Sunday, August 28, 2011

Staging, Strewing & ideas for Vegan Stewing?

Homeschooling, heck parenting as a whole, is so much about setting the stage ["and cleaning up the spills that occur" the madwoman inserts as she leaps out from underneath her laptop in an attempt to save the family calendar from the tiny toddler with a cup of water obtained from mysterious sources!]- something my new bosom friend and kindred spirit, Kate, calls "strewing".

As I was clearing the clutter and sorting the soiled from the scattered clothing in the littles room last night I was suddenly aware of the fact that "staging" is what I do for my small learning humans, often unconsciously- pulling out a book on a recently experienced discovery, like ladybugs, piling all the stuffed dogs on C-doughs bed because he like to use them to bark at the Barbies when G-pie is playing with her little sister, and putting the puzzles with numbers on top of the dresser since J-cakes is totally into counting right now.

Really it just stems from paying attention to what your child is into and being less impressed by your own ideas of what you think they should learn from you and more interested in their ideas of what they think you should play with them. 

Yes, go back and read that last sentence again- it is a very important point. (I have to change a poopie diaper anyway so there is going to be a natural break in the flow of words pouring forth from my fingertips!)

So applying the same logic to my 9 year old- my job in her education is to create an environment and provide sustenance- till the soil and mix in some good compost for a fertile brain. Throw in some great companion plants, watch for weeds and pests - which if you choose the companion plants carefully, will be minimized, and water liberally. I mean that literally. My opinion is that water is an essential ingredient in a child's life. Drinking, playing in and with, visiting large bodies of, witnessing the changing forms of and very important- learning conservation. Lots of sunlight, a little pruning here and there- and then watch that little sprout thrive!

The most important things I can do for my children- provide a welcoming, accessible space to discover the things I "strew" about, pay attention to their interests and partner with them to find great resources so that they can pursue their passions, take them places that allow their imaginations to soar and give them lots of food that composts well!

Topping mamas list of skills to develop this fall- better, simpler, housekeeping tactics, everything there is to know about social media and continued growth as a yogini and fresh food fanatic! [again she leaps off the couch as the taller toddler gives herself away as the source of the mystery cup of water, bringing a freshly reFILLed cup to her thirsty brother!]

Doing the research to start filling my freezer with some delicious Vegan stews for the coming frenzied fall, suggestions welcome! Although I am following Gluten-free, Vegan recipes, I am still eating some chicken and fish, and beef jerky- and the occasional piece of Costco birthday cake, because really who can resist? It's called the barefootOCmama diet.

Here are some new favorite foodie blogs:

Happy Sunday!! May your surroundings be pleasant, your thoughts full of light, your companions refreshing and your nourishment enriching to your body and soul.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Getting all political on you!

 Those of you who (thank you!) regularly read my blog know that I don't often get into politics- life is stressful enough without trying to figure out which liberties (other than to a night of sleep) and what laws (other than those of gravity vs a toddler atop a play structure) are being violated and which are moving mankind forward.

This whole BART vs the tower of cell service issue has my panties in a bit of a wad. We as a society expect our government to act on any information they receive to keep us safe, but when they do something to inconvenience us in the process we suddenly call it a violation of our human rights. When did our digital extension of ourselves become entitled to an immediate gratification of any and all expressions?

The protesters who gathered in response to the decision to cut cell service- I mean really folks, that is all we are talking about, nobody in particular was silenced, a mouse could have nibbled the wires and caused the same effect- but those who gathered the next day obviously had ample time to go down and protest on the platforms- they kept families apart, made employees late, and interfered more in the general operations of this PUBLIC transportation system than the slight inconvenience caused by BART when they cut power to a cell tower. A cell tower that resides on their property and is leased by a private provider that charges the general public far too much to use...

