Unschooling. Making Plant Medicine.

Thanks for all the wonderful words on last week's giveaway post! We have a winner… Sherrie from Twenty-Two Pleasant who said:

"A BOOK?! Congratulations! That's so exciting. A scent combo? Something with basil eo… it's got that nice licorice-y hint, but sweet and lovely. :)"

Really, everyone. Your words floored me (teared me up even), and your suggestions were wonderful! Thanks for being a part of my story here in this space.

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The post below I planned to share with you weeks ago! But I got caught up in all sorts of emotional talk with you (and a good deal of sewing) and forgot to share until today.









When we came down with the fever/sniffles/sore throat business last month Sage's eyes sparkled. "Let's make plant medicine, mama!" We pulled out a few of our favorite books and started reading. We chose recipes for loznges, throat sprays, teas, and tinctures and set to work.

This is why I unschool. For moments like this. Where their interest is on fire and they participate in every part of the process: determining formulas and measurements, working simple math, writing recipes, and learning about every aspect of the medicine making. Sage tucked all the tinctures and infuions here and there in jars in our cupboards and thought they are only a day old has checked them often.




Lupine's participation, age appropriately, was more simple. Some measuring, lots of licorice root tasting, and the spacial and fine-motor work of determining the correct size jar lid to screw onto each jar. Oh, and eating honey when I wasn't looking. There was that.

We all measured, ground, sifted and stirred the herbs. We all chose the recipes for the conditions most suited to us. It was alchemy.

And then we tried a few of our concoctions. The lozenges were a hit, especially with Lupine who might be faking a sore throat for weeks to come. And the throat spray, well…





Between squeals he squeaked, "Too…much…goldenseal!" and then, "But my throat feels great!"

St. Nicholas’ Eve.

I know, I know. Its past my bedtime and I shouldn't be posting, I should be sleeping. (St. Nicholas is sure to arrive tonight, and the kids will be up by six, eating peppermint sticks and chocolate coins before breakfast. I must be ready.)

But I'm not much for should's. (Though I will keep it short.)


Today was a perfect December day.



It began with an early(ish) morning walk. The kids were certain they saw the following tracks:

1. Cat

2. Rabbit

3. Mama

4. Gnome



Along the way we shared a quiet, snowy moment with Buddha, and then…



…arrived at our destination: our local Waldorf School's annual Holiday Fair. Between the peppermint oranges, wool felt crafting, music, luscious organic food, and all sorts of handmade awesomeness, we enjoyed ourselves completely. 


Although we have chosen to homeschool, we are so blessed to have the Waldorf school here in our small town. It has created an energy in our community that we love and attracted so many kindred spirits to our area. (I never thought I would blend so well in such a small town.) 

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And tonight? Yes, St. Nicholas will be here soon. I should go to bed so that he doesn't have to come back later (he's pretty shy, Sage tells me). Every year he brings us a silly poem, a few chocolate coins, some nuts, and clementines. He's pretty mellow but so looked forward to around here.

I adored the tradition of St. Nicholas as a child. It brought the holidays in so close, so early and I delighted in it. My best friend's family didn't share the tradition so I justified the discrepancy in holidays as follows: they don't celebrate St. Nicholas because they are Jewish. (Never mind that I often attended Catholic mass with them – in their church.)

And now, as a parent? We didn't intend to celebrate St. Nicholas in our family. I struggled with Santa and St. Nick and the Easter Bunny and all of the magical deceit when Sage was small. But the magic of childhood prevailed, and we invited Santa and the Bunny. (I drew the line at St. Nick.) But after a fated December visit to a friend's house a few years ago they found out about the jolly man in red #2, and they have invited him ever since. 

Frankly, I'm glad. I always was partial to St. Nick.

Sweet dreams, and a sweet morning to you all!

Screen Time.

There is no TV in our home.

That makes movies and cartoons pretty much a non-issue for our kids. They've both grown up without it thus far and they have no desire for something they have never known. (We broke the TV habit as a newly married couple when we moved to a town without reception. We didn't enjoy it enough to consider paying $65/month for cable. That was nine years ago and we've never looked back.)

Because we run a home-based business, they do see us on the computer. Every day. That is screen time too, and they are curious about the computer and all the ideas lurking inside of this box.


Sage was once so interested that he made his own IMac.



Complete with exchangeable screens, a mouse, and keyboard, he sat at the table computing. It was creative, self-directed, and entertaining (to us and to him). 

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Since the children want to participate in this online world that they see us in we've come to a wonderful solution. We discovered a few favorite websites that we visit for a moment, find what we love, and run to the craft table. I hope these gems inspire you and your children to jump in to some new projects and experiments. Happy crafting!

Crafty Crow

This is our absolute favorite website. The craft projects draw off of countless blogs, so we've found some additional inspiration when we click through.

Kids who Think

Using 3 rubberbands, tape, string, paper, straws, paperclips, and 3 pennies can you build a hovercraft? Kids who Think is the MacGyver project site for kids. Each week they provide a challenge and a parts list. Then you find a creative solution.

Living Crafts Magazine

I love this magazine more than any I have ever read. Their Facebook page contains some great daily free crafts, and I cannot recommend it enough. If you aren't on Facebook, their website has a few great freebies too! (We are about to be featured there with a pattern we created!)


June! I am a spring baby, but somehow June still steals my heart. It is a salty-sweet combination of the lusciousness of summer mingling with my annual shadow of regret for the passing spring. A regret that maybe – just maybe – I missed some magic between my favorite season’s shy, slushy arrival and her surprising – yet predictable – demise.

So here is June, kissing my cheek and winning me over again. Huge maple leaves unfurl, the rhubarb bolts,and my beloved spring departs, raining tired lilac blooms upon us as she goes.

So June! A fresh start. Seeds planted, feet planted.

Welcome to my brand spanking new blog. A chance to open wide the front door to our life and share inspirations and wisdom. Visit often, share your words, and enjoy.