Sunday, May 31

May in Review

Your reader's may have missed out on some content this month, or you have new or occassional readers. Consider a Month in Review post. I know I can't keep up with all the wonderful blogs out there. Just copy & paste the headings below and add your responses.
The idea of 1 sentence is so that readers can quickly catch up with you and read other bloggers' reviews.
Feel free to do your own review.

Here's a tip, set a post up in draft form and add to it throughout the month before you forget by the end of the month!

May in Review, in 1 sentence.

Summary (3 sentence max)
This month has centred on the Wildflower's eating and walking and our finances. I've found more reading time *there was much rejoicing*. I've also managed to do a tiny bit of gardening, and the heat is rising already hitting 30C a few days.

Wildflower's jabbering is a constant hilarity and my yoga attempts are worth a snigger.

Pondering and making decisions, or trying to, about getting ourselves back on track financially.

A friend passing away (back in UK) reminding us that life is too short to spend it unhappy and where you would rather not be.

An insight/thought
That the Wildflower will grow up knowing that she's loved.

Website/blog Find/Tip or Idea from web
Lisa at Mommy Mystic's mp3 meditations are very groovy. Gave me a wonderful boost after a sleepless night.

Words (quote/reading/book recommendation/1 sentence review!/anything word-related)
Wildflower imitating with bugger bugger. Oops.

Note to Self
You CAN survive whining.

Slice of home (A photo of a tiny corner of your home, or objects, that represent something about this month)

The seedling babies.

Let me know you've done one and I'll add your link to this post.

Carin at My Sacred Home
Sarah at Knitting the Wind
Lisa at Mommy Mystic
Stacy at Mama-Om
Cave Mother
Akemi at Yes to Me
Lisa at My World Edenwild
Alexis at Taking the Lid Off the Sun
Docwitch at Dark Side of the Broom
Three Girl Pileup

Friday, May 29

My last read

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

**only very tiny spoilers**

This was a disappointment. I don't know why I was expecting something better, except that perhaps it was recommended or mentioned by several people.

I will concede that coming on after Mill on the Floss was always going to be a hard act to follow. And all it's flaws are highlighted acutely against that backdrop.

However, the flaws still exist.

It's actually a very interesting premise, the whole time travelling as a very ordinary person thing. It's a romance first and foremost. Instead of fueding relatives or social constraints, the challenge for this romance is the protagonist's inability to stay put in the present.

My two mains issues with the novel are firstly the writing style. Some people read for a good story. If that's you, you might really like this. It is a clever tale and it's well-constructed. As far as story, it's (mostly) a page-turner. But if like me you read for a story and for the writing itself, this isn't that novel.

It's bland. Often journalistic. Superficial. There is no beauty or witticism in it. The dialogue is unimaginative and often cliched. Sometimes downright cheesy.

The second problem is the characterization. There is no depth. I wouldn't go so far to say that they are 2-dimensional, heck, I will go so far. When every voice runs into the next, and characters are defined by the simplest of traits, then yeah, shallow it is.

With these two very big problems, the romance left me feeling cold. There is plenty of lust, and subsequent sex, but little passion. Especially passion of feeling. I'm not convinced about their love, even with the poignant and satisfying (as far as the love story goes) ending. She seems to love him out of circumstance and time-travel steering, and he seems to love her for her beauty and as a tool to keep him connected to.... something. If you're a believer of Fate and that things are meant to be, you might like the author's take on the reason for this love affair, but it's unlikely you'll feel enamoured with Fate ever again!

The tiny romantic tangle provided obvious fodder, but it flagged and disintegrated before it was barely begun.
And you would think that his overall predicament would have created many more and much more complicated situations, but it doesn't untill the very end.

There are several themes weaved throughout the story, such as loss, humaness, parent and child relationships, but they just don't go far enough for me. Some of them come to dead ends. I think the only poignant theme, the successful one, was how tenuous is life. Even the main premise is left wanting. This is the author's topic of choice, she raises philosophical questions about time travel, and then leaves them hanging there. This would be fine if the other main theme, that of romantic love being an ideal, was dealt with in a much more convincing and thereby satisfying way.

For me, it's greatest success was making the concept of time-travel so believable, and putting it together so well that it doesn't become confusing.

With some heavy editing, I think this would make an interesting film. Somewhere on par with Vanilla Sky.

Currently reading: White Teeth

p.s, monthly review time is around the corner.

Warning: take me too seriously at your own risk.

"There are no facts, only interpretations."


Wednesday, May 27

Thankful Anyway Thursday

It's easy to be thankful for the good stuff, can you be thankful for the not so good?
(as serious or light-hearted as you like)

The Wildflower decided, possibly for some secret baby experiment, that she was going to see how far she could deprive me of sleep before I tore my own hair out. It seems the answer is about 5 days of less than 4 hrs a night, and waking up at 6am on the final day. (if your new in these parts, these 5 days follow on from our usual pretty difficult nights)

But she decided this was old stuff, I mean we did this for a solid 8-9 months, so she threw into the mix 3 days of pre-toddler Almost. Constant. Whining. I believe that she was aiming to see me completely bald.

I'm thankful anyway because I survived.... just.
I'm thankful anyway because it didn't go beyond those 5 days.
I'm thankful anyway because if I were ever to be caught and interrogated, I'm confident that I could go at least 5 days before breaking.
I'm thankful anyway because the mutual lack of sleep is partly because of our closeness - in heart as well as in body.
I'm thankful anyway because I kept my hair.

Let me know (comment) if you've done your own Thankful Anyway and I'll add your link to this post. Grab the button up the top (right click & Save As) and a link back is always nice.

Carin at My Sacred Home
Sara at Mama Craft
Lisa at My Home Edenwild
Kari at I Left My Heart At Preschool
Sheri at My So Called Homeschool

Tuesday, May 26

Aware Baby - caveats & critics (ii)

Your comments on the first part were fabulous. Thanks for taking the time. Dialogue makes these sorts of topics so much richer.

Following on from part 1.

"One of my major concerns with Aware Parenting is that a baby with very real problems will not be having its REAL needs met. Even in gentle births babies can be subluxated and need chiropractic or cranial support."

The baby's needs should be met. If the crying is prolonged or of a different pitch, the parents should check with their health care provider. Solter suggests all of that. She also suggests checking for allergies, and more. If you've met all the babies needs and you are not confident that the cry is not an indication of something worse than stress, by all means check with your doctor!

