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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Friday, 29 May 2009
So a kid needs a glove to play baseball.
I found out about t-ball starting this week one hour before it started.
Went home, got Rowan ready.
Ball cap. Check.
Running shoes. Check.
Bug Spray. Check.
Get to the park. Doh! Baseball GLOVE.

So we picked up a glove today at the hardware store ~which is so silly because not one of those 25 3-5 year olds caught a thing with a glove at practice! I think they should just each carry a big net. Anyway, we picked a glove ~ the purple and pink girly one was cheapest, even if it felt like selling my soul to the princess-makers, and we brought it home.

Rowan spent the day being a baseball player. She knows NOTHING about baseball, and one practice under her belt hasn't helped much. She often reminds me of a beloved dog I had, Callie, who always proceeded into everything as if she knew exactly what she was doing, most especially when she had no idea. A trait both awe-inspiring and frustrating at turns!

At practice Rowan ran around the bases, repeatedly, thinking it was a race to each bag for jumping on it and the one who makes the moost dust wins. She caught the rolling ball once, having gotten to it before the mob of little boys chasing it down. One of them then chased HER around the field growling and grabbing for the ball~ she hid behind me.

When we got home, she told Daddy that:
"I was the one in charge of all the balls" and that "I caught the ball every time before the boys could get it.". Um. Not quite. She is a legend in her own mind!

So today, as a baseball player, she wore her sparkly glove on the wrong hand (and could not be convinced otherwise) walked around making statements like "Give me my club so I can score a goal!" and "I caught it! I made a goal! I win!".

She is having fun and that is what counts, right?
Even more than goals clubbed in.
So the ball season has begin!
Grab your club, jump on a base and have fun!
Thursday, 28 May 2009
I have a whole pot full and no one to share it with!

I am not what you would call a cook, so this is the most recipe you will get from this blog!

Around here if I want rhubarb I have to do it myself. My mother and grandmother always cut, froze, stewed and baked with it and we have a nice sized patch in our back yard (which I give away every spring due to the anti-rhubarb vote in this house).

So yesterday we (Ro and I) cut and stewed some~ I thought it was delicious. Rowan said she would eat that when she is a grownup (adding to her long list of things to do when she grows up) and Andy wouldn't go near it.

Cut fresh rhubarb into cubes.

Boil water and dissolve 1/2 c. sugar for 4c. rhubarb

Reduce to simmer and add the rhubarb.

Simmer 15 minutes until the rhubarb is translucent and breaks up with stirring.

I then added natural clover honey and ground cinnamon to taste.

Yummy warm!
If I ate dairy, I am sure it would be delightful over ice cream!
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
The Blog of "Unecessary" Quotes!

Ah, a blog that gets my greates peeve.

I remember once, a friend tried to get me to sign up for a
"Glass" Bottom "Boat" Ride
Since they were uncertain, or hedging on both the bottom and its nature, I passed!
It is Dandelion season!
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
And you are invited!

Tonight at 9 pm our two year anniversary celebration begins in our Hyena Cart shop.

Lots of guests, free lotteries, surprises and more!

Join us for a tea party!
Sunday, 24 May 2009
While looking for resources to teach my daughter to finger knit (there is a great video here) I stumbled across a reference to a knitting nancy.

You remember! The spool or corking set you had as a child for making those long tails of knitted yarn from the scrap bag!

Looking a little further I couldn't find much available for a child to use today for practicing handiwork. So a little tinkering and a few trials and errors and I came up with a design I am happy with and I am offering a couple for sale in our shop anniversary this Tuesday/ Wednesday.

Suitable for kids age 4+.
Friday, 22 May 2009
Rowan has a very best friend. Her name is Jo. They call themselves, as a unit, RoJo.

Jo is almost 18 months older than Ro. Last week I overheard them discussing how they wished they were sisters. And that is how they get along, back and forth between bickering and hugs and kisses. It is really quite lovely.

Jo, it seems, has hit the 'death fascination' age. I remember my youngest sister at that stage~ inquiring avidly if every person or animal was dead/ dying/ or might do so at any moment. It is normal, just jarring!

I left them alone for a few moments today, to come back to the tail end of Jo filling in Ro about Terry Fox (got cancer, lost a leg, ran, died). Rowan's eyes were huge. Jo then proceeded with the story of a young child killed in a car accident. I actually said, to my mortification "Let's think happy thoughts, shall we?!".

Then came the debate to play inside or outside. Jo won with the convincing "if you don't get fresh air you will die" argument. Once outside, there were frequent screams about the poisonous beetle (aka ladybug). And when I picked up a bit of dropped popsicle and popped it in my mouth, Jo stood nose to nose with me and announced "You might die, you know.".

