Before you head on over I thought I would leave you with one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver. Be well and have a wonderful day filled with much to be thankful for.
So often on the blogs we share those very fun projects and living experiences we have with our kids. What happens when they grow up, move out and off to college? I can feel the tears welling up in your eyes now. I'll confess to a few of my own, but today I come with encouraging words. Once your kids, always your kids.
Yesterday I stopped by my big girls apartment for a little hang-out time. She's recently moved to the "grown-up" apartment. As I was sitting there eating lunch, playing with the dog, and loving the cat, it dawned on me that Zuzu is all grown up. So though she may not be living in our house anymore there are still the daily phone calls, the afternoon crafting sessions, favorite movie watching, our love of travel and photography and our deep affection for a dish called "Pasta Fourno".
Over lunch we discussed all of the things in this world that are currently inspiring us, what projects we are in the middle of, and lots of good laughs. A few years ago I would have dread the thought of this girl growing up but it's turned out so wonderfully well. I've really had to learn to just enjoy the moment I'm in. Each moment has brought it's own very unique gift.
Today, however, I'm going to leave with you with one of our favorite foods......Pasta Fourno.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
The winner of the Waldorf Connection giveaway is........
Thanks for stopping by yesterday and getting to know Donna better. Today, Donna is introducing a BRAND-NEW program to teach you the “Essential Elements of Early Childhood.”
(photo by Donna Ashton)
And she is getting everyone started for free in her class, “3 Ways to Create a Nourishing Home for your Child”
On this info-packed call you’ll learn:
1. What is play? - with Lisa Boisvert MacKenzie
2. The 4 Senses in Early Childhood Development - with Danielle Epifani
3. The Importance of a Mother's Voice - with Christine Natale
Tonight's class does need a reservation and you can make yours right here.
See you there.
Though I love honey and buy many organic jars of the beautiful stuff, I had never really thought about a bee's life and how needed they are.
Once back at the barn, Luella combs off the wax so she can extract the honey. She leaves just enough wax on the comb for the bees to store more food for winter and have enough warmth from the wax to survive the long cold dark winters of Sweden.
All in an afternoon's work.
The only time I really think of bees is when I'm working in the garden. Their buzzing signals a welcome sign of a healthy garden. I deliberately plant flowering plants and trees which attract the bees. Though I've heard occasionally that the earth's bee population is dwindling due to " cell phone" usuage, I hadn't given it much thought other than this urban myth.
Over the weekend I picked up the "Friday, What's Happening in the Area" paper with the cover story "What's Killing Our Bees?" Once inside I was informed that since 2005, 35% of Tennessee bees have been dying. Luckily for us here in Tennessee we have a research lab at U.T. who are trying to figure out why bee colony collapse is happening. It isn't just Tennessee but it has been happening throughout the United States and heavily hit in California. On the global level it is becoming so extreme that China is now hand pollinating it's fruit trees. Though there are many speculations as to what could be killing the bees, the fingers are pointing at fertilization of crops and a european bee disease called foulbrood. Here's the bottom line....without bees, we will not have food.
Ok, I know this is pretty gloomy talk for a Monday but I promise to turn this around. While in Sweden this summer I had my very first occasion to see how honey was made. In Sweden the problem isn't bee collapse but a shortage of beekeepers. Sweden has offered to pay for the education of anyone who would like to keep bees so that the tradition remains living and well. Luella has been raising bees for two seasons now and was happy to let me watch. It was a fascinating experience and immediately created a connection with honey and the bees that I hadn't had previously.
Being totally mesmerized by the "Bee World", I understand that our survival is truly based on their survival.
By purchasing local organic vegetables, fruit, and honey we are helping to sustain their world. This is a very simple step I realize but I've just begun researching this issue and I know that in the space of a little blog post I have definately over simplified things. I want to know more. If any of you have any information on how to restore the bee population or great bee websites please let me know in the comment section. Bee Happy and have a great day.
Savoring the last moments of our weekend with Mimi. Sunday came and I had to take her back. Looking ahead, I decided to make a reservation at the Scaritt-Bennett Hall just off of the Vanderbilt campus. Once a small college campus , it is now a place for repose.
Walking through the old gothic campus left us feeling like we were in England.
Among our discoveries was a peace garden hosting a labyrinth.
The labyrinth is not a maze. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It has a single circular path which winds its way to the center. The labyrinth walker uses the same path to return from the center and the entrance then becomes the exit. The path is never hidden but always in full view. This allows one to be introspective and quiet.
There are usually three stages to a labyrinth walk but there is never a wrong way to use a labyrinth.
1. The Release: As we walk to the center of the labyrinth we release the worries of everyday life and find an inner stillness. Just stop thinking and breath with each step.
2. Receiving: Once at the center , gifts of the innerself are received.
3. The Return: To leave the labyrinth you follow the same path that you walked in on. The entrance now becomes the exit. Symbolically and sometimes actually, you are taking out into the world those gifts that you have received from the center.
The labyrinth in a fluid continuous movement of the inner journey and the gifts such a journey brings back out into our everyday world.
Today we are joining Lisaover at Earthmama in her new wednesday series "Right Now I Am".
This year I'm happily taking part in the Handemade Holiday sponsored by Plain & Joyful Living. Last year I made so many of our holiday gifts and everyone really enjoyed them. Actually they enjoyed them more than I had ever remembered them enjoying presents. This year I'm fully committed to giving handmade gifts, whether handmade my me or someone else.
First project on my list is this knitted cowl. When I came back from Sweden, I had a lot of catching up to do with my blog reading. As I was reading Soulemama's blog, she mentioned this great new yarn company called Quince and Company. Their yarn is so incredibly soft and comes in a variety of colors and all of these colors come in a variety of yarn sizes.
I fell in love with this grey and used one of Quince and Company's patterns to put together this cowl.
I also knitted one for a special friend from my every growing yarn stash. There are a couple more patterns from Quince and Company that I would like to try. I just really love their yarn and their patterns.
The request was a big pink Cinderella castle cake with princesses all over it. Mimi, who loves to morf into the "Cake Boss", was happy to create this very fun birthday cake.
A cake creator and her best friend having a look at some great cake art.
"Can we eat it now?" he asks
Momma helps him to light the candles.
And now it's time for the "After-Wish", where we lick the cake off the candles. Hope you had a great Birthday "G".
We knew a day would come when "O" would become an only child. With both sisters in college our sweet boy is all on his own. Though he talks to both sisters daily, it isn't the same as having them in the house and sharing time with them. "Do the days seem longer to you mom?" he asks.
The other a day a box arrived for him from his sister Mimi. He ran all the way up from the mailbox so he could hurry up and open it.
Inside was a bag of his favorite japanese candy and a wrapped present.
I was the one who was surprised at Mimi's choice of a gift. It was her favorite book ever and lovingly inscriped with her memory of this book.
As a mom I was worried how my children would keep in touch throughout the years. Would it whittle down to visits on holidays and vacations only? It is so heart-warming to know that one way they have chosen to stay connected is through their love of books.
Please do not reproduce images or content from this site without permission. Thank You!