compost confusion, fairy heaven


I read through a book Jeff got from a co-worker called Let It Rot: The Gardener's Guide to Composting, and though filled with tons of good info about composting, it didn't clearly address my specific issue of needing to start a new pile in the middle of a snowy, cold winter. I think it's okay to start the pile in the woods, I think it's okay to leave it uncovered, as long as there is good drainage beneath, and I think we won't be attracting wild animals... but it looks like I'll need a few more books or some more talks with my father and sister (who are both composting experts) to really know.

Gosh there is so much to know about composting! I guess you can either learn about all of the bacteria and living organisms, about all of the nutrients that are released, and about the right way to heat and turn the pile, or you could ignore all of that and just hope for the best. I've decided that I will learn about it (Jeff is going to be so pleased - he just loves all that chemistry and biology stuff) and as I learn it, I'll share it with you. That way when you go to build or add on to your own pile, you'll have some good info under your belt.


The girls and I took the decorations off the Christmas tree today (finally!) and I brought the tree outside to our deck where it will remain in its stand until May or so, green the whole time. What started as a half-joking discussion between Jeff and me a few years ago ("It's a shame to throw this nice tree away. Do you think we could just put it up on the deck for just a little longer?") has grown into a family tradition. It looks so nice outside! Just the right amount of color for this time of year.


I just love these toys that Santa brought. The house turns into a room full of furniture! The little elves, gnomes, fairies, or woodland people, whatever we happen to be calling them, are so adorable. They're tiny little things, just right for tiny little girls.

I've been giving some thought to Santa lately. 'A' asked me how long Santa has been alive, which lead to me get the book Christmas: A Candid History from the library. Santa's been coming for about 200 years, and the hype around his visit has been getting stronger and stronger as the years go on. There are many things about the Christmas holiday that have pagan roots, such as the celebration of lights, honoring the green branches of the pine trees and mistletoe, celebrating with a harvest feast, playing music, and exchanging gifts. These things make sense to me. The consumerism and the hype around Santa has never really felt right, and now that I have children, it really doesn't feel right. This year we let Santa bring all of the gifts for our children and we didn't wrap anything up for them from Jeff and me. Next year we're going to do things a little differently. Santa is allowed to bring anything that will fit in the stocking, and everything else comes from us, to be unwrapped later in the day. That seems like the perfect solution. I don't want to take away from his magic, I just don't want his magic to be all there is to Christmas.


In case you're wondering about the toys Santa brought.... click here and here.


Black-eyed peas for dinner tonight (not just any black-eyed peas! I'm cooking Creole Hoppin Jean from the Vegan Soul Kitchen) with a side dish of roasted kohlrabi. Mmmm... food is wonderful.


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!