Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bye, Bye Balmie

I love my neighbors, I really do. They are super kind and incredibly helpful folks. If ever I needed anything, they would be right there for me, I know it. In the past they have helped me move furniture, taken me to a laboring momma on shabbat, trimmed my hedges,etc., I could not have asked for kinder neighbors. But when it comes to plants and Earth Care, let's just say their considerations fall short.

I went out to cut my lemon balm to perhaps make some tinctures. I had thought maybe they might not be good for medicine because they are close to the road but since my street is not terribly busy and I thinking about personal or family use, I thought it might be okay. When I went to cut them I noticed a terribly noxious smell, like gas type fumes. My neighbors daughter was on her porch and greeted me. I said hello and asked her if she knew what that smell was. She replied with "What smell?" and came off the porch to chat with me. As she got closer she noticed the smell and asked if that was the one I meant, to which I answered yes it was.

My beautiful lemon balm this past spring.

Wait for it...

"Oh, my dad just sprayed the whole front here for weeds!"

OH NO!!!!

My plants, my lemon balm has fallen the way of chemical weed spray. I am so sad right now, you can only imagine. I feel angry, not really at them, but at what has happened. I cannot use my lemon balm or any of my lovely herbs. ARGH!!! I am so frustrated!!! What is the use of growing plants in an urban area is they are going to be totally toxified!!! I really want to make like a shepherd and get the flock out of here! I can't believe this!!!


Are any of you folks urban dwellers? Do you use any of your herbs for medicines? How do you keep them pure?? Can you??

Livid over Lemon Balm

Farewell beloved lemon balm, I shall miss you...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It DoesTakes a Village, but....

Today the discussion came up of when school should start next year. The problem to be addressed is do we start at the end of August or after Rosh Hashana. My administrator said, "I think it's important to start in August so that the children can learn about Rosh Hashana." Immediately my gut reacted. I thought to myself, "What are you talking about?! The is a religious Gan! All of these children come from 'frum' families. Of course they will learn about rosh hashana...from their parents!" I felt anger rising up and a lot of frustration. I realized it came from my homeschooler mentality.

Let me explain what I mean. As a homeschooler, and yes even though my children are all grown I still think like one, I do not understand this idea that the school needs to teach the children about rosh hashana at all. I expressed my feelings to my administrator, admitting that I am coming from a homeschooling mind set. I explained that I taught my children my beliefs and shared with them my ideologies. It was very important to me that what they learned, particularly spirituality, came from my heart. Right, wrong or indifferent, that is where it came from. I clarified to her that I did not have an issue with starting earlier, but that I wanted to understand her statement so I could quell the frustration I felt inside. She explained the frustration that mothers feel. They have so many children to tend to, they are working, etc. that sometimes the children will not have really had the opportunity to learn about what rosh hashana means (from their parents). She explained that the schools fill in that gap. She then went on to explain that the advantage to this is the school then has the opportunity to teach the children the holidays from the prospective of the school.


I understand and embrace the concept that it takes a village to raise a child. I believe that as a teacher I am working in harmony with the families that I serve helping them to nurture and encourage their children to grow as people and as Jews. What I do not believe in is that I am a replacement for the heart and soul of their parents faith. I believe it is their job, duty and very vocation to share the essence of their beliefs with their children. I have no agenda other than blowing upon the spark that already exists in them. I do desire to help them grow in character, to grow in their world view, to have a sincere joy and love in their faith, but as a complement to their family's faith. My administrator explained to me that what we had was a cultural difference. My paradigm versus the paradigm of the religious community I live and work in. This is a tremendous quandary for me.

I think too many parents have passed on their responsibility to teach their children and passed it on to the institutions. I realize the need for these institutions, particularly in today's society and in urban areas, but they are NOT a replacement for the family. I can even view my particular school as just an extended part of the home, a part of the village whole, but again, I cannot---will not, take the place of the parent. I do not want to. I want to help you raise your child, not raise your child. I want to share my heart with your child, not be your child's heart. Perhaps I am presuming too much. Taking myself and my position too seriously, but quite honestly, it is becasue I take parents, families and thier sacred positions so seriously.

