Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Don't Take Away My T.V.!

Why do people get defensive about their electronics? It's so funny to me, that there is such a need to protect their "right" to television. As if it's so black and white (no pun intended!). It doesn't have to be such a cut and dry decision! What about a little balance in a world where we are so inundated with horrible images, not excluding the Kardashian klan. We absolutely live in an electronic age and it is incredible what we can accomplish in such amazing time. I love my laptop and my cell phone but I also like to take breaks. For my kids, I choose not to have a T.V. in my living room. Consequently, my kids actually play outside, read books or drive me crazy and I'm glad. Yes, they watch movies and they know who Sponge Bob is, as if that will enable them to be in the "real world". They are not in a bubble, we just try to create a balance for them. None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes on a regular basis. The goal, for me, is not perfection, it's consciousness. I want to be able to recognize when things are too out of balance. I want to be able to "hear" what's needed for my family. The best way, I have found, is to pull them a little closer at times and shut the world, and it's opinions, out for a while. Really be in my role as their mother. We often depend too much on the outside to do our work of parenting for us. Ultimately, it is our job! Take it up with pride and love. You have the power to filter the media influence. This is the path you can choose for your family, balance. Sending my love and support to all the mothers and fathers out there doing their best to put conscious human beings on our planet! It's no small task.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Speaking Up

Speaking Up

I'm so excited! I had the opportunity to speak this morning at our school about simplifying for the holidays and though I was nervous, it was such an amazing experience for me to look out at all those faces really hanging on to each word. I actually felt a lot more comfortable than I expected. I wanted to evoke an image for the parents of what it looked, felt and smelled like in the home when the chaos of electronics and over scheduling is removed. I asked them to remember back to when they were small, to remember their favorite memories before all these things took over. In my image of a day without a cell phone, computer, television etc., a pot of soup is cooking on the stove, holiday music is playing at a low volume, a fire is crackling, candles are lit and crafts are laid out for the children to create. I asked these parents to dedicate one day during the season to create this sacred space and give their children their presence. I told them the world would not implode for that one day if they take the phone from their ear and avoid their emails. I said it they thinks it's too hard, consider this: (ironically a movie quote!) "We have a few special years with our children when they're the ones who want us around. After that you're going to be running after them for a bit of attention. It's so fast. It's a few years and it's over. And you're not being careful. And you're missing it." I was so excited by their response, people actually were crying! It was a really beautiful moment for me. I realized I do have something to say. And people do want to hear it. I am feeling very empowered and will take on more of these opportunities in the future.

poppy, you already know this made me break into bits, sobbing like i had no business doing, but i wanted everyone else to know it. poppy is a source of parenting magic that's come from a mix of intuition & hard knocks. her commitment to stay awake to her family is a wellspring that will save the lives of others, mark my words.

December 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermaya (

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Winds of Change

I cannot believe how strong these winds are! All night I can hear the grape vines twisting against the tile roof. They strip the remaining leaves from the trees, swirling them along the paths. The winds are blowing in the change of season as we approach the winter solstice and I feel the change in my bones and soul. Something more than the leaves is being stripped away, something is shifting rapidly and I'm not certain what it is. My spirit is reflected in this intense push of nature. Wild, determined and frankly, a little pissed off!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Foggy Day

The fog is so thick in the Shire today. The moisture drips from the trees like rain, falling on the leaf covered ground. My persimmons are ripening to a syrupy translucent orange on my counter. Time to puree them and make that delicious bourbon bread for Christmas morning (or afternoon tea!). Thanksgiving has come and gone, the busy month of December is upon us. Vatrena King's concerts are nearly here! December 18th is her "Gratitude Concert" here in Davis and it will be such a magical way to celebrate community during the holidays. These are some of my last quiet moments before the rush of it all. A pot of ham and split pea soup is simmering on the stove to welcome the kids in from a cold day. Oliver loves to build a fire, Molly tidy's the house and "Peter Pan and Wendy" is read before bed. Yummy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Home Visit From a Teacher

