Monday, 29 November 2010

Making Decisions in Seven Easy Steps – Nuffnang Blogger Challenge

Regular readers might have noticed the new ads I have on my blog the past couple of months – they’re hosted by Nuffnang and so far I’m super in love with them; it’s a great blogging community and they have great support.nuffnanglogo

As it turns out this month they are holding The Nuffnang Christmas Blogger Challenge, which is:

Pick out the best blog post you wrote in 2010, and write a blog post which links to that post and explains why it’s your favourite.


The prize for this is an Apple iPad, which would be SUPER AWESOME to win. My first computer was an Apple: an Apple IIe to be precise. It was possibly the best computer ever made. But now there’s an iPad out there and I would so dearly LOVE to win one, not only because it’s really cool, but because early next year we’ll be going on a round-the-world trip to Argentina for the next World Rainbow Gathering, then to Israel for Littletree’s 8th birthday, then to India, because it’s Litteltree’s big dream to go to India, and if I had an iPad it would be so much easier to keep up with blogging along the way.

But the challenge… to pick out the best blog post from 2010. Whoa. I have 110 blog posts so far this year – it took a couple of hours to read through them all and select the contenders for best post. Another few hours were spent in whittling it down to a short list of 10 posts. I ummed and ahhhed for ages.

Should it be Of Rainbows and Sunsets, which has awesome pictures and encapsulates my life and my blog quite well, or should it be Surprise Flower, which is short and sweet? Should I go for something funny, like When Life Gives you Bananas or what about something that showcases Littetree’s cuteness and intellect, like The Question of Invention? And don’t forget midwifery-related posts like Beautiful Birthing.

machineStuck in a conundrum, I decided to go about this in a rational, scientific way. Obviously the solution would be to build a Decide-A-Tron like the computer they made in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to find the golden ticket.

So I got out all my tools and set to work to build the ultimate machine! Unfortunately, just like the computer in the movie, it failed to yield the correct answer.


Perhaps I wasn’t being scientific enough. I tried to concoct a super elixir that would give me infinite wisdom


Still undecided, it seemed I needed to be more methodical, so I went for the Tibetan Deduction Technique demonstrated by Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks

It turns out (as would have been evident to anyone who knows me), I never managed to hit the bottle at all.


I realised that since this is about my favourite post, I would have to delve into how I really feel about it, tuning in to the heart rather than the head, so I had a sitting with a Tarot-reader…


I now know that there is a tall, dark stranger and an Apple iPad in my future, but as to which blog post is best, I was still in the fog. Clearly, I needed to connect with my own inner being. I sat in deep meditation and asked a pendulum…


The final answer still not coming to me, I went to my Guru and Master… Littletree. She just laughed at me, and finally we went with my best blog post for 2010: Faerie Shoes.

I love this post because it’s a little humorous, it has nice pictures, and in one brief snip gives a neat look into my life and what my blog is about. And it’s the post that’s gonna win me the competition, which will be the best Christmas present ever! Best of all, we’ve decided to celebrate Christmas this year, so it will be extra excellent to have a cool present under the tree.

So, everyone, tell me what you think; how do you go about making tough decisions?

Thursday, 25 November 2010

New Article – Parenting Partnerships

A new article of mine was published on Essence of Life about having respectful partnerships, and how we as parents can work together to model open communication for our children. You can read the article HERE

The timing is quite apt, being that today is Purple and my anniversary – 8 years since we snuck off to an office in Cyprus for a “passport wedding”. It was a fun adventure, and the paper we got out of it certainly made life easier for a lot of bureaucratic dramas we’ve since had to navigate. We certainly don’t take the ‘legally wed’ part of it very seriously.

Our relationship might be somewhat unconventional, being polyamorous, and some what challenging, but through open communication, honest sharing of feelings and lots of patience, it works for us… well, most of the time.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Little Christmas Tree

Littletree had a few friends staying over for a little slumber party last week and the kids found an old box of tinsel and baubles that we had stashed in a closet.

For the record, I would like to point out that these decorations were bought by Littletree in late February last year because she thinks they’re pretty. Which makes them just decorations, not Christmas decorations.

Anyway, the kids found the decorations and decided to make a Christmas tree. They went outside and found a suitable bamboo cutting and then set about decorating it.

