Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Reflections

It is generally early morning when I sit down to type on my blog, same this morning, although with Fall here it is still dark outside.  Not sure how I like that.  It is not as motivating to get up and there is just darkness.  I feel more awake and alive when I see the bright colors of the world around me.  But somehow the darkness is comforting, like a blanket all around.  I could easily sit with a cup of tea and snuggle up in a blanket and watch a movie.

This week has been a busy week, lots of outdoor work going on, cleaning out the gardens, mowing, and raking, getting things ready for winter and the spring ahead.  The air is crisp and nice.  Thinking about creating some sort of circle for our small family for Samhain, we will see what comes.

On the Menu:  Lots of root veggies.  I made a harvest chowder earlier in the week and Jackson is going to make borscht tomorrow.  YUM.  Maybe I will make an apple pie this weekend, the boys will enjoy that.

Watching:  Well Jackson and I have started watching a couple of TV shows, Gotham and Sleepy Hollow. Both started out interesting but I am quickly losing interest.  I did, however, find a series I am surprised to find I enjoy, and that is Madam Secretary.  I have never really appreciated Tea Leoni's acting, but this has caught my attention.  A strong female character and there is something nice that each week you start out the show with a world crisis of sorts and by the end of the hour the Secretary of State has figured out the answer.  Ahhh if only life were just that easy.  So I am enjoying her in this particular series.

Listening to:  Well someone on facebook posted about Hang Massive so I have been listening to their wonderful music.  Very peaceful and meditative.  Hope you enjoy as well!

That is about it for this week, I have been doing a little bit of art work, helping our husky dog, Sugar, who is struggling a bit, and enjoying home and family.  Hope you all had a wonderful week.

To see more visit the Scattered Life Collective on Cynthia's Blog.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Living the Life YOU Want

I mentioned before, that a couple of weeks ago I attended the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference.  One intensive that I attended as all about menopause, actually that wasn't the official title.  I can't remember the official title, but it was much more glamorous than simply "menopause".  But that was the topic.  It was very interesting but one thing surprised me so much.

The speaker talked about dealing with women in this stage of life and how most feel like this is "their" time. Their time to do what they want and many are making dramatic changes in their lives, coming into themselves.  I was shocked.  Of course then she had us turn to each other and share "what it is we really, really, really, really want."  OK as an introvert PLEASE do not ask me to share personal information with a complete stranger, I cringe whenever I hear the words "turn to your neighbor....".  Yes, we shared, I had no idea what to say, as I have always lived a life of "what I want".

The instructor then asked some women to share with the group what they wanted.  So many were making changes, they had lived their whole lives, up until that point, placing themselves on the back burner and focusing on children, husband, extended family, community, they had lost themselves.  It was sad really.  I am so glad I decided early on that "I am important".

I want everyone out there to know that it is not something women have to do, we do NOT have to be martyrs.  We do NOT have to put our own wants, needs and desires on the back burner to take care of everyone else.  Here in our house, we have always worked hard to help each other,  help make sure that every one's wants and needs are heard and met.  We talk about our plans, goals, and dreams, and we really care about each other and we find joy in seeing everyone happy.  I can't imagine living 50 years and not having my needs met, what pent up emotions must be going on inside.

I am hopeful that, raising children that also see the prize in living that kind of life, maybe more of the next generation will understand that we should all be always living a life we love.  That a family where every one's wants and needs are met is the norm.  We don't need to have a revelation moment in our 50s where we finally feel able to take time for ourselves, we can have it all along, and no one has to suffer for it. We can all be happy.

So what I said in answer to the question "what do I really, really, really, really want" was that I want to continue to live a joy filled life, continue to watch my children blossom, continue to learn and live and laugh and love and do exactly what I am doing right now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Owls Head Light House

This is the last set of Photo's I have to share from our Maine vacation.  It was a wonderful vacation.  This was the first trip home that has had wonderful weather, generally it has rained for our vacations to Maine. We had some time on our hands after visiting the Camden Hills State Park so we visited the Owls Head Light House.  Of course it has been years since I had been out there and there have really been improvements made, there is a nice trail out to picnic tables and an area to get down to the water, lovely. And of course we enjoyed this. It is so nice to be out there with nothing but the sound of the waves, just walking and having family time.

