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Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Attitude of Gratitude

Dr Emoto - Gratitude Water Crystal

Not sure why I'm here except that I'm aware I haven't blogged in a while. Feeling the need but not necessarily the inspiration. Which is strange as there is a lot going on in my life right now. Ah well, we'll start and see where we end up.
Tomorrow is my birthday - ak! I don't know why but the last few years, birthday's have been singularly unimpressive affairs. Not sure if its to do with the 'getting older' thing or the 'no inspiration' thing but really, despite everyone's best efforts, I'm always left feeling a bit flat and, I don't know, sad maybe.

Then next Thursday is my 4th Wedding Anniversary. I know that we are in danger of completely missing that because the very next day, the 28th, we finally take possession of our very own wee hoosie! YAY! Very happy about it and yet also, a bit, um... I don't know... flat? We went for the final inspection today and the current owners have already moved out. It felt so empty. It was also a cold, miserable, wet and dark day, so that may have added to the somewhat flat mood we all seemed to be in. I just couldn't garner any enthusiasm for it all and yet I am very much looking forward to moving in. Does that even make sense? We also realised just how much painting the place needs. It is pretty badly painted in an awful cold looking pale blue at the moment, so white is the order of the day and lots of of it. Except Beanie's room which will be pale pink with the possible exception of a lovely green wall - to go with her pink and green bedclothes. I am possibly more excited about her room coming together than I am about ours. I don't know why. Maybe because children's bedrooms can be full of magic and sparkle and adults have to compromise with one another and be all 'sensible' about their colour schemes and whatnot. Not sure I can convince my hubby to have a red feature wall in the bedroom but I might get it for the dining room. You never know.

Anyway, we sped from room to room and I showed two of my girlfriends around the place (they had come up to go for brunch with me for my birthday). They love it. I was freezing cold and realising how much work will be involved in making it homely and 'ours'. Still, I'm not easily put off by such things though the idea of backing the van down the very steep driveway did make my insides go all wibbly a bit. We'll have to see if I can do it or not! I'll be pretty much moving the boxes and little items single handedly as the hubble can't take any time off from his very new job. I don't mind too much, it's more the sore shoulder thing that worries me and the endless lifting and carrying of heavy items in and out and up and down stairs that is making me feel a tiny bit blah... the hubble was also in a funny mood, so that didn't help things along. Neither did realising we had no - and I mean NO - TV reception. We might be able to get something with a settop box (which we have) but its looking more likely that we will have to get Foxtel (secretly ok with that!).

Sorry. I'm being a big ole birthday bore I know. I AM very excited about owning my own house but with it comes a tiny bit of terror. Commitment was never really my thing. I liked the idea of being able to disappear whenever and wherever. Now I'm 'commited' (or I bloody should be) and I had the last minute jitters like I did about getting married. What if I've chosen the wrong one? What if it all ends in disaster? What if I find another one I like better and wished I'd waited? That sort of thing. Actually, its kind of funny to compare buying a house to getting married - there a many similarities and I think there is a lesson in there for me.

This might seem a bit off topic but I had acupuncture at 9am this morning and we were talking about weight and my inner child and stuff (which, if I'm honest, always makes me want to run from the room screaming or possibly roll my eyes so far up into my head that I can see out of the back of it).


I'm not big into the inner child thing - possibly because I feel like whatever kind of childhood I had, I should be able to 'get over it' and just move on. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case for the most part. It seems that the more I try to just 'get on' the less I'm able to. I know that much of my anger at my daughter is more anger at what I didn't have. And I will state here for the record that my mum loved me and was a great mum for the most part. But I lived in a violent household with a violent man and was raised on adrenalin and fear. Ho hum. However, I now that when Beanie pushes my buttons, as she often does, I react from that place of child not from my place of adult. I actually wonder if I have ever really made it to adulthood at all. Certainly not all of me has. Anyway, I digress. The acupuncturist recommended that I do some inner child work and I told her that I have much resistance to doing it as I think it's New Age bullshit on one level and just so bloody annoying on another level. I mean COME ON! However, I did think about it afterwards and wonder if my reluctance to play with my child and my seeming inability to mother her the way I so dearly want to mother her, is in some way part of this bloody scared inner child thing. I mean, how can yu give to others what you didn't have for yourself? I find myself spoiling her with things and experiences rather than my time or my attention - just as my mum did. Guilty that I am not able to give her more of myself, I try to fill her days with activity to keep her happy and well developed. My beautiful, curious, challenging, funny, talkative, empathic daughter only wants my love and attention, yet she gets precious little of it on a daily basis. I just can't seem to bring myself to connect with her in the way that I want to. In a way that means something to both of us. Why?

