Friday, April 15, 2011

This Is To Have Succeeded...

"To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I just found that quote on the blog for Little Acorn Learning, which is a Waldorf education based organization for childcare and early education. I think it's an excellent quote to guide one's life by.

It's been a very long week for me with the kids having Star testing 3 days, a doctor's appointment in San Jose another day, my minivan's transmission dying and a pretty serious reaction to a vaccine that has caused my arm to swell up among other things. I decided that it was in everyone's best interest to cancel today's activities and just stay home. But with all the driving I've been doing this week plus all the waiting around at various places, I have been doing a lot of thinking. I've come up with a few long term project ideas for myself in the various things that I do. One of my ideas is to post more "how-to"s and recipes here on my homesteading blog.

I've also considered posting ideas once a month for homemade gift giving for the holidays. I'm going to attempt to do a homemade gifts post on the 25th of every month leading to Christmas. I'm not Christian, nor particularly fond of the commercial version of the holiday, but the season still draws my nostalgia and gets me excited. (Perhaps my birthday being the 24th plays into this.) My favorite parts of the holidays are the homemade parts. I like homemade cookies, home cooked meals, handmade ornaments and gifts, hand drawn cards and the natural beauty of the season. I like candles lit in the darkness, the taste of peppermint and the joy of giving to and cooking for the people I love.

So, these are my blog ideas. I'm going to base the "how-to"s and recipes on what I am currently up to but if there's something anyone is particularly interested in me covering, let me know.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Two Paths Merged on a Wild Hill

I'm happy to begin this post with the good news: Jamie has finished moving and is now fully living here on the gypsy homestead with me and my kids.

During his moving, we had days and days of rain that just would not let up. The road was flooded and Jamie and I had to switch cars for a week. The mud out here was so bad that I couldn't go outside at all without nearly falling by slipping on it. Then the weather immediately switched to a heat wave. All the mud dried up but the extreme weather shift triggered my disability and I spent a few days unable to get much work done and using my cane to get around. I finally recovered after a couple days of rest and regained full mobility when the weather shifted again and we got snow! Snow! In April! I lost a few little plants that I had just put out, but thankfully not all of them. And THEN my van's battery died and the transmission started acting very strange. We replaced the battery and the van is now in the shop to see how bad the damage is. I am thankful that Jamie was here to help us get the van taken care of and get us home. We've got to do some juggling though to get through next week, the one week I have to drive into town every single day.

So, as if moving itself weren't stressful enough, the world hailed down on us even more stress. When things like this happen, I tend to believe it's a test of our strength and commitment. Through all of what has been happening, Jamie and I have been able to stay positive because we support and nourish each other. Our connection is very strong and we've now survived our first week of living together.

Last night we dined with Shannon and Morpheus and toasted to the occasion. Jamie and I proudly and happily live and work here together at Stone City Pagan Sanctuary. We are learning together the valuable homesteading skills we will use to feed and care for our family and we are serving our religious community by maintaining safe and sacred space here in these wild hills.