"I won't".
"but you might."
"You could, right? I mean, you MIGHT die!"

She may or may not have been disappointed when I survived.

Rowan took it all in with 'big ears' and a bit of awe about all that Jo knew about a subject we have barely touched to date. I admit, I was kind of surprised, too.

But until she spends an hour playing with dead kittens in the barn like my sister Brooke, I won't be truly impressed. Mind you, the dead kittens and Brooke was really just little girls who didn't know better (until discovered in action by little boys who did know that the kitens shouldn't be all stiff like that) and just coincided with the death kick, but I digress.

I imagine I'll have some 'splainin to do over the next little while!
Thursday, 21 May 2009
A couple of new ideas and an old favourite :)
Stocking at our 2nd Anniversary Party next week at Hyena Cart!

Bookmark:Trinket Dish ( a frivolous necessity ~ you don't know you need one until you need one!):And our fave ball design (a couple are stocked at Etsy now):
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
I have been asked to help with some market research (all will be revealed in time LOL) and I am such a dialogical type~ I need conversation to work things out.
With you, Dear Reader, being in the niche market in question, would you mind lending me your ear and your thoughts (by way of post comments)?

Tshirts/ Onesies.
What do you prefer? What is your buying style when purchasing for babies - age 5?

If a shirt were screenprinted with original art would you prefer...

White, Natural or Coloured shirt (bright or pastel?)
Regular cotton or Organic?
Does location of production matter? North America vs. Asia?
if so, does Fair Trade/ ethically made make a difference
in purchasing Asia/ overseas made?

How much do these choices matter? What would you shift on for the right price/ right product?

Considering that the price points will vary significantly on these factors, seeing actual numbers, would you be more likely to purchase a child's tee:

Regular cotton, made in north america $18
Regular cotton, made overseas $15
Organic cotton, made overseas $18
Organic cotton, made in NA (though still likely to be grown overseas!) $24

Any and all thoughts on your process and choices would be MOST welcome and much appreciated!
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Kelly, a mother of many and a wonderful herbalist made my very favourite soap! She has now passed the baton (andher recipes) to the very talented Natalie at earth muffin and I can say that having had the chance to try my beloved Lavender Anise by Natalie, Kelly has placed her work in excellent hands.

Kelly is now keeping an insightful blog, and I am honored by her kind words about my work at the True Vine Blog.

Thanks Kelly!
Monday, 18 May 2009
What do you think?

Is it Strawberry?!

That is the question around our house this weekend. Last fall we fed a very friendly little chipmunk, and Rowan named him Strawberry. We fully expect he survived a long winter given all the quality seeds he received from our hands, while sitting on our knees and then stashed under our garage!

And lo and behold, who showed up on our porch this weeked? A bold little chipmunk who seems to live in the general area of Strawberry and who is very brave for a newbie.

We are pretty sure he is a sleeker, more mature Strawberry (and Rowan says he is going to find a mommy named Banana and have babies~ which is more accurate than her assertion tonight that our neutered male dog is having babies ~ they are in his tummy, she says ~ why did he eat them? quips daddy).

What do you think?
Last year's chippie (poor quality, sorry!)This year's Strawberry (and upper left image):
Sunday, 17 May 2009
Last night we recieved a tip to check out a website on which there was a live stream of a mama elephant labouring to give birth. It was one of those times when we really felt the poweer of the internet to connect people and teach with real experiences.

It was amazing to watch~ you could feel her pain as she rocked and wrapped her trunk about the bars and her ball. She was kept company by another of her children (or was it 2?). There were a few times when we thought something was coming~ she strained, squatted and... pooped.

The challenge with watching events unfold is that the zoo is in Antwerp and all the text on the site is in Dutch. And the online translators leave a lot to the imagination in their translations (this one was while she was labouring early last evening):
To grant we as many people a can on Phyo Phyo in its werpstal, questions you from at loggen if you will vacuum, just as to the baker pistolets, the carriage wash, a notebook read on the toilet,….in short if you chair than 10 minutes no longer your baffle more. You activity is in order, unwieldly then and keeps track of the tale further. At present there are 20, 000 spyglasses which sit simultaneously for the baffle. With your attention and positive responses you put the attendants a heart under the oar. Weet that it is here highly appreciated. Thanks! Published in news by ZOO Antwerp

We went to bed before the delivery, but baby 'K' arrived safely and you can now watch some videos of these first hours. Too stinking cute!

