I can see that day so clearly.
I’m walking along a dirt road with my young daughter Maria. It’s a sunny day in early June.
The sky is deep blue. A gentle breeze keeps the air temperature comfortable.
I’m a glorious 38 weeks pregnant.
We’re on a mission.
Maria is selling strawberries for her school fundraiser. Her new friend Tara lives at the
end of this road. We’ve decided this would be a good place to start. We’re skipping along,
singing our favorite songs, happy and free.
As the house comes into view, a large, ferocious German Shepard charges down the
hill toward us, barking loudly. Instinctively, I take hold of Maria’s hand and we run
into the nearest building, a barn, with the dog on our heels.
We dash into the first empty stall and bolt the door.
The dog bangs on the door with his paws trying to get in.
Maria and I move to the back of the stall and sit down. The dog continues to bark
and growl and bang on the door.
“What if he gets in?” Maria asks.
“I don’t think he can fit under the door or jump over it. Let’s stay very quiet and maybe he’ll forget we’re here.”
The dog continues to growl and bang ferociously. He then sits down outside the door.
We’re trapped in a horse stall.
A wave of fear moves through me. No one knows we’re here. We don’t have any way of contacting anyone. My belly tightens. I’m aware that a sudden fright so close to
birth can bring on labor. My heart is racing.
I look at my daughter. I look at my surroundings. NO. This isn’t in my birth plan.
I’ve got to pull it together fast.
Breathe, Breathe, I remind myself. I begin to slow my breathing, taking long breaths in and out. My belly relaxes. My daughter relaxes.
A rusty colored hen trots through our stall, clucking merrily. I smile. We begin to notice other sounds in the barn, the baaing of the sheep, the bleating of the goats, the grunting of the pigs,
the whinnying of the horses. Beautiful animals are welcoming us!
In a few moments, we’ve moved from fear to peace.
Maria and I continue to sit quietly, listening to all the beautiful sounds. The dog is still parked outside our stall door. We’re ok. Maria dozes off, her head in my lap. I doze on and off.
When we awaken, the light is dim and there’s a chill in the air. We’re both ready to go home,
I quietly bend forward and look under the door. No dog! He’s gone! We tiptoe to the stall door.
I look over and down the aisle. No dog! I open the door and listen. No dog!
Maria and I creep to the barn door. No dog to be seen! I point to a large bush in the yard
and holding Maria’s hand we run to the bush and hide behind it. No dog!
“Ok, to the gate,” I whisper. We run and keep on running past the gate and down the road until the house is no longer in sight.
“We’re safe! I say. Let’s walk home!”
“But we didn’t sell any strawberries,” Maria says.
“No, we didn’t, not today. Let’s go selling again tomorrow,” I suggest.
Aaron was born at home two weeks later on the Summer Solstice,
surrounded by loving family, loving friends, loving midwives.
This was the birth I envisioned!
A few days later, we were awakened in the wee hours of the morning by the gentle sound
of mewing. Maria’s cat, Coppelia had given birth to five kittens under our bed! A touch of barn living came with us.
And when Tara’s family heard of our adventure, they bought a whole flat of strawberries!
Happy Summer Solstice!
I wonder what magical moments the longest day will offer this year?
Love and Blessings,
Happy Mother's Day!
I love that we have a day in our yearly calendar to celebrate Mothering!
After all, we all have a mother!
Do you look forward to Mother’s Day?
Or do you have mixed feelings about this day?
Are your Mother’s Day celebrations nourishing to you?
Or are they filled with unrealistic expectations from all angles….self, family, culture….
Would you like to add some new ingredients to your celebrations?
I have a few I’d love to share with you!!
Here they are:
DECEMBER BLOG 2018
Here we are.
The darkest part of the year is here, in the Northern Hemisphere
It’s Dark and Cold.
Admittedly this is not my favorite season.
I forget about this time during the glorious warm, sunlit seasons
that seem to go on forever.
I have met a handful of folks who love winter.
Are you one of them?
Or are you dreaming of warm, sunny escapes like me?
Letting go of the outward communion with nature’s fauna
and flora I find quite challenging. At least it’s gradual.
Nature is kind.
It’s so QUIET outside. The songbirds are long gone. The bull frogs in my pond have stopped singing. The cicadas and crickets have disappeared. Occasionally, I hear the lone call of a Red Tailed Hawk as she plays with the wind currents.
