Thursday, October 21, 2010

Florida in January

No, we didn't move back to Florida but this weather is what I call Florida in January....which makes me a bit nervous about what weather here in January might actually be like, hehe. This morning the snow is covering the tops of the mountains and I hear the countdown to ski season is quickly upon us. Nevertheless I have been in sheer hand knitted bliss this past week or so. I get to wear cowls and pick which of the ten hats I knitted but never get to wear I'm going to choose today. Then there are fingerless gloves and scarves. I'm knitting the ever popular Bella mittens right now (no, I'm not a Twilight fan but I love the cable pattern!).

The holidays are creeping up and I'm determined to be prepared this year. Work is really slowing down for Riki which means less tips. It is a bit scary but I feel like the universe always provides what you need, even if it may not be exactly what you want. Ideally I would love to get all of my shopping/ordering for the kids done so that I can actually enjoy the spirit of the holidays this year without that impending knot in my stomach feeling for needing to do so many things.

I'm particularly disgruntled about toy prices this year. We really strive to buy toys that are made of mostly natural materials and not mass produced in China. Boys aren't too terribly difficult in this area and neither are babies/toddlers because they play with such small, simple things but boy they got you over a barrel with girls. Willow is all about fairies and princesses and all that typical girl stuff. There is just no way that I can afford to pay $300 for a fairy or dollhouse in one of these waldorf catalogs. I don't even know how you can justify that kind of cost. Then it doesn't even include the dolls or furniture. $18 for one tiny doll. One! I'm talking about something half the size of a barbie doll here. I realize that it costs more money to buy quality handmade items but these are also somewhat mass produced pieces in popular catalogs. I don't care if they come from Germany. It is sad to think that on a tight budget one may have no choice but to buy cheap plastic crap from China from Walmart. It tends to sicken me how the whole waldorf lifestyle only caters to the elite. Then it is no wonder that half of the people involved have no idea what Steiner was actually talking about in terms of education because they are so caught up in the materialism of all of these things.

The kicker is that the kids have virtually no toys. We had to leave a lot of stuff behind when we moved into the rv. They basically fight over one set of wooden blocks they have had for years or role play with stuffed animals. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I believe strongly in open ended creative play. However when your kids are constantly fighting over the few things they do have I think they deserve a few nice playthings. It is just hard to shell out a bunch of money for stuff when there are perfectly good toys sitting in Florida that I already paid for. Many of them like the wooden kitchen are just too big or heavy to ship. Ah well. Ellery is desperate for legos and I think he is a great age for them now so I sure hope I can splurge on some of those for him.

I know a lot of moms who make their own toys but gosh, I'm already spread so thin. Do I bake gifts to send out to family or do I make my kids toys? Plus I really need to work on my spinning and dyeing if I ever want to get some sort of handmade business off the ground. You really have to choose middle ground sometimes. Making everything from food to housewares to toys from scratch is ideal but that in addition to homeschooling means that sometimes I've got to compromise. If my kids had enough toys I would be tempted to knit them a scarf for Christmas and that would be it but right now I would say they are closer to deprived of playthings than anything else.

In the end it looks like I will be giving a lot of my money to handcrafters on etsy again this year. I found an adorable wooden stackable mushroom house (like the ones the catalogs sell for $50) for only $25. Then I got some adorable girly gnome dolls with mushroom furniture from the same seller. I have my eye on some beautiful dolls too...some with candy colored dread like yarn hair...too cute! All these fancy catalogs can kiss my you know what this year. I'd rather support small crafters anyway if I can't make it myself.

This cold weather has me in the mood for candles...the sweet, spicy autumn scented ones. Another thing I left behind was my candle making stuff or else I would be making lots of batches of soy candles right now. We don't have a hearth and the electric one still has a fake feeling to it. I'm craving that light of the divine in the midst of the cold and dark that approaches.

1 comments: said...

i know you will have fun when that snow first hits.. be sure and let the kids make snow angels and take pictures for me.. we will be sure those kids get toys in the near future.. all will be good.. enjoy wearing your new knitted wardrobe.. love ya...