The author allows that a physical trauma is possible, but strangely, that it would only require a physical solution. So there is no connection between physical trauma and psychological or emotional responses?

"The Aware Parenting approach dismisses comfort nursing (otherwise known as non-nutritive sucking). ..... In indigenous cultures the mother allows the child to suck from the breast which has already had milk withdrawn, for as long as is needed."

Which cultures, and why? They don't all do that and they do it for various reasons. This is a singular and sentimental use of a practice that has very practical requirements in some tribes.

Nursing a baby for comfort, especially before 3 months of age at least, seems natural to me, but that's just an opinion. I have never read a convincing argument that babies must nurse for comfort, nor a convincing argument against that. So this is an intuitive and personal choice for each mother I feel. Solter says that the only logical time to nurse is when the baby is hungry, but again, doesn't convince me.

However, I do understand Solter's premise that sticking the boob/bottle in every single time the baby cries has the potential for problems. It can remove the baby's ability to understand his/her own hunger needs, as well as suppress a need to vocalise their emotions (cry).
I see it as a very forceful and physical suppression. Like putting a stopper in a hole to halt an overflow, sooner or later, you're faced with a worse problem.

I guess an ideal perhaps is being in tune with the baby enough to nurse for hunger and comfort, and yet allow a release of emotion when that feels right too.

"We are biologically programmed to give a nurturing response to our baby's cries. It is not natural to refrain or to ignore them."

Absolutely. Solter says the same, many times throughout her book. Is it any less natural to allow a baby his/her emotions?

I would welcome further criticisms of the approach, but would prefer more logical and less emotive and biased points.

My other personal caveat with Solter's approach is the length of crying. She suggests, in my most basic interpretation, to allow it all to come out. I don't feel okay about allowing the crying to go on until she is exhausted or becoming more distressed. I want her to feel better or be ready for sleep because she is at peace, not out of exhaustion.

Her first cries after I came to this need to cry insight, did begin with short yells that escalated into a thrashing rage. This only occured twice. I can only imagine what she had to release. I had a stressful pregnancy and a c-section. She was calm and content a while after her cries. Some babies may cry to the point of exhaustion, if you're brave enough to go the distance, because of how much womb/birth/early stress they need to release and how much has been suppressed.

The Wildflower also had to learn to cry. Her early attempts had very little tears. This was heart-wrenching to witness. A tangible indication of how much I had suppressed her emotions. Now she can shed tears. And these days I allow her a chance to get some stress out but don't pressure either one of us to finish the cry. I have found this to be an important approach for both our sakes. Perhaps more for mine though.

Our bedtime routine includes DIY Dad holding her while I get myself ready. She will always cry. No matter how fine she seemed before that, albeit fussing a little with sleepiness. If I take her too soon, she will fuss during her feed and then fuss a long time to fall asleep, and then be a little more restless during the night.

If I take her at the right time, she feeds and falls into a gentle and natural sleep, or soon after. And she sleeps deeper and more restful. The pre-sleep crying isn't distressing nor does it last much longer than 5 minutes. I would say it's more like 3. I feel it is her way to release any left over stress from the day. But again, I don't let it go on too long. Which is why sometimes I end up stopping it too soon.

Incidentally, last night DIY Dad felt bad for her as she was crying and asking for me. I took her but was annoyed at him and told him she needed that cry. Well, she took over an hour to fall asleep. And while she was doing that, and seemed to have fallen into light sleep, she would suddenly say a word. Random words that she has learnt. It was like they were overflowing out of her. She was highly stimulated by her own daily talking. The rest of the night was awful. This morning I told him all about it, and how although it's no fun to hear her cry, it's a loving thing we are doing. I don't care about books, philosophies, etc. I know from experience of the last 4 months.

Ultimately, I believe that I have given her a gift - the chance to be more at peace, and the right and freedom to express all her emotions.

Monday, May 25

my last read

Well that was a usefully long Dark Moon..... and what lovely comments to return to as well.

So I finally finished The Mill on the Floss. It took me TWO. MONTHS.
I was beginning to despair but then read The Time Traveler's Wife and finished it in a week (similar post to follow). So this is really my second to last read.

"Childhood has no forebodings; but then, it is soothed by no memories of outlived sorrow." MotF

Two things have aligned to make the smoother reading possible. Firstly, the Wildflower and I slowly snuggled our way into a natural daily rhythm that has now been enhanced by her calmer disposition and ability to entertain herself. Secondly, the warm weather has meant outside time. Most of the day is spent on the terrace instead of indoors. This is something that not only makes me happy, but has always made her happier. She is content to read her books or play with her toy animals or the potting soil, while she spots birds, butterflies, and the wind through the trees. We exchange babblecomments about what we see, what she's doing.

" sound or motion in anything but the dark river that flowed and moaned like an unresting sorrow." MotF

If you enjoy the classics and have never read, or read very little, George Eliot, I recommend you try her.

"Jealousy is never satisfied with anything short of an omniscience that would detect the subtlest fold of the heart." MotF

The Mill on the Floss began slowly for me, too slowly for my liking. I grant that having so few chances to read may have compounded the feeling. But the first quarter of the story was just so-so for me. The other aspect that troubled me was reading regional accents. I find this laborious. A word here and there is all I need, not almost every word in a character's speech. However, the first part of the novel is critical to understanding the small-town social and political atmosphere.

"Mrs. Glegg paused, for speaking with much energy for the good of others is naturally exhausting." MotF

On to the good stuff....

While Jane Austen is lace and tea admist neighbourhood gossip, George Eliot is grit and pain admist the daily grind. Austen has a sharp wit and sharp eye for character nuances. Eliot however, is a master at deeper insight, imho. It is absolutely delicious to enter into the motivations behind a character's thoughts and behaviours. I find that Eliot laser-beams right to the core, every time. I only compare the two author's because Austen is so much more popular and I know many haven't delved into Eliot or were put off by having to study Silas Marner at school.

Eliot's observations also make for very well-fleshed out characters. At least for the three central ones. Maggie, our leading lady, is multi-layerd. We know her, we love her, we feel her moral and romantic pains. This novel is also semi-autobiographical, which makes her childhood experiences particularly intriguing.

As for the tale, without spoiling it for you, I will simply say, that Maggie doesn't expect to be happy, she doesn't feel that she deserves happiness. And so life plays out her belief for her.

I didn't enjoy it as much as the soap-opera of Middlemarch, but Eliot always brings the beauty of rich characterization into my life.

