Friday, April 30, 2010

Prayers and healing

My furry boy is in the hospital. We do not know what's wrong. He is flat, not his usual spunky self, not eating. We want him to be healthy and come home. The house is so loudly silent. Healing and prayers requested for Mo.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day is Every Day!

Let's remember to make every single day Earth day. We live in relationship with the earth and her rhythms. What are some things we can do with our children to nurture our relationship to Mother Earth and her rhythms as well as to care for her?

1. Approach life with awe and wonder. Stop to look at the tiny ant. Watch the worms wiggle when digging in the garden; thank them for the help they give. Stretch out under a tree and look at the sky through its branches. Go for a regular walk through the same area and note the changes around you with the root, bulb, and seed children. Dance in the rain. Walk barefoot in puddles and the grass. Sit outside at night with no lights and watch the stars come out. Awaken once each year before sunrise and watch the sun come up. Watch the sun set each day and notes its path through the sky over the year.

2. Seek out, support and eat S.O.L.E. food: Sustainable, Organic, Local and/or Ethical. Farmers markets. C.S.A.'s and our backyards are places where we can find a direct connection to the food we eat, the people who grow it, the animals who give to us and be mindful of and grateful for where our money goes and as well as from whence our food comes.

3. Tell stories about Mother Earth and her children. Sibylle von Olfers, author of The Story of the Root Children and all of Elsa Beskow's books make inspiring starting points. Nancy Mellon and Susan Perrow offer good books on how to tell stories to your children.

4. Grow your food, even if it's in containers. Try lettuce and strawberries and nasturtiums. Nasturtium flowers and leaves are edible. Grow some of the food you buy. This year I am striving to grow the beans we'll use through the winter until next summer. Grow plants for tea like Sweet Melissa (lemon balm), pineapple mint, fennel and cat mint. Grow herbs that you love for cooking or healing. Encourage children to sniff and taste in the garden by growing fragrant and delicious herbs and foods that little hands and noses can easily reach, rub up against and pick, like lemon verbena, dill, basil, roses and cherry tomatoes. My eCourse Gardening with Children is a course on gardening, with an emphasis on how to make it inviting for children while you grow fresh food for your family. An article I wrote with tips for gardening with children is here.

5. Create a comfortable and lovely space to eat outdoors.

6. Sing about Mother Earth:

Click to hear one verse

The Earth is our mother, we must take care of her
The Earth is our mother, we must take care of her.

Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan.

Her sacred ground we walk upon, with every step we take
Her sacred ground we walk upon, with every step we take.

Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan.

The Sky is our father, we must take care of him
The Sky is our father, we must take care of him

Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan.

The Rivers are our sisters, we must take care of them
The Rivers are our sisters, we must take care of them.

Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan.

The Trees are our brothers, we must take care of them
The Trees are our brothers, we must take care of them.

Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan.

7. Thank her after meals. After eating just before we snuff the beeswax (thank you bees) candle out, we say, "Thank you, thank you, Mother Earth, thank you, thank you, for our food." Then snuff out the candle.

8. Make finger puppets and use gesture verses that celebrate Mother Earth's creatures.

9. Create cozy places in the yard where children can play. Plant bushes and trees that create spaces where children can hide, play, have tea and feel protected. Use edible landscaping.

10. Take good care of her, for if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" applies to the earth more than ever today.

Blessings all!

Let 'Em Get Dirty ~ Rhythm of the Earth

Expansion, that is the mood of my soul and my arms these days. Vast, open, light, energized, flowing. What a pleasure and a breeze to open the door and step outside with no cap. no gloves, no boots (okay maybe mudboots), no coat! What a thrill! Lightening and legnthing of the day imbue everything between earlier wake up and the challenget to keep  bedtime. Cooking outdoors, eating outdoors and working on the garden bring such satisfaction and ease to being. It's easy to get around. Vacation starts today.

A new button appears on my blog proclaiming, "Let 'em get dirty! "

 "Let 'em Get Dirty" is a gardening series initiated by Kim, at The Inadvertent Farmer. Kim has created the KinderGardens campaign and contest for the sharing of ideas to bring children into the garden. Between now and Septemeber, I'll be posting a series of writings on bringing children into the garden and the need to "Let 'em get dirty." Join if you like and share your ideas and projects with children and the garden. Click on the button for more information.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Monday Dinner

Monday's dinner theme is Mexican at my house.
That means beans and brown rice as the foundation for quesadillas, burritos, tacos, chili, nachos... Along side it some sort of seasonal vegetable. One of our ahem, picky eaters does not like the texture of vegetables mixed in with the beans.

