“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver
This poem reminds me of how we overestimate what can be done in a day and underestimate what can be done in a year.
With a baby and a school-aged child, my days are full with the endless tasks of parenting and keeping a house. Beyond being present and compassionate with my family, my foci for the year are to create order and beauty at home, to write, to travel, and to live healthfully. For me this means to eat well, meditate, journal, write and to be physically active with dance, swimming, yoga, and walking. For the family: more physical activity, home cooked meals, balance. We've decided to enjoy more art together in 2013.
I am passionate about organics. Local, sustainable, natural, independent, artisanal, handcrafted, biodynamic, ecological are all good words.
Education-wise, I am trained in Montessori and RIE. My BA was in Medieval History although I studied writing, dance and psychology as much as possible. I was a social worker and massage therapist before I had children. I lean toward attachment parenting. I am intrigued by all religions and have practiced many of them. I enjoy the vitality of authenticity and deep connection. I've had a long-time interest in natural healing and have studied aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, flower essences, herbalism, homeopathy and the like. My mid-life career goals are to host RIE-style, meditative playgroups and to pursue a career in spiritual direction and chaplaincy and, as always, to write. I have been writing posts for my blog for THREE years and have yet to publish any. Hear ye, hear ye: 2013 is the year (maybe even 2012?).
My house is small and frankly cluttered. I am calling it blessed with abundance as I quickly try to baby-proof. Quite simply, I don't really need more stuff (ah yes, I hear my husband cheering). I much prefer something consumable or creatively ephemeral to an object. As for things, one well-considered item is far more appreciated than unnecessary filler. I am not the person to blindly destash with! I do love shopping and thrifting and yard sales, I just try and be super, super mindful of what I bring home. It's so serious and seriously necessary that it has become a spiritual discipline. I must ask: Do I love it? Is it beautiful? Is it necessary? Will I use it? Three out of 4 yeses are required to bring it home. I'll shyly admit to a love of whimsical packaging. A ribbon or a drawstring bag make me smile. To celebrate the recent birth of our son my husband bought me a box of artisanal, organic sweets. Perfect!
Your creativity, thoughtfulness and loving-kindness are most-appreciated.
I had a dream wherein I filled a room with "GIVE THANKS" banners, as though for a party. It was so beautiful. So, I've decided to manifest it in reality. Homemade, store-bought, any flavor: a Give Thanks banner bonanza! A Give Thanks garland gala! A Be Thankful celebration for all seasons!
I need good pens: smooth, dark lines, feels-good-in-the-hand pens. I'm having pen issues.
Local foods always make me happy.
Food-wise, I adore tasting new foods: snack foods, crackers, cookies, chocolate, mustards, honey, sauces (ideas only, not limits)...natural and local is YUMMY. Food is naturally uncluttering! I would even just love to know what is your favorite treat?
Articles about art and the creative process are an addiction.
I love Halloween, Hanukkah, Valentine's Day and Earth Day! Hearts are appropriate year-round.
I would love, love, love a mixed CD. My taste is eclectic but I haven't sought out much new music since my first son was born. Folk, alternative rock and world are my favorite genres, but almost anything goes--the only Christian music I like are Christmas carols, traditionals and medieval chanting.
Trust your intuition! If there is something you think I would enjoy, I'm open to new discoveries. If you can find a way to send a non-material item in the mail, go for it!
Small, intriguing, yet sturdy objects for story-telling with children are always fun. The kind of thing people with kids have in a junk drawer works beautifully.
We love whimsy jars and treasure-surprise-wonder yarn balls (balls of yarn with little trinkets wrapped inside.) Strange little magical things like scatter hearts and miniature objects for dollhouses and fairy houses are fun.
I do needle-felting (wool roving! wool roving!) and am learning to knit and embroider. I can hand sew but would love a machine one day.
Anything from nature or made from natural materials for our nature table is fantabulous.
I'm a big fan of supporting local businesses, especially independent sellers and artists.
I love art and appreciate beauty. Design-wise, think retro-whimsical-industrial-danish-modern. I love vintage graphics and clean lines. Bamboo and steel. Orange, purple and blue-greens are my favorite colors, though I appreciate neutrals and rainbows. Cutesy animals, pastels, neons and dull colors are rarely appealing.
Carefully chosen and CLEAN previously loved items are welcomed (see recycling above). Just please, please, please, let me know if something is not new.
I don't like artificial colors (or flavors) and vinyl and such. I try and be mindful about plastic. I love anything eco-conscious, fair trade, or organic. Reused, repurposed, recycled, or thrifted are all earth-loving.
Reusable Bag-wise, sturdier is better, the plastic or, heavy fabric/canvas bags hold up best. I don't need any from the big chain stores we also have in California, thanks, but your local grocery store bags or a fun bag from your favorite hole-in-the-wall, would be fun.
A note about who you are, what you love and why you chose to send what you did is always appreciated. It feels odd to me when stuff is just put in an envelope without explanation. Thank you!
Loves and Inspirations:
Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Happier, Calmer and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life by Karen Maezen Miller
paranormal fiction (Laurell K. Hamilton/Charlaine Harris/Kim Harrison, Vicki Pettersen, etc.) I love the short story collections to discover new writers.
