Thursday, June 28, 2012

AM Reading Material

This morning I grabbed a "vintage" Better Homes and Gardens, New Cook Book, copyright 1968 to go with my morning coffee. I love flipping through the pages and seeing perfectly red, polished nails popping from the pages, as the hand is pressing a pie crust in a pan. It almost makes me wanna go through the pantry, grab the ingredients and whip up a coconut cream concoction that would make Martha proud!

In reality though, I'm just flippin'. I am compiling the last of July's Ki previews and then I have the looming project of school papers to finish sifting through. I'm not going to attempt to go back and catch up. Nope, too much. I'm going to start right where I am now, as if I haven't missed three years of documenting the lives of my children and family. When the kids ask why they grew so much and look so different in only a page, my answer will be "we were just too busy living life!" 

With those two items on this week's agenda and a major goat/chicken complex overall that's been looming for months, I should have my summer to-do's wrapped up. I'm ready. I'm dedicating July to my month of Cre8tive Explorations. I'm taking an on-line painting class and I have giant plans to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!  I doubt I can completely sidetrack laundry, dishes, cooking and floor cleaning but I'll give it my best shot. I really thought I'd be traveling. This is the month that I wanted to take off and live like a gypsy. I had visions of hooking up the camper and heading west. That's not going to happen. Given the baseball and rodeo schedule, we'll be right here. We are looking at squeezing something in the first part of August (and I mean squeezing, not enough days to really make tracks). Perhaps next year...anyone want to come animal sit?!?! I'll pay well and you'll get to keep all the eggs!!!!

And since the 4th of July is in the middle of the week, we'll not have enough days to really get anywhere. Again, what I had visions of are not panning out. Maybe it isn't just random that I picked up this 'ol cookbook? Maybe the pefect holiday recipe lies within these pages. Orange Avacado Salad anyone? Barbeque chicken? Apple Pie? I think that one might be a stretch but the pictures were definitely fun to look at!

What's your favorite 4th of July food dish? Please share your ideas in the comment section below. (PS I need ideas!!!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Walking Treasues

I am slowly re-establishing my walking routine in the mornings. Though I had set intetions of getting up early in the morning, when it is cooler to walk I haven't been as diligent as I wanted to be. I select sleep in lieu of fresh morning air because the previous night's ball game has completely worn me out (and all I'm doing is sitting there watching...sad, I know!)

I LOVE to walk down my road. The exercise factor is great but I'm not really into an intense work out or getting a sweat on. It wouldn't hurt my physical appearance in anyway, but the benefits I seek are peace, clarity and serenity.

When I walk I focus on the present moment, the birds songs, the crunch of rocks beneath my shoes, the breeze (or some days the blast of wind). I consicously release whatever is bothering/bugging me when I'm out in the wind. I open wide, take a deep breathe and visualize it all being blown away from my body, mind, heart, head and soul. Release, release, release. Seemingly without a hitch, my mind shifts, shoulders ease and I take a deeper breath.

Here is where I do most of my processing. Thoughts come through not as a bombardment or with the sledgehammer of "have to's out to's, should's, they flow, gently, easily and effortlessly. Some of my greatest ideas arise from these walks. Solutions pop into my brain and make sense here. I plan lessons, classes, and my daily schedule on such walks.  And I see the world with brand new eyes and appreciation. I see the seasons being born, come alive and then slowly die into the next cycle.

Today as I looked down I noticed a little branch that blew out of the tree. By no means was it earth shattering or in any way special but something about it lying there on the gravel made me pause and smile. I love that all the leaves were hanging out together. I had the instant inspiration to take a instax pic of it and put it in my sketch journal. I'll be placing the picture in my journal, sketch it and then creating a painting. (I feel the subtle hint of fall, still far off on the horizon but knowing always that it is coming.) I have colors, images and phrases now zipping in and out of my brain. I do believe that it is time to hang out in my cre8tive space very soon to see what is ready to come through!  This is part of the collection phase of an on-line class I'm in the process of cre8ting. Like anything I have to experince the process before I feel confident to share with others.

