Wednesday, 31 October 2007

My Vege Patch

Our Garden is growing so beautifully lately; I've been doing a lot of work in it and the recent thunderstorms have it really blooming.
I've got heaps of Comfrey

Tomatoes all over the place

Papayas in abundance

Nastirtiums all around the fence

Lavender and herbs to my hearts content

And we've just put in carrots, silverbeet, spinach, pumpkins, capsicum, broccoli, salad greens, calendula, petunias, basil, sugarsnap peas and more...
There's still a lot of weeds
but slowly slowly I'm working on getting it all cleared and looking good. and anyway, I dont mind too much the weeds, coz its all about letting nature grow as it wants to; mother nature definately knows far better than I do. Besides, leaving the weeds provides more food for the bugs, so they eat less of my veges.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Littletree's Little Room

This weekend our new landlord came over and did some more work on the cottage, he fixed the leaking shower too.

I didn't yet mention Littletree's new room that he built.

When we came back from the rainbow, we found that heaps of work had been done on the cottage; a lot of the cracks had been filled, the termites had been treated, and we have new stairs (to replace the rickety old bamboo ladder).

Amazingly, B, the sweet English girl who lives up the road had come into the house while we were away at the rainbow and oiled and varnished all the wooden surfaces in the house! It looks fantastic; somehow makes the place seem less rustic. She said that she'd seen how much work we were putting into making the rainbow happen, and she wanted to give something back. So she came and did some work on our house!!

But the most amazing thing was that the landlord manifested my fantasy deck. Where the front stairs used to be, he's built a beautiful wooden deck, and turned the old front door into a window. So now, insead of having the wasted space of stairs and a door that we never use (there's 2 other doors), we have an extra little room.

He also cleared a path and some new stairs outside, leading up to the patio area out the side door, which is now our front door. :)

I had originally thought the space would be a good office space for Purple, but when I saw it, it was clear; a playroom for Littletree. Its just a little space, like 1Mx2M, but its perfect for her. She has her toyboxes in there, and her little bench and chair. She just about lives in there; she eats all her meals there and hangs out and plays.

The best part is that now her toys are contained, rather than being spread over the whole house. And the stairs space underneath is now a storage area that is accessable from the outside.

Even better is that I asked him if we can build an oven like the one we made at the rainbow, and he is totally into it! I showed him the pictures of the oven, and he thought it was great!

Friday, 26 October 2007

What A Week

I just realised it's been a whole week since I posted. Lots been happening, I suppose...
Mostly I've just been staying home with Littletree, spending time together.
Been working on the garden, which is now getting close to its pre-gathering state and about ready for some new improvements. I saw an incredibly beautiful spider in amongst the weeds, it was quite small; a little too small for me to successfully capture with my little camera, but its body was shiny gold and silver.

Been reading lots; since we went to the library and borrowed books. Littletree is really starting to get into reading and writing. She is constantly asking how to spell things, and asking me to help her write: she says what she wants to write, and I tell her how to spell it, and how the letters are formed. She's really writing legible sentences.
I bought a little electric oven, so we've been baking cakes and muffins and pizza - Yum!

Rapunzel came to stay with us too, which has been really nice. Littletree loves her to bits, and the two of them got into the jar of glitter, which is still covering the house four days later!

So while the glitter-fairies are dressing up like princesses, I've been studying a lot; I got a new midwifery textbook, which is great to sink my teeth into. I start feeling ready to venture into the world of birthing again, maybe network a bit and get some clients.

We've been having quite a girl's party, with Rapunzel staying, and also Rinka came to stay for a couple of days too.

It was interesting mostly to see how Rapunzel is so real and honest with what she eats, munching chips and sweets to her heart's desire, while Rinka was doing a fruit cleanse.
Mostly we just hung out. Playing ticklemonster with Littletree, chatting about healing, and birthing, and education, and family, baking, we went over to the cafe across the road, we swam in the pool...
Today was storytime at the library again, Littletree made a teddybear puppet. Her's was definately the least "beautiful" one of all the kids' (read: not neatly cut and glued, nor coloured within the lines), but her's was the only one that was done without parental assistance.
It's been a nice week. and Purple is due to come back on Monday.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Littletree's Garden

We went to the Storytime at the library today; something I've been meaning to do since we moved here.

I was a bit nervous about the idea, because I know how freaked out Littletree gets when there's lots of kids around. But I figured she would love the stories, and they do a craft activity after the story.

Of course, it was just our luck that when we got there double the usual number of kids came. There was literally 30 kids, with their assorted mums in this one little room of the children's area in our tiny local village library! It was like a circus!

So Littletree was painfully shy, and clung to me for dear life, wanting to go home. I just hugged her tightly, thinking that if she would get really upset we'd go. Anyway, though she wouldn't let go of me, she managed to sit through the two stories; one a non-fiction pop-up book about insects, and the other a beautiful story called Mrs Millie's Painting, about an old woman who paints pictures of flowers that come to life. It was really such a beautiful book.

