Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's a Crock !

lol hehe , no this is not an article about a bunch of bull ;-) I couldn't resist though .
Yes, I also couldn't resist purchasing this large large crock while out yesterday picking up my new mismatched set of ceramic mixing bowls . ds9 & I drove an hr. out of the city to do this purchase and what finds we found , one of them being this old #10 crock !
So as you can see I already had a #4 crock that had been my Gramma's . I keep my potatoes & onions in it . The #4 was a big crock to me , I'd never seen such a size before !
So my question now is , what on earth do I do with this thing ? I'm thinking flour bags ? what did the pioneers do with a crock this big ? I mean I can hardly move the thing empty !
So ideas ? what do you all think ?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Raising The Herbally & Naturally Young

This is a picture of my mother Tirzah Ateah & her brother David Ateah in their beautiful homestead garden .

I have to say it took me a week to get this post together . I came home from our stay at my mother's to get very ill from my allergies & sensitivities etc. Then my asthma triggered etc. Now I'm better the sun is shining and I do not feel like writing ( yes, I know that is odd for me ) but rather wish to be out in the yard by my fire , inspecting each day what is trying to pop out of the ground etc.

However I planned this post ages ago . So what can I say I feel obligated to post it ;-) I do think I shall take a break from blogging though with the stress also from house/farm hunting I am feeling overwhelmed .and need to refocus on family , home & yard again . I do also have some great giveaways planned for the month of mothering coming up tough so I shall post those beginning May1st.

So how do you teach your children to be natural , herbally wise etc. ? Simple live it yourself . It is strange but I just re-read in Carla Emry's book & Juliete de Bairacli Levy book within two days of each other those words " practice what you preach " ! So I felt the need to say this myself. We cannot just talk the talk but need to walk the walk for children mimic . If they see and hear harmful behaviours in action and speech they repeat it , so the same goes for healthy lifestyle choices It is that simple .

It is up to us as the main adults in our children's lives to provide them with these healthy exposures. If we are blessed to have elders in our lives then expose our children as often as possible to the old ways and those who teach them . If we do not have elders then it is up to seek out healthy community and support groups as well. If you do not have a grandfather as we did in our family , seek out those healthy male role models . Same goes for other families living in similar ways morally etc. you are . walk in nature every chance you can . Even within the inner city a weed popping up from the sidewalk can be identified ;-) I always remember my eldest Natasha stopping as we entered our yard after a play at the park. She stopped and told her friend not to just randomly pick the leaves off the trees because this harms the tree. She was 8-9yo ! At 9-10yo this girl had her first yard sale and gave every single penny to Greenpeace . All her idea ! I was occupied with 3 other kids then all under 5 yrs of age so I definitely only gave the minimal amount of help possible .

I have to say I also have never been one who used dumbing down materials for children . Be it music or herbal knowledge etc. I usually exposed our children to books , music which have been also made for adults .Of course we moderate content but we probably do not have a book in the home both adults and children could not read . Books that have been written for children in mind are well written and may just be written in simple form but not talked down to . Once again it is up to us to provide healthy ways and the sources for our children to learn, play , live & grow .

This is also how my mother was raised and my grandmother too . My mother in fact did not like movies so we rarely ever attended them until we were adults . My grandmother loved wind in the Willows & Pooh Bear herself not just for her children ;-) .

As you know we have a garden . I however must say I am a terrible vegetable gardener . I don't know the reason but it is so. I can grow beautiful flowers & herbs but my pumpkin plants are just getting flowers when my sil are almost ready to pick pumpkins ;-) my dh her brother is also wonderful with vegetables. So it is he who plants and grows them . What is important is we all know our passions , our places and most of all our children are present for all this . dh shows them how to measure the rows , til the soil etc.

I even though not great at veggie growing have had to do it I do step in. I always feel it best to grow veggies in the city especially that children can handle , touch feel and see grow well . I feel it best to grow veggies they can pick right off the vine and eat then & there . mini carrots , sweet sugar snap peas & tiny tim tomatoes are a must .

You know I love eating flowers and this starts at a young age as well . Eating rose petals and sipping columbine honey sacks ;-) are a must . I love throwing flower petals into salads and eating fresh squash blossom for breakfast is divine ! This yr. I have a new project in mind . I was reading my latest copy of Natural Life mag ( a Canadian wonder ! ) about a child Educator Friedrich Froebel and read how he in his teaching gave each child their own garden plot to work . Can you imagine what a garden of a 4-5yo would look like ? Then all the children had one communal garden where they all worked together . Is this not a great idea ? We've always let the kids choose seeds they wish to start but we always have our own big main garden . I'm thinking to give them each a 4x4 piece of garden and see what happens !