Sitting at my dining room table, my son's teacher works on a paper with him. Does this happen for others? I think not. Again reminded why we stretch ourselves to keep our children at the Davis Waldorf School. They finish with smiles and he is confident, which, if you know Oliver's struggles, that's huge. She joins me on the couch to sip hot tea and plan a trip to the city for some "girl" time. Yes, my son's teacher and I are friends. What a gift. In walks Vatrena, no knock necessary, to spend an evening recording her Christmas CD. Did I mention in the past that she's the bookkeeper at the school? Community, I love it! Now for a hot cup of Teechino, yum!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Here I am!

I have not touched this blog in such a long time. Busy with so many exciting things! I'm working with my friend Vatrena King and we have two "Gratitude" concerts coming up in December! The theme of gratitude has really helped me check-in with myself daily on things that I appreciate in the world and my life. Right now, I'm grateful for those beautiful orange persimmons dangling outside my window beckoning me to pick them for some comforting bourbon nut bread. My aunt Denise has been hard at work in the garden planting beets and garlic. I got my hands dirty with her last weekend to get the little onions in. Sadly, I've been so busy that Michael and I didn't get any greens in our little spot here by the house. I wonder if they would do ok going in now?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Don't Pick the Cactus Fruit!

This morning, we attempted a bike ride to school. The air was crisp, the ground wet from the rain, everything smelled so good. We got about 2 blocks away when Molly informed me the she had "pokey" things in her bum. "Ok", I said. Let's go home and change your pants. After changing, we started out again only for the pain to return, this time in her back. I look for little splinters but see nothing. While I'm looking she falls off her bike into the mud on her knees and hands. This is getting fun. We all walk the bikes back home, the violin dangling from the basket I attempted to strap it to. It is then that Oliver informs me that after picking cactus fruit the other day, yes cactus fruit, he threw the gloves into the wash with all of Molly's pink clothes. Molly only wears pink so finding out which ones were affected will be trial and error. Today's clothes ruled out we have now learned valuable lessons. First, don't pick cactus fruit and second don't pick cactus fruit. Who would have thought to add THIS to the list of warnings we give our children. Good grief!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Artichokes in the Fall

The seeds for new growth, what a perfect time of year for pushing in a new direction.

So precious, not to be wasted
And the sunflowers keep going as though summer would go on forever Proof that faeries are real. They're billowing out of their homes and into the garden, resting in the spiders hammocks and sitting on the basil leaves, they're so pretty.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Such a Big Voice, Such a Little Mouse

Vatrena, are you in there?I have had so much fun working with my friend Vatrena King these last few weeks. Getting back into her creative space with singing has brought so much creativity and flow to all of us. Between working on booking concerts, brainstorming ideas for the year and collecting all the pieces that have already been worked on, we are busy! Today, Vatrena and I needed to pick-up a flash drive to retrieve some audio from a previous concert. We had the choice between a mouse or a penguin, real professional. We chose the mouse! That big voice fits in that little mouse? We hope so! Here's to gettin' in the flow! Check out her Myspace page

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day of School

What a beautiful morning! Unfortunately, the 8th grade classroom burned down the day before school started but you never would have know that this campus had such a devastating experience. The teachers work hard all summer prepping their classroom, curriculum and energy for their first block of lessons. Everything was laid out and ready to go and then it was all gone. I caught a glimpse of that teacher this morning who's class is now temporarily housed in the multi purpose room. Strong, passionate and determined she was leading that class as if that's where she had intended to be and teaching lessons she had intended to teach much later in the year. I am in awe of this community.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sweet Image

