Done

I think I’m done here. Thank you for your years of reading.

A Word to the Wise

It’s still 10 degrees here and we haven’t had more than two days of sun in the past month. This is the most depressing Spring-end I’ve ever experienced. No one can stop talking about how miserable they are because of all the rain we’ve had here.

Ash is getting so big. I keep looking at him and realizing that he’s going to be four years old soon- he’s not a toddler at all. He’s a real kid. I love my days with him. This weekend we went on a trip to a Heratige Museum and I was transported back to my childhood. No, I didn’t have to sleep in a bed stuffed with hay, but the chicken coup and barn smelled exactly like my childhood. The stove that they were dying wool on was a replica of the stove we used to heat two of my childhood homes. The door latches where the ones that my house used. When my parents bought my childhood home it didn’t have indoor plumbing so we used an outhouse until they got it installed and then every summer when our well went dry we used it. I don’t remember disliking it except for when we had to go first thing in the morning and the grass was still cold and dewy. So strange that the way I grew up is memorialized in a museum and city kids spend $6/person to catch a glimpse of what it would have been like. As if they can imagine.

***

There’s been a lot of change around here lately. The business that I work for was sold on March 1, devastatingly so. I lost one of my best friends- the founder of the company- the person who went against the grain of how business is usually run and turned her business into a woman and mother-positive community-focused center. She had her third baby and moved to New Brunswick. A totally admirable decision that led her towards her ultimate happiness, but it certainly has effected my overall career happiness. Since the takeover it’s turned into something somewhat different, even though it hasn’t reached its final form yet, and I’m really trying to keep it as much the same as I possibly can. The founder left big shoes to fill that I honestly don’t think anyone would be able to fill.

My best friend moved an hour away so that her son (my son’s best friend) could attend a Waldorf school in September. Soon, another one of my best friends and favorite coworkers will be moving to Ontario. As someone who spent most of my 20s moving away from other people, it’s a really different feeling to be the one staying put while everyone important to me moves on. It’s a sad feeling.

***

I went to Birth Doula training last weekend and it was wonderful. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the birth community for the past couple of years and plan on getting my certification. I am especially interested in becoming a Post Partum Doula, and will strive to achieve that goal within the next year or so.

***

Besides that, I am just keeping on keeping on.

Wander Lust

Seven years ago, I’d just left my life in West Africa. I look so young!

My life has turned into what I’d always dreaded it would. Though comfortable and quite happy, I have a cell phone, a cheap lease on a great apartment, a comfortable bed to lie in at night and my dreaded sign of commitment to staying in one spot for a while: Saran Wrap (of all things).

I’m not sure why it’s not okay with me to be here, to stay here, to raise my child here. It feels like so much of a waste, of missed opportunities, of settling. There are so many places I’d like to go, to live. Travel and adventure is in my blood and I can’t help but miss it, comfortable life be damned.

Almost every person I know is settled. Kid. House. Marriage. But it doesn’t feel right for me. Not in my youth. I want to pick up and go, this time with company. I want to show Ash the world.

Oh, Hello Blog

After a busy season with Pip I feel lethargic towards just about everything in my spare time, including blogging. I have lost all drive to continue writing Ash’s newsletters and Clive and I have slowed down photographing him too. What used to be a 30 picture/day habit has turned into a 30 picture/month habit, if we’re lucky. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe my iPhone, because that’s always what I grab if I want photo evidence.

As you can see, Ash is writing his name (but has been writing letters for six months or so), and now can read two and three-letter words (also easily reads the word “cancel” for some reason) on his own. It’s pretty awesome to watch, especially seeing as he’s not yet 3.5 years old. He’s been reading letters of words that he comes across and asks what they say, and in the past couple of weeks has been asking how to spell words (today he asked how to spell “help” for example). I hope to have him reading more by the age of four, but it’s not like we practice daily nor do I push him to do these things- it’s a self-directed interest.

In the past while I’ve read my first non-parenting book in years (Into the Wild), experimented in needle felting, been promoted as Manager of Nurtured, and the owner will soon be off having her third (unexpected) child and the pressure is on to continue to make our little natural parenting store a success. I love my job. Really, really, really.