It’s also COLORLESS. The bright, cheery flowers are gone.
The Maples and Birches and Oaks have shed their leaves
and now stand naked and proud, silhouetted against the darkening sky.
Despite my dislike of this winter season, I have been hearing a new voice this year:
“Befriend the Darkness”
“In order to experience anything at all, the exact opposite
of it will appear.
“It is a great gift,” God said,
“because without it, you could not know what anything is like.”
“You could not know warm without cold, up without down,
fast without slow.”
“And so, “ God concluded. “When you are surrounded with darkness,
do not shake your fist and raise your voice and curse the darkness.
Rather be a Light unto the Darkness and don’t be mad about it.
Then you will know who you Really Are.”
The Little Soul and The Sun by Neale David Walsch
Would you like to join me for a walk in the dark?
I’ve been practicing!
Stepping out into the night. No flashlight. No IPhone.
And do you know what?
I’m actually enjoying getting to know this new friend!
She’s becoming a beautiful and powerful ally. When I allow her in,
she reveals to me, bit by bit, those lost treasures of heart and soul
that await my discovery.
Wherever you are on Planet Earth, I invite you to join me for
a few minutes.
Step out into the Night
What do you discover?
I’d love to hear about your experience!
Love and Blessings,
September 2018 Blog
I named my company Happy Mama Happy Baby for a specific reason.
We know that a mother’s happiness affects all those around her, especially her children.
Now we can give ourselves permission to be happy, right?
It’s that simple. Or maybe it’s not. This is why I’m beginning this exploration:
Dan Buettner has spent the last fifteen years traveling the world studying longevity and happiness, particularly long-lasting happiness.
He discovered 5 places in the world where people live the longest, healthiest, happiest lives. He calls these places Blue Zones:
Dan discovered 9 healthy lifestyle habits shared by people who live the longest, healthiest, happiest lives:
1. Move Naturally
The longest lives people don’t “work out” in gyms. They live naturally active lifestyles. They garden, walk, hike, dance and do housework without mechanical aids.
Dan says: “Knowing your purpose is worth up to 7 years of extra life expectancy.”
In other words, why are you here? What special and unique gifts are you here to share?
3. Down Shift
Even Blue Zoners experience stress. The difference? They have regular routines the release stress.
Okinowans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors.
7th Day Adventists pray.
Sardinians have “happy hour”.
Love this except the “happy hour”!
4. 80% Rule
Blue Zoners stop eating when they are 80% full. They eat their largest meal midday and their smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening and nothing after that until morning.
Personally, I love eating this way.
5. Plant Slant
The cornerstone of the diets of Blue Zoners is beans (fava, black, soy, lentils), green vegetables and fresh fruits.
Meat on average is eaten sparingly, no more than 5 times a month and the serving sizes are 3-4 ounces.
Healthier and less expensive!
6. Wine at 5
How about this?
All Blue Zoners drink alcohol moderately(except Adventists).
According to Dan’s study, moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers. The preferred drink is wine, 1-2 glasses a day, preferably Cannonau wine. They drink only with friends and with food.
Really? This seems like a lot of alcohol to consume!
All but 5 Blue Zoners out of the 263 interviewed belong to some kind of faith-based community. Research shows that attending faith based services 4 times/month, regardless of demonination, will add 4-14 years to your life.
8. Loved ones first
For all Blue Zoners, family comes first.
Grandparents are nearby or living in the home.
They invest in their children with TIME and LOVE.
They often have a life partner(which can add up to 3 years to your life)
I love hearing this! I agree!
9. Right Tribe
All Blue Zoners chose or were born into social circles that support healthy behaviors and healthy, happy lifestyles.
Okinawans created ‘moais’, which are groups of friends committed to each other for life.
According to Dan’s study, behavior and lifestyle choices are contagious.
How very beautiful.
For further information about Dan’s work, visit his website: bluezones.com
He offers a True Happiness Test that I found quite enjoyable.
Have we answered the question?
At least we have begun…..
Little Bear Video
Having a dog is high on Dan Buettner’s research list for happiness😀
Stayed tuned for next month’s blog…..
What do Yogis have to say about long lasting happiness?
Is happiness conditional or not?
As always, I’d love to hear your comments and responses.
Blessings and love,