Eclectic Muddlehood

How's this for a perplexing beginning? I am a great many things, but none of them are me. At least not in my entirety. This is the little corner where I attempt to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts as I muddle through being a wife, a mother and a woman... among other things.

Location: Virginia, United States

Here, in no particular order, is a short list of my parts from the mundane to the pretentious, some or all of which may surface in future attempts to work on the whole: wife, mother, doula, childbirth educator, writer, yoga student, homeschooler, amature organic gardner, kitchen witch, all-around foodie, spiritual truth-seeker, daughter, clutter-bug, complusive list maker, bibliophile, homemaker, friend, homebirth/natural birth advocate, impulse shopper, wine snob, knitter, artist, lover, sensuist, and email junkie (There may be more later, but that's it for now.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Kiss Ain't Just A Kiss Anymore

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Hershey's Kiss, I have discovered a plethora of new varieties for the holiday season. What began as a short shopping venture to secure stocking stuffers has turned into gloriously delicious research. I invite you to join me!

Here is the list of decadence I have successfully located and sampled:
1. Classic Milk Chocolate- silver wrapper (also red & green for holidays)
2. Dark Chocolate- purple wrapper
3. Milk Chocolate with Almonds- gold wrapper
4. Hugs Milk & White Chocolate- silver wrapper with brown stripes
5. Caramel- dark gold wrapper with brown stripes
6. Mint Milk Chocolate- green & silver checkered wrapper
7. Cherry Cordial Creme- red wrapper with black stripes
8. Candy Cane Mint- silver wrapper with (what else?) red candy canes
9. Peanut Butter- gold wrapper with red stripes

After extensive sampling by my entire household, the top three are undoubtedly the following:
3rd Place: Peanut Butter
2nd Place: Mint Milk Chocolate
1st Place: Cherry Cordial Creme

Any good study should contain thorough research, so I am still on the look out for the following varieties listed on the official Hershey's Kisses website:
1. Dark Chocolate with Almonds
2. Coconut Creme
3. Milk Chocolate Truffle
4. Dulce de Leche

If anyone has any information on their whereabouts I would be indebted to you if you would report them immediately so I can complete this crucial piece of social research as soon as possible.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sweet Winter Memories In the Making

Barely able to suffer the one hour wait required before the gingerbread house could be decorated, my eldest swore she would stand a vigilant watch until the much anticipated moment the kitchen timer would chime heralding her into the land of frosty gumdrop and sweet peppermint ecstasy...

Creative Abandon

As another holiday melody drifts across the living room and into the kitchen, I find myself suspended in bliss. I smile to myself as my ears hear "fall on your knees, all hear the angels' voices." This morning I hear them in the sparkling crystal laughter shared between us as my eldest daughter and I spend the morning reveling in the reckless abandon of three year-old creativity making our own holiday wrapping paper. I just know my mother and I are going to have a very hard time throwing out the trash after the chaos of the family holiday gift exchage when we peer down into the remnants to find them covered in the tiny multicolored hand prints of my first-born child. Proof of the simple awesome beauty we are capable of in those early years when one is free from the brutal glaring eye of self-criticism. I learn more from the natural wisdom of my children than I could ever hope to learn in a formal classroom. In this and in all seasons, I am blessed.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Whimsical Question for the Holiday Season

What would happen if a hippity-hop and a sit-n-spin mated?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Reunion Reflections

My husband and I attended my tenth high school reunion last Saturday and, all in all, had a smashing good time. It was filled with the usual reunion cliches of course; the people who looked exactly the same, the people who looked better and the people who looked worse. There was the assortment of lawyers I would have guessed myself to be a part of ten years ago if anyone had asked me. One plastic surgeon who made sure he left with all the lawyers' business cards in case he got sued anytime soon. And the one drunk woman who spent a majority of the time making a total idiot out of herself on the dance floor in clothes a person her age and size should probably have been advised against wearing. But there were also a menagerie of pleasant surprises as well. A dear old friend is engaged to someone it is obvious she is very connected with and they are planning an amazing wedding on the Rock of Gibraltar which just fits her perfectly. A woman most would've taken for a lost cause in high school is beautiful, healthy, happily married and the doting stay-at-home mother of one of the cutest baby girls on the planet. Another former friend is following her passion and using her gifts in the amazing field of art therapy. And I finally got to give a long overdue heartfelt apology to a former love who was horribly wronged. But the most surprising thing I walked away with was the discovery of a precious personal truth.

Lately I have been struggling with whether or not to sell my library of childbirth education materials, thinking that I no longer possessed the strong, black-and-white convictions to teach and doula the way I did before the twin's birth and that I cannot imagine when I will ever find the time to commit to more than keeping my three little people alive and fed. Then, across a gaggle of chatting classmates, someone said they heard I was now a midwife and they were curious how I got into the field. I explained I was a doula, not a midwife and spent a few minutes elaborating on how I found my way down that path. A few hours and several glasses of red wine later, another woman asked me to sit and talk with her about home birth because she was considering the option for her future first child. Something inside me opened, as if my inner birth activist ripped off the lock and flung open the doors to a corner of my spirit I sealed off the moment my midwives told me I would have to leave the beautiful, safe surroundings of our bedroom for the cold, sterile environment of the overcrowded operating room. My passion flowed as effortlessly as ever as the convictions I had taken for lost bubbled forth. But they had changed some, matured even. More compassionate, more thoughtful. Not just the cold, hard facts and party lines of the natural birth crowd I ran with mere months ago, but also the softer, wiser holistic support and advice that only a mother who has faced and survived the more complicated aspects of women's greatest rite of passage can offer.

A few weeks ago someone told me that I would now have more than ever to offer as a birth professional and I dismissed the comment outright. Now her gentle words, the words of one who knows this to be true in her own life and work, are with me. And my library of materials remains upon the bookshelf.