Saturday, May 23

link and roll

The Dark Moon is upon us, just a simple post before I hibernate....

Blog to blog

I love reading blogs. I especially love reading the blogs of ordinary folk, sharing the complex and simple, the joys and heartaches, the craftiness and learning, the opinions and musings. And one of my favourite things after finding a new blog I enjoy, is to find more similar souls via that author's blogroll.

There are so many blogs without one! shock horror
It's like reaching the last cookie in the jar - no fun!

Or worse somehow, only a handful of links.

If you actually visit my blog, you know I have a regular-visit list of blogs...
Cave Mother
My World Edenwild
Dark Side of the Broom
Mommy Mystic
The Organic Sister
The Awakened Heart
My Sacred Home
rants and dreamy musings
Crooked Hooks

... as well as a feed reader sharing widget. But after seeing so many blogs without rolls, I decided to post almost all of my own reads. Whether I read them often or only take a little dip now and then. And also as an encouragement, and to give a little link love as appreciation. I know I've missed some, but I will check it regularly.

For die-hard feed readers, here's my current list.

5 Orange Potatoes
A Simple Life
Bohemian Mama
Bohemian Single Mom
Bohos in the Country
Club Full Monte
Collecting Leaves....
Compost and Gratitude
Deliberate Life
Five Flower Mom
Flow of Love
From Clutter to Shine
Homemde Rainbows
Homeschooling in the Garden State
Infinitely Learning
Jumbleberry Jam
Knitting the Wind
Life in the Burbs
Mama Craft
Mama's So Mindful
Mom in Madison
My Knitty Gritty Life-Learning Adventures
My So Called Homeschool
Noble Savage
Ordinary Life Magic
Painted Rainbows & Chamomile Tea
Phd in Parenting
Purple Squirrel
Renegade Parent
Skip To My Lou
Taking the Lid Off the Sun
That's Not My Monkey
The Scoop on Poop & Other Mama Dramas
Through the Eye of the Needle
Travelling to Scotland
Writing for Real Life


If you've been reading for some time, you might have noticed that I blog a little less. I decided that as commenting is just as important as posting for bloggy community, then I had to make more time. So I blog less and connect to you guys a little more.

Meme of happiness

I was tagged by Mel for a meme.

List 6 things that make me happy and then tag 6 other bloggers to do the same.

1. When the Wildflower is drifting off to sleep (we bed share) she sometimes whispers out a little mama, and I whisper back a tiny yes. When she wakes, the first thing she says is mama, and waits for my eyes to open and my reaction.

2. Sitting on our terrace on a sunny day. Book in hand, baby asleep, dishes forgotten, feet up. Feeling like life can be so simple and stress free if I choose it to be.

3. Synchronicity.

4. Sitting in circle 'round a fire, under the stars, drinking mead out of a communal horn, telling tales and secrets to the sounds of nocturnal wildlife.

5. Having someone cook for me.

6. Setting off into the woods with pouch and knife. Wild weeds calling out to me. Coming home ragged and worn and more alive.

Did you see what I did? Not a single book reference. So there.
Oh wait, darn it, there is one. *Smugness collapses*

Do your own if you like.

See you on the other side....

Friday, May 22

baby signs and words

I started this post a couple of weeks back and since then the Wildflower has come along in leaps and bounds. I can't keep up!

So she (13mths old) has been signing 'milk' for a while now. She got 'poo' within a couple of days, and to my sheer amazement, got 'more' after two demonstrations. First I had to ask if she wanted more for her to do it. Then she used it herself. But because we used it so much when eating bread, I think it now means bread to her, lol.
The cool thing about 'poo' is that a couple of times she used it right before she started to go. Very useful. But now uses it mostly after I've asked. At least she perfectly understands what I'm asking. Evidenced by her sudden exit from the room!

Talking, talking.
Along with mama, tata, cat/s, and broom broom (car), she now has added;
bubu for baby,
astonished us with a very clear baba when she heard her grandmother on skype (Serbian version of nana/gran),
birds (just slightly mumbled)
baht (bath)
Since I started this post broom broom has become car
peh (pear)
up (I was a day away from teaching her a sign for it)

Partial words:
dt tuch (don't touch)
ht (hot)
drt (dirty)
clk (clock)
mana (banana)
but (button)
but (butterfly)
kek (rice cake)
uck (ouch)
ba ba (bye bye)

I'm sure I've forgotten a few. She tries to repeat many words I say. Ladies and gentlemen I have a talker on my hands. Oh it seems cute now...

Here's a low grade vid of her signing. If you blink you miss the first one poo, then it's more and milk. She normally does each a little longer but as you can see, she wanted to get on with her rice cake.

However, as you can see by her list of spoken words, baby signing has become somewhat redundant.

edit: I forgot to add ug (hug) and the most beautiful sound after mama....

book !!!! ahhhhh, all is well with the world...

p.s, and a reminder, if you're using Blogger's Follow widget, there's a good chance those using IE browsers can't get to your blog. I can't read Mama-Om or Dark Side of the Broom for example.

Wednesday, May 20

Thankful Anyway Thursday

It's easy to be thankful for the good stuff, can you be thankful for the not so good?
(as serious or light-hearted as you like)

I remember back not so long ago in pre-baby days when I could luxuriate in hours of reading. I often read in bed. Sometimes it was a few pages to help me dose off, other times I would become embroiled in the story and stay up till the wee hours, promising myself, just one more page... just till the end of this chapter....

I'm now able to catch only short burts of reading. What I really miss, is losing myself in a book. Becoming embroiled, entwining myself around the characters' nuances, falling into fantasy, the keen feeling of anxiety, dread, or thrill at what might happen next. Those feelings that are experienced by the heart as well as the brain, not oppressed by fiction. They are people, they are lives, their pasts make impressions, their futures loom ahead. I miss that sense of the story pulsating around your own person, that when you put the book down, it remains on you like an unshakeable scent. You cook, clean, even chat to your partner, but the smell lingers. Your mind is back inside the novel's folds. And when the book ends, their lives do not. Like old friends, you recall them with whimsy and nostalgia. With regret and wonder. With what ifs.

I miss that.

