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October 2013

September 2013

waiting.......

waiting......

 

waiting......

 

waiting......

 

waiting......

 

waiting......

 

waiting......

 

waiting......

 

waiting......

 

We spent two days this weekend hanging out with our much loved friends. There was good food, and music, and wine by the fireside. There was hiking, ice cream, and laughter. Just good times. The only thing missing was a few more of my favorite Lafayette peeps. (seriously guys, we missed you so much!)

I put together a knitting project for Avery's mama in hopes that keeping her hands busy might soothe her worried heart. Avery's surgery was scheduled for very late this afternoon and right now a whole lot of us are carrying this whole family in our hearts. Praying. Sending love. Waiting for news.

On a funny note, because really you should know.... Avery is hilarious.... I asked him what we should bring when we visited him later this week. With his elvish grin he said "BACON!" and then laughed hysterically as Sophie and Luke joined in.

We can't wait to see him in a few days... and that incredible smile of his.

In the meantime.... could you send a little thought-prayer-wish-love their way? Each and every one helps, truly.

much love to you all this evening....

s

 


*15*

*15*

 

this is my big girl at age 4.

 

somehow she turned 15 this weekend....

i'm still trying to figure out how it happened so quickly.

as we went around the table with our traditional "share something you love about the birthday person"...

i was nearly in tears when it came 'round to her big brother.

"she is always thinking of others. the rest of us do sometimes. we try. but she always does. that's just her."

how lucky we are to have her, this girl of ours.

 

xo~

s

 

ps ~ thanks to my mama for digging this photo out from the pile of old for real film photos and scanning it.... a favorite one of mine, for sure.

 


csa share :: week 16

csa share :: week 16

 

csa share :: week 16

 

csa share :: week 16

 

csa share :: week 16

 

Week 16 Farm Share included::

pac-choi * collards * chinese cabbage * broccoli * eggplant * sweet dumpling squash * green beans

blue potatoes * cilantro * oregano * sage * beets * onions * carrots * hot peppers * 4 pounds of tomatoes

 

We've been eating a lot of stir fry lately. I've been making a quick curry sauce on the side. Half of us love it, the other half want soy sauce. (Bragg) I love chick peas in stir fry, but my youngest is not a fan. So more often than not, it's just a giant pile of veggies & rice. Roasted veggies are back on the weekly list of dinners too. Sometimes with a roasted chicken and sometimes with rice. I love having a few scoops left over to reheat the following night with rice, black beans, & sauteed greens for some really yummy burritos or rice bowls.

Which reminds me, if you add a bit of water to a 1/4 cup of nutritional flakes. Enough to make it a thin sauce. And then add paprika, cumin, & salt.... it makes a really delicious sauce to pour over rice bowls or inside burritos. Yum!

 

Some delicious recipes to try::

Roasted Veggies with Browned Butter & Pasta

Pan Seared Walleye & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Roasted Tomato Pasta

Collard Green Veggie Wraps

 

We're hoping to find a place to pick apples today with our friend visiting! Hello applesauce making this weekend! And an apple pie. For sure......

Happy local eating!

xo,

s

  

ps ~ Thank you for all your kind words on yesterday's post. xoxo~



::For Avery::

Ask a kid: “Who are your heroes?” Chances are they’ll give you the names of made-up people. Huh? He-Man. Barbie. I don’t understand it about heroes, it really bothers – what happened to the time when heroes were flesh-and-blood people? You know, people like Emma Goldman or Elizabeth Gurley Flynn or Mother Jones or Big Bill Heywood or Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, great boxers, you know, Joe Lewis. Grandparents! What’s wrong with your grandparents being heroes? ~ Utah Phillips, Heroes

This is one of my favorite Utah quotes. The importance of real heroes. It's huge when you think about it, and it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort on the part of the adults raising up kids to find good heroes. Real heroes. One of the things I try hard to do is collect stories of everyday heroes. I think it's good to share a combination of incredible people and the amazing average Joe. Because really, when you think about it, every incredible hero started out average. 

 

for avery

An oldie, but one of my favorites. Their dramatic (pretend) fear of an alligator. Avery is on the far right.