Don't you just love life and the new inspirations we receive from healthy places , people , books etc. It just goes on and on . As I have mentioned my own mother who is now 78 yrs also just continues to grow and educate others. She is attending a 2 week course right now via Nature Conservancy Canada ! Yes I wish I could take it , but I am happy for my Mum being able to continue on because I know she is going to share with me and I with our own children .

As I write this , I have to smile because this morning our ds14 Wise Owl began the day outside with a hand saw and a piece of driftwood. I looked out the sunroom window and wondered " what idea has he come up with now " lol some of his ideas can work into a big cleanup for Mum . Then came the question " Mum can I use your mortar & pestle ? " Oh , Oh , what on earth is he up to! Then tin cans atop the firepit he was cooking up something !

He then went into the basement , loud banging , clunking around noises . He then emerged from the basement holding chunk of wood in his hand . He said " I used the belt sander " lol I still had no idea what he was up to . He returned outside and then in about 10 min I got the call " Mum come here and see this " I walked out onto the back deck and there sitting in the sun was a very well oiled piece of drift wood he'd been working on . I assumed it was just a nice prayer stick but as I took a closer look he had done wood burning work on it . It is just gorgeous and all this work was for ... a birthday gift for his big sis who is visiting us next week ! I am so impressed , not just by his creative ability but his thoughtfulness for another family member . As he grows now he reads his own books which encourage his own creative ways to work at who he is called to be .

The key is to keep life simple , have balance and be content with where we are . I know some who are radical , extremists etc. I know reality of living in a real world which is not living healthy . We live in the center of a very unhealthy city & smog bothers my asthma almost everyday during spring & summer months . I also know that as I stepped in the cat barf the other morning I was really happy for paper towel ! How glad I was not have to use a rag ;-) but I try and buy the recycled paper towel .That is my part what is important is we do our best. I have to face at times our last child is a city kid he has not been exposed as heavily as our older children were to living & being in the out of doors. I feel we must make up for it . We kind of slacked off having our 6th child in our late 30's ;-) I feel I'm just recovering my energy lol We all are capable of falling off the wagon , letting unhealthy habits & even people into our lives. What is important is we recognize our mistakes and we do our best to re-do , re-learn , make new and healthy habits .

I will leave you with some nice pics & Book ideas to inspire you on as they do me ;-) I will be back May1st to post the next giveaway . For now Enjoy ! please also keep us in prayer if you can as well regarding our openness & acceptance etc. in regards to moving .

This is a wonderful book , on growing , harvesting & making tinctures etc.

These are Spruce buds my mother brought in for the kids last May. We added them to salad .
The kids are used to helping pick & dry our tree medicines
Adventure boy picking blueberries with Dad on Elk Island
Yes Blueberries !Wild Highbush Cranberry This makes a wonderful juice for sauces & Jelly

We began Tapping our maple tree about 6 yrs ago inspired by Gramma . She says they also tapped the Birch trees as well. Yes we actually get about 3-4 bottles of syrup from our tree We always believed in Natural play , here is Adventure boy with his washtub swim pool Nature Table & tank for hermit the crab , 2 yrs ago it housed frogbert Wise Owl @ beach Our eldest ds Dacotah Badru aka fishing boy he is now 23 yrs. !

Again , this is my most fav book for child raising , naturally This is a beautiful herb book for Children , it also lists trees etc. has recipes for kids to try and is based on seasons
again most of the children's toys are / were natural we did have lego and one of our girls did the barbie collection thing but for the most part we don't collect plastic junk
The kids use the garden as a play area all yr. round
hunting for special treats
our grandson mr. silly ridiculous with his loving Uncle
yum yum
he is Granny's special boy
always investigating

Even our church inspires our natural simple life style
we like to cook on fire too

creating natural spaces for animals & fairies alike
He is always an Adventure boy up for an adventure !
Wise Owl with yet another eagle feather he found
wild mint is both decrotive and yummy
We like to make handmade items for gifts

cookbooks are treasures too
collecting flowers
visiting sacred spaces

working hard to harvest

growing your own food to make your own food is reward in itself

happy garden boy

our nature tables

and altars are always inspiring

we like to bless our home & natue spaces


Natasha Rose smelling flower

feeding birds

search out those seed catalogues as a family
as there is always a lifetime to grow

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Natasha Rose a Sunshine Girl

Natasha Rose

I wrote this last yr. for our eldest dd after her bio father passed away APR.1st 2009