Now I find myself re-reading entire pages to recall my place. Feeling detached. They are merely characters. It is merely a plot. It has an end.
Fictional moments of passion or dread are punctuated regularly with an insistant mama

I'm thankful anyway because I have chosen a mothering life that means long and calm days with my little girl.
I'm thankful that my days allow me to read anything.
I'm thankful anyway because that I'm reading at all means the Wildflower is content playing around me.
I'm thankful anyway because no matter how short the the reading, the view remains inspiring.
I'm thankful for a husband that has no expectations about the state of the house.
I'm thankful for a husband who if he has domestic expectations is experienced enough to keep them to himself.
I'm thankful anyway because the reason I'm not snuggling with a good book in bed, is because I'm snuggling my little girl.

Let me know (comment) if you've done your own Thankful Anyway and I'll add your link to this post. Grab the button up the top (right click & Save As) and a link back is always nice.

Jumbleberry Jam
Tara at The Organic Sister
Lisa at My World Edenwild
Stacy at Mama-Om
Sheri at My So Called Homeschool
Mel at From Clutter to Shine

Tuesday, May 19

Aware Baby - caveats & critics

Let me begin by making clear something you'd know anyway if you're a regular around these parts. There is only ONE parenting approach that I advocate, only one.

Intuition first.

After that, everything else is just useful to some of the people some of the time.

Ok, as you know I'm behind the Aware philosophy of allowing a baby to cry in your loving arms. There are of course, as with everything under the sun, its critics. Also, I have my own adjustments. I don't want to defend the philosophy, but I do want to clarify some criticisms and put in my 2 pence/cents worth.

The intuitive and thoughtful Cave Mother recently shared with me a site criticising the philosophy. Thanks!
I'm going to ignore what are to me sensationalist and silly phrases in the article, such as 'cult-like' and 'guru', and stick to what seem valid concerns. The author's attitude, terminology, and emotive claims are, for me, enough to disregard her argument. However, valid criticisms or concerns are always worth exploring. This will be in two parts as it became rather lengthy.

The author's main points:

"crying is virtually unheard of in indigenous cultures where babies' needs are instantly met"

I think that comparisons with tribal cultures, for any philosophy, is problematic and can only be useful as a base for ideas. Holding up indigenous cultures as some sort of perfect ideal fails on two counts. Firstly, by failing to appreciate the various child-rearing behaviours across the globe, which include practices that many of us would deem neglectful. Secondly, by failing to appreciate that extreme differences in cultures cannot allow a flawless transfer of methods from one culture to another. I also enjoy Liedloff's Continuum Concept and have been influenced by it, but by no means take it all as a true and unbiased observation. Nor as perfectly transferable.

As far as meeting needs, here is where my own caveat comes in. Despite the great success we've had with the Aware approach, I do not feel comfortable with it for babies under three months of age. Mostly because a baby of that age has a very extreme need to have her needs met immediately. And those needs are almost constant. Another parent with another child might feel more confident though.

Once a baby becomes more connected to the external environment - more alert, more responsive, more interactive - I believe that stresses are being created throughout the day. All babies are easily stimulated, and some more than others. Once they start to look around them more, it seems reasonable to believe that over-stimulation is more likely.
Of course, there is also the mother's stress during pregnancy as well as birth trauma, which I can't discount as valid stresses.

Over-stimulation is also more likely in our modern worlds.

Where do these stresses go? It makes perfect sense that they require release.

To jiggle, rock, or sing to an over-stimulated baby seems counter-intuitive to me.

"Aware Parenting gurus promise that if you follow their path it will provide you with a child who is 'calm and co-operative'. Whatever happened to accepting our children for who they are? Or taking responsibility for our failures rather than trying to 'fix' the child."

Isn't that what a parent is doing, fixing, when they try to quieten a crying baby who may need to cry? 'Provide you with' is a rather manipulative phrase. It's about giving the baby the chance for inner calm. Solter talks about helping older children learn to work cooperatively with others, along with allowing them to express their emotions.

One of my insights into our journey through this has been accepting my baby for who she is. A baby that feels stresses and needs to release them through a good thrashing it out and cry. That's my baby, I accept her rather than try to invalidate what she is feeling.

An awful word this author used there is 'failure'. In other words, if you are unable to anticipate, interpret, and then meet every one of your baby's needs, you have failed. She is lumping every parent of an unconsolable baby together. From those who don't respond, to those who try everything and anything to sooth their little one. My heart goes out to parents of colicky babies. Or when there is 'no apparent reason' for the baby's cry.

"my take is that these 'calm and cooperative' children will feel they weren't listened to; that their cries didn't get their needs met; that they were abandoned by the very person in this whole world who should have helped them"

My take is that a baby who has had every possible need met, and is then allowed to express themselves through crying, in the loving arms of their parent, will learn that their feelings, their voice, is valid.

Does this mean that we are going to get it 100% right 100% of the time? Hardly. But if we are loving parents who do everything and then feel the baby needs to cry and allow them to do so in a safe and loving environment, it seems unlikely that they will internalise feelings of abandonment.

"It is complete rubbish that all babies need to cry or that they need to cry for emotional release."

Hmmm. So babies do not have stress? Babies do not take in their mother's raised cortisol levels in the womb? Birth trauma is a fallacy? Babies are not born with raised cortisol levels? Babies cannot be over-stimulated? Babies don't have emotions?

"If a baby is feeling agitated or taking on the stress from those around them, this can be relieved by carrying them against your body and breastfeeding on cue..."

Solter herself says that neglect and unmet needs are a source of stress, and spends a good portion of her Aware Baby book discussing how to meet your babies needs. Remember, we are not talking about letting a baby cry alone or not responding. The parent is to always respond. A baby that gets no response has raised cortisol levels, whereas a baby that has been allowed to cry in loving arms has reduced cortisol levels.

The author of the article appears confused about the physiological occurence called stress. Stress is not agitation, it's not annoyance, it's not discomfort, it's not hunger. It is an increased production of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), which causes a rise in cortisol levels. A rise that, if sustained and not released will cause damage (brain damage, suppressed immune system).

You all remember the old school learning right? The fight or flight response. Cortisol is there to help us achieve one of those. If we do neither, we either release it in another way or we internalise it.

part 2 will follow...

Monday, May 18

a shout out for Mexico

Two important issues to me are breaking down global bounderies, and debunking media biases. So I was glad for Linda Ellerbee's article sent to me by a friend. I've included most of it, but you can read the whole thing over here.

We loved Mexico (back in 2001). We witnessed the corruption and the generosity, the mundane and thrilling. It's a place to which we would like to return.