A story I've recently collected, and will tell and retell to my children is about our friend Avery. Avery was born with a congenital heart defect and endured 3 heart surgeries by the age of four. Each time Avery grows, the artificial pieces that make his heart work need to be replaced. Before we left Louisiana his parents were watching with a wary eye, knowing his body was not getting the oxygen it needed and that another surgery was on the horizon. They visited Avery's surgeon in Boston this summer and confirmed that indeed, surgery was necessary, and they scheduled it for September 30th.

On September 16th I got a text message from Andrea, my dear friend and Avery's mama. Please, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. The insurance company denied Avery's surgery.

My heart sank. The Boston Children's Hospital has taken care of Avery from infancy. These people know his heart like no other and Avery's parent's are confident in their ability to best care for their son. Plane tickets had already been bought. They had arranged care for Avery's two younger brothers for their three week stay in Boston. My friends, who are very much your average one income household people, have no doubt stretched their budget to the limit with personal expenses traveling to Boston to continue Avery's care. Denied.

Over the next few days, I would carry them in my heart. Thinking of them constantly. Wishing. Hoping. Praying. I got little updates here and there from friends. I watched as my usual soft spoken friend Andrea became one hell of a mama bear. Standing her ground with cardiologists and surgeons, repealing the insurance company's denial.

And then, after being away from the computer all weekend I would come home to find that their appeal had been denied, but they still did not give up. With the backing of family and friends they contacted everyone they knew asking them to support a grassroots effort to repeal the insurance company (again) and get Avery's upcoming surgery approved. People wrote emails and made phone calls to legislators, senators, & congressman.

And it worked.

Last night I got the best text message ever. Avery's surgery is approved!

Three days before their scheduled departure. Approved.

The whole thing is amazing to me. The tenacity and great love with which these people acted. They persevered, truly. And they won. They became a story I will tell to my own children again, and again. These average everyday people became heroes

All for Avery.

 

xo,

s

 


autumn wildflowers + weekend links

I'm finding myself trailing behind on our walks and taking picture after picture. Everything is so beautiful in this autumn light......

evening light + some link love

 

evening light + some link love

 

evening light + some link love

 

evening light + some link love

 

evening light + some link love

 

evening light + some link love

 

evening light + some link love

 

evening light + some link love

 

We're heading to Joe's niece's wedding in NY this weekend. Whenever I say we're going to New York, people always think the city. I tell them no, the backwoods of New York. Tiny picturesque old farm New York. Usually they just look confused then.

Joe's niece was ten when Joe + I got married. She's the first kid I have seen turn into a grown up. Now she is a beautiful young woman and mama. It's kind of crazy. 

My heart is feeling pretty grateful for this short distance between us and extended family. We've always lived so far away that we just couldn't visit often. Under four hours is a pretty sweet deal. And because the rest of Joe's family is all about an hour away, there is going to be a whole lot of Miner Family Chaos this weekend. The good kind, of course.

And so, there is much to do to plan for the trip. Dresses to iron and shoes to find.

I'll leave you with a bit of weekend link love....

Investing for fun & profit. (it's not what you think)

These pillows!

Napkins.

Family Rules.

Home * 2014. swoon.....

This song. Plus these guys are funny too.

Raw Chocolate Fudge. Yum.

Kid President has a message for you mamas. I was just going to link to it, but I want you to see it so bad, that I just embedded it below. It's awesome. A must see.

 

 

He's soooo good right? I just love him.

Wishing you a lovely weekend.

xo,

s


csa share :: week 15

csa share :: week 15

 

csa share :: week 15

 

Oh Fall. I've missed you so.....

The wind in the trees, the leaves fluttering down into the yard, the quiet evenings, the crisp cool smell. *swoooon*

Is it beginning to look something like this in your neck of the woods? I know, I know. Some of you are on the other half of the world and heading into an opposite season.... but do you see it changing, wherever you're at? Such a time to take notice of what is going on out there....

The CSA is starting to shift seasonally too. Even though we're at the last few weeks of our "summer" share, the fall crops are starting to become available. I couldn't be happier. It's soup season, you know? And more root vegetables are so good for making a bowl of curry, or veggie soup, or stir fry.

