In case you missed this post, click here to read it on red feather smooth stone.
Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness—for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.
~From “Spirits of the Dead” by Edgar Allan Poe
Hello Dear Readers!
It has been a while since I have been able to post regularly and I thank you for your patience with me. If you have just discovered this blog recently, Brian and I had a son 15 months ago and Chayton has been keeping us very busy. However, at this stage I am finally (finally!!!) starting to get some free time (“me time”) here and there and I am really looking forward to catching up with you all here at cabinorganic.
I have some exciting projects to share with you, including the setting up our chicken coop and the creation of a rock garden. I have also continued to cook and experiment in the kitchen and look forward to sharing many new and tasty recipes with you. Also, we picked baskets of baskets of berries this summer and fall and made our favorite jams, jellies and syrups.
As I write this, Chayton naps nearby, birds are visiting the feeder just outside the window, pumpkins are roasting in the oven and Brian is outside hanging the Christmas lights. Later, we will rake the leaves in the front yard and take Lucy for a long walk in the woods.
Autumn is always a busy time around here as we prepare for the cold and snow. With Halloween come and gone we can now focus on enjoying the arrival of winter from the comfort of the cabin. Take care, everyone!
This is a note to let you know that cabinorganic~bellybabechild is now live and running. I have just published the first post and am looking forward to sharing my adventures, explorations and insights on mindful parenting on this venue.
Feel free to either click on the link in the right hand column, bookmark the site or subscribe by signing up to receive email notifications on new posts. As Chayton continues to grow and give his mom a little more ‘two hands free’ time there will be more frequent and regular postings. I look forward to sharing the journey with you!
It’s been six weeks since Chayton was born and although I have been ready to get back to my regular blog posts- with no shortage of recipes, projects and stories to share, I have been finding the challenge of the newborn two-to-three hour feeding/sleeping schedule a bit of a challenge. Also, my family was here to visit all last week so things were even busier for a while!
I have no complaints though, as I know that this time with a newborn passes very quickly. Already Chayton is staying awake for longer periods of time, he has gained weight and grown in length, he can roll over on a blanket on his own and is even finally starting to fit some of the smallest newborn clothes. Even his strawberry-blonde hair is longer and thicker and I am starting to notice that his eyelashes are darkening a little.
As I hold him and marvel at all of these small changes, my imagination starts to run away on me as I picture him waiting for the school bus on the curb and leaving for his first day of school.. starting junior high… or even leaving for university or college… I have to stop myself at this point as I start getting misty-eyed at the thought of this tiny little boy, all grown up and independent some day and ready to leave his mom! I know that there is no need to jump ahead here as I snuggle him in a little closer and kiss his fragrant head for the hundredth time today… “Baby steps”, as they say!
One thing that I have noticed about myself since recently becoming a mom is a stronger commitment to living simply, naturally and holistically. With a child, I am fully aware that I am helping to create the world that my child will inherit and I have even more reason now to live a life that is aligned with my core values.
Another thing that I have noticed are the countless ideas that I now have daily on ways to diaper, clothe, feed, raise, play and interact with my child. I look forward to sharing these ideas with you (and learning from your comments and advice) on my upcoming blog: cabinorganic~bellybabechild.
Already Chayton has enriched my life in so many ways and has allowed me to grow in ways that would not be possible without my becoming a parent. I welcome and embrace these changes and strive each day to live fully in the present moment. After all, it’s all we really have.
This is one of those situations where you meant to call your good friend but things kept getting in the way and at the beginning it was easy to put it off for just another day or two. Then weeks and eventually months went by and then it became harder to make that call because a simple apology would no longer do. No, you waited far too long; too much time has passed and now dinner, chocolate, flowers and a full explanation and serenade to reintroduce yourself are now in order. Here is my explanation and my serenade…
Back in May 2012, I took a temporary government contract and began a series of research/writing projects. The job involved commuting daily into the city, an hour and a half each way. I knew this would be arduous, especially when winter arrived, but this job was important to me as I was hoping that it would be a stepping stone into a potential full time career as a consultant (working from home). This position gave me an opportunity to do some writing for government, network with potential clients, make some valuable contacts and continue to sharpen my writing skills. The good news is that I feel that I accomplished all of this in my brief time there. However, the commute ate up all of my precious free time and my blogging slowed to a crawl and then recently stopped altogether.
The other challenge was that I became pregnant (Surprise!!!) in November and the added physical demands of ‘building a baby’ took the rest of my energy reserves making blogging impossible as eating and sleeping became the priorities.
I worked my last day on July 19th, cutting my contract short to go on maternity leave. I was looking forward to an entire month off to finish getting prepared and also to surprise you all with a ‘cabinorganic is having a baby’ announcement along with a surprise belly shot. The baby wasn’t due until August 24th but he had other plans! Three days into my leave I found myself in the hospital and five days after that Chayton was born.
Introducing Chayton Skye…cabinorganic’s newest member!
Chayton Skye was born July 28th. He weighed 5 pounds and was 17 inches long and is perfectly healthy. He is a calm, content, bright-eyed little guy and we are settling in nicely together.