Oaxaca market


You would have to be living on another planet to avoid hearing how dangerous Mexico has become, and, yes, it’s true drug wars have escalated violence in Mexico, causing collateral damage, a phrase I hate. Collateral damage is a cheap way of saying that innocent people, some of them tourists, have been robbed, hurt or killed.

But that’s not the whole story. Neither is this. This is my story.

I’m a journalist who lives in New York City, but has spent considerable time in Mexico, specifically Puerto Vallarta, for the last four years. I’m in Vallarta now. And despite what I’m getting from the U.S. media, the 24-hour news networks in particular, I feel as safe here as I do at home in New York, possibly safer.

I walk the streets of my Vallarta neighborhood alone day or night. And I don’t live in a gated community, or any other All-Gringo neighborhood. I live in Mexico. Among Mexicans. I go where I want (which does not happen to include bars where prostitution and drugs are the basic products), and take no more precautions than I would at home in New York; which is to say I don’t wave money around, I don’t act the Ugly American, I do keep my eyes open, I’m aware of my surroundings, and I try not to behave like a fool.

I’ve not always been successful at that last one. One evening a friend left the house I was renting in Vallarta at that time, and, unbeknownst to me, did not slam the automatically-locking door on her way out. Sure enough, less than an hour later a stranger did come into my house. A burglar? Robber? Kidnapper? Killer? Drug lord?

No, it was a local police officer, the "beat cop" for our neighborhood, who, on seeing my unlatched door, entered to make sure everything (including me) was okay. He insisted on walking with me around the house, opening closets, looking behind doors and, yes, even under beds, to be certain no one else had wandered in, and that nothing was missing. He was polite, smart and kind, but before he left, he lectured me on having not checked to see that my friend had locked the door behind her. In other words, he told me to use my common sense.

Do bad things happen here? Of course they do. Bad things happen everywhere, but the murder rate here is much lower than, say, New Orleans, and if there are bars on many of the ground floor windows of houses here, well, the same is true where I live, in Greenwich Village, which is considered a swell neighborhood — house prices start at about $4 million (including the bars on the ground floor windows.)


Too much of the noise you’re hearing about how dangerous it is to come to Mexico is just that — noise. But the media love noise, and too many journalists currently making it don’t live here. Some have never even been here. They just like to be photographed at night, standing near a spotlighted border crossing, pointing across the line to some imaginary country from hell. It looks good on TV.

Another thing. The U.S. media tend to lump all of Mexico into one big bad bowl. Talking about drug violence in Mexico without naming a state or city where this is taking place is rather like looking at the horror of Katrina and saying, "Damn. Did you know the U.S. is under water?" or reporting on the shootings at Columbine or the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City by saying that kids all over the U.S. are shooting their classmates and all the grownups are blowing up buildings. The recent rise in violence in Mexico has mostly occurred in a few states, and especially along the border. It is real, but it does not describe an entire country.

It would be nice if we could put what’s going on in Mexico in perspective, geographically and emotionally. It would be nice if we could remember that, as has been noted more than once, these drug wars wouldn’t be going on if people in the United States didn’t want the drugs, or if other people in the United States weren’t selling Mexican drug lords the guns.


Saturday, May 16

a literary meme

How could I resist?

image: google search

What author do you own the most books by?

Stephen King. I bought everything until he began to lose his touch and it's been a very long time since I read any. I'm a bit nostalgic about him. Austen would come in second.

What book do you own the most copies of?

I'm not one for buying multiple copies. I mean, sheesh, there's so many books to buy and read! It would be like forgoing your Get Out of Jail Monopoly card because it was so cosy in there.

Did it bother you that those questions ended with prepositions?

Nope, but I admit that I noticed them. I dislike being too grammatically correct unless it's for an academic essay. Heck, it's probably because of all those academic essays.

Which fictional character are you secretly in love with?

I thought it was Darcy but that's only because of Colin Firth in the BBC production. It's gotta be Heathcliffe. That level of intensity can sustain me any day.

Which books have you read the most times in your life?

Austen's Pride & Prejudice a few times. I've never understood the re-reading thing at all. The only reason I've read a handful of books more than once is because I've clocked up enough years to leave a respectable distance between readings (and an inevitable distance between memories).
Years ago I joined a Stephen King fan group. Everyone (mostly American) would mention how many times they had read a single book. I had never heard of this tendency before. It seemed to be used as a mark of fanship. There are soooo many books out there! How can you read one book over 10 times??!!

What was your favourite book when you were ten years old?

I remember loving Secret Seven and Famous Five stuff. Loved all that adventure shenanigans.

What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

As I have a 1 yr-old, you know I haven't been luxuriating in reading, so will have to go back a little further. I was lent books to read during my pregnancy bedrest. The worst I read was some Rom-Com 30something-ordinary-girl-lookin'-for-lurve thingy (what's the genre??) that I can't, or won't, recall the title.

What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

What have I read? Oh yeah, I re-read The Bell Jar.

What book would you most like to see made into a movie?

It's such a tricky thing to do. If I really love a novel, I rarely want to see it made into a film - I've invested too much in my belief in the form of the characters. Although, a really good Wuthering Heights would be great, with John Cusack as lead perhaps... mmmm

Which book would you least like to see made into a movie?

One of my faves, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. What a disaster that would be.

What is the most low-brow book you’ve read as an adult?

I enjoy reading 'trash' as something has to balance out Nietzsche and Trollope you know? But rarely find something that was written well enough to enjoy it. I would like to know of more well-written trash if anyone has recommendations.

What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

Intellectually difficult? Writing style difficult?
The former would have to be something back at uni that we were forced to read and was not only intellectually difficult but enormously dull as well. Probably something about statistics in psychology or such.
For the latter, I would say any that includes too much regionally spelt dialogue. OMG, I've forgotten the term for that.

What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?

Not seen anything too obscure. I saw a Hamlet done in business suits, that was jarring.

Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

Well Dostoevsky was a fave back in my early 20's. But give me the wonderful Dumas, Hugo, Satre, Balzac, and Proust over any Russian writer any day.

Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?


What is the biggest or most embarassing gap in your reading?

I've read only a handful of modern fiction.

What is your favourite novel?

I always find 'favourite' questions difficult, as there's so many for so many differing reasons. Pride and Prejudice. As a desert island book that I can read over and over for easy pleasure....


Can't choose, so many for different reasons and mostly pick and choose poems. The metaphysical poets are old favourites.

Work of non-fiction?