Shouldn't parents rise up and say, "These are MY children! I will teach them my values, my beliefs and my heart. I ask you the school, the teacher to help me, to be my support! At times I may need your guidance, at times I may need to lean on you heavily. But I embrace my sacred trust and accept the brunt of the responsibility belongs to me, the parent!"

What do you folks think?? I welcome your insights.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Doula Becoming Household Name

There is an awful lot of talk since President Obama has passed the healthcare reform legislation. While I don't presume to understand most of it, this little tidbit of information from my hometown thrilled me; the healthcare reform will begin to provide for community based doulas! This is incredibly exciting and truly would begin to really fulfill the vision of a Doula for every woman. Also, I just discovered this provision of the healthcare reform legislation for breastfeeding mothers on Doula-ing Blog. The United States has a long way to go regarding maternal mortality, care for mothers, lowering the c-section and intervention rate, etc., but I am incredibly hopeful and optimistic about these changes. The birth ball is rolling!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mother's Day Thought

I have tried to write my facebook 'status' about ten times today. Seems like the words I wanted to say were too big to fill the small space provided there.I thought is was a good metaphor for Mothers, for who we are, what we do and our potential. I decided to ask myself, "Am I a good Mother?" Go ahead, ask yourself that question. Don't be afraid, because the answer is in your children. Look at them, at your children. Do not look for the so called perfection, look for them and who they really are. Are they authentic, beautiful, and joyous beings? Do they live life honestly? Are they true to their convictions and beliefs? Are they independent thinkers? Are they kind, compassionate people. If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then the answer is "Yes, I am a good mother."

Blessings and peace to all mothers! Blessings and peace to every woman who has touched the life of another being in a maternal way, be you wife, lover, aunt, sister, activist, daughter, pet owner, maker of her home, to whatever you do and love on this earth, you are Mother and this day is for you too!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dancing For Birth TM Classes as seen on CBS Inside Edition

Check this out folks! This is what I will very soon offering in my area, Dancing for Birth classes! Stayed tuned, details to come shortly!

Free Teleclass: New Menopausal Year with Susun Weed

What a super opportunity to learn from one of the finest Wise Woman and herbalists! I am sure Susun has a lot of herbal wisdom to share and help us on this journey, whether we are entering or already full into the journey of Menopause. Be sure to check this out and save your seat for this Free Teleclass: New Menopausal Year with Susun Weed.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Maryland Sheep and Wool 2010

One of the highlights of my year is the first Sunday in May in which my daughter and a beloved friend of mine, all make the trek to Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, Maryland the annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I was on a very fixed budget this year, (hooray for free admission!!) and I really just felt more like be-ing there and not just observing or frantically searching for THE yarn and/or roving. I wanted to really look at the crafts of the local artisans, feel the yarn and enjoy the people. Mind you, I do this every year, but this time I wanted to practice being fully present. I didn't take a lot of pictures this year and the pictures that I did take were of the yarn. I did this in honor of my dear friend's father who I was missing. He passed away about three months ago and used to accompany on these types of treks. He was a photographer, among many other things, and took wonderful pictures of the yarn.

For me, one of the highlights of the festival is the ride there with my fellow fiber fanatic friend. She and I have had a standing date now for 4 years and although we tend to lose each other at the festival, the ride there is grand spent chatting, kvetching, and sharing hearts. When we get there, we wander a bit together, but inevitably end up doing our own thing, she being a more purposeful shopper and I being a meanderer who gets easily distracted.

I love to wander about the festival meeting the different folks, chatting with them about just anything. I love to listen to the Celtic and Bluegrass music and watch the cloggers dance. I love seeing all the creativity that floats throughout the fairgrounds and all but knocks you over from inspiration. I love watching the working dogs demonstrations and dream about being a shepherdess one day with my own flock and border collie along side of me. I walk around and I dream romantic dreams, knowing full well all the hard work and sweat that goes into the animals, weavings, yarn and other handcrafts there. And hard work, though it is, it is work that has evolved from passion and passion that turns into works of art or just plain useful items are always a good thing.