i'm still alive... :)

I've been away too long! I really didn't mean to be, but that's how it goes sometimes I suppose. Veda and I took a 10 day trip up to Indiana to visit family. (Can you tell I'm still extremely homesick? ...sigh. North Carolina is awesome in every way, but I still miss our loved ones and the familiar landscape of Indiana.) And for the first time ever, I feel like I got scammed out of a proper winter. Today it's 82 and sunny here. Feels like summer. I don't feel like I had much of a chance to hibernate and rest ... and all the beautiful things that go along with that. Strange. I was not expecting to feel that way -- ever. But it's true.

I'm also taking this Whole Food Kitchen workshop by Heather Bruggeman, and it's rocking my world in the best possible way. I feel like I've been a pretty healthy eater since I started being aware of how I felt in 2006. But this workshop is taking me to a new level. I've also been doing a lot of reading in support of this. And slowly I've been eliminating ALL packaged and processed foods and have been making everything from scratch. It's been a really fun -- and steep! -- learning curve. Took me a while to figure out bread. And beans. And how to get around Veda's favorite snacks. But you know what's interesting? In a pinch the other day I gave Veda a packaged cereal bar for a snack as we ran errands, and she said afterward (with no prompting whatsoever from me): "My tummy hurts. I don't want any more of those." So the rest sit in their box in the cabinet and we grab fresh fruit or popcorn now before running out the door.

Another quick observation about these changes in how I prepare food: It's a whole lot prettier. Instead of opening the pantry and seeing garishly designed, colorful packaging buzzing to grab your attention, I see beautiful glass with whole, natural food inside, with labels I lovingly created (from old cards and postcards!). It's a really different kitchen experience.

Oh, and I've been preparing for the garden. In truth, I've been mostly overwhelmed and freaked about it. (ha!) But I had a conversation with Elizabeth the other day where I admitted my overwhelm. I told her about my tendency to man-handle and railroad things... and that's how I've been approaching this garden. And she gently reminded me that I should not self-deprecate in this way... that it's not me being harsh and controling... it's me being extremely passionate and doing something about it! (What a great way to re-frame something I dislike about myself!). And while it was a private conversation, I feel like Elizabeth would be ok with me sharing a part of it she wrote that brought me to tears:

...the garden is there for you to NURTURE you, and you will nurture it back, but think of slow, soft all the time in the world (infinite time, actually) and when you are there, no agendas, no to dos . . you are getting to know each other-- the garden came to you-- it wants to be in your life-- sometimes you can simply sit with it and flow dirt through your hands over and over-- that is honestly perfect--- use all your yoga training to be present and loose and empty in the garden . ..  if you feel the "work" vibe "gottarungottadogottamake" vibe come up-- witness it and let it go--

How great is that? How would life be different if we took that approach with everything?

And lastly: art. There's been a lot of that lately, too, of course!! I'll share some new projects soon. But first: seeds need to be planted. I'm waiting for little miss thing to wake up so she can help me. :)

Hope you've all been well. Are you still around?