Samstag, 6. August 2011

i have been gathering energies to make it happen for a few months. finally! the summer is almost over, full swing, with herbs, wanted or not growing wildly over our garden, right along with all the beautiful veggies, flowers and fruits abounding. we have two giants squashes, lots of salads, pole beans, bush beans, chard, and calendula, giant sunflowers, yummy potatoes, 7-10 eggs per day(when the chickens don’t get to them first :0) unfortunately we let the tomatoes get overrun with squash and responded much too late- all the plants are dead, or dying with a brown mold/sickness. another of our learning by doing experiences. today I harvested the salad seed with vivienne, and would love to share with anyone interested in also trying it next year. it’s a crisp, mild flavor, with green and red coloring, a “pick salad, where you take the outer leaves off and it continues to grow new leaves on the inside. let me know if you want to try some, even if you don’t have any seeds to trade just yet!

Vivienne is growing growing oh my! not so much in height or outwardly, but her mind is processing everything, she is speaking(she looooves to talk on the cell phone if we are) and she understands most everything. she is doing some really super cute stuff now-like crawling on the floor like a cat, saying meowh and playing with the cats outside, picking veggies and seeds, cutting food, eating, breastfeeding, pooping in the potty, or outside, whereever she can then point to and say poo poo! pretty much amazingg! we are both so enjoying this time with her! there are also the times when she just wants to cry, and we have also become more understanding of hearing her-letting her cry, but never pushing her away to cry in a corner, holding her if she wants or just being with her, letting her also express how she feels (when there is not something else we can find to help releave her pain or frustration. she is very sure of what she wants and doesn’t want, and says in her own way-hey exactly that! its sometimes challenging, but it is also a period of growth for the two of us, to not freak out with that-which is sometime easy to do!

well, come and see her, us before she is smoking! jk!

another year has passed, and with it I am 24. I have been living in germany now for almost 2 years-starting september, and with the time, i am building an open, attachment positive and aware family. I have grown a lot, and I mean a lot a lot. in many different ways, but the biggest I feel is being much more confident in the way and direction I want to parent with my partner, and daughter.

moving away from winning/losing,best/worst; and toward expressing feelings of all sorts-happy, sad, angry and all in between together and with each other. not pushing feelings away but making them building stones for our life together. and it feels really good. I have remembered so many childhood memories over the last two years, mostly being brought up through situations and experiences related to parenting and releasing the fears and problems from my own childhood, and have done a lot of work to feel, feel the pain that still lingers.

the month of august marks our meeting back in france, 3 years ago, ralfs birthday (on the 21st) and his month off of work. it has been so far really busy, with moving, and building, cleaning the chickens house as they had fleas and other bugs, garden work, and….

this weekend we finally bought a bus! a 40 year old mercedes benz 407D, that was first a mail truck. I will put some pictures up soon, as it is really awesome, and after working all day to fix different broken things ralf looks pretty hardcore too, black and greasy. her name is spicy rucula. she is multi color green, and she is more or less a vacation home, but maybe in the future she will become our permanent traveling home, depending how work goes here. we want to build the inside again with a natural wood and make it alittle less 80’s.

i love reading stuff like this. it makes me miss my roots, my home county, my people. very often i have the feeling of being weighed down, of not being able to accomplish what i would like, or at least to the extent i would like because i have chosen to have a child, and want to have more. Its a constant issue for me. a struggle between family herstory and present goals and desires accruing in my heart, mind and soul. of wanting to give and be for a small person, and at the same time realizing that to be able to meet another's needs i need to have certain things met for myself. I feel I could go much deeper into this topic, contact me if you wish to too.

a while back-last month or so- i left a pot of beef bones on the heat (wanting to make stock) and (planning to come right back) forgot about it, a friend came to visit and we got excited about making rose cuttings and picking i came back to an apartment that ralf was just coming out of...stinky and sticky. the smell of burnt fat was literally over every single thing in our apartment. and its taken a while to make that mostly go away…Now we are fully moved, as of the 3 of Aug. we live about 5 min. walking distance from where we did before-now right next to our chickens with a big ass garden!

the reason we have moved- living on the 2nd floor in one of the five houses here gives ralf often the feeling he is never off work, and we think this is mostly the reason why very few of the coworkers of handicapped people also decide to live on site. giving your all during the week and not really being able to relax isnt so great. there are also handicapped people living where we are now, but it feels better. the biggest thing for both of us is that we will have a garden to use right out side the door! maybe if we stay here longer-we have a six month contract ending in Feb. '12- we could build an outdoor kitchen and bread oven, to take more of the house life activities outdoors as well. the apartment was left pretty trashed, we must also create a kitchen from our own resources.

i would love to hear from all of you!



oh! and our cell number is: 01779193397

this is the only way we can be reached right now, as we have no land line(until the 24th or so)

some photos are posted to facebook: see them under this link!

