Cedar Ring Mama

Taking My Cues From Mother Earth



The air has changed.  The fields have been hayed for the second and final time, and the skies are donning their autumnal garb- that lovely shade of slate blue which seems to coincide with the meadow’s own change in costume from delicate cornflower blue and Queen Anne’s Lace white, to royal gold and purple- goldenrod and aster splendor.  The cycle of the year lurched forward, suddenly- perhaps when I wasn’t looking- and the aging year has progressed from maiden to mother, now filled with the glory of her fruitfulness.

Perhaps you can’t tell from this picture, but this is an elevated place high atop the hill we live on.  I come here and feel like I am on top of the world. The clouds hang so low here, and the trees seem to just graze them.  I never see another human soul, just the cows.

This is the way to our family hunting grounds, several miles beyond our house.  I was able to slip away to the woods alone for a change, planning our first day of school kick-off.  There will be a hunt for a magic key, a new story to guide us through the year, new adventures to be had in the children’s brand new rain boots sitting by the front door.  The schoolroom is tidied up and ready, and after saving up for a long time I was able to purchase those cozy rugs I envisioned for our school space, to keep the children warm when the wood floors are cold with autumn and winter chill. A wool rug for under our story tree, and cozy lambskin for under the playstand.  My daughter approves!

The last day of summer vacation found me in the kitchen, preparing my favorite non-perishable food… dilly beans!  If you’ve never had homemade canned dilly beans, I’m not quite sure you’ve really lived.  Well, at least maybe your tastebuds haven’t!  So for me, tastebud life began when Mama Erin presented me with my first jar shortly after I settled in to my new country life after being a small city girl.  I eyed them suspiciously- how good could a canned green bean be?  Previously I had only had the storebought variety, with its drab grayish green and non-crispy texture.  When I finally decided to try them, OH-MY-GOODNESS! Dilly beans are pickled, and inside each incredible jar are two flower heads of dill, a clove of garlic, and a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper…

And if that weren’t enough to create an epiphany in your mouth, they are canned in a salty half vinegar, half water brine.  A bit of sour, a bit of hot, a bit of pungent.

Getting these beans canned felt good (although my son was super disappointed after a day of believing mommy was making jelly beans for dinner)! I am looking forward to resuming our school year rhythm and having that sense of accomplishing things.  These last few weeks have been muddled through, not much flourishing, lots of laying on my couch in the throes of morning sickness thinking of all the things I *ought* to do and excusing myself from actually doing them because, well, it’s summer vacation and I’m suffering with mucho nausea.  Part of me is thankful for the coming full days which will force me to engage my will and do, part of me is nervous.   My first two pregnancies were happy and easy; these last two have been especially difficult emotionally.  I don’t feel like my normal sanguine self; a cloud seems to hang over me, I have nightmares almost every night, and I battle lethargy and melancholy.  For my own sake and the sake of my family, it really requires a lot of energy to work through that.  It is especially frustrating to feel this way because there is no reason, other than the crazy chemical bath of hormones flooding me, to feel depressed.  I am pretty happy with my life, blessed in so many ways, and usually so positive and inspired.   Yes, I have struggles and difficult life lessons like everyone- but these usually don’t get me down for long.  I signed up for Melisa Nielsen’s Thinking, Feeling, Willing program a while ago, knowing that this year I would really need some extra support and the program comes with free consulting for a year. She suggested that I try an audible.com account and listen to Dr. Wayne Dyer. This has been great, and I’m excited to finish Excuses Begone! How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits– seven hours of Dr. Dyer’s book in audio form. I can’t wait to listen to a little Clarissa Pinkola Estes after that, with her archetypal stories addressing the inner life of women- think “Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour, Mom Edition!” I know my mother and aunts are all praying for me, and my mother-in law too- which certainly helps.   My husband is on my case not to forget my prenatals and fish oil- I think being back in our school rhythm will help me be more consistent.  Any tips for coping with difficult first trimesters?

12 thoughts on “Changing

  1. Reading your post, I (being a sanguine myself) think you could use a hug from a dear friend. Maybe even a hug a day. 🙂 My method of coping with a difficult first trimester sounds a lot like yours–find some good books and other resources to steer me toward being mindful and inspired, take time for solitude, self-care, supplements, and prayer. Especially in the hard moments, I also remind myself that I am in the process of creating life with God’s presence and power and blessing, and I turn the hard things into prayers of gratitude and blessing for my baby and truly, my whole family (like the nightmares, the melancholy).

    And I remind myself of what my sister in law once said about pregnancy: in terms of the resources it takes to gestate a baby, she heard that it is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. So I try to ease up on my expectations of myself in terms of cleaning and even cooking (I love to cook usually), and remind myself that if I were climbing Mount Everest I’d likely need most of my attention to be there. I just get so accustomed to a particular rhythm of flow with my energy–inward, and outward to my loved ones, and beyond–and when I’m pregnant, that flow is redistributed, altered, and it gives me a bit of disorientation.

    The pictures are so lovely, and your blog post is an encouragement to me. Blessings upon you, Becca.

    • That is a good analogy. A lot is expected of us as mothers, and I think we expect a lot of ourselves. Finding ourselves changed, getting used to our energy flow being different, does merit some self-compassion, doesn’t it? I have to find that place of self-compassion and avoid the one of self-pity. Thanks for encouraging me, friend!