If you like zoo videos, we are fond of the online selection at the Portland Zoo.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Rowan received a digital camera for Christmas from family. She takes an interest in it on and off, and until today, we have never actually downloaded her pictures.

Once I removed about 200 white blurry ghost shots, we had some real gems.

Yesterday we walked downtown (with camera in hand) and it was a revelation for me~ to see what she sees, what catches her eye, what are the landmarks of importance in her world. While I grew impatient with stopping to photograph grease spots and weeds and ant holes, she was excited to have a way to capture the highlights of this routine journey. The images are mundane on one hand, but precious on the other as they represent her own emerging point of view.

I have left out the numerous geurilla shots of townsfolk to protect the innocent and surprised!

Here are a few:
Twig (one of a series of shots of the same twig):The 'fish sign' (blurred) that marks the beginning of the 'hand holding' parking lot (Ro can run freely until this point).Bush we have been watching come into bud and leaf:
Postal counter from child's height:Pseudoephedrine warning sign (this one makes me giggle!):

The BP machine~ alternately spaceship console, farmer's desk and doctor's office. Miraculously in 3.5 years she has NEVER touched the green button, only the red, as directed (wow!):Beloved rocks in front of the lawyer's office:
Favourite flower bed to balance along:
Give your kid a camera (with supervision!)~ I'd love to see what they see!
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
BTRT hands on Nativity Set subscriptions are stocking on Friday, May 15th in our Hyena Cart shop.

Made to be played with, these sets are all natural (100% wool) needlefelted toys. Miniature sets stand 2-3" tall, while Standard sets are 3-5" tall.

Each set consists of 8 pieces (Mary/Jesus; Joseph; 3 Wise Men; 2 Shepherds and an angel w/ star).

In order to spread out payments and work, we began offering subscriptions last year and it has worked very well. Payments are made for each of four months, with shipping paid in the fifth and the items sent. Due to the many hours required by each set, numbers are very limited and subscriptions are the one sure way to get one!

If you are new to Hyena Cart ~ items are stocked at specific times (ie our Sets are stocking at various times during the day, each subscription only being available after its stocking time, say 9 am or 3 pm). It is free and simple to sign up for an account at HC.

For more info, see our shop.
Sunday, 10 May 2009 a nap.

Another mom and I were discussing this at church this morning~ how what we want for Mother's Day is a break from being a mom. Kind of ironic. I wonder if it is because it is the one day in the year (maybe) when we feel like we can ask for what we really want, no *need* without feeling guilty? I am sure it is partly time of life (preschoolers) ~ I imagine moms of older kids may want to see their kids, not hide from them!

I love my daughter to bits and I am thrilled that she has taken to hugging me and telling me "I love to be with you!". I was over the moon when I received a card from her this week in which she wrote, by herself, , for the very first time, 'Mommy'. I was less than thrilled when she shouted to me in the shower that she was making me a Mother's Day gift and then snapped a pic of me with her little digital camera as I stepped out of the shower (thank goodness she needs *me* to get those pictures off of there!), but I appreciated the depth of her love for me in any state of dress or undress.

But I really, really want a guilt-free nap, sans beloved child.

And you know, when I think about it, my very favourite part of having a nap is the being wakened up by my child~ whether a snuggle, a crowed 'wake up Mommy Cat!' or a 'dog kiss', even (yes, just like a dog!).

So maybe I want to still be a mom today after all!
Saturday, 9 May 2009
This sculpture was commissioned by a mama of two little girls to capture this time in her children's lives (and her own). She described the finished piece beautifully, better than I dared, when she said it captures this time 'of her girls holding onto her, and she, even tighter, to them'.

Made entirely of wool, by needlefelting, no armature or other form/ structure. Stands approx. 6" tall.

It was a pleasure to shape this sweet family!
Friday, 8 May 2009
Hey Felters~ check this out!
A worldwide felting day and a chance to join in a creative, fun felt challenge with felters across the globe on October 3rd, 2009.
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
It is too early to do much but we made our spring acquaintance with Veronica, Daisy, Sage, Pansy and Susan.

We can expect frost, even snow, yet.
But when the nice weather hits, you've just GOT to get into the garden!

Now, I am a lazy gardener, love me some hardy perennials! But today I made a rare buy of annuals, mostly compelled by images of mother and daughter planting together in harmony (before the black flies arrive for the best part of the season!). We snagged a flat of hardened off pansies in an array of rich colours for our front flower bed.