So what image, thought, idea, song or little something has inspired you today? And if the answer is nothing.....consider shifting your focus? Sometimes the tiniest of treasures, seemingly insignificant little pieces of daily life can open our hearts, eyes and spirits to see the truth of how much goodness we are surrounded by.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

If It Makes You Happy.......

In both classes and private sessions and in my personal quest, I'm a big promoter of self-care. And sometimes this self care routine involves making choices tha are contrary to the images we hold of ourselves, as well as enjoying activities that are different from what the kids enjoy. Young mom's (and dad's too) quickly learn that their personal needs, and even much loved activities take a back seat to the bouncing, (bawling, in our case) bundle of joy. Babies require an incredible amount of energy and focus (all definitely worth it!). In the process, we can easily loose track of ourselves, what we most love, enjoy and those little daily events that remind us of our passion and life force. We can rejoin in those activites but sometimes it takes years to get back to them.

As my children grow, I've slowly gotten back to some of the activities I enjoy. I've also made time to explore new aspects that I didn't know I'd love. Though my children require less of my hawk like focus, I still feel the need to "swoop" in and offer support and council (or referee the continual fights). And just because I want to go someplace and do something fun like hike, golf, kayak, or even paint, it doesn't mean I follow through and "jump in". I feel I can only do these things if and when my children are 1. safe/in the presence of another adult I trust and 2. are entertained! If these requirements are met then I'm good with doing something for me, be it an art class, weekend with the girls or just sitting quietly in my sacred space.

This summer has led to a giant mom step for me. Ok, maybe not giant, but significant. I've followed the "rodeo trail" with Chad for 18 some years. While I enjoyed watching and supporting him, I've come to discover this isn't my favorite scene. I really don't see him unless its going to and from the location. I've sat through many a hot, miserable, seemingly never ending rodeo and I just DON"T LOVE IT. This isn't a bad thing, it's just not MY thing. This past weekend. I went in another a direction, a decision that I didn't take lightly but one that was right for me. Instead of hitting the rodeo trail with the guys, I headed to the lake with my girl and my camper. You know what? It was FABULOUS! Not that I didn't think about the boys and how they were doing and not that I didn't feel a tinge of guilt when I didn't see Parker's winning steer ride, but in that space I was able to feel all of us grow. This was personally liberating because I was in a location I really wanted to be in (I LOVE water) and they were too, even though it was not in the same location. Every mom wants the best for her children. I also believe every mom has an opportunity to be a shining example of how to align with personal truth and navigate accordingly. Giving ourselves permission to "be happy" allows our children to see the process of responsibility and responsible, loving self-care unfold. In the past, I've been one to load up on heavy doses of guilt and make myself do things because I thought I had to. As I let that thread unravel, I am remembering there are other choices, equally satisfying and just as enjoyable.
Will I endure another rodeo this summer? Yes, there's a strong bet that I will but only if I REALLY want to be there! Otherwise I think we all agree, if Mama's happy, we're all happy! Maybe I do have more "pull" around here than what I think I do?!?!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Reading

Im always reading something and alwaya on the lookout for a great read! A quick scan of any space I dwell with reveals that I am in it by the books and magazines strewn about. Whatever I'm "into" is revealed by at least three or four titles on the subject. (Amazon loves me!)

Books find their way to me. I buy both kindle and print versions. I received a kindle fire for Christmas and I'm almost certain it was a ploy to stop the continual Amazon arrivals. But it didnt work. The books still come to me.  It's an addiction I happily claim.  I feel that i am not alone either, most of my closest friends are book nerds too!

The genres are based on my mood and the subjects I study. Right now art journal, drawing and painting books litter my dining room table. I adore decorating themes with vintage, eclectic, DIY ideas. I also have bird books (can't explain this one but apparently Grma Ruth's genes are showing up here?!?!?) I have Sherlock Holmes on the kindle (I read this at night, the visuals and sensory images are divine!) I have started in the Hobbit with Parker (a classic that I'm just now in the mood for, again can't explain it, just going with it)

Im not above reading Larten Crepsly Saga, though I have yet to read the Twilight series.  Id like to get into the Hunger Games and 50 Shades of Grey, which reminds me.......I got busy and never finished 11/22/63!