Ooh, tough one. It's what I read the most. I might choose my Grieve's Herbal as a book from which I would hate to be parted. Worwood's The Fragrant Pharmacy... series. And Women Who Run with the Wolves.

What is the most influential novel you've read?

Wow. Hmmm.... Probably On the Road. It planted a seed in my teenage mind, that there was a way out....

Who is the most overrated writer alive today?

Dan Brown

Which less widely read novel would you recommend?

I would say Frankenstein or Don Quixote. Neither unknown of course! But so many people haven't read them.

What are you reading right now?

Slogging my way through The Mill on the Floss .

Play along if you like.


Friday, May 15

the last sleep

The night before, I didn't get a wink of sleep until after 5am. And was then woken 4 times after that until she was ready for the day. And that night came after my usual nights of waking 4-8 times throughout.

If you've ever been pregnant, there was a time during your first pregnancy when you had your last decent night's sleep.

After that sleep, you entered the most uncomfortable time of your pregnancy. No position was comfortable. No amount of pillows would help. Then the baby arrived and that was that. You will never have a full night's rest until the child is married and has a home of their own. Maybe.

Since my Last Sleep, I haven't slept longer than a two-hour stretch.... on a good night. That is now approximately 15 months.

But you never know it's going to be the last one at the time.

You never get the chance to kiss it farewell. Like a good lover from the past, it haunts you. If you had known the connection at the time, you may have appreciated it more, loved it more. Savoured every delicious feeling afterwards.

And as when a loved one passes suddenly, you never got to say goodbye properly. You never got the chance to grieve it, to mourn the loss of it. Because at the time, you thought foolishly that it would return.

So I say it now.... goodbye Last Sleep. Though I have no definite recollection of you, I know it was sweet while it lasted. You'll always hold a special place in my heart.

Wednesday, May 13

Thankful Anyway Thursday

It's easy to be thankful for the good stuff, can you be thankful for the not so good?
(as serious or light-hearted as you like)

Last Saturday DIY Dad thoughtfully 'phoned me asking if I wanted to go up to the land. Yeah I did! He even remembered why I had mentioned it during the week (no mean feat for Mr Goldfish). He said, 'you can come and pick those dandelions'.

I gleefully (ok, I don't do glee, but let's just say the emotion was on par with most people's gleefulness) got myself and the Wildflower ready and awaited my chariot.

I had visions of dandelion tincture, or dried flowers for salves. Oh my, how I wanted to get some wise woman potions and lotions started!

The sea of white you see are the dandelions that greeted me. Yes, white. They had gone to seed. Obviously DIY Dad is not a weed man.
And any yellow you spot there are not dandelions. No, they are another weed. An edible weed. It tastes like celery. There is only one vegetable I dislike......

I'm thankful anyway because I got a chance to be with the land.
I'm thankful anyway because it was beautiful weather, and not too hot, to be outside in greeness.
I'm thankful anyway because I have a husband with moments of thoughtfulness.
I'm thankful anyway because the Wildflower had her first sight of a blown dandelion, and I was gifted with a delighted baby who asked for more and more.

Let me know (comment) if you've done your own Thankful Anyway and I'll add your link to this post. Grab the button up the top (right click & Save As) and a link back is always nice.

Stacy (Mama-om)
Jumbleberry Jam

Tuesday, May 12

yum yum

Wow, non-mouth babies are just so different when it comes to first solids than mouth babies. Quite difficult to explain to others. It requires a different understanding and approach to their comforts, and to feeding.

Sharyn mentioned in the comments that she had nannied both types of children. I have only ever nannied mouth babies. Transitioning to solids was totally easy, nothing to it. Even with picky eaters, that's just their personality and I never fought it.
I have never needed to encourage a mouth baby that's for sure. Put food in front of them and some gets in the mouth.

So day two in eating more solids went really well.

I followed her cues and needs, and added gentle encouragement. When she asked for milk I offered her food. If she insisted on milk she got it.

It felt natural and comfortable. And we were both happy. As it ought to be.

The solids did the trick too. She was better filled up and so was able to go almost 2hrs at one point without asking for milk/food. It meant that she was more content for longer, rather than becoming irritable so soon after a feed. And Tara was right about AM feeding. Of course, the stomach is better able to digest earlier in the day.

I'm glad that I listened to DIY Dad's advice to encourage her more. My relaxed approach doesn't serve my child so well, all of the time. And I'm glad that I listened to my intuition to not push and to give her what she felt she really needed. It isn't a battle. Food and eating ought to be an easy flowing element along with the rest of our relationship.

No playing choo-choo or shoving anything in when she least suspects it for us. Although I quickly realised that as she sets the pace and it's quite slow, she was becoming bored. It was a shame to stop eating simply out of boredom of sitting there. So I asked Teddy to join us for meals and she feeds him and stays more interested.

Baby-led weaning didn't work for this non-mouth baby, neither did too much of a hands-off approach. Working in tandem is working so far. She indicates what she needs most, she opens her mouth when she's ready for the next spoon/finger-ful, so I follow her lead. And I encourage by offering solids instead of milk, but give her milk when she wants it most.

Off to get her breakfast ready.....

Monday, May 11

eating and vomit

There is an 'and' in the title, not quite as gross as it could be.

So the Wildflower is 12.5 months old and she's barely eating solids.

A short history:
I started her on banana back at just over 6mths old. She was interested. Although I suspect a lot this 'interest' that parents talk about is simply a natural curiosity of anything and everything, not necessarily a readiness to want to eat. But anyway...

Let me mention what I feel is an important point. The Wildflower is not a mouth baby. I see babies as being mouth or non-mouth babies. Just a term I use. Mouth babies are the vast majority. They discover their world mostly through their mouths. We all know that babies shove everything in, much to parents' anxiety and dismay. Non-mouth babies are rare. Instead of using their mouths as instruments of discovery, they use their hands and eyes.

The Wildflower will slowly and carefully examine anything you give her with her fingers. She will turn things around and every which way with a look ranging from intense focus to playful curiosity. She has done this from the youngest age.

I think this was a major contributing factor in our breastfeeding problems. She just wouldn't open up for the nipple the way most babies do. She barely opened her tiny mouth at all.

So eating solids was never going to be as easy as it is for mouth babies. No matter how complicated this feeding thing can be, parents have on their side the fact that children will put almost anything in their mouths. That's half the challenge.

So after the initial tiny amounts of banana, which she seemed to enjoy as far as that went, she began to teethe. And she didn't really stop teething for any long stretch of time until last month, April. And teething puts her off anything going near her mouth.

