Friday, December 28, 2012

The Writer's Almanac

Quite possibly the best thing on public radio.  The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor is a show that I would sometimes wake up to on my clock radio early in the morning.  I haven't heard it in years but, knowing that Garrison Keillor is still out there reading interesting poetry and tidbits about goings on "this day in history" for the literary world, punctuated by his homey nose whistle and deliciously moist 'p's and sharp 's's, makes me feel safe and warm in the cold hard world.


Plus, the fact that this picture of him can be found on his Facebook page. 

 I know Garrison ~ I hate the necessity of it as well.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary

To the families, teachers, members of the community affected by the horrible events of 12/14/12 in Newtown, Connecticut,  know that you are in our hearts.  We hugged our children tight today knowing others would never be able to hug theirs again in this life.  Our hearts are broken for you.  We can not imagine your pain.



"I can not cry your tears for you, but I will cry them with you." ~ The Kundalin Express



Mali Mish

These people are living my dream.  Plus an extra kid.  Plus a cat.  In an Airstream (the best of all travel trailers).


Thursday, December 13, 2012

A new kind of explorer

This man travels and explores the way I can only dream about at this moment.  Wandering Earl is a pretty outstanding blog about a man who has been traveling on a small budget with all of his possessions fitting into his small pack for the last twelve years.  His goal:  to be a global citizen.  There are so many lessons to be learned from people like Earl.  Hear's to living one day at a time and being mindful of the people around us.  Thanks Earl!



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Four Lights Tiny House Company

The creator of Tumbleweed Homes has split with his lovechild company and joined  (or created I can't tell) Four Lights Tiny House Company.  Jay Shafer's designs immediately caught my attention the first time I saw them.  He's basically the reason I am so enchanted with the Tiny House movement. 
   


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

There is No "One Right Way" to Live

Many of the problems facing our world today stem from our cultural myths.  Unlike the cultural differences such as "the East and the West" the cultural differences of which I speak are shared between all "civilized" societies.  These myths (the stories our culture believes and lives) are so embedded that like fish to water we are unaware of them.  One cultural myth that is driving our species to extinction is "There is only one right way to live."  Think about it for a second- how many religions think they are the "only way," how many people look at other people like they are crazy if they stand outside what they consider norm, how many houses do you see that are REALLY different (they all use the same basic building ideas,) all children must learn the same things in schools that look pretty much the same at the same rate, etc.  The more one looks at society the more one can see.....this is part of our cultural myth.

But, why is this a problem?  It goes against the Laws of Nature.  One law of nature is "Life thrives from diversity."  Although some may look the "cultural diversity" programs and say, "Hey, we support diversity."  But how many people go home to similar homes, do relatively similar things, watch the relatively similar television shows?

How many movies are about the one person who stands outside the boundaries and does something "against the odds"?  A lot.  And those movies are usually hugely popular.  But how many times are we on the side of the person who is going "against the odds" in our lives.............probably not very many.  Our cultural myth makes us believe "we all need to be the same."  So if anyone tries to go outside of that myth we get scared, we may ridicule them, we may fight them, and if they go far enough we may put them in jail or have them killed.  This one cultural myth is leading us to extinction.

Before civilization many tribes were scattered throughout the world- they were very diverse in their clothing, rituals, housing, languages, food, belief systems.  Part of their cultural myths was, "There is no 'one right way' to live."  While they may have thought their neighbors were weird, they did not think that their neighbors should live, think, or behave like they did- it lead the way for great diversity.

How can we change change our path to destruction?  I think part of it is realizing that there is no "one right way" to live, not condemning people when they try new, "weird" things, trying new things ourselves, and passing the word that until we change our ways we are heading down a slipper slope of extinction.  There is hope and we are it!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


Molecule Tiny Homes

Molecule Tiny Homes boasts that one can purchase a pre-fab or custom tiny house for the price of a car.



Personally I would prefer to build my own, but this is a nice alternative for those that are mechanically challenged. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Four Agreements

by
Don Miguel Ruiz

This book is a wonderful read.  It is so simple and has sage yet common sense advice.  This book has been read aloud once in my family and I believe a re-visit is in order.  It is so easy to forget the most important things in life. . . how is that even possible?


Thanks to my friend Andrea Shay for inspiring this post.



