Tag Archives: nature

Happy New Year 2014! A plan for the present moment


Happy New Year! My New Year’s started off on a great note. I fell asleep after putting the kids to bed, and didn’t wake up until this morning! Gah!!

So much for planning to celebrate with my hubby by the fireplace at the stroke of midnight!

Having children has taught me to really let go of set schedules and imperfections…even when events which disrupt my plans initially produce feelings of disappointment or discontent. Like any other major life change that requires our full attention (a birth, a death, a separation, an injury or illness, etc), raising young children requires a considerable amount of effort that we often neglect to acknowledge when we’re still in the midst of it all.

The last week brought many unexpected surprises that completely through our Christmas plans for a loop. First, most of our city suffered a power outage after the ice storm that hit just a few days before Christmas. We were so fortunate to have a gas stove and fireplace at least which we willingly shared with our neighbours. Then, a few days later and still in the dark, we braved another misadventure. Under a fantastic little headlamp, we cleaned up projectile vomit from our 4 year old and later our 6 year old that hit the blankets, beds and walls. Even our 1 year old was not immune to this virus, but thankfully she didn’t start until 36 hours later. The dinner we had planned for Christmas Eve? Pouff! Gone. Christmas Day dinner with family at a friend’s house? Also gone. We ended up eating cold pizzas under candlelight and wishing the holiday from $%^*& would just end. When not dealing with sick kids, the days were spent cleaning out the fridge, and cleaning up debris from all the branches that had fallen outside. There were nice moments as well that made the experience less trying….like friendly neighbours helping one another or coming into chat by the fire (before the kids got sick!); and also the beautiful yet tragic aftermath of the ice storm that left tree branches bent over or on the ground, coated in a thick clear, impenetrable ice.

And then, after 3 days without power, the electricity and heat returned, and a good 5 days after that, our children’s health finally returned. So things eventually turned out ok, after all! But it did made me realize how very dependent our plans are to our surrounding environment and situation. Pushing to achieve what you’d planned on a certain day, may be spinning your wheels needlessly. Sometimes you just have to accept the situation you’re placed in and get down to the real business at hand!

So this year, I still PLAN to:

a) get back in shape with a former workout routine involving qigong, running, cycling, swimming, and skiing

b) get back to healthier eating: eat less, drink more (and whenever possible choose whole, simple foods whose production is easy on the environment and our body)

c) be more fun around my kids (less work, more laughter and play!)

d) be a better partner (listen with a soft heart to my husband, and create a supportive and nurturing environment for us both to grow professionally as well as a  loving couple)

e) be present for my extended family (set aside time to help my mum and my siblings more)

f) create the practice of my dreams (this is a biggy, but I’m working on it!)

But if things don’t fall into neat little time slots or events, I will not spend more than is necessary to dwell on it. I will simply MOVE on 🙂

May this year bring you all that you could wish for and more and may the little things make you truly happy.

Love,
M.

 

 

 

Magical Fairy Dust to Brighten your Days: A Fairy Garden, Part 3


Just like the first spring blooms that have craned their necks out a little later this year due to the lengthy winter we have endured here in Ontario, we are slowly doing the same and beginning to stretch out a bit once again and unfurl. The last nine months have been spent adjusting to life with a newborn again.

While caring for a newborn is the most intense and rewarding experience I have the pleasure to share with my family, it takes a toll on all of us as we try to get back to some semblance of normal.

Gardening with our three girls is one of the ways we connect to our surroundings and each other. Not surprisingly, it feels very ‘grounding’. Having the sun warm your back and children giggling by your side, while you dig, and prepare the soil and plant the seeds, is very comforting and therapeutic and somehow sets everything in perspective. Stick with the basics, hold on to those close to you, do the work, reap the rewards. The answers are all there in nature.

I had posted about how you can make your own fairy garden last spring: https://faymeling.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/magical-fairy-dust-to-brighten-your-days-a-fairy-garden-28/ and also here https://faymeling.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/magical-fairy-dust-to-brighten-your-days-a-fairy-garden-part-2/. My children were thrilled with the final product, but alas, by the time I had a camera in hand to take pictures of it, it was nearing the end of summer and our magical fairy garden (though still magical!) was no longer in its prime. This year, we’ve started fresh with a beautiful Gerbera daisy, a full white blossomed Dahlia and a lovely purple Salvia. Once the moss is in season we will plant some Irish and Scottish moss as well for a nice soft carpeting.

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Magical Fairy Dust to Brighten Your Days: A Fairy Garden, Part 2


We have been experiencing quite the heat wave here the last few weeks! School has finally let out and the girls are eager to start our summer vacation in the city.

For the most part, we’ve been keeping the schedule simple: a good breakfast, some water colour painting for J and R while I prepare the lunch we will bring with us on our outing, and then a visit to one of our local parks and wading pool/ splash pad. We go home early afternoon, run some errands and then have some down time to sleep, or do quiet activities or chores around the house. Late afternoon is usually reserved for gardening or sprinkler fun for the girls, then a bit of free play (these days it’s dress up and/ pretend grocery shopping) while I prepare dinner.

Speaking of gardening, we have finally set up our fairy garden. I mentioned in an earlier post back in February (when the weather fooled us into believing spring had begun and was there to stay!) that we had grand plans for a garden that the girls could call their very own, complete with their own garden fairies.

How to make a fairy garden:

Materials:
– nice dark topsoil or potting soil
– medium to large sized whiskey barrel/ planter/ container
– 2-3 small budded annuals/ perennials
– Scottish or Irish moss
– small vessel for water/pond
– some pebbles/ small rocks
– miniature figurines or DIY felt fairies/ gnomes etc.
– miniature furniture

Directions:
– together with your kids, sketch a plan of how you would like your fairy garden to look like. Include type and colour of flowers/plants, fairy house, pond, pathway, furniture, figurines, etc.
– choose a suitable location for the fairy garden where it will get enough sunlight and shade if necessary, as well as be easy for the children to play and for all of you to access with a watering can or hose.
– Make sure there is a hole at the bottom before you fill the barrel for proper drainage. For better water drainage and soil aeration you can also put a layer of gravel or small rocks on the bottom of planter as well.
– fill barrel/ planter up to 2/3 level with soil.
– plant chosen flowers/ plants/ moss according to your sketch.
– include the figurines and any other accessories.
– water and prune accordingly, play daily!

For more info please visit Donni Weber’s the Magic Onions blog:

http://themagiconions.blogspot.ca/

Donni has some great tips and even a fairy garden contest you can enter to win some great prizes!

We are also really quite taken with this amazing natural parenting and toystore that is run by a local mompreneur and friend: http://www.avasappletree.ca/

Ava’s Appletree has some really great products and was where we purchased our fairy house and fairy kit. You can easily create two beautiful felted fairies with the kit.  

Here are a few pictures of our little fairy garden so you can get an idea of how to make your own. Our fairy garden is of course still a work in progress but we are quite pleased with it so far!

Note: We now have a little house and a pond and pathway (will add photos of this in future) but alas I waited too long to take a picture of the completed project so the plants have overgrown somewhat and hidden the pathway and fairy house so some pruning needs to be done first!

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