Thursday, March 28, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pride and Prejudice

I hope you have read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  If you haven't, you should.  Because it is fun and fun is good. (Stolen from Seuss)  Also, if you haven't, just go back to your life, cuz this is gonna be boring...might be anyway.

I have been listening to P&P almost constantly for the last several weeks because my credits don't renew until June and I have listened to my whole library.  *Sob*  So, I have been immersed in the world of Darcy and Elizabeth and I have been noticing little things about the story.  What's that I hear?  A gasp of excitement.  I know!  I am thrilled too.  If I could just go back to my Jane Austen class in college...

So, here we go!

First, while throughout the text, Darcy is "pride" and Elizabeth is "prejudice" I am beginning to see that the reverse is actually true.  Stunner...I KNOW!  Lizzy's entire dislike of Darcy comes from injured PRIDE.  He calls her "tolerable" to her face and she gets a little huffy about that.  As you would!  From that moment she is determined to dislike him (you might call that prejudice, but that throws off my analysis).  Darcy, who is undeniably proud, is determined to undervalue the residents of Longbourn because of their (comparative) poverty and coarseness and misses the spark of beauty and vivaciousness that later captivates him.  Voila! Prejudice!

Second, while Mrs. Bennett basically has no sense and is the laughing stock of her entire neighborhood, Lady Catherine de Bourgh is similarly ridiculous.  Austen, while enmeshed in the social fabric of her time is able to see through it and reveal that...women can be cranky, avaricious and preachy no matter their income!

Third, there are literally millions of words written about the mercenary nature of love portrayed in these books, and I am not going to add to them, but I will just say that I am getting a little tired of persons with "no fortune" having a cook, a maid and a man.  Let's just call them what they are...people richer than I am but don't have their own reindeer forest.  Shocking!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thoughts on dirt

There are so many moments each day when I wonder if what I do matters. Will stopping in the middle of the grocery store to discuss the power of the consumer to change slavery practices encourage my children grow into caring adults or will they eventually shrug their eccentric mother off as "odd" for only buying fair trade chocolate? Will poking a few seeds into my suburban yard create an atmosphere of stewardship or weediness? Will we live better because there is chard in my fridge?  Do my children grasp the tenderness of the earth because I refuse to buy them watermelons in March?

The sad truth is that we have allowed the bottom line to answer these questions far too often. Yes, my chickens cost way more than the five dollars a week I fork over for eggs.  Can I buy things more cheaply than I can make them or grow them? Almost always. But I find that the sweater that took two and a half years to make is precious in a way that a cheaper one can never be. You will spend more buying locally and fairly than not, but for us, the choice to buy gentle food is one we can live with.  Does that mean that our cart is barely full when we reach the end of our budget?  Yes.  Truly.  But, paying more to know that the reaper of my food did not go home with a lung full of poison makes my apple a little sweeter.  

And that is why I buy fair trade chocolate and plant seeds in my yard every year.  It is not because I am a good gardener.  My failures rank from the mundane to horror flick carnage, but I am convinced that we press in close to the heart of the Creator when we dig our fingers into the dirt that was declared "good."  

This year for Christmas my brother bought each of the kids an apple tree.  I can imagine the joy that we will share as the buds turn to blossoms and the swell to fruit.  I can imagine watching my children climb those knotty limbs for the out of the way and way up high.  I am so glad that we got to plant them so that when they fruit, my children will know that abundance is real but often delayed.  For me, when I doubt if my life is worthy of a story, I think of the tale that the dirt tells.  I think of the countless generations it has fed and then reclaimed.  I think of that moment of inception when the joy of the Creator marveled at the bounty just begun.  Then as I watch the branches of those little trees, planted with so much joy and faith, swell with buds and promise, I know: my story joins in the Great Story and finding a tree that will allow you to enter into its centurian story gives a place to life that smacks of abundance.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Snow Day

For those of you who live in the Northern Hemisphere I ask you, "what is going on?"

It snowed all day.  And the wind blew eleventy bijillion miles an hour.  My kids wore their snow jackets on the forced march that was the end result of hours of indoor "play" (read: house demolition).  And, to cap it all off, my schedule CLEARLY states that on Mondays at 11:00 am we will be having OUTdoor playtime with emphasis on gardening.  Please excuse me, but my routine is very important.  I spent a lot of time on it and it is fundamentally sound and it really irritates me when it get casually discarded because of a 23 degree wind chill on March 25th.

So, we improvised.  Actually, they improvised...I was too busy seething and almost missed it.

So, even though March still has teeth and my garden ground breaking is frighteningly behind, we manage to tuck at least a smidge of blossom into a most blustery day.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Did you try that...really?

I love Pinterest.


You know what makes me so happy?  Finding out that I have EVERYTHING I need to build a space shuttle right in my purse.  Thanks, Pinterest!  

I also love seeing brownie-Oreo-chocolate chip cookie bars declared as the best things ever. 

Cuz I could not have gotten there on my own.  Thanks, Pinterest!  

I also love having, at my fingertips, roughly 70,000,000 ways to make my body look like a twenty year old's...thanks, Pinterest?

But, hands down, my favorite things that illuminate my iFace are the kiddo ideas that clearly NO ONE HAS EVER ACTUALLY TRIED.

Example 1

The rub your back with little cars t-shirt.

Source: viaPenny on Pinterest

Ok, looks fine.  Until you realize you just handed a couple of uncultured swine metal objects and turned your back within arms reach.  Those of you with children just said...oh, right!  For the rest of you, let me tell you that that happy dad is just about to be joyfully beaten senseless with a cute little car.

Example 2

Sensory Sink?

Do I even have to say anything?  Let's just say, this person's child had better receive so much enrichment from this particular activity that the scholarships offset the plumbing bills.

Example 3

Hanging beds.

Now, this seems Swiss Family Robinson cool.  I grant you that.  But, seriously, let me introduce you to CHILDREN.  Unless you actually need giant gaping holes in your ceiling, walls, windows etc and some ER bills, just put the beds on the floor.  

Ok, Ok!  All in good fun!  Now off to learn how to create priceless art from toilet paper rolls and make baked alaska in my crockpot.

Friday, March 15, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.