This week's Farm Share included:

cabbage * kale * salad greens * asian greens * radish * turnips * rainbow carrots * broccoli

potatoes * onions * peppers * delicata squash * cherry, juliet & slicing tomatoes

When I read our newsletter before the pickup I was *so*excited* about the squash! Delicata is one of my favorites. I really love all squash, but it's one of the best for sure. Sliced into rings, insides scooped out & baked with sweet or savory seasonings....... If you've got fresh herbs, that's an added bonus! A few of my favorite combinations:

Sage, olive oil, salt & pepper~

Cilantro, coconut oil, lime, paprika & cumin~

Coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon & nutmeg~

Plus the roasted seeds are delicious too! I like them salty & the kids like cinnamon sugar.

Speaking of the kids, they totally squealed at seeing broccoli return. There is truly nothing like good farm fresh broccoli and they know it. They would have each eaten an entire head of it on the way home if I'd have agreed. But being a mama, I gave them some line about other people loving broccoli (and carrots) and how we should save it and share it with everyone. Blah, blah, blah. They did eat half a bunch of kale on the way home.... because they're just crazy like that. 

Here are a few wonderful recipes for you:

Sweet Potato Chicken Chili (sub the potatoes for squash and swap the chicken for more beans to fit your needs)

Cabbage + Bacon + Pasta (serve with a big green salad and you'll likely have some very happy kids!)

Stuffed Tomatoes (you really should see this picture, amazing delicious-ness!)

Chipotle Glazed Squash with Rice & Black Beans

Kale & Sausage Stuffed Delicata

Roasted Veggie & Ricotta Pizza (this is awesome!)

 

And while we're on the subject of local food..... who knows of a great place to pick apples kinda sorta close to Providence, RI? I'd especially be grateful if you could suggest one that uses organic practices.

Happy local eating to you~~

xo,

s

 


squam........

squam........

 

squam........

 

squam........

 

4

 

squam........

 

squam.......

 

squam........

 

squam........

 

The magic of this place never ceases to amaze me.

The beauty. The people. All of it.

I was able to attend a few informal workshops Saturday afternoon before the Art Fair. Mingling with Amanda and Ashley to talk about chickens and bees, watching an indigo dyeing tutorial, & learning a bit about wild-crafting and tincture making. We then had a delicious dinner, which is always so nice when you are the mama and you didn't have to cook it. Such luxury.... 

After that I headed to set up my table at the fair, neighbors with the very talented Phoebe. I spent the evening talking with so many wonderful people. Even a few blog readers! (hello, hello!) Sharing my work in person is so amazing.... really. Connection. And speaking of connecting, I also met Meg, who is seriously one of the cutest pregnant mamas right now, and one of the sweetest most genuine kind of people you could ever hope to meet. Putting a real person behind work you admire is really something special.

I guess that's it for now. I know I'll spend the day swooning over my little adventure, unpacking the car, cozying up on this rainy day with new books I got for my littlest ones.....

Wishing you all a fabulous start to your week.

xo,

s

 


food, life, work.......

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

food, life, work.......

 

This morning I forgot how to make oatmeal.

I poured 6 cups of water + 6 cups of oats into the pot and only then realized something was not quite right.

Our CSA this week saved me from making a trip to the grocery store and has provided us with nourishing healthy meals all week. Standby easy food. Roasted Veggies & Chicken. Stir Fried Veggies and Rice. Smoothies. Soup. Speaking of which, if you're local you can sign up for the fall share here.

I've been up late everyday this week. Sewing. Dyeing. Sewing. See those new bags? And the fantastic sample packs from Stubby Pencil Studio? I reached out to Kate for business cards to share, Stubby Pencil Studio is our favorite art supply source, and she sent me those. Fantastic, right? I love them.

But, it's been busy. My to-do list is larger than my time list, as always. This time around I'm being a little wiser. Giving myself a midnight curfew and letting go of things that just can't be done. There are still books to read, and math to do, children to hug, animals to feed, birthdays to celebrate. A lot of balancing to be done to keep things going as steady as possible in a busy time. 

Yes, birthdays. See that huge "kid" in the last photo? He turned 17 this week. Seventeen..... oh my.

xo,

s

 


change, learning, & new beginnings

change, learning & new beginnings

 

change, learning & new beginnings

 

change, learning & new beginnings

 

change, learning & new beginnings

 

change, learning & new beginnings

 

This year marks our seventh year on this homeschooling journey. And much like other aspects of parenting... I expected to be such a pro by now. But I'm not. Of course. We're doing more things that look like school this year than ever before, but it's the non-school things that always catch my attention.