This week I am inspired by Becca at Artistmama to make her crock pot beans which I'll soak tonight along side the rice which I soak then cook the beans in the slow cooker tomorrow after I add the garlic, cumin, basil, oregano and cayenne. Later I'll look in the freezer to see if I have some meat to add for my carnivorous child. I am thinking about making it into burritos with my own salsa, local cheddar, cilantro, sour cream and avocado. Monday is also our tropical day with fresh avocado, mango and pineapple, not local at all. I believe most tropical fruits are sustainable, does anyone know? Probably not ethical with the fuel needed to bring them here...hmmm...something to chew on.

Fresh Salsa Recipe

  • Garlic, 6-8 cloves
  • 2 medium onions
  • Bunch of cilantro, good sized
  • Sea salt to tast
  • Splash of apple cider vinegar
  • Cumin ~ ground, to taste
  • Lime juice of one juicy lime, roll it before squeezing to get the juices flowing
  • Tomatoes, 6 or 8 good sized ones fresh or large can of fire roasted diced tomatoes


  • Put it all in the food processor
  • Whir it up
  • Taste, add more of what you like, salt, lime, vinegar, if neded
  • Enjoy!

Children as helpers.
The children peel the garlic and mince it and chop the onion into chunks that fit the food processor.  They wash and spin dry the cilantro, open the tomatoes and measure the vinegar. When measurement needs to be precise, I stay close or  measure first into a cup or bowl in case of over fill, that way it can be adjusted before it goes into the meal.

~ re-posted from my Scrumptious Smidgeon blog

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Anchors of the Day

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, the anchors in our lives are eating and sleeping. We all eat and sleep, everyday. Babies spend most of their time eating and sleeping. Toddlers eat and sleep. School age children eat and sleep. Adults eat and sleep. We all need to eat and sleep every single day of our lives. It is that fundamental.

We can drift this way and that, into the longer, lighter, warmer days  of the year when we want to be out of doors all the time and then into the cold frozen winter of the year, yet it is the two basic threads that keep us firmly anchored through the year: nourishing food and adequate rest. 

Food and Rest. Eat and Sleep. 
It took me a long time to figure this out. When I began working, three o'clock would come and I would panic and my brain freeze if I did not have a meal planned for dinner. Sometimes I’d wing it and pull something together, other days I’d make a quick dash to the store. Sometimes we ate leftovers or a quick-to-pull-together meal like pasta or eggs. It was stressful.

Now I have a plan. On Saturdays we go to the farmer's market and on Sundays I plan the menu for the week. We have a weekly rhythm for breakfast and dinner. This is what works for me. This is my salvation. My children thrive on the predictability of regular dinner themes, so I made a regular, predictable breakfast menu for the week too.

The anchors help me keep us tethered to the health giving forces of life, the nourishment of gathering around the table, the nourishment of good food and each other. Without adequate sleep or upon getting hungry, meltdowns are more likely to occur. Sleep and food nourish us deeply on many levels.

I incorporate as much S.O.L.E. food into our meals as possible. You might be wondering what is S.O.L.E. food or isn't it spelled SOUL? Well yes, and no. S.O.L.E. stands for Sustainable, Organic, Local and/or Ethical which means seasonal too.

I use a meal plan based on a theme for each day of the week: 
:: Monday is Mexican
:: Tuesday is Thai
:: Wednesday is Pasta
:: Thursday is crockpot and/or children cook
:: Friday is Pizza
:: Saturday is grill or baked beans in winter
:: Sunday is grill/roast/casserole

I experimented with a Thai Beef Salad this week which I'll post on Scrumptious Smidgeon as well.

If there is a person who does not wish to eat what is served, then toast and butter is always an alternative.

What do you do about eating? How do you plan? Is there a rhythm to it? Do you have any good one pot meals with recipes to share?

What are your anchors?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Inner Work at Easter

Lynn Jericho is offering inner work for this Holy Week and Easter, she has a recording for today, Good Friday. If you are not familiar with Lynn's work, have a look and a listen. It is very good. It's all free. Here at The Inner Year.

Easter Blessings!

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