So then they had the craft activity, which was glueing random stuff to make a garden picture. Of course, 30 kids and only space at the tables for about a dozen was quite chaotic. So I just grabbed a few things for her to work with and we sat on the floor. Littletree slowly came a bit out of her shell with all the glue and sparkly things, and she made a beautiful garden picture :)

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

A Song Written by Purple

Purple wrote this amazing song when we were at the rainbow;

When I take her to the park to play
I want to hold her hand
And not let her run away
Or fill her mouth with sand

She drives her little scooter
Nearly smashes into the wall
She goes up the highest slide
I almost scream – she’s going to fall

And I love her…

So I let her run free
Be who she wants to be
She can learn from her own mistakes
Live in every breath she takes
She’ll have time for her own tears
She has no use for my old fears

When I see a wild flower
Do I chop its head; put it in a vase;
Watch it whither for three days
And never let it grow?
How can I do it to my child?
Why should I block her flow?

I show her rocks and birds and trees
I help her catch and throw a ball
I’d teach her everything there is
But all she wants is a Barbie doll

I want to tell her it is bad
A danger to her self esteem
I want to show her how I’m sad
That she takes part in such a dream

And I love her…

So I let her buy three
Be who she wants to be
She can learn from her own mistakes
Live in every breath she takes
She’s a person whose opinions count
She has to know I have no doubt

When I see a wild flower
Do I chop its head; put it in a vase;
Watch it whither for three days
And never let it grow?
How can I do it to my child?
Why should I block her flow?

She’s taking out her water paints
Her drawings can be neat and fine
But then she pours them on my shoes
Clearly she has crossed the line

Anger flashes through my eyes
‘I’ll show you what, you little brat!
There’s consequence to what you’ve done
I’ll teach you that you can’t do that!’

And I love her…

So I hug her to me
She’s sorry. I can see.
She can learn from her own mistakes
Live in every breath she takes
My shoes – they are already lost
But she knows I love her at any cost

When I see a wild flower
Do I chop its head; put it in a vase;
Watch it whither for three days
And never let it grow?
How can I do it to my child?
Why should I block her flow?

I really love this song, it totally expresses our parenting philosophy, how we are raising Littletree with unconditional respect...

Invisible Posters and Thread Killers... UNITE

MDC closed down my beloved thread; Invisible Posters ... and Thread Killers... Welcome oh the pain!!!

Anyway, it got sorted in the end and we have a new thread...
And Littletree sang a song about birds to cheer me up

Monday, 15 October 2007

Elimination Communication

My latest Natural Parenting article was published on Essence Of Life.
Its about Elimination Communication, which is a way of having babies without diapers and paying attention to their signals to know when they need to go. In general it means having "toilet-trained" kids at around one year old.
Again, I'm not thrilled about the editor's cut, but what to do? they pay me anyways ;)

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Littletree Magic

Here is Littletree doing a magic trick. I have no idea how she does it!

I asked her, but she said, "a magician never reveals her tricks"

So I figured I'd try out the new Blogger Video feature... See how it compares to YouTube...


I couldn't make it work on Blogger, so I did it on YouTube. even that took me a lot of effort. I think our internet connection isn't up to it :(

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Rainbow Dayze

Our trip to the Australian National Rainbow Gathering started with packing. A LOT of packing
Since our new landlord said he would get some rennovations done on the cottage while we're away, we needed to pack everything up; not just what we were taking, but also to box all the rest of the stuff and get it out of the way.
Of course this meant that I decided to bring way more stuff than we needed, since we packed it anyway, and it seemed easier just to chuck it all in the car than decide what to take and what to leave.
We were just about ready to go when Littletree decided she had to eat some spaghetti. Of course, That was a fun clean-up, and just moments later I went to get the feather sleeping bag that was sunning outside when it snagged on a stick and ripped open, feathers EVERYWHERE.
No worries, I picked up the spaghetti and sewed up the sleeping bag, and without too much stress and very little fighting, we got into the car. One last moment of excitement; a bit old koala came down to the trees by the car to say goodbye.
The drive was long, and we stopped often so Littletree could stretch her legs. Arriving out to the site, we found that the exact site had been moved. Turns out the land we were on was the same land the rainbow family had been invited to gather on by the local Bundjalung Aboriginal elders back in 1996. Only then the rainbow family had turned the site down; we weren't ready for it.

Somehow, by chance, we ended up gathering there, and the locals were really happy about it. The only problem was that the local cattle farming co-op was mustering their herds right thought the gathering site then, so they moved us a couple of Kms upstream. No problem.

When we arrived, there was just a handful of people, 20 or so, and many of them seemed a bit bitter about having moved from the "better" site. But we grinned, and saw the beauty of the new spot, and put our tipi up in a choice location.
I thought the gathering was amazing; the site was really beautiful, with a crystal clear, fast-flowing, sweet river - Washpool Creek. It was a little chilly in the water for some, but I found it very refreshing and went swimming every day.

