The Birth of Spring

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Our tanks runneth over and the garden is wet, the days are growing longer is it spring yet!!

The water draws me out, I can feel the sap rise and my weight sink into the mud.

The buds swell and then freeze and then thaw again to bloom full.

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Spring is erratic around here, unpredictable and swinging for months from perfectly perfect days like today and then the blustery dusty days that have past, but we all know will come again.   Death and birth as so closely linked that spring is not always comfortable and smooth, but so full of promise, a bloom around every corner, a tiny miracle reminding us daily that all this flux is worth it.  Hope is what draws the shoots upwards and our faith in new life what carries our spirits forward towards the ever shining sun.

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This spring especially, I am fully embodying rebirth, now being 6 weeks into parenting two children all the metaphors of spring are my daily truth. These past weeks have been a tender and transformative time for my family with all the gifts and shadows spring brings.

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We have all been born into a newness; my son now a brother, my husband and I now responsible for two little lives and our daughter, brand fresh new to it all!!

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The baby bubble is starting to expand and we are all slowly dipping our toes back into the “real world”, but really what could be more real than this?  Birthing life is down right as real as it gets.  Luckily my work is aligned with the cycles of the seasons so I have a very gentle transition from winter to spring, all I MUST do these days is feed the family and plant my seeds.

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I go from the rocker to the kitchen to the garden and back and though I didn’t go to school for this, I realize how well suited I am for the work of nurturing and nourishing life.  As my dad put it, “good work, if you can find it.”  And though it ain’t always easy, it really is good.

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So today I take the gift of life carefully into my hands, rolling it over, feeling it’s texture and weight for the very first time.  Seeing it all with new eyes, washed clean by the spring rains and time in the cave of winter.  There is a rawness to it all, an uncertainty,  but faithfully I embrace the precious possibility that rebirth brings.

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The stars are aligning, the sun eclipsing, the winter departing, the spring is birthing, the door is open for new life just over the threshold.  With my new babe in arms I bravely step through with all the faith in my heart that I too will be birthed safely into bloom.  And so I wish the same for all life on this blessed birth day of spring.

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Excerpt from Birth Blessing By Timothy P. McLaughlin

May this heroic lady, her body still aglow

with a great breaking forth to life,

her soul yet ringing

with the ancient song of nascence,

be granted full restoration and rejuvenation

and an easy, natural return

to this world and its insistent rhythms.

News from the Nest

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One week & two days ago today, our little baby girl came down from the heavens to stay. She came to bring gladness and joy to the earth, good people and angels attended her birth. Happy Birthday to Eva!!

Big Day Sale!!

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Lots to celebrate around here!!  My birthday is tomorrow, then the sacred day of love, spring thaw, seeds sprouting and of course baby due any day now…oh and I re- named my Etsy shop to coincide with everything else here at Seeds and Stones IMG_3610

…So, just for fun, I decided to have a spring cleaning sale at Seeds and Stones Shop.

By using the code BIGDAY you will recieve %20 off any of the items listed.

This is a quick little sale– only from now to the Feb 15th so act now!!

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Mama Katie with baby Charlotte inside Feb 2014

My gift to you, because life is beautiful & abundant and I am grateful!

What better way to share the love!

Not bad for a snow day!

Last night I trusted the whether man enough to go out at dust, uncover my greens and take a look.

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Hey not bad for total neglect!!  I haven’t looked under here since Christmas when I got another nice little harvest.  The spinach is doing beautifully (harvested 1 1/2lb and could have doubled that had it not gotten dark on me) and the kale is starting to come back too ( 1/2 lb of baby leaves) !!  This is all in the ground, no heat, thick row cover and 4mm plastic (Not very tight!!)  Cheap and Easy and a bit Lazy!!

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And here is last night harvests with this mornings snow- we have already eaten spinach in 2 meals today (going on 3!)

