Monday, October 26, 2009

Project Update: The Safe Motherhood Quilt

I have been working on the quilting of one panel of the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project for several weeks now, and am honored and proud to have hung it in the atrium of our public library this morning, along with two others mailed to me by Ina May Gaskin in preparation for her visit and presentation of the project.

For the backing, I pieced a graph of the rise in maternal mortality rates from 1982-2007, during which time the rates doubled and are now almost five times higher than the U.S. Healthy People 2010 goal. Inside the binding is tucked a length of the red yarn that has bound the New Moon Sisters for so long, welcoming these mothers into the sacred space we created, and offering them peace and reverence. The two other panels (on either side of the blue one) were professionally quilted and are absolutely gorgeous. Papa, The Visionary and I hung the panels carefully. When we stepped downstairs to examine our work, we were amazed that each panel was perfectly on center and even color-coordinated with the space below. This was not intentional. I am looking forward to meeting Ina May Gaskin so much. Her body of work and her vision for this project are so profound. I am beyond honored to be a part of this, and hope that a glimpse of these squares will touch a few hearts, as they have deeply touched mine, so that we might all move toward healthier maternity care and a healthier community of families.Thank you to Rose and The Girl, who just so beautifully happened to be at the library this morning, for entertaining little b while we hung these quilts!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Feathers! (aka The Best Birthday Party Ever)

Sometimes, things happen so serendipitously that we can't help reinforce our inner child's belief in magic. Yesterday we had the absolute privilege of attending the birthday party of a very special six-year old, one Big B has known his entire life. The party took place on a 40-acre ranch a few miles eastward. As soon as we pulled into the gate, I think we all knew this was going to be quite a fun afternoon.The birthday party was beyond fabulous, complete with all amenities and then some--ice cream, pinata, hay ride, corn toss, shaved ice treats, and an old school cartoon projected on a sheet at dusk.Everyone was grinning all afternoon. The magic among our incredible village was everywhere--but I experienced a personal magic, the fulfillment of a quest in the sweetest way I could imagine. Two weeks ago, I decided with total surety that I needed peacock feathers. Lots and lots of peacock feathers. They will be used to bling up an event I'm coordinating, and there is precious little time. When we arrived at the ranch, I learned that there are at least twenty peacocks that live on the land. Some of the little ones (and some grown-ups too!) promptly went on a feather hunt.
I hit the motherload! A bag full of peacock feathers, hawk feathers, quail feathers and more. And--I can't even believe I'm about to type this--as we were on a trail ride, we had to stop to let six huge, gorgeous peacocks cross our path. If that ain't serendipity, I don't know what is!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Beautiful Walk: Downtown Saturday

While Papa was cheering on our alma mater on a brisk autumn football Saturday, Big B, little b and I went to our downtown arts festival and farmer's market to enjoy the fall that is finally here. There were so many sights and people and colors that I asked Big B if he'd like to take a color walk, or a letter walk. He thought long and hard, and said, "Let's take a BEAUTIFUL walk!" So I gave him full control of the camera, and the content, for the morning, and he took pictures of whatever he found beautiful. What a kid.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Learning to Read: Letter Hopscotch

The days are flying by with lightning speed, and Big B is learning to read almost as quickly. New words are added to his repertoire daily. In addition to our nightly reading, we have developed a few games lately to keep this learning process as fun as can be for our little scholar. Today's game: Letter Hopscotch.
Big B would think of the biggest words he could and we'd sound them out together, him jumping to each letter. Then I'd think of words and he'd have to jump to the first letter without help. We had so much fun. When he was all jumped out, Big B, on his own, decided to accentuate the vowels.This chapter of Big B's life is one I know he will enjoy as much as I did, and I feel grateful to be able to witness the unfolding.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Our Dining Room Table

I need another blog like I need a hole in the head. So apparently, I need a hole in the head. Introducing: Our Dining Room Table. It just occurred to me last week that this one singular piece of furniture provides the foundation for sustenance, creativity, study, work, play, art, reading, puzzles, holidays, rainy days, and so much more. This new blog will simply be a collection of photos of this table and whatever happens to be on it. I trust that these little details, these snapshots of our daily mess (bless it), will be savored long after the fingerpaint and the cut-off crusts are cleaned away.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kiwanis Dial-a-Story

I've been so busy lately I've hardly had time to read my children their quota of stories, let alone write blog posts about them. But this week, at just the right time, I found a little help in that department.

Seasoned mothers probably know about this resource, but I've just discovered that our local Kiwanis Club sponsors a FREE telephone story service through our public library system called Dial-a-Story. The Kiwanis Club does this in many counties nationwide. Ask your children's librarian if this service is available for your little ones!

I've programmed our local Dial-a-Story phone number into my phone, so now when Big B wants to hear a story and I just can't get to him quickly enough, he dials it up and loves the autonomy that comes with it. What a brilliant idea! Thank you Kiwanis Club!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Apple Printing: Fall Flowers

What a beautiful, cool-ish, Harvest Moon weekend we enjoyed. After a day out yesterday and an evening with dear friends, today we just played, all day long. We all shared the urge for an art project this afternoon. To honor the fall that has truly arrived, we paid homage to the symbol of harvest: the apple. I prepared some old paper grocery bags with simple green stems and leaves, while Big B sliced the apples in half lengthwise. After squirting some fall-colored acrylic craft paint onto paper plates outside, the boys were well on their way to creating a beautiful fall flower garden.
We surely didn't need another reason to enjoy walking through our front door, but now we have several.
Happy fall!