My cousin Kiersen studies abroad and has been visiting home for the summer. She's turned into an amazing young woman. I just love her. Molly so looks up to her. Everytime there's a family get together, when someone leaves, everyone else chases them on foot down the street. Waving and honking horns as if it's going to be so long until we see eachother again. Because we all live so close now, that's usually with in the week. We said goodbye to Kiersen last night and she held Molly in a tight embrace, tears. We loaded into the car and as we were pulling away two figures flew out the front door as if they were kids again. Chasing us down the street, Kiersen and her brother Ed raced eachother to the corner. All of us calling out the window, "we love you Kiersen". Have a safe trip sweetie and come back soon.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Today is campus beautification day at the waldorf school. We're going to have a little breakfast and bike over to contribute to the community and we haven't taken a family bike ride in quite a while. This afternoon I'll be making risotto for my meeting with my friend Vatrena, she just loves my risotto. I'm going to be helping her with some things to get her concert in December off the ground and I'm so excited to be apart of the energy! Since it's something I've never done before, I'll be learning so much, not to mention, I just love seeing my friends doing there thing. I have big goals this year to keep me driven and exploring opportunities for creative money making ideas! To quote "Gob" from the show "Arrested Development", "I'm incredible! I'm having an incredible year!" (high five)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Additions to the Secret Garden

Delicate and lush Baby Tears
Gentle Violets
Cool and Green.....refreshing in the heat

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Big Garden

Sweet figs

A lot of beans

Back home with more beans than we could possibly eat!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our Secret Garden

One thing we are lacking in the Shire is privacy. Every once in a while, one just craves sacred space to sit quietly without having to feel available. I'm working on establishing some more clear boundaries to start off the school year. I love being able to close my curtains and have a calm ending to the day, to watch the kids read or read to them, brush Molly's hair and braid it for her, pick out clothes for the next day. We are getting in our rhythm for the dwindling light. We have a small courtyard that we have yet to use because it once belonged to our large lab. Molly took a chair out there yesterday to read and it made me realize how nice it would be to put some love into a little secret garden. When we aren't feeling social, we can retreat to it's little walls filled with succulents, beautiful rocks and pink bougainvillea. Molly and I worked all morning on this space and it already feels so welcoming. Now she wants a fountain! Maybe we'll build one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Simple Sandwich

The kids and I took a bike ride to the library today and was it hot! For some reason, the library owed ME money so I took the kids to the co-op for a snack. I picked-up a delicious seeded baguette and made the best little sandwich. A little mayo, Dijon mustard and turkey stuffed into the sliced bread. I like simple! Cooling off in the air conditioning and drinking lots of ice water. I'm tired.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Bluegrass, incense, open windows and doors
Tidy and comfortable
Happy, safe
Molly's captured smoke in a jar
She'll "keep it"
School soon begins
One more violin
Lessons? YES!
Getting in the flow
Here it goes! :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Work to be Done

Finally, Michael's day off has arrived and we have work to do. Besides cleaning the house, we need to get to the big garden for more picking! Denise came over yesterday to show me the large basket of heirloom cherry tomatoes she had picked. So beautiful and delicious. Of course, there are millions of beans as well! Right now, the house is quiet and the low hum of Oliver's loft fan is so soothing. Coffee is warming, my curtains are drawn over cool windows..........this day feels meant to inspire. I'll look for clues.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

This Morning in the Garden Pics

In forests of sunflowers
My eyes behold

and the changing light of the soul

I Smell Fall

I added cinnamon to my coffee grounds enhancing the sense that fall is near. I've opened the windows to let in the cool morning air and smell the damp earth below the grape vines. The artichoke plant is releasing large, white "faeries" that settle in the garden beds, tangled amongst the cantaloupe vine. Mourning doves coo and leaves move gently in an inaudible breeze. No bees have come to the mint patch yet, it's still too cool. I'm in a jungle of green that is showing signs of yellowing. Change of season is so exciting! I want to bake and make stews and chili. Tonight we'll have fried green tomatoes!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Recipe for Fresh Tomatoes

