Monday, June 28, 2010

Dancing With Nature

“The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections.”
-Walt Whitman

There's been a lot of joy around here these days. With the arrival of Summer, we've all been feeling a little freer and happier. One of my favorite things about the warm weather is watching the boys slip off their shoes outdoors and run around freely and joyfully. Recently I've decided to join them in their fun and have joined "The Barefoot Movement".

It all began when a friend had recommended the book Born To Run. I was inspired by story of the reclusive, gentle tribe of Tarahumara Indians of Mexico who had mastered the lost art of running for survival and more importantly, for joy and the runners who came from all over to learn from them. The book was an inspiration on so many levels. It was an epiphany to read about how the expensive, highly padded shoes that we run in today can actually cause damage to our bodies, rather than letting our feet develop as they were meant to support our body movement. I loved the idea of bringing running back to the most basic elements, my feet and the ground beneath them.

I have been learning that the journey of going barefoot must be taken slowly. My feet are relearning how to move. My pace is often slow and meditative as I practice walking with the balls of my feet hitting the ground first rather than the heel. With this gait, my body adjusts itself naturally where my torso and back straighten up and I can feel myself breathe more deeply. I feel graceful and I feel at peace.

Hiking through trails has become a dance with nature as I learn to step lightly, skipping around tree roots and stones. I feel as if I'm becoming one with the Earth as all my senses become focused upon each step. As my feet strengthen and I'm able to run among the trees, I start feeling the joy that had been lost encumbered by shoes. It's as if I am a pebble skipping across a lake, lightly dancing across the surface. The other day as I finished a long run/hike through the woods, I found myself laughing with pure and utter joy as I sprinted through the last quarter mile... it had just been that much fun.

It's funny that now I find it difficult to wear conventional shoes, they just feel too constricting and I tend to clod around like Frankenstein's monster, not knowing how to move with my feet bound! So I bought some shoes that are meant to simulate the feel of being barefoot. Not exactly the most attractive of shoes, but I do love them so for just the absolute fun in wearing them!

Vibram Five Finger Sprints

But after all that is said and done, nothing beats going barefoot. I've often wondered if perhaps by touching the ground, some of the thousand of nerve endings in my foot are releasing endorphins to my brain. Not being a scientist, I don't know the answer, but I just know the bliss I feel by feeling connected to the Earth...

Happy Barefoot Summer to All!

As Always With Love and Light,

Friday, June 4, 2010

Seriously Scandalous Knitting!

My gang of friends known as the Inspiration Circle, gathered for our last get together before the kids summer vacations started. I hope you don't mind, but I am going to have to RAVE about my friend Najma's creation! Please allow me to introduce...

The Monokini
A bikini joined together with a single sexy strap in the center!

Oh my! I mean we all are MOTHERS for crying out loud ; }! I consider myself a burka on the beach kind of gal. Not only is a bikini waaayyy out of my reality, but the idea of knitting one...oh my, entirely out of my skillset. But I know I wasn't alone as we all were in awe of the boldness of Najma's design and talent... soooo absolutely, fantastically shocking! What's even better, is that this was a project that the ever so talented Najma decided to do on a whim... creating a pattern of her own (hopefully available on Ravelry soon)!

She used part of the pattern for a bikini top

and ruffles from a scarf pattern (check out the shimmery gold cotton!)

Here is my beautiful friend modelling her creation
Saucy isn't she?

I just LOVED it! It totally broke me out of the mindset that knitting had to be just nice, sedate sweaters, baby blankets and scarfs. I have to know, are all of you naughty closet knitters as well??? Please share what's been on your needles!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Fixer-Upper... The Dollhouse Saga Continues

I have a serious problem. I love dollhouses. I must have bought and sold at least 5 of them, driven 80 miles through the rain for one, spent hours scouring craigslist. It's an obsession and I can't help myself. I have 3 boys and yet, I still feel incomplete without one! I no longer delude myself into thinking that it's something for the kids, I just now accept that it's my own thing.

I thought the Drewart was going to be The One. I was absolutely crazed with finding it. But once I had it here, it just didn't have the right feel. It wasn't as solid as the Kinderkram and it was bought new, which is an odd thing to have wrong, but I love the idea of buying toys with a history of childhood love and play. The wonderful thing about it was being able to pass it along to a very sweet family who I know will love and cherish it

So I packed up the furniture until I could find one that just spoke to me. I would deluge my friend Andrea's (another dollhouse obsessed mother of boys) inbox with photos of numerous potential candidates. I went back to cruising craiglist searching for dollhouses while wistfully wishing I had one to play with.

This past weekend, a listing came up for this dollhouse that had belonged in the same family for over 25 years! I liked the natural wood, I liked that the size would be large enough for all the boys to play with (if the mood should ever strike them)... but most of all, I just liked it because it reminded me of our own home that we live in when we first got it... a true fixer upper

The walls are made of plywood, the floor could use some refinishing

The bathroom is tiny...

... but there's the feeling of potential.
nice light in the boys room

an old cast iron stove in the kitchen

a sweet spot for dining

and a few interesting architectural details

while Luca thought his train fit in the living room nicely :)

So, these are the new dollhouse digs. Ivan was a bit taken aback by the size (about 40" wide and 35" tall), but I've place it in my own little reading nook to play with. The boys have actually taken a liking to it, though admittedly, it could just be the novelty of a new toy in the house.
I don't mind, for now at least I have a place to call my own :)