But I didn't worry about it. I refuse to make food an issue. Babies/children won't starve, they'll eat - whether it's milk or solids, they'll eat. I've offered her different things every other day. It wasn't until 9.5mths that I believe she was truly interested in eating food. She started to willingly open her mouth to accept food. And it wasn't until last month that she would actually cross the room to have a nibble of rice cake.

So she's ready - developmentally, psychologically... ready.

concentrating on her 3-spoon juggle

Of course it starts slow and they will turn their noses up at lots of what we offer. She likes yoghurt (plain or with crushed strawberries), pear, rice cakes, minced beef(?!), courgette/zucchini, jar food apple & pear. It's such a strange mix. I can't convince her of any other vegetable yet.

But she doesn't eat more than a few baby spoonfuls or my finger-tip-fulls. I tried allowing her to feed herself and it resulted in a whole week of wasted food. I mean, she didn't put anything into her mouth. She simply examined it. A typical non-mouth baby. She prefers me using my fingers.

A few days back I noticed something new. She has started to ask for her milk (she signs for it) when she isn't really hungry. I feel it has become a way to exercise control. Moving out of babyhood straight into the early stages of toddlerhood, she can understand that there is so much she can't do, isn't allowed to do, and is challenging to do. All frustrating of course. Now she can ask for something specific and get it. To coincide with this, she seemed to be going backwards with solids. And her milk is no longer satisfying her anyway so that she spends much of the day irritable because she's hungry, but then only taking small amounts every 40 minutes, or having it when she isn't hungry. Not a happy situation for her.

So DIY Dad pushed for me to encourage her more. I'm very much about allowing a child to regulate their own sleep and eating. I feel this is so important. But because of this new development, I thought it beneficial to encourage more.

So yesterday that's what I did. When she asked for her milk I said, not now darling, let's have X if you're hungry. I don't expect her to understand but.... I also give her an extra cuddle. She cried at two requests and then went for yoghurt, and the rest of the day I kept offering her bits of meat. When we got home I offered her jar apple and pear and she gobbled it up. This was such a long time between milk! And she had appeared content.

She seemed unusually subdued later on and after a cough ended up throwing up. Not tons, just a bit of fruit and water. She asked for her milk and it was bedtime so I gave it to her and she gagged and threw up some more. Poor baby. I felt terrible.

She has been gifted with a healthy body and, other than one mild cold, has never been ill. She refused her milk and drifted off to sleep. Something she doesn't do at night like this. We have a routine. Of course, you can imagine how I began to worry. Had something she ate been off? During the day I could have monitored her, but she was tired and wanted to sleep. argh

So I breeeeeeathed. I asked my anxiety to step aside for a moment. I connected. And I felt that she was fine. That she wasn't ill. That she simply ate too much as she wasn't accustomed to it. I felt better.

What followed was a horrendous night though. She was hungry and asked for milk over 5 times.

She is perfectly fine today. I started her off with yoghurt and then jar fruit. She insisted on milk and I gave it to her. Now I will encourage solids for the next few hours before giving her milk. I don't believe that she understands solids can be satisfying - how can she when she nibbles on so little - and needs a chance to realise that.

I still refuse to push the issue and I'm not going to allow her to cry for her milk. That wasn't ok with me and I buckled under DIY Dad's concerns. I'm going to offer solids throughout the day and this will naturally fill her up.

And on a different note, if you don't normally visit my other blog, you might like to know that I completed the baby moccasins.

Baby moccasins

These are finished, but I might add some different coloured yarn for a small motif on the top. Or whatever the heck you call this in yarn work.

Yarn: jaeger cotton, cocoa

Upper part:

Starting the sole:

Modeled here by the baby, with purple socks of course.

The original pattern (about as short-hand as you can get!) is for booties at 10cm length. I decided against the top part because I wanted moccasins instead. I also needed 12cm length shoes. What an ordeal to attempt!! There are too many mistakes to mention, but overall they serve their purpose.

They slip off too often so I'm considering doing something up the back, without losing the moccasin look. Hmmm..... we'll see

Saturday, May 9

happy happy abc

The sun is shining, baby is napping, I'm off outside to read a book. Luxury.

photo: flickr

A: amazon parcels
B: books
C: chocolate
D: double chocolate cake
E: eating chocolate
F: flea-market book searching
G: gothic literature
H: having my cake and eating it too
I: indulging
J: journals
K: knowledge
L: libraries
M: muffins (chocolate)
N: novels
O: organic chocolate
P: poetry
Q: quotes
R: reading
S: shelves filled with books
T: tomes
U: uninterrupted reading
V: volumes
W: words
X: x-rated fiction
Y: yarn (tale)
Z: zoned out reading


Sparked off by Carin at My Sacred Home.

Friday, May 8

Beads for Life

I picked this story up via twitter.

Beads For Life is a project of women in Uganda creating jewellry and selling to women in America. Through their crafting, they make money to support themselves.

I won't spoil it by telling you how they make the necklaces, it's very cool.

Favourite quote from a different clip: "I no longer call myself poor" (uttered by a woman we would probably still class as poor)

knowing love

Last night, the Wildflower woke from her 2nd nap a little early, so I gathered her up and she continued sleeping in my arms. DIY Dad and I were sneaking in a film so I brought her to the sofa with us. She slept and with a little squirming, found herself snuggled inbetween us.

For whatever reason, perhaps as we both looked down on her lovingly, this moment made me think of how loved she was.

It made me think of all that us mindful mamas try to do for our babies. All the guilt, anxiety, doubts, and even fears, that we put ourselves through.

I gave up perfectionism a long time ago, and I am thankful that I didn't bring it into my mothering. However, my childhood, while by no means abusive, left me with a lot of issues to sort through. But it all breaks down to the fundamental lack of love.

I rarely felt loved. I was never sure if I had my father's love. I believed that I had to earn love. It was conditional. I was burdened with the knowledge that my parent's unhappy marriage was my fault - they married because of me. I was made to pay for this uhappiness in a myraid of tiny ways.

I have worked through this pain.

Yet it's impact has never been lost. While I didn't strive for perfection, I was filled with anxiety that somehow I will emotionally scar my baby. If I didn't hold her enough, meet her needs quickly enough, smile at her enough, touch her enough, when the breastfeeding didn't work, and on and on.

If you've been reading my blog long enough, you know that I've worked through a lot of this. How I've come to accept what I cannot, and ought not to, control.