I always keep tomato sauce simple during the summer. The recipe I posted the other day is pretty much my go to. Tonight I'll add a little red wine and serve it over creamy polenta for a yummy comfort food dinner, or maybe some homemade cornbread with fresh corn mixed into the batter! I must not forget the beans, as Denise has informed me they need more picking! How many ways can you eat beans? I'll have to get creative. Here are some pics of our vacation at Lake Winnipesaukee. Such a beautiful place.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Signs of the End of Summer

Leaves on my grape vines are starting to crisp and the late harvest fruits are ripening. Figs, grapes and late harvest peaches are nearly ready while the pomegranates hang heavier from our tree everyday. I love the approach of fall. It calls you back in and beckons you to harvest and store. I hope to have enough green tomatoes for my mincemeat this year, it was so delicious! The sunflowers have taken over a good portion of my garden, which now looks like a forest of yellow. The bees inundate the flowering mint and we're careful not to disturb them as we brush by. My cousin Kiersen is joining me for more bean picking today. Picnic in the garden? Sounds beautiful. I'll make some herbal sun tea to refresh us. Recipe: 1 bunch of mint, lemon verbena, small handful of lavender, and lemon balm. Cover and let steep, absorbing the suns vibrant energy throughout the hot day. Pour over ice and add stevia if you want a little sweet!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Recipe for Fresh Tomato Pasta

Saute onion and garlic in as much olive oil as you like! Add your most ripe tomatoes from your garden or market with fresh cut herbs like thyme and oregano. Simmer until juicy, salt and pepper as you go and add fresh chopped basil to finish. Toss into pasta adding a little of the pasta water. Grate fresh parmigiana and more basil! Simple, delicious and FRESH!

Fruit on the Vine

Back from a two week trip to the east coast and our garden has gone crazy! Molly and I picked a huge basket of beautiful tomatoes, basil, peppers and a single eggplant. Our cantaloupe are the size of a baby's head, so exciting. For dinner, I chopped up the tomatoes with basil, salt and pepper and spooned it on to a slices of baguette toasted in butter and rubbed with garlic. Perfect! Today, I'll be going out to the big garden to harvest beans to steam and toss in pesto. It's so good to be home and to be surrounded by such abundance. School will be starting soon and I'll welcome the balanced rhythm. Summer draws me so far away from my center and the fall brings me back in with it's waning light, bike rides to school, lunch packing and quiet dinners. I am ready.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Country Drive, My Style

Driving past fields of sunflowers facing the morning sun, warm air filled with their mild, sweet smell, down the country road lined with olive trees, I am FREE! MUSIC BLASTING, TOP OFF THE JEEP, BOUNCING ON THOSE HIGH WHEELS, WIND WHIPPING OUR HAIR AND THE KIDS LAUGHING TILL THEY CRIED. THIS IS A COUNTRY DRIVE MY STYLE! Now we're home finishing off the crepes I made this morning with nutella and mango. Fun IS the best thing to have!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Morning

I've opened the back door to let in some of the cool morning air, for once it's cooler outside than in the house. I love listening to the quiet morning sounds. Everything is waking slowly and the crickets still chirp away. A neighbor tends to her flower garden while the heat takes a rest and Oliver and Molly still snooze away. I picked some more white figs with Oliver yesterday, the kids just love them for a sweet snack after camp or for breakfast. "Peach hill" has produced delicious small white doughnut peaches that the kids have quickly gobbled up. Next up will be the large peaches, nectarines and low quats!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


The kids are at summer camp here in the Shire during the hottest week and having a blast. The guy that runs it every year is saving for another trip to Tibet and getting there one water balloon fight at a time. I walked barefoot through my garden this morning to find more tomatoes, peppers and even a baby cantaloupe growing in this intense heat and moisture. Molly brought back a HUGE zucchini from the large garden that someone put out for the taking. I think I'll shred it for fritters! The Shire is full of bounty and boxes sit under fruit trees with signs to help ourselves. A bag of plums sits in the fridge, so juicy they have split and sit in their sweet syrup. During the hot day the kids eat sip them from their pits and the cold juice runs down their arms. Happy summer to all!