Mittwoch, 13. April 2011

ode to a rejoicing world.

how spring pulses through my being! how green leaves and white flowers rush head long with their waves of fresh, new energy all over me. a white, long winter behind, the heights of summer yet to come, yea for being alive!
a daily wild salad of a variety of leaves, flowers, wild greens, nettle soup/spinach and homemade sourdough bread with wild garlic butter, meets excited baby with 6 full teeth, two large molars breaking through in the back, and creates a colorful table chair and floor as all of this swirls(more or less) towards a tiny happy mouth. we walk outside(yes she is walking, but for now with the help of a pair of hands) or run or fall and try again, to pick more flowers and wonder at the natural world around us. we play in our garden, which is being continually in a state of growth, change and flow, flowers planted there, picked and deposited over there, and gleeful squeals as bees land all around.
starting kundalini yoga with another mama, gardening, cooking, laughing, massaging, forest walking, talking, learning, kombucha making, backing, building, crafting, maybe learning to felt?. ya know the daily rhythm. singing dancing, in general making peace in myself and with all around me. it is love!

i will be loading more pictures up on facebook, but here is a start:

this weekend our first overnight visitors all arive at the same time-my cousin Kyla, andRalfs mother Dini and his sister Suzi. then we are taking a week vacation to look for work around Berlin, and see the beautiful city! i am super excited, and at the same time preparing myself for the drastic change from country life to city life.
maybe i will write more about this, but probably not so....
over the winter i finally started reading a book series called Anastasia that i had heard about first while at camphill from a crazy lady, then from clay in Wa, then online from another mama. so i bought the first one...and after reading through all nine books am so thankful for such a beautiful image, life, woman, so full of a different hope for the world. it has brought my interest to study permaculture to a whole new level and i hope to travel to the eastern part of europe/russia sometime over the next few years, learning permaculture and more about community living. if you read the books, it would be fun to talk about them together sometime!
over the winter we had alot of problems with getting sick and it made me rethink alot of the diet choices i have been making over the last few years. a huge one is turning away from a high meat based diet, another away from a dairy dependence. aka not following so strictly to nourishing traditions, more towards an herbal diet-one filled with lots of what is growing around me. a local diet, not buying many things from outside of germany(specifically with fresh foods) and ever further trying to buy just from the farmers around me, organic, demeter certified (biodynamic) and small.
i feel really good. and so does viv. ralf is still in another place though....i have stopped my sugar free lifestyle and adopted more a- i choose what sugar i eat and am very picky about what i want that has sugar. and i like it. i made tirimasu for the first time since....and maybe basil ice cream soon.
food has always interested me and i think it always will. now i want to live more outside in nature rather than feeling caught, trapped to cook in a space that is comparatively dark and feel free to eat when i feel hungry, not just at a specifically predisposed time-not really possible for anyone with official boss and co.
thats a snapshot of a welcome to spring. i send lots of love from this beautiful forest and hope it finds you well! may all the elves help you find your way today!

Montag, 15. November 2010

news from a learn'n womyn

back to Westerwald in August, visiting the "garden" i turned by hand, and then we seeded with calendula!!, sleep on papa walk


baby chicks, a few days after we bought them, making elderberry elixer for winter

fun in the hen house, carrot time!

sun bathing and swimming in the river right below us.

papas hat!

taking apart the car...the cooler broke!

first time camping with baby

making new friends-from france and portugal. this little guy is 2 months younger than viv, but with so much hair he looks the same age, if not older!

riding goats and pigs at a sister farm in the Weckelweiler community

so curious

making applesauce, fixing the fence for the chickens to be outside-with hawks and foxes and others its better to be safe than loose precious egg layers!

