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Yesterday Afternoon









Spent a little time getting out pre-storm groove on... now we're ready.

Bummed about our cancelled camping trip, but such is the way things go. Stay safe.

Well that was Interesting












I was already a little out of my comfort zone.

Manis. Pedis. Fashion magazines. 

I decided to play my "I'm not going to be the mom that tells my teenager 'no' to every single toxic and/or superficial thing" card. Do you ever play that card? I hope if I relax about this sort of stuff once in a while, she's more likely to understand where I'm coming from the other 90% of time (and she does, she's a pretty reasonable kid). This is not an exact science friends, but it's the plan I'm working with for now. 

So yes, two girlfriends... a little 'spa' time. Complete with airbrushed supermodels and pirates.

Who knew we'd be walking into a pirate party?? I must remember to stop back and see how they do this place up for Halloween!

(I really do like that mohawk guy in the window though.)

This and That



:: Last night Emily went to a party across the street. Adam and I watched two episodes of 30 Rock, drank Egyptian Licorice tea, and put laundry away. Not much partying over here - except that we both had a great time. 

:: The tea made me realize how much I've missed the smell of cinnamon in the house. It's been a while.

:: There is a very cool breeze out there. I can hardly believe it. I'm wrapped in a blanket right now. 

:: Changes are coming. Change is good.

:: I've been updating on this blog with quick posts when new material is published on Unplugged Sunday. I've been told that was kind of annoying, so I'm stopping. Though not because it's annoying  - which I guess it kind of is - but because I had planned to let that blog take flight on it's own after a couple months anyway. The time to let it go off on it's own is now, please subscribe and check in with us there. I'd love that. 

:: I was thinking last night about the work that I'm doing. How in some ways, I'm just creating and holding the space, these amazing women (and a couple guys) are doing all the work. I can't believe I get to witness such goodness.  They are beautiful people, every one of them is doing something wonderful for themselves.

:: There have been emails lately that I wish I had the time to answer. A flurry of them have a common theme - very nice people asking for tips and advice about blogging and etsy. I wish I could answer these individually! Would anyone be interested in a blog post(s) or perhaps a free teleclass on this topic? I'm not a professional blogger or top Etsy seller, so it's a little surprising people would ask me for help in either area. I'm not sure how much I have to share that is beneficial, but I've learned a few things over the years and am happy to share. I might be able to answer your questions. If there is enough interest, I'll consider putting something together for you. You can ask your questions about blogging or Etsy in the form below and we'll see if we should take this topic further. 


:: Have you been thinking about school lunches these days? I wrote a lunch box post a while back that is fun to visit this time of year. Also, The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen has two great posts: Packing a healthy School Lunch and Recipe Round-Up: Ideas For Packing A Healthy School Lunch

Right Now


Beans simmering on  the stove. Ten pounds of tomatoes slow-roasting in the oven. A book, some iced tea. Can't think of anything else I need right now. All is well. 

kitty angel















LIttle Hazel has made her fair share of appearances here over the years. She was such a challenge to photograph... usually offering the lens no more than her pure black silhouette. But then there were those hazel eyes.

It seems fitting to share with you that Hazel passed away yesterday. She was recently diagnosed with mammary cancer - which is just another way of saying breast cancer. It was aggressive and there was nothing to be done. 

I'm so sorry and angry this mixed up world gave her cancer. Was it the chemlawn in the neighborhood? The less than perfect pet food ingredients? The city water?

She was a good (young) girl. One of her best character traits was that she didn't use a litter box, she went outside just like a dog would. I loved her so much for that! I loved her wonky hind leg too. We all loved that. Oh, that wonky leg was so ridiculous. And the way she would grunt when she ran... who does that? Little Hazel did... 

Now, she rests eternally under the giant oak tree, tucked inside her blanket, with a half pound of catnip sprinkled around her. 

She was a good kitty and a good friend to Emily. We love you Hazel. We'll always smile when we think of that wonky leg of yours, kicking out behind you as you grunted and ran across the yard... so silly. Rest in peace girl. xo











{Photos by Emily}

As mothers, don't we love seeing our children's perspective through the same exact lens that we shoot through everyday? I'm always amazed and in love with these glimpses into her view of the world. Something I never tire of. 

the last several days have been spent...


Beginning a new e-course, with Emily.


