Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A lullaby

Hush (a lullaby)

Hush, my darling, go to sleep
The world you've entered is not safe
There's trouble brewing every day
Sleep, my love, and you'll be safe

Hush, my darling, don't you cry
Although this life is full of pain
There's hope and love in every day
Sleep, my love, there'll be no pain

Hush, my darling, close your eyes
And dream a dream where I'll be there
I'll hold you closer every day
Sleep, my love, and I'll be there

Monday, October 27, 2008


A new poem inspired by my little one. I may these days be posting things without much discussion - but just because I don't comment, doesn't mean you shouldn't!

Wonder and Joy

O wonder of wonders
the self-soothing sleep
without which a mother -
why, surely, she'd weep!
O great joy of joys
the spontaneous smile
that makes all the sleepless nights
forever worthwhile.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Fast Runner

I recently saw an Inuit movie called "The Fast Runner." Lovely movie - documentary-like, but fictional. It's amazing to me that people can actually live so in touch with nature - I wonder if there are many people living without any touch with modern "civilization" (as we know it) in other parts of the world. I can only think of the Bushmen of Africa.

Anyway, that inspired some random scribblings, below. Those D's are actually sideways igloo-like shapes. Ok, not really. Atanarjuat is the name of the hero.

Eco-tip: Have too many postcards lying around from various trips? Rather than giving them to people who might never use them, use them as one-sided notecards or greeting cards. You'll save postage and transportation, and the pretty image won't go to waste. If you receive one, you can post it onto an old sheet of paper to make another!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Well, I'm kind of settling into life as a new mom. It's super tiring but just a delight to get those sweet coos and silly smiles, especially at 2am.

So, I'm back to trying to conserve energy/water on a conscious level and thought I'd bring in a new eco-tip or two:

1) Buy local - check out the farmer's market if you haven't, find a CSA (community supported agriculture), and look for the most local versions of things you already buy, especially things that have to come from far away.

2) When local is not an option, go fair trade! Look for the fair trade symbol especially on things like chocolate, coffee, vanilla, sugar and rice.

Old eco-tips can be found by typing eco-tip in the search box above or else here.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Collage "Religion"

Made from whatever was in my recycling bin - Oct 3, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Natural, baby

It's been a long time since my last post - babytime has been frustrating, tiring, exhilarating, and joyous. Getting here has been tough but those irresistible toothless smiles are entirely worth it!

I thought I'd share some of the Indian natural remedies I've been treated to by family and friends during pregnancy and after. I'm only one, but I can attest that they have been great for me:

Pregnancy tea - A tea made with toasted black cumin, fennel, and a little bit of thyme. This is used to help with digestion, nausea, and morning sickness. It's flavorful, so for me, a great way to stay hydrated.

Lehiyam - A paste made of various roots and herbal medicines, including long pepper, thyme, cumin, nutmeg, and others. For after the baby is born, to be taken in the mornings. Helps with digestion and milk production. Made with jaggery (raw sugar) cooked in, so it tastes great.

Fenugreek - Seeds soaked in hot water for a few hours until soft, then eaten with a spoon. Proven to improve milk production. Also great for regularizing your digestive system! A little bitter but soft and chewy, and the results can't be beat. You could also buy the Fenuber powder or pills, which will have a similar effect.

Kasturi - A powder for the mother to eat/drink mixed in milk/water. Not sure what it is, but said to stimulate milk production.

Garochan - This little red powder you mix into a little milk or water to give to the baby after birth (we waited for the 10th day). It is said to improve the child's voice. Mine gave us a loud "aah" right after we gave it to him!

Betel leaf and nut - Betel nuts are a notorious stimulant but the leaf with it is supposed to improve digestion. More importantly, it's smeared with lime, which is calcium carbonate, and provides the new mom with calcium. To be taken after meals.

Chana dal flour - Mixed into a paste with warm water in place of soap on the baby's body and hair, it's cleansing and moisturizing, and said to help clear out the baby down.

Sesame oil - A cooling oil, warmed with a few peppercorns, rubbed into skin and hair before washing to moisturize.

Coconut oil - a good moisturizing oil, it's helped get off the cradle cap, soothe dry nostrils, and generally keep baby moisturized in extra-dry weather.

Castor oil - rubbed into baby's belly button or on belly when there's gas trouble, or on sore jaws or any other pains.

In addition, there are the forbidden (papaya, jackfruit, certain rare fruits) foods for before pregnancy, and after (too many lentils, spicy food), and the foods that are encouraged, like eggplant, saffron (said to make skin lighter), and dry ginger (a bit helps with gas trouble).

Traditional medicine has lots of other recommendations, but I didn't do them all.