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.
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
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
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!
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)
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 good.earth 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