Clive is suffering from a 5+ day flu right now and it appears he’s given it to Ash so I feel like I should be next in line and have been told that chia, garlic, vitamin d, onions in every room, and advice from a local naturopath was to get my coritzol levels up (by not sleeping, not resting, just go-go-go) that my body wouldn’t respond to the virus and therefore I wouldn’t get sick. Easier said than done since I really like sleeping. “Too bad” Ash has been sleeping through the night and I actually feel like a normal human being now (unlike the first 2.5 years of his life). So wish me luck that I don’t get sick. This is pretty much the worst week EVER to get ill.

Clipper Ship

The healed tattoo… at least as much as I can photograph by myself!


Clipper Ship Tattoo

Clipper Ship Tattoo

Rudolf the… what??


Tattoo Revelation

Gillian, Stripes, Tattoo

I tried something new with my recent tattoo, something I doubt anyone else in the whole world has ever tried because it’s made by a small local company and is usually used for minor skin irritations, eczema, psoriasis, burns etc. It’s an all-natural product that has an amazing reputation with amazing results and I’ve known for the past year that if I got a tattoo again, this is the only thing I’d use. And that’s what I did.

My tattoo healed quickly, seamlessly and literally DID NOT SCAB at all. I couldn’t have picked it if I tried. I didn’t even take pictures of the healing process because there was nothing to take pictures of! Once a day I slathered myself with this olive oil based stuff and that’s it.

There is NO comparison to my foot (see pictures below) with huge, thick scabs that were oh-so-pickable (I resisted!). I only used petroleum-free moisturizer on this one from 2009.


Tattoo healing scabs

Tattoo healing scabs

I can’t recommend Anointment’s Healing Skin Ointment enough. Try it! Seriously! I’m not even getting paid to say this!

2010: A Review

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Drove a motorcycle.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t do new year’s resolutions anymore because I always break them.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My brother’s girlfriend.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

5. What countries did you visit?

United States. Two days in NYC.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

A bigger motorcycle, a flourishing business.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

November 1.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Keeping it together.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Communication.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

How I remain virtually unscathed- injury-wise all these years keeps surprising me.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

New flannel sheets.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Mine and Clive’s, most of the time.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

BP Oil.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Fabric, rent, a family vacation in August and my trip to NYC including a tattoo.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Completing my motorcycle course and riding my motorcycle. I love it.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

Happier because now I am 30 and I feel like I know who I am better than ever before. About the same, weight-wise. Richer.


18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Cherish the little time I have with the boy. (Same as last year.)

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Stress out. Get angry. Eat candy. (Same as last year.)

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Morning at our house. Afternoon with the extended family. It was lovely.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

A hundred times over. Every single day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Dexter.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

24. What was the best book you read?

Hahha, books!

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

In B Flat

26. What did you want and get?

More time alone.

27. What did you want and not get?

A good therapist. A bigger motorcycle. Pip overtaking the world.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Nothing stands out.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 30 and I bawled my eyes out all day. It was a terrible birthday. When it was over, I sucked it up and dealt with it, and now I feel fine about 30, but it was a really eye-opening day that made me realize how little I’ve thought about myself in the past three years.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More time at the beach.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

A really terrible haircut in the spring/summer really dictated my fashion sense for the year. I describe my style as “dressing like a 15 year old.”

32. What kept you sane?

Weekly, or bi-weekly visits to the beach just with Ash running around naked this summer when things were stressful. Short rides on the motorcycle. Thrift shopping. Sewing.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Oh, I dunno. Maybe just the little oil spill over yonder.

34. Who did you miss?

My sister, who spent four months in NYC.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

My friend and coworker Melissa. We have an incredible amount in common and it’s so nice to bond with someone on so many levels.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

Do what makes you happy.

(This is my mantra though, and I’ve known it since the day I moved out of my parent’s house when still in high school, it’s just become increasingly important recently.)

The journey is my home

After nearly 10 years, I finally got to meet one of my favorite tattoo artists of all time. I flew to NYC for the weekend to hang out with a dear friend of mine, visit my sister who’s studying at Cooper Union and to make the trek out to Queens to meet Johann Florendo.

After nearly four hours in the chair, here’s my new addition !

This tattoo was incredibly painless, except for about 15 seconds of wincing, it was NOTHING compared to my foot. I can’t recommend Johann enough. It was a real pleasure, and DAMN, he’s good.

Picture – A – Day: Day 14

around the world and straight into motherhood