33 christmas tree

Then they got all the old baubles and threaded new strings on them

35 christmas tree

and made stars and new decorations out of paper and colours and glue

36 christmas tree

Finally, the finished product standing all sparkly in our fireplace

37 christmas tree

Not really my cup of tea, but the kids had a great time doing it :)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

My Little Houseguest

It’s been very busy this weekend in the Majikfaerie household, with the village festival happening and the scout council for the next Australian Rainbow Gathering being hosted in my house.

We’ve all been busy helping with the festival – Purple was on the crew helping to set up stages and whatnot and I was one of the official First-Aid crew, while Littletree was performing in two of the acts.

There’s been about twenty rainbow people staying in our home, which has been crazy and wonderful – the best part being that I’ve not had to do any dishes all weekend!


And my favourite houseguest of all:

31 spider

Thursday, 18 November 2010

It’s Beautiful Here

Two years ago, my dream was to find a large parcel of land that we could buy; at least 100 acres, on which we could live, and share with several other homeschooling families. Where we could have communal veggie gardens, and fresh water, and forest land, and everyone could build their own houses from straw-bale or cob or whatever, and we’d all live together and raise free-range children.

At the time, we didn’t quite have the cash capital to manifest that dream, at least not without mortgaging ourselves to the limit and having to live off instant noodles for the next 30 years.

By accident (quite literally by accident – I crashed the car here), we stumbled across the village we now live in. It’s not a community in the commune sense, but it’s surely a community in the unity sense.

We live in an awesome village – there’s 5 or 6 families with children in Littletree’s age-group within a 5 minute walk from our home. Most of the people in this small village are very like-minded; no one looks at us oddly because we have bare feet or dreadlocks or children in public out of school hours. There’s an organic store a few minutes walk from our house, and many communes and organic farms in the area.

There’s a wonderful sense of being a part of a functioning community. It seems almost every day there’s some kind of activity, many workshops and classes available in the village hall (like yoga, dancing, singing, drawing, herbs, tree-planting, wild foods, permaculture, meditations, etc), live music shows every week, a farmer’s market, a craft market, a book exchange, a cafe, a herbal medicine store, free complimentary therapy clinics, homeschooled kids, an arts collective, regular jam sessions… and on and on.

There’s always some friends hanging about in the village, someone playing music or crafting something, someone to talk to.

Lately I was hanging around the village green after the farmer’s market; loads of people were about preparing for the village festival. Heaps of kids were running about freely, a small group of people were working on various art projects

14 craft

some were making a sculpture from recycled tea bags

17 tea bag art

a few folk were weaving elaborate stuff

15 weaving

there was a group of musicians together for the usual spontaneous jam

18 village jam

Of course, the small village lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but I love it! This is my home :)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Goji Goodness

A few years ago Purple and I started experimenting with making our own liqueurs based on the cherry wine recipe that was handed down from Purple’s grandmother.

The cherry wine was simply divine, and we quickly found out that the cherries can be substituted for cranberries, which was fantastically delicious. As was apricot, mango, chai, pineapple, lemon, date and various other yummy liqueurs we tried making. My all time favourites remained the original cherry and the cranberry

When we moved to Australia, dried cherries and cranberries weren’t as easy to come by as they were in Israel, but still we kept on experimenting…

And now we’ve come to the best ever – Goji Berry liqueur. Oh it’s AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!

I started with a cup of organic Goji berries (AKA wolfberries) in a bottle cleaned out with boiling water.

41 goji liqueur

To which I added 2/3 cup of organic sugar, a cup of white wine and a cup of vodka

42 goji liqueur

Put the lid on the bottle and give it a good shake

44 goji liqueur

Then let it sit in the cupboard, giving it regular shakes, for several weeks, until it’s ready. This batch was perfect after 6 weeks.


Sadly, the process has a by-product: alcohol-soaked goji berries. So my poor guests have to suffer through being served my organic, raw, homemade ice cream with adults-only goji berries. And goji berry steamed puddings. And all sorts of delectable delights.

Of course it’s all healthy and good for us, because the goji are so packed with antioxidants and amino acids and whatnot.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

New Article – Connected Communication

Essence of Life has published another of my natural parenting articles, this one is about communicating authentically with children, and supporting them respectfully in expressing their feelings in the way they need to.

You can read it HERE

Incidentally, Littletree also wanted to show off her new sparkle hair-spray

05 sparkles

Friday, 12 November 2010

Poi Twirling

This week we were back at home school group, which met for a Poi Twirling workshop – loads of fun!