Saturday, November 17, 2012

3mules.com


As pictured on Root Simple's blog.  A poetic message if you follow the white rabbit. . . or in this case the three mules.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gluten

At home we've been toying with the idea of going gluten free.  We are very non committal about these changes because it could mean real change and that means work.  Needless to say with work, school, and kids, that feels like a daunting task.  But with one of us having Irrital Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and all of us being vegetarian and learning about the damage that excessive amounts of gluten can do to the body, we've been eating gluten free (for the most part).  Unfortunately, this past week we had a couple of slip ups.  Namely, pizza, and cheese crackers.  After consuming both--stomach aches abound.  It felt like I had eaten a rock.  Bloating and sluggish and green, oh my!

Here's a blog that I've just discovered and it seems pretty straight forward.  This family is experiencing very similar challenges.  The blog is Strawberries are Gluten Free.  In the introduction Cathy Tibbles mentions a book that changed her life and way of thinking about diet.  The book is called Eat to Live written by Dr. Fuhrman.  I have not read this book myself but will be doing so soon.  Read the About section for Strawberries are Gluten Free.  If you are thinking about going gluten free you will be inspired.  I know I was (especially about the loosing 40lbs in 8 weeks).  We'll have to see if it's all it's cracked up to be.

My family has been on the verge of becoming Vegan for quite a while.  The documentary Forks over Knives has brought us closer than ever to this truth.  If we could just climb over that hill of uncertainty and acknowledge that we are worth the effort (which I believe is happening as I type) we will be successful.

I hope you will too. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tiny Houses

In a few of this blog's previous posts I have mentioned tiny houses.  I have not, however, mentioned the inspiring subculture out there that is in support of more sustainable living through tiny houses.  Nor have I mentioned the romance inspired by the beauty of the design and the simplicity of  living the lifestyle of "Tiny".

There aren't enough words in our collective vernacular to express my excitement about this culture, or to express my great desire to be counted as a tiny house dweller.  So, in my inability to express the fervor of my  interests in this movement, this blog will now be accepting stories, pictures, and  links on the subject.  If you or anyone you know is living the life tiny. . . send them to this blog.  My desire is to post a weekly entry on tiny houses.  It's this blogs way of contributing to the excitement of this movement.

Here are some great sites that I frequent to spark your interest.

Lloyd's Blog

Tiny House Blog

Tiny House Swoon

Cabin Porn

I Love Cob

Entries may be sent to emberlight22@gmail.com subject "Tiny House".  Be sure to attain permission for use of materials if you are sending along photos from a web site so that they may be credited.







Friday, October 26, 2012

Arguments

Having been party to two long term relationships, has given me plenty of experience in the art of arguing.  Unfortunately that experience has shown me that I can't do it very well at all.  

The major downfalls for me are that:

 1.  When an argument breaks out--emotions run high and logic runs low (in my experience anyway) and communication breaks down quickly, therefore giving one the perfect opportunity to express one's self in such a way that whomever is at the opposing side of the argument will not understand the point in the least.  

2.  When emotions run high and logic runs low (for all involved)  the lower functions of the brain kick in.  Those being the animal instincts of self preservation, defensive response, and low inhibitions.  So when one is trying their damnedest to make one's case, the other party is at the receiving end of some pretty harsh words and thoughts and criticisms.

3.  Past hurts push through to current times.  Be it from the current relationship or prior baggage, old wounds will be protected the best the arguer can manage.  Usually this baggage can cause skewed viewpoint and causes further misunderstanding between competitors.   eg.  being defensive because of abandonment issues can make an arguer believe that the actions of another person were because of some wish or intention to cause pain even though that person is actually not doing anything of the sort but trying to convey a point and may not be doing so very well because of high emotion and low logic.

It's a vicious cycle.  

Arguments in the heat of emotion are the worst part of my human experience.  There is no defense against it and there is no winning.  There is just hurt, fear, mistrust, and misunderstanding.

When communication breaks down an argument begins.  It's the same with countries at war.  

It's difficult sometimes to take back the ground that is lost when the misunderstanding is still in place.  It's difficult to gain back trust that is lost especially when it's part of a deeper hurt not even related to the disagreement directly.

All that can be done at the end of the day is approach the other in respect and love if you are able.  Try to start again.  Try and try until it's not worth trying anymore.  Even then, try some more.  

Only when both sides are calm, honest, and understood can an argument be truly settled.  

This may take some time, but in most cases completely worth every effort.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mindless



Advertising in general bothers me.  Mindless advertising, like this Sherwin Williams Paint truck, just makes me tired.  All I can think of is the idiocy of such a statement in an ever growing environmentally conscious society.

How will our children fare when they are adults?  The onslaught of information will be even higher with Google Goggles let alone print ads.  Isn't it difficult enough to be focused on life's daily issues on top of trying to filter useful and useless information?    It has become the duty of parents to teach cynicism to our children so they too can sneer at mindless consumerism.  