And who is to say that a catastrophe was not averted? Two groups were planning a flash mob style protest, and when you get a bunch of youth together via instant message- well the rioting in London comes to mind. If I and my children were depending on public transportation and a group of passionate, masked, youth who had recently hacked and released personal information of 2000 innocent riders of the transit system were due to descend upon the platform we waited upon- I would say, shut my fucking iPhone off, man. (ok it's true I use an Android device, but iPhone just sounded better)...

Now once again, gentle readers, those of you who regularly read me know I am not one for profanity. But I, obviously the first to defend freedom of speech, my absolute favorite thing- am appalled at the sensationalistic tactics of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who the hell are they, anyway? (I must clearly state that next week it is totally possible that I will be promoting and defending them at all cost, because- I really don't know who the hell they are...)

People want to get all up in arms because they THINK they are being suppressed, because our pop culture media tells us so. Well in this case, I don't think so. But that is just my humble, and probably half informed opinion- because to be honest I only had moments to read about the FACTS- between diaper changes and discussions of why we have to wear panties in public, and questions about marine life seen at the CSULB Hall of Science today, where I was free to educate my child as I see fit.

All in all, I am pretty freaking disappointed in the government that I am aware of- but sometimes I wonder what truly important things I am being distracted from. It is a well known tactic of those in power to fuel a small fire in order to call attention away from a truly important discovery or idea. That is history. Fed to us by the victors.

Anyone still need an invite to Google+, apparently I have 142 left.... happy Tuesday to everyone from a mama who overdrafted her bank account today,  hasn't washed her hair in 31 days, locked her keys in her car, saw that she gained 4 lbs, and is currently locked in her bedroom allowing her incredible, amazing, Sugar Daddy to put the little buggers to bed.

Yoga tomorrow morning? The universe is perfect.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Drishti. At mama yoga I often focus on this...

Drishti. At mama yoga I often focus on this one particular leaf out the window of Laura Jane's sacred space. It is there week after week, on a vine growing out from her neighbors hedge or, is it any ivy covered wall- funny how the surrounding details are elusive.

The leaf itself - it draws my attention weekly. It's barely perceptible movement in the breeze, it's color distinction, it's shape and shiny surface. When I gaze at this leaf it helps me balance, or endure, or align, or breath, or center my thoughts. It's not that everything around me goes away, I see the curtain wafting in the breeze to my left, and feel my toddler leaning against my leg and hear the baby banging train parts on the hardwood floors, I sense the other mams and their energy surrounds me in support. My eyes invariably soften, my jaw relaxes, I feel my neck lengthen and my body stops fighting gravity (no I don't fall down!)- my muscles stop quivering in exertion and I become still, fully present in that moment.

My current path of personal & professional growth (beyond being barefootOCmama- oh yes, there is more to life than blogging) is challenging, I have to reach out of my comfort zone, practice perseverance, steadily move forward and confidently act out the vision I have for my life. I have big ideas. Huge.

What has happened so often in my past is that I diverge when I connect with someone and see their vision, too. More big ideas- and I think I need to change what I want to be when I grow up.

Now I have a focus, a drishti, my leaf in life- Bellah Bellah Ballyhoo. Ballyhoo allows me to balance, endure, align, breath and center - marriage, kids, housework, homeschool, friendships, family, volunteering, networking, planning, living- fully present in each moment.

And now it is ok to allow myself to "get distracted" by others' visions for their life, it is more than ok, it is my job to be able get caught up in the excitement of doing what they do!

bal·ly·hoo  noun [bal-ee-hoo]
1. a clamorous and vigorous attempt to win customers or advance any cause 2. blatant advertising or publicity.
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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Following-my-own-advice salad... a sliced...

Following-my-own-advice salad... a sliced baby persian cucumber, half an organic navel orange, sections thirded, 1/2 yellow squash, sliced and quartered, quartered yellow cherry tomatoes, 5 fresh mint leaves from the garden; tightly packed into a 1 cup bowl with a lid, add half a diced avocado just before serving. So good it's weird.
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