on wool & starting over

DSC_0805Today I lanolized my custom-made wool longies and my new shorties. I was going to type up a tutorial on lanolizing, since it’s something I had to search for when I first started using wool as a diaper cover. As I clacked away, the post started morphing.

So CTRL-A-Delete and here we are. Starting over.

I was thinking as I wrote about how to lanolize, how amazing it is that nature provides us the tools we need – even in our modern day lives – to diaper our kids, feed ourselves, clean ourselves and our things, house and clothe and care for our families. Natural products, some locally made even, create all-in-one products and convenience. 

I thought about how easy it is for me to have cloth diapers, food in the freezer, 13 pounds of baking soda, 2 gallons of vinegar and a kilo of soap nuts at home. It may take a little more work to mix cleaning agents and wash diapers, but I rarely run out of something and have to go to the store. I never worry about running out of cleaning supplies or diapers or food. I live with some degree of self-reliance, content, and ease.

I started thinking about how I can bury seeds in the dirt, and with just a little time and a little moisture, they will sprout green and push through to reach for the sun. How do they know which way to go? Somehow they do. They bring exploration to the Pie, the freshest, cleanest food possible, and a chance to see something grow, blossom, fruit & die. And if I give them sun and moisture and food and love, they will bring me food, contentedness, peace, fresh air, a sense of accomplishment.

I thought about how, on our modern quest for convenience and all-in-one methods of dealing with our chores and problems, we turn to unnatural things. But natural products, like lanolized wool, really are all-in-ones. Wool is naturally water-repellant because of the lanolin it holds. We must use cultivated lanolin to re-lanolize the wool we use, but we are essentially renewing nature’s all-in-one pants/diaper strategy.

I thought about how cloth diapering involves a lot of trial and error. You can read about it, watch other people do it, take advice about how and which and when and how many. But until you hold the diapers, put them on your baby, use them, wash them, fold them and then use them again, you really don’t know. And the experience of others is somewhat meaningless. And sometimes your expectations are different than the outcomes. I was convinced that I would only want to use prefolds and covers, and that no convincing or sales pitches could get me to use pockets or all-in-ones. As the Pie began squirming on the changing table, I started fantasizing about the ease of a diaper with one piece. I tried an A-I-O and didn’t like it. I tried a pocket and realized that I needed to abandon my expectations, scrap what I thought I wanted, and start over. In the search for what worked for me in cloth diapering, using mostly pockets, with some fitteds and prefolds and covers is what I found ideal. And when we find what works, it’s joyful.

And then I thought about how parenting, and life, are all trial and error. Sometimes we have to abandon our expectations, scrape our pride off the floor and start over. On our constant quest for a better life, we find the strategies, procedures, methods, and practices that work for us. And when we hit that groove – after starting over, adjusting, shifting, running on tangents and sometimes circling back – when we find our path, it’s joyful.



  1. Absolutely fantastic! A nice post!
    I enjoyed reading it, thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Thanks Tame Lion, and welcome! Glad you're here. How did you find my little corner of the world?


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