peekaboo, new friend Emile, 1 wk older LOOVES viv!

sleepin with papa, chillin in bed

another sister farm with lamas and alpacas, the telephone is so much funnn!

snugglin, heyhey you

butter was everywhere

lots of fun with new and used toys

kiss and cuddle

yellow mustard growing, holderhof the farm is behind, growing chicks!!

picking apples, fun at local events

washing, chopping, pressing apples=40 liters apple juice for Most(typical old timer drink here-just fermented) and cider

i planted this herb outside,but quickly found out it doesnt like frost...thankfully it didnt die. it smells so wonderful!!! , lunchtime


yes, some times she isnt happy either, standing

fun with oma and opa, showing everything i can do now

in wekelweiler greenhouse garden, and outside stealing apples no one wants

bye bye

visiting the "what it used to be like here in the country"museum is there a name for that??

eating wild fresh berries Schlehe in duetsch..., pee time or really mirror time

drumming, really all music viv loooves!, standing tahdah!

potty time

whats jessica up to? spinning! we were given an old spinning wheel for free, and though its not as smooth as our teachers, it does work! (sometimes)
helping and learning right alongside

fall is almost finished. the trees are coming back to this state of nakedness I found I loved so much when I would walk in the winter here. its been a year and two months of germany. leaves. some are dangling still, most blanket the forest in a padding of juicy nutrients. baby is 8 months and a bit. growing every second. the two of us have gathered, raked and piled leaves to make a compost for use at a later time. as I walk through the woods to our chickens everyday the swishing noise gets viv excited-so much so she starts to bounce in the sling on my back. she loves the chickens, and is always curious what they will do next, running, here and there scattered as the grain is all over the floor. this kid is amazing, wonderful, so special. she loves all types of misic-especially playing drums with ralf, singing with me, playing the mbira together... soon i will start getting lessons for accordeon in exchange for the english lessons i am giving to the russian music therapist here.

she is crawling. in her own way, one leg to the side and one straight up to push as she brings her hands to the floor and pushes/pulls her way around. its so fun to participate, or even just watch her. last weekend with ralfs parents were visiting, ralf was building towers all over the apartment and she would follow him, swiping them over when she got close enough. she is so interested in everything, but very slowly, sometimes watching or only delicately touching before playing really roughly or throwing stuff. she sleeps between us usually one hand on both of us, waking 3-6 times in the night to pee and drink. the last week she has had a cold, and I feel like that has been pretty regular, a stuffy nose and cranky, sometimes not sleeping very long in the night because she cant breastfeed and breathe at the same time.

she like to play with food. a lot. splashing water, squishing pumpkin, spreading butter. trying everything, but mostly liking sour stuff-lemons, capers, vinegar and fatty stuff-cream and butter. she bit into the onion I was chopping and I took it back because she looked confused and her eyes were really red. we are pretty free with foods, as I want her to feel comfortable and able to explore her world, I find the clean and tidy person in me is mostly what steps in the way but i realize more and more, why should I care if her clothes have squash on them? why do we have such a rule to always have children clean? they need to explore and learn so what the hell. let them, maybe I get dirty a lot too, I am learning to be at peace with the stains. we aren’t feeding her something special though. no ”baby food”. I chomp stuff up and offer it to her, but most of the time she likes bigger pieces she can hold.

she likes the toys we have for her, but only if we play with her with them (or another kid is playing with them) otherwise whatever we are doing is way more interesting! when I hold her in my arms as she sleeps (not so often in the day) her heavy body molds to mine, she sighs, twists my nipple and flickers her eyes. its passing so fast, and yet is so wonderful. most of the time now she can hold releasing pee or poo for a few more seconds for me to rush her to the potty. when she gets a cold-or as today I saw the upper teeth coming out-she has two bottom teeth- the potty training isn’t really possible, but most of the time she is playing with just a cotton cloth on in her pants. pretty super eh?!

one thing she really doesn’t like is the car seat. a few minutes are ok, but I try to avoid it because really, it shouldn’t be necessary. our lives should be possible without it, but that’s not the reality. I need to meet others, and this is the way. we need to buy our food still, milk ect.