So many little time. Sort of makes me wonder how I'll ever find tje time to write one of my own?!?!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Sand Project

Here are a few quick shots of the craft project. I could tell there was not nearly enough sand so we filled the rest of the space with shells (I've been wondering what to do with those!) Parker brought out popsicles so while one scooped sand, the other two slurped! I loved seeing them "work" and create their own arrangements, not how I would have done it, even BETTER. Kids have an uncanny, unfiltered way of being in the moment and that is the lesson I'm needing right now! These are the fun times of summer that I've been craving!

Maybe we'll move on to sand castles next or maybe just the sprinkler?!?!

PS THANKS Mrs. Covey!!!!!

Summer Sand

Wednesday is "Summer Reading Day" at one of my local favorite hangouts...MPS Library! The kids and I love it and frequent the location often (local MPS kids, join me there and bring your art journals! I know this means that you have to roll your sleepy heads out of bed but DO IT! We'll have fun!)

This week, our sweet friend Mrs. Covey "gifted" us with colored sand, which delighted the troops! Ooooh they said with delighted smiles,"When we can do THIS?" In my head the answer sounded something like, "NEVER"! I know, I know that's rotten and awful. I've spent the last how many &*$% weeks cleaning this pit of a house...and you wanna do something with sand? NOOOOOOOO

With three eager (and highly creative beings) how could I resist? The old cleaning grump in me has been "won over". Mainly because I can't right now muster the motivation it will take to reclaim a scary basement (Lucy, Jax was SPOT ON!) heehee

So after having completed a few necessary to-d0's, laundry, food prep, clean-up, scheduling, client calls, class prep, etc. I'm bowing to the creative muse and about to dump sand into jelly jars!

We live too far from any hobby lobby to go shopping for pretty glass bottles. Though I think the hour glass/timer idea was simply grand we do have to be cre8tive and practical and that means using what we have right here.

I'll post pics of the final masterpieces! And for those of you that are reading this and silently thinking, "Wow, she's gotten over the whole 'don't make a mess thing!' I just want you to know, we're going OUTSIDE!!!! Remember I'm the mom that thought finger painting should be banned (unless it is with someone else besides ME!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


What are your favorite things about summer? "Flexible schedule" rockets to the top of that question. I don't really have true freedom, to go wherever I want, whenever I want, though there is no place that I HAVE TO BE and that feels really good. I have some strong ideas about where I want to be, but at this moment, those fantastical images just aren't my reality.

I've lost my cleaning and clearing mojo altogether. I'll pick it back up when I have more energy. For those of you that follow nine star ki, my number 1 water element is in the center and that is a direct signal to stop, observe and just be. That's hard not to do when there are always so many people and activities around me that need/demand my attention. The center station is like a vortex of energy and so keeping balance is the overall goal. Some days are speedy fast and some days drag by at a snails pace. The idea is to catch your breath when you can and roll like hell when you need to. Today is a "cathing my breath day". In a couple of hours we'll be headed to a baseball game and tomorrow I'll do my best to excavate the pit of all basement.

My goal is to tame this last "inner frontier" so that next week I'll be free to fully honor the solstice energies that will be streaming in. MidSummer is a special time for me. I love the peak of summer and the gold light of sunshine that streams in my window each morning. (I'm getting better about honoring it instead of ripping the covers back over my head!)

There are so many things I love about summer, truly I picked an excellent season to come into the world. I love seeing and hearing my children play (fight mostly) on the plush green grass, waking up to bird songs and feeling the warm caress of light on my skin first thing in the morning. Not being biased to mornings, I equally enjoy the summer sun setting and the gift of more light in the day. I adore watching flames dance within a campfire and smelling the smoke as it rises to the heavens. No matter how crappy my day is, all I have to do in the summer time is go outside, slow down, breathe and relax. Mmmmmm, delicious.