This is a photo from the deck of the rental cottage, our last day in Maine.  Our bags are packed and in the car and we are just about to head to the airport to fly home.  And North Carolina is my home now.  I love Maine, but driving around I know I can never go back.  Everything is different and somehow exactly the same.  Love You !

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Camden Hills State Park and Camden Harbor

I think I have two more sets of photos to post from our Maine trip.  These photos were taken at Camden Hills State Park.  Which is funny because I grew up about a 30 minute drive from here (gorgeous!) and yet have never been.  24 years living in the area and it took me 48 years to make it to Camden Hills State Park.  My boys have really enjoyed Maine, loving my family and the scenery.

I look so short next to my boys, both take after Jackson and are over 6 feet tall!

And just a few of pictures from Camden Harbor 

Monday, October 27, 2014

My Soul Craves....

This is a cooperative blogging post, a friend and I are both digging deeper into some thought provoking questions.  So this Monday we are looking at what my soul craves.....

At this moment in time I think my soul craves more connection with nature.  There are times in my life, most of the time really (which is a topic I have in mind for another post on another day) when things seem to be in place, I am doing what I want to do, walking the path I love.  So most things in my life are there by choice, and when my soul is craving something I am usually pretty good at listening.  Right now I think my soul is craving more time in nature.

I am working toward that end, feeding my soul what it needs.  Hiking with my son, is wonderful, especially this time of year.  My youngest isn't a fan of hiking but my oldest enjoys hiking and having time to talk and walk and be in nature.  Also this time of year I enjoy cleaning up my gardens, weeding and raking and just getting things ready for winter, the air is cooler and fresher, love the crisp air.

One thing I am missing is my walking time on the Greenway in Morganton.  I am exercising differently, and just can't seem to fit that daily walk into my schedule right now.  My other time outside is making up for that, I think, but there are times I just want to squeeze that walk in, but don't want it to be rushed, want to take my time, enjoy the changing leaves on the Greenway.  In sitting here typing I am thinking that a nice walk around our property would probably fulfill that need.  We have around 11 acres here, forest, pasture, creeks and we have a park across the street.  I may need to stop trying to squeeze a Greenway walk into my week and instead focus on what I have at hand, what is right in front of my eyes.

If you would like to read what Nancy's soul craves, you can visit A Present Moment, to find out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Wow it has been over a week since the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference.  Loved it, and learned a lot.  I can see how I am progressing, and this year I attended and enjoyed a couple of intensives as well as several advanced workshops.

I can see how my own practice has changed over the years as I learn more.  I have shifted from buying organic herbs to harvesting what is in my own backyard (and my friends and families back yards) and learning and loving those medicinals.  There is so much locally that provides the nourishment I need, and I enjoy learning about more and more of those "weeds".

After this years conference I started thinking, again, about taking a formal herbal course.  I started years ago, but decided to go on my own, which I have loved, and that has also provided me time for other things I enjoy.  But I have been tossing around the idea of starting up again.  I have this thought that maybe the formal course work will give me some guidance into studying areas I may have overlooked.  I really have no intention of starting any kind of private practice, this would be just for me, to deepen my knowledge base and understanding.

I talked with my boys about it, as unschoolers, to see what they had to say.  Neither one thinks I "need" it (which I already knew).  One son said "so are you moving all the way to hippie town now", a running joke in our family.  The other son said "you should go for it and it comes with a cool title", that it does.

This week I have been doing some decluttering, getting rid of old books and old clothes, donating items, trashing some.  It somehow helps me think, clearing out the clutter in the house, helps on some level clear out the clutter in my brain so I can think.  To decide if I have the time in my life right now to devote to an herbal course, if I will lose interest in that more "formal" format. There is no rush on this decision, so I will take my time.  It is a big chunk of change so I want to be committed before I jump in, I want to take the time to think about it.  So I will, and we will see how I feel in a month or two.

Meanwhile I am marking my calendar for next year's conference, October 2-4, 2015!  Whose coming with me? (I will be the one in the back corner of the room....a story for another day)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

One Person Who Has Impacted My Life Greatly and How

This is a cooperative blogging project a friend and I started, a chance for us to dig a little deeper into our lives and explore a few topics.  I do have posts I am working on about the herbal conference, the whole experience there, but for today, that is on the back burner.

