Thursday, May 15, 2008

I've moved!

Well not literally ...

But The Belly Chronicles are now located here.

Come visit!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

spring means summer on the coast

Spring is the time on the coast when you start to think, "Oh, it's so warm, summer's coming." We forget that these seasons that sandwich summer are the warmest, when the fog doesn't develop and even the wind is warm. We've been soaking it up, from a CSA picnic (gotta have sustenance before you start picking strawberries and lemon balm) to a river stroller walk to an alfresco dinner (with some tempeh reubens so good Isaiah said, "You rock, mom dude.") Yes, he's 3.

Isaiah had a long phone chat with his Grandpa from the stroller. He said, "I didn't take a nap and Meli's sleeping, so I'm just taking a stroller walk and enjoying the view." So am I, Isaiah, so am I.

I learned today how much Isaiah needs to be in charge. We ended up at the river alone, on a spontaneous playdate. He told me what to do each step of the way. Where to sit on our ship. Which willow branch to use as my fishing pole. How it had to exactly touch the "sea" below. Standing in the river, I was allowed to choose my own rocks for bait, but had to do it in exactly the same way as he did. I told him afterward how nice it was to let someone else make the decisions for a change.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day! One of the joys of motherhood is that you always have someone who will share your breakfast in bed with you...sweet moments. We were happy to send off our long-distance felted bouquets to grandmas this week...small tokens of our love.

I also want to do some bragging about my super-skilled husband who spent 2 years working with the owner of this big off-the-grid timber frame/strawbale house. Steve and Paul chiseled each mortise and tenon, planed each piece of wood, build the frame and helped it go up on crane day. And now a family lives in it, making it cozy and turning it into their sweet hilltop home.

If you want a chuckle, please enjoy this mom's day song.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


As we contemplate our next move--"the wandering jews" my father calls us--I tap into my true ruminating nature. That is the primary characteristic of the Earth type in Chinese medicine and I am all earth: singsong voice, mother (and meddler) to all, rounder body type with strong hands, sweet tooth, easily bogged down, obsessive ruminator. Regurgitator.

I was thinking today about what is really important to me, trying to clarify a strong intention for our next move so we can quit our wandering, and I realized that not only have I gotten so spoiled by 17 years on the coast, but the last 2 places we've lived have been walking distance to the river. OK, I understand these can't be pre-requisites, but our family knows deeply the restorative power of flowing water and river stones (as well as the killer baseball skills so much rock throwing develops).

Gotta love it here. First we come upon a rusted out shell of car, covered in dust, engine revving as it crawls totally vertical up a rock face under the bridge. I think Isaiah and I had very different ideas about the coolness factor of that sight!

Then, we were reintroduced to a new season of one of our river mugworts, just up and glowing there in the middle of the rocks, about 10 leaves tall. We greeted it so happily and when we asked for some leaves, it beamed Yes! Yes! Yes! We each had a leaf next to our dinner plate, and will place them under our pillows for interesting dreams tonight.

Speaking of dreams, I had an alarming dream last week (this is me who usually dreams of cooking dinner or tripping as I walk down the street) about some Burmese monks walking down the street in a protest, us joining in and then metal walls dropping down to fence city blocks into a police state. So sad what's going on in Burma. Although the scale is different, it reminds me of how unbelievable it seemed that the US government couldn't/wouldn't help the people of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

Thanks to K to supplying a link to an organization--Avaaz-- that works solely with monks to distribute aid. According to their letter, placing money with the monks is the only way to be sure it won't be misused or outright stolen by the military junta in control. I haven't fully checked it out, so do your homework first, but it sounds good to me.

One more thing...if you're feeling inspired in the kitchen or if you're in need of inspiration, head on over to mama's village and join her excellent contest on avoiding takeout and feeding the family so well. Takeout's not an issue for us, given our distance from Thai food, but I'm always happy to talk about our meals.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

2 great grandchildren + 4 hands + 95 years = 1 pillow

Well, there it is. Not bad for a first embroidery project. Of course I wish I could be there for my Nanny's 95th birthday, but we put lots of love into this pillow.

On a heavier note, my heart goes out the people of Burma. Those who lost their lives and those who lost their homes and loved ones. I haven't had a chance to research yet how to best aid them. Feel free to send me any helpful links.

Monday, May 5, 2008

ass-u-m-ptions soon as we got this news about moving and I started to feel the range of emotions as they slowly sink in, I got a clear hit that this could open unexpected doors for us and take us where we need to go. I could easily see in the first few hours over margaritas with girlfriends that the things that bother me are the parts that aren't real, the monkeys jumping in my head, as candace would say. The inconvenience, that's real. The other stuff, hmmm...let's see. What are some of these assumptions?

The children need the childhood experience I've set up for them. We are creating our own cooperative, with a mom friends circle surrounding the kid friends circle--moms creating the curriculum and setting that is ideal for the children. Well, yes, of course that is all true and our vision for Luna Kids Cooperative is real and beautiful and manifesting as we speak. But I also realize that that is my ideal of their childhood. The most important thing we can give them is a loving home and sane parents. But look at all the people who thrive even without that.

I've been wishing lately that I could ask Isaiah (and soon Miel, I'm sure) 20 years from now: what would you rather have? A childhood closer to Grandma and Grandpa and Nonni and Poppop or a life in a sweet community on the northern California coast? These are the decisions we make as parents, especially as parents who find themselves working at home, on computers, wherever they choose.

Things shouldn't be like this. That's a good one, isn't it? The whole book The Power of Now seems to be about accepting everything exactly as it is. Wouldn't it be great if you could just read a book and change your mind? I'm interested in checking out his new Oprah-friendly book....everyone seems to be carrying it around with them. Will it help me?

I shouldn't have to deal with this. Uh-huh. And everyone should be happy and healthy and have exactly what they want. I shouldn't have to suffer! I'm suspecting that this is not only a uniquely modern sentiment, but also one much more prevalent in the United States than in other places and even more especially, in California, the land of Lifestyle. I'll be that in cultures ravaged by war, famine, dictatorship, and poverty, the (woe is me) inconvenience of moving (oh the effort) from one nice house to another (but not as nice!) is pretty much unfathomable.

We should own a house. We should have more money. Steve should make more money. I should have saved more money. This list could go on and on, shame and recrimination for days.

So...what's next? We are looking at places in Blue Lake, Arcata, Wadmalaw Island, western North Carolina. I am doing some serious fantasizing about intentional communities and ecovillages and have been curious about Earthaven for years. Any cool connections you can recommend in the Carolinas? Boone? Celo?

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

When Your Team Is Down and Out, It Is Time to Jump and Shout

One thing among many that I love about the library--it is full of surprises! Isaiah chooses DVDs from the library and is allowed to watch them upon waking on Saturday and Sunday mornings. When he picked out the Bella Dancerella cheerleading workout, I almost said no, and then thought, "Hey, jumping, stretching, why not?"

Well, it's taken hold here and this morning found me up from my desk, Steve roused from bed, all of us trying out the starburst jump, the arm roll, and reminding each other to "Make your good better and your better best!"

Yes, those balls of roving wool are our makeshift pompoms until we buy our Bella mats and pompoms and skirts and sweaters. . . not.

And thank you, dear readers, for your supportive comments, emails and phone calls about our soon-to-be uprooted status. I feel the connections and really feel that on this earth ship we are all in it together.