new earrings!

Every time we walk through the mall (which isn't that often), I ask 'A' and 'H' if they would like to have their ears pierced. They always say no, and I tell them that if they want to pierce their ears, it will be their decision. I'm just here to support them.

Today we were at the mall while my car was on the lift to receive new tires. I asked about the earrings and 'A', to my great surprise, said YES. She wanted to have her ears pierced! Between telling me YES and having her ears actually pierced she did waver a bit and I told her it was her decision to make. She went through with it. I'm proud of her for making the decision when the time was right.

After the earrings were in, she went into what I can only classify as "earring hysteria." Suddenly all of the earrings in the store were new and exciting and she wanted to look at every one. And she brought the excitement home with her, peeking in the mirror at her new look when she got the chance. The big question is, will she sleep tonight? Or will she keep popping out of bed to see the new sparkling gems?

I love my new tires, by the way.


On these days when I don't have the focus, energy or patience to find inspiration within myself, when I can't create my own positive reality, I look to others to give me a boost. Today I found exactly what I needed. Take a look at Liz's hens and Amanda's honeybees. I've got to sharpen my dreams a bit and add hens and bees to my life. More and more I find myself wishing I had them in my own big backyard. Until then, I'll keep reading about others who do.

[ ... ]

If only we could all be this relaxed and carefree.

What a day. Today the girls joined their homeschooling friends for art class (they learned about Hawaiian tikis and painted their own tiki). After class, we were supposed to head to the mechanic for new tires for my car. Instead 'A' got sick very quickly. It's something I've seen before and by now I know how it progresses and where it ends. Her seasonal allergies have been acting up and her nose was running today. By lunchtime it was a faucet. Then she started coughing. It's a repetitive, shallow cough. After that comes the wheezing. I administered the ventolin inhaler but it hardly touched her cough. I knew from experience that the cough wouldn't stop until she was given stronger meds. To the allergist we went. They told me that she has "uncontrolled asthma" and that she would benefit from taking inhaled steroids twice a day. She's in bed now and has had her two doses. It's helped quite a bit.

I don't know how I feel about her taking inhaled steroids. I don't like it, but I see how well she does with them. If her cough is left untreated (as it has been the past two autumn and winter seasons), she gets sick and deteriorates. What are we to do?

I have a lot to learn about asthma.



Woke up (...don't think that's not an accomplishment these days. Remember, I'm still pulling myself out of my depressing summer.)

Yogurt, honey and granola for breakfast.

Dropped 'A' off at an art & French class, took 'H' to the park and the library.

Talked to ducks at the park who have no plans to migrate south for the winter. They didn't actually say it, but by the way they asked us for food they may as well have.

Taught some math: measured, added, divided.

Picked my jaw up off the floor after my 6 year old solved an abstract spatial puzzle much faster than I could have. And she did it like it was no big deal.

Reviewed table manners and the importance of eating neatly (without dripping blueberry jam all over your white shirt).

Enjoyed millet muffins. Mmmmm.....

Allergy shots for 'A' and me; never fun but hopefully worth all the effort.

Drove around town looking for the last of the summer corn. It's mealy now, but my children continue to love it.

Made and froze vegetable stock. I can't wait to add it to some soup this week.

And I changed the look of this site again.

Enough has been done. Time for us all to rest.

Saratoga Food Swap


Farm, paper pizza party, and food swap. All this between learning to read, learning to count and talking about loose teeth.
Photos of the food swap will come tomorrow. Enjoy these of Denison Farm and our paper pizza party!

Rainy Tuesday

A rainy day, just what my garden needed. Another full day for us. September sure is busy this year, isn't it? Art class, home school friends, granola in the oven, bread rising on the counter, reading lessons, playing "Laura and Mary", volunteer work at the computer, meetings with the town and then the church. Tomato soup with sandwiches for dinner, coffee drinks throughout the day. A good day, I think.

Things I love today

Things I love today:

My favorite breakfast: homemade yogurt sweetened with my own jam and local honey from Rick at the farmers market, homemade granola stirred in and Starbucks vanilla flavored coffee (light and sweet please).

My list of things to cook. I'm adding homemade graham crackers and wheat crackers to that list.

Winter squash, which is making an appearance around here now.

Long trips to the library that end way after I thought they would.

Being patient because I want to be, and knowing it.

Farm Tour: Kilpatrick Family Farm

How do you like my new format? I updated the template. It's certainly different, isn't it?

I took these photos at Kilpatrick Family Farm last week while we were out for a farm tour. It was rainy and chilly but lovely. The farm is beautiful and so is Michael's family. It's located a bit north of my home and I noticed that the fall colors are moving in quickly. It won't be long before every single leaf is on the ground.

:: tomato plants ::

:: pigs ::

:: Thanksgiving turkeys ::

:: walking tour ::

Plums, and more


Farm visits

Food swap

Cool weather

Yellow leaves

Hot tea

Soup for dinner

Patience in parenting

Bald eagle sightings

Lots of volunteer work

Baking bread

Canning tomatoes

Waiting for loose teeth to wiggle

Art classes

I'm dreaming of the herb farm I want to have someday. I've wanted one for years. Today as I was harvesting thyme, rosemary and sage bunches from the garden I heard a voice deep down inside that said, "You should be harvesting many more herbs than this, for the benefit of many. This is your dream. Don't forget about it." I see beds of herbs with walking paths; light shade; places to sit and mediate, to watch the butterflies, to remember about all that is good in the world.