I will fill you in on more of the details in future posts, but in the meantime I do hope that now that you’ve heard my explanation that you will forgive my long absence! I have been busy but it was all for a good cause: for the long term benefits of working from home, continuing to live my dream life here at cabinorganic and sharing it you. I am now home full time and have some personal writing projects that I will be working on with the hopes that they will bring in some income when my leave is done. This blog is once again a high priority and I will be starting a sister blog (or shall I say- a ‘brother’ blog) very soon called cabinorganic~belly,babechild for posts exclusively on pregnancy, babies and my adventures in conscious parenting as a new mom.
I have so much to share and catch up on with you all! I may have been away but the projects, cooking and adventures in nature have never stopped. Time to get busy!
Hello Friends! As you may have read in the About Us section of this blog, I have been working on a Master’s degree at the University of Alberta in the Department of Educational Policy Studies (specializing in Indigenous Peoples Education) for the last five years. This has taken much longer than expected as I had switched from being a full-time student to part-time student (and part-time work) after the first year. All of last winter was spent here at the cabin, reworking and rewriting the thesis and I am happy to tell you that today I finally (finally!!!) sat for my oral defense.
The defense went very, very well and was an enjoyable experience. The committee asked me good questions and I was able to respond to all of them with thoughtful answers. After their private deliberation at the end, the committee decided that they had no further recommendations and congratulated me on a job well done. All that is left to do is submit the thesis and convocate (in spring). Hooray!
In case anyone is interested, the title of the work is: The Place Where Stories Are Shared: Two Indigenous Educators Enhance Their Pedagogies through Critical Reflection and Dialogue on Community-Based Education. My very dear friend, F, was my ‘co-creator’ and together we had many rich conversations about our experiences and challenges as Indigenous (Metis) teachers striving to teach in an ‘Indigenous way’.
I am very excited to be finishing this long academic journey and look forward to celebrating together with F and her family once we have our copies of the book in our hands. I am proud of this work and hope that it encourages other Indigenous educators, who may be asking the same questions that I was asking back when I was a brand new Indigenous teacher teaching in an Indigenous school. A heartfelt thank you to my supervisor, committee members, and all of the friends and colleagues who have supported and encouraged me over the years. Cheers!
I had a dear friend come to spend the day here at the cabin. It was wonderful spending time with another woman with whom I connect with. We hadn’t been in touch for years until a chance meeting at a hardware store recently brought us back in contact. Today we talked, got all caught up on the last few years of our lives, cooked together, looked at her recent wedding photos, hiked with Lucy on the trails, and sat on the deck wrapped in blankets, sipping hot tea while watching the moon rise.
There have been so many changes in my life recently and I found it such a comfort to share all of my stories with a kind and kindred female spirit. Just these past two weeks, I have spent the day with two other female friends who also deeply nourished my spirit. To my dear friends, M, F & S, and for all of you other wild women out there, (I know you’re out there!) I dedicate this quote to you:
…And then there are the cravings.. Oh, la! A woman may crave to be near water, or be belly down, her face in the earth, smelling the wild smell. She might have to drive into the wind. She may have to plant something, pull things out of the ground or put them into the ground. She may have to knead and bake, rapt in dough up to her elbows.
She may have to trek into the hills, leaping from rock to rock trying out her voice against the mountain. She may need hours of starry nights where the stars are like face powder spilt on a black marble floor. She may feel she will die if she doesn’t dance naked in a thunderstorm, sit in perfect silence, return home ink-stained, paint-stained, tear-stained, moon-stained.
A new self is on the way. Our inner lives, as we have known them, are about to change…
~Clarissa Pinkola Estes (Women Who Run With The Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
Lucy and I have just come in from our evening walk. When we left it was pouring rain outside and I had one of those fleeting sulky moments where I thought to myself, ‘If I didn’t have a dog I would be curled up by the fireplace with a good book right now instead of putting on rubber boots and raingear…!’ Of course as soon as I got outside and breathed in the fresh air and looked around at the glistening trees and wild plants dripping with rain and walked on that soft carpet of moss I was so glad that I had come out and joined in this natural event. There was even a little spring in my step as I headed down the grassy trail.
In the evenings, Lucy and I often hike part of the same trail that we take every morning, but keeping it shorter and saving the longer walk for earlier in the day. This particular evening, the sun shone brightly through some gaps in the clouds and just as we were heading home, I happened to glance up and see a beautiful rainbow arching across the sky. Knowing that I was going to write this first entry as soon as I got back, I thought, ‘What a great start!’
This blog is dedicated to people who, like myself, are passionate about: respecting the earth, walking in nature, observing wildlife, eating a local diet, making do with what you have, buying handmade, repurposing, organic gardening, foraging for wild plants and fungi, natural health, scrumptious healthy cooking, doing renovations and other DIY projects, crafting, their dogs, taking time for stillness, and living a life in tune with the seasons.
As I have already lived here for ten months (and Lucy for seven) we have much to catch up on! I hope that some of these posts resonate with you, whether you live in the country and are having similar experiences, or perhaps are planning to move out of the city some day and want to learn more about the many facets of country life and natural living. I look forward to learning from you and with you and invite you to join us as I share stories from our daily lives here at the cabin, complete with all of its challenges, joys, and moments of wonder.