What are your favorite concepts of the season? What do you most love to experience that you are not able to in other seasons? Feel free to share in the comment section or on FB!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Freezer Quit...go back 20 spaces

If my life were a game this week, I don't think I'd be leading the pack!  I woke up to a new Monday, fresh and ready to start the week. I spent most of the day tidying up and prepping meals and doing laundry. I moved with ease, say five spaces ahead. I completed cleaning and clearing the top part of the house, rearranged book shelves and created space for my Art Journal Books and supplies. (Move ahead 10 spaces, that job has needed to be done for a long time!)

I woke up Tuesday ready to cross another task off my to-do list. However the task was much larger than I anticipated. Instead of just a few mice inhabiting in our camper for the winter, what I discovered was that we had an entire universe in there. It was THE MOST DISGUSTING site I have ever witnessed. There was more poop in there than in any grain bin I had ever seen. Honestly, it made me cry.  (Clean "mouse disaster" in camper loose a turn=an entire day.)

As I got to the worst part of the camper,  I opened the cupboard and a tiny rodent was peering at me. Yikes! (Go back three spaces, he was little). I continued on my route, cursing the entire way. My family steered clear of me, they could tell I was not a "team player" at this time.

As I stepped on the last step of the  camper, I nearly landed in the calving lot when I noticed a very LONG snake stretched out near the garbage bag. (Go back 5 spaces, big scare!) I gingerly sidestepped him, noticing the tail. Phew, no rattles. (Move ahead 2 spaces) That said, he wouldn't go away, he was hunting what I was trying to get rid of. I thought he was safely tucked in the gargabe bag, he'd crawled in of his own accord, so I went to work on the bike trailer that the mice had also snacked on. Realizing that I'd ripped my gloves I went to the house to get another pair and as I came zipping by the bike stroller I noticed an extra black and yellow "strap" that was moving. Holy Crap! (Go back 7 paces, this scared me more that the first time!) Knowing that "snakey" was wrapped up in the stroller I ventured back in the camper to clean as I was about to step down I saw him moving below me. Craaaaap!  This phase of the game concluded with the snake not bothering my anymore (THANKS JOE!) (Jump ahead 10 spaces!)

Wednesday: I woke up with a rotten cold and a raw throat. I can handle a lot of things but a sore throat is my achilles heel. Hate those. I mustered through the day, secretly wanting to go back to bed but not making it there until that late that night. (Move back 10 spaces)

Thursday: My throat was a little better but still very achy and sore. (Take time out to recouperate, consider the fact that sometimes this game just sucks!).

Friday: I woke up, a bit groggy but thinking that I'm going to get things done today. I feel a little better, still some drainage and lethargy but throats isn't as sore. I thought I'd make a nice cup of coffee and sit out on the deck to ponder my day. (Move ahead 4 spaces).  I ask edChad to bring in a package of hamburger from our freezer in the barn. He doesn't come back for a long time. I wonder what he's doing? What we didn't know was that the freezer quit working (Move back 20 spaces and consider just ditching this blankety-blank game.) Unhook and drag hoses to wash out the stupid freezer (Go back 5 more spaces)

We did catch the mess in time to salvage our meat, the freezer still had ice in it. (Lucky break move ahead 25 spaces). (Note to self, work on attitude!)

Since I'm not a math person I haven't stopped to figure out if I'm ahead in the game, if I've broke even or if I'm in the hole. There have been some distinct set backs this week but most of them have ended on a high note. The camper is being disinfected and professionally cleaned today. We didn't loose any meat and I am feeling much better than I was. I am hoping that if I draw the "wild card" soon, that it will at least be a GOOD ONE, something like...boundless energy or instant basement clean-up or Russell Crow pays a know, something completely realistic like that ;)

Here's wishing you all good luck in the "game" you are playing right now!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Something You've Always Wanted To Try

In the busy hustle and bustle of our every day life, little things that we are interested in exploring something go by the wayside. Personally I'm good with pushing something aside in lieu of something else that needs to be done. This may be why I haven't scrapbooked since 2009? Laundry, dishes, cooking and housekeeping take priority. In my reality I do put work before play. That is something I'm looking at consicously and consistently changing this month.