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And now there they are sleeping under a thick blanket of snow.  Who knows when I will get under there again, but feeling so thankful for all the moisture that will slowly seep in and keep them growing into the spring.

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Speaking of spring….If anyone wants to take a Seed Starting class with me, now this is your last chance for a while….Baby due in just 4 short weeks, but I am teaching on FEB 10th at SFCC so sign up here– you will go home with your own flat of babies ready to grow!

Starting to Seed!!

This week as a snow week!! The world is white and it seems like the perfect day to bring in the green!

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Today is also a leaf day according the bio-dynamic calendar so I will be sowing my very first leaves of 2015!  Celery, Scallions, Leeks, Spinach, Lettuce, Kale and Chard will all be in the mix today– Along with a flat of wheat grass for my chickens (poor girls need some green!! and maybe even a flat of sunflower sprouts, peas shoots, or micro greens for me!!

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If you are wanting to get started sowing today to the best place to start is with a plan.  Seeds are so small & ambitions so big this time of year, I just encourage you to really look at your garden- how much can you fit, how much room does each plant need, what do you really want to eat fresh and wheat is more cost-effective to buy?  Don’t let me rain in your parade, but doing a little garden planning will really help you achieve your garden goals and not end up with plants over running your living room.

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I have written about seed starting and garden planning for a couple of years now, so here are links to older posts you might like.

There are tons of resources out there to help you make your seeding plan like this one at Organic Gardening

and another audio webinar from Seed Savers Exchange that sounds a lot like the seed starting class I teach.

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That’s me

This year my Seed Starting class will be taught at SFCC on Feb 10th from 10am- 12pm.  It is being organized by the Santa Fe Botanical Garden so you should go here to sign up for the class.  We will be going over everything you need to know to get your garden started indoors and you will be sent home with a flat of self-sown seeds ready to go.

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I also just got my 2015 Gardeners Year Planting Calendars in the mail yesterday and they are ready to go!!  They are really pretty and full of planting dates so you will know exactly when to plant what throughout the year.

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I will be selling them at the class, but can also get you one via mail or drop off.  I only a few so they may not make it onto Etsy this year, but I do have plenty available as of today!

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So back to planning & planting!!  Happy First Leaf day of this abundant Gardening Year!!

2015 Planting Calendar is going to the Printers, reserve yours NOW!!

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Back by popular demand —The Gardeners Year- A Zone 6 planting guide to get you growing all year long in 2015

Yep that’s right, better late than never ( I wanted to have it ready for Christmas, but alas I am on the slow train these days)IMG_3382

This calendar is in it’s third year of printing and is different every year.  I fill it with pictures, planting tips and best of all, a day by day planting guide that tells you what to plant where & when according to me, as well as the moon and the stars. Check out last years to get a feel for what I am talking about, though this years is less wordy than last’s.IMG_3385

I will be printing a very small amount this year, (as baby is due in 5 short weeks!!) and will not be able to hustle them…so please let me know ASAP if you are interested and I will be sure to save a copy for you.  You can just leave a comment here showing your interest before the final order is in. Calendars cost $25 each.

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You will have yours in hand within a week or so, just in time to begin your gardening year!!

And so we begin

Another year has ended and a new one begins…  IMG_6522

As the light subtly begins it’s return, I find myself going even more deeply in, wishing almost that winter was just at it’s brink.  I finally feel like all is wrapped up, feasts and festivities, harvests and projects and all that completes an abundant year, filling me with such a deep gratitude I have hardly yet expressed.

So much awaits, so much to be excited about, so many directions to choose from for my busy hands and mind…but I hesitate looking around at the possible roads I could go down and knowing now, there is really only one place to go… and that place is in.

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My second child is due in the end of February and though the new year calls out with possibility of new seeds to plant, new challenges, new opportunities and resolutions to take on, I know deeply that my real work is just to be better at what I am already, a present and patient mother.  Yes I will garden and make things and buzz around like a little bee, but I really wanted another baby and if having another is anything like the first,  I am in for a whole new birth of myself.

