Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Beautiful pictures taken by my sister Bhu

We're so lucky to have a professional photographer in the family.
These next two show Zoe opening up the gift that Bhu and I made for her. It is a box of ten board books. We included an alphabet book, a numbers book, colors, shapes, and then more family oriented ones, like "Uncle Nicolas' Vegetables" and "We Love" with pictures of her smile and her walk and her eyes, etc. on each page.. They were so much fun to make and are being thoroughly enjoyed by their enthusiastic recipient. Duct tape may be the answer.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

My brother and sister and their families traveled long distances to come be together here for the holidays. It has been so wonderful to be with them. My sister is five months pregnant and has the cutest "bump" ever.

For Christmas dinner we had duck prepared three different ways by the guys, roasted vegetables and escarole salad. Every bit of the food except the olive oil, butter and the herbes de provence (that we brought back from Europe) were from the farm.
The most exciting part has of course been seeing Zoe - now fifteen months old and an incredibly sweet and happy little girl.

Being pulled in the cooler wagon by her cousins paiges and being fed peas by her Aunt lady in waiting.

The lady in waiting, and princess Zoe's mum found time to also make two beautiful pies. I am so loving the visiting pie makers of this winter. Who's next?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Farm Photos

These first two are from the farm party at Helen's. There were lots more farmers - these are just a few of the most photogenic:

I haven't been to the farm this week. These are from the week before. I've been crafting gifts, picking out paint colors and flooring for the new room, swapping cookies here with friends and welcoming my sister! My brother, his wife and their one year old are in a plane right now, making their long way here from summer, on the other side of the world.

Right now, at 6:41 am, Fracas the cat is still chasing the same tiny mouse that she has been playing with for over an hour. I have been begging her to have it for breakfast and put it out of its misery but she's not listening.

At least the final ducks' demise, this past week, was fast. They never knew what hit them. They were eating Helen's flowers, pooping on her porch and were roosting at night on the high tunnels, causing lots of damage. Nicolas and Helen had understandably lost all affection for the ducks. But I hadn't. We will all thank the ducks when they provide our Christmas feast.

I hope you are all enjoying your holidays.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I am not sleeping much lately. There's excitement about my family coming. I'm panicking about the many things I forgot to do that day. I'm listening to the new sounds of our newly-inside-dwelling cat, crashing into the wall near my bed as she races back and forth with her invisible friend in the dark. Mostly, I'm worrying - about friends' troubles, or the homeless, or whether Nicolas is happy. I wish that I could be like sometime insomniacs Barbara Kingsolver and Rue Kream and get out of bed each night to write a great book. Maybe tonight.

Lack of sleep has softened me. The professional production of A Christmas Carol that we saw last night (our friends in it included two acclaimed young unschooled brothers) had me in tears over Scrooge's redemption. That was unexpected. I even acted in this play, years ago in Boston and was cynically burned out on Christmas carols for years. This year, just a few notes of Johnny Mathis and I well up. And, this particular production is great. If you are local, and can get there, I believe that even those less tender would love it.

This morning, I saw a branch out of a window and was touched by the way the wind moves its leaves, that there are just a few less of the red flutters every day.
I deleted the earlier published rambling about having lost my checkbook at the theater, and my "excuses of an insomniac" for having done so, because I found said checkbook between the seats of our car. Life is bittersweet but the emphasis today has gotten sweeter. I'm going to be a presenter at the Northeast Unschooling Conference, which means I'm bringing my family for a visit home to Boston at the end of August! I hope that some of you will be there, to pump me full of tylenol pm or mundane thoughts late at night and share a wicked good time. Do Bostonians still say wicked?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Slow Food/Michael Pollan news:

The following came to me in an email from an Atlanta Slow Food leader and friend:

Michael Pollan will be in Atlanta!

As you may already know, renowned author and food activist,
Michael Pollan will be the keynote speaker at the
Georgia Organics Conference in Decatur, Georgia on March 21, 2009.
We are pleased to announce that Slow Food Atlanta will be giving you the opportunity to meet and dine with Mr. Pollan while he is in Atlanta.
Please mark your calendars, and plan to celebrate the start of spring with Michael Pollan and other distinguished guests. We will savor
a fabulous feast in a convivial setting, created by Southern Slow Food chefs. Special pricing will be available to Slow Food members,
so join today if you're not already a member.
Save the Date: Fri., March 20, 2009. Details will follow soon at

Vote with Your Fork and Your Voice!

While we're speaking of Mr. Pollan, we'd like to call to your attention
his latest newsletter requesting support in encouraging
President-Elect Obama to nominate a Secretary of Agriculture
who will support sustainable family farmers
. Michael Pollan,
along with Wendell Berry, Alice Waters, Bill McKibben, Erika Lesser and 13,000+ concerned farmers, chefs, activists and eaters have signed their names to a thoughtful letter to our future Farmer in Chief. You can find more information here:
Please take a moment to read this petition, and add your name if you agree. Time is of the essence.

Judith Winfrey
Co-leader Slow Food Atlanta

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Settling in for the duration

Still had been a decade since the last time that I did this - that time I was insired by our last move - so it could take me another year.
In addition we are making some constructive changes to this old house. I am liking the idea of staying in one home long enough to mark our kids' growth up the side of the wall until they are taller than we are. I moved twenty times before I was twenty-four.

Our screened-in side porch is transforming into a closed-in actual room. It will be a place to keep all of our art supplies, it will have a dog and cat door (so I can retire form being their all day doorwoman) and it still has lots of windows, so lots of light. I can't see us leaving it much except to use the bathroom or get some food and maybe to sleep in a bed.

We also finally got insulation blown into the walls so I am not wearing Gillen's down vest inside any more. But I haven't yet come to terms with the idea of updating our beautiful old windows to ones that would be more energy efficient. We have warm comforters and lots of sweaters.

My sister sent me a sock that she knit for my birthday. She'll bring the other one with her next week. This was her first time knitting socks (maybe even knitting?) Unbelievable, no? It is so perfectly beautiful. I have put my first time socks aside for now, with just one toe to go; not that they don't look just as professional. ; )I also have to show you a set of cloth gift bags sewn by Helen for my birthday last week. Aren't they festive, and so much better to reuse than paper? She has an etsy shop.
Another big change - Fracas has moved inside. She has learned to use the litter box and has found a new favorite spot in our bedroom.And finally, we replaced all of the many scary torn parts of our trampoline so the kids have been making that their home. Even in the rain :