“road school” in her basket

Zoe has become a pro at preparing for road trips. she pulls out her car basket and starts to gather her “road trip” equipment her reading light, her lap desk, her travel blanket and pillow, she puts her pencils in an old tea tin, and asks which books we are bringing. She knows road trips are great opportunities for learning “road school”  as we call it.  I peruse our book shelves with the South West in mind and the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers…my eyes stop at Byrd Baylors “When Clay Sings”. I am such a great fan of this author so decided to grab all the books by her that we own…

The Way to Start a Day She and illustrator Peter Parnall were awarded a Caldecott Honor for The Way to Start a Day in 1979. Written in free verse poetry, it tells how our ancestors, from the cave people to the Native Americans, greeted, praised and were blessed by the dawning of a new day.
Everybody needs a Rock Here is my favorite page from this one
“Everybody needs a rock. I’m sorry for kids who don’t have a rock for a friend. I’m sorry for kids who only have TRICYCLES, BICYCLES, HORSES, ELEPHANTS, GOLDFISH, THREE-ROOM PLAYHOUSES, FIRE ENGINES, WIND-UP DRAGONS, AND THINGS LIKE THAT — if they don’t have a rock for a friend.”
The Other Way to Listen those are illustrated by Peter Parnall- super complimentary!
I’m in Charge of Celebrations Simple author bio: Naturalist Byrd Baylor celebrates her birthday on March 28th. Baylor lives and writes in Arizona, presenting images of the Southwest and an intense connection between the land and the people. Her prose illustrates vividly the value of simplicity, the natural world, and the balance of life within it.

and here is a picture of Byrd- don’t you just want to know her?

It is also a tradition that when we go on “road school” we bring a long the relevant books from the state alphabet series this time, this time

“G is for Grand Canyon:An Arizona Alphabet “ By Barbara Gowan (Author), Katherine Larson (Author)

“E is for Enchantment: A New Mexico Alphabet” by Helen Foster James in the same series

We also grabbed “If you lived with the Hopi” by Anna Kamma as Zoe is particularly interested in continuing her studies on Native Americans.

In preparation we also read a fabulous book from the library called “Mule Train Mail” by Craig Brown about  some remote pockets of Arizona, the postman wears a cowboy hat and leads a mule train through the Grand Canyon!

As always we gathered books on tape from the library, luckily our local library has a great selection. I am also a member of audible.com we used up all my credits and got stocked up with

– Heidi by Johanna Spyri

– The Birch Bark House by Louise Erdrich

– Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley

-Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke

She also packed a book she got on her birthday  Pull the other one:String Games and Stories by Michael Taylor as well as the skipping rope she made at the Hartsbrook Fair last week. Her teacher Kate also gave her a Mandala Coloring book and a lower case kumon letter book for her activity basket. I also made her plenty of blank books (as thanks to her friends  Lily and Naomi she has super been into making books) and I gifted her a small sticker book full of American Girl stickers as a special treat.

As always I made her a travel journal with places for photos, and drawings and facts about the places we’ll be passing through coloring pages. This time there were lots on Navajo Weaving and blankets, and dream catchers thanks to some great Dover books. (more on her journal later)

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Road trip news…

In a week we are off to the  Seventh Gathering of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers Council —

December 3-6 in Sedona, Arizona


As many of you know Zoe has been attending a weekly school this year called “Tree of Life” led by Sarah Pirtle (www.sarahpirtle.com) I am sure many of you know Sarah Pirtle through her fabulous music or her attendance over the years at the Herbal Conferences. At “Tree of Life” school they have been studying the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers (for more info follow the link below). The study was inspired by meeting
Flordemayo -one of the  Mayan Grandmothers at the Women’s Herbal this past summer. As soon as Zoe saw that one of the Grandmothers was Tibetan she was hooked and she has been wanting to learn more and more ever since. She dictated me an email to them and as a result of that email we were offered a full scholarship at their Council Meeting next  month in Sedona. I debated not telling Zoe as I knew she would insist on making it happen and there was almost no lead time…. but I knew
that was wrong! and I would be paying for her therapy in years to come! And I feel that this is the types of rollmodelling and leadership experiences that are what my little warrior girl needs! So I decided to try my best to make it happen…I cannot tell you how excited she is.

That is where you all come in.

We are hoping that 20-30 friends might be willing to sponsor us $20- $30 to cover our expenses in getting to Sedona and back (Nov 30-Dec 8 SOON!!) on our trip as a thank you we will share copies of the completed idea Zoe had which got us this scholarship upon our return.

If this is something you are able to help us with please let us know ASAP as we plan on leaving the on Nov 30th. You can send checks made out to Tony(a) Lemos or paypal us at tlemos@noho.com if this is easiest or you can mail us cash!

*** UPDATE: the fundraising is going really well though we are still a few hundred dollars short of our goal. I am blown away by everyones generosity and good wishes so Thank YOU so much, I am so full of gratitude for all of you , our community. ***


ASAP as we plan on leaving the on Nov 30th. You can send checks made out to Tony(a) Lemos or paypal us at tlemos@noho.com if this is easiest or you can mail us cash!

The Grandmothers Mission Statement:


WE, THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF THIRTEEN INDIGENOUS GRANDMOTHERS, represent a global alliance of prayer, education and healing for our
Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children, and for the next seven generations to come. We are deeply concerned with the unprecedented destruction of our Mother Earth and the destruction of indigenous ways of life. We believe the teachings of our ancestors will light our way through an uncertain future. We look to further our
vision through the realization of projects that protect our diverse cultures: lands, medicines, language and ceremonial ways of prayer and through projects that educate and nurture our children.

To learn more about the Grandmothers click here

If you know people who may be interested in helping out here….please forward this link to them. Also, watch this blogspot for details about our journey and pictures Zoe wants to share will all of you.

Thanks so much for considering this request during a time where we are all financially pulled in so many different directions.


Many Many Blessings and thanks in advance

Tony(a) and Zoe


Green Blessings,

Tony(a) Lemos

http://blazingstarherbalschool.typepad.com
Blazing Star Herbal School
Ashfield, MA

Blazing Star Herbal School is dedicated to teaching traditional herbal
medicine in a way that supports a more sustainable future for all
members of the green world and shows respect for the integrity of
nature. We offer a unique perspective on herbalism, weaving social and
political aspects of health and healing through the study of medicinal
herbs and food practices. We inspire students to find their own
healing path by creating a personal relationship with the plant world.
The school also serves as a local and national resource for education
and networking.