And it was in this sweet moment last night, that what was the simplicity of my gift to my baby came to me.

I'm going to mess up. I'm going to have days of less patience. I'm going to have days I just don't want to play as much or read that book for the gazillionth time, or be this fabulously crafty, playful, or fun mama.

Yet this is life, raggedy and messy and troublesome. And these things give us coping skills and challenges to work through, and that is the human journey.

Overall I am a mindful mama. A kind, patient, nurturing mama. That is the expression of my love for her.

But most importantly, my gift to her is the greatest gift, I think. The one that is given without effort. And that is, that she will know that she is loved. And this will ground her and fill her and raise her as she navigates the crooked paths of life.

She will be certain that she is loved.


Thursday, May 7

Thankful Anyway Thursday

It's easy to be thankful for the good stuff, can you be thankful for the not so good?

When a person gets it into in her head to re-start yoga, she gathers the resources and picks her preferred time. She takes however long she needs to centre and ground herself. She pauses the dvd several times to feeeeel the poses. She completes the entire sequence and then indulges in the 15 minute guided relaxation. Refreshed, she carries on with her day.

When a mama gets it into her head to re-start yoga, she walks past the rolling dvd and catches glimpses of the poses while she's attending to baby. She figures she can get an idea of what to do before starting so as not to waste time. The time is chosen for her by baby's nap, whether she's now in full mood for it or not.

She needs to get some washing on and sort out baby's next meal and tidy the kitchen before she gets down to it. By now there is very little time left, so yoga 'resources' translate as the baby's playmat.

Centreing and grounding suddenly seem like Great Luxuries of the Tibetan Monks, so she skips that and just gets right to the poses. Not wanting to wake baby up, the volume remains low and with mutterings of, 'what the heck did she just say?' she ends up rewinding frequently.

About half way into a 40 minute sequence, baby wakes. She attends to a myraid of baby things. An hour after she begun, she attempts to complete it as baby seems so content playing with her toys.

Baby finds mama's poses quite amusing and thinks it's a new game just for her. After 10 minutes baby is bored with all that silliness and reclaims her mat, although she's quite happy to share it with mama.

Relaxation takes the form of a cuddle with baby and then out for a walk.

The yoga/playmat during dog pose, or whatever the heck it's called.

I'm thankful anyway because I managed to start.
I'm thankful anyway because I got some of the poses into my head and the next time will be easier.
I'm thankful anyway because the playmat is always there and it's like a little enticement for me to do yoga when she naps.
I'm thankful anyway because it makes me really slow down - perhaps just a couple of poses a day?
I'm thankful anyway because the Wildflower gets to see her mama do such good things, and she might just join in one day.
I'm thankful anyway because it means I have a baby!

Let me know (comment) if you've done your own Thankful Anyway and I'll add your link to this post.

Jumbleberry Jam
My Sacred Home

Wednesday, May 6

the little bull

Part of my child astrology series.


There is more to the Taurus baby than stubborness, but there's no getting away from this characteristic. Forget the 'bull in a china shop' image. Imagine a bull in a field with no intention of moving from it's cosy spot and you have a very good idea of that little bundle you just brought home.

Yet there is a reason for it. Taureans are solid and steady. They come to their decisions slowly and are sure of themselves when they do. So it's difficult to budge such a decided character.

The little bull wants to be left at peace, and seeks creature comforts and predictability. Routine gives her a sense of security. She is generally easy to sooth and settle once her physical needs are met.

She's a sensual little thing. She will want hugs and more hugs and plenty of kisses too. A comfy bed and good food won't go unappreciated. She will probably enjoy swaddling and massages more so than many other babies.

The Taurean solidity also means that this is an emotionally steady baby. She is not prone to sudden outbursts or whining. She seeks a tranquil outcome to her needs. Only if pushed will you see a force not to be reckoned with.

Similar to the Libran baby, the Venusian child requires harmony, and plenty of it. For Taurus, it comes most easily in the tangible environment. Harmonious colours, melodious music, plenty of sleep, and good food and soft beds of course. And most acutely, a peaceful family.

It is important that the baby be allowed to regulate her own appetite. Scheduled feedings are a big no no. This baby needs to understand her own hunger and satiation levels more than most.

If you are flexible and not demanding in your parenting, you will be blessed with a calm, affectionate, and quietly cheerful baby.

Tuesday, May 5


You have productive intentions, you have things to read, crochet to complete, loose ends to weave, seeds to sow, seedlings to transplant, those images to save, people to email, Facebook to check, blog posts to share, the baby to feed, change and entertain.....

It's a jumble, a jamble, a moontime ramble.

The tides pull and push and womanhood connects in its own disorientating way. You let go, tumbling those pesky Have Tos down the spirals. Allowing the chaos and stillness to meet.

Then only a mug of scullcap tea will do. And you find, that you have just enough for one.

Friday, May 1

April in Review

Think your reader's may have missed out on some great content this month, or you have new or occassional readers? Consider a Month in Review post. I know I can't keep up with all the wonderful blogs out there. Just copy & paste the headings below and add your responses.

Feel free to add yourself as I would love to read every reader's reviews. Please link directly to your post NOT your website. Linky closes May 7th. And visit each other!

Here's a tip, set a post up in draft form and add to it throughout the month before you forget by the end of the month!

April in Review , in 1 sentence.

Summary (3 sentence max)
A month of stagnantion and wonderment. While I'm feeling in limbo in a small apartment instead of being up at the land as nature erupts into Spring around me, the Wildflower has delighted us with her little self developing in leaps and bounds.

Wildflower's birthday party.

Being away fom the land.

Understanding that fussiness is a pre-tiredness behaviour, not a readiness for sleep.

An insight/thought
That my Thankful Anyway posts are helping to keep me on the Acceptance track.

Website/blog Find
Not a find exactly, as these are friends of ours who are also expats in Montenegro, starting a naturist's resort, living/building/growing green, and battling many challenges at Club Full Monte.

Words (quote/reading/book recommendation/1 sentence review!/anything word-related)
got nothing this month! oops

Note to Self
Feed the emptiness so that growth stems from stillness rather than stagnation.

Favourite Tip/Idea from web
I'm an anti-list maker but for those that like them... never forget a To-Do again: Remember the Milk

Slice of home (A photo of a tiny corner of your home, or objects, that represent something about this month)

Even tiny pots of soil are found by babies.

Please link directly to your post NOT your website. Linky closes May 7th.