Thursday, February 03, 2011

Crunchy Mommas and the Stylish Blogger Award

So, I was flattered (to say the least) when my sweet friend Amy at Journey Mum gave me the Stylish Blogger Award.  I was even more flattered when she said, and I quote, that I was "...supremely crunchy..."

That got me thinking since I haven't really thought of myself as 'crunchy'.  A year or two ago the word crunchy and my name would not have appeared in a sentence together, in fact!  I mean, I've always been more likely to try a natural remedy before allopathic medicine and I've always believed in the power of the human body but I was not the 'crunchy' woman I (just realised I) am today, that's for sure.  It also got me thinking about how I got here and I think it's a big combination of things.

First, my maternal grandparents were crunchy before anyone knew what that was.  My Granny gave birth naturally in the 50s when everyone was gettin' doped to pop out a baby.  She fought to have her husband in the room with her (and he fought, too) and he was the first father in Manitoba to be in the room while his child was born.  She breastfed her babies when everyone was feeding formula because it was 'better'.  She fed all natural foods and insisted her children's snacks be wholesome things like dried fruit and - wait for it - granola.  As a kid, I remember opening my grandparents' fridge to find the entire bottom shelf stacked two bottles high with vitamin, mineral and other natural supplements that they took daily.  My grandmother was an ornithologist and naturalist and always had some bird or other that was being nursed to health in the house.  The highlight of her life was when she held a live mouse in her hand for a wild hawk to take.  I have fond memories of watching and feeding birds with her on her beautiful yard (later to become a bird sanctuary and a place for ornithology students from around the world to camp out and watch for birds, many out of their natural habitats) and helping her clean out the many bird baths she had sprinkled over the property.  My grandfather also loved nature and the outdoors, the two of them often going for long drives with picnic lunches (and a couple of beers in the trunk) their binoculars strung around their necks, hoping to see birds.  My Grandpa was also very concerned about air quality, installing air filters in all our houses, constantly bringing his air tester and replacement filters when he'd visit among many, many other extremely eccentric quirks that are for another post another day.  Even though they lived about 90 minutes away they were definitely an influence on me.

My mother was a little less natural than her parents in those ways, though she always noticed the birds, too.  She loves moths and butterflies and can oft be found in her ginormous flower garden (having studied horticulture in adulthood) puttering around.  This is where I picture my mother when I think of her - leaned back on a garden bench, work boots on, her snippers holstered on her belt around her cut off jean shorts with dirty, ragged gloves stuffed in the back pocket, her tan shoulders shining in her tank top and her long, blond hair blowing in the wind, tangled around her reading glasses, various tree seeds and perhaps some moss or dirt.  Two Jack Russell Terriers are in her lap, next to her or never far behind and you can hear the fountain in the pond splish-splashing away.  When she's not there, she's inside, tending to her hundreds (literally) of rare orchids or the plethora of other houseplants she keeps.

Years ago I had a friend and room-mate who was studying to be a homeopath who was also a big influence on me.  She taught me about natural remedies and opened my eyes to the idea that everything this world produced could be 'medicine' - not just what an allopathic doctor wrote on a prescription.  She also introduced me to healing touch.

Years later I had another room-mate who was just beginning her journey to crunchiness.  She encouraged me to eat healthier and introduced me to ayurveda which I'm still learning about.  She was very interested in natural healing and wanted to show me how enjoyable food preparation could be (I'm still working on the latter).  She had a boyfriend that also shared a lot of good information with us, opening our minds to new possibilities.

Then, for a couple of years I lost momentum.  Health and wellness weren't priorities in my mind as I was newly married and learning that marital bliss is a bit of a misnomer.  When I got pregnant in September of 2009 it catapulted me into healthy living.  I had so much drive to make sure I was healthy and making the best decisions for myself and my baby.  That led me to question so much of what we do to ourselves.  How we eat, how we heal, how we clean (ourselves and our surroundings) how we prevent, how we gestate, how we birth, how we feed our babies and that's when I slowly morphed over the line into Granolaville without even realising I had done so.  It took Amy calling me crunchy for me to see how crunchy I really am and how drastically my views on so many issues have evolved over time.

So, as a wife and mother in a family where we eat organic and all natural, keep our babies intact, do elimination communication, baby wear, cosleep/bedshare, breastfeed to term, keep our immune systems intact, clean with baking soda and vinegar (including my hair), use wool dryer balls instead of fabric softener/dryer sheets, birth unassisted at home and probably a few other things that I don't even realise aren't mainstream anymore, I say with pride, I am crunchy!

Now, to the business of the Stylish Blogger Award, there are some conditions to my acceptance of this esteemed title:

        1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award

It was awarded to me by Amy of Journey Mum.  Please stop by, check out her awesome blog and creep her profile, too, while you're there!  She's got some great posts about simplifying (something we're working on), decluttering (something else we're working on), organising (another thing we're working on) and being a momma in this day and age.  Just love her.  Plus, as she said, her name's Amy so you must know she's awesome!  And even better, we both have first names for last names which just turns the awesomeness up to eleven.

2. Share 7 things about yourself 

-I talk a lot.  Like, really - a lot.
-I often put my foot in my mouth whilst doing all that talking.  If I manage not to do this, I usually end up wondering later if I did, anyway, and worry about it needlessly.
-I like clocks.  Much to my husband's chagrin (tick tock, tick tock) I collect them.
-I really like having my picture taken but I am not photogenic at all and am rarely pleased with the outcome.
-I love architecture and home design - floor planning, exteriors, interiors, the whole shebang.
-I really enjoy reading (and writing) but find I don't have nearly as much time for either as I'd like.
-I love baking.  Cooking, not so much.

3. Award recently discovered great bloggers

I am going to award Sarah at Becoming Sarah with the Stylish Blogger Award because, well, I like her style and her unabashed blogging makes me happy.  I am also going to award Dionna at Code Name: Mama because she's a wonderful resource for gentle parents everywhere.  Lastly, I'm going to award my sweet friend from across the continent, Lynn at Lynn's Mindless Ramblings because she's open-heartedly sharing her journey through PTSD from her (unnec)cesarean with the world in the hopes of healing herself and her family as well as possibly helping others heal or avoid the same trauma she is coping with.  Her strength moves me.


  1. Thank you mama, I'm honored to be among your discoveries :)

  2. I am so thrilled to have met you. It's awesome that I get to hang out with you once in awhile in person and read and learn more about you here! You write so incredibly well! Loving it. :)
    Oh, also glad you didn't take offense to my calling you supremely crunchy, that really bothers some people!

  3. I'm honoured that you read through the post, Dionna! ;)

    Amy, I must admit I am very glad to have met you, too - and that you live just a few blocks away so we can kick it sometimes! It's nice to know there are other like-minded, well-read (and well-written) Mommas out there like you; I'm sure we'll be seeing much more of one another.


Keep it clean, guys.