Little did I know that my bug loving, puddle splashing daughter would have an aversion to getting her hands dirty, er, soil-y, soiled(?)! Sure, she'll pick up the *shiver* centipide crawling over my trowel, but won't touch the soil. Thank goodness we bought matcing $2 trowels at the hardware store! (Ugh, I need a haircut and well, ugh, but here I am!)So, with me doing most of the work and Rowan spreading the soil about with her trowel, generally OFF of the pansies I just planted, we achieved our goal~ some colour in the garden~ if not my vision of blissful harmony!
Next project: a cherry tomato plant for Rowan to take care of this summer.

[The one good thing about Ro not digging in was she stayed relatively clean as we ran out of time for a bath. She sulked about missing her bath and worried she would get dirtier overnight. I said I doubted she would get dirty in bed. She thought about it. "Well, if Briar (the dog) came and pooped on it..." So I promised that should our 11 year old, completely housetrained dog who never enters her room at night choose TONIGHT to go in and poop ON Rowan in bed, she could have a bath in the night. I think I am safe. But stranger things have happened!].
Monday, 4 May 2009
The ::FRESH:: congo gang are stocking on Saturday (the 9th on the 9s) and our theme this month is EMBRACE with a sub-theme of sharing our kids' creativity by stocking items they have made (or helped us make). I am really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with as we have kids of all ages in the ::FRESH:: family.

Rowan's contributions are made of wood~ which she has sanded (with me finishing the edges), chosen the colours and painted (I dyed the cars, finished the cats and sealed everything with my fave water based non-toxic sealant). Safe and natural and made with delight by 3.5 year old hands (and mama's too).

It was lots of fun to work together and let Rowan's creative urges lead the way!
Sunday, 3 May 2009
Just a few items that are pretty and cool, and well, pretty cool ~ found while browsing about at Etsy.

A Living Pendant by mcflashpants :These, I love! Hands up all around!
Hand Soap by foliage.I have long had my eye on these Twing Bangles by stratussilver
I love that they come in various sizes, including Queen!

And a brilliant natural play idea~ Scavenger Hunt~ and kit from blynkenandnod
Friday, 1 May 2009
My mother witnessed the power of Rowan's imagination in full persistence this morning. Rowan and I were preparing to travel home and she needed to get dressed. Being a fish, she required specific scales to wear: a blue fish shirt with white and orange fish and matching bottoms~ her favourite outift~ the only one she could and would wear today. The thing is, she doesn't *own* anything of the sort.

She cried and stomped and ran upstairs, loudly slamming things as she searched high and low for the 'favourite outfit'. We couldn't hear everything she said but she was crying out words like 'fishie' and 'shirt' at regular intervals. It was quite a scene.

When she came back downstairs ( I continued about my packing and preparations while this ran its course) and we determined another set of scales would do, my mother decided to push the matter, telling Rowan she was not a fish, but a girl pretending to be a fish.
And there she met the imagination of a child~ complete conviction and a genuine immersion into fantasy as Rowan roared back with unusual vitriol that she was, too, a fish. My Mom asked me with concern if I didn't think we should keep play from running so deeply.

Nope. She meant well and spoke from love and concern and this is no criticism of a grandmother's observances. And she's right in part~ it is darn inconvenient to spend 30 minutes easng an imaginary fish/child into the correct scales for a journey home to the ocean.

And the question played on me.

And then on the way home, one of Ro's CDs played this song by Trout Fishing in America:

Back When I Could Fly

I used to be invisible, a shape changing magic kid.
I could move at the speed of thought and frequently I did,
But my greatest accomplishment was a slow and looping glide.

I saw the tops of everything,
back when I could fly.

I'd take my daily nap on the highest leafy branch,

And follow shooting stars on a comet's fiery lance.

I was quite the prodigy, when I owned the sky.

I never thought I'd have to walk,
back when I could fly.

Keep your eye on the ball, your feet on solid ground.

Always sit up straight and tall and never make a sound.

In just a few short years, I learned not to be a child,

And I forgot the things I had when I was wild.

Now, my child, you'll learn arithmetic, coloring and sports.

You'll have a flair for nouns and verbs, and be late with book reports.
But in spite of all the rules that bind your wings so tight,

I hope you won't forget about the days when you could fly.

I'd take my daily nap on the highest leafy branch,

And follow shooting stars on a comet's fiery lance.

I was quite the prodigy, when I owned the sky.

I never thought I'd have to walk,

I never had to try,

Back when I could fly.

And I knew my fish-girl could go on being a fish, or a dolphin-with-a-long-snout, or a puppy or kitty or Picklesaurus as long as she is able, and I prayed that it will be a long, long time before she has to even try to walk.

Fly, little fishie!
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