This morning he discovered that half a quarter of his quesadilla is 1/8. Exciting stuff going on
I love this time of year. On the night before Ash Wednesday I thought it fitting to post this picture of a craft item my kids made last weekend. These little guys are no more than an inch high, very simple, but really endearing. The little Jesus was a great touch, in a spark of creativity my daughter put him on a pile of hay shaped like a star
I made Posole for a Christmas gathering with some friends. I may have outdone myself, you be the judge:
If you don’t know about Posole, get yourself to a online shop that sells good New Mexican products and buy the fixings. It is so easy and sooooo yummy. Every time I make it, I think I’m missing something because it just seems like it should be harder to make.
For the uninitiated, Posole is a large grained white corn. Folks from the Southeast region of the US might recognize it as hominy. Honestly, I have no idea if it is exactly the same thing, but hominy will work in Posole in a pinch. I usually use a dry corn that is readily available at our local supermarket, but this time I found a refrigerated version. I thought it might fun for a change. It’s hulled and soaked in limewater and sold in a bag. It really smells, so be prepared if you use this. I mean, really, really smells.
To get the most scrumptious Posole, you cook pork or chicken in some stock, boil the corn, add some red chile, the hotter the better, and that’s it! Super easy. New Mexicans like Posole at Christmas-time, but it’s great any time you are craving a warm bowl of spicy soup. This time, I chose to share it with some friends and I bought just enough fixings to make it again for my family for Christmas Eve.
I grabbed Nemesis off the shelf at the library the other day for my oldest son to read. He’s currently in the middle of reading a Louis L’Amour book though, and Nemesis looked awfully good so I started reading it.
I read a bunch of Asimov when I was kid, mostly short stories and the Foundation series, and I didn’t remember reading this one. It’s great, I love it. I’m a sucker for sci-fi with interspacial travel, telepathic kids, strange red planets with mysterious abilities, huge space stations that are basically cities floating in space, and the list goes on.
Now I am in the middle of it and the kiddo is going to have to wait his turn
Today at church we sang a hymn called Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending that I don’t recall ever singing in church, but it is definitely a hymn I feel like I know. That happens to me a lot, being a church going person since the day I was born, there’s been a lot of music that has taken up residence in my gray matter, the music or the words have at one time or another flittered about and stuck in my subconscious.
Here it is, if you’re into great organ music take a listen, it’s good stuff:
This hymn is a poem by Charles Wesley, brother of John. Charles was something of a prolific poet, he wrote the words to a mere 6500 hymns. Certainly not all of his hymns were blockbusters, if you’re not familiar with this one, you might have heard his little number, Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.
Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending is not subtle poetry about a baby on a silent holy night. It’s bold and brash:
Thousand thousand saints attending
Swell the triumph of His train;
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Christ the Lord returns to reign.
And again, this bit is the stuff that makes me want to crank the music up loud, stand up, and sing with all my might:
Yea, amen, let all adore Thee,
High on Thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the pow’r and glory,
Claim the kingdom as Thine own.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Thou shalt reign, and Thou alone!
Here it is again, this time with the Cambridge Singers:
I had the opportunity to go to a birth worker workshop recently led by Karen Brody. I’d already been doing a lot of thinking about the state of birth in the US and Karen said something that really resonated:
“It’s easy to blame the doctors and insurance companies for the crisis we see in birth today. But the heart of the problem lies within the fact that women don’t know how to put themselves, (their hearts!) at the center of their own births!
“No one can do it for birthing women – not us, not doulas, or even midwives. They must look for the answers inside themselves.” Karen Brody
I have been teaching childbirth classes for about 8 years. I took a break about 5 years in and am now nearing the beginning of another break. I love teaching pregnant women and their support people about birth almost more than anything. It is in my heart and my soul, it’s something I do because I am passionate about safe, healthy, happy mothers and babies. But I need to clear out some brain space for other things right now.
