I kinda let 2014 sweep me away with a lot of greatness in opportunities, community building, and creating/generating future income for my family. So my blog has not had a chance to catch glimpses of what has been happening in the world around me.

I am getting ready to launch a new website that offers herbal, tribal, and healing information, services, and lifestyle rituals. So stay tuned to see what its all about!

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I loved experiencing a lotus birth with my son. To celebrate his 18 months of life, Universe shifted my thoughts and today I had a sacred ceremony of planting our placenta.

17 months prior to today shortly after my son was born, to assist in keeping the smell of the placenta at bay, and as a measure to carry it around with my son for his first 3 weeks of life, I wrapped his placenta in cotton gauze, shielded it with chamomile and lavender flowers, sage leaves, preserved it with Himalayan pink salt crystals, and doused with essential oils of orange, lavender, and patchouli.

After being frozen in our freezer for 17 months, I thawed it for a month in the refrigerator; when I took it out for the first time today and unwrapped it the smell still smelled sweet like lavender and orange. The placenta and part of the cord was still reddish in color. His placenta was small as if it had shrunken in size.

I dug a hole near a bank of a pond off a meadow, right under a great Hawthorn Tree. I placed our precious placenta which was still wrapped in cotton gauze deep into the hole I had dug. The cord was wiry and parts still blue and stiff.

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My oldest daughter and I then gathered wildflowers, black-eyed susans, mini daisies, and purple meadow sage flowers, and some large stones to plant with it.

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We covered the placenta with the flowers we picked, said our prayers of thanks and of well wish offerings, and covered it with earth. We ended our ceremony by placing more flowers above and circling it with stones.

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Having this ceremony is one of release, closure of one book and the opening of a new book; the journey continues and I’m so grateful that my children participated in and witnessed this ritual ceremony of honoring the placenta, honoring the power of our bodies, and honoring the earth as we showered love to my son’s placenta. It was a spiritual ceremony and one that carried acknowledgement back to the Maori tradition of honoring the placenta.

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Peace and Blessings,
MaatMama

Today, I woke up to the consistent chant of ‘mama, mama, mama, mama, mama..’ I jumped up, and looked at the time on my phone: 5:37AM.

Ugh.. I was forced to drag myself out of bed, down the hall to my sleepy crying toddler (no tears though, just a loud consistent chant of ‘mama’ until I picked him up, brought him close and rubbed his back.

About 2 hours later, I get a knock on my door with a small voice seeping through the wood “mama, I’m hungry, can we have breakfast?” with no sleep turning back, this time I decided I’d get all the way up, out of bed, but not out of my pajamas to make it downstairs to the kitchen with 3 children following me.

 

***On a Saturday morning, I envision a quiet, long sleep-in kinda day, a lazy morning. One where I can listen to my morning meditation cd, with a bit of incense burning, some morning yoga and take my time making it downstairs to make a green smoothie for breakfast. *** This is what life was like before all three came into my life, now its a distant memory of my past …

 

So I get to the kitchen and I decide to make breakfast, feed the littles, wash their dishes, and found myself making chai for myself, a cooked hot lunch for them, and felt compelled to make their dinner as well. So much time had passed, I looked up and it was near noon, lunch and dinner all prepared and ready by 12 noon. Five hours later I found myself still in the kitchen cooking and cleaning, finishing up the last details of our meals for the day. I thought to myself, wow!

 

This MUST be my reminder to self *unconditional* love requires doing things and pushing myself beyond tolerance, beyond ego, beyond flattery, and letting go of limitations and  expectations and JUST releasing and letting love IN.

 

Namaste, One Love, MaatMama 

 

I just cannot subject my children to a failing system, just because I went through a public school system. As a mother, I am and have always been their first teacher. From birth to this present waking life. Now, I challenge myself to do the ultimate task; teach my children from the ground up, without leaving them in the hands of a corporate institution that is in the throws of political activism of how to spend money on salaries of the privileged ones who are lucky enough to teach or work in money driven neighborhoods. Instead, I’d like to dedicate my time and energy to my children in teaching them things that actually matter, useful life skills combined with knowledge and an education that can take them beyond working for a franchise; or competing in the harsh and very discriminating administration. This may all sound controversial to some, and well, this is my opinionated blog; considering a lot has developed in the last year since I last wrote about homeschooling as an option for some. Global Village School and Waldorf Education is what I am using for curriculum for my children this year. I have also connected with several other long term and successful homeschooling families in my area who are happy to be resources for us!

the night upon the moon’s face… a natural cloud line across its face.

full moon in alignment with the super moon..a recap.

My Love went to the Colorado Mountains recently and harvest dandelion root and brought it back for me to make dandelion root tea.

Here is his special video he made for me on harvesting Rocky Mountain Dandelion Roots!