she bites our fingers or our bodies sometimes –really hard. two teeth can be very painful and we try to show it really does hurt us, but she keeps doing it, I think also related to teething.

i am starting to enjoy myself too, finding really wonderful friends and coming into what is possible for me to do with a baby in tow. but it goes up and down.

on my part many reasons have kept me from writing, sharing my heart, soul, my tender and strong, much of me being made new, repaired, every moment. i have be struggling a lot with depression the last months. maybe its still from my camphill times, but the situations of late make me feel without energy, without motivation, no desire some days to even continue living or try this living in another land thing. I started finally talking about it three weeks ago when I hit the most bottom I thought I could hit. I have talked with ralf a lot about getting help, but turning to ‘professional help’ in my mind mostly means anti depressants, not dealing with the causes only putting a lid on it until I stop medication. that doesn’t interest me.

I know its related to being alone with a baby, because I only feel it when we are alone for long periods together. I am fine being alone, but with a baby you are not alone in the same sense at all. being alone with a baby, even when you want to give it the best you have and care for every need it might have, I am finding is not healthy because your needs as a woman, human, mother end up not being met, and expecting your partner to meet all of them when he gets off of work tired, stressed ect is mostly not possible. its not sustainable either. so I started asking moms I have been meeting with if they have had depression before and what they have done…I really liked that one asked if I have a motherly figure to go to when I want support. and knowing that I don’t have the support I once had living in seattle as a single female is hard. I loved being petted and caressed by my friends, laying together under the stars close, having contact. why is it expected that we don’t touch each other except for between lovers, or the occasional hug??? I think here people are even less contact oriented than in the usa. I need contact, I thrive with it, feel the loss without it.

I have also been contemplating some frustrations I have with what I remember from the feminist classes I took in college. from what I remember, and please correct me if you remember otherwise, we never talked about other ways to do birth, only that all these mother hormones were not real. something I frankly find untrue with natural birth. or that being a SAHM (stay at home mother) cannot equal ‘true feminism’ because you need to be able to support yourself, but pay for someone else to watch your children while you work and then do childcare at night.

we don’t have a space for a garden yet, but I(we) have been doing random projects around where we might be moving next year, a 15 min walk from ralfs work, called Holderhof, where our chickens are now, like raised beds and scything and picking herbs and drying them, leaf composts ect. I read ‘Gias Garden’, a book about permaculture and am pretty much in love with the ideas. maybe I have said this already but I am super into it. or I am also thinking about looking to live elsewhere, closer to people, so we don’t need to use the car a lot. I have two mama friends living in a village about 10 min. from us and it would be extremely ideal to live closer to them. I find we are similar in interests, and I feel I can learn a lot from them.

we have been picking whatever fruit we can find, apples, elderberries, pears, quince and making lots of different stuff, sauce, dried, in juice, jelly all without sugar added as I have not picked it back up since april. I do enjoy honey on a regular basis though. so much good stuff here, it makes me sad that so few people pick up the fruits from their trees then buy it in the store. its such a waste of the gift the gives us. and when cellars are still a norm here, why not save it for the winter time? I know we would if we had the option.

lots of the trees here were filled with fruit before winds came, and we harvested a lot of the leftovers, about 7 big crates then juiced them all with a little hand held juicer we found in a trash pile (its missing a leg to stand on, but otherwise super) we made 20 liters into Most a traditional fermented drink here that is unpasteurized and just kept cool and 20 liters into apple cider-with whey and salt. we have no cellar here but have a little space under the roof that is cold, so thought that would be good enough, unfortunately both taste really off after fermenting for a few weeks and we saw that mice are biting into the plastic, which would be so so bad if we opened the door one day to find 40 liters (*20 gallons?)of apple drink floating there….

on other fermenting news I leave out a jar of milk every few days to ferment and make into cream cheese, whey and sour cream-such a different flavor than purchased varieties. I made sourdough bread a few weeks ago that was delicious, and the last two weeks yeasted bread, but all milled a few hours or days before using and its been a fun process.

that’s a little of what’s goin down in germany. I am not a blogger. I don’t have the interest to update often. I know that’s what a lot of people would like, but its not me. if you would like more of an update, calling or setting up a time we could talk on the phone would be way better! then you can hear vivi’s voice and I can hear about your life too!! we welcome visitors!!

love and peace