Sheesh!

What is the world coming to?  It's hard to tell because it's COVERED IN PAINT!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Simplicity

Daily life is a complicated tangle of events.  Late nights with sick kids.  Drop offs at bus stops and schools.  Run to the bank, run to work, run to the store, run to the gas station, post office, etc.

I have become entangled in a web of constant busyness.

For the majority of my adult life, I've strove to be tidy and simple.  So, naturally, tiny houses, and voluntary simplicity appeal to me.  Lately this has not been so.   My home has become a pile on a pile.  Not so horrible as the depressing slog of inability to clean up after ones self after a tiresome day, week, and month, but the daily jumble of school notices, and mail, and grocery sacks, and dirty laundry, and books, and toys.

Simplicity is just around the corner.  I can hear it snickering as if it's hiding and about to be found.

Needless to say, there will be de-junking and de-cluttering.  Now is the time to do it as the days grow shorter and the outside is let in through open windows.  Now is the time to do it as we are approaching days of family and friend visitation.  Time to get ready for camping, and biking, and outdoor life.

Fall cleaning is just as necessary as spring cleaning.  Not to be trapped with an abundance of clutter during the winter months just makes sense.  It allows for the mind to be de-cluttered as well.  During the holidays that is a valuable asset.  Plus, it makes spring cleaning all the easier.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pushing Limits

As a parent of two, I find myself constantly being pushed to my limits of patience, kindness, and love.   The last week has been a test.  My entire family (myself included) has been sick with fever this last week.  My youngest has the amazing ability to scream louder than any human alive and to stay up for days on end with very little sleep.  My oldest is restless and has cabin fever.  My partner is at wit's end.  Nerves are frayed.  Hair has been pulled.  Teeth gnashed.  Tears shed.

On the other end of it, a new understanding of compassion.  I can be pushed to my limits and beyond and know that I can be a compassionate person in the end.  Yes, my jaw hurts from clenching, but instead of focusing on the situation the entire time, I can take a time out and look at my children's smiling eyes, or crying eyes and love them.  I can love my marriage and all the mess, frustration, beauty, and adventure it brings.

All of it is for a reason.  Each person teaches us something new.  Every relationship is important however fleeting or lasting.

To rise to the challenge is to take the next step on life's journey.  Never assume that journey will be a pretty jot down the forest path.  It can take sharp turns and deep plunges.  Ankles will be sprained and mended, discoveries will be made, secrets will be found and kept.

The expectation that there is some "normal" out there is unreasonable.  Normal is a myth.  So is control.

Letting these myths go is the step to starting an authentic experience.

I have understood these truths for a while now, but have only just begun to live them.

It's scary to step out of the "normal" that I once thought existed only to find a far longer path ahead of me than expected.  Far more difficult.  Far  more tedious.

Far more rewarding.


Monday, October 8, 2012

At the Crossroads of Indecision and Indignation

So.  Here I am.  The start of a new blog.  Wondering where to take it.

This isn't my first blog.  It won't be my last.   I'm just not sure how to start here.  Do I share my life story?  Do I post things that interest me?  Am I a news hound?  Am I a parent blogger?  Am I a poet?  Am I an artist?  Do I rage at political nonsense?  Do I walk away from it all?

I have a passion for simplicity, and tiny houses.  I find photography inspiring.  I write often and not at all.  I'm inconsistent in my musings.  I have two children--both take up a great deal of my time and energy (in a good way).

On a regular basis I am angry with how things are run, but constantly feel unable to offer solutions to the problems.

Often--I dream of walking away from it all.  Hitching up a camper to the car and taking the family somewhere else.  Find a fertile place to grow crops and start fresh.  Off grid.  Below radar.  Whatever you may call it.  A real life.  Simple.  Not consumed with attempts to make witty remarks on Facebook or grasping for understanding of  celebrity culture.  Authentic.  Outdoors.  Callused hands, hard muscled, sun-bleached, deep sleep from good work, don't give a damn about the "man", freedom.

Real freedom.  I want a tribe of people that believe the same.  I want a group of people that are willing to raise children together, solve problems together, and live life together.  Trust, valued, equal.

Yes, I am a tribalist.  I am a pagan.  I am a rebel.  I am a parent.  I am a lover.  I am a dreamer.  I am a realist.  I am a hard worker.  I am me.  No one can take that from me.  Or my children.

So, to be at the crossroads of indecision and indignation is a precarious place to be.  I'm on the verge of great anger at society and myself for allowing the grave state that it has become and on the verge of a revolutionary lifestyle.

It's just finding the courage to go there.