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Perfectly imperfect Winter Solstice Celebrations!

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inter

photo credit: Denis Collette…!!! via photopin cc

I’ve come to realise that celebration happens in the heart and not in the cleanliness of a perfect home, surrounded by perfect handmade seasonal foods and crafts with perfectly well behaved children and an attentive husband!  I wrote about it yesterday, and as a result today I’ve drawn myself up a list of things that need to happen today for Solstice to work for me!l….. and this could probably be reused for Christmas day too!

If everything was perfect, I’d…

  • complete 108 Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)
  • sit with a heart opening meditation
  • be inviting my guests into clean, tidy, warm home (this would mean hoovering, sweeping, mopping, polishing and cleaning both bathrooms)
  • choose 2 meaningful solstice stories, one to share with the children and one for myself
  • take the children on a festive walk to collect greenery for the mantle
  • prepare a winter feast of seasonal, local veges and a MASSIVE joint of meat and a Yule log from heaven
  • make a winter solstice music compilation to play over dinner
  • stay up all night to see in the dawn

BUT THIS ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN PEOPLE!!! NO, ITS NOT!!!

I also have another list.

If I was a complete failure, I’d…

  • hide in bed under the duvet with the pressure of having to have a perfect day.

…And guess what….. I have a third list too…

If I’m too be realistic, I’m going to…

      • stick some bleach down the toilet!
      • get some kind of slow roast in the oven so that I can do other stuff
      • Make stuffed apples…because I have a massive jar of mincemeat already in the house and I’ve also got apples!…. plus it only takes 5 minutes to prep!
      • Spend time talking to our visitors
      • Get the kids to choose any story they want….essentially its more important to me to just sit with the kids than find the perfect book
      • I have to take the dog for a walk anyway, so I can grab some greenery on the way…the kids may or may not choose to come with me… C’est la vie!
      • knowing that we have a lot of family and friend visiting plans tomorrow, I’m unlikely to stay up all night….but I might just set the alarm nice and early to catch the sunrise.

I’m much happier with this last version of events, plus I’ve kind of just realised something else….no-one can ruin solstice, nothing can go wrong… the point is that you carry it with you in your heart for the day… Yule is a time that honours love and new birth, just as Christmas (supposedly) celebrates the birth of Christ, Yule celebrates the birth of the Sun.

Winter Solstice Greetings by Janet K. Rauch

A blanket of snow
glistens fluffy and white
Tucks us in, oh so cozy
for the long winter night

We’ll light one white candle
Let busy minds release
all the cares of the day
for a moment of peace

On this longest of nights
and shortest of days
Thank the Great Universe
for the sun’s growing rays

From our house to yours
Yuletide blessings we send
So gracious life’s cycle
No beginnings, no end

For those who aren’t here
we’ve a hole in our lives
But because we’re all one
Their spirit survives

Their breath in the wind
Their voices are heard
in the chirping of crickets
and the sweet singing bird

In the great scheme of things
We’re connected to all
If one of us stumbles
Another may fall

So gather your loved ones
Your friends and your foes
We’re all in this together
Yes, that’s how it goes

Mother Nature can teach us
She’ll show us what’s best
If we learn from life’s lessons
she’ll do the rest

So let’s light our candles
on Winter Solstice night
Celebrate kindred spirit
and be one with the light.

Realistic blogging and celebrations!

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I’ve had an epiphany! No, not the religious type, there was no manifestation of Christ, there was just me and my sudden realisation.

I was standing at the kitchen sink working my way through 2 days worth of dishes surrounded by unsorted recycling thinking no wonder I cant think about anything to blog about….. my house is a mess, my children bicker more than they don’t, my husband is glued to his PC and I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet…and its 1:30 in the afternoon.

You see, In the past Ive had this crazy stupid idea that my blog (and life) should be a sanctuary of perfectness, containing cute stories about how the children have committed some amazing acts of intelligence or kindness, or fantastical craft projects, or shots of wholesome home made food and a luscious kitchen garden, or corners of home beauty…… pretty unrealistic, especially for me.  If you look back through some of my posts, I try I really do….. but its so infrequent that I post… and for good reason. My life simply isn’t very perfect at all.