And she's not the only one who gets the distant Kitty syndrome. Poor hubble gets it to. I explained to the acupuncturist that I wanted to lose weight and despite my best (aerobic) efforts, not a kilo had shifted and I wondered why? She asked me about other times that I had lost weight and I told her that I seemed to only lose weight when I was alone and that as soon as I was in a serious relationship, I started to gain it again. I offered up the idea that when I had nothing to lose, I lost! Meaning that when I was alone and not at risk of losing someone or something that I loved, the weight dropped off me. When I am happy and loved by someone, the weight stacks on like drowning people to a dinghy. (what a weird metaphor - what is wrong with me tonight?). I guess when I have nothing to lose, I have nothing to be afraid of and therefore don't need the extra layers of protection from the world. I am simply here and surviving. When I have something special, I distance myself from it because I can't stand the vulnerability of loving when it comes with the possibility of such harrowing loss. I think that's why I'm (a) fat and (b) have the emotional depth of Paris Hilton.

Dr Emoto Celebration of Love Water Crystal

Christ. What is this bloody post about I wonder. Sorry for the stream of consciousness writing but this is what happens to me when I am in mid-realisation and I can suddenly see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. In loving my daughter, I am vulnerable and human and fallable and crap and everything that I do not want to be. I want to be super-mom, crafty mom, loving, kind, gentle and patient mom who wants to spend nothing more than all of my days playing and loving and nurturing this wonderful blessed creature who has come into my life. I don't want to fail because to fail would be to not love her the way she deserves to be loved. In being with the hubble, a man who is so wonderful and caring and funny, I am open to losing him and that part of me that can't take any more loss urges me to keep my distance, so that when it happens, it won't hurt quite so much. Of course both things are impossible. Loving opens our hearts to the possibility of pain because it opens our hearts to another human (fallible) being and all the mistakes that we are capable of. My fear of commitment comes from not wanting to make mistakes and yet, I have learned so much from mine that I find it hard to think of them as mistakes at all. What is life without the possibility of deeper loving? Where is the joy of life but in the sharing of that love and in the surrender to those deep, deep layers of vulnerability? We cannot simultaneously love and be closed - love and be distant. We can only be closed and distant. Or we can love and be opened like a ripe pomegranate, dripping the red juices of our very souls into anothers mouth and being willing to be devoured by them.

Dr Emoto Love Water Crystal

I have always believed in true, deep and lasting love. I am a romantic at heart. A romantic who has let her cynicism take over because to be romantic is to be foolish and unrealistic. Yet realism is only coldness and closedness under a different name? Why not be foolish and romantic and dream of deeper connections with all human beings, all of life? Is that not a better dream than one of isolated seeming safety? I don't want all the power. I don't want to control everything (even though my head is screaming 'Yes. You do!.' I want to wake up in the morning and simply stand in the breathaking simplicity of life and of love and 'be' in it. I know we all waver in and out of it, of all of our good intentions, but still, wavering (not drowning)is better than standing still in our false notions of what life and love are or must be.

I'm rambling. I'm sure of it. But I'm equally sure of this. I do not want to live half heartedly. I do not want to constantly be looking for the 'something better' or the 'something more' I simply want to be grateful for what I have, house, husband, child and all and to learn to live more gracefully in this life than I have managed heretofore. And if I can let go of my fear and embrace all that this love has to offer me - scary or not, I can do anything. Even enjoy getting another year older.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Sensual World

Now before you start getting flushed with excitement, I'm actually referring to my latest obsession - natural buildings. Their sensual curves, their natural textures, their absolute beauty and their ability to blend into their environment like a wonderful new plant. Ahhhh - somebody stop me...