  2. Love the pic of your daughter in the playroom. So sweet. I have never had Dilly Beans even as a country girl. lol

    Stay well my friend.


  3. Becca, Congratulations on your new baby! Your body is speaking to you. As much as nightmares are unsettling, I think they dig deep into our subconscious to let us know of our fears. They keep us being protective mama bears in the awake world. Conscientious breathing and laying in the Savasana yoga pose in bed as you fall asleep has really helped me with nightmares in the past.
    Primrose oil works wonders for balancing hormones. After my first child was born, I was a bit of a hormonal mess. Towards the end of my second pregnancy, I feared those hormones would reappear and destroy my family. My midwife suggested primrose oil. They come in oil-filled capsules and you can get organic. I began taking them about two months before my daughter was born. After the birth, I felt just fine emotionally. I couldn’t believe it. My emotional state was like night and day after the two pregnancies. Primrose oil is totally safe in pregnancy and nursing. In fact, it’s recommended for massaging the perineum to avoid tearing during childbirth. You can adjust your fish oil to be a little less and implement the primrose oil now. Chances are good that your emotions will balance out.
    I am a distributor for an amazing herbal product called Protandim. It is safe in pregnancy/nursing and does wonders for depression as well as many diseases. It’s based on cutting-edge medical research yet is made simply of 5 time-tested medicinal plants in low doses. It’s the combination that encourages our own bodies’ enzymes to eliminate large quantities (billions per day) of free radicals which cause cancers and other diseases in our bodies. There are 11 peer-reviewed medical journal articles on the positive effects of Protandim at http://www.pubmed.com, a site that doctors and nurses use to find out about medicine effects on the body. If you are interested in more info, go to my website and type in your email and I will get more info to you. http://www.mylifevantage.com/lisamachina/
    I hope you feel much better soon. Take the support that’s offered you and that might help get through those moments when you’re feeling low or alone. It’s always so hard for me to ask for support, but I’m learning to ask and accept it and also to delegate tasks.
    Thanks for your blog. I love it. I’m not a home school mom, but my kids go to our wonderful Waldorf-inspired charter school here in Flagstaff, AZ. In the mountains. I am also the facilitator that brought the Earth Scouts to Flagstaff. Earth Scouts is a scouting program for girls and boys, 3-17 yrs old. I am also an avid foodie and run a health food co-op. So your posts are very helpful to me and give me ideas for my kids when we’re all home, for food preparation and for Earth Scouts. Your posts are fun, inspiring, and entertaining too. Thank you so much.
    Many Blessings to You and Yours,
    PS Contact me in a private email if you have any questions about evening primrose oil or Protandim. I am not an herbalist but I am a Botanist and apprenticed with a well-known and extremely talented Herbalist/Ethnobotanist for a year before my children were born. Her herb shop even has a tincture named after me that is wonderful for children and adults alike called Lisa’s Hip Mama Formula 🙂

  4. Your writing and your photos are very inspiring and have pushed me and my family forward in many ways. I have been following your blog for a little while and all I have to say is take good care of your precious self and hang in there. I also had a fourth last year and lived through a lot of nausea while homeschooling three. At the end I could barely move but was still going on hikes… I had so much resistance, so I really hear you. Dedicate time to just being with yourself and your fourth blessing; massage, quiet music, I wish I had done more of that. Create time in your day to listen to your body. I find that preganancy brings along wonderous visits from the divine Mother, though amidst the turmoil, we might miss her if at times, we fall too far. Keep it up!

  5. And by the way, I didn’t mean to make light of it… I know you are already “listening” and hearing the worst from your body and sometimes no matter how good our effort, we cannot just overcome the agony of the nausea. I have so been there! I’ll keep you in my prayers too.

    • Oh I thought your comment was very encouraging. 😉

      • Hi,

        I know you are working hard and going through nausea so no pressure whatsoever!!! but I am looking for the link for the Coop – I just learned about it recently and when I went to do some preview shopping I couldn’t get in. Did you take it down temporarily?

        And another tip for first trimester blues that came to me: have a friend, family member, husband or pay someone to come and clean your fridge. I know at this time our noses and stomachs are really sensitive and it always made me feel slightly more on top of things when the food area was well cleaned.

        Be well!

      • Yes, I am working on the website this week and adding things so the catalog that previews what members can special order is down- only thing posted is my list of items I have in stock at the moment (which I’m also very behind in updating, I have lots to add to that too). I wasn’t planning on accepting new members right now because I struggling to keep up with the families who are already signed up, but I will add the link back to my blog if that changes. Meanwhile I will have some Michaelmas candle kits and rolled beeswax sheet candle kits available very very soon for the general public, as well as pentatonic flutes, and will post on the blog and at the store when those are ready.

  6. I’m wondering if the sheepskin you got is from the buying club.
    I’ve had my eye on the one available through the club but it is hard to tell how shaggy it is. 🙂

    • Amanda, the ones through the co-op are not shaggy. This was a faux-lambskin from Target I got on sale for $20… after getting the wool rug for under our story tree I was pinching pennies! And tho I want my daughters toes to be warm, she can be very messy! So I am hoping to get a real lambskin by spring that will be dedicated to the new baby.

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