River helps out with a lot of chores around the house and yard and with the animals. She doesn’t have specific chores that are hers, but she is learning a little bit of everything along the way, and can truly be helpful at this point.

She can feed the dogs and cats, give the rabbit carrots, herd chickens, water plants in the greenhouse and the garden, fold wash cloths and her cloth face wipes, and wash plastic and wooden dishes. As you all know, she loves to bake, and she often begs to help cook.

I don’t force her do chores becuase it just doesn’t work. And I’d rather keep the good vibe going with doing chores than make it a hard and horrible thing. I also call my own work chores so she gets the picture that we all have chores we do. For instance, in the morning I make coffe, make breakfast, pack lunches, feed the cats and dogs and rabbit and let out the chickens. I call these my morning chores. She knows that I need to take care of my morning chores before I can sit and cuddle her on the couch or start on a project with her. I tell her I have to finish my morning chores so everyone stays happy. I hope that this helps build the concept that we all do things for each other in a family for the greater good.


Here is how I do one of my chores; I fold laundry while watching one of my favorite high quality TV shows. The wathcing device goes in the middle, by the cat. Watching a show I enjoy while doing a chore that must be done helps to make it enjoyable, and it gives me the feeling of getting some me time, even if I am still contributing to the family.

See you later. Enjoy your chores.

; )

Posted in Family, home, kids, parenting | 1 Comment

Art + Nature = Love

Bringing Nature Indoors


River did many sweet nature collages after harvesting supplies from our back yard. Supplies included dandelions, pinecones, rocks, grasses and assorted plants.

Bringing Art Outdoors




She also had a great watercolor session outdoors in the lovely spring weather. Abstract paintings suite a three year old well.

Bring Nature In, and Bring Art Outdoors.

Posted in Family, kids, parenting | 1 Comment

Nothing Lasts Forever

Hello Friends,

Look what I have for you:



Here is our beautiful peach tree, sprung into blossom. I am blessed to be surrounded by an abundance of blossoms. You can see our ladies free ranging behind the tree. Under the tree, within the circle, is our strawberry patch. A bit of permaculture. The chickens and rabbit love strawberry leaves…

We have spent several sunny days in the backyard this week. River has been helping so much with the animals and gardening. More and more when I ask her to to do a small task she is saying yes instead of no.

Today we transplented all of our tomato plants! I was inspired by the giant tomato plants of my friend, and came home after a visit knowing it was time to transplant.

Here they are pre transplant:


And here they are post transplant:


Now they have room to grow. River was so helpful during the whole transplanting process. She filled pots with dirt, held the little plants and lowered them in, stuck the new tags in, and moved the pots back to their home under the light.

We had a moment that I felt really good about while transplanting. She tugged at a little tomato start without looseing the soil or waiting for me to life it. This happened to be the same tomato start she had torn out about a month ago and my husband had replanted. I felt upset at first, and explained to her that tugging on seedlings can rip their roots and make them not grow so well. Then, remembering that I had once heard it was more helpful to kids to SEE the effects of their actions on plants, I told her that this little tomato would be planted into her garden when the time came. I told her that now this little tomato (and it’s sister,who she had also ripped out) would be her responcibility from now on, that she would have to take care of them. She got excited and found her watering can and gave them water, then placed her stool in the seedling area so that she could get up whenever she wanted to check on her tomatoes. The attitude shift was amazing, and I believe that these little tomatoes have a great chance of making it, because I have seen her revive and tend plants that she pulled out in such a way. We picked swiss chard for months from plants she yanked up and I planted in her garden as a lesson. It was a lesson to myself as well.


These are our biggest seedlings started indoors. Today these marigolds, broccoli, celery and lettuces moved outdoors to the greenhouse. I hope to have them planted in the soil of the garden within a few weeks time.



Posted in chickens, compromise, garden, kids, parenting | 1 Comment

New Growth

As the year moves from Imbolc towards the Spring Equinox, I can feel the changes all around me. The days are growing longer. I marvel each day at the light in the sky at 5:30 pm. It no longer hurts to wake up at 6. The lilac bush has put out young leaves, and their fresh green makes me feel alive each time I look out the window.

Much is happening in the world of plants. Starts that lived in the greenhouse all winter are being hardened off and set out to be planted in the garden. The tiny seedlings whose seed sewing I posted about are now getting large enough to transplant into 4 inch pots, and a new fluorescent light is needed to shine on the transplanted babies. In the garden, small greens that huddled through the winter with tiny leaves are now growing up and the vigorous March growth promised to overwintering gardeners is upon us!

My child is a kid! Once she was a baby, then a toddler. I got really used to this toddler phase, but low and behold she has gotten bigger and is now a kid! Three heading toward four. Today she helped to set up the Pea Tee Pee, and added some beautiful trellising to it. She searched for slugs in the green house, walked the tiny dog in the backyard, and painted with water colors.  It is amazing to hear her vocabulary and listen to her voice the knowledge she has picked up.

I am so proud of my step daughter for completing a long and challenging project in school. She showed determination, skill, and a willingness to learn as she improved on skills and navigated new territory. It is impressive and a little hard to watch her grow up.

Still no pictues here. I am enjoying a quiet reprieve from all the noise and static that comes with a cell phone. But worry not, soon I will have pictures again for you. And they will be of green growth. And cute kids.


So long.

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Spring Is Here

Hello Again.

Around here we have been busy with basic, old fashioned living. Bread baking several times a week, cooking food from scratch, animal care, dishes, laundry, kids. River and I weeded a huge area in our newly expanded garden, and planted a lot of spring vegetable seeds.


Our little indoor veggie starts are doing quite well, and I’m hopeful for a fruitful season ahead.

I’ve found a delightful, easy homemade bread recipe. Here is the link.

I’m fulfilling one of my dreams by cooking nearly all our food from scratch. It is hard work, takes up a large portion of my day, and creates loads of dirty dishes, but the is good for our bodies, good for the pocketbook, and good for th Earth. I soak and cook our beans, which are paired with a number of grains. I make homemade granola and oatmeal. We eat eggs from the chickens with our homemade bread. Throw in some fresh produce, our local beef share, and my home canned goods, and we’ve just about got everything we need.

I’ve also been sewing for my family, which feels fantastic. I’ve made clothes for me and River, and goods for the rest of the family.

Our animals are well and keep us on our toes. Rotational grazing and timed free ranging are the name of the game, even in a backyard farm.

Wish I had some pics to show you, but my phone’s on hiatus.

See you next time,


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We’re In Eggs! 


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Seeds Started


Posted in garden, thrifty | 2 Comments