Yes - its true - Im talking about buildings that you create with your own two hands and a lot of dirt - I'm talking in particular about rammed earth buildings and I'm getting pretty damn excited about it to tell you the truth. I only discovered it today courtesy of another blogger but it's really lit my fire. I think I'm going to upgrade my Tepee for something resembling the building above. I now want a gorgeous rammed earth, arched windowed meditation room which can double as a spare bedroom for when guests come to stay! Who wouldn't love to meditate/sleep/anything in a building like the one above. I'm totally in love with not just the design but also the whole ethos of its creation. All from natural abundant materials that don't rape or deplete the earth. No toxic building syndrome for this little beauty AND we get the enjoyment of building it ourselves. I'm sure its much more enjoyable to look at the finished product that to actually do the digging and packing and creating but still, when the work is done and the building is there in all its splendour, the work will have been worth it. Maybe it's just another of my high and mighty dreams but it's a pleasant one and I'm enjoying it right now.

* If you got to Amazon to view this book and click on the larger image, you can see through the window to the outside of the house and it's got some amazing sculptures on the outside. I just LOVE these.

Dont you just love the carvings above the door of this house? There is something so sensual about getting ones hands in the dirt, creating beauty from the raw materials of the earth. I have always loved sculpture and pottery for this very reason. I like to create with my hands though I have precious little to show for it at this stage in my life. I'm a newbie to sewing but that's ok, I'm starting small with soft toys and such. I'm also no gardener but that will all change in the next 3 months when I finally get my hands on the veggie patch left by the last owner! Speaking of which, I covet this book - yes, the dreaded book slut strikes (yet) again. I just WANT IT. I would make good use of it. I promise.

Another piccie to calm and soothe the savage (book slut) soul.

* I love this house.

Slowly, I am being called back to earthwise ways, sung back home to the land that has become my home. I'm hoping that building and gardening and sewing will become a way of life for me and a good way of life at that. I feel ready for a change of pace, a different way of living and whilst I freely admit that I could not imagine life without my computer, I also know that there are many other ways that I can become less of a consumer and cut down on extraneous buying (not books obviously). This blog has become something of an inspiration to me. If you want to know what can be achieved when one 'drops out' of modern living and consuming, then this woman can tell you all about it! She's amazing. She also has some terrific links to other green blogs that are quite inspiring too.

Anyway, I have much to do (as always) and much more dreaming to accomplish before I move. We are knee deep in packing boxes and Things That Must Be Packed (and which are being studiously ignored) and we only have two more weeks before it all starts happening. I suspect there will be sporadic blogging in the next month due to all the shennanigans that are about to ensue, but rest assured, I will be WATCHING YOU...

Green Dreams of Witchypoo Goodness to all...
This will help.

Images from the following books:
*Earth Bag Building - Kaki Hunter (yes really) & Donald Kiffmeyer
*The Natural Plaster Book - Cedar Rose Guelberth, Dan Chiras, and Deanne Bednar
* Natural Building - Joseph F Kennedy

Monday, November 3, 2008

How Green is my Meme?

I was trying to hide but I got tagged by DocWitch to do this Green Meme. With much reluctance, (because this kind of concentrated thinking make me 'ead 'urt and), because I suspect I am spectacularly ungreen, here tis.

I guess its very timely because we are about to move towards a more self-sufficient kind of life here in these thar hills. I am about to come into my very own veggie patch and herb garden, so I'm excited about the idea of becoming Felicity Kendall from The Good Life. (I wonder if I'll look quite as fetching in wellies and dungarees?). Plus, I've rather rashly agreed to make everybody's Christmas presents this year.(This side of the globe obviously - can't imagine rancid rum balls would go down to well with my siblings!). It's also timely because I have become seriously covety of the more crafty orientated people out there and very inspired by my lovely DocWitchy because she rocks and creates and is clever and all that. I would love to be a bit more crafty myself and thus reduce my consumerism to a dull roar.

First, the housekeeping. Here art The Guidelines:

1. Link to Green Meme Bloggers
2. Link to whoever tagged you
3. Include meme number
4. Include these guidelines in your post
5. Answer questions (erm - that bits quite important)
6. Tag 3 other green bloggers.

Green Meme Namber Whannn!

1. Name two motivations for being green
Oh dear. It's not that I want to be a hemp knicker wearing, *yoghurt knitting, navel gazer or anything. It's more that I am becoming slowly more aware of how consumer based our society really is and I'm concerned that my daughter will grow up to inherit, well, nothing good. A spoiled earth with even more spoiled people living on it like parasites. I am awestruck by the beauty of nature. A rolling green hill or a clean ocean has the ability to bring me to tears and I think that I get more upset over the idea of us systematically destroying all of this natural beauty than just about anything else.

