Miscellaneous

 
 

Ready, Reset, Go!

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After a long winter, and emotional hibernation, this mama bear is beginning to stir.

I began this blogging adventure, to share some of my journey as an alternative “hippie” mama, making a go at passionately thriving. The initial hormone boost of new mamahood fueled some fun and ambitious posting. I felt confidant that I was capable of anything, and that I should do everything in my power to be the best mama possible. However, my excitement quickly overcame my abilities. I found my mind taking off in a million different directions, inspired to tackle a thousand projects a day.

Some days I managed to narrow down my goals to a few manageable tasks. I tried to minimize the inner conflict I felt; torn between feelings of primal empowerment as a mother with strong intuitive instincts, and surprising isolation and frustration from not returning to work in my previous field as soon as I had expected.

Recently my adventures have been too tumultuous to warrant posts that wouldn’t later be regretfully embarrassing. I will say that my son and I are happy and healthy and I am eternally grateful to have such a strong and courageous mother to learn from.

So, since words are difficult to deal in right now, I am shifting my creative energy to a renewed love for the visual arts. Above is my first foray into “structured doodling” or zentangling. The meditative nature of this technique has already had an immensely uplifting and regenerative impact on my spirit.

There will be many of these and other pieces in an ongoing zentangle series, as I work towards finding my unique voice amid the bustling, blogging community.

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Ch-Ch-Changes

Happy Holidays to anyone out there still following this blog.

AlcheMysticMama is currently undergoing some changes.

I’ve recently received some amazing advice and inspiration from other mamas, magically just when I needed their support most.

This has cemented my decision to make AlcheMysticMama a collaborative project. So, there maybe a bit of a continued hibernation period, with less periodic posting. However, we will do our best to keep you up to date with our evolution.

And, if there are any Alternative,Creative, Quirky, and Fabulously Fantastic mamas out there who would like to join us in our innovative, re-imagining of the motherhood concept; please comment and we will contact you 🙂

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Keeping Hope Alive

I am here 

and there

and it feels like a little bit of everywhere these days.

I celebrated surviving the seven month postpartum depression risk zone, just in time to welcome the changing seasons, and the associated seasonal affected disorder with another major life altering decision. Our little family moved halfway across the country!

While this has been something we have been longing to do, the work necessary to bring our dream into reality has been a bit overwhelming. Add to that my unwillingness to allow any admonitions of stress, and you have a recipe for complete and utter exhaustion. In fact, by the time we arrived at our wonderfully quaint little cabin, I was about to tuck tail and run the nearly 2,000 miles back home!

Deep Breath

After a couple of weeks adjusting to the elevation, isolation, and lack of communication (yes, there are still such places in the US, thank God) I began to settle into our new age homesteading lifestyle. My property manager has been a delightful source of inspiration with her frequent gifts of fresh fruits and veggies from her back yard. I made my first apple pie from scratch, with apples from her trees. I was going to post the recipe with pics, but the pie was devoured before I could think to snag a photo. Quite a testament to the value of home made baked goods, as well as an ego boost to boot.

Yesterday we experienced a little taste of autumn, as some cold, grey wet blew in to tone down the  summer. We enjoyed staying cozy with some fresh potato soup and beer bread. However I was reminded to savor the remaining days of sunshine and stock up on my omega oils and vitamin D3.

Best of all, our son has seen some local wildlife along with giant trees and more flora than he has yet to experience in his citified origins. 

Here’s to remembering to enjoy where we are, while we are there!

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Summer Scramble

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Wildcrafting Summer Seasonals

I have long romanticized the practice of foraging for your own greens, nuts and berries. There is something deeply satisfying about discovering a food source growing wild, sometimes even in your own backyard. Then I began to hear stories reminiscent of Into The Wild, and I started questioning my ability  to differentiate between nutritious edibles and their poisonous cousins. Add in factors like pollution and pesticides and safe urban foraging finds become few and far between.

This summer I’ve decided to let go of the negative funk that’s been holding me back from the wonderful world of wildcrafting. Knowledge is power, so I’m going to research, research, research. Here are some of my favorite resources so far.

ForagingTexas.com

I thought I’d start with plants I might find while walking to the park or on the local bike trails. (These areas are potentially pesticide and pollution heavy, so I’ll just be eyeballing plants in these areas to practice recognizing different varieties) Miss Merriwether of Houston, Texas has compiled an excellent list of native plants on her blog, ForagingTexas.com; and she even offers classes on edible wild plants at the Houston Arboretum. I think I see a road trip in our future!