21 poi workshop

The kids had an awesome time learning new skills and practicing old ones

27 poi workshop

Littletree even managed to master a few tricky tricks

24 poi workshop

I guess soon she’ll have a new talent to add to her busking act as well!

25 poi workshop

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Fresh Salad

We came back from the Rainbow Gathering to find out veggie garden bloomed while we were away, so now we’re eating fresh greens from the garden every day.


It’s awesome :) I love that the first thing we do now when it’s time to make food is to step just outside the door and pick fresh veg.


and the salads are super-delish!


It feels wonderful to eat locally – we already get most of our produce from local farms; friends of ours have an organic farm that’s bicycle-riding distance away. But now we’re eating food that’s grown about 5 metres from the kitchen, and fresh-picked 5 minutes before eating.

Combined with the cheese we make ourselves, and cassava from our own garden, we can have entire meals from our own land. mmmmm :)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

New Article – Love is its Own Reward

Another natural parenting article of mine was published on Essence of Life last month, it’s called Love is its Own Reward, which you can read HERE. It’s about raising children without bribes and rewards, but connecting with them through love and respect. The article goes as a partner with my previous article, Respect Not Punishment which you can read HERE.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Blue Mountains Rainbow Gathering

We’re all home from the rainbow adventure now and well unpacked. The gathering was spectacular! One of the most stunningly beautiful sites; and not just beautiful, but logistically perfect and easy – clean water, nice land, soft grass, no ticks, mozzies or leeches, easy access while not being too close to any towns… and awesome people!

Littletree and I drove down slowly, stopping on the way to see the Solar System Drive that you can read about HERE.

There were so many rainbows on the way there, it was almost like magical providence leading us home

002 rainbow

We were lucky enough to get there early, before the road was blocked, so I could drive right in to the site to unload our tipi and the poles and everything (cars aren’t allowed to enter the rainbow site after the opening day), and since we’d decided to sleep the night on the road just before coming into the site, we arrived early morning and had plenty of time to find our perfect campsite and set up and get the car out before the day was over. Our faithful van Sunshine served us like a true champion :)

034 welcome home

I had help from a couple of people to get the tipi up and was quickly rewarded by yet another rainbow

039 tipi rainbow

So we were settled in and ready to work on helping set up the gathering and build infrastructure

080 welcome home sign

The gathering was so full of wonderful friends. I barely saw Littletree as she roamed freely with a bunch of other kids exploring the forest. They all made bows and arrows

099 bow and arrow

and played all sorts of cool games

140 kids

and made faerie crowns

041 faerie crown

and did face painting

100 face painting

and attracted butterflies

077 butterfly

It’s such a supportive environment for children – no cars or roads to worry about, dozens of supportive grown-ups available, and freedom to roam and explore :D

A local theatre group, Living Light, joined the gathering to give a preview of their performance

093 theatre performance

I spent a fair bit of time in the kitchen, though not as much as I have in the past, which is pretty good

117 kitchen faerie

and we opened up our tipi for chai nights where I made doughnuts for everyone. I pumped out a few hundred organic chocolate-filled doughnuts, and cinnamon ring doughnuts. mmmm

I also did a lot of crochet – I added six new hearts to Littetree’s blanket, I held a couple of crochet workshops

 045 crochet circle

and I even made a rainbow heart that slowly morphs into a square to be part of a patchwork community blanket; a free-form heart that becomes a square was no easy feat, I don’t think I did too badly, considering this was my first attempt.

078 crochet heart square

Since there were several pregnant mamas,

151 beautiful belly

I held several midwifery circles and did ante-natal check-ups

145 midwifery workshop

I swam every day in the creek

086 dread faerie aphrodite

sang and danced in the magic hat parade

133 magic hat

played capoeira and partied around the drum circle by main fire

068 dancing before dinner

enjoyed the sunset against the mountains

156 mountain

and watched the full moon rise

072 full moon rising

It was such an enriching, revitalising experience. To be in nature, to hold hands and chant AUM with 100 people before every meal, to sit in talking circles, and feel supported by my family. I was sad to leave, but I left knowing the consensus for the next rainbow in Australia will be just 2 months away, in January! details HERE

Of course, there’s no way I could fit the whole experience of rainbow into one (or even two) blog posts, and I took many photos, which you can browse on my flicker page HERE.