Back to my epiphany…

So I was standing there, scrubbing the dishes, thinking ‘when the hell is this [the dishes] going to end’ when I thought I’d put on some music whilst I worked to cheer me up.  Love him or loathe him (personally I love him), I opted for a bit of Bon Ivor, and for about a second or two, about half way through Skinny Love, I had a moment of serene clarity! It became all of a sudden, apparent, that everything was perfect! The dirty dishes, the sticky floor, the rain lashing on the window etc, etc…

I think I’m coming to realise that perfect situations rarely exist and that even when they do, you, me, one might not feel very perfect… and I think this is because actually perfection is a state of mind and not a tidy, harmonious, 100% organic, home.

I’ve been struggling with my {this moment} (inspired by SouleMama), where I choose a beatiful photo from the week of a beautiful moment and post it on my blog.  The fact of the matter is that some times I forget, sometimes I look at the pictures I’ve taken and think they’re all crap, and sometimes I just struggle to find a point in the week where I think ‘oh yes! that was jolly nice’.  So…. I’m going to stop doing it. I mean I don’t do it every week anyway, but just saying it out loud kind of brings a sigh of relief.  Instead, I’m going to aim for ‘This week I …’. I feel this kind of allows me to feel a bit more postive and realistic about the stuff we do as a family.

So, in short, I think I’m saying my blog is going to become a bit more real.  I’m still a celebrant, I’m still about celebrating key milestones, family achievements, holidays and festivals… but its going to be more real…

For instance… I’m already happy to share with you that tomorrow is Winter Solstice.  I’ve invited family to sit around the dinner table and celebrate this time of year… but I haven’t been shopping, I don’t want to go shopping, and in all honesty the magical winter feast is unlikely to happen….I’m thinking curry! My emphasis is going to be on the gathering itself and not what I manage or not manage to get on the table.

Gratitudes

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Today’s gratitude.

  • The good friends willing and able to travel all the way out here to see us
  • The fantastic food served up for Thanks Giving by my loving husband
  • My new Yoga classes that suit me down to the ground
  • This mornings’ lay in bed
  • For the local crafty businesses that have provided the most unique and beautiful little gifts for Christmas this year
  • For belonging to a beautiful and thriving community at the school
  • The surprise flowers and cake from missed visitors
Categories: Family, Gratutudes, Home Tags:

{a celebrated moment}

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A single photo – celebrating a captured moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

*** *** ***

Biscuits
Categories: {this moment}

Hi Ho, Hi Ho!

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I’ve been so, so busy… but I know I’ve been slow on the updates here lately !

Hopefully though, you will have noticed some changes to the pages as I slowly but surely add, edit and delete some of my information.  The biggest changes being my new logo and the addition of my services pages.

You may have also noticed that I’ve decided to merge my old blog and my ‘punctuate the year’ blog.  I just felt like they were two separate spaces for the same kind of thing… so I thought one space might make things a bit more interesting.

I’m also going to be doing some behind the scenes stuff like change my web hosting (eeek)….. so fingers crossed it all goes smoothly.

Exciting times all round i think!

Gratitudes

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Time2write

Today’s gratitude.

  • The time to write
  • The care in my community
  • Lazy afternoons at a deserted beach
  • The last golden hours of sun
  • School holidays, just when they’re needed
  • The abundance of love in my home
  • The food in the pantry
  • The wood by the fire
Categories: Family, Gratutudes, Home Tags: ,

Gratitudes

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beach

Today’s gratitude.

  • The rejuvenating properties of the beach
  • Healing potions made by friends
  • Three sisters together
  • Good imaginations
  • Quick and easy soda bread
  • The warmth of a little sun on my face
  • Lazy Sunday mornings
  • A fridge full of food
  • A basket full of (already) chopped wood
Categories: Family, Gratutudes, Home Tags: ,

{this moment}

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A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by  SouleMama.  If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

*** *** ***
thismoment
Categories: {this moment}

Gratitudes

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junkshop

Today’s gratitude.

  • A lively, loving husband
  • A little bit of naughtiness
  • For friendships old and new
  • For the cake, the person who baked it and the person who delivered it
  • Dark moon gatherings
  • Shared stories amongst women
  • The teachers and their kindwords
  • The sand and sea
  • The treasures of the junk shops
  • The beautiful feel of the sun on my face
  • The caring cwtches from my children
  • The many hands that made light work
Categories: Family, Gratutudes, Home Tags: ,