Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our healing basket


Several of the appealing ideas from "Seven Times the Sun" had to do with her chapter on healing. There are songs to sing and sweet gestures of tenderness to difuse tension and ease pain. One thing was a healing basket with things in it we use for those minor injuries throughout the days. (I use lavender essential oil like it's going out of style!) The hankie was a homemade flannel cloth that Lindsey gave me in one of her lovely care packages--it'll make a fitting cloth for young tears. We need to add aloe, bandaids and ? One of Darian's ideas is a healing water to sprinkle (like holy water maybe? since it's part of the healing blessing she prays for her girls). We have rose water so maybe that's an idea to try.

Other things from her book were a quiet corner with art, natural things and books. I have the perfect spot planned in our reading room. Her box of surprises is a great idea--you put it next to your child while they're sleeping before a lazy weekend and throw in things like books, easy crafts, snacks and love notes.

A family potluck where each member contributes something special they made appealed to me for when they're a little older. I want to mold beeswax with them while telling stories with them too. The one on one journal is neat for when they're older too.

The types of play areas she mentioned are similar to what we're working towards. While I've been working hard to display activities, that'll soon simplify and become mostly toys to keep things fresh for them. We have discovered so many neat toy ideas through simpler and more naturally crafted items. Playsilks, wooden toys, felted dolls. These items are just so beautiful that even as adults we're drawn to them.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 30, 2011


So, Monday I was finding a babysitter so that I could go to the chiropractor. That hasn't happened for a LONG time. Our doctor sort of laughed and smirked at me since my visit was probably overdue in general, Hapkido or not.

Last weekend and its prospect made me nervous and self-conscious. I wondered if I could remember how to tie my black belt (which doesn't act like colored belts). I wondered if I could FIT anything--belt, dobok...

I did Georgia Mountain Hapkido's Black Belt Seminar locally since our Chief, JR West, came to town. It was an awesome opportunity for one. For another, Eric has really wanted me to have some of the experiences he's had in his journeys to Mississippi. Even if I don't always remember, he recalls my devotion to Hapkido with clarity. I do miss it so the day with Grandmaster West was terrific. I was stronger than I thought i was and remembered more than I thought I would. Eric was proud of how I did for my rank etc.--I always feel good when he's proud of me. (He has mostly trained me, after all.)

Another reason I did it was for my character and heart. Sometimes it's just good to get out of our comfort zones. Phyllis and Stanley gave us a great day (keeping our lovely gals) and even fed us afterwards so who could say no? Not I.

Seven Times the Sun

I'm currently trying to build my understanding of Waldorf education alongside Montessori education--two very different approaches in many respects. This summer has been such fun in terms of trying things out from both schools of thought, but I need to deepen my understanding of both styles in order to enrich our home with them. Enter Seven Times the Sun by Shea Darian.
It's a classic in the Waldorf world, and I can understand why. It's incredibly approachable, and each topic/theme has the same structure in terms of information. I keep wanting references and examples of things, and this book gives some of both. I'd like to try some of the home rhythms since routine is precious around here, even when it's our warm, relaxed routine of summer. The rituals in the book are sweet and quite lovely, but they're simple. There was plenty that I didn't think would work for our family and plenty that really could.

I think trying out a true circle time each day would be neat. I have a book just for that to go through soon. It's movement-oriented and gentle--I bought it thinking of Eleni.

Some of the story recommendations for themes are neat too--adaptations of Grimms' tales. We're working with stories this summer in very concrete ways sometimes--with dolls, figures, pictures to feel like we can retell them and become part of them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Birth Matters by Ina May Gaskin

For our little book club, we read Ina May Gaskin's Birth Matters. It was so utterly revealing--so many things I didn't know about. It would've been nice to have read it before having my girls even though I read a lot of other things. The biggest thing I didn't understand is how far we need to come in terms of women's human rights as regards birth, choices, health etc.

The second most important thing I got into was the paradigm that birth/delivery/pregnancy is some kind of disease that has to be treated/medicated rather than being one of the most natural things there is on earth. This view has lead to a lot of the injustices we see in terms of maternal deaths not being reported (correctly)--they say the rate of inaccuracy is likely 25-40% given the problems they already observe. If we had accurate data, we could make progress in avoiding these deaths. The CDC has a lot to say about the preventable deaths that occur as part of the birth experience (in hospitals mainly).