I enjoy reading about creativity and the artistic process, especially writing. I read to be inspired. Intriguing self-improvement or interfaith/Buddhist/Jewish texts are fun, as are travel writing or unique (not outdated) travel guides. I like unusual memoirs, too.
I would love to read the magazines Green Parent from the UK and Real Living from Australia. I'd happily do a trade for US magazines. I love magazines and would subscribe to Shambala Sun but my husband and I agreed to a moratorium on subscriptions until we get the magazine clutter under control. Still working on it, sigh. But my sweet sister-in-law bought me a subscription to Country Living last Christmas and my husband gave me a year of Kiwi and Family Fun for Hanukkah.
Watching the DVDs of Battlestar Galactica as Joss Whedon recommended it and he is brilliant (yes, big Buffy fan). Project Runway, SYTYD, Home by Novogratz as I love their aesthetic. Top Chef, and Top Chef Masters (less youthful drama, but no Padma. Then again, Curtis Stone is awfully cute). We are just starting season 4 of Mad Men. I am a True Blood fan but have missed the last season because I won't watch it with the baby in the room.
I'm obsessed with my childhood loves: Land of the Lost, Jetsons, Grizzly Adams, Gilligan's Island...I could go on. I'm working on a memoir and have become a historian of my own past. Does anyone remember Cherry Ames books?
I especially love anything organic and/or fair trade or LOCAL. My dislikes are below.
I drink mostly coffee (unflavored!). For tea: strong blacks, especially chai, sometimes green, and the occassional herbal at night. Prefer caffeinated, never decaf (blacks and greens).
Brandwise, if this is helpful, I consistently enjoy Tazo, Mighty Leaf, Forte, Dilmah, Twinings. Revolution, and Two Leaves and A Bud.
I adore chocolate, especially if it's all natural (no artificial colors or flavors, chocolate doesn't need them anyway). Sugar is not only natural but divine. I love hot chocolate if you can find a natural packet. (If you're in Pennsylvania, we all love wilburs. If you are in Seattle--Fran's chocolate taught me to appreciate quality chocolate, sigh. Or Seattle Chocolates spring eggs. In the UK: Cadbury Snow Bites, oh my. And did you say Milky Way Crispy Rolls--I am firmly addicted. In Italy: Ciki alla quinoa. In France: I'd love to try Tendre Coeur cakes, and the Nutella there doesn't have artificial ingredients like it does in the US. In Italy/France?: Fattorie & Pandea Mini Flirtes with parmesan.
Divine, all. Ah, a girl can dream.)
I am a foodie, so if you love it, I'll try it.
Tea wise-I am just NOT a fan of Stash, Lipton, or Bigelow-they tend too be too weak for me as I prefer strong teas.
Although I drink mostly black and some green, an occasional herbal tea is fine. We NEVER drink decaf. Please, no unwrapped bags without messaging me first.
I very much dislike licorice/fennel/anise.
Artificial ingredients: colors, flavors, sweeteners and scents.
I can tolerate some caramel but it's really not my favorite. I don't like sticky sweets. Tootsie rolls are an example of something we would never eat.
Coconut (to eat). Love coconut miilk and Seven Layer bars-go figure.
Carob. Give me chocolate any day, but please, hold the carob.
I do not collect ATCs.
Cosmetics, perfumes, lotions, etc. If they are not all natural, I won't know what to do with them. If they are all natural, I'd love 'em!
Sad to have to say this, but anything dirty. I have enough trouble keeping up with my current messes and will not get around to an additional burden.
At risk of sounding ungrateful--I REALLY do not want foam or vinyl stickers, flimsy plastic items, confetti, cut up pieces of paper, or cutesy/girly items. They make me sad.
Zev is 9. He loves mysteries, treasure hunts and playing spy ("No," he says. "I am a spy."). Pokemon is a new love. Cars and cats are abiding loves. He plays basketball, sews and knits, plays chess and loves cartooning, reading cartoons and graphic novels. He collects "rare" coins (this means rare to him: like the 1976 quarter in my wallet or a pre-EU coin from Europe, or anything not from here, especially if it's gold-colored). He loves cars, especially VINTAGE cars. When we go yard saling, scoring a used Hot Wheel or Matchbox, especially from the 90s or earlier, makes his day. Random Lego pieces are always fun, especially in unusual shapes or colors (pink is fine!).
Local foods or your favorite snacks would be fun to try. Or a postcard of where you live and what your life is like there.
Like his mom, Zev prefers natural foods without artificial colors and flavors. Gently-loved used items are fine with us and good for the earth. We are a Waldorf-inspired family so we try and avoid media and Disney-type characters, but he does have a Nintendo DS if you have any unwanted games lying around. When he does watch TV, his favorite shows are Pokemon, Phineas & Ferb, and Scooby-Doo.
Caleb will, unbelievably, be 1 in February. He is still a newborn to me (albeit a very large newborn, over 25 pounds). He likes crinkly sounds and music. He chews everything. His favorite toy is a treasure basket filled with natural materials. These are items from around the house like stainless steel bowls, wooden spoons, ribbon, burlap bags. Anything safe for little mouths. He's strong and loves to push things. Opening and closing containers is a new fave. Trying to get into the nirvana of his brother's room is a daily quest.
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