Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Touchstones




I know you have things in your life that you return to time and again that make you feel like you.

touchstone: a test or criterion for the qualities of a thing - Dictionary.com

So, a touchstone reveals authenticity. If you are applying the definition to your life, I think you would have to consider those things you do that make you feel authentic. It takes time, sometimes, to come to these realizations. I know that when we are trying to figure out for ourselves or our children what it is we want to do for a living, we often are searching for those things that we are passionate about and see if we can incorporate some of them into our life's work. Of course, we don't have to attach a monetary value to our touchstones; it is simply that they are important.

I have learned that true touchstones are not likely to fade from my life, even when I have seasons in which I am not actively engaged with them.

This may be one of the last summers that I am not employed outside the home. We have two home school years left. I graduate from my library program in the spring and though I may go on to pursue my BA in history, I will begin looking to work in my field. So this summer I am being careful to tend to the things I love: knitting, gardening, reading, biking, cooking with whole foods. The list is not at all different, really, from many years past. But I am appreciating them greatly, knowing that there will be added responsibilities vying for attention in the years and summers to come.

A Fairy Garden Grows






My neighbor and dear friend, Kim, invited the girls over last week to help install a fairy garden in her back yard. Eve was up first and began the work. Her style is very nature driven and intricate. Notice the spiral staircase and the fern-leaf curtains!





Then she added a fern shelf.









Maia arrived later and created about twice what Eve had done in about half the time! She is more quick and spontaneous with her work. Kim had collected little items over time to be used in the garden and she used those more than spending time making things out of plants. The two of them created something that Kim really enjoys and something that is so fun to discover when you visit her beautiful back garden.




A little fairy sits by a green pond:





To the right in this picture is a tiny, green, bowl that Eve made. A vase is on the table too with a tiny flower that my camera could not capture. This picture was taken the following day and some of the leaves were drying and becoming unfurled, but the overall effect was still lovely!
 

I am going to be experimenting with fermented foods this summer. I have made some various fermented pickles in the past: carrot, zucchini, cucumber, etc. and I plan to do those again. To these I am adding learning from my friend, Liz, how to make kombucha and also trying out my own sourdough bread.

I began the starter for the bread on Memorial Day. We should be able to try our first loaf this weekend!





Other plans for the summer are to do a little experimenting with natural dyes for some yarn. I have begun collecting onion skins (for yellow) and have asked friends and family to save me their avocado pits and skins (for pink). Kim is also going to share some of her sour cherries when they ripen in the fall.

 Most of the colors I have seen produced by natural dyes are not ones that I think I can wear well; they are often too light for my coloring. If I choose to use them for a garment, I may do a new pair of mittens. Otherwise, I may make a blanket. That, of course, would require a good bit of yarn, so we shall see!

In the meantime, I am working on a pair of socks using the Rivercat pattern.





And the blue in the background there is the blasted sweater I was trying to design for myself and finally ripped out! I have found another new pattern that I will be casting on for this week. You know how sometimes you try and try to not have to rip out and it makes you sad to think of all that work for naught? And then there are other times when you are just over it. That's me with this one. I am ready to move on!

In the world of reading, I am still finishing up Cry the Beloved Country. I'll have something new to share next week.

After days of rain we are promised sunny skies today! I'll be trying to pull up a few weeds that I know have loved the rain as much as the flowers have.

I am connecting with the Yarn Along again today. Check out all that's happening with others' projects and lives from around the world and have a lovely day!

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