Monday, June 20, 2011

How I'll Spend My Day

Blue sky's greet me and leaves rustle in a gentle warm breeze. I'm sipping my coffee with a scoop of chocolate coconut milk ice cream floating at the top, delicious. After tasting my Aunt Denise's cherry pastry yesterday and seeing her bag of pitted fruits in the freezer, I'm craving preservation. After my morning walk I'll glean the trees and bushes to make jams and freeze sweet little fruits but first I'll bake a cobbler or tart to savor after dinner tonight. Such a bounty here in the Shire!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Harvesting Potatoes and Fairy Slippers

What a busy time it's been! I've just finished up a week of cooking camp for the children in the Shire and oh, all the yummy things we made! On Friday we picked cherries, mulberries and blackberries to bake with a sweet, crumbly topping and shook ice cream in individual bags with their choice of extract to flavor. It was such a fun day. I also had them harvest garlic from the big garden that is now drying on the kitchen counter. This morning I went to the garden with Denise to harvest our potatoes. We dug our hands deep into the mud feeling around for the buried treasures. We filled our bucket with purple, yukon and little red potatoes for breakfast and dinner. They were delicious with our onions and garlic! Michael is washing the remainder of our swiss chard that we just pulled out to give more room to the tomatoes and we'll put it in our breakfast eggs tomorrow. The sunflowers are beginning to tower, the eggplant is blossoming and tiny tomatoes are forming. The evening felt cool and damp from the freshly watered soil as we pulled little weeds and rearranged vines. Molly came home from her aunties house with tiny felt slippers she had sewn with beautiful little beads stitched to them to leave in the garden. She says the fairy's can wear them to dance in the evening if they're left on a leaf. There they sit under a pepper plant next to a ripening strawberry. Our garden is full of magic tonight.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Balmy Walk in the Evening

We took our new little dog for a walk last night. The air was warm and full of moisture. Cherry branches, heavy with red fruit, hung so low over the path that we had to duck down to pass. Softly glowing light passed through the grapes trellised over the outdoor patio of the Italian restaurant next to the main garden. People laughing, eating and enjoying a beautiful evening. Molly grabbed my hand as the sun gently disappeared and we walked up the darkening path to our little home.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cooking Camp

Next week starts off the summer with a week long cooking camp in my "Magic Kitchen" for the kids in the Shire. I'm very excited to pickle some grape leaves from the yard and make dolmas later in the week. I'm going to make the whey myself using the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. This way, we also have the yogurt cheese to play with and make something yummy! There are still a ton of cherries in the orchards that we'll make a crumble with and of course some ice cream!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Emy Lou

Spelled differently but named after the beautiful singer, our little chihuahua Emy Lou has joined the Nichols/Peach familia. We picked her up from the pound yesterday, what an awful place. I've never been to the pound and I nearly cried walking past the cages of sad dogs that may never be taken home and have to be put down. The kids are so enjoying her spunky personality. It is nice to have a pet that can love back. The fish idea was very short lived. I took her on walk when we got home and she stopped to stick her snout into each flower along the path. No more doggie jail for her! We should have named her Dorothy! After going from black and white to technicolor, you're not in Kansas anymore little doggie!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ice Cream Cake!

Molly's birthday was so wonderful. All the neighborhood friends and a few from school gobbled up fruit, cheese and crackers and ran around the Shire. My neighbor brought over a huge tray of logan berries fresh from her yard, so tart and delicious. I made a chocolate cake filled with mint chocolate chip ice cream and topped it with ganache! This was quite the hit. It really wasn't very difficult and tasted so much better than store bought, not to mention cheaper. Just bake one chocolate cake in a 13x9 pan, let cool, use unflavored floss to divide the top and bottom of the cake, spread softened ice cream on wax paper in the cake pan and freeze, put ice cream between layers and press together, wrap and refreeze, top with ganache. Yay!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Still Storming

The weather seems to reflect my internal struggles. Hail, funnel clouds, foreboding black sky's and torrential down pours have continued through out the day but now things are strangely calm. The sky is blue and the wind is blowing gently. I feel much more peaceful but found it amusing, that during my most stressful part of the day, the weather was out of control. Now we've both calmed down. The kids are playing charades, Michael is sleeping and the ice cream cake for Molly's birthday is in the freezer. Maybe I'm just too tired to care right now. I'll sleep on it again, hoping for resolutions in the morning.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What a Week!