We had hot sunny days and fresh starry nights. It only rained seriously one time, and that was just one night of rain, though it was raining when the seed camp got started and it rained a little right at the end of the clean-up. We were truly blessed.
I did a bit of focalising in the kitchen; here's one of the yummy dishes we made:

The gathering was smaller than we expected; just under 200 at full moon. It seemed a lot of the local 'core' rainbow crew didn't come, but that was nice too. There were lots of workshops; singing, dance, meditation, massage, juggling, fairy-wing-making, herb and bush tucker walks, healing, capoeira, sisters' circles, mens' circles, hunting, weaving, music, dreamspell, knot-tying, rocket-stove building, cooking, and more.
Purple built an amazing oven and a sister called Odd and I used cow shit to sculpt a big pregnant woman around it, so it looks like the door of the oven was her yoni, from which she birthed lots of yummy sour-dough breads, pizza and cakes. We called it The Bun In The Oven Bakery!

I was so impressed with Purple's effort in making it; he'd never built an oven before, and he didn't announce in the circle that he was planning to make it, and didn't ask for people to help him. He just snuck off when no one was looking and did it. I think Odd and someone else helped him a bit in the end, but still, it was a great effort. So now I'm gonna get him to build me one at home too :)
I did some Capoeira workshops for beginners and a couple of goo capoeiristas came, but I've come to realise its just not a really huge sport in Australia. Oh Well.
Here's me playing with a girl who's name I can't remember:

Purple gave a great Intuitive Massage workshop, and some other workshops too. We also talked a lot about Unschooling, and a couple of people even came up to me to say they'd seen my blog and they were inspired to start unschooling!

The best part of the gathering was the people; there were loads of kids which was fantastic, and a reasonably functioning kids' kitchen, with a self-service breakfast and a prepared kids' lunch every day. We hardly saw Littletree at all, she was so often running around with some other kids or grown-ups.

It was so great to see all the rainbow kids running around together, hanging down by the creek and playing in the forest. Some people brought canoes for the kids to paddle in and some people did workshops for the kids and storytelling. Some of the men took the boys off on a bushwalk, and taught them how to make spears and eel traps for hunting.

Nicole did a workshop with the kids to make fairy wings that was a real hit.
Anyway, it was a great gathering. Littletree managed to catch the flu towards the end, so of course I caught it from her, and then Purple did too. But it wasn't so bad and we got lots of healing from many loving people. I'll do another post to share some more pics, but that's about all I can write for now!

Friday, 12 October 2007


I had a new article published on Essence of Life
Its a spiritual travel story about when I was in Cambodia in 2000 as part of my hitchhike from Indonesia to India.
Anyway, I think it's nice, you can read it if you like

I know, I know, I was going to write a nice long post about the rainbow gathering... I'm getting to it, dont rush me! I only just now finally emptied my inbox, so give me a break! Well, I haven't been completely idle; I uploaded all our photos and got them online at flickr

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Home Again

Well, that's it. We packed up and left the rainbow gathering.

A little earlier than I'd expected, but the gathering was pretty much over. Only a dozen people were still there, most of whom were leaving in the next day or two. Everything was pretty much packed up, only the main kitchen and the straggler's personal camps remained, and the main kitchen was getting packed down today.

The great news is that we ended with a zero balance in the magic hat :) no left over money to bicker over.

The gathering itself was amazing, as usual.

Powerful ceremony with the local Aboriginal Bundjalung tribe, lots of kids, shining happy people, beautiful site, crystal clear river, great weather (it only rained seriously one night), yummy food every night, so many lovely friends, old and new...

Anyway, we've had a long day; packing up the tipi and everything, then the long drive home, and unpacking (well, some of the unpacking). So I'll save the long and detailed rave for tomorrow. not to mention all the photos ;)

Friday, 5 October 2007

The Story of the Infinite Unicorns

We are still at the rainbow gathering... I've just come to town to do some shopping...
Anyway, I just wanted to share a story that Littletree told me; she made it up as she went along, and the whole story took about an hour, full of details. Well, I'll write a synopsis:
The Story of the Infinite Unicorns
Once Upon a Time
there was a little girl called Demelza. She was down by the river with her mama
when a flying unicorn with beautiful wings came and offered to give her a ride on its back. Then another unicorn came for Demelza's mama to ride on. Then an infinite number of Unicorns came so that everyone in Demelza's infinite family would have a unicorn to ride on.

The flew up into the sky, very very far, until they reached the top of a mountain that was so hight it reached up into the clouds. At the top of the mountain was a huge cave that the unicorns lived in, and the inside of the cave was covered with infinite rainbow coloured crystals that lit the way.

Inside there were infinite clouds that all the unicorns and Demelza's family could lie on and rest. Then they heard a big noise, and saw that it was a big big butterfly, with rainbow coloured wings (but they weren't scary). The Butterfly was so big it was the size of the whole mountain, and there was an infinite number of Butterflies.

They all ate a huge feast of lots of yummy foods, especially celery. Then the Unicorns flew Demelza and her family home again.
I just thought it was such a wonderful story. I wish I'd had a tape recorder to record her telling the whole tale.