Monday, June 30, 2008

yoga-mazingingly soggy

I cried today cause it is so cold and soggy in the hills. And the smalls are all cold soggy on the inside which means it's all books and baking for us inside dwellers. Which is ok. But we'd rather be outside discovering new mushrooms - we are totally surrounded by them at the moment. There is one just outside the front door under the wattle tree that is so big a whole clan of faeries could live beneath it. It's like to 100 ares of organically farmed land in St Andrew's with 3 houses on it that we oh so much wanted to buy with our pals but missed out by a few '000 a few months back.

So I put the soggy smalls to bed and rolled out my yoga mat for a little shanti shanti in front of the fire. I got lazy and downloaded the yogamazing video podcast. Chas is practicing surya namaskar on the gulf of Mexico at sunrise and I'm following along on the fire-front floor, trying to pull of downward dog in socks. Tricky business. I am also loving the Friday Night Family podcast by They Might Be Giants. TMBG were a favorite of mine throughout the early 90's and I love that they are now singing the good stuff for my smalls to enjoy. I played them the most recent TMBG podcast this afternoon when we were all booked and baked out at around sunset. I loved it and I loved that they loved it. I remember this post on that same nervousness you get when introducing your smalls to the stuff you love. Inconceivable! I'm so happy that there are free podcasts for folks to enjoy. No need to consume and have it posted via airmail, just download the bits you want and play it whe you want. Perhaps we'll actually play the Friday Night Family podcast on Friday nights and thus make it it a new Friday night tradition in our home, right alongside crumbed flathead and thick roasted 'taters with sauce.

I've also started a new thang on this blog - daily love. Stuff I'm loving daily. Me thinks that capturing and being reminded of it one of the essentials for carrying me through this southern winter. Capture and document and share. Check it out over there. First lot of love is some snaps from the playroom at closing time tonight. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


A darlin' pal recently gave us a mega magazine to hang on our mega blank white walls of the studio out back. The only other picture on that wall is an op-shopped flamenco dancer in a bad but big wooden frame. She is hung on a big old golden hook, too. I also have my Tibetan chuba hanging up out there - big, red wool with that big, sweeping collar that the Tibetans stuff their wares into. All things big are possible on these walls. The thing is, the mag now really brings the space together in that perfect way that only a blu-tacked 3-tone mega-magazine can and I now want the Stones vs Beatles issue.

Once I was a Beatles girl - I learned how to play the White Album on piano when I was a child, and I had way long relations throughout my 20's with a jazz man who got me stoned and taught me about the weird yet genius Lennon-McCartney chord progressions (or something like that). I always preferred George, anyway. Maybe that's why it didn't work out? But more recently I'm a Stones girl. Cause Mick does good scarf and my smalls love grooving to Mothers Little Helper. Oooh la la.

Thanks, J. We are loving it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

kiddie consumers

You know we recently had hard waste here in the eastern foothills. I wrote about how we aimed for a zero waste verge, but were, sadly, unable to achieve it. Seems the locals in sfgirlbybay's neighbourhood ain't waiting for collection day, but rather are just letting loose their unwanted on the streets. I love her approach in dealing with the rubbishing of her homeland. Check it out here.

What I did notice during the build up to hard rubbish were the number of children's toys on people's verges. The number of plastic children's toys. My theory is that less of the more open ended space for creativity type toys that children have, the more likely they are to appreciate, and thus play, with them for a longer time, both in the length of each instance they pick up the toy to play with it throughout the day and the number of days/weeks/months/years that toy is of interest to them. I've certainly noticed this with my own small folk. The plastic aeroplane simulator which makes noise and flashes lights when you press the 'right' buttons, gifted from Nana, is in the cupboard after merely weeks. The wooden farmhouse with wooden farmer, farmer's missus and farm animals, gifted from same nana, is played with nearly every day in some way. Today the farmer's missus was being chased by tigers in the morning, she is now Alice's baby's baby and this evening she could be a lady whale in the bath for all I know.

But I'm scared of it all, folks. I'm scared that most of the toys on offer to my small folk are designed to encourage brand loyalty, fashion consciousness and groupthink. I'm scared that all the research indicates that contemporary children spend less time with toys and games than we did, and that most of their time is now taken up with pre-programmed computer toys and games. I'm scared that marketers directly appeal to my small folk, inviting them into consumerism as soon as they can. Wasn't it the home economics movement of the 20th century that counselled women, once the quilters, the sewers, the preserve makers of the home, to abandon this handicraft culture and instead become a modern, smart shopper, buying these things, once made with love in the home, at the shop? Isn't that what's happening to my small folk now? I feel like I need to don a cape and throw it over their eyes when we head out into the big wide world. Or at least to the shops.

I say: give a boy a glass egg and see where he goes with it.....he's currently looking at the open fire through the glass egg, telling me that the egg is getting warm and that the egg is holding the fire within it.....I'm off to share in that joy.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

balancing and slumping

Got the small folk a new bike today. A balance bike. Weeeeee! It looks like so much fun I wish I could drink some potion and make myself smaller so I could have a go. The 'thrifted' (my new favorite word) trike from nana just wasn't built for the tracks around here, which kept us largely confined to the 'block' (read footpath). The theory is that with a little more grip on the tyres of the new bike, that small folk may be able to head off road, go further and expend less energy on pumping little legs in millions of rotations each 10 metres they ride....On our way home from the bike shop, called in to buy some milk and a plush doggie was instantly selected, cuddled close and thus adopted by Alice. Now I don't do plush purchases, mostly cause I make 'em myself, but also because we have a cupboard full of plushie thangs that were gifted to our small folk over the years that they have never even looked like being interested in. But this plushie doggie is the same size as Alice and she seized it like it had always been hers. Absolutely not negotiable. The dog is coming home with us, mum, now pay the lady. Apparently a portion of the sale of these plushies goes to the RSPCA. Nice one. I challenge you to resist those criteria. Speaking of what makes us buy what we buy, is anyone watching The Gruen Transfer on ABC1? It's a panel of advertising folk chatting about how advertising has it's way with us. Tonight was underwear. Apparently women want knickers that reflect each one of 24 archetypical moods, according to Marks and Spencer. For mine, I just want to get through complete yoga practice without my knickers going up my bum. This phenomenon is so common in yoga, it's even been deemed a 'wedgie break'. Blokes just have good knickers and everyday knickers. I'll have to remind my 'having a crisis in the underwear department' buddy from this earlier post of mine.

The most challenging thing about the challenge of not consuming unnecessarily, is when it comes to my small folk - a plushie certainly isn't essential, but intuitive parenting (i.e. my heart) told me it was okay today. And just look at her slumping all over that doggie!

to give breast is to give life

As a breastfeeding mother to my littlest folklet, the boobie milk monster who will latch onto me for a suckle at any opportunity, I can't help but direct you here. So beautiful. Who knew breastfeeding was so sexy in a) black and white and b) spanish?

Above is our version of 'dinner', first posted here. Love love love.

Speaking of love, this is the lovely gift I got from the lovely Christie at the Blogmeet organised by the lovely Nikki and the lovely Justine. In fact, the reason I left the lovely meet was to breastfeed the littlest folklet before my bust bust, if you know what I mean.

And my favorite lil' bit of the blog-gift? Hint: you can find more of her here. Do I have a blog-crush on her just for her fabric? No. I also have a blog-crush on her largely because of the chuckle I get from the side panel bit (techie term???) of her blog....te he he.