Learning about the life of P.T. Barnum, through community theatre.


Making the weekly trip to the farm.

of the earth

Feeling centered as my own e-course gets underway.


Loving the singer-songwriter phase these girls are exploring.


Sharing yummy vegan food with the neighbors (and eating plenty here too!).


Lingering over rainy morning blueberry pancakes.


Learning that experts say books will be obsolete in my lifetime. Not willing to believe that.


On one of the best hikes we've had in Connecticut. Made better by the pouring rain.


Stopping off at the Dairy Bar.


Enjoying "from farm to table" meals. 


Feeling unbelievably blessed for this work. 

Hoping your days have been filled with the quiet, joyful moments of summer.

Good Monday Morning to you!

If you are interested, today is the very last day to sign up for 30 Day Vegan

The Best Part of Waking Up...

I enjoy waking up by 6:00 AM. The days somehow seem extended when you add a couple of early hours onto the morning. During the week, this allows ample time to fire up the old Internet connection and get a good dose of daily news, sports scores, blog updates, and other online tidbits to start the day. 
Sunday mornings we have a better way to make the most of this extra time - a great cup of coffee and some easy conversation for an hour or so as the world slowly joins us.  Eventually we get in motion, but this really sets the tone for a wonderful day.

peanut butter pie


It's not vegan, I wouldn't call it whole food. But in life, you need to know when to break the rules. Keep the weekend sweet, and make some peanut butter pie in honor of Mikey

Have you read Shauna's words? They'll take your breath away. The world of blogging can be hard to understand if you're not in the thick of it, but she paints a clear, heart-breaking picture. The connections are far and wide, and they are beautifully real. 

Carrie and I are making this pie together today, across the miles. She's near Seattle, I'm in New England. There are 3,000 miles between us, and a pie on either end - for Mikey, Jennie, and their sweet girls.

Let's we all live and love big way this weekend... and please, make some peanut butter pie, then let Jennie know you did. 

a peek inside oak meadow, getting ready for homeschool


As August rolls around, moms and dads everywhere feel school in the air. I suppose many kids do too!

For us homeschoolers, we get to play the encouraging parent role (yeah! a fresh new school year - fun!), as well as the "teacher" role of gathering materials, planning lessons, and organizing the daily rhythm. The virgo in me loves this sort of thing.


A full report on all that we are using will be coming up in September, for those who are interested. I always enjoy how organized mamas like Samantha share what they are using, I've discovered some great curriculum ideas this way. 


At Simple Homeschool we had ourselves a little virtual Curriculum Fair in the Spring. Did you get a chance to visit? In case you missed out, here is a list of all that was covered:


We recently took a trip up to Oak Meadow to have a hands on look at a history curriculum I had in mind for this year. I'm a very fussy lady when it comes to how history is 'taught'... haven't we heard enough from the victors?

With supplementation from wonderful resources such as Zinn Education Project, we were excited to come home with Glencoe World History. I'm intrigued by Glencoe's partnership with National Geographic and it's pairing with the Oak Meadow syllabus - meaning the assignments are not the typical, run of the mill textbook type work. The lessons relating to the text reading seem to have more breadth and meaning.

One of the things I continue to enjoy about homeschooling is the opportunity to totally customize Emily's learning experience. Even though she is technically entering 8th grade - we are not bound by a particular grade. For instance, we take math slow and steady, diligent about mastering concepts before we move on. For Emily, a slower pace and tremendous patience in this area are important. Social Studies and English however have her moving quickly ahead with solid understanding and completion of texts. This year she is comfortably placed in 9th and 10th grade for those two subjects. Science is a solid 8th grade level, Math is a steady, but slower pace with 7th grade. We really love this flexibility.




Isn't Oak Meadow such a cool and beautiful place? Love an old, converted mill building... all those wood floors! (All of the pictures in this post were from our day there.)

As was true with our visit there last summer, we were welcomed so warmly by the staff and really encouraged to take all the time we needed. Somehow we got to chatting with the high school director and learned she was heading down to the Newport Folk Festival because her husband was performing. We talked some more about music, about how true Vermonters don't ski, where to have lunch, and how it's hard to keep up with all the new incarnations of "jam bands." Nice chat, yes? 

And what about you? Do you have any new and exciting curriculum and/or resources to share? I'd love to hear what you're up to!