend to be adversely influenced by social pressures and conventions, conforming their behavior to social norms in or
der to win approval and acceptance.

In some situations such souls will also display antisocial or obnoxious behavior as an extreme measure to acquire a self-image-this is especially true during adolescence.

Goldenrod flower essence helps such persons to find a true relationship to the Higher Self. It encourages vertical or individuated axis to counterbalance the overly broad, horizontal social axis, which influences the personality too strongly. In this way the sol acquires greater strength and inner conviction, learning to successfully balance the polarities of Self and Others.

- from the 'Flower Essence Repertory', by Patricia Kaminsky and Richard Katz. The most comprehensive and user-friendly flower essence book we've found. Highly recommended for any practitioner.

Then lo and behold! I looked out on my front stoop after the bus drove away with Lily.

There was a sweet sturdy little goldenrod blooming!

I ran inside and clipped half of it into my clear glass bowl filed with spring water.

And put it under our magical peach tree for a bit.

When it's ready I'll decant some of the water into a sterilized jar and add some brandy to preserve the vibrational power of the blooming flower.


Then I'll dilute it even more with spring water until I have a potent little bottle filled with goldenrod flower energy.

Then I'll take it and see what happens.....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Movie night.

Rob went out to see The Town and we girls stayed home and watched the movie Pollyanna and ate popcorn.

The fire was so hot, we were boiling and pink-cheeked when Papa got home.

We had a good time.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

From Glamour magazine

A friend sent this story along a while ago. I was just going through my emails and found it.
What surprised me about the photo was how happy it made me feel!
What a gorgeous woman and what a marvelous belly.
In my job as a labor and delivery nurse (and in my mirror!) I never see the flawless tortured skinny bodies that are all I see in the media.
The great joy I felt in seeing this photo made me realize how much it disturbs and confuses my deep self to never see itself played back to me in the media that surrounds us.

It's a photo that measures all of three by three inches in our September issue, but the letters about it started to flood my inbox literally the day Glamour hit newsstands. (As editor-in-chief, I pay attention to this stuff!) "I a

m gasping with delight...I love the woman on p 194!" said one...then another, and another, andanotherandanotherandanother.


ho is she? And what on earth is so special about her?
UPDATE: See the body image revolution started by your amazing comments below.Lizzi Miller\What Everyone But You Sees About Your Body\Photo: Glamour
Here's the deal: The picture wasn't of a celebrity. It wasn't of a supermodel. It was of a woman sitting in her underwear with a smile on her face and a belly that looks...wait for it...normal.

The "woman on p. 194." Gorgeous!
I'd loved this photo at first sight myself--we'd commissioned it for a story on feeling comfortable in your skin, and wanted a model who looked like she was. But even so, the letters blew me away: "the most amazing photograph I've ever seen in any women's magazine," wrote one reader in Pavo, Georgia. From another in Somerset, Massachusetts: "This beautiful woman has a real stomach and did I even see a few stretch marks? This is how my belly looks after giving birth to my two amazing kids! This photo made me want to shout from the rooftops."
The emails were filled with such joy--joy at seeing a woman's body with all the curves and quirks and rolls found in nature. (Raising a question: With all the six-packs out there, do you even know what a normal belly looks like anymore--other than the one you see in the mirror?)
So what's the story behind the photo? "The woman on p. 194" is actually 20-year-old model Lizzi Miller, and this is her second appearance in Glamour, shot by fashion photographer Walter Chin. A size 12-14 and avid softball player/belly dancer ("I like exercising when it's fun"), Lizzi moved to New York City from San Jose three years ago to become a model (a "plus-size" one by modeling industry standards, though hello, at size 12 she's actually "normal size"...but I digress).
"When I was young I really struggled with my body and how it looked because I didn't understand why my friends were so effortlessly skinny," Lizzi told me. "As I got older I realized that everyone's body is different and not everyone is skinny naturally--me included! I learned to love my body for how it is, every curve of it. I used to be so self-conscious in a bikini because my stomach wasn't perfectly defined. But everyone has different body shapes! And it's not all about the physical! If you walk on the beach in your bikini with confidence and you feel sexy, people will see you that way too."
As for the letters, Lizzi's loving them. "When I read them I got teary-eyed!" she says. "I've been that girl, flipping through magazines trying to find just one person who looked a little bit like me. And when I didn't find it I would start to think there's something wrong with the way that I looked. When J. Lo and Beyoncé came out and were making curves sexy, I started to accept myself more. It's funny, but just seeing them look and feel sexy enabled me to do the same." Lizzi, now you're doing the same for all of us--massive congrats on that.
We had some rollicking debates in this blog last week about "fattism" and the TV shows for plus-size women. So let's start off this week with something we can all get behind: a toast to the woman on p. 194, and to the spectacular sexiness of owning who you are. Trust me, Glamour's listening, and this only strengthens our commitment to celebrating all kinds of beauty.
Now tell me...what do you think of the picture? Can a photo make you feel better or worse about your own looks? And what kinds of images would you like to see more of in Glamour?
UPDATE: I continue to be amazed by all of your thoughtful comments below, as does Lizzi; to watch her take on readers' reactions to her photo, check out our recent appearance on The Today Show.
UPDATE: See the body image revolution started

Friday, October 15, 2010

Damp fall walk

in the swamp behind the library.
I would have just run home to sit in front of the fire, but everyone else wanted a walk.

I'm so glad I got dragged.
It was sweet and cool in the rain.

The leaves looked so bright against the gray sky.

Then home to a cozy fire...............

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More tossing out!

I tossed all of this from my underwear drawer!!

A very big day for me!
A friend and I went underwear shopping for her birthday at a nearby outlet.

Who knew there was an underwear outlet 20 minutes away?

I have been suffering with pokey twisted broken uneven bras forever and old stretched out underwear (hate to admit I was still using a few pregnancy pairs. Yeah. That's how bad it was.)

I let the grandmotherly woman measure me on the sales floor and amazingly Georgia let me focus enough to buy three new bras (15$ each!! I had been saving up for a Victoria's Secret trip where the bras are 50$ each and here I got 7 pairs of underwear for 20$. ) Can you believe it?

Truthfully I had been waiting to buy new underwear because I thought (You know what's coming.....) "Oh maybe I'll get pregnant and these bras will never fit me again. I'll wait just a little longer..."

So my new comfortable underwear is another step into making the life I'm actually in, a good one (at least fewer wedgies and underwires poking me in the chest)

Here's to new undergarments!