Monday, August 16, 2010

Making Grape Juice

The kids decided that it was time to get picking on the old, overgrown grape vine in the back yard. I was amazed at how many grapes they harvested! Grandpa helped to research instructions on how to make grape juice. The best part was mashing the grapes down.  It came out sweet and tart, simply delicious! This will make a  new tradition to be sure!

Budo girl

This past weekend was a busy one. Vivienne got to show what she learned from her Budo kids class while her Grandparents are visiting. She earned her yellow belt in her Budo Taijutsu practice. They learned the movements in relationship to the elements (earth, air,  fire, water, and void.) I love the inner work that goes along with this graceful Japanese martial art. The kids shared the meaning of the elements in relation to the nature, to the practice and to everyday life. They demonstrated their movements and even showed the parents their ability to sit in stillness for a three-minute silent meditation.

 Walk and touch peace every moment
          Walk and touch happiness every moment. 
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
     Bring the Earth your love and happiness.
The Earth will be safe
when we feel safe in ourselves.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Few Moments

In the bustle of days (that is my life), I have lost track of time. I have deconstructed my daily rhythm, missing opportune moments for taking photos, completing projects and crossing off items from my "to-do" lists (and there are so many lists). For me, that is the nature of summer. We go outside when it is early, before the heat of the day, we eat when hunger seizes our bellies, we play and socialize and wander about until dusk, then fall into bed with a contented ease. I am happy to report that I feel the air of autumn approaching. Even though the air is muggy and thick with sweltering heat, I sense a difference. The flowers and leaves have peaked in their lavish grandeur, they seem to have a certain resignation, as the earth is pulling them back towards itself. In myself, I feel a certain striving that I have lacked for months. My thoughts want to get organized, I wish to check tasks off my list and plan meals ahead for more than a day in advance. Here is a perfect example. Yesterday, I thought to myself how I really wish to have a new set of cafe curtains in the kitchen. And instead of moping over the task of doing something about it, I peered into my linens and found the perfect vintage tablecloth to transform into a new kitchen look. And after persistently battling my sewing machine for a good hour, I finally set about the task of making the curtains. Mind you, I do not have any particular seamstress skills, I am practical and not too perfectionist about my results. But to end the day with the accomplishment of fresh curtains and a set of matching napkins was quite a joy!

 And here's to summer evenings, sharing a fresh strawberry tart (from Clotilde's Chocolate And Zucchini ) and  al fresco dining at Nikki's. We enjoyed french cooking in honor of our read of the month, Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery. I loved the book.