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Maybe not as a mother, as that I am becoming more and more each day, I really don’t know what this birth will bring besides a baby, but I do know I can’t know and preparing for the not knowing is the work I must do right now.  How does one then prepare for the mysteries life will bring, how do we surrender to the deep unknown.  Our culture loves our resolutions and our intentions, leading us to believe that we are the masters of our own destiny…and maybe we are or at least the masters of our own minds…but how do we prepare for what we do not know, what we cannot see, contrive or control?IMG_0480

Well, I guess it is mostly becoming more and more present in each moment, especially those testy ones where things don’t go our way or as we had envisioned or planned.  Arrive to what is with a clear mind and open heart may be the best preparation one can do to birth, be birthed and really to live happily with what is.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a planner, even a manifester and woman of great will and vision, but right now most of that work is done…the seeds have been planted, the arrows aimed.  Now the softer, gentler, more accepting me must arrive and unpack, settle in and get comfy, because there is very little I can do besides be open and patient while waiting for baby, savoring every sweetness before thing change.

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So here we sit, settling into a stillness yet trying to keep a good tempo, as we don’t want to get too still that a birth will rudely awaken us.  So awake and ready, open and calm, patent and accepting… lots of little mantras to hum along while this third trimester ripens my belly and my family into the best state of preparedness one can hope for as our new year blooms us along.

Light of the Stone

The first light of Advent is the light of stone–. Light that lives in crystals, seashells, and bones.-Rudolf Steiner IMG_3606 I am new to the whole journey of advent myself.  As a child we had much anticipation towards Christmas, eating a candy cane every night of December thanks to our advent calendar.  There were some beautiful candle lighting ceremonies in our Quaker Meeting, but I have much to learn about the ceremonies of the season of darkness and light in my adulthood.  Though I do let myself be guided and love when synchroniscities illuminate my way. IMG_6492 I couldn’t decided tonight weather to go out to the studio to work with my magical collection of gem stones or to make medicinal jewelry for my up coming Holiday Sale, or weather to do a little research on how to celebrate advent in our home…I choose being horizontal with research and was pleasantly surprised to find out that advent begins tomorrow, with of course the Mineral Kingdom. IMG_6510 For the first week of Advent the world of stones shall be honored and praised for it’s gifts bestowed upon us, what a beautiful gesture that the rocks, mountains and sands we all stand upon every single day of our lives shall get a whole week of attention in many families homes & hearts, not to mention and ton of attention from me. IMG_6320 Just knowing this will just give my week more depth and meaning, as I plan to spend every evening I can working with the minerals so I can have a bountiful array of jewels to offer at this years Waldorf School Winter Faire.   Working with stones is one of my favorite, introspective and truly magical interests, but alas does not get much of my time since mothering got added to my job title list.  But once a year, around this time, As I lay the gardeners to bed I immediately jump from inside to out, day to night and start working little a little elf for Holiday Sales. IMG_6512 I discovered the Waldorf Winter Faire last year and was so well received by friends and kin that now I see no need to do any other.  You see, amid many different family fun festivities there is a humble little craft sale put on as a fund raiser for this wonderful school in our community, that I am learning to appreciate and connect with more and more.   While kids play and community connects mamas and men, guys and girls alike, can sneak away and do some serious Holiday purchasing.  Though it is small it if full of amazing artisans and promises many beautiful handmade gifts for the gathering, all from local artists which really makes the the meaning of connection potent in the gifts given. IMG_6514 So for the ONE and ONLY Desert Diosa Jewelry Sale of 2014 come see me next Saturday Dec 6th at the Santa Fe Waldorf School Winter Faire and celebrate with me the Light of the Stone.

Together at last!!

