Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Blog, New Dreams

Greetings all,

Just wanted to let you know I am going to be starting a new blog, one that reflects more where I am in my life. My children are grown and need me differently. Although I am still very much a country girl, I am resolved that my life has me here in the city for now. That means I am going to learn more about urban farming and square foot gardening. Also I am pursuing my dreams of being an herbalist, growing herbs, making medicine, tinctures, teas etc. On top of all this I have discovered that my passion for motherhood has transferred to mommies to be, childbirth education and my doula work.

So why the need for a new blog? Well, call it a fresh start and a new beginning. I feel less like a farmgirl and more like a village wise woman. It is something I have wanted for some time, someone I have aspired to. Many folks and some of my friends have told me, "You ARE a village wise woman!" So what am I waiting for? So here goes, another part of the journey. I hope you will all join me over here at Village Wise Woman. I am sure the journey will be interesting and full of twists and turns, but most of all joy!

"The key to everything is the way you start. All beginnings are hard, because you need to swing things around from one direction to the very opposite. But once you have made a start, you will soon begin getting used to your new direction and it will no longer be so difficult. Therefore you must marshal all your strength and steel yourself to make an energetic start. Each time you must begin again with ever renewed fire and passion for G-d. Start as if you had never begun before." Likutey Moharan 1:67

Friday, January 15, 2010

She's Kinda a Big Girl Now!

So Philly Farmgirl is moving on to her next big adventure! Unbelievable as it may be, I will speaking at a local shul/synagagoue this motzei shabbat! I still have NO idea what I am going to speak about, horrors! See, blogging is so much easier. I write when I am inspired, I can delete before you see my flub ups, so much safer. But the truth is, this is what I have always felt my mission in life was. Not public speaking, per se, but inspiring women. Inspiring women to see who they really are. My desire is to help reveal that Divine spark that already lies within each and every one of them (you!). I want to be like a gentle wind that blows upon that spark to help them believe in who they are and what they can become. I want to help women see the strength that lies within them, the power and the wisdom that is already there, that they already own. To see the light and love they possess and to discover and believe in their authentic and wild self! Yes, I said wild! Wild as in the beauty of a wild flower that lies undiscovered in a field of flowers. Wild as in free and beautiful! Wild as in unrestrained power to do anything and be anyone! Yes, wild.

So how do you think that topic will fly in a room full of frum women??

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hi, my name is Philly and I am a ________.

Or "Now that I've untied these things, NOW what do I do?!"

So this week finds me with an unusually empty home. Well, not completely, the dog and the husband are here, but my children are not. Both my daughters are with their grandmother visiting this week. Actually, my oldest daughter has been there all summer helping her grandmother out after her hip replacement surgery. (BTW, she is doing very well thank you!) My youngest needed a change of pace and a break from the day to day she is happily spending the week reading to her heart's content. Me? Well, I am not sure. Sunday was a bit sad for me, that is when they left. I had such a hallowness in my chest, but I kept trying to shake it off telling myself I would be fine. I know this probably seems very silly to all of you. I mean, should'nt I be doing the 'woohoo kids out of the house' happy dance. Not my style guys, sorry. But I knwo I also shouldn't fall into despair because of it. So, I am going to the wise thing and keep myself busy. I started off Sunday going to a drum workshop, which BTW was excellent and oh so much fun. I came home and made a lovely but simple dinner for my husband and I. (Spinach and tomato salad topped with veggie burger strips and homemade yogurt dressing, yumm!) Yesterday I came home from work and just kinda wandered about. Today I am setting up a game plan for the rest of the week. I really want this week to be productive and happy! So here goes!

So far my plans are to:

1. Clean (really clean) my home
2. Organize my bedroom
3. Finish my weaving
4. Restring my mandolin
5. Make a wish list for school next year
6. Clean out fridge
7. Weed garden
8. Make several tinctures (lavender and lemon balm)
9. Read
10. Meditate

These are not in order of importance but rather what came to mind first. Notice the take care of myself items came up at the end of my thought process. I am sure that is not surprising because we woman do tend to do that.

