Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Business of Home

I know so many bread winners, especially fathers, will relate to this image. You come home after working a job that hasn't evolved past the cave age to your cozy abode only to be smacked in the face by an exhausted mother looking for you to take over. It doesn't matter that you've worked all day, the business of home awaits. I just want you bread winners to know that I know, but it doesn't matter. I still need your support, I still need a partner and I don't want to always be the one towing the line for our little business. But, I do have compassion. You're burning the candle at both ends as did so many fathers before you. Our fathers and grandfathers must have felt much of the same. Where do we find the balance? When will the employment of families in our country get the importance of a healthy balance? All I can say, is make sure to stand up, speak up. There is no award for working the longest and hardest day, the reward is in your wife/husbands smile and your child's giggle.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Aging with Grace

Who know's how long it will last, maybe always, maybe I'll dye it again in the next week. I'm growing accustomed to my grey hair and actually kinda liking it. Going on 40, it feels so good to be ok with where I am. I don't need to compete with the college girls in town (as if I could), I can be right where I am. It's not a forced feeling either, I'm really diggin' it. That's not to say that I won't want to mix things up and pick a new color, I love change, it's who I am. I've never been satisfied by stagnation. But, to actually be at a place where I completely love where I am in the aging process is tear inducing. My kids can see their mom loving and confident in her life, this is good. Now, must work in some yoga and exercise. The pounds are creeping back with all the Fall comfort foods! Love to you mama's! Poppy Peach

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Zuccotti Park

video
This is the teaser for our Kickstarter video for "Zuccotti Park", a musical about the beginnings of the Occupy Movement. Look for our Kickstarter project next week to help bring this to the stage!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Welcome Back to Zuccotti Park

This is the project I'm currently working on. I wasn't involved in the Occupy Movement at all, so the fact that this play has moved me so much is a testament to the writing skills of Catherine Hurd and the musical talents of the composer Vatrena King. Here's the post on Facebook. Please come over and "like" the page to help support us in getting it to the stage!


Zuccotti Park the Musical dramatizes the beginnings of the Occupy Movement and provides an entertaining education of how money works. WE are not liberals, conservatives, Democrats or Republicans. WE ARE THE 99%! ZUCCOTTI PARK is OUR story.
Description
Written by Catherine Hurd with music by Vatrena King, Zuccotti Park the Musical investigates, informs and moves us through the experiences and backstories of the Occupy protesters. It answers the question, "Why are you protesting?", and keeps alive the flame of Occupy's message for those who participated in the movement, for those who supported the movement, and for those who were confused and questioning and knew about the movement only through the biased prism of mainstream media. This play is extremely moving and at times funny as we follow the protesters, and also follow the money trail. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Shelling Peas

Traditional Green
Each pod contains the little treasures and though the task could be seen as tedious, for me, it's such a simple pleasure. I picture a southern woman with a tall glass of iced tea, a large ceramic bowl in her lap, swinging on a front porch in the humid warmth shelling away the late afternoon. My grandmother used to try to get me to eat my peas by making a nest of mashed potatoes, spooning the peas into the middle and adding a big pat of butter. She would use her stern, usually gentile, southern voice to coax me but I was stubborn. Now I love the sweet little green veggies but mostly I just
Yellow Peas


Nature's so Perfect
love shelling them with Molly.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ready for Summer

Slowly, I'm packing away this years curriculum, looking at all we've accomplished and feeling so good. I'm moving Oliver's books to Molly's shelf where they will wait until August. Summer,I'm ready; for mornings that are just about the garden, friends and longer breakfasts. I'm ready for the hot afternoons spent in a cool pool with iced sun tea in hand, for balmy evenings with delta breezes. My garden is in and by late summer will be spilling over with eggplant, tomatoes, basil, peppers and cucumbers. Before I know it, plums will be dripping from the trees ready for jam. Pesto, slow roasted tomatoes, quick pickles and spiced compote...yes, I'm ready.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Life is a Miracle

I tapped back into "Gifts From a Course in Miracles" this afternoon while sitting in the garden under the wind wilted roses. So peaceful, this Shire. It really is quite a miracle to live here. I feel like I'm on a perpetual retreat, secluded on these green paths lined with gardens. I walked barefoot down to the big garden, calling the kids in for dinner. Sunlight filtering down through the fruit trees, tiny fly's dancing like fairies, I got a glimpse of Molly wandering through the early summer crops. I'm lulled by the calming sounds of the crickets. A simple dinner of grilled cheese, green beans and a banana, blueberry, chocolate smoothie. And then, back out to play.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

