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.