One person that has impacted my life, well, for me it isn't just one person but two, my boys, here they are.

My oldest is Dallen, he is 20 now, I had just turned 28 when he was born.  My youngest is Phillip, he is 17 now, I was almost 31 when when he came into this world.  Before I had children I thought I knew what love was, I mean I loved my husband, and loved my parents.  But I don't think I really knew what true unconditional love was until I had my children.  You know, that kind of love that you would die for without question, the kind of love that hurts at times.  I never knew what that kind of cellular connection was, when they hurt, I hurt.  I just feel so connected to them and to the universe, through them, in such a different way.  

They changed my whole view of the world.  I thought I had my shit together in life, but they just turned everything upside down, gave it all a shake and rearranged things.  I look at this world so differently now.  It started with my oldest, when he was born, and his cry just evoked something primitive in me, and it pushed me into a place I didn't know existed.  He pulled me into attachment parenting, baby wearing, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, unschooling and consensual living.  And then my youngest cemented it in my life as truth, the way things, for us, needed to be.  They not only changed my views on parenting from the get go, but on how Jackson and I relate as partners, how we all interact within our extended families and our communities.  The ripples from that shift in thinking are endless.  

Because of this shift, I believe, my friendship circle is different.  The friends I have now are more in tune with the way we live as a family.  The people I am drawn to now are so different from friendships earlier in my life.  Their view of the world is more in line with mine now.  The like minded friends I have now are so wonderful and I do believe it is because of my children, and how they have changed my life.  

And for all these changes I am grateful.  I an so grateful to be looking at the world as I do now.  I am forever grateful to my boys for opening this up for me, for changing my life and bringing me to the place I am now.  

If you would like to read the person that has changed Nancy's life and how, go visit her blog, A Present Moment

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Reflections

Well it is 6:12 this morning. It is time to review the week for The Scattered Life Collective. The weather this week has been up and down, cool one day, hot the next.  But right now I am having a hard time thinking about the week in review.  I am just so darned excited about the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference.

It starts TODAY.  This will be my fifth year, I think, and the line up of speakers and sessions looks like the best so far.  I am really going to have to choose what workshops to attend.  UGGHH!  May have to buy the audio so I don't miss anything.

Dr Jody Noe will be there.  OK can't wait to hear her speak.  Funny part is that I don't care what she is speaking about.  She is just one of those speakers, so engaging and knowledgeable.  I think I could listen to her all day, so I do have her sessions already marked on my schedule.  Some new speakers I am excited to hear as well.  This conference is always just such an uplifting experience, and keeps me so motivated to keep looking in my own backyard for medicinals.

I know more happened this week.  Yes, the full moon.  Had a wonderful full moon circle with a dear friend.  The moon was so bright and HUGE!  It was good to sit under the full moon, release a few things, and connect on a deeper level.  Something about releasing things out loud with another person listening, is so powerful, it really makes those connections happen, makes it feel real and workable.  I am blessed to have a couple of those friends in my life.  You know the ones, you can go to and talk about anything and there is no judgement, just complete understanding and acceptance.  So it was a nice night, we laughed, we cried, we shared a wonderful full moon experience.

OK only a few hours left until the conference so I need to figure out exactly what I am bringing, look over the schedule again, decide what I can carry, and when to leave the house.  I will catch up with you all next week!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Changing of the Seasons

This past weekend was crisp and fall-like.  I enjoy this weather, being able to get into my garden and weed, pull plants, start getting things ready for next year.  I love fresh apples, and all the squash fall brings.  I can already smell delicious soups and stews, sitting by the fire.

A couple of friends and I made travel altars this past week.  As I was creating a Winter travel altar, I started thinking that I hadn't shared my Autumn home altar with you yet.  On my Autumn altar sits my Autumn travel altar, although I use it any time of year when I am traveling.  This one was made by a friend years ago, and yes I still use it and cherish it today.

Also sitting on my altar are a couple of paper dolls that new friends made for me, they are so beautiful, and fit in nicely.  

Here are pictures of the travel altars we made.  