Secondly, I do feel that we have too much, in general. The 'bigger is better' and 'more is never enough' mentality of our culture is starting to nauseate me slightly. I wonder what happened to our sense of community, to our sense of being a part of some greater whole? I remember being part of a street party for the Queen's Jubilee when I was a kid - every household in the neighbourhood was out there in a riot of red, white and blue. I can't imagine that happening any more - everyone turning out to celebrate a common cause. I long to return to a simpler and more eco-friendly way of life. I guess this is why we moved up here in the first place.

2. Name 2 eco-unfriendly items you refuse to give up
My computer and my books. In fact, I didn't realise that books were such an eco-unfriendly thing until I read Doc's aside. I guess all those trees have to come from somewhere. Still, I do buy a huge amount of second hand books, so I think that I offset my footprint there a little.

3. Are you at peace with, or do you feel guilty about no.2?
Well - I couldn't run my business without my computer, nor could I do this, so nope - I'm fine with having a computer. Books - well I'm afraid as a terrible book whore and knowledge seeker, I can't help myself. I LOVE books. Besides, I wouldn't be able to grow my own veggies without a book to tell me how...
We can't return to the stone age just to turn the tide back again - we have to move forward and find new ways of solving the crisis.

4. What are you willing to change but feel unable to/stuck with/unsure how to go about it?
Well - I'm willing to become more self sufficient and sustainable but I'm a complete novice. Hence needing my books and computer to seek out those that know. I'm also willing to replace all of my cleaning products with home-made ones of a non-nasty and chemical free variety. Does this get me brownie points?
5. Do you know your carbon footprint for your home? If so, is it larger/smaller than your national average?
I don't know what it is. I can't seem to find an australian website where I can calculate it - they are either English or American...
We compost, we recycle, use those special lightbulbs, my hubby is forever turning down the damn heating (despite his frickin cold wife), I buy from op-shops wherever possible (LOVE a bargain) and I'm researching non-toxic paints for our new house AND trying to get about more on foot.

6.What's eco-frustrating and/or eco-fantastic about where you live?
I live in quite an alternative community - you know - all Steiner mammas and Natural Parenting types, so I feel right at home here. Almost everyone I know has chickens and grows their own (both sides of that pun are intended!), so I think it's pretty fabulous. There is good quality fresh air up here and much more room for kidlets to roam around and connect with nature in a much deeper and more nurturing way. It's frustrating for commuters I guess. My hubble refuses to drive in as it's wasteful and he enjoys using public transport. I (shamefacedly) admit that when I got to the city, I drive as I HATE long train journeys with my fractious and robust 2 year old. I prefer my own company and to be in a controlled environment. I know. I should be taken out and shot.

7. Do you eat local/organic/vegetarian/forage/grow you own?
Well now. This is interesting. I was a dedicated vegetarian for 15 years until I tried to get pregnant. I was protein deficient and told to eat meat. It's been a bit of a struggle really. I do keep swinging back and forth between wanting to be a veggie again and enjoying chicken. It's a quandry as I can't bear animal cruelty. I am buying locally grown organic veggies more now that I live in the hills and am trying to find a good farmers market near me to buy from too. I will be growing my own very soon.

8. What do you personally find the most challenging in being green?
Geez. The amount of effort it takes to weigh up every single thing you do and consume in order to leave a lighter footprint. The mind simply boggles at how much knowledge you have to have in order to make substantial changes and I get so tired. It's also hard to accept that almost everything you do has some down side to it.

9. Do you have a green confession?
I love watching movies hence though I could give up TV, I don't particularly want to.
I also love nailpolish. Haven't found any that's eco-friendly yet.

10. Do you have the support of family and/or friends?
My mum is very much into the whole green way of life (uses shower water to flush toilets, turns of lights (even when you are using them!) and all of my husband's family are greenies. His mum grows her own, composts and recycles grey water to keep her plants alive in this parched climate. His sister used to be President of Amnesty International in Melbourne and is now on the board of The Big Issue and several other 'saving people, saving the planet' type organisations. She also became a vegetarian because of how much land is used to farm cattle. So I'm in very encouraging company.

Ok, the 3 bloggers I'm tagging are Griffin from Snapper & The Griffin, Moonroot and Suse over at PeaSoup.

Hmmm - now I'm off to find out what size feet I have - carbonly speaking.

*sorry DocWitch - love this saying!