Archive for July, 2009


how I spent my time “off”

July 27, 2009

As I mentioned earlier, my Waldorf intensive kept me very busy for most of this month.  I had expected I might join those with cars on excursions to neighbouring areas on the weekends but I only made it once.  Not for a lack of offers but I think I might have overdone things on the first day because I just wasn’t up to it on the other 3 days I had open.

07 time off

It was over two weeks ago now that I joined two of my classmates on a trip to the ocean.  While many were keen on exploring Cape Cod a group of us were more worn out so we went for the closest beach.  I think it was a private one because the options for parking were limited and there was an air of “privilege” on the beach.  Regardless, we enjoyed frolicking in the frigid water and napping on the sand.  Suprisingly the sun didn’t seem as intense there as it is here now that I’m home.

I was surprised to see that most of the houses – or  cottages – looked just like in the movies but far bigger.  And there was so much variety in the size and colour of the rocks (not that my first photo shows it!)

07 time off 1

After going back to the campus for dinner, three of us joined an enthusiastic contra dancer on a trip to Concord, a suburb of Boston.  It was so amazing to join a community that was so keen on dancing and accepting of our limited (ok… complete and utter lack of) experience.

The following day I was too tired to head to the beach and a few people wanted to get together to play music.  At the peak of our play we had a guitar, a lyre, two recorders, a ukulele and a few vocalists.  Our musical interests were so diverse which definitely made it challenging to play something that sounded good but we did have fun.

07 time off 2

One of my favourite things to do when I had free time on weekends was to visit a nearby consignment clothing store.  I had packed lightly, perhaps a little too lightly given how cool and wet the weather was.  My favourite pair of capris, which I had planned to wear for work were thread bare in places before the end of the first week and I had to wear my least comfortable shoes to meet the health and safety requirements in the kitchen.

I generally don’t consider myself much of a shopper but good prices (averaging about $11/item) and colours and fits that I liked were too hard to resist.  After finding a nearly new pair of clog style birkenstocks and a pair of jeans (that doubled as painting pants), I continued to make trips to the store.  In the end I  added a fun and fully lined skirt, a dressy sleeve-less shirt, perfect fitting linen pants, a summery t-shirt and an avocado green long sleeve shirt.  It was definitely a worthwhile way to spend my time!

Oh, and I also did a lot of reading.  I still have a long ways to go on that front!



July 26, 2009

I arrived at the centre for my Waldorf summer intensive three weeks ago  after “hitching” a ride with 3 folks from the Montreal area.  My French n’est pas bien and it was interesting to try and understand some of the French conversations.  I think I did alright though.

Anyways, we got to the campus, I found my room, met my roommate and promptly went to bed.  I didn’t sleep very well that first night and had a really hard time with the food that first day.  My diet wasn’t very well understood and our location made it extremely difficult to get out and get some healthy food for my stash.  I worked in the kitchen too but wasn’t at all involved involved in preparing the meals.   I know it was one of the worst versions of myself that I shared the first day and as awful as that was, it was also good to have a reminder of how fragile the balance is.

07 adapting 1

Things did get better; much, much better in the subsequent days and weeks.  I survived mostly on salads,  potato chips and seeds for that first week with just a few problems.  I took a class with the folks I’ll be studying with in the fall and enjoyed meeting others in our morning activity, at meals and in the kitchen.  Clean up after meals was actually a lot of fun too once I got over being absent from the food prep.

In the second and third week I did something kind of silly and completely filled my timetable.  With my food problems mostly solved I thought it would be alright but I was so tired by the end of the first week and I really didn’t catch up until Monday of the next week.  I’m definitely still tired now that I’m home but we had a good restful day and despite my flights, yesterday was pretty relaxing too.  All in all it was a good three weeks and if I wasn’t so tired I would probably write more!

07 adapting


teaching the next generation to sew

July 3, 2009

07 sewing

Last night I started a new task – teaching the next generation how to sew.

My sisters and I were always the youngest in the circle of cousins when we were kids.  Since becoming adults the tables have turned a little bit as that’s when my mom’s youngest brother started his own family.  I don’t get to see our little cousins near as much as I would like but I’ve been able to spend a few days with them before starting my Waldorf intensive.  My three days here have flown by with a trip to the cottage (where I learned about black flies first hand) and an afternoon at the park.  We added one more thing to the list of activities when we started on a sewing project last night.

After learning that I’d made some of the items I’d brought with me the girls (the oldest of this set of cousins) started expressing interest in making their own things.  Tonight we narrowed down the selections to a placemat roll for school, a pencil case and a pillowcase.  We found examples of each item that we liked, brought up mom’s tracing paper and large rulers and started making replicas of the pieces we wanted to copy.  We learned about seam allowances and how to measure so that you know how much fabric to buy.

In the morning we took a trip to the fabric store.  We were able to find a nice but yet not overwhelming, selection of fabric.  We found a great set of coordinating fat quarters for the placemat (there are enough for two) and the two fabrics for the pillowcase looked great together and beside what was chosen for the pencil case.  The girls chose their fabrics relatively quickly and in no time we were off to get started with the sewing.

07 sewing 2

The first projects on the list were the placemat and the pillowcase.  After testing their ability to control the “gas” pedal and sew the fabric in the right places, the real sewing began.  The main projects were different but I could easily go from coaching one on how to pin their piece in preparation for sewing just before giving some one-on-one coaching on the sewing machine.  When the prepared pieces were sewn I’d switch the threads and usually it would be just at the time when the other sister needed the sewing machine.  It worked so well and unkie was there to help with the ironing in between too.  I wish I’d remembered to snag a photo of that action!

In less than two hours each girl had their first sewing projects complete.  Later on we made a pencil case and a headband for each girl plus one for their other cousin.  It was a sweet way to spend my day here and I’m so impressed that they did everything themselves except for threading the machine and sewing in the zipper.  What an amazing start!

07 sewing finished