Computers crashing, kids vomiting, do we spend this much on school? Can we spend this much on school? What's the "right" decision? I'm overloaded! Molly will be turning 9 this Thursday and wants a homemade ice cream cake, Oliver turns 11 on the last day of school next week and we're going to a Giant's game in S.F., working on end of the year gifts for teacher's and I have to plan for my cooking camps here in the Shire. June is always a little nutty but it feels nuttier than usual. I look forward to a calm mid June. Then there's the website I'm working on, very exciting! More info to come later! Today, I helped the handwork teacher dye the wool and cotton the children had worked on in Molly's class with natural plant dye's. The colors were beautiful and boy was the indigo stinky! Now my boots have the colorful memories splattered across the toes.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Coconut Juice

I feel so tired and depleted from a long week of illness with the kids. I'm sitting here on the couch while the kids play quietly in the bedroom, I could just fall asleep. I bought some coconut juice at the co-op to give me some much needed hydration, yummy. Hopefully, if I keep drinking fluids, I'll avoid getting sick myself. My friend Maya's little guy was feeling icky and they took some lemon balm to make tea. I am hoping for a healthy fun 3 day weekend. I'm gonna need some more coconut juice.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Still Sick

How many more days do we have of this illness?! Poor Molly is still sleeping on our floor with a fever and sore throat. I finally got her in a bath today and brushed her hair. Thank goodness for family and friends that have chipped in getting Oliver to and from school and delivering his lunch. (Thanks Kiersen!) What I wouldn't give to just get dressed and go to the store! The only thing Molly wants to eat is watermelon and guess what, we don't have one in May. I'm tempted to put her in the car and go pick one up. That and some coconut water. I'll see how she feels after this mornings nap that she is taking.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Getting There

Wherever "there"is, I'm getting to it slowly but surely. Molly is now sick AGAIN but Oliver is on the mend. The lemon balm tea worked amazingly well and was so delicious. Oliver helped me in the garden a little and I think we should be done laying down the straw by this weekend. It really helps keep those weeds out. Molly is sleeping away most of her day. My computer crashed this morning which might not be such a bad thing since it's so easy to put in my lap and not turn off. I got so much more done than I usually do in a morning. I'm looking forward to the summer, my cooking classes, trips, the pool, juicy tomatoes and spicy basil. Only 3 more weeks until I make up the schedule for our day. Reminds me of homeschooling days, ahhh flexibility in life. My rules! I like to be the one in charge! :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lemon Balm Tea

It was a rough night for me and my little guy. I lost count of how many times I felt his head and gave him sips of water. Today he is home and resting on the couch. Lemon balm tea is an excellent option for fever reduction that we are going to try today. My friend Kami Mcbride, whose book you can find on My Wish List Store, gave me a call in the middle of the night to give me some much needed support. We do use Ibuprofen when it gets too high but I also believe the body needs to burn off in order to have better health long term. As long as he doesn't have the classic signs of meningitis, such as stiff neck or pain with movement, and we keep him super hydrated, we can let his body do it's job. I'll go out to the garden and gather some lemon balm, pour boiling water over the herb and let it steap for 15 minutes. Thank you Kami for your wonderful herbal wisdom and friendship.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