In the Garden

Picking greens, kneeling in straw
Yellow flowers and bees
A warm breeze, birds
Neighbors and children
Can I just lay down in the middle of the garden? Why on earth not!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Practicing "No"

Life is full and that's good. However, sometimes, it gets too full. Full to the point of disjointedness. I have a big family with lots going on, I homeschool my kids, spend time with friends and fill any open space with my creative ventures, not to mention, a house to keep in order. So when, what and how to say "No"? I start to feel out of control! I lose my footing and slip into feelings of doubt, frustration, exhaustion and ultimately depression by not putting my health up front. Some things are going to have to be "No" so that what I say "Yes" to can be enjoyed fully without guilt or resentment. With as many things that have been added to my calendar by my loving peeps, I must disappoint on some occasions. Courage to say "No" with love. :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wild

My garden reflects how I live my life; wild with pops of color. When it gets to be too much, I clear away the decaying debris in a flurry to make room for new life. Constantly struggling with the idea of being more manicured, I always give in to leafy low hanging branches and tall grasses; wildflowers and weeds. Peering through, I'm in my own world. Lost in the lush, I am dreamy. Ooooh, but the idea of perfectly paved pathways and contained matching abundance tempt me. Of course, my pathways will need to be covered in spongy moss with blurred borders and lavender will serve as my fence. Nature resembles my nature.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Creative Flow

Always, my family comes first. Whenever there's a decision to be made, I follow my heart and it leads me to them. We've chosen to homeschool this year bringing more freedom and allowing more creativity to flow in. We have flexibility to blaze our own trail. I'm now working with a very talented writer and a very talented singer to bring "Zuccotti Park" to life. I have this beautiful creative project that fits in with our family rhythm just perfectly. The kids have even been able to participate in the recording of the demos and Molly read a part at Friday nights table read. They get to see their mom as their teacher as well as a woman exploring her creative potential. I feel so fed right now. Along with learning about Ancient Rome, Greece and the mineral world I get to work on a project that has such potential to make a difference. It was just a table read and some were moved nearly to tears, many laughed and everyone was excited. "Zuccotti Park", I'm glad we met. Thank you Catherine Hurd and Vatrena King, an exciting road lies ahead.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Goethe, You are Beautiful

We're begining our mineralogy block this week and once again I am moved nearly to tears by the beauty of Waldorf education. Always coming from the "whole" we will notice our own continent and surroundings to introduce the mineral world. Lassen, Yosemite, rolling hills, valleys and our beaches reveal the truth in how man has evolved with the earth. I'll be reading Goethe's essay on Granite to Oliver, I've never read nor known anything of Goethe (other than the fact that I was almost married in the Goethe Mansion in Sacramento) until now. He is beautiful, here's an excerpt:

  "Here, at this old, eternal altar built directly on the depth of creation, I bring a sacrifice to the Being of all Beings. I experience the first, firmest beginnings of our existence. I survey the world, it's rugged and softer valleys, it's distant fertile pastures. My soul is lifted above itself and above all other things; it is longing for the nearness of Heaven!"

Seek the beauty in education, you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What I Remember




I was in the co-op yesterday and I spotted this beautiful bouquet  of peach colored roses, fully unfurled in the arms of a woman. With beautiful long graying hair partially pulled on top of her head in a loose bun, she stood there examining all the flowers on display, smelling each one. She emanated  warmth in her loose, long flowy garments. She had a little smile on her face, she just seemed so content. I asked to smell her flowers and she happily obliged, commenting on the coming of spring before drifting away into a line at the check-out. I almost cried. The encounter stirred some deep memory of my mother. There are those little moments in your memory that connect you to that safe feeling of complete contentment, the ideal of "home". I realized that I most felt loved by my mother when she felt most content with where she was. Standing at the kitchen sink while stewed plums simmered on the stove, laying in a chair peacefully soaking in the sun, walking down a beach or watering the garden. Valentine's Day is tomorrow and I remember one year that my mom sent a heart shaped little chocolate cake to school for me.
  Thoughtfulness and being present...it's just so simple. It's hard to remember sometimes, we feel the need to be so busy but it reminded me of how good those simple ideas are. Those moments last forever.  I'm going to bake heart shaped cookies tomorrow and wear my great grandma's apron.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Homeschool This Week

Egyptian game of Senet

Making tortillas with grandpa!