When I discovered I was expecting my first child in July of 1980 I was so so happy . I was thrilled . I was also seventeen yrs. And hadn’t a clue about mothering or giving birth .
As I walked down the street shared by the giant elms I rubbed my small belly and was so so looking forward to being able to love someone really love without him or her having any expectation what so ever .
I was living with my mother at the time separate from my boyfriend and father of our child . Back then we did not learn we were pregnant until long after 10-12 weeks gestation . My mother also knew right from the start I was keeping the baby . I had a good friend from high school he wanted me to move in with him and have a home birth . To me this seemed kind of radical and I did not like all his pot smoking either. It did spark a way of giving birth naturally though .The only friend I had who’d given birth had had a terrible hospital birth with an epidural, mega episiotomy which took weeks to heal and the poor poor baby was wrenched out with forceps .

I have always been a natural living natural way person my great grandmother was a midwife and medicine woman . Yet I also knew very well the other side coming from a family in the medical community one member of which being a Dr. exploited women and abused them while giving birth etc. I knew full well even at 17 yrs what the medical community was capable of .
My mother being a nurse but coming from lay families background also new the good in the natural way . So began our search for a way in which best to bring my baby into the world in the best and most natural way we could . We both came to the decision we could and would like to go with home birth if we could . However the only Dr. we found doing home births only would attend on the second birth of a child not the first . He did however attend in hospital within a birthing room . This birthing room back then was not how they are now .No rocking chairs or mini fridges etc. this room was just a plain hospital bland beige walls with a hospital bed in it washroom and nightstand . However it wasn’t a delivery room so we took what we could take . Then my mother signed us up for what back then was all the rage in birthing Lamaze classes . We had a really kind sensitive instructor . She was a mum of several children already and had had home births with my dr. as well . Although I wasn’t much into the breathing techniques I really really enjoyed feeling my body , getting to know it intimately and connecting with baby .Being exposed to these healthy people in my life really made a big big impact . I remember the day I felt baby kick it was during the remembrance day services at my high school .I was so so excited and so blessed during that moment of silence my baby decided to take the time for me to just soak it in .
As time went on I continued to go to school which was an alternative school anyway so classes were attended when one wanted to . My boyfriend and I were getting more and more excited and I began to collect just a few items for baby . A cute little white sleeper . A small flowered nightie . Cloth diapers , cotton wash clothes and a little wash tub on a table all made up in my room . I was going to sleep with baby and nurse . We had a wonderful winter pregnancy attending Lamaze , me going to school , eating well and just enjoying that time . My old Siamese cat at the time would cuddle with me and tuck right into my big belly . I wondered how she would react to a new baby .
As spring approached sun grew stronger . I began to think of baby’s name as my due date grew closer for April 4th 1981 . I began to think of names, which I liked , sound means a lot , meaning means a lot as well as perhaps naming a child after someone who holds meaning in our hearts . I thought of the perfect name Sunshine ! I loved this name because it was the name of one of my best friends in school and who also had a positive influence on me . She was away attending free school in England during this time and I missed her quite a bit so I really liked the idea of calling my baby Sunshine . that is if she were to be a girl . What about a boy . I knew that ages ago his name would be Noah . I loved that name and it belonged to my great grandfather who was a very wonderful person I knew from family stories .
So awaiting baby ‘s arrival began . On the bright sunny morning of April 13th 1981 I woke at about 8am . I felt a tad achy and flu like .I cuddled with my cat for a bit and then decided to have a tub a nice hot one . Well that was it . The cramps came on stronger even I who had never given birth new , nope this was not the flu . I felt so good ! I told my mother and I got dressed then we had a nice small breakfast . We then prepared for our hospital journey . I packed my fav old plaid shirt of my grandmothers and my pj bottoms . I packed baby’s first nightie and blanket etc. along . We then took my big bottle of cranberry juice too . Back then they did not normally hook women up to an IV as routine procedure as they do now .
As we drove to the hospital which was a nice long drive I thought to myself and said to baby today is your day , the sun is shining the snow banks are melting and puddles for splashing . One day I will walk with you while you splash in those puddles . Once again I was so so happy .
