Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'm getting a helpful nudge to blog...

Many thanks to Zoom at KNITNUT for the Stylish Blogger Award! The meme says: “By accepting this award I’m to tell five of my favourite things and then pick five people to pass the award on to.”

I have too many favorite things!  How to narrow it down?  So *right this moment, here in February of 2011* these stand out as my five favorite things.

My morning ritual of getting the cookstove cleaned and fired up for the day.  It feels like I'm lighting the heart of the house.  I love how cold the house is, the floor is icy,  and the sounds of the kids laughing upstairs (all jumbled under the covers of my bed to stay warm.  Sweep the hearth, check to see if the ash bin needs emptying, flues and dampers open wide, stir the coals, paper, kindling, small split softwood logs on the sides, a small hardwood log across the top.  blow to see if the coals will light the paper, if not a twist of paper and a match.  Close the top.  Go down to the basement and bring up a bag of logs.  Listen for the snap and pop of kindling burning, close down the flue halfway, take a peek, if the softwood has caught close down the side dampers and move the kettle over the firebox to make a pot of tea.   Then the thump thumping of children running down the stairs...

The absolutely unique smell each of my children has.  I could pick them out of a crowd just by smell and tell you who it was immediately  They are delicious and warm, a little fruity, a little milky, a little wild and goaty, a little like the smell of old books (not musty, whats underneath that, sort of like vanilla, but more grounded).  Oh I wish I could bottle it up somehow.  Hugs and deep breathing will have to do!

Researching and learning new old skills.  Its subversive to learn how to do things yourself instead of relying on a corporation to manufacture it for you.  I get a real thrill out of learning the very basic science and chemistry of food preparation, canning, dehydrating, preserving, baking, mixing up spices, and mixing up basic chemical components to clean my house, to fertilize my plants, to grow my food, learning new ways to knot and weave wool to knit something.  There's so much to learn and its all so USEFUL.  I love the "AHA!" moments when something works or I make the big connection (usually through disastrous mistakes -not having it work)  I love fitting together the puzzle pieces of book learning and experience and all the little discoveries I make that a book can never detail, like the different smells of woods and how that can tell you about burn time and temperatures.  I love that I'm not helpless.  Having these really basic skills empowers me. My next projects are our gardens and livestock.  I've read all the books now I need the cow and the seeds.

When things are so ingrained in me that I don't have to think about them anymore.  Mindfulness is one meditation, but this point where things are just second nature frees my mind for different things.  I don't know how many times I nurse a day anymore.  Its just second nature.  I don't follow a recipe to make bread anymore, its just seems to happen.  Mixing up cleaning supplies, the "feel" of wet felting,  handwashing all our dishes, table blessings, bedtime prayers, morning routines, painting walls....I love the rhythm of knowing in my bones what happens next and how it frees me up to dream and pray and think about things happening around the globe.

Sitting in my kitchen after everyone has gone to bed, in the dark, with the last logs of the day just gone into the firebox, the cats curling round my legs, a dog or two asleep on the floor.  The sound of the wind and our wind chimes outside the kitchen door.  Seeing the snow falling outside, but being so incredibly warm by the stove.  Thinking about the day that past and the one to come.   Then closing down the flue and dampers almost all the way so the fire will sleepily burn longer and closing the doors on the livingr oom and diningr oom so the heat will travel up to the bedrooms and not be wasted on rooms that only get used during the day.  Walking upstairs in the darkness knowing my way by feel, to bed.

And I'm passing this on to:

Bonny - she's one of my favorite mamas going way way back in my online search for community
Jeni - she's highly hilarious and totally gets the joy of little boys...puppies...not so much!
Devin - who can share over the long steeped and cold by now tea we keep intending to have together (tho she also needs a wee nudge to blog again)
Duckie  -  who definitely needs a nudge to keep up her blog - move that amazing poetry from facebook girl!
Claire - she inspires me every day with her honesty, faith, and loyalty and she deserves a wee little spotlight and a chance to focus on herself.