From this to this…

From this


img_4381to this






img_4416                                                                           (Calendula officinalis)


On our first nature walk here in Athens we spotted lots of faamiliar friends… nettles, chickweed, calendula flowers, dandelion flowers, and wild mustard. We talked about Nettle mash potatoes and soup. I am hoping that the farmers market on tuesday will have bundles of Nettles…

So this blog has been sadly neglected 😦  Hopefully over the next few weeks I will get back to regular posting.


the perfect snowball

more snow……finally the right snow for snowball making


the snowballer was what Zoe asked Santa for. Santa had no idea such a thing existed!


This years Favorite Seasonal Recipe


We were over some friends of ours earlier this holiday season for their afternoon tree lighting, and  stollen (a German yeastted fruit and nut bread – delicious!) I was offered some Gluehwein (hot mulled wine). I paused to remember. . .  The last time I had heard that word was as a teenager on a school ski trip to the Austrian Alps where it was consumed in high volumes and under appreciated. 


Besides its popularity at ski resorts! you are supposed to “glow with warmth” once it has been consumed. It is German/Austrian winter-holiday drink. 

Here is a recipe

  • 3/4 cup orange juice (if used freshly squeezed save the peel)
  •  rind of some orange and lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar (you can experiment with different types- we like to use honey)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of quality black tea
  • mulling spices
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine. It can also be made with hard cider as a base. 
  1. In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer.
  2. Pour the juice into the simmering water. Push the cloves into the outside of the orange peel, and place peel in the simmering water along with the remainder mulling spices. Continue simmering for 30 minutes, until thick and syrupy. Add the rest of the juice.
  3. Pour in the wine, and heat until steaming but not simmering. Remove the spices and clove-studded orange halves. Serve hot in mugs or glasses that have been preheated in warm water (cold glasses will break.)

BOOKS, books and more books

As some of you know Zoe is part of an educational program called “Peace Travelers“. It is a program that Kate O’Shea and myself are writing, as a introduction to our year of world travel which begins ) in Sept 2010. This holiday season Zoe received some great books that we will be using as part of the curriculum.


If you click on the title it will bring you to the book link at Amazon. If you click on the author it will bring you to the author website.


Follow the Line Around the World by Laura Ljungkvist 


Wish: Wishing Traditions around the World  by Roseanne Thong and Elisa Kleven As I have mentioned before  Elisa Kleven is one of our favorite illustrators. Here is a link to  a podcast about this book


One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference  by Katie Smith Milway



A School like Mine by DK Publishing




The Usborne Book of Peoples of the World by Gillian Doherty


and now for 2 grown up books which I have been infactuated with

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel

Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel


Welcome Here!

Welcome Here!


Welcome Here, welcome here.

All be alive and be of good cheer.


I made a loaf that’s cooling there,

With my neighbors I will share.

Come, all ye people here me sing

A song of friendly welcoming.


I’ve got a pie all baked complete,

Pudding, too, that’s very sweet.

Chestnuts are roasting,  join us here

While we dance and make good cheer.


I’ve got a log that is burning hot

Toddy’s bubbling in the pot.

Come in, ye people, where it’s warm,

The wind blows sharp and it may storm.


Welcome Here, welcome here.

All be alive and be of good cheer.


Traditional Shaker Poem


2008 in Summary