When we arrived at the hospital the room was available we were blessed as there was only one birthing room back then . I think it was about 12pm when we rolled into that room . I was already into some good cramps . There were several nurses who would not stop coming in and out of the room it drove me nuts .Then a student nurse kept pestering me about the menu for the next two days of my stay there . Poor thing I look back and how I snapped at her for asking me if I wanted peas or potatoes for supper . I drank my juice up and my mother tried to get me to focus on my focal point , some sketchy watercolour on the wall . I do not like focal points . I closed my eyes and blocked them all out . I did get up to go to the washroom once and had a bowel movement . The student nurse had wanted to give me an enema but there just was no time .In transition for just a short time I began saying “ I want I want “ everyone said “ what do you want ?” I in my mind was thinking “ drugs “ yet I knew better then to say it out loud . within a few minutes this feeling passed . I think deep down even at that age I was a strong woman . By about 1:30pm my water broke . There was meconium in the water . I personally think baby picked up on how stressed the nurses were making the whole birthing environment My doctor who was out playing golf no doubt had still not arrived . meconium of course the nurses became quite hysterical . Control , birthing room , how could they have control ! It was as if they were lost no idea what to do . I began pushing . It felt great ! They called in a resident doc as mine was no where to be found . Nurses panicking saying don’t push don’t push we have to take you to the delivery room because of the meconium in the water . so onto a stretcher I was placed . Then wheeled into the delivery room or rather the ugly green room . Doctor taking over giving me a very unnecessary episiotomy. Thank goodness it was very small . Push push baby out ! girl ! girl ! They brought her to me right away . I held her and lay there . My mother God bless her thought to place a blanket over us so the light would not hurt the baby’s eyes . My baby looked up at me ! She had dark dark hair and her hair for the only time in her life had curls just like her daddy . Wait a bit oh push push again ! Placenta !
Then they take your baby away . I went to recovery and she went away . while in recovery an older nurse came in and she said have you passed any clots ? I said no . She came over and started pushing on my stomach so so hard I had tears in my eyes . I yelled “ you are hurting me ! “ she just kind of grunted and went away .
Then my boyfriend came in . He brought me a book for the baby son of raven son of deer . I was so happy he came . Sorry he did not connect spiritually with baby or pregnancy how I did but happy he acknowledged our daughter .
That night I slept with baby in my room but my roommate kept the tv on all night I did not need to watch Johnny Carson .
The nest morning a social worker came by . He said I best not give the baby my boyfriends last name as so many young parents do not stay together . Wow what a terrible example to give young couples . Tell then they are going to fail right off the bat .
I was trying to nurse my daughter and really liking it then my real doctor came in and a nurse . I have to say he was no different then any ego boosted doctor . I think although he did home births women most certainly could not do birthing without him or rather at least not safely . He looked down at me then at the nurse and said “ having some trouble nursing I see “ not even recognizing me in the room . Hello ! I then started to cry . Thank God for hormones ! I said how all I wanted was to go home and how I couldn’t sleep it wasn’t good for the baby etc. He released me that day !
Home we went . Car seat . Babies needed car seats ! We had to go out and rent one first . We drove home another wonderful sunny day . On our way home we drove by my gramma Grace’s house as it was right near the hospital . She came out to peek at baby in the car .
As I lay in bed nursing baby , watching her .My gift , my light . Hope this is real hope . My job is to be a mother the best mother for this baby I can be . I told her all about her beautiful daddy how I would play her Led Zepplin and she now needed a name . I loved the name Sunshine as I mentioned earlier however when I told my boyfriend this he said no way only people with blond hair can be named Sunshine . Ok stupid yes but I was influenced by my peers and he was one of them . He said how about a good Russian name . We were both reading dostoyesvky at the time . He wanted Patrucica , Sonia , I said no . Natasha . Yes I liked that name . Middle name ? I think it was my mother who said Rose . I loved flowers and I pictured the wild roses my gramma fed us in the summertime . So Natasha Rose she is . She is still my little Sunshine girl . When Natasha was a few months old I remember telling a friend we met while out walking I loved pregnancy , birth and motherhood and I wanted at least 12 children . That summer I found the quaint little bookstore and bought myself 3 books which would encourage my views of birth and parenting . These books were Birth by Raven Lang , Loving Hands by Fredrick Leboyer and Be a Bird a Tree a frog yoga book for children .
I also would like to dedicate all my birth stories to the most special loving memory of Catherine Young who published my stories and encouraged my writing . She always wrote to me inspiring me in parenting ,birthing , and natural lifestyle .

This is how I always envision Natasha , dancing , forever dancing . Here she is 3yo in playa del carmen MX campground

Natasha 3yo at palenque MX

Yes , Dancing again at 8 yrs. Chetumal MX

Day after her gr.12 grad which was celebrated just her and a few friends at a restaurant

Natasha on her wedding day , it was a dreamy time . She had a 1940's theme with Edith Piaf playing in the background , the sky was blue with white whispy clouds . It was truly magical experience .