In the Garden

I've heard that when you hear the sounds of crickets it means that you are safe. I suppose it's true that things would get quiet if there was danger, like a large predator creeping through the garden. All I can hear are the crickets and it does feel safe. So much so, that I would like to take a nap or just sit and stare out the window. We went out to the big garden this morning to weed and ended up picking all the onions. The ones that weren't eaten by the gopher, that will soon be dead, are beautiful. We left the garlic until it bulbs up. My hands still smell like onions. We have had such a busy week and weekend. There were 2 class camping trips, a play that my friends son was in and I baked some treats for Oliver's class in celebration of his birthday(a bit early). Not to mention all the homework to catch up on and the mask he is working on. End of the year craziness! I'm planning the food for the 2 cooking camps I'm doing in June for our neighborhood, it should be really fun. For now, I'm going to rest for a while and take care of poor Oliver who is sick once more.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Beautiful Sun

The sun wakes me up and pushes me out the door and onto my bike. Riding into the wind, I get that extra burn that really feels so good. I'm looking at my artichoke plant and it is covered! Time for a community picking and party I believe. Oliver and I started to work on his mask project for school yesterday. Paper mache is not my medium, clearly, but I think it will turn out ok. Right now it kinda looks like a pig. It's supposed to be a dog! Oh well, we're having fun on the kitchen floor covered in paste.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How to Grow a Child

Our little living shrine Penelope.
The children "planted" her in the swale. It was one of the sweetest things I've ever seen. There she sits, being fanned with giant leaves and adorned with petals. They did this for hours. When children are allowed to be bored, they learn to reinvent their environment over and over again with such sweet results. She had to take a good tubby that night!

A Faerie's Garden

The pics didn't turn out very well but I just couldn't resist putting them up!

My neighbor, Jill, comes to the back door yesterday to tell me about the faerie's that have planted a garden in the swail. Oh no, I said, what do we need to clean up? Just grab your camera she tells me. All I can picture is a lot of trash stuck in the ground and me yelling at the kids to clean it up. I walked down the path and what do my eyes spy? There, buried up to their chests, are the two younger children with Oliver, Molly and Serafina tending to them. They have planted a garden of children and the little ones are so happy to be part of the play that they don't mind being COVERED in dirt. It's actually really cute. No one is hurt, nothing to clean up (except the children) and everyone is laughing. The little plants are pulled from the ground like a radish. What a cute surprise.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Another Day with Molly

She was crying when she went to bed, "I don't ever get to spend time with you". The nine year change is here in full force. She's growing up and afraid of growing apart. Once again, she slept on the floor next to my bed, holding my hand as she drifted into sleep. We went to the co-op for some groceries after taking Oliver to school and her requests were for granny smith apples with honey bee Gouda. That's my little culinary queen! I got her a hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate sauce drizzled over the top and she sipped as we shopped. A nice start to a day with my little girl.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Poor Molly

Molly woke in the middle of the night with a flu bug. So she is sleeping next to our bed with a pot and a very sore tummy. So much for starting back to yoga today. I made her some white rice with butter and a little salt which she was able to eat 2 small bowls of. The house feels quiet. Oliver went to school with Jill and family so I wouldn't have to put Molly in the car. Maybe I'll make her some rice pudding. There's a good recipe using cooked rice in one of my most used cookbooks called "Feed me, I'm Yours". I think I'll add that to my Wish List Store. The book is a great resource for mother's of small children.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Wonderful Evening

Our neighbors/dear friends, show up at our door facing the gardens, "can you come out to play?". They have wine glasses in hand and that look that all us parents get. "Yes" we say, and then we're off. The evening was spent on their deck with many wine bottles, the kids having a potluck in the orchards and many fun stories exchanged. I love these people, I love this life. No one pretends or puts on airs. We reveal our flaws without shame and everyone gets it. We'll run/limp to the finish line with expectations beyond reach and settle for happiness and health. Isn't that what it's about, happiness and health? What more is there? One life in this body. 100 years, all new people.