I suppose that is what all this is about. As my children have grown up and have moved out on their own, I need to re-identify myself. I have been their mother for 25 years now. From the moment I conceived my son there has been nothing else that has consumed my thoughts as much as being a mother has. I understand I will always be their mother, but they no longer need me and I no longer can (nor do I want to) serve them in the same capacity. They need me now in such different and sometimes even deeper ways. I really do like our new relationships. We are developing a more companion sort of relationship. We speak on different levels, sometimes more openly, sometimes not. (I will always be Mommy after all and there are just some things you do not share with your mother ;-) ) But for sure it is a deeper and mutually respectful relationship. I really like the adults my children have become. They are moral, ethical and upright people. I like that they think for themselves, although they may find that hard to believe. (Hey, I've got my opinions too!) For the most part I am getting used to this 'Brave New World', I just have not quite figured out what to do with me yet.

So, let's say this week is my initiation into me finding what my next phase of life will be. I know my mind and heart is full of many seeds of possibility. I suppose that now the time has come to plant them and see what begins to sprout. Just imagine what this garden will look like!

Maybe the Village Wise Woman will emerge after all...

Note: Picture is from my dear friend 'Not Quite June Cleaver'. If you click link or the picture you will redirected to her wonderful site!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A fun website for my expecting mommies

I just found this site and I thought this would be a great link post for all my expecting mommies out there. has several neat gadgets over there to play with. My favorite is the baby ticker, which you can find under tools. There you plug in your due date and a ticker with an image of the development of a baby the same age of yours pops us. It even shows the baby floating about, how cute is that! Have fun!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Save Your Local Mint Farm!!

The Crosby Mint farm needs our help! Once upon a time in Michigan there were 60 mint farms. Now there are only 4 and the oldest mint farm, the Crosby farm is in threat of foreclosure! Just so you know, I am a huge fan of mint and am pretty convinced that mint can do just about anything! I grow several kind myself, and I have used it to calm nerves, give me midday energy, get rid of a headache, sooth a tummy ache, make a cool refreshing drink, etc. Not to mention a delicious addition to many recipes! You name it I find mint can do it! They are offering a $5 dram sale and a great package deal! Really, you need some! They are super to stick in an emergency or first aid kit and make very good gifts. Check out the video and let's help the Crosby's keep the farm!

Here are pictures of the mint I grow. Just a small amount and I haven't a distiller to get the oil from it so I do buy mint essential oils.

This is a picture of this years peppermint. It is so strong and yummy!

These are my pots of peppermint and spearmint.

This is my darling applemint, my absolute favorite! I make a wonderfully refreshing tea from this. My mother grew this when we lived in Chicago and I remember loving the fuzzy leaves.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Memories of Summer Time Sewing & Home School

It must be that time of the year. Always towards the end of summer, when my children were much younger, I remember doing lot of sewing to prepare for the colder seasons. Living in Lancaster County made it quite easy for me. There were wonderful fabric stores in the center of the tourist area, that I loved going to. It was so much fun to go with my daughters and pick out material for our fall and winter dresses and jumpers. We would buy many yards of fabric (and even occasionally bolts) usually at really good discount prices. Why so much fabric you may be wondering? Well, once upon a time, I made all of my daughters and my clothing. I loved sewing , and I loved knowing I could do it. Talk about feeling like eishet chayil! I had lots and lots of dress and jumper patterns and just loved looking through them and choosing what we were going to wear for the season. Now mind you, back then I also bought knit material for dresses. My Amish and Mennonite neighbors were HUGE fans of the synthetic knit fabric singing it's praises and convincing me of it's many virtues. It actually did make nice looking and easy to care for dresses, although we only wore these in the colder months because they were too hot for the summer and spring. (BTW, I did eventually get away from the knits altogether. We soon discovered the comforts and coziness of cotton flannel).

This was also the time of year when I would be pouring over curriculum catalogs, searching for the perfect subject or ideas for our home school the next year. It's really interesting to me how intensely I feel and miss this rhythm in my life. For example recently I was with a friend who is planning on homeschooling her son part time next year. He will only be attending a Jewish day school for his religious studies and will be home schooled for his secular. She was so very excited talking to me about what she is learning regarding education and looking at different curriculum. She was so animated and passionate that I just sat smiling and enjoying her enthusiasm. Laughingly she finally said, "I'm sorry, I could go on for hours!" I smiled and replied that it was not that long ago that the lady sitting across the table was me. I was a tad bit envious of her excitement, but my time is done in that area.

It suppose it would a good idea to begin recreating some other ritual for this time of the year. I could certainly sew, and I may do that for old times sake and because I need to teach my youngest daughter to sew. But I think I do need to come up with some other rituals, create a new rhythm that I will look forward to each end of summer. Any ideas?