As I near the end of this phase of my involvement with birthing women, I’ve been pondering the insights I gleaned from Karen at the workshop she led here in Albuquerque. She had me think about my vision for me as a birth worker. My birth vision is deeply personal, but it also is the basis for my teaching style.
I want to help women and their families be open to the possibility of natural, normal, unmedicated birth. I am thrilled when a woman is open to the fullness of the idea that she can and will birth. It’s not “maybe I can” or even “this is something I need to learn”, rather something that is, that happens, she goes with it, because birth is, it just is.
I want a woman to be in birth, to experience it as a possibility, a potential for greatness, her birth into motherhood. Not just something she will try to see if she can manage. Because the baby will come and birth will BE. I want a woman to see the fear and the uncertainty and then just do it, because there is nothing but forward momentum, however slow it may appear in the moment.
I’m saddened because despite all the work of the birth worker community, all the birth activism, the pioneers like Ina Mae, the research, the passion and the commitment to healthy, safe, happy moms and babies, we seem to still be at square one with unnecessary inductions and c-sections at an all time high.
Maybe the missing piece is really truly being open and aware. Really truly seeing the possibility of birthing in awareness. Seeing the possibilities of the mom, the baby, and the partner. Shutting out the suggestions and possibilities of others. Forgetting the rest, even the midwife, but as we say, “You can do this, you ARE doing this.” Basically, you have to do it, right? I mean, there is no going back
My message to pregnant women: trust your body, do not fear birth, journey through it, tap into your femininity, because it is possible, it will be possible, you can do it. You are strong, powerful, and aware of your body. You and your baby are at the center of your birth!
One of the first books I read about childbirth, when I was pregnant for the first time was Childbirth Without Fear. It was a game changer for me. Grantley Dick-Reade said,
“Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware … To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory. She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”
And this, from Sarah Buckley, one of my favorite birth workers,
“Women’s bodies have their own wisdom, and a system of birth refined over 100,000 generations is not so easily overpowered.”
And last, but not least, the excellent Ina May, from Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth:
“It is important to keep in mind that our bodies must work pretty well, or there wouldn’t be so many humans on the planet.”
Gotta love Ina May I couldn’t have said it better myself.
We have a pet roadrunner.
Well, sort of. Ok, not really. But this roadrunner has sort of adopted our property.
It may be a pair, but we usually only see the male. At least I think it’s a male, totally guessing on that. This time of the year he/she/they hang out in our front yard, sometimes getting adventurous and coming around to the backyard to sun on the wall between our house and the neighbor’s house.
This roadrunner likes hanging around in the morning, in the afternoon I am guessing he hunkers down in some roadrunner den.
500 movies, watched in the last year and a half, all borrowed from the local library.
Wait, the library has 500 movies? Why yes, it does, and then some. I’m here to tell you, Albuquerque has an amazing library system. The library could create a massive marketing campaign around our family.
“The Albuquerque library system sucks,” cry the naysayers.
“Clearly”, I inform them, “you have not been to the library in a very long time, it’s a gold mine!”
How did it all start?
In December 2010, my husband decided he wanted to watch a bunch of Jack Nicholson movies. He dove into the library’s online catalogue and put as many of Jack’s movies on hold as he could. Among the gems of Jack:
- About Schmidt
- Anger Management
- As Good As it Gets
- Five Easy Pieces
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
- Prizzi’s Honor
- The Bucket List
- The King of Marvin Gardens
- The Last Detail
- The Shining
- The Two Jakes
Once we ran out of Jack, we moved on to Henry Fonda, Jimmy Stewart, Marlon Brando, David Niven, James Mason, Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Michael Caine, Gregory Peck, Robert Duvall, James Dean, Glenn Ford, and Laurence Olivier, to name a few.
When we hit movie number 500 the other night I thought I had better blog about it for once and for all. #500 was The Conspirator, with James McAvoy (oddly enough, this movie doesn’t have any of the actors he typically looks for, but it was a great movie, you should see it sometime).
Now I need to go, we’re watching Buffalo Soldiers, Ed Harris is in it.