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This is the latest love of my life, name yet to be determined!!  She was the second doll I have made, this one for my niece who turned 3 yesterday.  She was special from the beginning, as what is not special about a little doll for a little one?  I worked on her for weeks, and my son would often remind me,

“Mama we have to work on Juni’s doll!”  So be both wove our love & time into her. IMG_6289

Every step was a learning process, but I was so pleased with the results I carried her around for days myself.  The clothes hand-made, tailor fit, the hair made to match that of her new little mama’s.  She even got to play with my son’s doll, who now looks extremely odd next to her….IMG_6286

Though it was a little hard to pack her in a box and send her far, far away, I waited for patiently for her to arrive into my niece’s arms.  And sure enough, she was well received!!  “She looks like me!” was exclaimed with glee!  What could be better than hard work so well received!! IMG_0304

 

So, as this crafting season is upon us and the pressure of gifts, made or bought is upon us, I am trying to really connect with the spirit of giving really is.  Letting the spirit of who people are, what the need and what they love guide me to create things that will reach from my heart to theirs.  I truly hope that the gift giving frenzy can be warded off with slow steady gestures of connection & love.  Nothing more scary than a crazed, crafty mama, now is there?!  So my friends let the crafting begin!!

 

 

 

Sorting Seeds and Drying Leaves

IMG_6308Nothing quite like a frigid morning to inspire some garden action!!  Don’t get me wrong, I lingered long over a hot cup of tea this morning, but I have to admit the freezing breeze just nagged at me all the things I had left undone out in my autumn garden.  For one, I haven’t planted garlic yet! Yikes I MUST do it before the ground freezes, I will today, I must!!  I peeked under my row cover at all my little fall greens, and wow, I am happy to report all was well! Spinach, Chard, Lettuce, Cilantro, even a little dill perky as can be!IMG_6293 I harvested like crazy and tucked them back in.  If the snow does bless my yard this weekend I plan on laying a thin sheet of 4mil plastic over the whole 4 rows, it is not greenhouse plastic, but a painters drop cloth type plastic sheet I got last year, and it seemed to do the trick to just keep th snow off and it helps melt it fast when the sun does shine again, which we all know can be quite quick around here. I also scrambled around the yard gathering the last medicines I could find.  Mint, yarrow, Comfrey, Mallow were all doing just fine in the crispy air so I gathered those up eagerly and set them to dry in the extremely dry (heating with wood really sucks the humidity out of the air) cozy house. IMG_6334 All of these delicious leaves will be used in an upcoming workshop my Radical Homemaking conmadres are putting on called the Winter Apothecary- Stocking up for Seasonal Wellbeing.   We will be making teas, cough syrup, medicinal stock and all kinds of magical potions for the cold season ahead.  This is always the best part, when all my seasons efforts get mixed and brewed and put the finishing touches on and magically they transform from weeds to medicine ready to dose out to the sick and the weary. Ahh, so a brisk morning it was, but now I can at least enjoy another cup of tea, sort the garlicIMG_6524 And hope for another day before the ground deeply freezes (though usually it takes until about Christmas for that so I am not that worried!!)IMG_6329 And while I am sorting, the mail comes and delivers my first article in print!  Actually it was a nice season of press for this little gardener….I had a story about ‘Psyche and Her Seeds’ published in the Seed Broadcast, a very cool little free paper all ode to Seeds.  An article in this Seasons Edible Santa Fe (p.64) about the work we do to grow local food at Santa Fe Community College.  And lastly an article I wrote all about the planning and planting seasons of High Desert Homesteading in this seasons edition of the Permaculture Activist. IMG_6330 Oh and do you recognizes those cute little tomato holding hands!  Yep my photo made the cover, cool to have the love I put into my garden spread out and inspire beyond my yard, those are the seeds I wish to sow in the world.  So with the literature spread before me, and the leaves and the seeds, my table is full, my harvests are in and I am feeling like this year was indeed an abundant yield indeed.  Ok winter, now you may come on in and I will rest the best I can!!