As mentioned previously, I feel the need to have a clean environment BEFORE I start on a project. I think better and am more open to creative ideas. The challenge is knowing when I can safefly and loving walk away. The dishes will pile up, the laundry will multiply, the floors wil get dirty. How long can I actually be away before I'll be starting over?

Maintence and consisteny is key here too. I'm slowly trying to help my children get into the habit of not only taking their plate to the sink but rinsing it out, and then putting in the dishwasher.

So this month, as I am releasing clutter and finding my way back to me. I have several self improvement intentions. One being taking the time to honor my creative aspirations.

I've found this book and have signed up for Sarah's on-line class. This is my birthday gift. The materials were on the pricey side, which is great. If I pay the money, you can bet I'm going to full on, full out participate.

I'm excited to begin. I'm excited to see what I have stored "under the hood". I have found I'm an awesome collector/gatherer and organizer but no so muh and eager "do-er". That's about to change.

I'd like to invite any of you along for the ride as well. I belive there is power within the collectve so if you'd like to message me or add comments below to what your personal goals, intentions and manifestations hopes are, feel free. Mabye you are going to take up mountain biking or rock climbing. knitting or canning, photography, song writing or putting a puzzle together?!?!? What do you suppose our world would look, feel and be like if we were all doing exactly what we want to be doing, what we most love?

I believe it is possible. Collect, gather and then Let's do this!!!!

PS I didn't want to include another blog post about my endless cleaning obsessions so I'm focusing on the fun stuff!

Gettin There

Hi All,

It has been awhile since I last posted and so this is just a little catch up! Thanks for all the very sweet comments and encouragements to "get to writing again"! I hear you and I'll do my best to keep up!

We wrapped up a very busy school year and since then, I've spent my days trying to reacclimate to having all five of us, in the same dwelling at the time. Not an impossible feat but one that is requiring extreme patience on my part. Fighting children and not my cup o' tea. That may be a post for later.

I also spent time at the end of every school year going through the entire house; top, bottom, left, right, up, down, every nook and cranny is seen. This is a great feeling in the end but a daunting taks to do it the "right way".

I feel I've come far though I still have a long path to do. Next week, I'll be back in the trenches aka the basement family room, craft room, storage room, boys' bedrooms. Right now it looks like nothing of the serene, neat, tidy organized image I have in my mind. I can say it is lived in and played in.......

It does sometimes feel like all I write about is cleaning, organizing and cleaning some more but sadly, that's about what I get done! Having three growing children demands that I stay on top of laundry, dishes, food prep and all things household and motherly.

And for some strange reason I feel much more cre8tive when my enviornment is in order. That said, I'm cleaning for another reason. I'm going to venture deep into my being and excavate a part of me that was lost a long, long time ago.....I'll be taking a painting class in July. In fact, I've dedicated July to playing, exploring and creating! I'm in the process of gathering supplies this month. I have butterflies and jitters (of my own making) to remind me that the unknown can still offer me routes to old fears and blockages (am I good enough? Do I have what it takes?) Etc.

I've never felt like I've found my stride, let alone hit it. I'm still looking. I've got some better ideas of who I am as a person and the sights, events and practices that resonate but there's still plenty of room for exploration and expansion.

I'm taking today off to rest. My body is demanding it. I've got a strange little cold and so I'm not pushing through that to do list with the gusto I had last week. I'll sit out a few days, tie up some details and then roll up the ol sleeves to begin the quest on Monday.

I post this for those friends who feel like their cleaning conquest never ends. It doesn't. I also post this as a sign that I not only teach the clearing clutter and organization classes, I directly apply the pracitce in my space!

Transformation is here and  I'm in! What projects are you looking forward to this summer? What dream are you following and allowing yourself to experince?

Feel free to share in the comments below. And yes, I promise more "musings" to come!