The Joys of Christmas Present

First off, the Nevada City Winter Bizarre yesterday was so much fun! I am working on a post for that to be published very soon. In the meanwhile...

On Friday the kindergardeners had a sweet spiral walk at school. It's how Waldorf celebrates the season, with a candlelit, evergreen lined labrynthine walk to celebrate the Solstice and the shifting balance between light and dark. Mycie wore her special Christmasy coat again. The weather has reeeally been cooperating for fun holiday wear, as opposed to heavy raincoats and layers of grey wool. The hat, like the coat, was thrifted this last summer.

As was this li'l elfin dress! Velvet & lace, framing her sweet face like the new NEW haircut she was given in her time away from me last week. She looks so much like I did at that age now. Oh and please allow me to introduce Rose Vine, Mycie's Little One. Little One's, who are crafted to resemble each individual child and who are taken care of by that child, are an integral part of Waldorf philosophy.

I took the opportunity to wear my beloved Gunne Sax dress, which only comes out at Christmastime. I love it so much, and I love my mama for gifting it to me three years ago. More velvet & lace- after all, 'tis the season.

Here it is unencumbered by the sweater, taken a few years ago on another glorious winter day. This shot is by far my most viewed on Flickr. (I gotta do my hair like this more often...)

Walking home from school we saw these overripe, blood red hawthorne berries reaching toward the sun on bare-branched trees. As a lover of all things hawthorne tree, I couldn't help but snap a shot.

The next night we went over to Adam's brother David's house for some early family holiday time. Adam and David's mother was visiting from San Diego, and their brother Jon was up from Sacramento with his wife Jenna and their darling girls Caroline (3 years old) & Lucy (4 months). Mycie and Caroline are fantastic playmates and always have so much fun together. Especially when David & Jon hoopty-rig an entirely new kind of sleigh ride for them to enjoy.

Sunlight, Ringlets, Folksy Prints, and Hawthorne Blossoms

A couple weekends ago my friend Lily texted to see if she could stop by and drop off some dresses she had just thrifted for Mycelia. She was out on a stroller saunter with her darling baby Cecilia (Mycie always goes "If we have a baby can we name it Cecilia?" to which I reply, of course, that that might get a little confusing). She had scored three of the most adorable vintage prairie-esque children's dresses imaginable, and Mycie and I were thrilled! (And will pass them back to Lily and Cecilia once Mycie outgrows them). I decided to take some photos of her in front of this sweet little folk art print that I had just gotten at a yard sale that same day.

The girl has been to one too many Violet Folklore photo shoots...

and has really perfected- and personalized- the art of the pose.

I also got this awesome vintage Easter Egg at the yard sale. It looks so familiar, I must've had one as a child.

I could not love this little scene any more. What is the little chickie saying that has the parents so concerned? And where can I get one of those buggies?

Our phototastic morning led us outside into some of the very small amount of sunshine we Northern Californians have seen so far this spring.

This statue was at this house, in this condition, when we moved in. We heart the hell out of it.

We ambled around to the back of the house, where earlier that morning, out the laundry room window, I had discovered something wonderfully magical and heartwarming right before my eyes...

But first we stopped and said hello to some of the plants in our wee herb garden...

and to the dandelion forest on the side of the house...

and to the mighty oak, clothed in ivy, that watches over us.

And then we found what we were looking for- a hawthorne tree! Though we have lived here for two months now, they have been a wet and cold and busy two months, and since the hawthorne was not in blossom, I hadn't realized it was there until this day! The first day we came to check the place out there were endless violets filling in the side and back yards, and we took this as a wonderful Welcome Home sign. And I feel the same way about the hawthorne! It's a plant that always brings joy to my heart- especially when it blossoms in May.

(Last May Mycie and I were walking behind an apartment building on our way to a woodsy path that eventually leads to a park. We came around a corner and there in front of us was a hawthrone tree in full bloom. My immediate, unthinking reaction was to throw my arms up and yelp with glee! And run towards the tree to caress the blossoms and show them to Mycie. Then I heard the words "What is that crazy bitch doing?" and looked over to see a shaved head, shirtless guy in sagging basketball shorts smoking a cigarette and talking on his cell phone on his tiny apartment balcony about 15 feet away).

Mycie picked herself a little handful of flowers and we walked back around to the front of the house to put them in water.

And snap a few more photos.

Here's hoping that spring really is just around the corner. You know, now that it's almost officially summer and all...

Hawthorne is the best known heart/circulation ally in Western herbal medicine. (WHICH MAKES SO MUCH SENSE WHEN I THINK OF THE UPLIFTING AND FREEING SENSATION I FEEL IN MY HEART CENTER WHEN I SEE THE PLANT IN FLOWER! Ahhhh, plants are SO amazing in all their complexities and all the ways they seek to communicate with and teach us.) In European folklore it is considered one of the most magical plants, and is associated with Beltane/May Day and with divine protection. My favorite discussion of this healing plant is in Judith Berger's book Herbal Rituals.