Stormy Sunday

The sky has turned a dark grey sending sheets of rain and tiny pebbles of ice bouncing off the path and garden beds. Back to winter? No, just the last generous offerings from the heavens before the unforgiving rays of summer turns the green grasses golden brown. So we light some candles, play some music on a record player and try to enjoy it. The laundry is going and the kids are playing across the way with their friends, just a nice slow morning. My artichokes are going crazy, maybe I'll pick some for dinner. Thunder.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


The kids are softly snoring while my coffee steeps in the french press. I just love the smell of coffee. Looking out the window, I can't believe how many cherries are still on the tree. Bright berries peeking through green foliage tempt all the neighborhood children. The grape vines are growing overnight to provide a privacy curtain along the back of the house. They reach for anything to curl and climb around. I watered the big garden yesterday with Oliver and he was so excited to see our onions bulbing up. What a thrill to pick! I'll use them for my roast chicken dinner tonight.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Poem

Once to Every Man and Nation

Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
And the choice goes by forever,'twixt that darkness and that light.
Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 'tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.
By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv'ries ever with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.
Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.
By James R. Lowell

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Children in Cherry Trees

The cherry tree in our yard seems to be the first to "ripen" and the children are flocking to it daily. I say "ripen" because the fruit is only a bright pinky-red with remaining white spots that the kids seem to not even notice. Unfortunately, most of the trees have been effected by a worm so I'm not too protective of this pretty little fruit. I figure the more they eat the fewer flies to lay eggs next year! EEEWWWWW! I know, really gross. Oh well, just a little added protein, right? At any given time there are at least 3 children in the tree tossing the pink berries down to the smaller children who eagerly rip them from stem and leaf. A bucket is passed to the child highest in the branches and lowered to be shared. They've really worked out a nice little system and it's so fun to watch them enjoy the beginnings of a summer filled with warm, juicy fruits. Summer is nearly here bringing warmer evenings, children playing, singing crickets, bare feet, fresh fruit and wine with the neighbors!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May Faire

Last Saturday was the waldorf school's annual May Faire, so beautiful. Sun streaming through colorful rose petals that drifted around the king and queen and little children adorned with floral crowns and ribbons. Truly this is one of my favorite celebrations at the school. Each class plays a part in what amounts to a rite of passage for the eighth graders who dance around the May Pole wrapping the long satin ribbons into criss-crossing patterns. Dressed in white, skipping through the grass (usually looking not too happy about the humiliation) you're reminded how quickly it all goes by. Only four more years and it will be Oliver's turn. Then he'll be in high school! As much as these eighth graders pretend to be miserable I know for a fact that they are so sad to soon be leaving this special place and will often reflect on days spent with these amazing teachers and friends.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pictures with my Sister

My nephew Garrett at St Mary's College

The hike to the cross. It's not that far! Lies!!!!

Come on Melanie, you can do it!

Yummy berries

Melanie in the strawberry fields

A quick dip in our friends pond

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Molly is frying her first egg and she's on her second try. The first one she forgot to butter the pan so it became "eggs a la interesting", as my grandma would call it. The tea kettle is whistling, time for some teecchino in the french press! The winds have stilled, thank goodness, so our day will be allergen free (we hope). Today is my sweet Auntie Mary's birthday and we are picking up my sister Melanie to picnic at an iris farm and celebrate with the family. Fields of colorful flowers filling a valley sounds like a beautiful way to spend an afternoon. Time to open the curtains and soak in the Shire. Italy or Davis? Sometimes it's hard to tell. I love my space.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Wind

The wind doth blow! It's been blowing since yesterday making all the pollen go crazy. My roses are looking a bit abused hanging limp from the bushes. Today is cleaning day and Molly will be folding laundry and changing out the dead flowers while Oliver will be taking out recycling, vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom. I'm in charge of the kitchen as well as helping with what they can't finish. I love that they are helping even if it's only because they want to go to the store to spend the twenty dollars they got for Easter. We are picking up my sister Melanie in Sonoma tomorrow, she's visiting from Alabama and I can't wait to see her. I think strawberry picking is in our future! Margaritas?Jam?PIE!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pic's from Sutter's Fort

Molly and her friend were ready to go!

Oliver as Joe Meek

The big door I guarded