Come and have fun with Kate Payne!

Where will you be on Thursday evening? With me at Spoon & Whisk learning how to preserve food with Kate Payne? I hope so! Kate is the author of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking: Decorating, Dining, and the Gratifying Pleasures of Self-Sufficiency–on a Budget! and keeps a great blog too. She's back in our neck of the woods! From the From Scratch Club site:

On September 15th at 7pm at Spoon & Whisk in Clifton Park, we are presenting ”An Intimate Evening with Kate Payne”. Join Cheryl & Judy of Spoon & Whisk and the FSC ladies and Kate Payne for an evening of food demonstrations, food chit chat, food swaps and of course, a book signing. Kate will be executing various demos (more pickling and fermenting) and maybe, just maybe, a “ricotta” demostration too! In addition, for the swap-curious, we will be holding a mini-swap. Interested participants can bring in one homemade item to swap for another. It will give you a teeny glimpse into the food swap events. There will also be books available for purchase and Kate as graciously offered to sign them! It will be a casual event to chat, learn, explore and swap food!

We hope you’ll join us at either event to meet Kate, chat food and celebrate things that happen at home!

Details: September 15th, 7pm, Spoon & Whisk, 1675 Route 9, Clifton Park, NY.

You don’t have to RSVP for these events, just show up and enjoy.
See you there!

A locavore challenge!

Today is a new day. I realize that I'm taking you all on my journey back to serenity. I'm going one step at a time, the only way I know how. It's time to throw myself into some busy-ness that feeds my heart and soul.

Here's what I'm up to:

Planning meals around the food in my garden and kitchen
I've got purslane growing in the garden that I would love to use. Have you tried it? It grows in gardens as a "weed" and is anything but that. Many other cultures eat purslane and once you find out about the nutrient values, you'll see why. Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids (the good stuff!) than any other leafy vegetable. It also contains a boatload of Vitamins A, B and C. I've added it to tomato salads a few times this summer, and I'm ready for a new recipe. I'm thinking a vegetarian version of this recipe for Turkish purslane and lentil stew would taste delicious.

I've got some red potatoes to use and I'm looking for a new recipe. I prefer to eat them roasted, but every time I put them in the oven they stick to the pan. What am I doing wrong? I'm wondering if I should try this recipe tonight and see if I have better results.

Taking part in NOFA-NY's NY Locavore Challenge

Now this is something to get excited about!

I love challenges. They encourage me to step back and take a look at what I'm doing, then see where I can make some positive changes to bring me one step closer to where I want to be. I already am committed to eating locally, but it's always helpful to do an assessment of what that means and how I am doing. One of the best parts is that From Scratch Club is the Blog Sponsor, so you can look forward to lots of informational and timely updates from all of the locavore FSC contributors. Here's the beef, straight from NOFA-NY's website:

The NY Locavore Challenge is a month-long campaign is aimed at engaging consumers across the state in eating local organic foods. The goal for this campaign is to educate consumers about how to make healthy and ethical food choices, cook with in-season, local organic foods, while supporting local sustainable farms and food businesses.

Our 2011 goal is to involve 5,000 people in this year’s challenge, and bring the concepts of local, organic and sustainable more into the forefront of the general public’s minds. This year’s program is versatile, fun and FREE! Participants have the option of signing up for either a Bite-Sized, a Meal-Sized or a Feast-Sized challenge, and within these challenge scopes choose from a variety of different mini-challenges or events to participate in.

Choose 1 from each of the lists below to count towards the Bite-Sized Challenge
Choose 2
from the below list to count towards the Meal-Sized Challenge
Choose 3
from the below list to count towards the Feast-Sized Challenge

1. Grow, Cook, Eat
-Take a 250 Mile Day Challenge
-Take a 250 Mile Week Challenge (Counts as 2)
-Take a 250 Mile Month Challenge (Counts as 3)
-Shop at a Farmers Market, Farm Stand or U-Pick
-Dine at a Locavore Restaurant
-Join a Winter CSA
-Join a Food Co-op
-Eat (at least) 5 Servings of Local, Organic Fruit & Veggies per Day
-Cook with Local Oils, Grains, Meats & Cheeses
-Sip on Local Milk, Juice, Beer, Wine & Spirits
-Swap Sugar for Local Honey & Maple Syrup
-Try Food Preservation (Canning, Freezing, Drying)
-Go Foraging!
-Make Your Own Butter, Yogurt, or Ice-Cream
-Grow an Herb Garden
-Plant an Indoor Winter Garden
-Plant at Cover Crop in Your Garden
-Compost Your Kitchen Scraps

2. Join The Movement
-Like NOFA-NY on Facebook and/or Follow NOFANY on Twitter
-Blog About Your Challenge Experience (and send us the link!)
-Become a Member of NOFA-NY
-Attend a Locavore Event
-Host a Locavore Potluck on Sept. 25th (Counts as 2)
-Attend a Locavore Potluck on Sept. 25th
-Read a Locavore Book
-Host a Locavore Book Discussion(Counts as 2)
-Participate in a Crop Mob

3.Take Action
-Join the Millions Against Monsanto Campaign
-Lobby Your Food Store to Include More Local Product
-Ask Your Representative to Support Organic Farming
-Speak With Your School About Local Sourcing
-Start a Garden in Your Community or School
-Volunteer at a Farm or Community Garden
-Donate to the NOFA-NY Farmer Education Fund

Have you signed up? What will you choose from the list?

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!