Woolgathering and Wildcrafting

This is my new favorite blog. Asia’s writing style is simply indulgent. On top of that her site is chock full of womanly wisdom. The above post includes a recipe to make your own rose infused honey. Mmmmmm…..Yes, please!

WildEdibleTexas.com

Here’s another local girl offering classes on edible wild plants in the Austin, Texas area. Thanks to her post this May, I now know that Prickly Pear Petals can make a delicious addition to salads and sandwiches. Remember to leave the center of the flower so you can enjoy the plant’s delicious fruit later.

The Garden Compass App

This app has been a little bit hit or miss since it’s geared more towards garden variety cultivars. I was able to identify my grandmother’s Oleander bush as poisonous, but they incorrectly identified the plant below as balsamroot. Anybody out there recognize this bush?

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Conservation Seeding and Restoration Inc.

When I searched balsamroot to find it’s properties this blog set me straight with the picture below

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Help!

At six and a half months postpartum, I’ve finally hit a wall. I’ve had my fair share of emotional ups and downs over the past several months, but our little family has managed to survive and even thrive thus far.

Now, exhaustion has crept into every nook & cranny of my body. Which I find hard to fathom because I get at least eight hours a night plus a nap most days. (yes, I usually still wake up at least once to change a wet diaper)
Is it really that emotionally draining to be on constant high alert during my waking hours playing the role of primary care provider to my son?

Somehow, in this liberated, feminist-friendly day and age, isolated nuclear family units seem to be the norm for couples wishing to make a cooperative effort to raise their children. I was under the impression that the new grandmothers in the family would be more hands on, what with all the “it takes a village” talk while I was pregnant. Of course, some of their efforts to help out have been thwarted by my stubborn refusal to just do things “the way they have always been done, and everyone’s turned out just fine”.

Well, I want better than “just fine”. I want the best. As I mentioned in earlier posts, this perfectionistic attitude can lead to procrastination when an overwhelming multitude of possibilities present themselves. And here we are, a true American melting pot of parenting practices.

Is it really necessary to vaccinate if I plan to unschool my son? And if so, how do I weed out the superfluous ones (like maybe chicken pox?) And how long can I wait to decide on any of them?

And since I mentioned unschooling, there’s a hot button topic a rarely mention, because I’m still not sure I’m up to the task; even though I’m certain we need an alternative to public education, and private schools tend to be a pricey religious gamble.

Is it possible to eat wholesome, organic meals and still have the time and money to indulge in regular, family-friendly entertainment and activities? And do we want to participate in the normal consumer-driven activities which dominate the majority? Or is it true that the best things in life are free?

These are just a few of the parental concerns plaguing my brain lately. Again I long to live someplace where everyone agrees on a few main tenets. However, I am thankful to have access to some of the creative innovations afforded by our freedom. Now, if I can just sift through the muck and the mire to find true parenting gold.

Baby steps!

Right now, I’m going to refer to my Mother’s Day post:
Exercise/Nutrition/Community
Repeat daily as needed, till sanity is restored.

Oh, and happy belated Father’s Day to all the rockin’ dads out there. Whether my dad realizes how much I actually learned from all his ramblings or not, I remind myself often that consistency is key with children, as with ourselves. Time to be the change I wish to see.

Anybody else with me?

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Just Give Me A Reason

Thank You Pink! This song is so beautifully heart felt and perfectly relates to where my partner and I are right now. I feel hope that we will survive these nights of sleep deprivation and generalized crankiness. Who knows, we might even be stronger for it all if we just hang in there and keep giving, just a little bit’s enough;)

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Circle Game

This past memorial weekend was a series of highs and lows in rapid succession. Some things I would rather just forget, like our first (and I pray last) encounter with bedbugs. While other new adventures will gladly leave lasting impressions.

The highlight of our holiday was our first successful camping trip. Thanks mainly to our creatively cooperative camp mates. With a new baby there is an almost constant theme of “I wish I had been more prepared”. Camping flips this phrase upside down and inside out. Societal pressures regarding appearances and developmental norms fade to the background as survival skills and creature comforts take the forefront.

This years trip brought home the reality of just how high maintenance I really am, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. Now that I have chosen to be honest with myself, I can begin to manifest the things I need to make life more enjoyable. Like a minimum of 10 camping buddies to spread supplies and chores among, minimizes everyone’s work load.

These recent events and the SurThrival website have inspired my next posting series: Summer SurThrival: A.K.A. Glamping (glamorous camping). Some projects and topics I will be playing with include natural sunscreen, bug repellents, and camp snacks.

Get excited! And enjoy this Joni Mitchell song that’s been circling round my brain 😉

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Stop and Smell the Roses

Stop and Smell the Roses

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