Whatever these are, they're delicious! Just don't read the ingredients!

Vocab on a stump

Perfume in an oyster shell with the Eye of Horus

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Kim John Payne on Boys

Some little gems from Kim John Payne's lecture on boys last night at Summerfield Waldorf School in Santa Rosa.

Boys need to know 3 things (plus one :))

1-Who's in charge
Too often, these days, parents have created a child run and child centered world. Parents need to be at the top of the hierarchy. A child centered, adult led world is the goal.
2-What are the rules
They need absolute clear boundaries with clear communication. Don't expect them to get off the couch and help you do dishes unless you have DIRECTLY told them that it is necessary.
3-Are they meant
Don't change the rules, be consistent.
4-Where's the food! (my son is always hungry!)

In a world that has lost touch with actually, physically building, boys have lost their role. Everything is all ready to go. Press a button and watch what happens. Boys don't want to watch, this doesn't make the proper connections in the brain that give them self worth. They need to feel industrious. Hammers, nails, board...anything that they can build themselves is what's needed.

The percentage of boys diagnosed with ADD is astounding. I love that KJP (as we affectionately call him) prefers to call it Attention Priority Disorder. Things are moving so fast that for a boy it's just a matter of not being able to prioritize information at the speed that our society is expecting. It takes 8 seconds for boys to process an image. How fast are those images flashing on the TV? Think of the backlog! Boys need TIME! Without it, they push back just to hold their own form and then of course they get into trouble. They feel under attack with all this pressure. Dial it down for them. He also mentioned the sad suicide rate and that boys are most likely to succeed at it. Frightening. Soccer practice, homework, social pressure, media intensity and on and on. These poor kids. It's true, there is an undeclared war on childhood. We need to stand for our boys. Our boys will become men.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Gift of the Nile

We've stepped back into Ancient Egypt. Begining with The Nile, the life giving waters that supplied the valleys with fertile soils for farming and papyrus for paper. Egypt begins here. We are reading the story of Osiris and Isis, talking about hieroglyphics, mummies, gods and goddesses. A very colorful lesson block!

Friday, January 11, 2013

No Math Friday's







The kids love that Friday is math free. We use most of the day penning creative stories loosely based on our curriculum. I taped down large pieces of paper, brought out the colored pens and gave them some general ideas to build on. Molly built a whole little geometric world filled with shape people and Oliver wrote about the village in "Starry Night" turning it into Starry Town's annual foot race with the greedy Ravenwood family expecting to defeat the community once again. I want them to do all their own attempts at spelling so we know what to work on. This also enables them to just let their creative ideas flow. Our Fridays are for writing, dreaming, creating and exploring. After they've finished their stories, then we can work on mechanics.

A Visit from Grandpa






Cinnamon popovers
an all day fire
Nuts and chocolate
Astronomy, botany, geometry and art
a telescope, chess and Greek mythology

We just about covered everything, lovely day

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Calm

Yoga channel on Pandora
Fresh chicken stock simmering on the stove
Twilight sending rainbow sparks through dangling crystals
Incense burning
Children playing
Oliver gardening
New library books; Leonardo da Vinci's writings on the mechanics of man filled with his drawings(where Oliver first learned about sex today!), Harriet Tubman's biography, drawing techniques for fashion design(Molly loves) and a hard back filled with Van Gogh's paintings that Oliver would like to recreate

After waking up "late", feeling behind and cranky; after attempting my walk and turning back around to go in from the cold and after complaining to Oliver about his complaining, this is where we ended up. I stepped back, let go and ended up right where we all needed to be.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Starry, Starry Night

 Working with the astronomy block in a well rounded way, we dabbled in the art world with Vincent and his impasto brush strokes. Oliver really enjoyed this today and his picture turned out so beautifully. Molly constructed the pentagram within the pentagon which was much more complex requiring repositioning of the compass a few times. I love her artistic embellishments!



Oliver's interpretation of Van Gogh's "Starry Night"

Molly's birth of a pentagram