The hours spent following their passions. The big chunks of boredom turned into incredible creativity. The laughter. The fighting. The building. The running. The collaborating. The freedom. 

This year the two big kids are both off at public high school and it has made a tremendous shift in our day. These two left at home are, as they say, thick as thieves. Paired up in nearly every bit of what they do. It's been fun to watch.

We're still finding our footing in this new place. Meeting homeschool friends is always the last and slowest and hardest thing to unfold when we move. So for now, it's just the three of us. But we'll get there. This I know.

I had planned to pull together a more formal post about homeschooling for you this week..... but my mind isn't quite there yet.... so you'll have to be patient with me. Today I am drinking lots of tea, fighting off a little cold, solo parenting for the week, and getting ready for the art fair this weekend. Goodness there is much to do. As for shop talk, the shop will be closed on Thursday for the weekend. I do hope to bump into a few of you at the fair. I've got a limited amount of sets of three postcards to give to you if you are able to stop in and say hello. (yes, for free!) Also, I'll be sharing sneak peeks of new shop goodies here all week.

Today I leave with these tree house photos. I've been meaning to share the tree house for awhile now. Joe and Sophie built the basic structure over the summer and Sophie has recently been using scrap wood to add walls and such. That girl knows her way around the shop, I can tell you that! At first I wasn't keen on this idea. I don't love the idea of it being a smorgasbord of wood and screws. Safety, aesthetics, etc.

And then Joe reminded me, "It's not your tree fort."

And he's right.

So I stand back, and let it go.

As I pulled these photos together today I realized how much we have to learn to do this as parents. The stepping back and letting go. Reminding ourselves this isn't our tree fort. I do believe this freedom is what they learn from more than anything. Hard as it might be sometimes. All learning environments and theories and education styles set aside.... a deep and genuine love and trust of their ability is what really makes them soar.

In the meantime I'll keep my eye out for lost screws and gently remind them that bare feet and saws might not be the best of ideas......

xo~

s

{ps ~ if you are wondering what they are up to, they've caught a wooly bear caterpillar}

 


the girls get a house ~ part two

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

the girls get a house ~ part two

 

The rain stopped and the outside dried up a bit & I finally got the girls' coop/nestbox/nighthouse painted up. Joe got super creative with the sweet little door he & Sophie cut out. He said we should probably cut a few holes around the top for ventilation, then I got all excited about stars and such. Joe looked at me and laughed and said, "Woman, there's a pair of safety glasses and a jigsaw. Have at it."

Hmmmmm......

So I got out a pencil and a big eraser and started drawing around the coop and before I knew it, there were stars and some other random curvy designs. Then came the saw.... it was time consuming, but in a fun sort of way. I was so glad to get it painted and outline the shapes and such. I really love their little house.

The spot where the coop is was all bushes when we moved in. Joe has spent hours clearing it out and making room & sun for the chickens..... and he built a nice little fire pit area too. In the second photo, you can see a patch of sun to the left. That was also trees and brush. We cleared that out for the garden! We'll be building raised beds for that soon. I think he's cut down about 8 trees to open up the canopy for sun? It's hard to cut them down.... but so good to make room for food growing! I get so excited thinking about next year's garden....

As for the rest of the coop details, Joe salvaged a door from the house. It opens by pulling out, making it a tiny bit safer for the hens if someone forgets to lock the door up. Joe used a bungee cord to make the door shut itself and he twisted up a piece of copper tubing for a "lock". We have a sweet neighbor dog that is always loose, and we recently saw a coyote in the yard too.... for this reason we opted for hardware cloth on the bottom half of the coop and chicken wire along the top. There is a strip of wood for extra stability where the different wire types meet. Joe built them a ladder from limbs we had lying around and a roost inside and outside their nestbox. You can see the nestbox access on the outside, plus the other side comes completely out for easy cleaning too. We used pretty much all new material for this and it cost about $425 to build. I don't even want to think about how many years I could buy farm fresh eggs for that price! (about 2) 

I guess that's really it. I'm thinking Joe & I could probably build a house after this, right? I mean, it's kind of similar.....

If you have any questions, we'll do our best to answer them!

Also, thank you to my sweet man for stapling/nailing extra wire around the tiny open space at the top when I got all neurotic and worried about fisher cats eating my chicken girls. He's good like that.

Enjoy the last bit of your weekend....

xo,

s