So after bringing them home, I rinsed them in warm water to loosen and rinse away most of the dirt. Once rinsed, I blotted them with a paper towel and placed them in the dehydrator. After dehydrating them, I roasted them with a tiny bit of olive oil on a baking sheet in the oven for about 15 minutes. Once ready, I placed the roots in a glass jar until ready to make tea.

Here are some pics of the process:

cloth from the harvest

cloth from the harvest

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I made the salad above, which is baby kale, spinach, strawberries, pine nuts, with a homemade strawberry vinaigrette dressing. It was most delicious!

Went to the Green Festival in Chicago (http://greenfestivals.org/) this year and found some cool products. One being cloth menstrual pads, which I’ve been using for 3 years now, but found organic bamboo pads which I could not pass up on the offer. The company is owned by a woman from Spain who has a sole retail shop in Michigan. Her company is called ‘Orethic’ which stands for being Organic and Ethical. http://orethic.com/

The second thing we found cool was the extremely large globe, which you can crawl inside of, and have a personalized Geography lesson. This was equally fun for the kids as it was for the adults! ;-)

Lastly, I got a chance to speak to the table at Black Oaks Center, which is a non-profit organization that supports sustainable renewable living by way of Pembroke, Illinois. The Black Oaks Center is a habitat that ‘prepares communities for an energy descent.’ Highly likely, I was very interested in their featured outdoor learning environment, which is owned and operated by Fred Carter and Dr. Jifunza Wright. Who together work to empower youth and provide opportunities for a collective work environment such as community gardening, harvesting of locally grown foods, sustainability education, use of and education of renewable energy, sustainability of housing, and agriculture. I’m very impressed by the work they are doing: http://blackoakscenter.org/mission.html

Since visiting their booth, I am ready to put some things into action for this season (Spring 2013). For example, I’m working with a local community garden to help organize an ACTION Day where volunteers from We Farm America will come out to host a workshop on building raised garden beds. From there, we will be able to obtain resources to build such beds, and then spend the next few days building them. Exciting work is cut out for us and I can hardly wait to participate in active community by building raised beds with We Farm America: http://wefarmamerica.com/about

Speaking of All Things Green, I have also visited a wonderful green space, a Forest Preserve in Mokena, Illinois which is just so peaceful. We saw deer, crossed a stream, hiked off trails, and pitched a tent. So lovely and peaceful to spend a day walking with my bare feet on the earths floor.

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AND, I’ve decided a way that I can contribute to a smaller footprint is to do some SERIOUS spring cleaning and clean out my wardrobe, as well as the children’s and to donate any and everything that we no longer use or NEED. Clutter to put it nicely is a way to make space for things I NEED like bamboo cloth menstrual pads and upcycled denim handbag (reconstructed from my old pair of Costume Nationale Jeans).

Anyhow, more to come.. life is beautiful and I hope you are finding more ways to be GREEN.

One Drop, Bliss Broyard

Lots of issues surrounding race politics, a few highlights… I was listening to public radio and the story of Bliss Broyard was retold, comical and insightful, she talked about her family secret. The secret was her dad being half black. She grew up in Connecticut and raised and accepted as white. She went to Harvard. It wasn’t until her father’s funeral that she began to question who the black people were who arrived at the funeral. It was during her quest to find more about her fathers family that she came to meet Broyards who were black and from the south and west coast. It was then that she realized she too was black and that she needed to figure out how this was possible. She set out on her journey and has written a book about her experience and her family’s secret. Her book, entitled ‘One Drop’ is definitely a summer read for me, as it explores race relations within this family structure.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/books/27masl.html?_r=0

 

The 1nedrop Project by Dr. Yaba Blay is gaining national recognition by asking questions that keep the beat of our pulses as she interviewed with Soledad O’Brien ‘Who’s Black in America?’ series. Dr. Blay’s work lies in revealing the intricacies of race relations, politics, and the many phenotypes of African descendants. Her website details a range of people from all types of backgrounds yet at the same time, all who share one thing in common, their blackness and being of African descent. Her site is 1nedrop.com and Dr. Blay intends to publish a book with all her discoveries, interviews, and profiles. I am excited to pick this one up! http://1nedrop.com/

 

A few months back, I found a book, which is the dissertation of Marcia Dawkins a recent graduate of Brown University and University of Southern California entitled ‘Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing & the Color of Cultural Identity’  discusses the historical references of the ‘one drop rule’ set during slavery in America and if one of mixed race is to ‘pass’ for being white and how this view of ‘passing” has shaped their cultural identity and to what degree in terms of being able to take advantage of certain opportunities.  A definite good read. http://clearlyinvisiblebook.com/aboutbook

 

Lastly, I just watched a short documentary on global colorism and the role skin color plays on beauty. Four young women tell their stories about skin color and how they were perceived growing up. It really gets deep pointing out historical degradation of skin color. A nice perspective of how skin color stigmatizes folks outside the U.S. This short documentary is a must watch!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6oaEHsdhOs

Part 1 of the documentary ‘Shadeism’ a view of skin color from Women of Color globally.

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