Inside are a few incense, matches, a small tea candle, and a stone.  We each chose a different stone, but all made with love and sharing.  Easy to do if you want one yourself, all you need is an Altoids (or other) small tin and some sculpey clay.  Decorate the tin with the sculpey as you like, and bake according to the directions.  Fill it with whatever you like for your altar and take it with you when you travel. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Reflections

Not sure I have a whole lot to share.  It has been a busy week, full of wonderful things like spending time with my boys, laughing so hard tea came out my nose, sharing time with friends again laughing and sharing. It has just been a joy filled week!  Our solar panels are almost all installed, that will be a project a LONG time in the making but coming to completion soon.

While at a friends house this week we carved pumpkins, this is my son, Phillip's, creation.  I thought he did a fabulous job:
It is funny, he made this on Wednesday, and by Thursday night the chickens had come by and picked out the eyes.  So now the pumpkin is eyeless and the chickens are happy!

I have had Karla Bonoff on my mind this week.  I used to listen to her when I was in college, and love her music.  Here's one for ya:

Still slogging through the book She, although probably not for much longer.

I think I will make a squash lentil dish for dinner tonight.  The farmers market is just brimming with squash this time of year, gotta love it.  I love the farmers market.  I had a discussion with a vendor this past week, one that has not been at the market the past two weeks.  She was saying that the market is slowing down (it is open through the end of October) and since her profits are dropping off she isn't selling there now. I do understand that there is a cost/benefit ratio there.  What I want all vendors to know is there are some of us that will buy from the farmers market until it closes.  And I buy what you have and make it work, I know the season is winding down.  You know I DO notice the farmers and other vendors who are there from the time it opens in spring until it closes down in fall.  I notice who is there consistently, bring what they have (even if it is just a few things), and sticks it out.  I will buy from YOU before I buy from the farmer who is there for only the peak selling weeks of the summer.  I want you to come to the market, I want you to support your family, I love farm fresh, local foods, in season.  I appreciate your dedication and it does not go unnoticed.

I have been knitting like crazy this week.  We are taking time in early December to revisit Germany, so I want to have Christmas presents finished.  Made a pair of socks this week and a linen stitch scarf.

Also been weeding, the weather is still warm, but not as hot as summer, so I have been out weeding my herb garden, getting it ready for what treasurers I bring back with me from the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference coming up in another week or so.  I can't wait, that is always a highlight in my year, I learn so much and love to dive right in and rekindle that passion.

Also been doing a little painting.  My boys are working on assembling and painting some new Warhammer 40,000 figures so I enjoy sitting beside them at the dining room table and working on something of my own.  Here is my work in progress.  Phillip says he likes how it is turning out, which is amazing, since our tastes are so very different.

I don't like the lighting for this, you can't see the depth of the background.  But what you can see are the bars of soap drying in the background.  It was a productive week.  I made a cinnamon/sweet orange soap.  It smells so good.  I love how my whole house smells when I make soap.  Also made a batch of body butter earlier this week.

I guess I did have a lot so share this week, a joy filled, productive week.  Feeling great this Friday and can't wait to see what the weekend has in store, possibly picking apples or hiking, we shall see.  I hope your week was full of joy as well!  Here is one more Karla Bonoff song to enjoy:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lobster with my Aunt

Dallen and I are vegetarians, Jackson does eat meat and he loves seafood, Phil was skeptical but wanted to at least try seafood.  I do NOT like seafood, ate it growing up and don't care for it at all, will be OK if I never have seafood again.   My Aunt Terry wanted to have us up for supper and wanted Phillip to be able to try lobster, so that is what she cooked for us, well really for them (her daughter, my cousin Michelle, made a vegetarian lasagna as well, which was delicious!).

Phil has, since his trip to Maine, decided that he does not like seafood, can you tell by the look on his face?! Here are some picture of Phil and Jackson (who ate two or three lobsters himself) and of my family.

Here is my cousin Wayne, my cousin Michelle, me and my Aunt Terry

Here we are with my boys.  Michelle's daughter Cierra left earlier so, unfortunately, she didn't make it into the picture.  Maybe next time!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rockland Breakwater and Lighthouse

Visiting lighthouses and seeing all the scenery is new for my boys.  We have been to Maine in the past but it has been 9 years since our last visit, and unfortunately the boys remember very little from that trip.  On Friday of our trip we decided to walk the Rockland Breakwater out to the Rockland lighthouse.  It was such a nice day but still windy on the water.  I was glad I stopped at LL Bean on the drive up to pick up a jacket. Here are some photos from that day.