Farm Dreaming…




There has been a lot of talk (and dreaming) recently about the impending move,  what and where to next? Some things are clear and somethings less clear. Farm Girl has always been clear about what she wants (must have been the early farm school training) and while away these past few days it became clearer.

Now clear to visualize it into our reality!

Peace Travelers: Kids Becoming World Citizens

As many of you know that up until last year Zoe was in a homeschooling program that I co-wrote with my friend Kate O’Shea called Peace Travelers. The program has presently taken a hiatus but the “organization” is still meeting and we are still putting together programs and curriculums.

One of our favorite books are “One Hen, How one small loan made a big difference by Katie Smith Milway. I may have even blogged about it before, I have read it to Zoe many times and it has sparked many a conversation. We have also gotten “If the World were Village “ from the library several times based on the quote I have pasted below, and also “One Well, the Story of Water on Earth”. Just this week did I realize that they are part of the same series Citizen Kid A Collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens. The “Good Hen” reminds me a little of “Beatrices Goat “ by Page McBrier based on the Heiffer International approach when a new goat arrives in Beatrices poor Ugandan big changes can be made. Another element of these stories that I really like is that they can also fit into a georgraphy curriculum as each one is set in a different country, Uganda, Honduras, Ghana etc.

The connection was finding the book “The Good Garden- How one Family went from Hunger to Having Enough” by Katie Smith Milway and Illustrated by Sylvia Daigneault. Another fabulous book to set kids on the “Peace Traveling” path, helping them understand some of the issues while promoting global connectedness and community and the concept of world citizens. All simple stories about Big issues, Global Issues such as Food Security. Community, Water.  There is also an interactive website connected the “The Good Garden” full of further activities for children aged 8-12ish


(The below statistics were derived from Donella Meadows “State of the Village Report” first published in 1990)



In the world today, more than 6 billion people live.
If this world were shrunk to the size of a village of 100 people, what would it look like?

59 would be Asian
14 would be American (North, Central and South)
14 would be African
12 would be European
1 would be from the South Pacific

50 would be women, 50 would be men
30 would be children, 70 would be adults.
70 would be nonwhite, 30 would be white
90 would be heterosexual, 10 would be homosexual

33 would be Christians
21 would be Moslems
15 would be Hindus
6 would be Buddhists
5 would be Animists
6 would believe in other religions
14 would be without any religion or atheist.

15 would speak Chinese, Mandarin
7 English
6 Hindi
6 Spanish
5 Russian
4 Arabic
3 Bengali
3 Portuguese
The other would speak Indonesian, Japanese,
German, French, or some other language.

In such a village with so many sorts of folks, it would be very important to learn to understand people different from yourself and to accept others as they are. Of the 100 people in this village:

20 are underonurished
1 is dying of starvation, while 15 are overweight.
Of the wealth in this village, 6 people own 59% (all of them from the United States), 74 people own 39%, and 20 people share the remaining 2%.
Of the energy of this village, 20 people consume 80%, and 80 people share the remaining 20%.
20 have no clean, safe water to drink.
56 have access to sanitation
15 adults are illiterate.
1 has an university degree.
7 have computers.

In one year, 1 person in the village will die, but in the same year, 2 babies will be born, so that at the year’s end the number of villagers will be 101.

If you do not live in fear of death by bombardment, armed attack, landmines, or of rape or kidnapping by armed groups, then you are more fortunate than 20, who do.

If you can speak and act according to your faith and your conscience without harassment, imprisonment, torture or death, then you are more fortunate than 48, who can not.

If you have money in the bank, money in your wallet and spare change somewhere around the house, then you are among the richest 8.

If you can read this message, that means you are probably lucky!

Wizardry and Potions Part 1


Love Potion #9 and Magic Unicorn Blood!

Be sure no animals have been injured in this post!


Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

(William Shakespeare- Macbeth)



We recently read the first Harry Potter book. Zoe has always been into making potions, daughter of an herbalist! She has always had tools and access to plants, and supplies, still reading Harry Potter stirred the wizard within! I thought it would be fun to put together a “Potion Making Kit” for her as a Valentine Gift , I love making kits you can read about the “Detective Kit” here. First I found a metal tin (black and red) at Joanns in the dollar bin! Great start and filled it with a few glass bottles of various sizes I picked up at Michaels, a little jar of glycerine, red food coloring and added various tubes of glitter and confetti in fun heart and star shapes! Several sheets of stickers for decorating labels, a stamp of chemistry jars (see last photo-note). I also purchased a few small items on etsy the downloadable vintage labels, and the original love potion charm. We already had the test tubes from her 5th Birthday party themed mad science, purchased from Steve Spanglers.
I also made her a vintage looking spell book and included a magic wand made out of a deer antler! I’ll photograph and talk about these in the next post

PS : For those of you wondering Unicorn Blood Potion is made with red glitter, salt, water, glycerine and a drop of red food coloring. It’s use is still being discovered. What would you use it for?

You’ve got mail! For the love of mail…

I love mail! I have always loved writing letters and making cards! and there is nothing so cheery as receiving a hand written letter! especially on a gray drizzly February day. I love to make a pot of tea and sit by the fire and intentionally open and read the letter, slowly to make the experience last! I have boxes of old letters that I cherish, many from my cousin Mike, who is still awaiting his Christmas card from last year! that is how bad things have gotten! I admit as my days have gotten busier and time seems shorter I have sadly dropped this practice.  These days a photo dropped in the mail box, an occasionally a card, and an email seems to be all I am capable of…I am stating here and now that this is going to change again! and hand written letters are going to make a come back!

When Zoe was 2 or 3 we picked this little mailbox up and each valentines season it makes an appearance, filled with love notes, letters, poems and the occasional pressed flower. (Each year I plan to make a mailbox (slightly larger)and leave it up year around for special mail to eachother, lovenotes, gratitude, and even isssues of disgruntlement!! but it has yet to materialize!…maybe when we move to our new home.)

With all that is going on these days I have not blogged as much either….We have been struggling to fit in enough family crafting time. We are not one of those families that have endless activities afterschool, but with the 1/2 hour commute and a  stop  at the library it seems that homework and dinner and bedtime are all we can fit in.  Here are a few of our recent attempts. I must admit I am happy with Zoe’s school (a public charter school) but the one area which I struggle with is their “no holiday celebration” in the classroom policy! Now I can understand the religious holidays but Valentines? Don’t get me wrong I am not pushing the “Hallmark Holidays” in a commercial, materialistic way with foam hearts and pink kisses candy  but as an opportunity to express appreciation of each other, and as a way to mark the passing of time, and emphasize those  true values, what love truly is. So as a family we try to mark the passing the seasons and holidays with a craft and nature walk, some stories etc.

and some Valentine Soaps for our friends.

Yesterday with friend we discovered a new teahouse “the queen of cups” not far from here. They serve English tea, crumpets and scones complete with clotted cream- a great place to escape to and write a letter to a friend! over a pot of tea!